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June 2017

The Night Shall Become Like Day


Front Steps

The newly modified lights are really burning brightly!

The two stairway lanterns have been modified from their candelabra configuration to a regular bulb base and now can accommodate many different kinds of bulbs with much higher lumen output and much longer life.

The addition of the suspended lantern light above the door, not only makes the door visible (which had been hidden in the dark) but throws extra illumination on the top steps and landing - a much needed improvement.

These LED bulbs can still be adjusted upward for greater lumen output if necessary. We might work on the temperature of the bulbs to get a more natural look, but the lighting bollards for the landscape are the same white temperature, so for now we'll see how they work. As of now, only the 7 PM Latin Mass goers have to cope with any darkness.

Thanks for your patience while we tried other solutions until this could finally be accomplished.


The Statues in Darkness Have Seen A Great Light

Nearly all the lighting modifications to the church have been finished this week.  The newest spotlight is the one of the Sacred Heart Statue in the narthex, which now beams a radiant welcome to all who enter. 

Lighting modifications have been done to the two pole fixtures on the main stairway, replacing the small candelabra fixtures with a single, standard size which will allow us great flexibility in choosing a bulb which emits adequate lumens. In addition, a hanging lantern fixture has been added to the vestibule under our heralding angel on the outside steps to shine more light on the dark entry alcove and the upper stairway and steps. Lavish Lighting in Shrewsbury did such a great job refitting our fixtures! 


Eucharistic Adoration First Thursday Evenings


Holy Cross will begin an hour of Eucharistic Adoration on First Thursdays of each month in the church between 6:00 and 7:00 PM.

It was Jesus, Himself, who began the practice of Thursday evening prayer when he entered into the Garden of Gethsemane with his three most trusted disciples. Remembering that the disciples fell asleep and could not watch with Jesus, many of the traditional prayers have reparation for sin as their theme along with a strong intention to be present to Jesus in consolation and thanksgiving. The devotion is still closely related to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In modern times, those who practice the devotion have also emphasized Jesus' mercy and the nearby Diocese of Camden even uses a Source

Thursday evening holy hour to pray for vocations to the priesthood. 

One tradition insists that the Holy Hour be offered from 11 PM to midnight on Thursday, but in researching pastoral practices, churches seem quite flexible in the times the holy hour is offered. We can adjust the time of the hour according to suggestions. It should allow some people to be home from work and school, occur before most parish meetings and activities for the evening and not be so late that people are too tired. 

We'll have a host of prayer resources on hand, but the time will be silent and reserved for individual prayer. This could change, depending on the movement of the Holy Spirit. It will also likely be expanded to include every Thursday evening, perhaps at the end of summer.

Please join us and keep watch with Our Lord for one hour.

Additional Ambo Hand Railing and Window Guard Rails

The installation of the additional ambo handrail into the sanctuary and the guard rails on each of our stained glass windows has been completed. The hand railing is to help those who have difficulty getting into the sanctuary with an extra boost. No longer will you need to use the column (often partially blocked by planters.)

I overheard someone ask "Are people trying to get out?" when they saw the new window guards. Actually, they are a discouragement for those who find the need to sit on the window sills or boost their children to stand on them in order to see the windows. Please do not do either. The windows are vulnerable on the inside, since they are not protected by interior glass. The window sills themselves have also been broken.


Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Our novena prayers to the Sacred Heart culminate in the solemnity of today's celebration.

Every pope in modern times has affirmed devotion to the Sacred Heart, an idea which when it was first introduced to the church after almost one hundred centuries seemed strange to some. It is difficult to trace the roots to the devotion, but some feel it began with the piety surrounding the wounds of Christ, of which his wounded heart always held primacy. It was His last; it was His deepest. Critics of the devotion thought that reverence to a body part, especially a human body part of Christ denied his full divinity and was akin to some practices in nature worship. Many Protestants and even Eastern Orthodox Christians avoid this devotion. 

There is a long list of saints and blessed who promoted the devotion, including the Jesuit and Dominican orders themselves. Most famously perhaps, the revelations of St. Mary Mary Alacoque popularized the devotion and popes, especially since Pius XI have written about it, grounding devotion to the Sacred Heart on solid theological and ecclesial footings. Saint Pope John Paul II's writings are particularly suited for the modern reader. 

At least two essential elements mark the devotion to the Sacred Heart: reparation and mercy. We cooperate with the reparation of sins by Jesus whenever we offer prayer and penance for the indifference or offenses of ourselves or others. We are also bathed in an endless font of mercy and forgiveness by the blood and water flowing in love from Christ's wounded side. 



Statues of Saints for Notre Dame High School


The principal and chaplain of Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville would like to have a statue of a saint in every classroom along with a description of the statue to promote knowledge and devotion to our many inspirational saints.

The statues should be between 24 to 36 inches tall. Email a photo or description of the statue to the parish Webmaster and we will forward them to Notre Dame. I presume they would limit the statues to a variety and not want too many of the same saint. Hopefully, your saint statue can find a new home and educate our Catholic youth at the same time!


