This Week in Prayer, Service & Community - August 23, 2019


This Week – August 23, 2019

Dear All:

Christ’s Peace!

Limited Edition? Not really. More of “Limited Content.” Staff and volunteer vacations mean that neither the recorded version of the homily nor the written summary will be coming your way this week or next. Still, we have much to report and reminders to disperse – especially the reminder that the PARISH PICNIC is just around the bend – on the afternoon of SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 8.


  • THE WOMEN’S RETREAT – Attention all women of the parish. Do what you can to be at church on the evening of Thursday, September 19. Colleen Kelly Rayner, one of the most energizing speakers in this part of our planet, will be leading the retreat “Juggling Life on One Cup of Coffee.” (Imagine a mix of Irma Bombeck, Fulton Sheen and St Therese of Lisieux.) The program starts with big hors d’oeuvres in the Parish Hall at 5:30. Then comes the very promising talk, prayer time and of course dessert and coffee. Space is limited and the tickets cost $20, to cover the cost of the speaker and the food. If the ticket price is even a little bit of an issue, please email Fr Hank and he will have a complimentary ticket ready for you. No questions asked. It would be very excellent if this event marked the start of a long and wonderful back-to-school tradition for the women of Saint Joe’s.

  • THE BOOK OF MASS INTENTIONS – The Book of Mass Intentions is just about ready to be opened for next year. Check here and in the bulletin for details. The first Monday in October looks like the most likely date. Once again, so that we can satisfy the needs of as many parishioners as possible, we will limit the number of intentions each parishioner can request in the first few months of the year. The opening limit, along with the multiple intentions at the 9:30 Sunday and 8:35 Tuesday Masses worked out very well last year. We seem to have it just about right – at least for the time being!

  • REMEMBERING YOUR DECEASED LOVED ONES – For a variety of reasons, we will be starting over with our list of names of deceased loved ones. Between September 15 and October 15 you will have a chance to submit the names of loved ones you want us to remember in November’s Masses. We will not be using the lists of recent years. Stay tuned for details. Praying for our deceased loved ones is an important part of our mission as baptized priests, prophets and kings.


  • THANKS TO OUR EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS – Despite all the wonderful travel that summer brings, our EMs have managed to serve in ample numbers at just about every Mass. Rare is the Mass when I need to request EM volunteers from the altar. The EM ministry is at once one of the most privileged ministries in the church and one of the most down-to-earth. If you have served as an EM this summer, thank you. You provide a priceless service.

  • TWEAKED E.M. PRACTICE – In an effort to resolve two minor problems that can sometimes distract us, we have tried an experiment at the 4:45 and the experiment has gone remarkably well. Chances are good that we will expand it to the other Masses after Labor Day. It simply organizes where EMs stand when they come up to stand around the altar at the Lamb of God (when they receive the vessels from the celebrant). Those distributing the Body of Christ stand on the choir-side of the altar and those serving the Blood of Christ stand on the server-side. Also, we use an additional chalice just for the host EMs and the priest. That assures that all chalices are full when brought to the congregation. BIG thanks to the 4:45 EMs for making the experiment so easy. If you are an EM at one of the other Masses, stay tuned.

  • PASS ON THE GOOD NEWS! What good news? The Good News of Jesus Christ and our Catholic faith! Religious Education has a number of vacancies that we are hoping to fill before classes begin on September 29. We provide you with training, materials, and tons of support. Please contact Jim Jungels at or 908-874-3141 x224 for more information!

    • We are looking for 6 teachers/co-teachers for our 7th-grade students. This is our BIGGEST need.

    • We also have openings for teachers for Grades 3 and 4 on Sunday, and Grades 3, 5 and 6 on Thursdays.


  • THE PARISH PICNIC – In case you missed the notice above – it is the afternoon of Sunday, September 8. It will provide all the marvels of recent years PLUS some new excitement. It is a truly terrific way to launch the “new year” in the company of old church friends and new church friends.

  • SAINT JOE’S NIGHT AT PATRIOT STADIUM – Yes. We can extend our summer bliss. It just takes a little planning! And plan we have. Join your fellow parishioners and the Somerset Patriots on Saturday, September 21 – yes, it’s still technically summer until Sept 23. It can be a night of great fun for the entire family. Gates open at 6 pm and the game begins at 7:05 pm. Win or lose the game ends in fireworks, real pyrotechnic fireworks. The discounted ticket price for parishioners is $8. Tickets will be available for advance sale after weekend Masses. Again, if you would like to take your family but the money is very tight, please let Fr Hank know how many complimentary tickets you require.

  • PARISH HALL SCRUB-UP – It looks like we are running a few days ahead of schedule for the Parish Hall scrub-up – new ceiling tiles, repair of the walls, and a fresh coat of paint. EXTRA BIG THANKS to the parishioners who made the scrub-up possible. The big reveal will be at the picnic.

  • CHANGE IN TRAFFIC PATTERNS – Since it is generally a very poor idea to put the Lord Our God to the test, we will soon be making some changes in traffic flow. We have had way too many near misses by the front door to continue to leave that bit of safety to God. The problem occurs when people turn left from the entry drive into the main parking aisle across from the front door. We’ve had a half dozen near tragedies this summer alone. You will soon be able to enjoy the view of flower pots across that driveway. Thanks for understanding and thanks for your concern for all parishioners.

  • YOUR PARISH REGISTRATION – Thanks to the superb work of Kelly Mackiw, we have completed Stage 1 of cleaning up our parish records. Through no one’s fault, our records have become outdated and a little misleading. You will soon have a chance to review your records and make the corrections. Accurate records ultimately enables us to be even more of the parish Jesus calls us to be. Thanks!

  • THE BLESSINGS OF THE BRAINS AND ASPIRATIONS – Attention all students in grades K-22 (kindergarten through grad-school). We will once again celebrate the Blessings of the Brains and Aspirations in early late September or October – to bless you on your way into the new school year. Think well about what physical object best sums your hopes for the new year.

  • FOLDMATES’ NAMES – The name cards will be back in the pews in early September – as we begin one of our three yearly efforts to learn the names of a few more fold-mates. The name-learning will occur before Mass in September, Advent and Lent. The goal is to extend the sign of peace – by name – to everyone within shouting distance of your regular seat. Thanks for being such good sports.

  • CHURCH TRAVEL – OK – before we return to the standard (and very uplifting) version of “The Pastor’s Brag,” we need to hear about churches you have visited this summer and one thing you really liked about them. A few of the early returns have been outstanding – people mention memorable experiences and practices we might want to implement here – in churches as near as Maryland and as far away as the Canadian Rockies, the Philippines and Israel. Email me with your memorable church experience soon.

With all best blessings for your summer’s home stretch.

Fr Hank