Pastor’s Corner – 2018

From the desk of Fr. Joe Zingaro


Fr. Joe’s weekly message to his Parishioners is published in St. John’s Sunday bulletin in English and Polish.
 
Father’s most recent messages are posted below. These messages can also be found in the online weekly bulletins and on our webpage – Pastor’s Corner – All Messages.
 
Fr. Joe’s Messages for January 2018
Fr. Joe’s Messages for December 2017
Fr. Joe’s Messages before December 2017 (Archive)
 


Fr. Joe’s Posts for January 2018

 
January 14, 2018 – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
Our Christmas Season has concluded and I hope and pray everyone had a beautiful Christmas. As I said in last week’s homily, the Magi gave us a model as to how we can continue the spirit of Christmas throughout the year. Their giving to the Christ child gives us the example of how we should live our lives by sharing what we have with the poor and needy. We are called upon throughout the year to give of ourselves, to give of our time, talent and treasure and in doing so, imitate not only the magi, but the Lord Jesus who gave of himself to us. May God bless us all during this new year as we serve, love and praise God in our lives.
 
Catherine Joanne will return this Tuesday for our Spiritual Enrichment Program beginning with the mini Retreat in our cafeteria at 6:00 PM. We invite you to come for the covered dish dinner and experience an uplifting night of prayer and companionship. Bible study will take place on Saturday, beginning at 10:00 AM in the Convent (use porch entrance).
 
Our next Baptismal Class will be held on Tuesday, January 30th, in the Chapel, at 7:00 PM. Parents and Godparents who wish to have their children baptized must attend this class to prepare them for the reception of this sacrament. Expectant parents may also attend this class. Please call the Rectory to enroll so we can make adequate arrangements.
 
May God bless you always!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “There is no such thing as a hopeless situation. God is all-powerful and bigger than any issue we could ever face.”
 
A SECOND DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Find at least one good point in the other person and build from there. An understanding love—a love that sees the good in others—will be your goal.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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January 7, 2018 – Epiphany of Our Lord
 
I wish all of you a most Blessed and Happy New Year. I especially thank you for all your kindness, generosity and dedication to our parish this past year. Through all your help, we were able to accomplish some much needed repairs and upgrading this past year. New sound systems were installed in the Church, Chapel and auditorium; new lighting was installed in the Church and auditorium; a new roof was put on half of the school building; new security cameras replaced the antiquated ones to help protect our property and the automatic gates help us to control the traffic through the school yard. Because of your generosity and the monies received from the leasing of our school building, we were able to accomplish all this. There is so much more that needs to be done to upgrade our property, I hope you continue your support this coming year.
 
The visit of the Magi to the manger reminds us of the giving of self to our Lord. They traveled far and wide following the star to see the Christ Child and present Him with gifts that were symbolic of His life. May we in our lives – as we begin this new year – walk toward and with Jesus and give Him daily your love. He asks nothing extravagant – just the simple gift of yourself.
 
It is a Polish custom to bless chalk and incense on this day. The chalk is used to put the initials Kasper, Melchior and Balthazar (the traditional names of the Magi) along with the year above the entry door of the house. For example: 20+K+M+B+18. This “marking” should remind us throughout the year to welcome all guests and visitors to our home as the Magi were welcomed to the home of the Holy Family. When the incense is burned, the smoke represents our prayers rising to heaven. The incense can be burned in times of bad storms or during times of sickness. Chalk and incense are available at the Crib today. Instead of chalk and incense, it has been a custom of many people to hang a Christmas card depicting the Magi over their front door. All nationalities have similar customs – only they are done in different ways. Regardless of how we practice them, it is good to share them to help us understand and appreciate our oneness.
 
We THANK all of you who donated most generously to the Christmas Collection. This collection is one of the most important of the entire year and your generosity has been outstanding. If you have not dropped off your Christmas Envelope, please do so next Sunday. God bless you for your love for Saint John Cantius Parish, the Catholic community of Bridesburg.
 
Father Konstanty and I thank you for your Christmas cards and gifts. We wish you a Happy New Year and God’s blessings upon you and your family. May we continue to grow in wisdom, age and grace during this year of 2018 as Jesus did at Nazareth and pray for one another.
 
Tomorrow we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of our Lord. Therefore the Christmas Season comes to a conclusion. I thank everyone who helped make our celebration of Christmas a most beautiful one. The Church looked beautiful and magnificent; the liturgies were inspiring; — and your presence so wonderful.
 
May the Spirit of Christmas remain in your hearts and lives and continue throughout the coming year.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “We will be the happiest people in the world if we belong to God.”
 
A SECOND DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Authentically joyful persons stand out. Other people will stop and take notice.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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Fr. Joe’s Posts for December 2017

 
December 31, 2017 – Holy Family of Nazareth
 
Today we honor Joseph, Mary and Jesus – the Holy Family of Nazareth. It is our hope and prayer that your family will imitate the Holy Family and will share in the life and love promised us by Jesus.
 
