Why Does the Church Teach About Issues Affecting Public Policy?

09-27-2020Weekly ReflectionThe United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship - A Call to Political Responsibility From the Catholic Bishops of the United States

Why Does the Church Teach About Issues Affecting Public Policy?

The Church’s teachings concerning contingent situations are subject to new and further developments and can be open to discussion, yet we cannot help but be concrete—without presuming to enter into details—lest the great social principles remain mere generalities which challenge no one. . . . The Church’s pastors, taking into account the contributions of the different sciences, have the right to offer opinions in all that affects people’s lives, since the task of evangelization implies and demands the integral promotion of each human being. 14 (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, no. 182)

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Intercessory Prayer

09-27-2020Eucharistic Adoration

There are many forms of prayer. We can offer praise to God for who He is. We can offer thanksgiving for what He has done, but we can also pray for others and make their needs and concerns our own. This is called intercessory prayer. Often in times of trial or difficulty the only thing we can say to someone who is struggling is that we will pray for them. We can place that person on our hearts and then go before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and offer Him our hearts. He will hear our prayers and answer them according to what is truly good for us and for others.

Parish Re-Opening Plan

09-11-2020News

The Parish of St. Magdalen de Pazzi made some changes to insure everyone’s health & safety as we navigate through this pandemic.  We have recently updated our bathrooms to become less hands on and more sanitary. The Church is being cleaned and sanitized and hand sanitizing stations have been placed throughout the Church and Narthex.  We have removed all missals, books and pamphlets. The State of NJ has now raised our seating capacity to 150 and we are ready to accommodate this new mandate.  We have strategically roped off our pews to provide social distancing and we are enforcing that everyone must wear face masks properly to help stop the spread of this virus.  If you been away, we welcome you back.

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Evidence Shows Mass is Safe When Guidelines are Followed, Doctors Say…

09-06-2020Weekly Reflection(Article form the Catholic News Agency)

CNA Staff, Aug 25, 2020 / 02:52 am MT (CNA).- Evidence suggests that church services following public health guidelines do not present a greater risk of spreading the novel coronavirus than other similar activities, doctors said last week. Washing hands, social distancing, and mask requirements have helped prevent the spread of COVID-19, even in cases when contagious, pre-symptomatic parishioners took part in church events, three members of the Thomistic Institute Working Group on Infectious Disease Protocols for Sacraments & Pastoral Care concluded. Doctors Thomas McGovern, Deacon Timothy Flanigan, and Paul Cieslak authored an article for Real Clear Science on Mass attendance and COVID-19 Aug. 19.

“For Catholic churches following [the] guidelines, no outbreaks of COVID-19 have been linked to church attendance, even though we have examples ... of asymptomatic, unknowingly infected individuals attending mass and other parish functions,” they wrote. “Their attendance could have led to an outbreak if appropriate precautions were not followed, yet in each case, we found no evidence of viral transmission.”

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Our Feelings and Reality

09-06-2020Eucharistic Adoration

Adoration can be compared to sun-bathing-we sit, receive, and are changed by simply being in God’s presence. But what if you are distracted and don’t feel like the Lord is doing anything for you? This experience of prayer could be compared to spending an overcast day at the beach. It may not seem like you are getting any sun, but if you leave off your sun-screen, you will soon feel how wrong you have been.

God’s ‘rays’, just like those of the sun, still ‘touch’ us, even if we cannot perceive them. Our feelings are not always in conformity with reality. Even if we experience distraction and restlessness-God is still at work.

Beholding the Glory of God

08-23-2020Eucharistic Adoration

Heaven is the place where we shall behold the face of God unveiled. On this Earth we can also behold the face of God yet only the eyes of faith are able to recognize Him. St. Thomas says that on the cross Jesus hid His divinity but in the Eucharist He hides both His divinity and His humanity. It is only through faith that we can look upon the white host and recognize the Lord and giver of life, for “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen”—Hebrews 11:1. May we look upon our God with faith on this Earth so that we may behold Him in His glory in Heaven.

The Integrity of Human Love (Part 1)

08-23-2020Weekly ReflectionDavid S. Crawford

As a convert, I am sometimes asked what brought me into the Catholic faith. Conversion cannot be reduced to a simple formula, but the answer for me, at least in part, was being deeply struck and attracted by the truth and beauty of the Church’s understanding of marriage. We often hear that the Church’s teachings on marriage and sex drive people away, but this certainly not my own response as a husband and father.

