In the beatitudes Jesus reveals that those who are clean of heart will be able to see God. Purity is a requirement to behold God both in Heaven and on Earth. Yet what does it mean to be clean of heart? It means to strive more and more to see others as they truly are: beloved children of God who are made in His image and likeness. It means seeking to find Jesus hidden in our neighbor. Purity and faith go hand in hand. The pure recognize Jesus hidden in humanity. The faithful recognize Jesus hidden in the Eucharist. May we be granted the grace to recognize Jesus always and in everyone.
The St. Magdalen’s Youth Ministry sponsored a Fall retreat this past November for all high school students. Over 35 youth from our parish participated in prayer, fellowship, and instruction. When Michele Beckman, the Coordinator of Youth Ministry, asked the participants to describe their experience, they had this to say:READ MORE
An 8th grade CCD class led by Mrs. Vizzoni and Mrs. Metcalf is doing a very unconventional form of stewardship for Confirmation this year: becoming prayer buddies with St. Magdalen’s homebound members. Since September, each has exchanged notes introducing him or herself, and each are encouraged to pray daily for his/her prayer “buddy.” As well, the students are baking cupcakes and cookies for the seniors to enjoy at their bi-weekly homebound meetings.READ MORE
Winter brings darkness, cold, and sometimes a great deal of snow. The lack of sunlight and the monotony ofour days can cause many people to lose hope. Yet Jesus promises to be our light and our salvation. He promises to guide our paths and that the darkness will not overcome us. In Eucharistic Adoration we come before the Lord of Heaven and Earth, the Lord who was not afraid to stand as a light in the darkness. He remains with us to strengthen our hearts to persevere when all appears dark and we feel lost. He remains withHis children to remind them “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” —John1:5
St. Maximillian Kolbe once stated, “If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: HolyCommunion." This is a profound reality to ponder. Angels who look upon the face of God, who are in Heaven,who cannot suffer, still do not possess the greatest gift which God has given to humanity: the Eucharist. It canoften be tempting to forget that the ordinary bread and wine are truly the body and blood of Jesus Christ, yetGod is with us. He remains with us and He gives Himself completely to us. Let us rejoice in the greatness andthe goodness of our God, acknowledging that while our time on earth may be filled with trials and sufferings,God never asks us to walk alone.
I became involved in the Knights of Columbus through a friend, who knew I was looking for a way to give back to our Parish community. Once I joined, I discovered an organization that not only gives back, but does so much more. Our Council holds an annual blood drive, donates winter coats to needy children, raises funds for children with special needs, provides meals and toys to families at Christmas, and provides other support to our parish. We also support each other in times of need. Our Order was founded in 1882 to support widows and children left behind when the family breadwinner died. We continue that mission to this day, giving time to support Knights and their families, and providing a top-rated insurance program available only to members.READ MORE
Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Epiphany—the manifestation of Jesus as the Christ or ‘Anointed one ofGod’ to all the world. The Magi teach us a great deal about how we ought to approach Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration.First they approached with faith, recognizing that this was no ordinary child but rather the Son of God. We too must lookupon the consecrated host, not as ordinary bread but as the hidden God. Secondly they presented the Lord with gifts, thebest of what they had to offer. When we approach the Lord Jesus we must present Him with all that we are and all thatwe have—our minds, and our hearts. In this way our Lord will continue to manifest His presence to us and through us toall the world.
Admittedly, I was only able to attend one session during the ‘Discovering Christ’ series of ChristLife, due to sickness. Yet by taking the questions we discussed in the first session and meditating upon them on my own time in the following weeks, I still experienced a change in how I view my relationship with Christ. Pondering these questions helped me to realize that I needed to re-evaluate my relationship with Him.READ MORE
Every New Year’s we make resolutions to quite bad habits and to live healthier lifestyles. At base these resolutions canbe good since they reveal a dissatisfaction with mediocrity and a desire to experience abundant life. But why not make aresolution which is not only good for you physically but also spiritually? Consider making Eucharistic Adoration part ofyour New Year’s resolutions. What we spend our time on reveals what we value. If you desire peace, healing, and fullness of joy then spending time with God will allow you to become fully alive. When we dedicate specific time toprayer we are able to receive the good things God desires to grant us.