January 1st, is a Holy Day of Obligation as we celebrate the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God. Masses will be celebrated this evening (Sunday) (Vigil) at 5:00 P.M. (English), and on Monday at 8:00 and 10:00 (English) and 11:30 A.M. (Polish). THERE IS NO EVENING MASS ON NEW YEAR’S DAY. Please notice that the schedule of Masses for this Holy Day is different than that of the Holy Days throughout the year.
 
THANK YOU to all who prepared our Church for Christmas and helped to make our liturgical celebration of Christmas so beautiful and meaningful. THANK YOU for your most generous offerings for the Christmas flowers. THANK YOU to our Choirs, Ushers, Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, Altar Servers – and all of you who contributed in any way to make our Church’s celebration of the Lord’s Birth so beautiful and reverent. A very special thank you is extended to Krystyna Szymanski and her helpers who decorated the Church so beautifully. They outdid themselves this year to give God the honor and glory in celebrating the birthday of his Divine Son. When we put our minds and hearts – and our time, talent and treasure – in the service of God and neighbor, we show Him gratitude and love for all His goodness to us. The best gift you have given Him for His Birthday is the gift of your self.
 
The Rectory Office will be closed on Monday and Tuesday and will reopen on Wednesday.

 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “A life with prayer is better than a life without prayer.”
 
A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THIS WEEK: “Perhaps above everything else, God just yearns to be with us.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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December 24, 2017 – 4th Sunday of Advent
 
Fr. Konstanty and I wish all of you a most Blessed Christmas and we thank you for all your cards, prayers and gifts during this most beautiful season of the year. We pray the Divine Savior bless you on Christmas Day as you celebrate his birth with your family and friends.
 
We once again remind you of our Christmas Schedule of Masses:
 
Sunday, December 24th, CHRISTMAS EVE:
5:00 P.M. & 9:00 P.M. (English) & 12:00 Midnight (Polish)
Our Parish Choirs will sing Christmas Carols at 8:30 and 11:30 P.M.
 
Monday, December 25th:
8:00 A.M. (English), 10:00 A.M. (English), 11:30 A.M. (Polish)
 
NO EVENING MASS ON CHRISTMAS DAY
 
The Rectory Office will be closed this week so that our parish staff can enjoy the Christmas Holiday with their family. The Rectory Office will reopen on Wednesday, January 3rd.
 
We thank all of you who took an ornament from the Giving Trees and purchased a gift for those in need. Your response was once again overwhelming. We shipped 7 large boxes of clothing, toys and school items to the Indian Mission School in Hays, Montana on Monday, and took a car load of presents to the children of St. Edmond’s Home for Disabled Children on Tuesday. They were so excited and grateful when they saw all the gifts you gave. We then delivered some much needed items to the Sacred Heart Cancer Home in Philadelphia. They too were overwhelmed with your generosity. What we have done as a parish family is share the gifts God has given us with those who are in most need. You do that throughout the year whenever I ask for help for individuals who seek help in their lives. I thank you for your love and goodness. I am so very proud to be your pastor and serve you.
 
May you all have a most Blessed Christmas!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Every time you pray the Rosary, Jesus welcomes you into his life and you welcome him into yours. Only great things can happen when you invite Jesus into your life.”
 
A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THIS WEEK: “Our love should be constant, but it may express itself in many different ways at different times. So it is with prayer.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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December 17, 2017 – 3rd Sunday of Advent
 
The Ceremony of Carols will take place Sunday evening at 7:00 in our Church. We invite you to come and be a part of this traditional service, celebrating the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem.
 
We will be decorating the Church on Monday evening, December 18th, beginning at 6:00. We welcome those who can offer some time to help make our Church beautiful for Christmas.
 
The Christmas Schedule, Letter and Mailing have been mailed. We ask for your continued support and generosity. This collection is one of the most important of the year. For your convenience, we print the schedule here:
 
CONFESSIONS:
Saturday, December 23rd: 3:00 – 4:30 P.M.
 
MASSES:
Saturday, December 23rd, Vigil for Sunday, 5:00 PM Mass
Sunday Morning, December 24th, 8:00 and 10:00 AM (English); 11:30 AM (Polish)
 
Sunday, December 24th, CHRISTMAS EVE:
5:00 P.M. & 9:00 P.M. (English) & 12:00 Midnight (Polish)
Our Parish Choirs will sing Christmas Carols at 8:30 and 11:30 P.M.
 
Monday, December 25th:
8:00 A.M. (English), 10:00 A.M. (English), 11:30 A.M. (Polish)
 
NO EVENING MASS ON CHRISTMAS DAY

Polish Christmas Wafers (Oplatek) are available in the Rectory during office hours and also in the sacristy after Mass on Sunday for $2.00 a packet or 3 packets for $5.00.
 
