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February 2022

I Want the Cross, Not a Sprinkle

I Want the Cross, Not a Sprinkle

When you give me my ashes

Please use your thumb

In my humble opinion

Sprinkling is dumb.


Ash that is sprinkled will get in my hair

And stick to my product

And glue itself there.

I fashion my coif

With the greatest of care

So give me my ashes

But please, watch the hair.

Poll: Ashes on the Forehead or Sprinkled on the Head?

The most ancient use of ashes in prayer was as a a sign of lamentation and grief, often accompanied by the wearing of sackcloth. The ashes were almost wallowed in and sprinkled, especially on and about the head.
Later the use of ashes developed as a sign of sorrow and penance, especially for those who had committed publicly notorious sins and were enrolled in the Order of Penitents. The penitential imposition ashes on Ash Wednesday stems from this tradition..
Perhaps during the Protestant Reformation, the practice of imposing the ashes on the forehead of Catholics developed as a way of distinguishing Catholics and as a particular public witness of the faith.
During the pandemic, recourse to the ancient practice of sprinkling ashes on the head was made by many dioceses to avoid contagion with touch. One obvious difference is that the imposition of ashes on the forehead is a publicly visible sign, while the scattering of ashes on the top of the head is invisible.
We mostly avoided sprinkling because to avoid surprising people with ash in their hair and used cotton applicators last year.
What do you think, sprinkled on the head or imposed on the forehead?


Ash Wednesday Poll



Mask Mandate to Be Lifted for Schoolchildren in March

Our parish poll shows 60% in favor of eliminating mandatory masks on the part of the priest and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.

As you may know, the school mask mandate imposed by the governor is scheduled to be rescinded in early March. The school children have been wearing masks in the church for mass, since technically, they are at a school supported activity when in church as group. When this obligation ceases, it would be logical to discontinue wearing masks at daily mass for the priest as well. 

I think the change will also come to Sunday Mass not long after that, depending on circumstances in the next few weeks.



Tree-Mendous Job

Work crews removed the trees at Ward Avenue and Rumson Road on the property which has been placed under easement by the County for the new bridge. They did a quick, efficient and neat job without too much disruption of school or traffic.


View From the Altar

When Mass is celebrated for a martyr, Jesus' sacrifice becomes just a bit more obvious. The priest's chasuable is reflected in the corpus and parts of the altar cross. No other color reflects like red.


During the consecration, the paten often reflects the altar lights onto the host in an inspiring, grace-filled pattern.




Tree Removal on Rumson Road Underway 2/7/2022

Crews began cutting down trees lining Rumson Road for the new bridge construction today. They began with some trees on the south side of Rumson Road across the street from the school. Work will likely take several days and involve occasional delays on Rumson Road. 

It may be better for school parents and visitors to the Church  to avoid using Rumson Road for arrival and pickup.