Newly Ordained Priest to celebrate Thursday Morning's Mass

Fr. Jerome Guld, a newly ordained priest for the Diocese of Trenton, will visit and celebrate tomorrow morning's regular 9 AM mass. Father had visited our school many times as a diocesan seminarian and after mass will visit with as many classes as his schedule permits. He will be accompanied by another familiar face to our school students, Seminarian Richard Osborn, who will also visit with our students.


Pastoral Visits to 2nd Grade

AzhandsraiseYesterday my visits to the Second Grade happily coincided with 2A's reception of the Holy Cross Mass Attendance Award.

The personality of each class is sometimes very different, partly based on the teacher's methods of teaching and the mix of the childrens' personalities. Yesterday someone in each of the classes asked "When will the new church be ready?" So, of course, that was quite a discussion. Mostly though, they were interested to tell me stories. While we were looking at the mass attendance graph in Mrs. Huthwaite's classroom on the whiteboard, I was impressed that the children seemed to easily interpret the bar graph. It seems to me that was a lesson saved for much later in the "olden days" when I was in grammar school.

For some of these classroom meetings, I generally let the questions drift around a bit, making a teaching point here or there as the opportunity presents. At other times, their studies in religion, or in this case, their preparation for First Holy Communion will be some conversations we need to have. 

Thanks to the teachers for preparing their classes so well. I have to read more thoroughly on the lives of the Saints now, since the classes are reading about the saint of the day before they attend mass! 




Congratulations to 2A This Week's Holy Cross Mass Attendance Award

Wow and congratulations to 2A for their terrific mass attendance last weekend of over 90%


2A Mrs. Huthwaite's Class



How exciting it will be to help these children prepare for their First Holy Communions this spring!

3B and 7A had respectable showings too. I wonder who the first class will be this year to reach 100% attendance!

Friday is Pastoral Catechesis Day for Grades 7A and 8B

As you may know, beside visiting one grade of classes per week on a rotating basis, Fr. Manning teaches a weekly session with the 7th and 8th grade Holy Cross students, half of each class per six month session.

Sometimes the sessions cover topics selected by the teacher, the pastor or the students themselves. Often we discuss issues raised by their studies in Religion class. On occasion the session covers any questions they may have about Church events, Catholicism and especially morals and ethics in today's world.


Altar Stone
Typical Altar Stone with Relic

Last week the 8th grade asked questions about sacred relics. This afforded us an opportunity to discuss not only what relics are, but the place of reverence for the human body even after death, the proper distinction between the respect we show these mortal remains of saints and supersition or magic, even the bizarre and sometimes less than respectful travelling exhibit Body World. The implications for the new altar and the identity of the mystery saints relics in our altar stones were also discussed. Relics are no longer required by church law to be contained in the table of the altar. Why the church believes we should bury the dead or the cremains of the dead and the relatively recent church sanction for the practice of cremation were also mentioned.




Eden or Heaven Better ?


The seventh graders asked questions about the Bible, especially Genesis, theCreation and Fall, and the real Garden of Eden. The Discovery channel shows on the Bible, when properly explained, can be a good discussion starter, not only to put the claims of the shows producers in context, but to help understand the media's approach to religion and Catholicism.


No specific topics are selected today, so we'll see...

Catholic Schools Sustainability Commission


Holy Cross School
Bishop O'Connell has shared with pastors and parish administrators Part I of the final report of the Catholic Schools Sustainability Commission that he formed in March of 2012 to study the present and chart the future of Catholic primary and secondary schools in the Diocese of Trenton.


The general strategy to strenghten and sustain Catholic education in the diocese is discussed in Part I of the report. The bishop has emphasized the requirements for a viable Catholic grammar school: (a) sustained strong enrollment and (b) sustainable financial support.  The bishop's call for Catholic schools at every level to be "passionately Catholic... academically excellent and financially responsible" must not only be heard, but acted upon for Catholic schools to educate this generation of children and the next. 

