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April 2014

World Day of Prayer for Vocations - A Message from Bishop O'Connell



 We read these words in the Gospel of St. John: “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you. I have appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you (John 15:16).”  That is a profound thought for anyone considering a vocation to the priesthood or religious life in the Catholic Church today.  It is God who chooses us for his purposes.  As a seminarian many years ago I remember reading in Thomas Merton’s great book No Man is an Island, that “for each one of us, there is only one thing necessary: to fulfill our own destiny, according to God's will: to be what God wants us to be.”  He wrote: “Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess. Vocation does not come from a voice “out there” calling me to be something I am not. It comes from a voice “in here” calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original selfhood given me at birth by God.”


Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI once wrote:  “Each of you has a personal vocation which God has given you for your own joy and sanctity. When a person is conquered by the fire of His gaze, no sacrifice seems too great to follow Him and give Him the best of ourselves. This is what the saints have always done, spreading the light of the Lord ... and transforming the world into a welcoming home for everyone.”


On Sunday, May 11, the Catholic Church will celebrate the annual “World Day of Prayer for Vocations.”  Pope Francis reminds us: “No vocation is born of itself or lives for itself. A vocation flows from the heart of God and blossoms in the good soil of faithful people, in the experience of fraternal love.”  The theme of this year’s celebration is “Vocations: Witness to the Truth.”  That “witness” is the responsibility of every Catholic, every Christian responding to the Lord Jesus Christ who proclaims “I am the Truth” but it is a special obligation for those who are considering Christ’s call to “produce fruit that will last” in the priesthood or religious life.


Here in the Diocese of Trenton, I promote religious vocations every chance I get and everywhere I go.  There has not been one parish I have visited in four years where some young man has not said, “I have thought about or am thinking about the priesthood.”  Young women are not as enthusiastic about religious life as religious sisters but I think that is only because they have not had the benefit so many of us have had growing up with religious sisters so visible all around us.  Potential vocations to both the priesthood and religious life ARE THERE but, as so many young people have said to me, “No one ever asked me before.”  Well, the time has come for all of us --- priests, sisters, brothers, moms and dads, teachers, peers --- to be “vocation directors” and to ask our young people about devoting their lives to God through vocations in the Church.  The challenges are many, no doubt, but, in the end, the benefits are “out of this world!”


As a Diocese, then, please join me in praying for vocations to the priesthood and religious life on May 11, “Mother’s Day.”  Perhaps, we could place this intention in the hands of Our Blessed Mother, Mary, Queen of the Assumption, patron of our Diocese, that like her, young people might respond to God’s call to  “produce fruit that will last.”


                                                                                                Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M.

                                                                                                Bishop of Trenton


(Please share this message with anyone you think might be discerning a vocation.)      

Mass Time Survey Results

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete our online questionnaire. 109 respondents took the suvey; the results are reported as percentages of that number. There was consensus to keep the Christmas "midnight" mass at 11 PM, and no desire for a New Year's Eve midnight mass. Of the small minority of respondents who have utilized our mass sitters for their children during the 10:30 AM mass...100% rated their experience as favorable!

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Donor Memorial Book Delivered Inscribed with Benefactor Names

Our Memorial Donor book was delivered today by an 18 wheeler! It is heavy, but it is solid bronze. The Benefactor page has been inscribed with the names of the first major gift donors who have completed their pledge in full.

Several of these names were donors to the very first capital campaign many years ago. Just as with the memorial wall in the gymatorium, the book will eventually contain the names of donors of at least a pew or more. It will be permanently displayed either on a pedestal or a wall shelf in the gathering space of the church.

Thank you to all who have given generously and are faithfully completing their pledges!

The Memorial Donor Book will be on display after all the masses this weekend and perhaps the next. 



Sod planted on Parish Field

Today the sod was delivered and planted over the trench that had been cut through the field in order to connect the electrical service to the new church.

Hopefully the cool weather will allow it to take root before any scorching days of sunshine.


Major turf care will take place after the construction project is completed.

Concrete Floor in North Transept

Sunny but chilly weather today permitted workmen to pour the concrete floor in the North transept. As soon as the concrete cures well enough, the steel workers can begin trussing the roof over the north transept as well.

Workers were able to complete the trenching and laying the electrical conduit between the transformer behind the gymatorium to the location near the side of the new church where the pad will be located for the utility transformers and air conditioners. 


Mass of the Lord's Supper This Evening at 7:00 PM


Join us tonight for the Mass of the Lord's Supper as we begin the sacred time leading to Easter. This mass is the only mass, aside from the Chrism Mass, which can be celebrated on Holy Thursday, so when we gathered in the chapel this morning at the usual mass time, we prayed Morning Prayer.

