an excerpt from A Priest Answers 27 Questions You Never Thought to Ask by Fr. Michael Kerper
Dear Father Kerper: It seems like there is a lot of evidence that there are ghosts that haunt people's homes. Do ghosts really exist?
Thanks very much for your question about the reality of ghosts. Some people, of course, would brush it off as a silly thing to ask, but it actually leads us to consider anew two key Christian beliefs: first, that every human person is a communion of body (matter) and soul (spirit); and second, that human life continues forever after bodily death, first as a bodiless soul, and eventually as a resurrected human being with body and soul reunited. To put your question differently: can these bodiless souls – ghosts – appear and intervene in our lives?READ MORE
I would like to thank all who have made my Installation as Pastor a truly wonderful event. First, my thanks go to Almighty God, who never ceases to amaze me in my vocation as priest. In the past 29 years of my priesthood He has led me to many different apostolates and duties. Second, I would like to thank his Excellency, Bishop James Chechio for taking time out of his busy schedule and my brother priests who came to celebrate the installation. Third, thanks go to my mother and sister and family who drove from Connecticut to be here. They were quite impressed with the parish and parishioners of St. Magdalen. Next, I would like to thank the staff of St. Magdalen's, the music ministry, office staff, gardening and flower arranging volunteers. Everyone coming together was a true blessing. Finally, I would like to thank all of you for being so welcoming to me over the past three months. Truly, I feel right at home with the good people of St. Magdalen. May God be praised and I look forward to serving you as your pastor. Please continue to keep me in your prayers.
Reverend Kenneth D. BrighentiREAD MORE
I am pleased to announce that we will be having a weekend assistant, Rev. James Platania at our Parish beginning on September 3rd. Reverend Platanis currently is an Assistant professor of Biblical Studies at Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University in South Orange.
He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Paterson in 2013. Since his Ordination he has served as an Advisor to the Seminarians at Immaculate Conception Seminar y and also ser ved in campus ministr y at St. John's University in Rome Italy.READ MORE
Court etiquette says we should show this respect to our King, pledging him our service. It is easy to “go through the motions” as Catholics, and one of the easiest gestures to forget the meaning of is the genuflection.
Often we will find ourselves mindlessly walking into church, finding a pew and kneeling quickly on one knee before sitting down. We sometimes do it so much without thinking that when we walk down the aisle of a movie theater we end up genuflecting before we sit down for the show! So why do Catholics genuflect when they walk into a church?READ MORE
The gold box in a Catholic Church is sacred, set apart for a very special purpose.
One of the primary and most distinctive fixtures of any Catholic church is a box or cabinet, typically made of gold placed in the front and center of a church. The exact shape varies, but you will most often find a red vigil lamp lighted next to it.
As Catholics, we call the box a tabernacle and it contains the “holy of holies,” Jesus present in the Eucharist.READ MORE
We are pleased to welcome our new Pastor, Father Kenneth Brighenti to St. Magdalen de Pazzi. He arrives from Mount Saint Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD., where he servedon assignment from the Diocese of Metuchen asDirector of Pastoral Field Education and Vice Rector.
He was ordained on May 28, 1988 at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi in Metuchen. Since his ordination, he served as Parochial Vicar in four parishes in our diocese from 1988 - 2000. He became Pastor of St. Ann in Raritan in 2000 where he remained for nine years.READ MORE
So many of us could share a particular moment when Fr. Tim offered wordsof prayer, encouragement in times of difficulty, or spiritual guidance whichhas influenced our faith. The parish community of St Magdalen’s has beenblessed to have a pastor with such wisdom and faith in God.
With a strong devotion to our Mother Mary and a heart for evangelization,Fr Tim has modeled in his own life what it means to trust in the Holy Spirit.As pastor, Fr Tim has echoed the words of Benedict XVI by developing avibrant parish that embraces the richness of Catholic Tradition and encourages discipleship for evangelization.READ MORE
Dear Parish Family,
This weekend we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Easter, which is commonly called "Good Shepherd Sunday." The Church always reads from St. John's gospel account of Jesus describing his relationship to us, His flock, as a shepherd who guides his sheep. The image of the Good Shepherd also describes the nature of leadership in our Church. Our bishops and priests are called by Jesus to be the clear voice of the Good Shepherd guiding the life of the local Church.
Today I write to tell you that our chief shepherd, Bishop James Checchio, is re-assigning me from pastor of St. Magdalen de Pazzi, to a new role of leadership in our diocese of Metuchen; Vicar for Evangelization and Communications. This is a portion of Bishop Checchio's formal announcement this past week at the Chancery:READ MORE
I am so happy that you joined us for the celebration of Christ's birth. I understand that many of you may be visiting. For some of you this may be a renewal, a moment that has brought you back to church. What ever the reason or where ever you may be on your faith journey I want you to know you are always welcome here at St Magdalen's.
There are so many wonderful staff and ministry leadership that are always eager to listen and spend time with those who are seeking more for their faith. Please let us know how we may be part of your journey.READ MORE
Dear Parish Family:
I present you with last year’s fiscal statement for our parish operations. It shows ashortfall due to a number of factors. One reason is that we had some capital expenditures that will not be needed again for the foreseeable future, but it was primarily due to a drop in our ordinary income from Sunday collections. We, like almost all of the parishes in central New Jersey, are experiencing a dramatic downturn inregular Church attendance. With the decline in attendance fewer people are contributing and some due to life circumstances need to contribute less.READ MORE
In my homily this weekend I spoke about an epidemic in Hunterdon County Did you know that Hunterdon County Heroin overdosesreported in 2015 rose 333% compared to 2014!
Remember what the lepers said today in the gospel reading? "Jesus, Master." They recognized Jesus Christ as their Master, the one who can relieve them of their suffering. My prayer and works with people who are addicted is the hope that they can turn away from the current 'master' in their lives, addiction, and turn towards thereal 'Master' in life, Jesus Christ.READ MORE
Dear Parish Family,
This past weekend was a high point for our parish and for our diocese. Bishop Checchio ordained three men to the priesthood of Jesus Christ, one of them, Father Mauricio Tabera who has served as a transitional deacon here at St. Magdalen's. It has been a great joy for me and our whole community to get to know him, support him and pray for him along the last steps of his journey to the priesthood.READ MORE