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December 2012

November 2012

How are poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, painter Thomas Moran and Holy Cross related?

Well, through a mountain - Holy Cross Mountain in the Colorado Rockies.

The mountain is reached only with some difficulty, and in the early days of settlement of the Western United States the existence of a mountain emblazoned with a cross was legend. Eventually explorers documented the presence of the snow-crossed mountain made famous by an early photograph by William H. Jackson and later in paintings by Thomas Moran. The mountain itself became a popular tourist destination.

William Henry Jackson
William Henry Jackson
Mount of the Holy Cross by Jackson


Thomas Moran
















Longfellow had seen both Moran's painting and Jackson's photograph and some 18 years after the death of his wife, Frances (Fanny) by accidental fire, he penned The Cross of Snow in tribute to her. Longfellow had attempted to extinguish the flames of Frances' clothing which had ignited from a candle or spark from the fireplace without success. Longfellow's face was scarred and disfigured from burns he sustained during his rescue attempt. He stopped shaving after the burns healed and photographs taken after the tragic acccident show his prominent whiskers.

The Cross of Snow

In the long, sleepless watches of the night,

A gentle face--the face of one long dead--
Looks at me from the wall, where round its head
The night-lamp casts a halo of pale light.
Here in this room she died, and soul more white
Never through martyrdom of fire was led
To its repose; nor can in books be read
The legend of a life more benedight.
There is a mountain in the distant West
That, sun-defying, in its deep ravines
Displays a cross of snow upon its side.
Such is the cross I wear upon my breast
These eighteen years, through all the changing scenes
And seasons, changeless since the day she died.


Nativity Scene on the Move

Religion_barn_108056Since we lost our beautiful evergreen tree which has been decorated as our Christmas tree in the hurricane, we are scouting around another location near the church for the Nativity Manger.

We're thinking about the space between the Carriage House and the South entrance to the church.The manger scene would also be near the outside Advent Wreath.

We were told yesterday that Seymour, a pony who has played the part of our Christmas donkey at the Christmas tree lighting has retired. So this year, we might have an actual donkey at our Christmas tree lighting and Stations of the Creche...a good friend of Seymour.



Thanksgiving Weekend Dinner

Thanks to all parishioners who helped with our Thanksgiving weekend dinner by donating food, helping set up or serve and to our food services group for cooking up plenty of pasta!

The evening was a relaxing respite from the chaos of storm recovery and was much appreciated by those who came from Sea Bright to relax and enjoy some conversation and company.

The left overs were donated the next morning so nothing went to waste.


Church Liturgical Goods

Church_pewsDespite all the recent crisis activity, the quiet, deliberate work of shepherding our church renovation project from one step to the next has been going on. 

Early next month, our architect and pastor will visit the church in Philadelphia whose pulpit we have photographed and will also inspect some other church goods the Archdiocese has recently placed in its patrimony. A small group of liturgy committee members made a simliar trip to Newark last week.

It is interesting to consider the possibility of outfitting the church with major liturgical goods from around the same time our church was constructed, i.e. 1890's. So many of the altars, ambos, baptismal fonts from this period are not only beautiful, but also in excellent condition.


A Place At The Table

A Place At The Table: A Thanksgiving Table ShareA Place At The Table


A Place at the Table: A Thanksgiving TableShare is searching for families affected by Hurricane Sandy who are in need of a place to have Thanksgiving dinner.

A Place at the Table matches those displaced by the recent hurricane with host families who are willing to provide a warm, welcoming home and an honored place at the Thanksgiving table

If you know of any families or individuals that are in need of a warm meal and good company this Thanksgiving, please have them (or help them) visit our site and put in a request to be matched. The attached PDF file is a flier that can be printed out and hung up or handed out to those who need it.

Thank you so much and Happy Thanksgiving,

A Place at the Table: A Thanksgiving TableShare


What a terrific idea!  Click on the link to go to the group's webpage.

Perhaps something similar can be organized in Rumson?


Holy Cross Update 11/12/2012

Thanks everyone for your patience in the parking lot! We were trying to divert contractors and others from using Holy Cross parking during school hours and using the "grassy knoll" on Ward and Rumson instead which is open for public parking.

It is important for us to control vehicles entering our parking lot from unexpected places and at  unexpected times from speeding. Please believe me when I say it's been a bit of a free-for-all for the last two weeks and cooperate with any traffic delays or requests to slow down.

Tomorrow the FEMA trailer is scheduled to be removed from Ward/Rumson knoll. I'm not sure about the Marine Corps tent or the mobile home/trailer also on the lot. Late in the afternoon, a red Fios tent appeared staffed by three employees from Fios with information on how to restore service, etc. 

Plans to open Sea Bright without restriction were postponed until Wednesday to give additional time for property owners to secure their property. There will still be a roadblock in place at Rumson and Ward tomorrow, Tuesday.

It was great to see the children again! I was able to visit all the lower grades and stop in during lunch while the upper grades were in the gym. I prayed a Hail Mary with each class. There is a small statue of Mary which was found on the beach in Sea Bright and was placed in one of the utility trailers storing food and clothing. That statue was brought to the tent where we said mass and had Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in Sea Bright yesterday and was on the altar. I'm not sure about the final plans for the statue, but we'll work to be sure that they're special and keep you posted.

