This Week – June 14, 2019
A blessed Father’s Day for all. For those for whom Father’s Day is a happy occasion, may the blessings multiply your joy. For those for whom it is a sad day, may the blessings divide your sadness.
THIS WEEK IN PRAYER
PRAYERS FOR FATHERS – At all Masses this weekend, we will pray for all the fathers named in the cards you filled out. We will also have a special blessing after communion for all Fathers. Go Dads!
PENTECOST RED – Extra thanks to all who wore red to the Pentecost Masses. The color helped create a very good Pentecost vibe. Next year we might have to start leaning on the Pentecost Red project a little further in advance so more people can dust off their red duds.
SATURDAY PETITIONS – Every Saturday is a special day for the 8:35 Mass. On Saturdays, people in the congregation get to read their list of prayer intentions. The lists are impressive and are read with great dispatch and prayerfulness. If you want your intention included in the Saturday Prayers of the Faithful, either pass your intention along to one of the regulars or, better yet, come to the Saturday morning Mass.
LAST REMINDER – MICHAEL TABERNERO’S ORDINATION AND FIRST MASS – After much anticipation, it is almost time for Bishop Checchio to ordain Michael. It will be good to see many of you at Michael’s ordination at the cathedral on Saturday morning and at his first Mass here on Saturday afternoon. Remember, the line for first blessings will be shorter at the Cathedral.
June 9, 2019 — Pentecost
Millstone Missionaries Say, Part I: “You belong here.”
To listen to Sunday’s homily, click here.
To read a summary of it, go to the bottom of this page.
THIS WEEK IN SERVICE:
RESPECT-LIFE CONCERNS – Thanks and blessings for the people who helped us understand how to encourage legislation that protects babies who are born among people who do not want them. Great stuff. Thanks too to all parishioners who identified their respect-life concerns. The most frequently mentioned concern was about care for the elderly. This raises the question – “What should our parish be doing to improve the quality of life for senior citizens?”
THIS WEEK IN COMMUNITY:
THE MOTORCYCLE CLUB RIDES AGAIN – The glorious weather God provided for last week’s ride feels like a good sign to our motor-bikers – who will ride again on Sunday, June 23. They will leave from the church parking lot at 8:30 am for a scenic ride to the Clinton Diner. If you would like to join the pack, just jump on your bike and get to church. Even better, email Jeremy Goldstone at firstname.lastname@example.org to let him know you would like to ride. And everyone at the 7:15, please be extra gracious if some unfamiliar folk appear in your fold carrying their helmets.
OUTDOOR MOVIE NIGHT – Great blessings for those who were able to join the fun on Friday night for our Outdoor Movie Night Sponsored by our Becca’s Friends Ministry. It was like a Currier and Ives sketch – but better, and live, and in the summer. We had young people tossing frisbees, really young ones kicking soccer balls, wiser folks hanging in their lawn chairs, and all sorts of folk milling about, sharing bug spray (bugs were surprisingly not bad) and enjoying the food from the food truck. Extra thanks for Matt Duffek our DJ for the evening. Matt’s music made a giant contribution to the fun. And of course great thanks to the three ministries that provided the evening – Becca’s Friends, Youth Ministry, and our Young Adult Ministry. Bob Ferretti (6:00 S1) and Chris Laffoon (9:30 S6) get extra credit for setting up the movie screen, the sound system, and the food truck. Hooray for our folks!
LAST CALL — CALLING ALL GRADUATES – you still have one more week to spill the beans about your graduation. Please let me know – via this link or via the forms on the Moses Table – the high-school, college or graduate school from which you are graduating and what your post-grad plans include. I hope to post one comprehensive “Graduate List” in late June. Your fellow parishioners are eager to learn about your success and to wish you well. So let me know about your graduations.
SAGES – THIS WEEK – Thanks to Lynn Beigel (4:45 S3) and Nils Dahl (6:00 S2) for providing the seminar on how to use your smartphones. Lynn made it much easier for many to make better use of their iPhones. Nils led the explanation of Androids. I am glad for the 30 people who took advantage of the lessons. I need a few lessons to escape the category “Smartphone, dopey user.”
SAGES – NEXT WEEK – Who knew that you can use sitting time as a time to exercise? Come and find out how. Join us at the Chair Exercises Information Session on Tuesday, July 18th 11 am. Might this be the chance we have long awaited? To learn how to burn calories and tone muscles while watching TV?
Please sign up in the gathering space.
ESTATE PLANNING – Nearly 70 people turned out on Saturday morning to learn about estate planning and related issues. The general consensus was that the presentation was excellent and the learning impressive. Thanks to our Caregivers’ Ministry and the others who organized the 2-hour session.
