Nine Days for Life Prayers Conclude Tomorrow

Usccb-9-days-round-logo-org-crcleOur Novena for Life, "Nine Days for Life," concludes with prayer after tomorrow morning's 9 AM mass. Praying each intention aloud and quietly reading the reflection gave us much to think about and an appreciation of the breadth of the Church's teachings on the dignity of human life without veering too far from the traditional groupings of concerns under this category of Church teachings.



The Conversion of St. Paul

If we ever think we can't change, we have the example of St. Paul to consider. His hatred for Christ and his followers changed to ardent love and apostolic zeal.

Is there someone we dislike, do we feel stuck in a rut of habit, routine or thinking? Can our love for Christ burn with more ardor, as the prayers from the Mass for the Conversion of St. Paul implore?

There is hope. There is Christ.

StPaulMosaic of the Conversion of Paul in Westminister Cathedral

Nine Days for Life

This morning we began praying the Novena for Life after morning mass. Please join us or participate online by clicking the link below to reach the website of the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) for the materials.

This year, for the first time ever, our president will address marchers at the March for Life in Washington, DC via satellite hookup from the Oval Office. There are still seats on the bus Holy Cross has chartered for the day trip tomorrow (Friday). Call our office to reserve and pay for your seat now.

Joining together to pray for the protection of human life at all its stages is a crucial contemporary mission. 


Nine Days for Life

Nocturnal Adoration, Wednesdays 11 PM to Midnight Beginning February 7th



Beginning Wednesday, February 7th we will resume the nocturnal adoration from 11 PM to midnight at Holy Cross Church. During Advent we always had a few faithful adorers; hopefully the word will spread and more will find the quiet time with the Lord after the day has ended fruitful. We’ll see how the reception of this interesting devotion goes and continue it for the immediate future. If more than several individuals volunteer to pray, we might take the next steps toward establishing a Nocturnal Adoration Society with its accompanying privileges and indulgences with Bishop O’Connell’s permission.

The Stone Churches of Cappadocia


The landscape surrounding the stone churches of Cappadocia seems like from another world. Today we celebrate the feast day of Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen. For centuries, monks and nuns inhabited dwellings in the desert hewn from the volcanic stone. Surely such starkly beautiful and simple images of the desert dwellings formed the spirituality of the Eastern Fathers of the Church.

Thanksgiving Prayer With Holy Cross School Children



Today Holy Cross School children in the lower grades gave thanks to God for their many blessings. Each of our 3rd grade students had drawn and colored a picture of something they were thankful for and they presented their artwork on a PowerPoint as we prayed for their intention. We prayed The Lord's Prayer and sent everyone on their way reminded to give thanks to God and to someone special in their lives.


St. Gertrude the Great

GertrudeProceeding from the central insight that Jesus is Lord and judge, but also a loving Savior, Gertrude meditated on Christ's great love for us. Her insights planted the seed in the church for the growth of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Fostering our loving relationship with Jesus requires the same measures we take to show our love to spouse, family and friends: frequent communication, times of intimacy and quiet, loving acts of sacrifice and self-donation, listening and more.


Veteran's Day Commemoration at Victory Park in Rumson

Veteran's DayIt was a brilliantly sunny but cold morning for Rumson's Veteran's Day Commemoration at Victory Park. 

God of power

       Justice and mercy

Stir up in our hearts

       A spirit of gratitude

       And respect

For those who have

       Served our nation

       In war and in peace.

May their love and sacrifice for country

       Be returned by us

       In care, support

       And remembrance one hundred-fold.

 God of compassion

Shield all who defend the cause of freedom

In our nation’s service

Gather our deceased veterans close to your heart

And protect those still in our midst with

Health in body and spirit.

Prosper the cause of freedom they served.

Inspire many to follow their example of self-sacrifice

Remembering that it is better to serve

Than to be served

All Souls Day

Candles Remembering The Dead In A Polish Cemetery

All Souls' Day is time to remember our deceased loved ones and pray they pass over to a land of rest and peace, in the words of today's opening prayer at Mass.

What gives us rest and and peace is not simply dwelling in an Eden-like place of ecological balance, but resting in the presence of our Lord and all the saints.

Our prayers, acts of penance and works of mercy can help the deceased realize their heavenly goal and have always been looked upon by the church as meritorious acts.


Mary, First Among All Saints

Adaptation of A Classic Painting, Mary Mother of Mercy, Showing Crowd From A Modern World Youth Day

On this holy day, let us implore Mary for her intercession for God's help to keep us safe, especially those who are entrusted with the public safety and the common good. Let us give thanksgiving for those who protect us and ask God's protection on caregivers and protectors.


The Living Rosary 2017 Part II

Here are more photos of the Living Rosary which give a different perspective of the liturgy itself. The children group into five decades and each wears a distinctive color chosen for that particular decade. There are usually several children making up each "bead." The framework of the rosary is a plastic chain with the appropriately colored beads, consisting of plastic hoops. 

A group of 8th grade boys carry the cross to each "bead" along with a microphone which transmits the beginning of their prayer over an outdoor speaker system to enable the other children to know when to join in with the second part of the Hail Mary, The Our Father, or the Glory Be. 


Saint Bruno, Founder of The Carthusians

St Bruno-FounderSaintStatue

Saint Bruno founded a unique form of religious life, a way of being alone - together.

Carthusians live in individual cells with their own workshop, study, oratory and garden but eat some meals and pray sometimes in community. 

Their entire day is arranged around praying, working, reading and studying for God.

Bruno was a successful administrator, scholar and advisor, but longed for a more private life to which he returned even when repeatedly called out of seclusion by a former student who became pope and needed his advice.

Bruno is shown in this statue declining nomination as a bishop and with a skull to remind him of the fleeting nature of earthly honors and pleasures.

It is a peculiar phenomenon that the very busy often find the advice of the very quiet very valuable. 




Good King Wenceslas Looked Out On the Feast of Stephen


Wenceslas and His Page


...As the lyrics to the well-known Christmas carol go. He saw a poor man gathering firewood and asked his page who the man was. The page identified the man and the king (actually Duke Wenceslas) determined to set out and bring the man food and drink on the First Day of Christmas. 

The storm intensified as the king and the page set out toward the man's dwelling and the page lost heart. The king encouraged him to follow in his footsteps without looking into the wind and he regained spirit for the difficult journey.

Today we celebrate Wenceslas' feast day, who was eventually assassinated by a pagan brother in a struggle for the throne.








St. Lorenzo Ruiz and companions were a group of Christian missionaries canonized by St. Pope John Paul II for their martyrdom under the Towogawa

St. Lorenzo Ruiz at Shrine in Nagasaki, Japan

Shogunate in Japan during the 17th century. Ruiz, a Filipino catechist, is the protomartyr of the Phillipines and their national patron saint.




Do Not Light A Lamp and Place It Under A Bushel Basket

Flame1Jesus' warning in today's gospel about whoever seems to have little it will be taken away, while to those who have, more will be given is understood in the context of the remarks about not lighting a lamp and placing it under a bushel basket or under a bed. It echoes the parable of the talents, wherein the servant who buried his talent had it confiscated upon his master's return. 

Our faith is not meant to be hidden or stashed away for emergencies only. It is to be lived and to shine as brightly as we can burn. If we only have recourse to faith rarely and bury it away, we may find that it is extinguished entirely just when we need it most.