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Holy Thursday: The Eucharist and A Commitment

Last Supper

Another painting by James Tissot, this one of the Last Supper using imagination from a Jewish perspective. We focus attentively and gratefully on Jesus' actions at the supper table, but his final commitment to His Father's will was to take place later that evening in Gethsemane.

Garden of GethsemaneBellini's Agony in the Garden, centuries earlier,  emphasizes the storyline of events from a third party's perspective. There isn't much concern for Christ's inner thoughts. Nor does there appear to be very much agony. We should spend some time with Jesus tonight in private prayer, small recompense for the sleepy indifference of his inner circle. 

The Kiss That Wasn't a Kiss



Wednesday of Holy Week has also been called "Spy Wednesday," since today's gospel relates the story of Judas' resolve to betray Jesus. 

For all the betrayals, little and big in our world, those we've committed and those of which we have been the victim, let us ask for forgiveness from the Lord who well understands them.

St. Joseph's Workshop on St. Joseph's Day


It was great to be able to visit with the faithful crew at St. Joseph's Workshop in Red Bank and pray with them for the continued success of their ministry of craftmanship and love.

They accept donations of wood furniture which they restore and either donate to 180 Turning Lives Around or if the piece is more valuable than practical, sell for purchasing new mattresses to accompany the bedframes they restore. Workers and volunteers also learn not only about woodworking but charity and compassion. 

Many blessings on this day and always!


Johnson and Johnson COVID Vaccine Morally Problematic


Why is the Single-Dose COVID vaccine from Johnson & Johnson Morally Objectionable?

The vaccine from Johnson & Johnson uses the direct products of a commercially available human stem cell line which was derived from a fetus aborted many years ago. Unlike the vaccines released to market so far which only used morally objectionable materials in testing their vaccine, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine uses that very stem cell line to manufacture the vaccine.

The Vatican and bishops have concluded that the other vaccines cooperate with evil (the evil of abortion) only remotely, whereas the cooperation of the new vaccine with the original abortion is more direct, hence illicit.

The USCCB has recommended that Catholics who have a choice of vaccine should elect an alternative to the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine.

Statement from the USCCB here.

Pastoral Letter From Bishop O'Connell

Practice the Presence of God

In his pastoral letter, Bishop O’Connell shares the spiritual lessons of Carmelite Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, who had been assigned the most menial tasks in the monastery. Brother Lawrence had written that he could find God in the midst of his pots and pans, adding, “Our actions should unite us with God when we are involved in our daily activities, just as our prayers unite us with him in our quiet devotions.” 


Read the full text of the letter on the Diocesan webpage, in The Monitor, or here:

  Download A Pastoral Letter On the Presence of God