Part II contains statistics concerning each school  - appropriate sections will be shared by the bishop with each pastor whose parish maintains a school.

Over the coming months, the criteria for sustainability will be circulated, discussed and explained. Each parish with a school must discern whether it can authentically commit to these goals or consider the sad, but real possibility of closing their school. Holy Cross school is fundamentally sound but we are always striving to improve; the bishop's report will help us establish additional benchmarks to measure our progress. 

For decades, both school families and parishioners without children in our school have sacrificed for the mission of Holy Cross Parish School. We can be proud of its record of academic achievement and spiritual formation. In recent years, we have been emphasizing the importance of the school's Catholic identity and have implemented many curricular and pastoral changes to help strengthen it, while at the same time strenthening the academic curriculum and modernizing the school facility itself. We are blessed with our principal's enthusiastic embrace of Catholic education, an excellent faculty and a supportive School Board and PTA. 

We must not only value our Catholic schools, but send our children to them if they are to survive. It seems rather obvious. Our budget for faculty enrichment, student activities, school environment, faculty wages and benefits is directly tied to student enrollment. If each classroom is filled with students to our stated capacity, uniquely small with an excellent faculty:student ratio for this region, not only will the students benefit from a diverse student population, but school programs, staff and facilities will flourish more comfortably with lesser increases in tuition.

Holy Cross School has been an important mission of the parish for almost half the lifetime of the parish. We can ensure it remains healthy under our watch for coming generations to cherish.

Fr. Manning


Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of the Assumption

Celebrates_christians_187009Tonight we had music in the chapel for the first time and it was great! Our trusty Clavinova doesn't take up too much physical space and sounds perfect without extra amplification. 

What better way to inaugurate sacred music in the chapel than on a feast of Mary.

We also blessed some boxwood basil, rosemary and marigolds in honor of the Virgin Mary. There is also a tradition of blessing the sea and collecting some of its water for blessing the home or swimming in the blessed waters.

Tomorrow's mass is at 9 AM in the chapel. The solemnity is a holy day of obligation.



Eucharist Ends School Year with Thanksgiving

Ckidfloatingpapers (2)This morning's parish mass was celebrated in our gymatorium and included most of our school students (the eight grade, pre-K and Kindergarten having graduated) and some of their parents. 

The mass ended with "Lift High the Cross" and the students returned to their classrooms for a final morning of goodbyes and packing up until September.

Jesus' admonition in this morning's gospel to "be perfect" might  be a tall for even just the summer months, an even greater challenge with God's help for our whole lives.

May God watch over our families now and forever.



End of Year School Mass Tomorrow Morning 9 AM

Tomorrow morning's parish mass will be celebrated in the gymatorium at 9 AM and will mark the end of the Holy Cross School year. All parishioners are invited to attend and our school students will be present at the mass as well. 

Seems only a little while ago that we began our year with hope and prayers for a fruitful academic and spiritual year.

Now we give thanks to God for the benefits we have reaped from this year and prayers for those we have sown for the future. 

Come worship with us tomorrow morning.


Pardon This Interruption

PadreWe had a little unanticipated excitement in the Parish Office and School today when a plugged up downspout backed up onto the roof over the Pre-K classroom and short circuited the fire alarm system during our most recent downpour.

Order was quickly restored and luckily everyone got to wait in the gym until the fire department gave the all clear.

Thanks to our school principal and teachers and our students for their commendable behavior during the rain delay and to our maintenance staff for unclogging our drain. Rumson's Fire Department is always there when you need them.

Do you think we should begin building an ark alongside the church?


You Know It's Time For Graduation

when the pastor has a stack of diplomas on his desk for signatures.

when you see graduation gowns hanging in the 8th grade classroom.

when final exams are almost finally complete.

when you really are glad the new wing is air conditioned.

Everyone is getting excited about graduation next week. Congratulations to our 8th graders and their parents. 

Update Parish Information November 7th 10AM

Holy Cross church and school are all powered up!!

