Pastor’s Corner – 2016

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 Posts for July 2016 – Coming Soon
Fr. Joe’s Posts for June 2016
Fr. Joe’s Posts for May 2016
Fr. Joe’s Posts for April 2016
Fr. Joe’s Posts for March 2016
Fr. Joe’s Posts for February 2016
Fr. Joe’s Posts for January 2016
 


Fr. Joe’s Posts for June 2016

 
June 26, 2016 – 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
As we celebrate next weekend the birth of our nation, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday with your family and friends. Holidays are special times when we can enjoy one another’s company in a relaxing setting. Whether we are home, at the beach or in the mountains, we have an opportunity to slow down. So much goes by us so quickly. Pause. Stop. Look around. See the presence of God in nature, in the people who are special to you and the gifts that were so freely given to us by the Lord who loves us. Please drive safely and remember to pray and ask God’s blessings upon our nation, your journey and vacations.
 
We thank those who purchased Lottery Tickets for the month of May. A total of 504 tickets were sold at $5.00 each for May. After prize money was paid ($850.00) out, a profit of $1,670.00 was realized. You can purchase these tickets after Masses on Sundays or at the Rectory during office hours. If you can sell a few, call the Rectory and speak to Terry. Every little bit helps to maintain our parish. Purchase your July tickets now. We especially thank all our sellers for their donated time to sell these tickets each month.
 
Fr. Edward Burke’s address is as follows:
Rev. Edward Burke
St. Joseph’s Villa
1436 Lansdowne Ave.
Darby, PA 19023-1218
 
The Rectory Office will be closed on Monday, July 4th for the Holiday.
 
Our next Baptismal Class will be held on Monday, July 11th in the Chapel, at 7:00PM. 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: “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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June 19, 2016 – 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all the men of the parish! May God bless you today in a special way and help you to be a model of strength and love to your family. St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus – and patron of all fathers – gives us an example of what a father is and should be. As we read about St. Joseph in the Gospels, we see how he cared for and loved his family, worked hard to support them and lived a life of faith. May all fathers, grandfathers, uncles and Godfathers be the same today and every day.
 
Every year on Father’s Day, I reprint this special powerful prayer to St. Joseph:
 
A Prayer to Saint Joseph, Patron of Fathers
 
Glorious Saint Joseph, foster-father and protector of Jesus Christ, to you I raise my heart and my hands to implore your powerful intercession. Please obtain for me from the kind Heart of Jesus the help and the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I ask particularly for the grace of a happy death and the special favor I now implore. (Mention your intention.)
 
Last Sunday, I signed the lease for the use of our school building by the Philadelphia School District. The lease is for one year. We will have children in our school building in kindergarten and first grade beginning in September.
 
To repeat what was printed last week: if you are looking for a Catholic Church where you are vacationing, there is a website: www.MassTimes.org that lists every Church in the United States with a map of location, Mass times and telephone numbers. If you don’t have access to a computer, call the Rectory and my staff will be more than happy to help you.
 
The Mass Intention book for the remainder of 2016 is now open. Masses will be available from July 1st to December 31st. If you come for Masses, please come during the office hours of 9:00 to 4:30 from Monday to Friday.
 
I will be away on my yearly Retreat in Vermont this week and will return next Saturday. I will remember you in my prayers.
 
May you have a wonderful week!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “There is only one type of person God has used powerfully throughout history: He does incredible things with the people who make themselves available to him.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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June 12, 2016 – 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
I can’t believe it’s already mid-June. Time is just going by so quickly – and this warm weather came upon us so fast. Every year I remind you about attending Mass during your vacation time. There are Catholic Churches in every city, town and vacation resorts. If you are looking for a Catholic Church where you are vacationing, there is a website: www.MassTimes.org that lists every Church in the United States with a map of location, Mass times and telephone numbers. If you don’t have access to a computer, call the Rectory and my staff will be more than happy to help you. God has blessed us with the opportunity to go on vacation and to have a good time. At the same time, we need to be renewed in His love constantly and strengthened by the graces He gives us. I also remind you that our parish bills continue to come every week during the summer months and our Sunday collections are very important. If you are away, please send your envelopes to the Rectory. Enjoy your vacations and may God be with you.
 
