Finding God in Hardship

03-27-2016Encountering ChristAnonymous

I was not raised in a Christian home, even so, I had heard that the Christian God loves us and answers prayers. So as a teenager when my mother was dying of cancer I prayed to God to grant her a cure. I prayed to Him and to every other deity I knew, just to be safe. Yet in my heart of hearts I wanted to believe that God was real and that if He was real He would prove this by preventing my mother from dying. When my mother did die, despite my prayers, I hated God for it.. It wasn't until I was in college and met my husband who was a practicing Catholic, that I acknowledged that God was real and began to understand how God communicates His love to His children.

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Opportunities to grow in faith

03-27-2016Pastor's LetterFr. Tim Christy

"The Gospel joy which enlivens the community of disciples is a missionary joy."
— Pope Francis - 'Evangelli Gaudium'

Easter is a wonderful time in our lives to be renewed in Christ and the love that God has for each of us. I am so glad you were able to be with us at such a special time within our Liturgical calendar.

I pray that it has set your hearts anew and provided an opportunity to draw closer to Christ. Our parish provides many opportunities for you to consider ways for growth and participation in your faith.

These next few pages are only a few of the many ways and please never hesitate to contact us.

In Christ, Fr. Tim Christy

Meeting Jesus in Adoration

03-20-2016Encountering ChristMaggie Castles

I was in the 2nd grade the first time I ever encountered Jesus in Adoration. I went with my mother to the Carmelite monastery in Flemington and in the stillness of that place I could sense something special was happening. This realization filled me with awe, even as a small child. I would watch my mother shut her eyes and just let go of the concerns and worries she carried as a mother of 12 children. She would go to the turntable and leave her troubles in the hands of the nuns and at the feet of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament—that was the kind of faith she had.

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Entering into Holy Week

03-20-2016Liturgy CornerCheryl Manfredonia

These are the highest, holiest days celebrated each year by the Church beginning with the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday through Easter Sunday. It is called the "Easter Triduum" or Paschal Triduum". We celebrate the great Paschal mystery of Christ's crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.

Holy Thursday the Church recalls the Last Supper when Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist. The Lord commands the apostles, and their successors in the priesthood, to perpetuate this offering. So not only are we commemorating the gift of Christ's body and blood, we thank God for the priesthood. After the homily, we witness a representation of Christ's service and charity, as twelve parishioners' feet are washed. Our Lord came "not to be served, but to serve." (Mt. 20-28) After Communion, we experience the beautiful tradition of a Eucharistic Procession to an Altar of Repose where we can spend time in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until 11:00 p.m…. "won't you come and spend an hour with me"?

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Renewal in the Confessional

03-13-2016Encountering ChristJan Coey

I was raised Catholic, so attending Mass was just something we did every week throughout my childhood. However, as I got older and made decisions for myself, I often struggled to find a real purpose for my faith. I drifted farther and farther away from any kind of relationship with God. I justified myself, thinking, 'If I actually heard the voice of God, like Abraham, Noah or Moses, surely I would listen too! It was easier to forget what I knew about the Ten Commandments than to face how desperately I needed the Sacrament of Penance.

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Lenten Adoration

01-28-2016Pastor's LetterFr. Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family:

As remarkable as it seems, the holy season of Lent is just around the corner. Lent traditionally brings us increased focus on our relationship with God. Traditionally the Church speaks about an increase of "prayer, fasting and almsgiving," as means to allowing God's grace to transform us.

We cannot make ourselves holy. Rather, surrendering to God wherever we recognize His promptings puts on the road to holiness. Prayer is counseled by all the great saints as the avenue to holiness. Yet, for many people the idea of prayer is mysterious and off putting. After saying some words of thanksgiving and asking God for what we need is where prayer stops. It is of course very important to thank God for His gifts, protection and care. Gratitude is the basis of every prayer. The scripture reminds us over and again that God wants to hear our petitions. It is good and right to ask Him even for what we may think is small and insignificant things. Yet, the real intimacy that we yearn for is much deeper. St. Augustine reminded us so long ago that "You have made us for yourself O Lord, and our hearts a re restless until they rest in thee." How do we grow in our desire for that union?

