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Parish Staff Changes

06-30-2019Weekly ReflectionFather Brighenti

Dear Parishioners,

I would like to share some news regarding some staff changes to our parish. Father Walter has been assigned by the Bishop to Holy Name Parish in New Brunswick. Father will be the Parochial Vicar and will be serving the 3 parishes that make up The Holy Name Parish effective July 8th. We thank Father Walter for the three years that he has served our parish. We will have a farewell reception on Sunday, July 7th at the Noon Mass. Please join us as we extend our best wishes for Father Walter in his new parishes.

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Male and Female He Created Them

06-23-2019Liturgy CornerVatican City, Jun 10, 2019

A Vatican department has issued a sweeping denunciation of so-called gender theory, and affirmed the principles of human dignity, difference, and complementarity.

“In all such [gender] theories, from the most moderate to the most radical, there is agreement that one’s gender ends up being viewed as more important than being of male or female sex,” the Congregation for Catholic Education wrote June 10, in a new document entitled “Male and Female He Created Them.”

“The effect of this move is chiefly to create a cultural and ideological revolution driven by relativism, and secondarily a juridical revolution, since such beliefs claim specific rights for the individual and across society.”

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The Veil, the Chalice and the Dignity of Man Like the Sacred Vessels at Mass, We Were Made to Receive Christ (Part 1)

06-16-2019Liturgy CornerFather Jerry Pokorsky

According to the liturgical legislation of the Church, the chalice used at Mass should be covered with a veil. The General Instruction for the Roman Missal [GIRM 80c] states, "The chalice should be covered with a veil, which may always be white" . Like most liturgical vestments, the chalice veil is a mysterious garment. We may be tempted to dismiss it as a kind of decoration. But the chalice and the veil not only have a function during the celebration of Mass, they also remind us of a dignity that is too often veiled.

A veil is used to cover the chalice when it is carried to and from the altar during the celebration of Mass. It is usually the same color as the vestments. As a liturgical vestment, it was probably introduced in the Middle Ages, and may have had a functional origin-perhaps developed from a sacculum or small bag for carrying the sacred vessels.

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What is the Apostolic Pardon?

06-09-2019Liturgy Corner

The Catholic Encyclopedia explains exactly what the Apostolic Pardon is and the requirements to perform it.

“The anointing [of the sick] is ordinarily succeeded by the conferring of the Apostolic benediction, or ‘last blessing,’ as it is commonly called. To this blessing a plenary indulgence is attached, to be gained, however, only at the hour of death, i.e. it is given nunc pro tunc. It is conferred in virtue of a special faculty granted to the bishops and by them delegated quite generally to their priests. The conditions requisite for gaining it are the invocation of the Holy Name of Jesus at least mentally, acts of resignation by which the dying person professes his willingness to accept all his sufferings in reparation for his sins and submits himself entirely to the will of God…. The words of St. Augustine are in point: ‘However innocent your life may have been, no Christian ought to venture to die in any other state than that of the penitent.’”

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Yes, the Church is holy, despite the evil that is plaguing it.

06-02-2019Liturgy CornerTom Hoopes

As more priest scandals hit the headlines, the words of the creed at Mass can start to sound hollow: “I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.”

How can we look at a Catholic Church that has had such bad men in leadership positions and call it “holy”? The readings for this Sunday, the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, explain how: The Church is holy in its origin, its purpose, its means and its fruits.

First, the Church is holy in its origin.

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Why Catholics Genuflect each time before the Tabernacle and Kneel During Mass

05-26-2019Liturgy CornerRaphael Benedict

The 1985 Extraordinary Synod of Bishops asserted “that the liturgy must favor the sense of the sacred and make it shine forth. It must be permeated by the spirit of reverence, adoration, and the glory of God.” To foster such a spirit, the Church has prescribed certain gestures and actions, especially toward the Blessed Sacrament.

The practice of genuflecting before the Blessed Sacrament, whether enclosed in the tabernacle or exposed in a monstrance, is a beautiful sign of adoration. This physical act of genuflection symbolizes our heart bowing before the Lord who is substantially and really present in the Eucharist. St. Ambrose (d. 397) said, “The knee is made flexible by which the offense of the Lord is mitigated, wrath appeased, grace called forth,” and Alcuin (d. 804) later added, “By such a posture of the body we show forth our humbleness of heart.”

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An Examination of Conscience for Venial Sins

05-19-2019Liturgy Corner

OK. So, you receive regular spiritual direction, you frequent the sacraments, you fast and pray and spend time in adoration. You attend daily Mass, or at least more often than just Sunday Mass (and Holy Days of Obligation). You're not committing mortal sin. You confess your venial sins during regular confession. At times, you feel like what's the use? I'm not really a great sinner … anymore.

Why am I going through the motions?

Well, it's spiritually healthy to confess, without entering into scrupulosity, even small or venial sins. Why? Because the sacrament gives us graces which, if we cooperate with them, help us to grow in virtue and avoid sin. And, habitual small sins weaken our resolve. They keep us attached to the world and worldly things. They make us more vulnerable to mortal sin. They make it easier to say yes to bigger and/or more frequent venial sins until voila! We've fallen into mortal sin … once again.