You may have noticed some work being done on the buildings on our property. We are trying to keep the buildings from deteriorating from the weather. Though the lease has not yet been signed, our school will be used beginning in September by the School District of Philadelphia. Kindergarten and first grade children will be educated in the building. We have to prepare for their use.
 
I want to thank the members of our Polish Community who purchased and placed the flowers in the front of the Church. The flowers add a big touch of beauty to the Church entrance. Also, I want to thank the anonymous parishioner (though I have an idea who it is) who planted the flowers on Almond Street in front of the Rectory and School Building. It too makes our property welcoming and beautiful. Every effort helps to show our pride and love for our parish.
 
We still have tickets available for the Phillies / Toronto Bluejays Baseball Game this Thursday. Please call Terry at the Rectory to reserve your tickets. I’m going. It should be a fun night that we – as a parish – can spend together and root for our home time. You don’t have to worry about parking or driving in traffic. We will be going by bus that will be leaving from Almond Street.
 
I am leaving after the 10:00 Mass next Sunday for my annual Retreat in Vermont and will return on Saturday evening, the 25th, for the 5:00 Mass. I will remember you and your loved ones in my prayers.
 
May God grant all of you a beautiful week!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Open your heart, open your mind, and open your soul to the miracles God wants to work in and through you.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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June 5, 2016 – 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
We thank everyone who participated and helped make last Sunday’s Eucharistic Procession so reverent and beautiful. It was so nice to see so many people participate in this beautiful ceremony. A special “thank you” to the men and women who prepared the altars with beautiful flowers. It is so very important that we keep the sacred traditions of the Church – and this is one of them. To see you walking in procession behind the Blessed Sacrament singing hymns and praying at each altar so reverently brings much joy to the God who loves us. May He continue to bless you and your family.
 
The Second Collection this weekend is for the House in Haiti that we began saving for in Advent. Thus far, we have collected $3,169.00. The cost for building a house for a very poor family in Haiti is $5,200.00. Your donations this Sunday will help to bring this dream to a family a reality. You may place your donation in a plain envelope, write on it Haiti House and write your name and address on the envelope. We thank you for your kindness and generosity.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “God loves good mess if it helps us get the message. And he’s OK with things breaking sometimes, especially when it allows him to break through to us.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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Fr. Joe’s Posts for May 2016

 
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May 29, 2016 – Corpus Christi – Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ
 
It’s so hard to imagine that the month of May is finishing and we begin June on Wednesday. Our children are finishing another school year, our high school and college graduates and preparing to begin a new adventure in their lives, and all of us look forward to vacation. It is the time of year when we express our thanks to God for all our achievements in our lives and for blessing us with the ability to accomplish so much. Let us not forget his presence in our midst and remember to walk with him daily.
 
Today is the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. There will be a Eucharistic Procession to three altars around the Church after the 11:30 Masses (around 12:15). The Procession will take place outdoors if weather permits. Make an effort to come and honor Our Lord. The procession has been a long-standing tradition in the Church. Please come and participate in this beautiful procession as we honor our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament. We ask the members of all the Church Societies to participate and walk behind their respective banner.
 
Every year on this Sunday and Weekend, we welcome all our veterans to our parish as we celebrate the 10:00 Mass for their intention as well as for all the deceased veterans who have given their lives for our country. It is our way of showing our gratitude to God and to them for their service to our country. Though many people look at this holiday as the beginning of the summer season, we should remember the true and only reason we celebrate Memorial Day – to thank and recognize all the men and women who fought for all the freedoms we have. Our veterans – living and dead – gave their lives so we could be blessed in this wonderful country that we have. Memorial Day is a day to “remember” our war dead in prayer.
 
The Memorial Day Parade on Monday and the Prayer Service at Holy Redeemer Cemetery that precedes it is a big event in our community and is a testimony of our gratitude to all the men and women who served and are serving in our Armed Forces. By displaying our flags and participating in the parade (either by watching or marching) and prayer service, we witness to the fact that our freedom and our country mean something to us.
 
Our Rice Bowl donations amounted to $2,661.45 this Lent and Easter season. The continued generosity of you, our parishioners – as well as the children of our PREP Program – will help many poor families not only in our archdiocese but also around the world. On their behalf, I thank you for sharing with them the blessings that God has given you.
 
