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:READ MORE
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.READ MORE
Hello, Katrina. My question for you is about actively participating at Mass. Is it still considered "participating" if I can't fully concentrate on the readings or the homily? My two daughters are 3 and 8 months and I'm usually pretty distracted with making sure they don't get too loud and fussy and disturb others around us. Some Sundays I completely miss all the readings and even the homily. I wonder if I should just wait until they're older to come to Mass so that I can concentrate and actually participate. Is it considered participating at Mass if I am barely mentally present?
Yes, you're still participating in the Mass! In fact, I would even argue that some "participation" starts the minute you wake up and make the decision to attend Mass. I remember the level of determination and will it required just to get out of the house with a small child, never mind the sheer Olympic feat required to even find a moment to shower, dress, and pack a diaper bag.READ MORE
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.READ MORE
Winter brings darkness, cold, and sometimes a great deal of snow. The lack of sunlight and the monotony of our days can cause many people to lose hope. Yet Jesus promises to be our light and our salvation. He promises to guide our paths and that the darkness will not overcome us. In Eucharistic Adoration we come before the Lord of Heaven and Earth, the Lord who was not afraid to stand as a light in the darkness. He remains with us to strengthen our hearts to persevere when all appears dark and we feel lost. He remains with His children to remind them "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."—John 1:5
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.READ MORE
A fire department was dispatched recently after reports of heavy smoke in National City, California, not far from Catholic Answers headquarters. The first responders discovered that the smoke came from a local crematorium and contained human cremains. A furnace door had not been properly secured during a cremation, and the deceased’s remains ended up becoming pollution over the city.
Mishaps of this type are fortunately rare, but we often receive questions about how to respond to situations in which family members or friends treat the remains of deceased loved ones in ways not in keeping with the Church’s requirements for fit disposition of the human body. A few recent examples:
• A man wanted to know if he and his wife could keep their baby son’s cremains in their home until they relocated to another state at some future point.READ MORE
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.READ MORE
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.”READ MORE
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.READ MORE
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.’”READ MORE
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.READ MORE
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.”READ MORE
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.READ MORE
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.READ MORE
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.
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.”
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.READ MORE