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August 2012
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October 2012

September 2012

Don't Blend In, Stand Out...for Christ!

Today's Scripture reading warning that "gold and silver corrodes" reminds us that sometimes what we strive after most, is not what we really need and it will not really give peace. It struck me especially because I had once again seen the story of Grant Desme, a promising young minor leaguer for the Oakland A's who hung up his cleats to enter the Norbertine Monastery in California.  One thing in particular he said: I had everything I wanted and it wasn't enough. His search led to a journey to test whether he had a priestly vocation with the Norbertine Fathers. Still almost 8 years away from ordination (as far as I could tell), his journey continues with constant prayer, study and work.

Minor Leagues


Major Leagues

Video Produced by the Norbertines



The Norbertine Fathers, Brothers and Sisters are a very traditional order - the kind of religious life which seems to be entering a new Springtime in the United States. The abbey is moving, both to leave a volcanic fault line, and to accomodate new students and the growth of their community.

Religious orders of women renewing the traditional charisms and way of life are also experiencing similar growth in the United States. We've talked about the Nashville Dominicans before, but a visit to their website is always inspirational. Their formation house is also bursting at the seams with enthusiastic young women in love with Christ.

Some of the Newest Dominicans in Nashville



Don't forget about our own Diocesan Website for Priestly Vocations

Priestly Vocations Diocese of Trenton

Meeting Room in Renovated Church

Architect, engineer and a small committee has been working on setting up the downstairs meeting room/hospitality area in the renovated church.

The lowel level has elevator accesibility, a men's lavatory and women's lavatory which will serve as the main restrooms (there is an additional handicapped-accesible rest room on the main level of the church), a small kitchenette, altar server room, sacristan's station. The meeting room will be equipped to handle hospitality after our masses, and some of the church meetings which now take place in the St. Michael's Media room in the school. 

Some aspects of this drawing have already been changed: the location of the doors to the rest rooms have been relocated to allow access from outside the meeting room proper, avoiding the interruption of doors opening and closing into the meeting space; some of the storage area has been designated as altar server room, sacristan's station and electronic equipment control.


Church Project Liturgical Appointments: Statues

At a meeting last evening, we discussed the immediate goal of determining the number, identity and compositional material for statues of the Saints in the renovated Church.

There are several interior and exterior niches, as well as an outdoor pedestal for potential locations for statues of the saints, now and in the future. Except for the statue in the oval garden, I've highlighted them on the architectural drawings: two on the Ward Avenue facade, one on the West facade, one on a pedestal in the oval garden, one in the entryway balcony, four across the devotional shrines across the front of transept.


A Sub Committee was formed to explore the possibility whether to determine a spiritual theme underlying the choice of which saints or an eclectic mix.

There was consensus to proceed with the acquisition of an ambo from a church in Philadelphia which has been closed, depending on costs additional to the modification and transportation of the piece.

Mary Garden
Marian Garden (partial view)


Catechetical Preaching Topics for "The Year of Faith 2012-2013"


As you know,Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., has asked that the following topics be covered in all parishes during the second Saturday-Sunday celebration of the Eucharist each month throughout the Year of Faith:

Oct. 14 | 28th Sunday Ordinary Time…Year of Faith

Nov. 11 | 32nd Sunday Ordinary Time…Trinity

Dec. 9 | 2nd Sunday Advent…Jesus Christ, True God and True Man

Jan. 13 | Baptism of the Lord…Church

Feb. 10 | 5th Sunday Ordinary Time…Reconciliation

March 10 | 4th Sunday Lent…Sacraments/Sacramentality

April 14 | 3rd Sunday Easter…Real Presence

May 12 | Ascension or 7th Sunday Easter…Divine Revelation as Scripture and Tradition

June 9 | 10th Sunday Ordinary Time…Morality, Sin and Conscience

July 14 | 15th Sunday Ordinary Time…Social Teachings/Social Justice

Aug. 11 | 19th Sunday Ordinary Time…Mary and the Communion of Saints

Sept. 8 | 23rd Sunday Ordinary Time…The Mass

Oct. 13 | 28th Sunday Ordinary Time…Grace and Virtue

Nov. 10 | 32nd Sunday Ordinary Time…Death and Eternal Life

Nov. 24 | Christ the King…Christ the King Ruler of Hearts and Teacher of Prayer


The Catechism of the Catholic Church and these homilies are excellent starting points for our Wednesday night Adult Faith Formation discussions. We will experiment with using the Compendium: Catechism of the Catholic Church for our meetings. It may be purchased from the USCCB, online through retailers, or through the Parish Office (we should be able to offer a significant discount.)