COME ALL OUT TO THE OLD BALL GAME: When? Thursday, June 16th. Phillies will play the Toronto Blue Jays. Get you tickets this week. We only have 40 tickets and we will all be sitting together in the same section. I’m looking forward to going.
 
The Rectory Office will be closed on Monday, May 30th, to celebrate Memorial Day.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: The first Christians intrigued people, not because they did anything extraordinary, but simply by the way they lived, loved, and worked. Who does your life intrigue?
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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May 22, 2016 – Most Holy Trinity
 
In celebrating the Blessed Trinity, we honor God in His unity of Three Persons and the special love He has for us. God had a wonderful image in mind when He began to create — an image that included peace and harmony for every creature. Evil had no place in God’s plan. But once these were introduced by disobedience of human beings, God revamped His plan and offered us a second chance. He has made the restoration possible through Jesus, but you and I – and every other person – must cooperate with the Holy Spirit to make it a reality. In our efforts to serve one another and give of ourselves, we build the Body of Christ, live what we experience every Sunday and help “to renew the face of the earth.” Our Parish is a sign of God’s love, which is shown by our unity, service and love. We pray that we continue to honor God – the Source of all our strength.
 
Next Sunday is the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. It is on this day that we honor Our Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist. There will be a Eucharistic Procession to three altars around the Church after the 11:30 Mass. The Procession will take place outdoors if weather permits. Make an effort to come and honor Our Lord. The Procession has always been very well attended. We ask the members of all the Church Societies to participate and walk behind their respective banner. We also invite our First Holy Communion children to come dressed in their Communion suits and dresses and walk before the Blessed Sacrament in procession. The procession will begin in Church immediately after the 11:30 Mass around 12:15.
 
Processions to honor Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary have been long-standing traditions in the Church for many centuries. Walking with the Lord in a procession gives us a real sense of his being with us in our lives and how – in every day – he walks with us. A procession gives us an appreciation of God and how much he loves us. The procession gives us the opportunity to respond to his love. Please join us next week to show gratitude to him.
 
Next weekend, we celebrate Memorial Day weekend and remember those who gave their lives for our country. Our veterans will be for the 10:00 Mass next Sunday as we will celebrate Mass for the intention of all living and deceased War Veterans. Let us remember these men and women who sacrificed much so we could experience the freedoms that we possess.
 
COME ALL OUT TO THE OLD BALL GAME: When? Thursday, June 16th. Phillies will play the Toronto Blue Jays.
 
We would like to thank the families who have participated in the Catholic Charities Appeal. The Appeal runs through the end of June so there is still time to support the appeal this year. Extra envelopes are available in the back of Church. You can also contribute online at www.catholiccharitiesappeal.org.
 
We thank those who purchased Lottery Tickets for the months April. A total of 457 tickets were sold at $5.00 each for April. After prize money was paid ($700.00) out, a profit of $1,588.00 was realized.. You can purchase these tickets after Masses on Sundays or at the Rectory during office hours. If you can sell a few, call the Rectory and speak to Terry. Every little bit helps to maintain our parish.. Purchase your June tickets now. We especially thank all our sellers for their donated time to sell these tickets each month.
 
Baptismal Class will be held on Monday, May 23rd, in the Chapel, at 7:00PM. 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 tomorrow (Monday) to enroll so we can make adequate arrangements.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: It would seem to me that a Christian should, above all perhaps, be joyful. Having found real mission and purpose in life, having encountered the life-giving God, joy should overflow.
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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May 15, 2016 – Pentecost
 
Today we conclude the Easter Season with the celebration of Pentecost, traditionally called the “Birthday of the Church.” It was on this day that the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles and gave them the courage to teach the message of Jesus. The Church had its beginning, as thousands accepted the faith and were baptized. It was from this humble beginning that our Church came to life and has grown to what it is today. In our celebration of this day, may we also recall our beginnings in the Church by remembering our Baptism and our parents who passed on the Catholic faith to us. Let us reflect about how we, too, have been chosen to spread the message of Jesus.
 
This is the week that many priests celebrate the anniversary of their ordinations to the priesthood. I was ordained 38 years ago on May 20th. Father Konstanty was ordained on May 28th, 1983 and celebrates his 33rd anniversary. Together, he and I represent 71 years of priestly service. Father Konstanty and I thank you for all your prayers and support. Please continue to pray for us and for young men to hear God’s call to be a priest – especially from our parish.
 
