My name is Sr. Pat and I've been privileged to minister at St. Magdalen's Parish for 12 years, five years as the Director of Religious Education and 7 years at Our Lady of Hope House.
Thank you for your generous response to the Thanksgiving Dinner and the Giving Tree at Christmas. During my 7 years at Our Lady of Hope House the number of families being served by the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry has greatly increased from 30 families to 75 families. We count on your generous response to the needs of our brothers and sisters as we continue to buy food each week to supplement the donations. Be assured that your intentions are lifted up in prayer each day in gratitude.READ MORE
Dear Parish Family,
My name is Sister Barbara. Many of you know me from teaching your child in Religious Education. For the past several years I have had the privilege of preparing my second grade classes for the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist. It is the joy of my heart to help the children to know and love Jesus. At present, they are preparing to receive the Sacrament of Penance on February 4 and 5. They will receive First Holy Communion in May.READ MORE
Dear Parish Family:
Merry Christmas! If you are reading this on the weekend of January 12th and 13th (commemorating the Baptism of the Lord), it is still Christmas time according to the Church calendar. We are the only ones in our neighborhood who still have our house decoration lights on. In fact, I was going to use this edition of In Persona Christy to talk about the Church liturgical calendar. However, having just attended the funeral of Bishop Edward Hughes, the second bishop of our diocese of Metuchen, the Holy Spirit is moving me in a different direction for this letter.READ MORE
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
May God bless you and your families on this Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord! I remember growing up that my grandmother, a devout Irish Catholic, refused to take down her Christmas decorations until Epiphany Sunday. When people asked about this, she would respond spiritedly: “It’s still Christmas…so I don’t take them down ‘til Little Christmas and that’s all there is to it!” Grandma wanted to remind everyone that the joy of Jesus’ birth is far too amazing to be limited to one day. May we be filled with the joy of the Christ Child as we continue to celebrate His Nativity!READ MORE
Merry Christmas! Christmas day is almost a full week ago and for many it may seem like a very distant memory already as the chores of cleaning up the house, returning gifts, taking down decorations and paying the bills kicks in. However, Christmas, like Easter is too big to be limited to just one day so as Catholics we celebrate the Octave of Christmas. Eight days to celebrate the love God has shown to us through the Nativity of His Son. So I say it again, Merry Christmas. Do not allow the secular influences to strip away the joy that the coming of the Savior brings. Do not allow God's saving plan to be swept away as just another day. Hold on to the joy, peace and love that God dispenses through the Christmas season. Be transformed by that love even in the hustle and bustle of daily life; even in the frustrations that this world can bring.READ MORE
Dear Parish Family,
I am happy to be back in Flemington! When I arrived and saw the grounds of the Church all decorated for the season it filled me with a sense of warmth. The familiarity of the buildings, the rectory, the people, it is a great place to call home. It is home because of the spirit of the people here. I appreciate all of your kindness, patience and support while I have been away studying these past few months. But it is really good to be here!!READ MORE
Greetings to all with Anticipation and Joy,
So why is Fr. Jack wearing that pink garment today? Well, we would officially call the color "rose" and the outer garment is called a "chasuble," but somehow I like saying Fr. Jack is looking stylish and svelte in pink today! Today is the Third Sunday in Advent and is known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is Latin for "Rejoice." So, you might say to yourself: "Advent should be a happy time since we are getting ready for the coming of the Christ child. Yes! But not only. In addition to being a season of joyful expectation, Advent is also a penitential season like Lent. And Advent has a counterpart Sunday in Lent known as Laetare Sunday where the priest and the deacon wear rose-colored garments. The point of both days is to provide us encouragement as we progress toward the end of each respective penitential season.READ MORE
Dear Parishioners and Visitors,
First of all, I want to express my sincere thanks to all you for your Faith, Love and Hope in God as revealed by Jesus Christ. Thanks for your prayers, love of the Catholic Church, support of this parish of St. Magdalen, commitment to your families and all the good things you do in your lives. I give thanks to Fr. Tim who received me into his parish on January 5th, 2009 and all of you with whom we participate in the celebration of the Sacraments. Thanks also for your expressions of friendship, hugs, and generosity. I was amazed by the so many invitations I received for Thanksgiving Day. Even if I could not attend all the invitations on such an important day, I treasure and honor the love you have for your priests.READ MORE
As Advent season is upon us and a new Liturgical year begins we are called by Christ in our Gospel this morning to remain vigilant in waiting for His coming. Advent is a special season in the Church to remind us and to prepare us for the impending coming of Jesus Christ at Christmas. Year after year, Advent comes and goes and Christmas is celebrated, but do we ever stop and reflect on our preparation for the coming of the Savior of the world?
