Encountering Christ in Reconciliation

06-25-2017Encountering ChristMichael Sarno

While we can encounter GOD at many different times in our lives, one memorable encounter for me was in the Sacrament of Reconciliation many years ago. I was in my last year of law school and had been recognizing GOD’s pull on my heart to go to Confession. At that point, I hadn’t been to Confession for over 10 years. It was a struggle for me to go because it had been so long, and I hadn’t been exactly living a life of virtue.

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In Gratitude for Fr. Tim Christy

06-25-2017Pastor's LetterSt Magdalen de Pazzi Parish Community

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.

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Uncomfortable in Silence

06-25-2017Eucharistic Adoration

Why is Silence so uncomfortable? We have gone to greatpains in our modern world to replace silence with background noise; whether it be in the car, at the gym, oreven while standing in an elevator. Yet what makes silenceso difficult for us? In the silence, we are alone with ourselves and our thoughts. In our thoughts God speaks. Perhaps we fear to think about our unanswered questions, our unfulfilled desires, and our un-calmed fears. Yet, God’sprimary language is silence precisely because He uses suchquestions to draw us to Himself. In Eucharistic Adorationwe can come before God with our questions, our desires,and our fears and have no doubt that He will indeed speakto us. Reality is not always pleasant to look upon yet whenwe approach Jesus in the silence of prayer we are practicing the virtue of fortitude. If we come before Him toreceive His words of truth, He will set us free from all fearand anxiety.

Welcome Ministry

06-18-2017Parish Life

The newly founded WelcomeMinistry at St. Magdalen’s is doing a great deal of good in the lives of those who come to our parish seeking spiritual nourishment. People who are new to our parish or who have simply never registered call St. Magdalen’s parish secretary, Carmela . Once initial contact has been made, Carmela reaches out to Lyn Anderson, the coordinator for the Welcome Ministry. Lyn has ten people on her team who she in turn assigns to reach out to individuals and their families.

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Why?

06-18-2017Eucharistic Adoration

Why do we go before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to pray? We worship and adore Him because in justice, this is God’s due. The angels in Heaven are in constant adorationof God. To look upon Him face to face is a great privilegeand joy. On earth to look upon the face of those whom welove and to be with them is among our greatest joys—howmuch more so when that ‘loved one’ is the God who knowsand loves us completely. God deserves to be adored because He is God, because He is good, and because He isbeautiful. In adoration we come face to face with who Godis and who we are. In the light of that truth we find peace and happiness.

“We Love Because He First Loved Us.”—1John 4:19

06-11-2017Eucharistic Adoration

In prayer we allow Jesus to love us. Our desire to love Jesus is in direct proportion to our recognition of His great personal love for us. This is why looking at God’s action in our lives, both in the past and presently, is so important. If God continually reminded the Israelites of old to remember His works, it was to fortify them in the truth that He loved them and would always provide for their needs. When we look at our own lives we too can see how time and again God has provided for us superabundantly. The more we recognize how much God has loved us, protected us, and guided us, the more we will grow in our love for Him since gratitude is the beginning of love. May we continually go to prayer to receive love so as to make a return of love.

Allowing the Holy Spirit to Pray in Us

06-04-2017Eucharistic Adoration

St. John Paul II recognized His great need for God andso made a holy hour every morning from 5am-6am.During that time He could be heard audibly‘groaning’. He knew well what St. Paul taught in hisletter to the Romans, “We do not know how to pray as we ought but the Spirit intercedes with inexpressible groanings” (Romans 8:26). Sometimes we are confused, conflicted, sometimes we simply cannotfind the words to express our great need for God. Inthese times we must rely upon the Holy Spirit to formulate the prayer within us, for us. A child doesnot know how to express itself perfectly but whenthey present themselves to a loving parent and signaltheir need for help, aid is offered. The same is truewith God. We may not know how to pray but we canplace our self in God’s presence and He will pray forus by praying in us.

Intercessory Prayer: Bridging the Gap

05-28-2017Eucharistic Adoration

Intercessory prayer consists of someone praying on behalf of another. We can ask others to pray for us when we need a job, whentragedy strikes, or even when we need a little bitof encouragement. We can and ought to go directly to God but there is also great power in numbers. Jesus said to His disciples, “Wheretwo or more are gathered in my name, there amI in their midst” (Matthew 18:20). We can approach Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration withour own needs but He has also entrusted certainpeople to our care; some for a time or a momentand others forever. We can intercede before thethrone of God for those whom we love andcommend them to the mercy of God. The heartof Christ is greatly moved by such prayers.

Walking With Jesus

05-28-2017Encountering ChristRocco Colanturno

I would like to share with you how Jesus has transformed my life. As I look back at the past 50 years I can see how unhappy I was, living in bondage. The darkness caused me tremendous pain and suffering; my heart was aching and empty. I was yearning for so much more in my life.

