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April 2012

Children's Choir Back on Tune

Happy News that Holy Cross School's new interim music teacher will be leading the Children's Choir at all school events for the remainder of the year. Information about our new teacher is in the Wednesday School envelope mailing. We welcome him warmly and look forward to hearing the progress our choir makes even in the few weeks until the school year concludes.



Bishop David O'Connell to Confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on Friday


Holy Cross welcomes Bishop O'Connell on Friday for the Sacrament of Confirmation. For two years, our confirmandi have been preparing by prayer, good works and study to celebrate the sacrament; they are the first group to be confirmed since the parish has instituted this two year preparation period. The longer interval was used to more adequately prepare both our grammar school students and those attending public schools to understand the Catholic teachings they are affirming and to open their hearts enthusiastically to the graces of the Holy Spirit.

Congratulations and thank you to their parents, catechists and all those who help in their sacramental formation. We pray for a blessed and Spirit-filled day!

Fire Alarms - True and False


Perhaps you heard our Fire Department responding to an alarm at our school last evening. It happened during the clean up of our Family Night Bingo - which apparently had nothing to do with the alarm.

Our alarm company had just completed two full days of cleaning and inspecting each and every smoke and heat detector in the school building (and there are many of them!) and we suspect something they disturbed or adjusted caused the false alarm. They are still in the process of updating the system and a few parts needed for the control panel are  "on order." We hope there are no system malfunctions in the meantime. Still, only hours after the alarm company completed its work and packed its equipment, we had a false alarm - costly to the Borough and now to the parish.

Surely a peculiar aspect of the current alarm systems, from a consumer's point of view anyhow, is their sensitivity. In medicine, we would wonder if a biological testing system were worthwhile if it gave too many "false positives." The language is simpler in firefighting, "false alarms." Almost every older parish has a history which includes a fire in one or more of its buildings, especially its churches, so the benefits of monitoring seem unquestionable. But more than once we have been told that "dust" was the cause of a false alarm. "Don't know" is often a runner-up to "dust" as an explanation.

Alarm systems for the church and the school are now mandated by law and each system is often proprietary, which makes changing the monitoring company problematic, whether for economic reasons or poor customer service. Our rectory, for example, was mandated to have a fire alarm system when it was used for public purposes, e.g. meetings and parish office space. Within not too many years, the system became irreparable despite multiple visits of repair and maintenance persons from the alarm company, partly because the company "discontinued" our control panels. We finally just disconnected the system since the rectory is no longer used for public purposes and installed a few battery operated smoke detectors and CO detectors. It took sleuthing from our business administrator to discover years later, that we were still being billed monthly for a system that was no longer connected to the monitoring station!

The dilemma with these systems is that once a sensor triggers, it is very difficult to verify whether or not it is a false positive before cancelling the automatic call by the alarm company to the local fire department. Our apologies to the Borough. The parish expends a great deal of time and no small cost to maintain and monitor our alarms - you'd think they would be dependable. We are trying our best, given the current technology and our resources to make it so.





Principal Search Committee


The Holy Cross Principal Search Committee has made a set of recommendations to Father Manning after reviewing approximately 50 applications and interviewing nearly a dozen applicants in person. Several applicants were invited back for a second interview by the Committee.

We hope to have an exciting annoucement within approximately two weeks. Any final recommendation by the pastor must be endorsed by the Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Trenton.


Successful In-Pew Capital Campaign


Thank you so much to our speakers on behalf of the Capital Campaign for the last two weekends and to all our ushers and those who helped with the logistics. We received $ 492,000 in pledges from 103 families. This total places us very near our goal, indeed...all before we break ground!

Thank you to all our parish families who have pledged a financial contribution

toward our renovation and expansion campaign.


