Save the date:
Tuesday, December 5th 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Saint Alfonso Retreat House, West Long Branch
$ 35/person includes lunch and refreshments
Three Redemptorist priests will preach the retreat which concludes with Mass at 2:30 P.M.
Confession will be available.
When it is full, they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good
What is bad
they throw away.
Communion is as necessary for us to sustain our Christian vitality
as the vision of God is necessary to the angels to maintain their life of glory.
St. Peter Julian Eymard
It's not specifically Christian, so there are the usual articles against hierarchical and organized religion, but these are occasional and can usually be avoided easily should the reader choose.
In the summer film issue, notable writers and directors give their recommendations for must-see films of faith. Even reading the story lines of the recommended movies gives much food for thought.
For Christian reviews and recommendations, check out Josh Larsen's Movies are Prayers or visit a website he edits, Think Christian . Larsen's reviews are insightful and in the spirit of mainstream Christian thinking.
The US Bishops have re-issued a call to American Catholics to pray and fast on Fridays for the protection of all human life, religious liberty and the dignity of marriage and the sacrament of matrimony.
One suggestion is to abstain from eating meat on Fridays (just like the olden days).
Holy Hours, rosaries and specific times for family prayer, e.g. around the shared table are other worthy suggestions.
Visit their website for other suggestions:
Join us for all or part of the Holy Hour on this coming Thursday, the vigil of First Friday. Since Jesus' Gethsemane prayer, this is a day of prayer for reparation and mercy and watchful waiting with our Lord.
It will be a quiet hour of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for those who choose to wait and watch with the Lord.
6:00 PM until 7:00 PM
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.
A Prayer for Christian Fathers
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!
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.
Today 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.
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.
Let us pray for the dead and honor their sacrifice for our freedoms.
Numerous intrepid prayers gathered despite the driving rain to pray the outdoor Rosary this past Saturday.
They were able to seek some shelter from the rain under the school's porch and still remain visible to passers-by as a visible witness to the power of prayer, especially the Rosary.
To obtain the plenary indulgence, the faithful must fulfill the ordinary conditions: (1) go to Confession and Communion,(2) be interiorly detached from sin, and (3) pray for the intentions of the Holy Father, usually the Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Glory Be.
"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints (canon 992 and Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1471).” A plenary indulgence is a complete remission of temporal punishment due to sins and is limited to one per day.
To the faithful who visit with devotion a statue of Our Lady of Fatima solemnly exposed for public veneration in any church, oratory or proper place during the days of the anniversary of the apparitions, the 13th of each month from May to October 2017, and there devoutly participate in some celebration or prayer in honor of the Virgin Mary. In addition, the faithful must pray the Our Father, recite the Creed and invoke Our Lady of Fatima.
A statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be exposed at Holy Cross Church in our sanctuary for public veneration beginning tomorrow, May 13th.
Yesterday we held the organizational meeting of Holy Cross School Principal Search Committee. The members of the Search Committee are:
|Beth Camillone||PTA Representative, Outgoing PTA President, School parent|
|Bruce Eagelson||Parishioner representative, Member School and Parish Finance Councils, Member Faith in our Future Core Committee|
|Dr. Chris Huss||School parent, member Holy Cross School Board, Principal Millstone Township Middle School|
|Teresa Makin||School Parent Representative, Public Relations Coordinator|
|Mrs. Carol Bathmann||Principal, St. Dominic's School, Brick, New Jersey|
Fr. Manning and Dr. Margaret Boland of the Catholic Schools Office in Trenton are ex officio members of the committee.
Chris Huss has agreed to serve as Committee Chair and Teresa Makin as Secretary.
Advertisement for the position will be placed in media outlets next week. Deadline for receipt of applications is March 15 and the first round of interviews will be March 21 and 23.
Our first meeting was cordial, optimistic and mission-oriented. Please continue to pray for the right individual to lead Holy Cross School as principal to come forward.
Each year the resources available on the USCCB website get better and better.
Be sure to check out the daily Advent Calendar, reflections for each Sunday in Advent and a blessing for the Advent wreath in the home.
Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk now associated with a group called Gratefulness.org, reminds us that
It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.
We're guilty of thinking the other way around, especially when we expect gratitude to spontaneously well up from an unhappy heart. To be grateful we must be observant and focus more on what we already have than what we feel need.
May we experience the joy which comes from gratitude this Thanksgiving!
It was beautiful to spend an hour last evening praying to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament with so many parishioners and their families. Thank you to Mr. Feerst and the Holy Cross Youth Group for joining us as well. It was wonderful to see parishioners of all ages come together to pray.