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October 2012

Wednesday October 31st

Christian_012000598There is Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament until noon today.

All other church and parish events for today are cancelled.

Holy Cross School remains closed until power is restored as per the Borough of Rumson.

Daily mass at 9 AM will continue to be held each morning as it has been every morning throughout the storm.


The bishop has transferred the obligation to attend mass on the holyday to the Sunday/Weekend masses. 

                                I anticipate that the Saturday evening and Sunday masses will be held as usual.

                                The 7 PM Latin mass on Sunday is cancelled unless power is restored.

After Sandy Tuesday 10/30 10AM

Well, we were able to celebrate morning mass by candlelight this morning. Several big trees on the church property have fallen, but no hits on any buildings.

The church property is relatively high, so there was little water damage, but the winds are still gusting strongly. The church is relatively intact. A few roof tiles, some fallen plaster. The shrine in front of the rectory snapped off. 

Tree toppled by Sandy
Our Christmas tree has seen its last Christmas
Holy Cross Shrine
Shrine fractured









Sadly, the hurricane tourism traffic is crazy outside up and down Ward Avenue and into and out of our parking lot. Looks a little like the fireworks traffic on the Fourth of July. The police tried to keep people away this morning, but I'm sure they have other problems. Now there are cars parked up and down both sides of Ward Avenue, people K turning in driveways and driving through the church lot. Not humanity at its finest.

Good day to stay indoors and away from trees. 

Let us continue to pray for the safety and health of all those who suffer from the storm.


Weather Closings Update Sunday 10/28 1 PM

Sunday October 28th

Afternoon and evening masses are cancelled.

There will be no 8th grade CCD mass at 5 PM. Detective McDonald's talk is also cancelled.

Latin Mass at 7 PM is cancelled.

Monday October 29th

God, Our Father, Creator and Lord of the universe, you have set the earth on its foundation and all the elements of nature obey your command. We humbly beseech you to keep us safe from all dangers and calm the storm that threatens us. May we be secure in your loving protection and serve you always with grateful hearts. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.

 Holy Cross School is closed.

Lector training meeting cancelled.

Tuesday October 30th

Holy Cross School is closed.

Gym is closed to basketball.

School and Church Update 6:16 PM Saturday 10/27

Sunday October 28

Sunday morning's Religious Education Classes will be held as usual.

All Sunday morning masses will be held as usual.

A decision whether to cancel the evening Latin Mass will be made by noontime tomorrow.

Sunday evening's 8th grade conference with Detective McDonald has been cancelled.


Monday October 29

Holy Cross Grammar School will be closed on Monday, October 29th.


Masses as Usual This Weekend (so far...)



All the weekend masses are scheduled as usual at this point along with our Sunday baptism.

Communications are ongoing with the Rumson police department and the Office of Emergency Management to coordinate use of our parking lot for the many interests that may require its use. Priority is for the emergency services vehicles of Sea Bright and Rumson, possibly residents of West Park depending on the tides and flooding conditions.

Please call the police for instructions when and if it becomes necessary.  



All Souls Day


All Souls Day Candles Holy Cross Church
Paschal Candle, Votive Tree and Book of the Dead

Halloween brings out the goblins, ghosts, skeletons and people even put fake tombstones on their lawns. It's no accident these macabre reminders of our mortality mingle with this year's most popular political leader or Hollywood star's image. Before people forgot about its sacred connection, Halloween unabashedly took us to the cemetery to help us bolster our faith in the power of Christ's resurrection, to pray for our beloved dead and to help us look death more squarely in the eye without fear.


All Souls Day commemorates our beloved departed and encourages us to pray for the successful completion of their purgative journey toward sanctification with God. During the entire month of November, our Book of the Dead is placed in the Sanctuary near the Paschal candle. Parishioners are invited to inscribe the names of the deceased for whom they wish to pray, especially those who have died within the last year. During a special memorial mass, family members of those departed whose Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Holy Cross light a votive candle in their memory and receive a hand crafted candle made from the molten wax of last year's Easter Candle.

Our deceased are gone but not forgotten, still connected to us now and forever through the saving power of Christ's passion, death and resurrection.

Pray with us during this liturgical season and enter the name of your deceased loved ones in our Book of the Dead.




Our 5th grade is studying the sacraments and sacramentals and they raised some interesting questions with me this week.

There is an online version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

CoverThe Catechism of the Catholic Church has relatively little to say about sacramentals. It names "blessings" as the most important sacramental and as you may know, there is an entire Book of Blessings with readings and prayers for various kinds of blessings.Strangely enough, exorcisms are treated in the same section as sacramental blessings.

