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.
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.READ MORE
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.READ MORE
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.
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.
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.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
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.READ MORE