In 2016, struggling with my divorce, I met a neighbor who I began to share my trials and tribulations with. He shared that he could relate to the pain of divorce and would be willing to accompany me on a new journey, one that would include Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He proceeded to pose the following questions: Have you surrendered your life to Jesus? Do you have a personal intimate relationship with Jesus? Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? After reflecting on these questions, I accepted his offer of help. I felt in my heart that God was using this man as an instrument to help me to find healing and peace.

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A Reflection from Fr. Tim

05-21-2017Encountering ChristFr. Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family:

As I write this reflection on my upcoming 25th Anniversary to the priesthood, I am profoundly aware of how good and kind God is to me. Growing up a boy in Nebraska I would never have imagined the journey that has opened up before me as a result of saying “yes” to a stirring in my heart that I wanted to become a priest.

Many people have recently asked; “How did you know God was calling you to the priesthood?” You would not think so, but it always startles me. I feel like I have to reflect on it again and ask myself; “yes, just how did I know?” It is sometimes said that every vocation is a mystery. Not in the sense of figuring out a puzzle, but rather for the eyes of faith, an ever-emerging reality that becomes clearer over time. What I said “yes” to when I felt the first stirrings in my heart was not a call explicitly to the priesthood, but rather a desire to do something for God, because I felt love for Him, when I walked into a Church as a small boy. Then, one day while sitting in my 7th grade Friday religion class with the associate pastor, I began to daydream and all of the sudden I thought “I want to do what he does!” It just looked so attractive; but I didn’t know exactly why.

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In Awe of Jesus

05-21-2017Eucharistic Adoration

The apostles were fascinated by Jesus. They were often perplexed by His parables, stunnedby His wisdom and in awe of His power to heal. Yet perhaps the most touching appeal thedisciples ever made to Jesus was when they asked Him how to pray. The Gospel recordsthat, “He was praying in a certain place, and when He had finished, one of His disciplessaid to Him, Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). Jesus was perfectly one with the Father.He was able to be present to all those whom He ministered to because of His union withthe Father in prayer. In Eucharistic Adoration we too can pray as Jesus did, in silence andsolitude. We can present our needs before Him, as outlined in the Our Father, drawingstrength to fulfill our mission to love and to be a saint in the Church. Jesus’ beauty shinesforth in the Eucharist but it also shines forth in those who approach Adoration and seek tobe transformed into His apostles of love.

Eucharistic Adoration: How To Pray Like Jesus

05-14-2017Eucharistic Adoration

The book of Genesis describes how God worked for six days, creating the heavens and the earth and how on the seventhday He rested. Likewise, Jesus spent His days ministering to the crowds, feeding the hungry, and healing the sick, yetHe drew His strength by frequently taking time to be alone with His Father in prayer. Jesus teaches us that in order to befruitful in ministry, in order to “be” for others we must first receive love and strength from God our Father in prayer. InEucharistic Adoration we too can take time to be alone with God—to allow Him to fill us with His strength and Hislove. 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.

Finding Healing through the Rosary

05-14-2017Encountering ChristJudy Dreher

I still have my rosary beads from 2nd grade. I learned to pray the rosary at an early age since I attended Catholic school. My mother was also very devoted to the rosary, praying it diligently after the death of my four-year old brother. She found peace and comfort amidst her heartache by reciting the prayers and through entrusting herself to Our Lady. I carried this awareness with me.

When I was in my early 20's I was a big partier. I was involved in a drunk driving accident which left me paralyzed from the neck-down. A few years later I realized it was alcoholism and have been sober for the last 24 years. I had always been very active so being paralyzed forced me to be still and to start thinking. My fiancé at the time could not deal with this tragedy and so broke off our engagement. Amidst my suffering, I went back to what I had known as a child—that Mary was my mother and that the rosary was a powerful prayer. I remembered how my mother had gone to Mary when she was in need and so I began to pray, hoping to receive peace and comfort. Eventually after much prayer and therapy, I was able to walk again and to return to work.

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My new position: Vicar for Evangelization and Communications for the Diocese of Metuchen

05-07-2017Pastor's LetterFr. Tim Christy

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:

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God’s Unconditional Love

05-07-2017Encountering ChristLorraine Bello

As the only child in a loveless marriage, I felt the pressure of trying to make my parents happy at a very early age.  Perfection in everything was the only way to win my mother’s love, so I did my best to excel in everything I did. Despite the fact that I was an honor student and successful in everything I tried to do, I never felt good enough to win my parents love and approval.

At High School graduation, my mother explained to me that since my father had just retired and she only worked part-time, I would now be responsible for supporting my family. The most important thing in life was to be self-reliant, strong and financially and emotionally independent, as I could not rely on them or anyone else to support me.  

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