St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr


Jesus told us that where our treasure is, there also will be our heart.

The lure of earthly possessions, reputation,  and other things which pass can attract our heart away from things which last forever.

St. Lawrence had it right when he counted not the possessions of the church as its riches, but its people gathered around Christ - especially its poor, sick and powerless.

We can profess our love for God, family and brothers and sisters in Christ, but our heart may have been tempted away from them.

Let us pray today, that we keep our hearts in the right place - centered in Christ.



Edith Stein, Saint Sr. Benedicta of the Cross

A photo of Edith Stein before her professed life as a Carmelite nun, and later as Sr. Benedicta of the Cross. Edith was born a German Jew and distinguished herself as an excellent scholar, eventually becoming as associate of Edmund Husserl, the famous philosopher. An interesting aspect of the school of Phenomenology was its analysis of events and issues as we encounter them, suspending any preconceived notions or prejudices. Some think this is why she became open to Catholic teachings, eventually embracing them completely and converting  to the Catholic faith. 

She entered the Carmelite order in Germany, eventually being transferred to a Carmel in Holland as the Nazis rose to power in Germany. For a short time, she lived safely in the obscurity of the convent, even after Hitler invaded the Netherlands, composing, at the direction of her superiors, a work she entitled "The Science of the Cross," which discussed the spirituality of St. John of the Cross. In reprisal for the Pastoral Letter issued by the Dutch Catholic church against the Nazis, among the first groups of Jews sent to the gas chambers at Auschwitz from the Netherlands were thousands of Jewish converts to Catholicism, among them Edith Stein and her sister (who by this time had also converted to Catholicism and had become a Carmelite nun).

It was not only philosophical and theological ideas which attracted her to Catholicism, but the love of Jesus Christ for us. She was particularly moved when as she toured a church before her conversion, a street vendor selling flowers came into the church, put aside her flowers and spent many minutes in prayer before picking up her flowers and resuming her day. Edith wanted to be able to pray to a God with whom she could have such a personal relationship and who mattered in our everyday lives.

She is one of the patron saints of Europe - a reminder of the time when several leading intellectuals were attracted to Catholicism instead of mocking it. She experienced oppression as a woman by the German academic community and as Jew by the Nazis but was never embittered. She, along with St. Maximillian Kolbe have been called "martyrs of love" by St. Pope John Paul II.


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!


All Souls Memorial Mass

Thank you to all who helped with last evening's Memorial Mass. Our annual mass is celebrated for parishioners who have lost a loved one, particularly during the past year. Families who have celebrated a funeral mass here at Holy Cross are especially remembered. Each family is presented with a votive candle fashioned from the remains of the previous year's Pascal Candle, the one which burned at the funeral they attended.

A relaxed and friendly hospitality followed downstairs in the St. Joseph Meeting Room.


St. Francis of Assisi

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I hope we all feel a special kinship with St. Francis since we have been praising God in light bathed with the splendid colors of windows from the former St. Francis Church in Philadelphia.

Through the intercession of St. Francis may we learn to love all God's creation including all God's creatures and all the members of the human family.

St. John Vianney, Example for All

John Vianney's life can serve as an example for everyone, not only priests.

His father initially opposed his vocation, prefering him to work on the family farm. Formal study, especially Latin proved very difficult for him and he failed the entrance exam for seminary. Intercession by his parish pastor won him ordination nonetheless and John served as a curate with him until the pastor's death. His own parish was not a dream choice, by any means. Secularism had taken strong root, which John overcame with persistent work and the example of his own holy life. He felt he might be happier as a monk, and even tried to leave the parish, but was persuaded to stay where he was for the good of the people he served. 

Who has not know resentment or opposition from loved ones, difficulty at work or school, discouraging prospects for success, dreamed that changing circumstances would bring happiness? What wonderful encouragement to see an example of prayer, persistence, loyalty bear great fruit.

St. John Vianney, pray for us.


May Crowning of Mary

Holy Cross School children sang in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, recited a decade of the rosary and a litany of some of Mary's many titles and presented flowers brought from their home gardens.

Our first communicants dressed in their communion outfits and presented the flowers along with their 8th grade prayer partners.

It was the first time the statue of Mary on the church shrine was so honored.


Rumson St. Patrick's Day Parade

The Holy Cross parishioners who marched in the Rumson St. Patrick's Day Parade had a great time. This year the wind did not whip through the march and so the banners of our Irish Saints Windows were held high and finished the parade without need of repair for next year.

Thanks to our banner bearers for volunteering their time and energy. This year we added small banners announcing the identity of each of the saints. Even though the saints' names are inscribed on the windows, it is difficult to read them in the short time they pass in review.