Church Renovation and Expansion Project Update

  • Drilling for soil samples on construction site completed
  • Requests for Qualification (RFQ) received from four contractors; over the next week, three will be chosen for continued consideration
  • Architect in design development phase of project; mechanical and electrical engineers will begin working with drawings next week
  • Capital Campaign nears its goal. Our second Commitment Weekend begins tomorrow at all the masses.
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Children's Choir in Temporary Recess


Due to unforeseen circumstances, it is necessary to curtail the remaining Children’s Choir practices and singing at masses until such time as a new parish Music Director is with us. We hope to have an experienced and talented director very soon, so it may be possible to reschedule the choir in May or June. We have been busy interviewing and auditioning candidates for the position and hope to be able to announce a decision in the next weeks. I am sure our present disappointment will soon be turned to joy, when once again we raise our voices in praise to our God.

Soil Sample Drilling on Tuesday and Wednesday

This Tuesday and Wednesday, six soil sample cores will be drilled around the church in order to help our engineer and contractor adequately prepare for the church construction project. The company plans to obtain core samples up to 40 feet deep. There might be a bit of noise, and the children will be restricted from the parish field when the company's drilling equipment is operational.


Capital Campaign Commitment Weekends At Holy Cross

This weekend and next, all those parishioners who have not yet made a pledge to the capital campaign, "A Time To Build" will be asked to make a financial commitment to this very important parish effort. Parishioners will help all members of the congregation complete and return pledge cards during the homily.

It is crucial that each family or member of Holy Cross contribute what they can for the support of this endeavor. The benefits of a renovated and expanded church will be enjoyed now and many years into the future.

Please make a generous pledge according to your means and pray for the success of our church project.



Great Easter Sunday


What a great Easter Sunday we had last weekend! The church and gymatorium were packed to capacity with so many families. Some parishioners really got dressed up for the occasion. We pray for the grace of Easter to fill each of our hearts with inspiration and hope.


Chrism Mass in Trenton

Last evening Bishop O'Connell celebrated mass with the priests of the Diocese and a full cathedral of the faithful in what has been called the Chrism Mass due to the mixing and blessing of the Sacred Chrism which is done during Holy Week.

All three of the Holy Oils are blessed: The Oil of the Catechumens: used to anoint those approaching Baptism; The Oil of the Sick: the oil used in the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick; The Sacred Chrism: the oil used to anoint during the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Ordination to the Priesthood, and for consecrating churches and new altars. After the mass, a portion of each of these three oils were distributed to the priests and their parish representatives for taking home to their parishes for use during the coming year. 

Our oils will be officially received at the beginning of the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday. Parishioners will process in with the oils, they will be presented to the congregation, placed in the ambry and incensed. The public reception of the Holy Oils by each community reminds us of our unity in Christ with our diocesan bishop and the church of the Diocese of Trenton and is a tangible connection with the working of Christ and the Holy Spirit in our midst.

Vessels containing the Holy Oils are often labeled with the Latin initials of their contents. OC (Oleum Catechumenorum); OI (Oleum Infirmorum); SC (Sanctum Chrisma). In the past, smaller amounts of the three sacred oils were often kept under lock and key in a small vault which can often be seen in one of the walls of the Sanctuary. In recent years, it has become the custom to display the oils in an ambry, which is often located in a prominent spot in the church, sometimes near the baptismal font. Our oils are kept in an ambry near the votive candles on the Blessed Mother's shrine.

The Old Rectory at Holy Cross Rumson 1905

Thanks to Jean Cuje for this picture postcard of Holy Cross Church and rectory circa 1905. We have a postcard in the archives from this period showing the church alone, an image of which was used for the tile mural in the gymatorium. This card gives a great view of the south side of the church before the handicapped entrance ramp was added. The original lamposts on either side of the front steps to the church predated the globe lights now affixed to the wall. The finials on the steeples are also more elaborate than the ones few we still have - though even these modified finials have been succumbing to the harsh wind and weather.  Such a clear view of the former rectory, however, is unusual. Looks like it had a nice porch and great windows!


Palm Procession at Holy Cross from Sea Bright to Rumson 2012

Thank you to all the parishioners who participated in our Palm Sunday Procession from Sea Bright to Rumson. The rain held off; the only sprinkle was the holy water!

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Parishioners gather in Sea Bright for blessing and processing the palms.









The Palm Procession through the streets and across the Shrewsbury River

The procession arrives at Holy Cross to begin the 10:30 AM mass