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March 2011

Novena to St. Joseph



We're in Day Seven of our Novena to St. Joseph to pray for the flourishing of our parish family and the fruitfulness of our building plans. The novena is prayed immediately following the 9 AM mass. Whether or not you can pray with us then, please pray during the day. St. Joseph is the Patron of the Universal Church and perhaps you will recall, we added his statue back into the sanctuary recently.

When Hackers Attack

As some of you may have experienced firsthand, our webpage was hacked on Friday and repaired, but apparently the attack is continuing today. Other church sites managed by our webcompany have experienced similar problems and they are working to defend and restore the websites. The school link was not disrupted during Friday's hijacking.


Sadly, in contrast to the clipart, the group is skilled and dedicated to disrupting web communications.


Just How Difficult Is It to Go To Hell ?


After our lively discussion last evening about the Catholic Church's teachings on Hell, conscience and free will, who would have guessed that there would be an article on MSNBC and other news services regarding a Christian pastor, Chad Holtz who lost his position after doubting the existence of hell?

Hell or No ?

The news article discusses a recently published book "Love Wins" by Evangelical pastor Rob Bell which claims to have found a new solution to the problem of reconciling God's mercy and love with God's judgment and justice. “One of the nation’s rock-star-popular young pastors, Rob Bell, has stuck a pitchfork in how Christians talk about damnation” crows USA today. Holtz endorsed Bell's views online and that was the final judgment on his pastorship.



Tonight Chapter Three of the "The Last Things"

Tonight's chapter in our discussion book deals with a terribly unpopular subject - eternal punishment, aka hell. Join us for a discussion of the Church's teaching on the topic along with a few reflections on the nature of human free will.  7 PM St. Michael's Media Room in the School. Enter through the Main Entrance doors behind St. Anthony.


St. Joseph's Table and Blessing of Adoptive Families

Yesterday we prayed to St. Joseph and asked God's blessing on adoptive families and those who are adopted. We gathered after mass to be refreshed from the St. Joseph's table. Thank you to those families who gathered with us to celebrate their extended families and to receive God's continued blessings.

Celebration of Adoption 007 
Our St. Joseph's Table

Celebration of Adoption 003 
Icons of St. Joseph were blessed and distributed during mass.

Tonight Stations of the Cross in Art followed by Confessions

A reminder that tonight's Stations of the Cross will be the Scriptural Stations of the Cross once prayed by John Paul II. Since they do not correspond to the traditional Stations we have hanging in our church, we will once again use artistic representations of these Scriptural passages to help our evening meditation.

The Sacrament of Reconcilation will also be availabe immediately after the Stations are prayed. Please join us.


Mass for Catholic Schools at St. Mary's Cathedral in Trenton on St. Patrick's Day

On St. Patrick's Day, our principal, pastor and a contingent of students will bus to the Cathedral in Trenton for a mass with Bishop O'Connell. Students, teachers, principals and pastors from all across the Diocese will gather to pray for the mission of Catholic education in the Diocese. The mass was postponed during Catholic schools week due to icy weather...tomorrow's weather looks like it will be a warm and pleasant day for the trip to the Cathedral.

Confessions During Lent at Holy Cross

Lent is the perfect time for a good sacramental confession. Instead of one penance service, we're still experimenting with the idea of making the sacrament more accessible for all of Lent and have scheduled the Sacrament of Reconciliation as follows:

  • twenty minutes before each Sunday mass and Saturday 5 PM
  • Saturday morning after the 9 AM mass
  • Friday evening after Stations of the Cross
  • Beginning April 6th and until Holy Week on Wednesdays at 6:00 - 7:00 PM

Lost Sheep


Teenage Alcohol Abuse Awareness in Wealthy Families

Teenage Drinking

A study published Monday studied 13 year olds and their drinking behavior. Children in wealthier families tended to abuse alcohol more frequently than less economically advantaged children.

The lead author of the study published in Pediatrics, Roberto Melotti speculates that teenagers from wealthier families may have easier access to alcohol. The research reinforces the fact that all parents should be aware of the problem of early drinking -- but maybe particularly so in higher income families.

"More advantaged families tend to have healthier behavior" in general, lead author Roberto Melotti, of the University of Bristol, said in an e-mail. "Our results indicate an example where this is not the case." At age 13, many kids who drink may get the alcohol from their own house, Melotti noted. So parents may want to make sure any alcohol is locked away, he said.

Did you know that teens who attend church services and pray have lower rates of alcohol and drug abuse?  


Jesus of Nazareth, Volume II

Just in time for Lenten reading, Pope Benedict's second volume of Jesus of Nazareth is available. I was complaining that my pre-ordered Kindle copy hadn't arrived despite some people already having their hard copy in hand, when the Kindle version was delivered over the weekend.

I haven't had a chance to dig into it yet, but the Introduction is an amazing statement of the Pope's views on contemporary Scripture scholarship and a reassurance that reading his book during Lent will be not simply an intellectual but also a spiritual experience.

If you buy it on Amazon, use Holy Cross' clickthrough web-link and the parish will receive a small rebate from Amazon.


St. Patrick Welcomes Worshippers at Holy Cross

It was a great day for the Irist at Holy Cross parish indeed, as St. Patrick crossed the bridge from Sea Bright to Rumson accompanied by a flag-waving, smiling group of pilgrims to attend a mass in Irish at Holy Cross church. Our Cub Scout Pack 11, Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts provided a color guard and kept the flags flying high despite the stiff winds! Thanks to everyone for a spirit-filled day.

A breakfast of authentic Irish breakfast followed along with Irish music and dancing orchestrated by parishioner Pete Hogan with the help of the Holy Cross Men's Group and many others. Thanks to Fr. Cullen for celebrating mass with us a joining us at the breakfast.