We probably have a lengthy list of all the preparations we need to make to be ready for December 25. There are gifts to buy, decorations to hang, a tree to trim, cards to send, parties to attend. We go through the same process every year, usually worn out by the immensity of it all. But so often in doing all these things we can forget why we celebrate in the first place. Our world has turned the anticipation of this Holy Night into a frenzy of materialism and secularism. The secular world obscures, veils and distracts from Jesus' birth with politically correct language and its "Happy Holidays" mantras. Jesus Christ is coming and that is infinitely greater than the bargain shopping extravaganza at our favorite mall or outlet.READ MORE
Dear Parish Family,
I am writing this letter the Thursday before Thanksgiving due to the early holiday deadline given by the bulletin company. Although this may not be an easy time for many people due to the storm, financial hardship, family conflicts or loneliness, I pray that you were able to give thanks to our almighty God for that which you have and our Catholic faith. At a recent weekday Mass, Father Joseph preached that we are most happy when we give thanks.READ MORE
Dear Parish Family:
I know it sounds cliché for me to tell you that "time is just flying by!" but that is exactly my experience. Since I have been involved in my full time studies here at Sacred Heart Seminary, it seems like all available time in the day is accounted for. My routine of study, prayer, meals, classes, sleep (never quite enough!) seems to always have me looking to my next deadline and working to meet it. I look up and it is already the next day . . . week . . . month!
I do have all of you on my mind. I pray every day, usually more than once, for you my parish family . . . "watch over them Lord and guide and protect them with your Holy Spirit." And I think of the many events that are going on at home and wish I could be part of them. I am so grateful to Father Jack, Father Joseph, Regina Edersheim and Geoff Stricklin for all of their extra effort and work while I am away. It is truly a generous and collaborative effort for the Kingdom.READ MORE
At 5:30 on the morning after the election I got up to look at my computer screen. I had two things in mind. I wanted to see the election results from the previous night that I couldn’t stay up for, and I wanted to see the readings for the day’s Mass. I quickly scanned the election results; the three states that voted to re-define marriage to include same-sex partners, the legalization in Colorado for “recreational use” of marijuana . . . the tenor of America seems to be radically shifting in a formal way. I felt discouraged. I then read the gospel from St. Luke chapter 14:
“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”READ MORE
Dear Fellow Parishioners,
As I type these words, I am anxiously awaiting the outcome of the Presidential Election. I pray that as you read this our religious liberty has been preserved, and that a step has been taken toward fostering and promoting the sanctity of life in our country through the election process. I would like to especially thank all of our Veterans who have helped uphold and protect these rights.
Being the Director of Sacred Music at Saint Magdalen’s, I have the privilege of assisting with an integral part of the liturgy every week. According to the tradition of the Church and reaffirmed at the Second Vatican Council, sacred music is a treasure of immeasurable worth. It is greater than that of any other art form. These are bold words from the Council, considering such sacred art masterpieces as Michelangelo’s Pieta, or the architecture of the Gothic Cathedrals. The music most suited to the liturgy and considered by the Church to be the ideal, is Gregorian chant, followed by sacred polyphony. While sacred music from our tradition is to be fostered and is central to the liturgy, the assembly is also called to full, conscious and active participation. It is the goal of the music ministry at Saint Magdalen’s to meet both of these challenges.READ MORE