Efforts to provide up to the minute, needed relief of specific supplies and help with food purchases are being coordinated through Lori LaPlante in the Parish Office in cooperation with the PTA and parish Social Concerns Committee and volunteers. Please call to give or receive help. 

 Funding from the  Diocesan collection will be through Catholic relief agencies with needs assessment procedures and financial accounting practices in place, e.g. Catholic Charities, St. Vincent dePaul Society, etc. These organizations have a long history of helping Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Please help dispel the ignorant rumors that aid will be available only to Catholics.

Updates for School Traffic On Monday 11/12

Sea Bright Borough will not be freely opened to traffic until perhaps Wednesday. Too many properties in Sea Bright are freely exposed and unable to be locked which precludes giving free access to properties all over the borough. 

Accordingly, traffic may be more complicated at Ward and Rumson and we can anticipate that many people will be parking in our lot to load/unload and stage their operations in Sea Bright if traffic across the bridge is bad.

There is parking on the grassy knoll. Parents are encouraged to car pool in order to minimize the number of cars. 

Thanks to the parishioners who came across the bridge with us this afternoon for Mass and to pray with residents of Sea Bright and rescue workers. 


Weekend Mass Schedule November 11 -12

Just a review since the updates can sometimes get lost in other messages 

        Saturday    5 PM mass    

         Sunday    7:30 AM, 9 AM, 10:30 AM, 12 noon 

                        7 PM Latin mass

        CCD is cancelled. All masses will be held in Holy Cross Church.

        Please try to arrive a bit early for mass as parking may be difficult since so many stranded vehicles         remain in our parking lot.

        School opens Monday.

        Let us continue to pray. It will be so important to gather as God's family this weekend please make         every effort to join us.

Bishop O'Connell's Statement On Upcoming Diocesan Monetary Collection

A special collection will be taken in all parishes of the Diocese of Trenton on Nov. 17 and 18 to help fund the Hurricane Relief Effort now underway.  All monies collected will be distributed to parish-based and other Catholic social service agencies in the diocese so that they may respond to the most pressing immediate needs of residents impacted by the storm.  Funds will also be allocated to assist hurricane victims with their long-term needs as they begin to rebuild their lives.  One hundred percent of the funds collected will go to the relief effort.  Please be generous.

Holy Cross School and Parish Update Friday, November 9th

School will reopen on Monday.  Many of our teachers gathered today in the school with our principal to organize their classrooms and discuss strategies for the reopening of school. 

We will be working with the Rumson police to ensure a well organized traffic pattern.

Parish staff and volunteers made progress on compiling a list of flooded homes and will be organzing a phone call team to contact as many parishioners as possible, both to offer reassurance and to help in aligning material resources. We will help identify familes who need assistance and serve as an additional source to put these families in touch with other parishioners who can provide support. This will be especially needed for those parishioners living in Rumson or Sea Bright whose social network is not as extensive as others.  Mrs. Lori LaPlante is the coordinator for these efforts at the parish offices. Our phone and email systems are working as the parish now has electric power. 

The diocese and parish will conduct a second collection on November 17/18 to help those affected by the storm. Many of our parishioners are victims of the storm; many are also in a position to offer financial assistance. Bishop O'Connell has directed that all parish contributions be made to the Diocesan relief fund, which will disburse the funds through Catholic organizations which have both the capacity to assess need and who can account for the donations with adequate bookeeping procedures, e.g. Catholic Charities, St. Vincent DePaul Society, Project Paul, etc.

Almost all goods the Church took custody of from volunteers delivering them from Florida have been disbursed through OEM officials and local officials from Sea Bright. Many, many cases of donated bottled water will be removed tomorrow and reserved for their use. 

All masses will be held in the Church this weekend, including the Latin mass at 7 PM. 

CCD is cancelled this weekend.

Parking may be challenging as many spots in the parking lot are occupied by stranded vehicles. Please try to arrive for mass early.

Ongoing parish recovery efforts will be coordinated by parish staff, our Social Concerns committee and concerned familes of our PTA and our parish. One of the most crucial missions of our school employees and teachers is to create a secure and nurturing environment for our children and get on with their educational needs. Using existing parish structures and parish staff to organize recovery efforts will help us reach everyone who needs it, coordinate resource allocation and help our school faculty, students and staff to return to normalcy.

Thanks to everyone for their prayers and offers of assistance. The parish is grateful to our business manager, Roger Trendowski, our maintenance workers, our sacristan and our parish staff for tireless efforts to keep our school basement pumped, our facilities safe and secure during the blackout and  to smooth the way for the opening of school on Monday. It's amazing what you can do without electricity when you must.

So many volunteers helped at Bingham Hall and in other ways to offer material and spiritual support. The National Guard troops were effusive in their praise of local citizens for their generosity and cooperation. In all that we do, let continue to pray to Christ for the strength to help and the willingness to care.