Blessed Father's Day



A Prayer for Christian Fathers

Heavenly Father,
you entrusted your Son Jesus,
the child of Mary,
to the care of Joseph, an earthly father.
Bless all fathers
as they care for their families.
Give them strength and wisdom,
tenderness and patience;
support them in the work they have to do,
protecting those who look to them,
as we look to you for love and salvation,
through Jesus Christ our rock and defender.



It was great to see so many fathers and their families at mass today! God bless us all!

Last School Mass For 2016-1017 and Last Day Of School

It was a pleasure to celebrate mass this morning with parishioners, students, faculty and parents in attendance to give thanks for the blessings we have received this year. On hand were our retiring principal, Mr. Bill Belluzzi and our incoming principal Dr. Mark DeMareo. Dr. DeMareo will be informally greeting faculty and students this morning before final dismissal. 

Let us pray for everyone to have a healthy and joyful summer and to grow as Jesus did in wisdom, age and grace!

Fr Manning


New Altar Servers In Training

Mrs. Kabash and Susan Symington are diligently working with those children who have volunteered to become Altar Servers to prepare them for this important parish ministry.

There's still plenty of room for new servers in grades 4 through 8 and including high school. Serving at the Lord's Table is an immense privilege and cannot but help bring one closer to Christ.


School Getting Ready To Dive Into Summer Vacation!

Diving_board_131981Today is a half-day of school and many classes will take the time not only to clean up their classrooms, but also to bid goodbye to our principal Mr. Bill Belluzzi. 

Our new principal, Dr. Mark DeMareo, will have his formal meeting with our faculty tomorrow on the last day of school.

Tomorrow is the official last-day-of-school starting off with our the last school mass of this academic year at 9:00 AM in the church. All parishioners are invited and we hope to see many parents there to give thanks to God for the blessings we received this past year and to ask God's protective care during the summer months.


New Round Window Installed

The reconfigured round window was delivered and installed today and looks terrific.  It is not visible from the interior of the church, but will be illuminated at night and visible from outside the church. Besides preventing an unhindered view of the church attic, it will shine a beautiful harmony of light from the church steeple.



Interior daylight view from bell tower

Novena To The Sacred Heart Of Jesus

Sacred heartToday we began a novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus initiating nine days of prayerful preparation before the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart on June 23rd. It is celebrated on the date asked of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque during the apparitions to her of the Sacred Heart. 

The practice of novenas may originate from the Roman custom of honoring their dead for 9 days. Indeed, novenas of mourning are still one of the popular type of novena prayers - recall the novena published by the USCCB after the death of St. Pope John Paul II. But there are other types of novenas as well: preparation for a feast, prayers for specific intentions or to obtain indulgences.

We began praying the novena when St. Pope John Paul II designated the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart as a day of worldwide prayer for the Sanctification of Priests. 

Join us in public prayer or private devotional prayer for the Catholic priesthood and our priests.



Second Monthly Fatima Prayer Indulgence

Tuesday, June 13th was the second monthly anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima indulgenced by Pope Francis. We prayed them after the 9:00 AM mass as a group, but our statue is exposed for veneration all day.

There is an interesting book on the challenges of crafting a statue according to the directions of Sister Lucia, the visionary who survived the longest, written by the priest-sculptor, Fr. Thomas McGlynn: Vision of Fatima  has been recently re-published. It gives good insight on the apparitions, Sister Lucia's personality and the variations in the public images of the apparitions.

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Lighting Work For Church This Week

Workers will be on hand this Thursday to repair the two lighting bollards which were mowed down during snow plowing, adjust the lights on St. Joseph and St. Mary and add a dimmer, install a light on the Sacred Heart Statue in the narthex and hang an additional lantern lamp under our angel statue at the main entrance. This lamp will provide greater illumination for the vestibule and upper church stairway. The pole lanterns on the church steps will also be reconfigured for brighter lamps and safer night time visibility.

We have been informed there is a delay in fabricating the organ pipes for the choir loft, though the cabinet is painted and ready to be installed. No date for installation of the ambo handrail and protective rails for the aisle windows.


Church Mini-Rose Window To Be Installed Wednesday

OculusWindowOn Wednesday, artisans from Beyer Studio will be at Holy Cross to install the new stained glass window in the oculus on Ward Avenue. 

The original, small round window was fractured in many places and had a hornets nest in between the panes of glass. Its wooden frame was rotted. Some of the glass was preserved and included in the new, larger window design. 

It should lend a more beautiful, finished appearance to the illuminated church facade on Ward Avenue.


Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

For the weekend masses we had our icon of Rublev's Trinity in the sanctuary. It used to hang in the atrium to the chapel over the baptismal font while the new church was under construction.

It's a beautiful meditation on the mystery of the Trinity, including even the simple identification of which of the figures represents Father, Son and Holy Spirit.