Previous month:
September 2015
Next month:
November 2015

October 2015

Chapel Ambo In Temporary Use

  RailingA new (different)  fabricator for the bronze handrail to be installed on the ambo has been chosen. We are informed that delivery will be six to eight weeks, too long a time for us to temporize any longer without a railing. 

So the ambo from the chapel has been pressed into service in the meantime for use by those who are not comfortable without the handrail. The sanctuary is a bit more crowded and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and Altar Servers are asked to make accommodations. 

I don't have specific word on the timing of the bluestone step modifications. The installation of the Ward Avenue doors should be "late next week."


Holy Door Sealing and Blessing On Sunday After 10:30 AM Mass


Join us for the blessing and sealing of the Holy Door for the Year of Mercy after the 10:30 AM mass on Sunday here at Holy Cross.

As you know, Pope Francis has given local bishops permission to have a Holy Door at their cathedral and other places of visitation throughout the diocese. We are blessed to have been given permission to have a Holy Door for the Year of Mercy here at Holy Cross. We have chosen the exterior door at the southwest exo-narthex.

Not only does the door show solidarity and union with the catholic, universal church throughout the world, but it stands as a sign of God's mercy and the path to salvation through Jesus Christ and His Church.

The door will be sealed this Sunday in anticipation of its joyful official opening for the year of Mercy beginning on December 8th 2015.

We will mark the door with the Papal and Episcopal (Bishop's) Seals. Visits to churches with Holy Doors during the Year of Mercy are a pious way of expressing our gratitude for Christ's mercy and of receiving special graces. More information about these graces or indulgences will be posted near the door and in the church.

Holy Door Papal Seal

It still needs a little work, but here is a scanned and 3dPrinted verison of the Papal Seal for our Holy Door of Mercy. I'm still working on Bishop O'Connell's seal - it has more pieces and more colors, so it's a bit more challenging to get done.

IMG_2567Join us on Sunday at the beginning of the 10:30 AM mass for the Rite of Sealing the Holy Door before it is opened again to begin the year of Mercy in December.

Holy Door of Mercy - A Theology


From Federated Diocesan Liturgical Commissions

Papal Seal of Francis

  Bishop O'Connell's Episcopal Seal














A holy door or porta sancta has been used since the fifteenth century as a ritual expression of conversion. Pilgrims and penitents pass through it as a gesture of leaving the past behind and crossing the threshold from sin to grace, from slavery to freedom, and from darkness to light. Often these rituals are associated with prayer, pilgrimage, sacrifice, confession, and indulgences.

But the door finds meaning only when the believer associates the door with Christ. Jesus is the Door! In the words of Pope Francis, “There is only one way that opens wide the entrance into the life of communion with God: this is Jesus, the one and absolute way to salvation. To him alone can the words of the Psalmist be applied in full truth: ‘This is the door of the Lord where the just may enter’ (Ps 118:20).”

Saint John Paul II offers a similar exhortation: "To focus on the door is to recall the responsibility of every believer to cross its threshold. To pass through that door means to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord; it is to strengthen faith in him in order to live the new life which he has given us. It is a decision which presumes freedom to choose and also the courage to leave something behind, in the knowledge that what is gained is divine life [cf. Mt 13:44-46]” (Saint John Paul II, Incarnationis Mysterium, 8, in the year 2000).

John’s gospel clearly depicts this relationship between Jesus and us. “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:7-10).

It is fitting that a Holy Door be situated within a church building. The door of the Church is the ianua ecclesia – “the silent witness to all the moments of our lives” (USCCB, About the Jubilee Door, 1999). Often sacramental rituals begin at the door – here, the priest or deacon welcomes the parents as they bring their child for baptism; here, he greets the bride and groom as they begin the wedding liturgy; here, he greets the catechumens at the Rite of Acceptance; and, finally, the priest greets the casket at the beginning of the funeral liturgy.

Therefore, let us create Holy Doors in our cathedrals or other significant churches which can be worthy symbols of Christ and a welcome invitation to seek Him within our communities of faith.

On Cry Rooms And Babysitting

As you may know, great care was taken in designing the church to provide multiple, easily accessible areas where parents could temporarily bring fussing children, yet still hear and see mass. Three such glass enclosed areas are within the church: one at each of the entrances in the transept and the gathering space and the baptistery in the narthex of the church.

One of the areas (the north transept) is temporarily being used as a construction office, but will be available whenever the church is fully turned over to us. Meantime the narthex and the south transept will serve.

The thinking was that these quiet, readily accessible areas would diminish the need for baby sitting during the 10:30 mass. Perhaps it’s a little early to discern any patterns, but we would still like to assess the need.