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Good Shepherd Sunday

05-12-2019Liturgy Corner

Today is World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Pope Francis reminds us, ” The Christian life needs to be nourished by attentive listening to God’s Word and above all, by the cultivation of a personal relationship with the Lord in Eucharistic Adoration, the privileged “place” for our encounter with God”. He also tells us to continue to pray that the Lord will send workers to His Harvest”. Let us all pray for an increase to the call of the priesthood.

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A Special Thank You

05-12-2019Weekly ReflectionRev. Kenneth Brighenti

Dear Parishioners,

I would like acknowledge the many people and ministries that made our Easter Masses extra special this year. Father Miller and Father Trigilio, who celebrated the Triduum; Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Father Walter, his Grace Archbishop John Meyers who attended Holy Thursday Mass and added dignity to our Liturgy. Our four Deacons, our Seminarian David Keyes who served as MC. The wonderful music led by Cheryl Manfredonia and all our choirs. Mrs. Dolores Wright who is the RCIA Ministry Leader and her team, who did an excellent job preparing the candidates for the Initiation Sacraments. Our Liturgical Environment team led by Bill Tackett and JoAnn Fisher who did a beautiful job decorating the inside and outside of the Church and grounds. The Boy Scouts and Squires who helped the gardeners clean up the parish grounds. The High School Altar Servers who served during the Triduum. Meghan Luu and Ginnie Heller for their delicious meal and desserts for our Holy Thursday dinner. The Knights of Columbus Honor Guard who served at the Holy Thursday Mass. The Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulchre. And the many, many others that made this possible.

May God bless you in this Easter Season.

Father Brighenti

A Holy Longing

05-05-2019Weekly ReflectionRev. Kenneth Brighenti

My Dear Parishioners,

Do you ever feel like you’re not completely satisfied with the way your life is going? Do you feel like you’re doing what you can, you’re striving but something is just missing? The reality is that there is a burning desire in your heart and in mine. It is a “holy longing” for deep meaning, connection, belonging, purpose and joy. At its core, this holy longing is a profound desire to be our best and truest selves and for communion with one another and the loving God who created us. It’s how we’re made. As St. Augustine said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

We need awakening

Bishop Checchio has called our diocese to embark on a "Year of Awakening" called Lighting Hearts on Fire, where we will prepare to entrust ourselves to the motherly protection of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas and Star of the New Evangelization. This period of intentional prayer and discernment is meant to stir the holy longing within each one of us and prepare our hearts to receive the guidance and supernatural graces God wants to provide us, so that we may more boldly and joyfully follow where He is leading.

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Eucharistic Adoration: How To Pray Like Jesus

04-28-2019Eucharistic Adoration

The book of Genesis describes how God worked for six days, creating the heavens and the earth and how on the seventh day He rested. Likewise, Jesus spent His days ministering to the crowds, feeding the hungry, and healing the sick, yet He drew His strength by frequently taking time to be alone with His Father in prayer. Jesus teaches us that in order to be fruitful in ministry, in order to "be" for others we must first receive love and strength from God our Father in prayer. In Eucharistic Adoration we too can take time to be alone with God—to allow Him to fill us with His strength and His love. The love we give to others is only what we have first received from God. In Adoration we receive the grace necessary to be faithful and fruitful for the Kingdom of God.

Committed to Memorare: Mary’s Prayer Packs Grace-Filled Power

04-28-2019Liturgy CornerJoseph Pronechen

“The Memorare is a prayer that effectively expressed Mother Teresa’s trust in the power of Mary’s intercession as the mediatrix of all graces,” explained Father Brian Kolodiejchuk of the Missionaries of Charity, who was postulator for Mother Teresa’s sainthood cause. “It flowed from the love and confidence she had in Mary and was a simple way to present her petitions to her.”

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Why Holy Water?

04-21-2019Liturgy CornerFather William Saunders

Q: A Protestant friend came with me to Mass last Sunday and asked about the Holy Water fonts and why we make the sign of the cross with it when we enter and leave the Church. What answer would you give to her?

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Entering into Holy Week

04-14-2019Liturgy CornerCheryl Manfredonia

 HOLY THURSDAY    GOOD FRIDAY    HOLY SATURDAY    EASTER SUNDAY

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.

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Tenebrae

04-07-2019Liturgy Corner

The word "Tenebrae" comes from Latin, meaning "darkness" or "shadows". This dramatic, moving service dates back to the 4th century when monks and nuns chanted the ancient psalms and lamentations in the darkness of night.

Tenebrae is an extended meditation on the last 3 days of Holy Week. Psalms, readings, chants and motets express heavy grief, the Church's desolation; all is sad and mournful. Somber, yes, but it just might become your favorite church service as it awakens a sense of awe and wonder at the great Mysteries contained within Holy Week and Easter. Candles are extinguished as the evening progresses; you might just hear the shutting of Christ's tomb or the earthquake at the time of the resurrection! But, wait for it...(spoiler alert) We all know the ending. Jesus was victorious over death. His light can overcome any darkness.