Tentative schedule

    Holy Cross school reopens Monday for students pending busses, etc.

    Holy Cross School teachers report Friday, school office opens Friday.

    Holy Cross parish offices are open; mass schedules are as usual.

    There is Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament today until noontime. Longer if people arrive or     bring a schedule for adoration.

    Parish email appears to be working.

    Parish phone system appears to be working although message taking and phone mail might not     be 100%.

    The church is and has been open; we will lock the church at 4 PM until further notice.

    The source for all storm related information other than Holy Cross parish is Bingham Hall and     Borough Offices.

    Holy Cross is NOT accepting materials or goods at the present time. One problem everyone had     been having with the local shortages of gasoline has been delivering the goods to places that     need them. Many places were already not accepting certain kinds of donations (e.g. clothes) and     some not accepting anything. Check before bringing anything to your intended destination.

    Holy Cross school is not a distribution center for food or clothing at the present time.

    Public access to Sea Bright is closed for two days.

    All Holy Cross parish events other than masses are cancelled until Monday.



First Grade Children at 10:30 AM Mass

Rbp090323clbjIt was terrific to see so many of our young children at mass this weekend, especially at the 10:30 AM mass, where the first graders were especially invited to share in prayer and after-mass hospitality. All the children were so reverent and well-behaved.

Thanks to our Hospitality Committee who set up the refreshments, to our Religious Education and School teachers who supported the children by their attendance, and of course, to their parents for making sure their children are being raised in the practice of the faith.


Survey: The Sustainability of Our Catholic Schools

In the 2011-2012 school year, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., created a Commission for the Study of the Sustainability of Our Catholic Schools.  Among the tasks, members of the Commission were charged to  investigate the short and long term viability, vitality and vibrancy of our Catholic schools and to develop clear and consistent criteria to be used in an ongoing analysis and evaluation.

The Commission is being guided by Dr. John Convey, consultant and professor at The Catholic University of America.

To gain perspective and to learn the views of the broader public, surveys are being  forwarded  to stakeholders.  Your input and perspective are valued and important as the tasks of the Commission move forward.  Your assistance is requested in completing the survey which can be accessed at the link below:

Catholic Schools in Trenton Survey


Thank you for expressing your thoughts relative to Catholic schools in the Diocese of Trenton.

Holy Cross School Mass on Friday for the Opening of the Academic Year


Tomorrow morning at 9 AM in the gymatorium, we will celebrate mass with the school children and faculty to officially inaugurate the opening of the school year. This is also our usual daily mass, so parishioners are, of course invited as well. We hope  that many of our school parents will be able to pray with us Friday morning.

Remember the song, "We're all in our places with sunshiny faces...?"  So far, the opening of school has gone smoothly except for a few glitches - school bus problems and the like. But it won't be long before everyone settles into a smooth routine and the bumps are smoothed out.


Principal and Holy Cross Faculty Gather for Mass

Holy Spirit

This morning at the 9 AM mass, our Holy Cross Faculty and Mr. Bill Belluzzi, our new principal, gathered for the celebration of the Mass. It was great seeing old and new faces alike. When the teachers all come together, their impressive numbers remind us how many faculty and employees labor to make Holy Cross School such a special place.

Fr. Manning asked for the continued insiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit on all our faculty and for the Christian virtue of Hope to undergird all our efforts.

Tomorrow the children are welcomed to the school, beginning with half day sessions.


Is Everybody Ready?

If the floors arBooks_for_school4e getting a new coat of sealing wax, it must be close to first day of school!

Anticipation is high, enrollment is up and we're excited for the beginning of this new chapter in the life of our parish school.

Class assignments were distributed earlier this week and teachers will be putting the personal touches on their classrooms.

We've even had a few simulated classes with children volunteers to observe some potential faculty members teach a model lesson.

With art camp and sports camps the building has never been truly asleep, but it is surely amazing how quickly it springs to life when our students gather.