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Finding Clarity at Christmas

12-20-2015Pastor's LetterFr. Tim Christy

4K Ultra HD TV's displays 4x the resolution of Full HD

It seems that each year around Christmas TV manufacturers come out with technology to make picture quality clearer. This year's newest and greatest being 4K Ultra HD. Their hope is to bring you the best quality picture to improve your experience of television. It is most likely the best time to introduce new technology because people are seeking to find the perfect present and willing to sacrifice a little more during Christmas.

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Open this Door so Others May Walk Through It

11-29-2015Pastor's Letter

We have been taught it is respectful to open the door for others, to hold the door for others and allow others to pass through first. Our faith is very much the same.

As disciple's of Christ we are called, in and through our baptism, to go forth sharing our faith. We do this in many ways especially with people present in our lives; friends, relatives and even sometimes the stranger. Every time we share our faith we open a door.

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1/2 teaspoon of Desire - 1cup of Devotional Prayer

11-15-2015Pastor's LetterFr. Tim Christy

Magazine racks, internet ads and Pinterest presently are being filled with 'announcements' of wonderful Holiday recipes. Beautiful pictures, flavorful spices and marketing that can make just about anyone desire the perfect Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

Once past the emotional nostalgia of the ten second fantasy, when you really start to dive into the recipe, you come to realize that there will be time needed for significant preparation. I have often found myself thinking I have the ingredients needed at home but then find out I don't have the Mullin Spice or Wallsail Spice Blend (now who keeps that as a regular spice in the cabinet!...not me).

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How I Encounter Christ

10-18-2015Pastor's LetterSr. Pat

Over the past several years at St. Magdalen’s many graces and blessings have come to me. Two or three years ago I was feeling burdened and came into church and looking at the Crucifix I said to the Lord, “This is too hard”! In my heart I heard Jesus say, “So you think this was easy!” My eyes filled with tears and I told the Lord I was sorry for complaining. What a grace moment that was!

My ministry at Hope House has many needs. One day after Mass a man gave me some money. He said he had prayed to St. Joseph and his prayer was answered so this was to help someone. That day a woman parishioner came needing money to buy a TV for her husband who was in a nursing home. The Lord knew and had already provided for it!

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October is Respect Life Month

10-11-2015Pastor's LetterFr. Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family,

There are many competing voices about what "dignity" really means.

October is designated by the Catholic Bishops of the United States to be a time specially dedicated to "Respect for all Life." Central to being a follower of Jesus is to promote the dignity of every person. This is obviously a great challenge in our day for lots of reasons. There are many competing voices about what "dignity" really means like, both at the earliest stages of life in the womb and also at the vulnerable end stages of life during old age or terminal illness. As followers of Jesus we have a unique and life giving message that we must never grow tired or be bullied about being silent; namely that every life has meaning and value.

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Encounter Jesus

09-27-2015Pastor's LetterFr. Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family:

September is a time of transformation. Every year at this time, we come back from our summer vacations and our church is reinvigorated. Children return to their formation classes and our parish becomes a center of activity for our families, a place of encounter. This year is no different. In September, the Universal Church emphasizes the importance of family as The World Meeting of Families takes place in Philadelphia from September 23rd - 27th.

We eagerly await the message that Pope Francis will have for us in his homily during the Papal Mass on Sunday, September 27th. What will the Pope have to say at the culmination of the World Meeting of Families? We know that our families are domestic churches, centers evangelization and encounter which mirror the Parish family, or the Church. Pope Francis recently said that "families and parishes are the two places where we encounter, in every age, that communion of love which has its ultimate source in God. Just as our families are domestic churches, our parishes are called to be welcoming families."

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Encountering Christ

09-22-2015Pastor's LetterDan Amabile

From the earliest time I can remember, I have been going to church and hungering for a relationship with God. My parents diligently took me to Sunday services in the Presbyterian Church and I came to know and love the Lord in a very personal way. My desire to understand Him and His word drove me to intense Bible study and ultimately to pursue a degree in Theology. I've continued to feel His presence in so many ways throughout my life... The same Jesus I encountered as a young boy is the one who comforted Karen and me when our son Jack was diagnosed with type one diabetes at the age of two. He has been with us through many sorrows and challenges and also in our greatest joys and realization of dreams throughout the years.

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