“Behold I am with you always, even to the close of the age.”
Jesus promised that He would never abandon His people; He promised that He would remain until the end of time. Jesus walked the earth over 2000 years ago, yet He is still present and active in the lives of His people. He is with them. However, recognizing God’s presence in our world today takes a ‘trained eye’ and an act of faith. Jesus can most readily be recognized through the witness of Christian people, people who acknowledge and testify to the power and presence of God in their lives. The ‘Encounter with Christ’ stories help to highlight how God is working in the lives of the people in the parish of St. Magdalen’s Church. These stories are meant to help those who read them to more easily recognize God’s presence in their own lives. God wants to be known by you and to work in your life—invite Him to do so.
My name is Henry (Hank) Fatton. I believe I am one of the longest serving parishioners of St. Magdalen’s Church in Flemington. I was born in Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, NYC in June of 1922. When I was 12 years old, my parents sent me to live with friends in New Jersey since I was suffering from major intestinal problems. It was then that I first attended Mass at St. Magdalen’s. At that time, it was a wooden church on Park Avenue. In later years, the building was modernized with brick facing and now holds Catholic Charities.READ MORE
Fr. Thomas Dailey will be giving reflections for our parish’s Lenten Mission on Sunday March 12, 13, and 14 at 7pm.
1. When did you first realize that Jesus was more than a person in history or a religious figure, but your savior and friend?
With my fading memory, I cannot point to such a moment of first realization. However, I do know that the Lord has actively guided my life in many ways. Through a priest who taught me in high school, I was encouraged to discern a vocation to the priesthood, which I became convinced was the path on which God was calling me. Through encounters with other people along the way, I have come to know the gentle and merciful hand of God at work in the world and in my life. Through varied opportunities in my work I have come to experience the peace that radiates from conforming to God's will for me.READ MORE
What could draw a group of men to leave the countryside of Flemington to venture into the inner city of Newark? Nothing short of the love of Jesus Christ and His poor. For this reason, once a month several members of St. Magdalen’s parish travel to aid the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in serving the poor.READ MORE
November 20th marked the close of the Year of Mercy. To acknowledge this moment in the Church, Bishop Checchio honored 107 individuals from around the Diocese of Metuchen who exemplified the mercy of Christ in a particular way. Tom Jeffas, a member of St. Magdalen’s Church, was one of those recipients to receive the ‘Disciples of Mercy’ award. Tom was honored for his work with the Hope House and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.READ MORE
I was raised Catholic-attending St. Magdalen’s Church when it was still located on Park Avenue. I served as an altar boy and can still remember polishing my shoes in preparation for Sunday Mass. When I was 17, I enlisted in the Navy and at 18 went to Vietnam-I was a hospital corpsman, in the Fleet Marine Force on my 1 tour and a ‘special warfare’ unit in my other 1 and a half tours. My job was to rescue and treat wounded marines, team mates and civilians. I saw some very ugly things in Vietnam—many of which are etched into my memory. I was wounded on three separate occasions, low-crawling through machine gun, rifle fire and artillery-seeking to save the lives of men in my unit. My best friend, a radio operator, was one such person who I was unable to save. Because of the atrocities of combat, I found myself losing faith in God. I asked, “God, why? Why did you take him?” This loss of faith, I have found, is very common in war veterans. As a result, I was away from the Church for more than 30 years. After going through the inpatient PTSD unit at VA Hospital as well as Outpatient I felt a little relief from the nightmares, but my Faith was still lacking.READ MORE
I would like to share the life experiences which led me to develop an intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. In 1989 I struggled to deal with the loss of my Dad. I began to search for answers to life's questions, but I looked in the wrong places. I sought after worldly pleasures to fill the void in my heart, eventually hitting rock-bottom. One evening as I was flipping channels, I came across a TV Evangelist.READ MORE
I grew up in Fanwood, NJ. My mother was into New-Age spiritualties while my father never practiced any faith. There was a Presbyterian Church down the street from my house and although my parents would not attend, I would go every week. Even at the beginning of my journey I was seeking Jesus and a Christian family. I majored in biology at Fairleigh Dickinson University and was married in the Presbyterian Church shortly there-after. My husband was transferred to California for work where we had four children. While in California, I was involved with the Presbyterian Church and was ordained a Deacon. We then were transferred to Virginia where I went through the pain of a divorce. At this time of crisis, I went to a Presbyterian Church in Fairfax, Virginia for support and guidance but they had no time for me. Then I began my search for a Church home. I found an Assemblies of God Church which welcomed me. There I immersed myself in Bible Studies and a home group.READ MORE
Eucharistic Adoration is very important to me. It gives me time alone with God so that I can talk directly to Him and tell Him how grateful I am for all that He has done for me. I really feel such a closeness to Him, which allows me to talk about my faults with Him--I know now how much He desires to forgive me of my sins. His mercy is never-ending; it will be here with me for as long as I am on the earth. The Lord showed His mercy to me when I had my heart attack several years ago – I could have died that night but since He is the Savior of the World, He saved me. He constantly encouraging me to accept His mercy – it is always there so I can survive anything.READ MORE
It took an illness of sudden onset and subsequent months of confusion, agony, remorse, suffering and deep reflection and prayer to realize just how far away I was from Jesus and how desperate I was for God's Mercy in my life. The fact that I am still alive and grateful to be so is – in large part – due to an awakening in me that allowed His Mercy to permeate my soul.READ MORE
I grew up in a Catholic family and attended a school run by Franciscan sisters. These sisters instilled in me the desire to love God, through their witness. I would always see them praying their rosary or making a visit to the Church during lunch time. Their love for Jesus stirred in me the desire to love Him more deeply. The Archdiocese of New York had a custom of inviting two children from each Catholic school to wear the habit of the religious community which taught them. I was one of the children whom the sisters chose.READ MORE