This Week in Prayer, Service and Community

May 19, 2016

Dear All:

Christ’s peace. 

FRIENDLY REMINDER: Hoe down Friday Night – 7:30. Very family friendly – Gifted dancers and clod-hopper brethren – are all encouraged to attend.

This week in prayer:

  • “Friends, Romans and Countrymen?" Not exactly. More like “Strangers, Community-members and Wrongdoers.” Sunday’s readings remind us that we have what it takes to be kind to each of these groups. We have the grace to do so. We have the juice to do so. And we generally do a good job of using that God-given ability to be kind. In what ways are you doing a great job of remembering to use the gift? Where might you be forgetting?

    The reading from Acts reports that the first thing the disciples did, after they received the gift of the Holy Spirit, was to be nice to strangers who came from many faraway places. The disciples used their newfound linguistic gifts to tell those folks all about Jesus, to invite them into the fold.

    The reading from Corinthians is part of Paul’s larger effort to persuade the Corinthians to be kind to one another, to use their gifts for the common good, not as excuses to bruise one another. As Luke focuses on kindness to strangers in Acts, Paul emphasized kindness to family and friends.

    Jesus breathes the Spirit on the disciples and immediately encourages them to go out and be kind to people who need to be forgiven. Jesus clearly has a special affection for wrongdoers and hopes His people will too.

    We generally do a great job of remembering to use the grace God gives us to be kind to strangers, our community and wrong doers. Sometimes we seem to forget that we have that gift. Where are you remembering to use it well and where might you do a little better?
  • This weekend and for the next two weekends, the bulletin reports what a fine job we as a parish are doing in terms of reaching out to people with physical difficulties. As we uphold and build on that tradition, two phrases merit consideration: “Get anointed” and “Keep us posted.”
  • I hear confessions every Saturday afternoons from 4:00 to 4:25. There has recently been a noticeable and very consoling increase in the number of people coming for the Church’s absolution and consolation. Please come by on Saturday afternoons or make an appointment. (Only Mass, funerals and anointing of the sick trump confession) And no worries if it’s been a while. There is an extraordinary grace in the words “Bless me Father for I have sinned. It’s been twenty years since my last confession.” You have nothing to fear.
  • Keep an eye peeled for the bulletin announcements about slight adjustments in our ways of praying for our fathers on Fathers’ Day.
  • Please keep praying for Baby Charlotte. She is making great strides, starting to eat on her own, and should be released from CHOP in a week or two.

This week in service:

  • The effort to collect prescription eyeglasses for people in low-income nations is going gangbusters. Please help bring this Point-of-Light project to an even more terrific conclusion: Drop your old prescription glasses in the bin in the Gathering Space.


This week in community:

  • Greatest thanks to the crew, the cast and the Violas who gave us last weekend’s gift of Godspell. You broke many proverbial legs. BRAVO.
  • Great thanks too to Susan Wund, the Colombiettes, Monica McDevitt and a small stable of helpers for the pre-Godspell subs on Saturday. A GREAT event. 
  • Check out the May edition of New Jersey Monthly Magazine. Page 38 contains a very flattering reference to our labyrinth. Special thanks toRachel Bijazyk and Betty Sommerville for getting the labyrinth all spruced up for springtime.
  • Hope to see you at the Hoedown tomorrow!
  • Cookbook – In honor of the parish’s 150th, several parishioners are producing a parish cookbook. See the insert in this weekend’s bulletin for information or click here to submit a recipe.
  • Family Day of Fitness  – if you haven’t already done so, be sure to sign up for the 5K on June 11 and click here to learn about the many fun fitness events planned for the rest of the morning! Be on the lookout after masses to sign up for lots of great events! Not to be missed.

As I said last year, I think it is a very healthy practice for the priest to spend one weekend a year away from the parish. That away weekend away is this weekend. I will be with high school friends in California. So no “This Week” next week. I will be thinking of you and saying some prayers for you. Do the same for me.

Best blessings

Fr. Hank, SJ