We will publish the meeting dates after all parish staff members have checked them for possible conflicts, but in general they will be the Wednesday evening following each Catechetical Sunday at 7:00 PM in the St. Michael Media Room.



Holy Cross Youth Ministry Mum and Pumpkin Sale This Weekend

Mum and Pumpkin
Remember to purchase your annual mums and pumpkins at Holy Cross' Youth Ministry Mum and Pumpkin Sale after all the masses this weekend. Proceeds will benefit the many activities of the Youth Ministry planned for this year and will show our support for our Youth Group. What a great presentation Mr. Feerst and Mr. Butler gave at the masses last weekend!


Traffic Patterns for Religious Education



Thanks everyone for your patience in learning the pick-up and drop off patterns of both Sunday's and Tuesday's Religious Education program. The first week is always the most challenging and the pattern works more smoothly each week thereafter.

As usual, all parking is prohibited on the East side of Ward Avenue, i.e. across the street from the church. Everything works best if you avoid parking on Ward Avenue altogether, even on our side of the street. Last week, those parked alongside the curb could not leave without breaking through the line of traffic waiting for pick-up, and many made K-turns to head North on Ward Avenue blocking both directions of traffic.

Church Renovation Project Liturgical and Interior Appointments Meeting

Holy Cross Church Pen and Watercolor Wash
This coming Thursday, Committee members will review and discuss several proposal from our architect and view some of the specific views of the interior of the church.

  • Before we can think of commissioning a sculptor, we must determine the number, identity, size and material composition of saint statues we can detail in our proposal. 
  • Our architect has located a beautiful ambo in a church in Philadelphia which will be closed. Minor modifications will make this suitable for our church. We will review the photos and architectural design.
  • Proposal and intial plans for converting the Old Convent Chapel for use as a daily mass chapel and reposition of the Blessed Sacrmanet will be reviewed.

Holy Cross Youth Ministry 2012-2013

Adult leaders of our Youth Ministry program were on hand at most of the masses today to speak about plans for the coming year. Thanks to Mr. Feerst and Mr. Butler for generating such enthusiasm, and to Greer McCarthy and Amy Evans, both teachers at Holy Cross School for being on hand to encourage high-school age teens and their parents to participate and complete registration forms.

Registration information will be available in the Parish Office. The group begins its formal meetings in October, but kicks off the year with its Annual Mum and Pumpkin Sale after all the masses next weekend.


Covenant House President Authors Book

Fair Haven resident Kevin Ryan has co-written a new book with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Tina Kelley, Almost Home, which is published by Wiley & Sons. Almost Home has been called by Publisher's Weekly "gripping and inspiring" and one of its "top reads" for the Fall. The book tells the incredible true story of 6 homeless children who overcame great odds and suffering to find found faith, hope and love, crossing from homelessness through Covenant House to amazing personal achievements.  Kevin will begin a 20 city international book tour in Fair Haven on October 4, signing copies of Almost Home at the Nauvoo Grille at 7:00 p.m., sponsored by River Road Books.

The event is free with the purchase of a book. RSVP to River Road Books at 732 747 9455 or by email to  All author proceeds in New Jersey will benefit services to homeless youth in Asbury Park, NJ.

Holy Cross Youth Group

This weekend the Holy Cross Youth Group will open its membership for the coming year. Mssrs. Mike Feerst and Mat Butler will speak at all the masses to explain the many new opportunities for prayer, service and growing in faith that the group will offer this year. 


Dear Friends,

 For the 2012-2013 season,  We will again be offering our Youth Program for teens of the Parish.  Young people in grades 9-12 are encouraged to participate!  Our staff has worked out a great program to benefit this age group in many ways.

 Speaking of staff, we are excited to announce that our staff has expanded!  Matt Butler, CBA religion teacher and coach, and Greer McCarthy, Holy Cross 5th grade teacher will be teaming up with  Amy Evans , Linda Delaney and myself.  We are excited for a year of great food, good fun, super service projects, and “an enlightening experience.”

 Most young people desire a relationship with God, but struggle with how to get started and keep it going.  Holy Cross Youth Ministry is an excellent way to keep young people thinking about their faith while acting on Catholic social teaching.  The program will include prayer, service to those less fortunate, social gathering and, of course, a lot of fun!  Participating in our Youth Ministry is something positive to add to college applications and job applications. Today’s world is so competitive, and youth ministry can provide a spiritual edge to help our teens develop a smooth transition into growing older. 