Having noticed how many dogs line the parade route with their owners, we tried something new which turned out to be a great hit. Lori LaPlante baked St. Patrick shamrock dog biscuits with all natural ingredients and packaged them beautifully two to a bag. I handed a bag to their owners, almost all of whom seemed surprised and pleased with our offer. Even the dogs seemed to know something good was up for them! We ran out of biscuits less than half way through the line of march. More biscuits next year!

Congratulations to the parade organizers who did a fine job of keeping the parade step off on time and shepherding the numerous marching contingents to their proper places. 

Invocation St. Patrick's Day Parade
A Lucky Shamrock Biscuit Recipient
A Smile for the Camera
Our Lead Banner
Stained Glass Windows on Parade

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Before we focus all our attention on

Marble Statue of Mary in Prayer Garden
Our marble statue of Mary in the prayer garden was blessed on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Jesus’ Birth
Tonight we’re asked to consider
How Mary’s birth came about
And to honor her
And her prime place
In God’s plan
For our salvation

Not her birth exactly,
But her conception
Her very beginning
And her Divine exemption
From original sin. 
Born in the full human nature
We were intended by God
To possess from the beginning
Before greed, pride and disobedience
Entered the human family
Through our own consent

From the first moment of her existence
Divine grace kept her safe from all sin
Since she was to be the mother of Jesus

Not from a right all her own
But from a privilege...
The first to enjoy
The redemptive grace
Of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection
Even before it happened
Through a merciful act of God
Who can act in and through time
Or around and above it

It’s a lot to think about
In any time and place
But especially
During the Season of Advent
When our imaginations
Not only have Mary born
But of age, engaged
And expecting the infant Jesus

Hail Mary, from the beginning
Hail Mary, when grown and visited by Gabriel
Hail Mary, in Bethlehem with the newborn
Son of God
Hail Mary, at the foot of the cross
At the empty tomb
At Pentecost
Hail Mary this day

St. Elizabeth of Hungary School Mass

Today we celebrated a School Mass on the feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. She is one of our "window saints," in fact, a window given by the school children of Holy Cross. 

The children gathered prayers and works of mercy into spiritual bouquets which they presented before the window of St. Elizabeth, a saint revered for her acts of charity and generosity to the poor. 

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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. 


St. Michael Window Shines In Holy Cross Church


Today is St. Michael's feast day and the first time we have had a stained glass window of this saint in our church on his feast day.

Our window shows him clad in the armor of God brandishing a sword of flame and vanquishing Lucifer. On the shield above his head is emblazoned "Quis ut Deus," "Who is like God?" The scale at the top of the window recalls Michael's traditional role in weighing the souls of the just for entry into heaven. 

Beside the role of St. Michael defeating Lucifer and other rebellious angels for the battle of heaven, he has also been considered a kind of shuttle-angel, being sent to souls near death for a final opportunity to express sorrow for sins and be escorted to heaven.

Michael is invoked as the patron saint of those in the military, firefighters, police and the sick.  Pope Leo XIII added a prayer of exorcism to St. Michael at the end of the mass.

St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host cast into hell Satan and all the evils spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen


St Louis, The Saint And Our Window, Not The City

St Louis IX of France Stained Glass Window
Today we celebrate one of Holy Cross' "Window Saints." King Louis IX of France was canonized for his piety, charity to the poor and defense of the Church from Turkish incursions into North Africa and the Near East.

King Louis took St. Francis as a patron and is closely associated with the Secular Order of the Franciscans. This connection led to his being included in the collection of stained glass from St. Francis' Church which is now proudly in our possession.

He died of infectious disease during his second crusade. The advice he gave to his son is an amazing instruction to a Catholic ruler not to compartmentalize his faith from his governance.  

Let us pray to lead integral Catholic lives at work, at prayer and at play. The love of Christ should fill and overflow any and all arbitrary compartments.


Great St. Patrick's Day Parade

It was a great day for the St. Patrick's Day Parade, especially given the streak of freezing weather we had just before the parade. When the sunshine was out, it was a terrific brisk march from start to finish. It was great to see so many familiar faces watching the parade cheering us on. Thanks to our intrepid saint banner carriers and others who accompanied us in the line of march. Despite a few gusty winds, all our banners (and their carriers) finished the parade intact. 

It was perfect to be marching right behind Christian Brothers Academy pipe and drum band who sounded great!

Our Irish windows are scheduled to arrive and be installed this week.

Holy Cross Church St. Patrick's Day
Holy Cross Church in St. Patrick's Parade


Our marchers pass former Holy Rosary Church


"There's no sitting down in a parade!"