The catechism then states:  

" The religious sense of the Christian people has always found expression in various forms of piety surrounding the Church’s sacramental life, such as the veneration of relics, visits to sanctuaries, pilgrimages, processions, the stations of the cross, religious dances, the rosary, medals,180 etc."

While enthusiasm for some sacramentals waned and was even discouraged after Vatican II, a proper use of sacramentals in our daily life seems to be developing. It's interesting in this day and age of collecting autographs and memorabilia of all kinds, tracing anecestry and innumberable other ways of making connections with our world, that the proper use of sacramentals isn't endorsed and ecouraged more frequently.

One practice I remember as a child was that of keeping (and using) holy water in the home. My grandmother always had some in a special glass-stoppered bottle. Many families kept small holy water stoups in the children's bedrooms to use when blessing themselves for night prayer, or leaving for the day of school. The holy water was dutifully replenished from the font in the church each week.

At Holy Cross we give a small bottle of baptismal water to each family from the baptismal font on the day of their infant's baptism.

An inappropriate use of sacramentals draws attention away from the priority of the sacraments themselves and can flirt with superstitious practice. The sacramentals themselves have no power and our use of them should be quite distinct from practitioners of the occult who believe that the use of certain items along with precise incantations and rituals guarantee certain results, e.g. love potions, magic spells, curses, etc.



Proper use of sacramentals focuses attention to the grace flowing from the sacraments themselves and  to Jesus Christ and His Church. They help us weave a sacred theme into our daily lives and elevate our minds and hearts to God.


First Grade Children at 10:30 AM Mass

Rbp090323clbjIt was terrific to see so many of our young children at mass this weekend, especially at the 10:30 AM mass, where the first graders were especially invited to share in prayer and after-mass hospitality. All the children were so reverent and well-behaved.

Thanks to our Hospitality Committee who set up the refreshments, to our Religious Education and School teachers who supported the children by their attendance, and of course, to their parents for making sure their children are being raised in the practice of the faith.


Church Construction Project Update

Our architect, engineers and construction manager are hard at work. The construction documents are 50% complete. Two estimates have been arrived at using the architect's design documents. Now the construction manager is busy getting real life estimates for each component job of the project so that a realistic budget can be tabulated. Once the cost of our project including all the wish lists is know, we can decide which items might need to be deferred or eliminated to keep the project within our financial reach. Once we have a final budget, with diocesan approval we will sign the construction contract and the individual component jobs will go out to competitive bid. 

Our new music director has brought renewed interest in rehabilitating our present pipe organ rather than acquiring a new digital organ for the church. Two separate groups are estimating the cost of moving, restoring and eventually augmenting the organ.

Pledges and commitments are being kept and paid. Thank you for your continued generosity and support of this important parish project.


New Jersey Right To Life Rally for Religious Freedom in Trenton NJ



The rally starts at noon local time, Saturday October 20, unless otherwise noted.
Signs will be provided.
It is not necessary to RSVP.
Pray the mass at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption at 10:30 in Trenton just before the rally.




Some of the Organizations and Groups forming the Coalition to Stand Up For Religious Freedom

Survey: The Sustainability of Our Catholic Schools

In the 2011-2012 school year, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., created a Commission for the Study of the Sustainability of Our Catholic Schools.  Among the tasks, members of the Commission were charged to  investigate the short and long term viability, vitality and vibrancy of our Catholic schools and to develop clear and consistent criteria to be used in an ongoing analysis and evaluation.

The Commission is being guided by Dr. John Convey, consultant and professor at The Catholic University of America.

To gain perspective and to learn the views of the broader public, surveys are being  forwarded  to stakeholders.  Your input and perspective are valued and important as the tasks of the Commission move forward.  Your assistance is requested in completing the survey which can be accessed at the link below:

Catholic Schools in Trenton Survey


Thank you for expressing your thoughts relative to Catholic schools in the Diocese of Trenton.

Year of Faith Monthly Wednesdays

Thanks to eYear-of-faith-logo-montageveryone who brought their faith and interest and love of Christ to our first discussion meeting last evening on the topic of "The Year of Faith." It is wonderful to be able to discuss questions which are too complex for a brief Sunday homily.

Next month's topic is "The Trinity." Why do we believe in a Trintarian God and what difference should that belief make in our spiritual lives? We're using the appropriate questions in the Compendium. If you would like to receive some additional reading material which I might reference during the discussion, I'll post a link for you to download the material.