May God continue to bless your Advent!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “God created us for happiness, and he fills us with great joy as we strive for excellence, especially in the spiritual life.”
 
A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THIS WEEK: “God gave you your particular mix of talents and abilities because they match up with the mission he has in mind for you.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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December 10, 2017 – 2nd Sunday of Advent
 
We thank all those who took ornaments from the Giving Trees last weekend. There are still many more on the trees. You may stop at the Rectory during office hours and pick up an ornament there. You may bring your wrapped gifts to the Ceremony of Carols next Sunday evening at 7:00 or bring them to the Rectory during the week or to Mass next weekend. We need all the gifts by Monday morning, December 18th so we can deliver them to their proper destinations.
 
We would like to put a choir together to sing at the Ceremony of Carols. Our choir has diminished in size over the past year because of the age of some of our members. We will conduct a rehearsal this Wednesday, December 13th, at 7:00 PM, in the Church. We welcome all – young and old, men and women – to come and sing and practice some Christmas Carols. I will be there to help out at the rehearsal. We are still in need of Shepherds and Angels to participate in the Ceremony of Carols. We will conduct a short dress rehearsal next Saturday evening after the 5:00 Mass in the Church. Please come and be a part of this beautiful event.
 
The Christmas Schedule, Letter and Mailing has been mailed. We ask for your continued support and generosity. This collection is one of the most important of the year. I am most happy to announce that the profit realized for the Christmas Bazaar was $33,690.60. The expenses amounted to $9,449.84. The people who came spent $43,140.44. We thank everyone who donated prizes and gifts, sponsored booths and came to our bazaar this year. A special thank you to our committee and all the great volunteers who once again helped make our bazaar the best around. Catherine Joanne will continue her ministry here on Tuesday, December 12th with an evening Retreat of prayer, reflection and song in our cafeteria, beginning at 6:30 with a pot luck supper. On Thursday, she will give a talk about the Mass to our PREP parents and to anyone else who would like to attend at 6:00 PM in the Chapel. On Saturday morning at 10:00, a Bible Study will be offered in the Convent (entrance on porch). We hope all of the above events will benefit all the parishioners who wish to strengthen their spiritual life and relationship with God.
 
Polish Christmas Wafers (Oplatek) are available in the Rectory during office hours and also in the sacristy after Mass on Sunday for $2.00 a packet or 3 packets for $5.00.
 
May your Advent continue to be a good one!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “God doesn’t want us to beat ourselves up. He wants us to press on and try again.”
 
A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THIS WEEK: “When you are discouraged or caught up in procrastination, simply do the tiniest thing to move whatever you are working on forward.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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December 3, 2017 – First Sunday of Advent
 
Believe it or not, we are beginning the first week of Advent today. This special season gives us the opportunity to prepare for the birth of the Christ Child in Bethlehem that occurred more than two thousand years ago. These days give us time to reflect upon His entrance into our world and most especially into our hearts and lives.
 
Once again trees have been placed in the sanctuary in front of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Sacred Heart altars that will have ornaments with the name of an article that a child or adult needs. This very special “act of giving” has been a special event at St. John Cantius for many years. We ask you to take an ornament, purchase a gift, wrap it, place the ornament on the gift and present it at the Ceremony of Carols on Sunday, December 17th, at 7:00. This special evening will be presented as a parish event. We will depict the Christmas story as Scripture Readings are proclaimed and our Choirs and those present will sing hymns and carols. At the end of the Ceremony of Carols, those who have purchased gifts will be asked to bring their wrapped gift and present it to the Christ Child. This is a very beautiful ceremony. I hope you will take the time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Once again we will support the St. Edmond’s Home for Crippled Children in Rosemont, PA, and the Native American Children at the Indian Mission School in Montana. The children at both places were most grateful for your gifts last year as well as the staff. Your generosity helped them to give the children a great Christmas and some much needed happiness and joy. This year we will also have ornaments to help the patients at the Sacred Heart Cancer Home on Hunting Park Avenue in Philadelphia.
 
If you – or members of your family – would like to participate in the Ceremony of Carols by being a shepherd, king. Zechariah, Elizabeth, an angel (we need several of these), please call Terry at the Rectory (215-535-6667) this week. There are no speaking parts and only one rehearsal. It’s a wonderful and rewarding experience.
 
Friday is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Patroness of the United States. It is a Holy Day of Obligation. Mass will be celebrated on Thursday evening at 7:00 and on Friday at 9:00 AM in English and 7:00 PM in Polish.
 
Polish Christmas Wafers (Oplatek) are available in the Rectory during office hours and also in the sacristy after Mass on Sunday for $2.00 a packet or 3 packets for $5.00.
 
The Rectory Office will be closed on Friday, December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
 
Have a great week!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “God delights in conversation with you.”
 
A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THIS WEEK: “God is always waiting on us. Sometimes we may think we are waiting for him, but that is never true.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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