In the early morning of Saturday, November 19, I joined 40 other people for a pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The basilica is the largest Roman Catholic church in the United States and North America and one of the ten largest churches in the world. On this pilgrimage we joined representatives from other parishes in our diocese to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the establishment of our Diocese of Metuchen. We would also have a final chance to walk through the ‘Holy Door’ before it closed, with the ending of the Extraordinary Year of Mercy. A pilgrimage is very different from a bus trip, although the mode of transportation might be the same. On a pilgrimage, the destination of the trip is a religious site; pilgrims travel there to receive special graces from God. We traveled to the Basilica to invoke God’s Mercy for ourselves and our diocese.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
November 20th marked the close of the Year of Mercy. To acknowledge this moment in the Church, Bishop Checchio honored 107 individuals from around the Diocese of Metuchen who exemplified the mercy of Christ in a particular way. Tom Jeffas, a member of St. Magdalen’s Church, was one of those recipients to receive the ‘Disciples of Mercy’ award. Tom was honored for his work with the Hope House and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.READ MORE
In Advent the Church prepares for the three comings of Christ. She prepares for His coming as a little baby atChristmas. She prepares for His coming at the end of time, when He will come to judge the living and the dead.She also prepares for the coming of Christ in the Eucharist. Emmanuel means “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23). Inthe Eucharist Jesus is truly ‘God with us’. When Jesus came as a little baby He was vulnerable and weak; He hidhis divinity. In the Eucharist Jesus continues to make himself vulnerable and weak, and hides both his divinity andhis humanity. God came to save us from our sins 2000 years ago, yet He remains in the Eucharist to heal us fromthe effects of our sin.
Heaven is the place where we shall behold the face of God unveiled. On this Earth we canalso behold the face of God yet only the eyes of faith are able to recognize Him. St. Thomassays that on the cross Jesus hid His divinity but in the Eucharist He hides both His divinityand His humanity. It is only through faith that we can look upon the white host and recognize the Lord and giver of life, for “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen”—Hebrews 11:1. May we look upon our God with faith on thisEarth so that we may behold Him in His glory in Heaven.
On November 19, 2016, over 3000 people from the Diocese of Metuchen joined Bishop Checchio to celebrate the 35th anniversary of our diocese at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. Forty people from St. Magdalen's took a bus for the all day trip. The pilgrimage was extra special because it was on the eve of the closing of the 'Year of Mercy'.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
There are many forms of prayer. We can offer praise to God for who He is. We canoffer thanksgiving for what He has done, but we can also pray for others and maketheir needs and concerns our own. This is called intercessory prayer. Often in timesof trial or difficulty the only thing we can say to someone who is struggling is thatwe will pray for them. We can place that person on our hearts and then go beforeJesus in the Blessed Sacrament and offer Him our hearts. He will hear our prayersand answer them according to what is truly good for us and for others.
I was raised Catholic-attending St. Magdalen’s Church when it was still located on Park Avenue. I served as an altar boy and can still remember polishing my shoes in preparation for Sunday Mass. When I was 17, I enlisted in the Navy and at 18 went to Vietnam-I was a hospital corpsman, in the Fleet Marine Force on my 1 tour and a ‘special warfare’ unit in my other 1 and a half tours. My job was to rescue and treat wounded marines, team mates and civilians. I saw some very ugly things in Vietnam—many of which are etched into my memory. I was wounded on three separate occasions, low-crawling through machine gun, rifle fire and artillery-seeking to save the lives of men in my unit. My best friend, a radio operator, was one such person who I was unable to save. Because of the atrocities of combat, I found myself losing faith in God. I asked, “God, why? Why did you take him?” This loss of faith, I have found, is very common in war veterans. As a result, I was away from the Church for more than 30 years. After going through the inpatient PTSD unit at VA Hospital as well as Outpatient I felt a little relief from the nightmares, but my Faith was still lacking.READ MORE
Eucharist means thanksgiving. When we go to Mass we are offeringGod a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for all that He has done forus and all that He continues to do. In a special way Eucharistic Adoration is also a prayer of thanksgiving. When you find it difficult topray or do not know what to say to God why not count your blessings?Try to think about the ways God has blessed you today, in this week, inthis year. Once you begin to recognize the many ways God is alreadyblessing you, your heart will overflow with praise.
So I sat in the back of church, right by the door, and no one noticed me. Curly hair, black pants and boots, blood red lipstick. And still, no one noticed me. Some people made brief eye-contact, but did not recognize me. My entire 8th grade CCD class walked right next to me and no one even looked over. And I thought, "This is how Satan gets the job done. They don't even know I'm here." I was waiting, of course, for the performance of "Back From The Dead: The Last Four Things" to begin, and I was playing the Devil.READ MORE