When it comes to such topics, it is easy for people to reject the Church’s teachings out of hand. This is certainly the case with Blessed Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, which for 50 years has been much maligned but seldom read.

Contrary to popular belief, the Catholic Church is not opposed to sex. Rather, an examination of some of Humanae Vitae’s key teachings — including the four characteristics of married love and the inseparable connection of the meanings of sex — reveals the Church’s high regard for sex, viewed in its proper context.

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Internet Allows Priests in Flemington to Continue Catechizing to World

08-16-2020Weekly ReflectionKaren Corpora

Many people are familiar with the EWTN show, “Web of Faith 2.0” which Father Kenneth D. Brighenti and Father John Trigilio Jr., have been cohosting for the past 10 years. Many more individuals, especially parishioners of St. Magdalen de Pazzi Parish, were introduced to a new version of the show during the pandemic.

Once the coronavirus spread, Father Brighenti, pastor of St. Magdalen, and Father Trigilio, Jr., who had been teaching at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md., until the coronavirus caused a lockdown and he moved into the Hunterdon County parish, decided to do a quarantined version of their show. Posted on the parish’s website and YouTube, “Web of Faith 2.1½” is filmed in the parish rectory.

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Simply Love

08-16-2020Eucharistic Adoration

They say you become like the top five people whom you spend the most time with—but what if one of those top five people was Jesus, present in the Eucharist? Then we would seek to love what He loves and reject what He rejects (sin); we would begin to love our neighbor as Jesus loves them—for their own sake and not for what we can ‘gain’ from them. Jesus desires to make our hearts like His. In Adoration we pray to become like God, but the best way to love is to simply love.

We become like God by loving what He loves—He loves us, He loves every human being He has created. We become like God by loving how He loves—no strings attached, unconditionally, for their own sake. By doing so we will be able to look beyond ourselves and to behold the beauty of Christ in our neighbor.

That Sin, Again?

08-09-2020Weekly ReflectionBr. Luke VanBerkum, O.P.

Have you ever confessed a sin and then, no matter how earnestly you intended to amend your life, had the desire to commit that sin again? Why aren’t we simply fixed after Confession?

Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Confession that our sins may be forgiven and that we may return to friendship with him. He renews our souls, again filling them through the Holy Spirit with the many spiritual gifts first given to us at Baptism. Yet a certain inclination to sin—not the sin itself—remains. The Tradition calls this inclination the fomes peccati, the tinder for sin, or, we might say, the dregs (CCC 1264). These dregs of sin stick around in our minds through the memories of evil committed, and they also remain in our desires through the habitual bad decisions and actions that shape us. As the desires surface, they hurt quite a bit, but as long as they remain temptations we refrain from sinning.

These pinpricks of the desire to return to past sin are what we might call with St. Paul “thorn[s] in the flesh” (2 Cor 12:7). The temptations to commit that same old sin frustrate us, but the grace of Confession helps us to see these temptations in a new light.

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Praise in the Midst of Pain

08-02-2020Weekly ReflectionBrother Anthony Van Berkum O.P.

“I pray the Divine Praises when I’m in pain.”

I’ve been visiting hospital patients this summer, and I have had the privilege of hearing many beautiful expressions of faith. This one particularly struck me; it’s such a jarring image. Praise is not my first reaction to pain, but as soon as I heard this I couldn’t help but see that it could be, and perhaps even should be. We can combat the evil that afflicts us by praising the goodness of God right in the midst of its attack. Often when we are seriously in pain, a prayer recited hastily from memory is all that we can manage. And in that moment, such a prayer is enough. Now, though, we are at liberty to begin to reflect on this prayer more deeply. In so doing, we can prepare ourselves to confront pain by glorifying God’s everlasting goodness. Blessed be God.

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The Living God

08-02-2020Eucharistic Adoration

Adoration is an encounter with the living God, it is a moment when we allow Him to affirm the truth that He made us and He desires that we exist. He desires that we might have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). The answer to every question which pours forth from the human heart is love. We come to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to understand, to be healed, to be free. We come and we place our needs before Him, for ourselves and for those whom we love. Yet at base, what we are truly seeking to ‘know’ is that we are loved by God. He affirms this by simply remaining with us, with calling us to Himself. Jesus’ love is deep, pure, and strong. He not only created you, He desires you. Jesus thirsts for you. May we come to Adoration to express our deep love and thirst for Him.