At tonight's mass, the Holy Oils will be received - the Sacred Chrism, Oil of the Sick, Oil of Catechumens which were blessed by bishop and priests at the Trenton diocese's Chrism mass last Monday.

The Washing of Feet will also take place at tonight's liturgy - an optional symbolic commemoration of Jesus' humble act of service to his disciples.  

When we have finished Communion, the Blessed Sacrament will be taken from the altar to the Chapel of Repose in a candlelight procession, where adoration will continue until Night Prayer at  11:00 PM.

Please join us for the Mass at 7:00 PM or feel free to stop and pray before the Blessed Sacrament for a few moments or join us for Night Prayer at  11 PM.

May the Eucharist strengthen our faith, and the hope of the Resurrection guide our steps as we prepare to walk with Christ to Calvary on Good Friday.


Events in Life of St. Francis Window

Francis Life

Here is the artist's rendering of window for Holy Cross which has been composed from four of the fourteen panels we own depicting events in the life of St. Francis of Assisi.

The bottom panel shows Francis blessing Clare. This window will be located between the full size windows of St. Francis and the full size window of St. Clare in the new church nave.

It is available for memorial donation. Please consider helping to complete our beautiful new church by a generous donation.


Excavation of Parish Field Today / Tomorrow; Temporary Phone and Power Shutdown

Just a reminder that work crews will be digging a power cable trench from the transformer behind the school across the parish field to the corner of the new church.

Power will be disconnected tomorrow for an indeterminate period of time. Our office telephone will be unavailable for a short period of time tomorrow afternoon. 

The Mass of the Lord's Supper will be celebrated tomorrow evening at 7:00 PM, with or without electrical power!


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Chrism Mass Tonight In Trenton

42txThe priests of our diocese will gather around Bishop O'Connell this evening at St. Mary's Cathedral in Trenton to celebrate the Chrism Mass, since the Sacred Chrism will be blessed during this important diocesan liturgy. The Oil of the Sick and the Oil of Catechumens will also be blessed at this mass. After the mass, portions of each of the Holy Oils will be distributed for use in each parish of the diocese. 

The priests of the diocese renew their commitment to priestly service during this mass as well - a fitting resolve to confirm before celebrating the most sacred days of the Triduum.

Please pray tonight for our bishop and priests of the Diocese of Trenton tonight. Your prayers and support encourage the faithfulness and enthusiasm of our priests.

Spectacular Palmy Weather on Sunday

Thanks to everyone who gathered at Chapel Beach Club and Seabright Beach Club parking lots for the blessing of the palm and our Annual Palm Procession from Sea Bright to Rumson for the 10:30 AM Mass.

The wind blew away the last minute cloud cover and the skies were blue. For the first time in many years, the servers and priest didn't really need coats under their albs. 

Our children's choir led us in singing "All Glory Laud and Honor" during the 15 minute procession to our gymatorium.

Thank you to Chapel and Seabright Beach Clubs and the Rumson and Sea Bright police departments for helping us and the Borough of Sea Bright for permission to gather for the procession. 

Prayerful, public expression of faith are more important than ever. The joyful witness of parishioners of all ages is a welcome sign at the beginning of each Holy Week.

Our Altar Servers Prepare to Lead the Way. (Their candles stayed lit for the entire procession!)
Parishioners Began Gathering At 10:00 AM


Fr. Manning leads the Prayer of Blessing


Palms Held High for the Blessing and We Are Off!


Crossing the Bridge is Always Exciting!


Our Group Arrives in Rumson


Just In Time for Mass.

Beautiful Weather Forecast for Palm Sunday Procession from Sea Bright to Rumson

Join us for the Blessing of the Palms in the Chapel Beach Club's parking lot after which we will process across the bridge into Rumson for the 10:30 AM mass in the gymatorium.

We'll begin gathering at 10:00 AM and begin the procession at approximately 10:15 AM. The public expression of our faith is a wonderful way to begin the solemn celebrations of Holy Week.


Dig We Must

Works_014520I am astonished I could not  Google an image of this slogan placed almost everywhere the public utility company "Con Ed" was excavating in New York during the 1950's. 

In any case, so must we in order to supply electric power to the church building. In the first phase of the electrical installation, power was routed through the school to the transformer at the back of the gymatorium near the parish field. In this final phase, the power cables will be extended across the soccer field to a new transformer pad to be located alongside the rectory. 

The bulk of the work will occur on April 17th, Holy Thursday.  There will be a brief period of time the campus is without electric power while the connections are made.