Your Pastor’s Brag
Congratulations to Mark Demetriou and to Sean Downey. Mark is the son of Chris and Jim Demetriou (9:30 S7). Sean is the son of Kate and Mike Downey (9:30 S1). Both Mark and Sean were part of the Hillsborough High School baseball team that won the 2005 State Championship. That 2005 team was recently inducted into the 2019 Hillsborough High School Athletic Hall of Fame. The '05 team finished that season as Somerset County Champions, as New Jersey Group IV State Champions, and as the team ranked second in the entire state of New Jersey. Sean and his wife Stephanie recently welcomed their first child, daughter Fiona Marie. Mark and his wife Michelle also recently welcomed their first child, their son Jack James. Congratulations Mark and Sean. Great to have your accomplishments honored!
PLEASE KEEP THE BRAG MATERIAL COMING – MANY PARISHIONERS HAVE LET ME KNOW THAT THEY VERY MUCH ENJOY LEARNING ABOUT OTHER PARISHIONERS’ ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
With continued blessings and gratitude for all,
June 9, 2019 — Pentecost
Millstone Missionaries Say, Part I: “You belong here.”
God sends each one of us to share the good news. Chances are slim that God wants to ship us to the most distant outposts of the farthest continents. More likely, God is sending us into our local vineyards, those in Millstone, Hillsborough, etc. God wants us to be superb missionaries in our everyday encounters.
You already do a bang-up job of it. Our Mass attendance has grown more than 20 percent in the last few years. That is a remarkable statistic. The glory goes to God. The assist goes to you. Most of the new folk come in the company of friends and neighbors. It reminds me of the earliest apostles saying to others “Come and see . . . “ You have a knack for saying the right thing, the thing that helps people feel they belong here.
The readings of Pentecost and the two upcoming “Solemnities in Ordinary Time” – Trinity Sunday and Corpus Christi – highlight some “right things” that God probably wants us to say, with words or without, to the good folks we meet. The readings remind us how important it is to keep telling others “You belong here.”
Luke’s telling of the Pentecost story (Acts 2) recounts how Galileans, the movers and shakers of the earliest church, miraculously managed to share the good news in ways that non-Galileans could understand. The listeners came from all over the Ancient Near East, from Libya over to Iraq and down to Ethiopia. Their listeners had little or no ability to understand the Galileans. But the Holy Spirit solved the problem. The Holy Spirit lifted the apostles above the language barriers. People from every place, language group and culture understood the apostles. And what conveys welcome more convincingly that a welcome spoken in your native tongue? Wouldn’t those listeners have felt pretty strongly, when they heard the word in their language, “We belong here. This New Way is not just for Galileans. It is for us too.”
Sunday’s second reading (1 Cor 12) contains Paul’s forceful but subtle rebuke. The Corinthians had become bitterly divided over the foolish question of whose gifts were the best. Local custom suggested that some gifts mattered more than others. The people with the less highly regarded gifts felt marginalized. News of that mess prompted Paul to lower the corrective boom. “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God.” Translation? Every gift is a treasure. Everyone person belongs here. Stop the dismissive nonsense.
Sunday’s gospel tells John’s version of the Pentecost story (John 20). Each of the passage’s phrases could sustain years of reflection. Included in that field-of-gold passage is Jesus’ reminder “As the father has sent me so I send you.” Those ten words are themselves a field-of-gold that can be perceived in countless ways. One of those ways involves comparing the way Jesus was sent to the way John the Baptist was sent. Luke 3 depicts John the Baptist as a rather hard charger who seems to treat conversion as a prerequisite for membership in John’s community. Compare that to Jesus’ many interactions with notorious sinners. Jesus regularly establishes meaningful connection before discussing conversion. Might it be that “to be sent as the Father sent Jesus” is to create community and then work on conversion? John’s approach is more along the lines of “clean up your act and then we can talk.” To be sent as Jesus is sent is first to make connection, to let the other know, “there is a place for you in this community. There may be obstacles, but we can work it out.”
Each reading encourages us to be Millstone missionaries who tell others “You belong in our church.” I’m convinced that our vineyard crawls with people who want to join us at Mass but feel they don’t belong.
Who in your life fits that description? Is it someone who used to attend regularly and then “fell away” and wants to return? Is it someone who made a great big ugly choice that they regret bitterly and assume God will never forgive? Is it someone who was married outside the church and assumes they cannot set things straight? The parents of a gay child or friends who are gay and assume the church a priori rejects them? An addict who is craving sobriety? A new neighbor craving community? To whom in particular might the Holy Spirit be sending you to say “You belong with us at Mass”?
Our parish is the spiritual home to many marvelous Millstone missionaries. The Holy Spirit regularly tells you what to say in missionary moments. The results speak for themselves. The readings of Pentecost and the upcoming feasts shed valuable light on our missionary work. This week it is about “You belong with us at Mass.” To whom might God be asking you to say that. Keep getting them here; we will keep working it out.