Prevalent aspects of our culture are very dangerous psychologically. But the Church has antidotes

10-20-2019Weekly Reflection Tom Hoopes

Suicide is not a problem mainly of the wealthy celebrity suicides that make the news. Nor is it limited to those suffering from depression or ongoing mental illness, as author Elizabeth Scalia points out.

As multi-faceted and complex as the epidemic is, there was a study two years ago that is still worth pondering.

Statistically for one group, suicide is a “vanishing phenomenon,” according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In a study of nurses, “among the 6,999 Catholic women who said they attended Mass more than once a week, there was not a single suicide.”

It would be terribly wrong to draw from this statistic any idea that people who struggle with depression (or have lost Catholic family members to suicide) are somehow not Catholic enough. Faith is not itself a remedy for sickness, mental or physical.

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The 12 Promises in Daily Life

08-11-2019Weekly ReflectionRev. Kenneth Brighenti

Dear Friends in Christ,

Now that we have the historical and theological basis for devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I would like to demonstrate how this practice can affect ordinary family life. I recently read about a deadly tornado outbreak on May 31, 1985. It affected parts of Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and Ontario, Canada. Eighty nine people died and more than 1,000 were injured; the damage was estimated over $600 million. In today’s cost of living situation it would be in the billions. A bombed out-battle-field was how one local weather service described the borough of Wheatland, PA.

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Obeying His Will

08-04-2019Weekly ReflectionRev. Kenneth Brighenti

My dear friends in Christ,

Last week we read about the 12 promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to those who keep 9 consecutive First Fridays. As with all of God’s graces, these promises are contingent on our obeying His Will for us through prayer, the sacraments, reading and studying about our faith, and listening to His Holy Spirit. This is not as difficult as it may sound. What it involves after all, is trying our best to live a good life pleasing to God, in obedience to Him, and sharing His love with others!

Think also of those parables in the Gospels in which Jesus spoke approvingly of the good and faithful servants who served their master diligently and thus were rewarded when he returned (Matt 24:45-47 and 25:14-30 ).

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Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

07-28-2019Weekly ReflectionRev. Kenneth Brighenti

My dear friends in Christ,

Last week, I fondly remembered the beautiful devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus as a way of consecrated family life under His mantle. This week I would like to print for you the Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Our Lord Jesus Christ made these twelve promises to those who honor His Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French nun, whom he called “the Beloved Disciple of the Sacred Heart” and the Heiress “of all Its treasures”, in the 1670’s. They show us how much He cherishes this devotion.

Considering that the blood that redeemed us at Calvary came from His Sacred Heart and that so much love and light still exude from it, we can easily understand why! These promises were revealed in one of many private revelations that Jesus gave St. Margaret Mary. Our Lord promised the following:

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Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

07-21-2019Weekly ReflectionRev. Kenneth Brighenti

As a child in Catholic grammar school, First Fridays devoted to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus was a monthly religious obligations that instilled religious fervor. We sang this beautiful Hymn, “Sweet Heart of Jesus we implore. O make us love thee more and more.

On the words “Jesus” and “love” the melody reaches to the top of the octave and stays there. Even forty years ago “Sweet Heart of Jesus” was a relic of pre-conciliar Catholicism. You wouldn’t have heard it in most parishes, though my pastor resisted the Cultural Revolution that was supposed to accompany the liturgical changes.

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Welcome Rev. Marinelli / Adoration Chapel Update

07-14-2019Weekly ReflectionRev. Kenneth Brighenti

Dear Parishioners,

This weekend we welcome Reverend Matthew Marinelli to our parish. Father Matthew was ordained at St. Francis Cathedral on Saturday, June 24th. Father Marinelli, a Phillipsburg native, earned a bachelor's degree in philosophical theology from Seton Hall University, South Orange. While studying for a master's degree in divinity at Saint Vincent Seminary, Latrobe, Pa., he undertook a diaconate assignment in a small Pittsburgh parish. "They had a small Spanish community there which was super loving, devout and hospitable," said Father Marinelli. As a seminarian, Reverend Marinelli participated in a pastoral language immersion program in Bolivia. He also worked a summer assignment in the Hispanic community of Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Perth Amboy. Father Matthew said he is greatly anticipating engaging in the lives of parishioners and forming the deep bonds that come with serving in a parish. "I most look forward to being in people's lives," said Father Marinelli.

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Church Renovation Update

07-07-2019Weekly ReflectionFather Kenneth Brighenti

My Dear Parishioners,

I would like to give you an update on the renovations of the Church. We will resume the installation of the tile in the Church in the next week or two to replace the carpet. The cost of the tile was generously given to the Church by several parishioners.

It is through the generosity of the Rob & Maria Bacino and Insight Private Advisors that we will begin work on the pews and kneelers after the flooring is completed. The pews will be sanded, re-stained and the worn kneelers will be replaced. We are very grateful to the Bacino’s for this generous donation.

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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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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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