If you would regularly use babysitting during the 10:30 AM mass, please let us know by either contacting Lori LaPlante in the Parish Office or indicate on the survey link below.

Babysitting Question


Punchlist Progress

  • The fence installers began work on the fence between the playground field and the church today. 
  • Holy Cross signed the contract with Merrick Construction to build the garden pergola.
  • The light diffusing panels in the thermal window (above the altar) have been installed.
  • All the concrete bollards at the bases of the path lights have been set to ground level.

October 2015 Living Rosary In Church Prayer Garden





The October weather seemed more like spring and the sun was bright and vivid for the Living Rosary on the grounds of the church today. The sunshine helped the multi-colored T shirts shine, a different color for each decade of the rosary.

Our statue of Mary didn't make the celebration, in fact, she is lost somewhere between China and Rumson. We hope she will join us soon!

Thanks to the school children, their teachers and our parish staff who organized and the orchestrated the event with skill and patience. The parents who come each year to pray with their children teach their children the importance of prayer as much as anything the school can do.



Church Punchlist

Much work is still being done on the church.

  • You may have seen workers cutting down the concrete bollards for the lights to ground level.
  • Some electrical and plumbing work is still being finished. 
  • Delivery of the round window for the steeple on Ward Avenue was accepted.
  • Hardware and doors for Ward Avenue doors are on hand.
  • Sound system engineers have given us two sound settings: one for weekend masses and one for daily mass. If you have difficulty hearing clearly, please note where you were sitting and either jot me a note, or tell someone who can get a message. The settings are quite adjustable. On their next visit, technicians will install a remote tuner for the system so they can adjust settings over the internet. They will also install the system for the hearing impaired to use with headsets.
  • Plans have been finalized for the garden pergola and work should proceed when all materials are on hand.
  • The Holy Cross Shrine cross will be rebuilt and located in front of the old Ward Avenue entrance (in the hole which is now covered with a traffic cone).
  • The fence between the playground field and the church will be installed next week.
  • Progress on the handrail to the ambo and on the steps leading into the main entrance is still delayed. We are trying to expedite these things.
  • As you notice, the crosses are still not atop the steeple nor the gable facing the playground.  The crosses are repaired and gilded and waiting in the rectory garage. We are waiting too...

Blessings, Biscuits and A Ribbon in the Rain (or Shine)

Well, it looks like the weather might not be ideal for tomorrow's blessing of the animals to help commemorate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

Not to case of inclement weather, just drive by the Carriage House where Father Manning will be stationed with his intrepid staff equipped with holy water, home made dog biscuits and our annual commemorative blue ribbon for your pet. 

It will be a drive-in blessing and we'll see how it works.

Of course, if weather permits, we'll gather around the new fountain in the prayer garden.

See you tomorrow, Saturday at 9:30 AM. We'll close up shop around 10 AM, so don't be late!

In Search of Mary And Angels

The two angels we have been waiting for to adorn the Ward Avenue elevation of the church are in U.S. Customs. They should arrive in the not too distant future once they are cleared to land!

We are still looking for the statue of Mary for the Prayer Garden which is somewhere between here and the workshop in which she was carved (China, not Italy). We'll keep you posted. Say a prayer she arrives before the month of Mary (October) is finished.



Sacred Heart Shrine and Confessionals

The carpenter was at work for the last couple of days and completed the installation of the two cabinet displays in the narthex and installed the interior doors/panels to the confessionals.


The sliding panel of the confessional is designed so that it can be slid away into the wall compartment if the penitent chooses "face-to-face" reconciliation.

The Holy Oils: Oil of the Sick, Oil of the Catechumens, Sacred Chrism
Our bronze donor memorial book will be affixed to the inner wall of the cabinet.

St. Therese of Lisieux, The "Little Flower"

Nothing is little about everyday holiness, but it is simple and that is the message of the "little" way of holiness. Revolutionary for its time, St. Therese championed the idea that a call to holiness was not simply the province of priests or religious. Consonant with Pope Francis' Year of Mercy, she petitioned to be allowed to dedicate herself to the merciful suffering of Jesus.

It's not easy to keep track of Therese since her name itself has been spelled many ways and can also be properly appended with "Child of Jesus" and "Jesus of the Holy Face." 

St Therese of Lisieux at Holy Cross Church
The "Little Flower"

Our stained glass window shows her youthful beauty, her contemplation of cross with Jesus crucified and garlands of roses falling from her arms and Carmelite habit. Each is a clue about her life, which is certainly worth study. As a Doctor of the Church, her autobiography, A Story of a Soul, a good biography or writings about her spirituality are accessible and fruitful for spiritual seekers of all ages.