 We hope you will join us!  Please fill out the registration form and return it to the Holy Cross Parish or School office.  Questions?  Call me at 732-842-0348, extension 1140.

 Thank you!

 Michael Feerst

Director of Youth Ministry


Tuesday's Religious Education Classes Blown Away

As you know, our first session of Religious Education classes for the Tuesday groups was cancelled due to the changeable weather. The gusts of wind and occasional rain made for potentially hazardous driving conditions and so it seemed prudent to postpone the classes. I guess rather than "snow days" we should simply call them "weather days" when we build flexibility into our schedules for missed school and work.

We are excited to get our Religious formation program started again, and are sure many teachers and students were disappointed to postpone their first day back.


Preparations Underway for Holy Cross Chapel


This week a small committee including the pastor and principal met to consider what accomodations need to be made in chapel, formerly used by our school sisters, when construction on the church begins.

We have borrowed the chapel from the Pre-K for the time being, and happily for us, the physical modifications to the building were minimal when it became used for classrooms. The altar and seating arrangment will be modified from the original plans for the chapel, allowing us to seat a greater number of parishioners and students at daily mass. The entryway door will be modified to restrict access to the chapel only. Otherwise, with a good cleaning a new coat of paint, some chairs and portable altar, we'll be ready to pray. The Blessed Sacrament will be reposed in the chapel when the church closes for construction. We are investigating the possibility of outdoor votive candles as the interior space is small and not amenable to their use.

We have plans to make the space ready for use by January 1; too soon to say when the daily masses will actually be moved there.



Lift Up Your Voice and Proclaim the Good News in Word and Deed and Song


This weekend we appealed to members of our parish family to 6a0120a4f88a1c970b017744cc16fd970d-120wi
serve and praise God with their voices either by becoming a Reader or a Member of Holy Cross Choir. 
Since God's grace and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit often come through human reminders, please consider this as another invitation to join those parishioners who have already responded. Please call Eileen in parish office to volunteer or for more information.

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Exaltation of the Holy Cross stained glass window Holy Cross, Rumson

Blessings to all on this, the parish feast day. We will also commemorate our feast day this weekend at all the Sunday masses. 

This year we are asking all parishioners to consider serving our parish in two of the most important ways which give liturgical glory to God - using the human voice. The Word, proclaimed and sung, is a crucial part of our worship together and we need volunteers in its service as choir members/ cantors and readers.

If fear of public speaking is holding you back...fear not! In this instance you can depend entirely on God's help to get you over your fear, whether it's a mild case of butterflies, or a full blown phobia. There are so many articulate and well-spoken parishioners at Holy Cross, that God will surely plant the idea in many hearts to step forward to proclaim His Word to our assembly. Please pray whether you might help us.

Our new Music Director, Mr. Don Carolina, will be speaking at the masses this weekend to encourage parishioners to sing for the Lord in our parish adult choir, perhaps even to consider leading the our assembly in song. Many new voices will add depth and dimension to our chorus of voices and enable our choir to help us pray even more beatifully to the Lord. Don is a skillful and patient Choirmaster and along with Tucky Parent, our choir director, will help the song in your heart come to life at our masses. 



A Praying Mantis Praying in Church?

Praying Mantis in Church on Reredos
As you can see, a praying mantis (perhaps Mantis religiosa and perhaps male since he looks brown in the photo; the females are green) decided to alight on the reredos and our sacristan managed to actually get a photo.

I don't know if our visitor brought good fortune or not; I vaguely remember my grandmother telling us it was very bad luck to kill one, even by accident.


Church Renovation Project

Ink and Watercolor of Church Window
Not only is our school starting up again, but so will the more public aspects of the Church renovation project.

The design specifications are being refined and amended as the build plans are being developed. There are so many questions to think through beforehand - all the way from big issues like the baptismal font and altar, to how many outlets and what kind of coffee pots will be used in the hospitality area.

It is also time to begin to specifically identify the many statues which have been given places of honor in the church and the garden. The art for the tryptich behind the tabernacle needs to be considered and commissioned. Many, many liturgical design details need to be considered, especially within the constraints of our soon to be finalized construction budget. It is also important to plan for those elements which we cannot now afford, but defer for fund raising and installation at a later date. 

Some of those who have expressed interest in this particular aspect of the church project will be contacted to begin meeting to consider proposals already suggested by our architect and to perhaps develope new ones. Please contact Eileen in the Parish Office to be sure your name is included for consideration.