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May 2018

Patriotic Colors On Memorial Day

IMG_1289I was hoping my garden would cooperate with some patriotic colors on Memorial Day and the weather obliged.


Thanks to all who marched with Holy Cross' contingent in the parade or cheered along the route. I should have some pictures of the parade tomorrow.

As you can see below, I was otherwise engaged this Memorial Day. Thanks to Fr. Gaffney for helping get the day off!

Our Lady Help of Christians and St. Simon the Stylite

Today there are two interesting feast days on the church calendar; they show the need for witness in different times and places.

Our Lady Help of Christians was a feast proclaimed by the Pope Pius VII after his captivity by Napoleon was ended and Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo. The pope proclaimed the feast on a triumphal re-entry into Rome. 

St. Simon the Stylite emulated the Desert Fathers who left the world to live in seclusion and prayer by climbing atop a large stone pillar on which he remained for most of his life.

Both feasts remind us, as the reading from the letter of James reminds us in today's mass readings, to keep free of entanglement with things which are perishable and remain focused on God amid the turmoil of this world.
St. Simon the Stylite


Our Lady Help of Christians



A Puff of Smoke?


Today's reading from James isn't the kind of address you would give at a typical graduation or ordination. Congratulations on all your plans...but you are a puff of smoke! And your plans? Who knows?

People may take too much offense to listen to James' follow-up: Make you plans in and for the Lord and then they will prosper.



Narcan Reverses Opioid Overdoses - Be Prepared By Learning Tonight


US Surgeon General

Tonight is a Narcan (naloxone) information evening at Holy Cross Church. Narcan is a prescription drug which reverses the effects of opioid overdose. It has now been manufactured in a nasal spray preparation and through the intervention of lawmakers and the Surgeon General of the United States is available for purchase at pharmacies who will issue the drug to the purchaser.


Tonight's session is a joint effort of Holy Cross Church and the Rumson Police Department. The background of the opioid problem in New Jersey and the use of Narcan will be covered. Participants will know how to administer Narcan and learn how to obtain it. Limited supply of Narcan will be available for a donation to the church.

St. Joseph's Room in Holy Cross Church

May 22, 7:00 P.M.

Presenters: Lt. Chris York, Fr. Michael Manning

St. Felix of Cantalice
St. Felix (left) and St. Philip Neri
St. Felix with his sack of alms for the poor

Friend of St. Philip Neri and acquaintance of St. Charles Borromeo, St. Felix spent his life as a lay brother in the order which would eventually become the Capuchins of the Franciscans. 

Despite no formal education, he was sought out by many for his advice and became known for his sanctity, his fruitful efforts to aid the poor and his fidelity of lifetime service. He recognized the effectiveness of teaching young children through the use of song and was seen throughout Rome singing them the catechism. 

He reportedly was favored with visions of Mary and was allowed in one of them, to hold the baby Jesus in his arms. Artists have often depicted this vision. 


Saint Giulia Salzano

GiuliaSaint Giulia was noted for her devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary and founded a congregation of nuns called the Catechetical Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to teach children about the faith and spread the love of the gospel.

Canonized by John Paul II as a saint of the "new evangelization," she reminded her sisters they must always be ready to defend the faith and teach its truths, especially to young children. She hoped this mission would be hers until her dying day.



St. Brendan the Navigator

Holy Cross Church doesn't have a window dedicated to St. Brendan, but he is pictured in one of our windows. He is shown as one of the saintly students of St. Ita, who does have a dedicated window. St. Brendan was inspired to set out into unknown waters to preach the gospel in far off lands. 

The statues in Ireland depicting him emphasize his courage and his great zeal. 

St Brendan Vikings
St Brendan Vikings


Garden Time 2018

Common Witch Hazel


Rosa Rugosa, sp. These roses are pretty hardy around these parts, but this particular variety is quite fragrant - this one bloom (also inset) spreads a sweet aroma many feet away from the plant.


Clematis augustifolia


Mock Orange


Border with Walker's Low Catmint, Phenomenal lavender, Japanese Iris, Red Knock Out Roses


Perennial Blanket Flowers in front row. You may be able to see lavender plants and Russian sages in two rows behind them.


Hosta Sum and Substance, Phenomenal Lavender, Daylillies, Husker's Red Penstemon, Forget-Me-Nots


Hedge Row of Carefree Delight Roses, Mock Orange, Rosa Rugosa and other plantings.


? Tulip and oregano


Five Spot. Good self-seeder.


Purple Phlox


Knock Out Yellow Rose. Extremely fragrant!

Many of the plants in the front yard of the rectory are now three years old. They were started from young seedlings, cuttings or seed plugs so they have taken a while to get growing. Add a few unsual storms the usual crop of bunnies and deer and you've got the usual recipe for some plants succeeding and others failing. A few clematis vines which met up with the weed wacker last year are back and look like they're happy. So perhaps this summer will be a good year for flowering and more mature plants.

The show of daffodils was delightful and they were only planted last fall. The varieties I selected were quite fragrant and the trumpets were bold and yellow. 

I try to select perennials for their hardiness and the annuals for their capacity to self-sow. Gardens are, after all, partly for us to enjoy and partly for future generations too.

May we all have good luck with our gardens and have at least some of our efforts rewarded!