It was indeed a very beautiful weekend last week as we honored the Blessed Mother as Aleksandra Kurpaska crowned her as our Queen. The bright sun, came out just in time after the morning rain to provide us with the opportunity to crown her statue outside. We thank everyone who had a part in preparing the ceremonies and those who participated so beautifully in the services.
 
We thank you also for your generous support to the Manna Collection. Your donations will help many of our poor in the Archdiocese.
 
Baptismal Class will be held on Monday, May 23rd, 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 tomorrow (Monday) to enroll so we can make adequate arrangements.
 
COME ALL OUT TO THE OLD BALL GAME: When? Thursday, June 16th. Phillies will play the Toronto Blue Jays. See the enclosed flyer in this Church Bulletin.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Consider for a moment all the love you have ever received. Pause to envision yourself immersed in all that love at the same time. It is perhaps overwhelming. And still, all that love is nothing compared to the love of God. Has anyone ever loved you as Jesus has, does, and will love you?
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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May 8, 2016 – Ascension of the Lord
 
We congratulate and wish all the women in the parish a HAPPY MOTHERS DAY! We wish you a happy and blessed day. Your vocation as a Mother is a special one that God has called you to. He has given his own Mother Mary as an example of faith and love for you to model. May she watch over all of you.
 
Last weekend was a joyful one as 37 of our children received Jesus in Holy Communion for the first time. We congratulate the children of the parish who received their First Holy Communion last Sunday and ask them to pray for us. A “Thank You” is extended to all who attended the 10:00 and 11:30 Mass last Sunday and prayed with and supported the children.
 
May is the Month of Mary – when we honor her as our Queen and Mother. This morning (Sunday) after the 10:00 Mass we will have our May Procession and Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We will process from Church to the garden where the statue of the Blessed Mother stands. As we process, we will sing our hymn to the Blessed Mother. Miss Aleksandra Kurpaska will crown the Blessed Mother. We hope many of you will participate in this beautiful ceremony, as we honor the Mother of God. Our First Communicants will participate, as well as all the Parish Societies and Organizations with their banners.
 
Today, members of our parish Respect Life Committee will be on hand to distribute Pro-Life Union News Bulletins and to offer live carnations. Your financial gift will aid the pro-life cause.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: I know this for certain: God is at work in your life. Look for him in people, events, and circumstances and you will find him beckoning you.
 
AND HOW ABOUT A SECOND THOUGHT THIS WEEK: Your heart is a fountain of spring water. Guard it. Otherwise it will become polluted and poisoned.
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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May 1, 2016 – 6th Sunday of Easter
 
Today, (Sunday), at the 10:00 Mass our children will receive their First Holy Communion and at the 11:30 Mass our Polish Language School children will receive Jesus for the first time. This is a joyous time in our parish as we witness this most special event. We recall our own First Communion day and how special it was for us to receive Jesus for the first time and how we felt that day. We congratulate all our children and ask them to pray for all of us and they ask all of us to pray for them on this most special day that they will always remain close to Jesus.
 
Next Sunday, we celebrate Mother’s Day as we honor our mothers and also we will honor our heavenly Mother Mary, as we crown her as our Queen after the 10:00 Mass. We will begin our procession from Church and walk outside (weather permitting) around the church into the Garden of Our Lady. We are holding the procession at this time to give more people the opportunity to share in this special event in our parish. Alexandra Kurpaska will crown the Blessed Mother. We hope many of you will participate in this beautiful ceremony, as we honor the Mother of God. The PREP Children, Polish Language School Children, our First Communicants and Altar Servers are all asked to participate, as well as all the Parish Societies and Organizations with their banners. This has been a beautiful tradition for many years. We hope you will take part in it.
 
I thank all those who have thus far responded most generously to our Sunday Collection Appeal. Your generosity shows your love for your parish and your desire to help make it more beautiful. I realize that some feel that this appeal is unnecessary because of the leasing of the school. What we all need to understand is that we have a parish debt of $1.5 million dollars that we have to address. The money we receive from leasing the school will help pay off some of the debt and also allow us to make some needed repairs, especially with the lighting in the auditorium, cafeteria, church and chapel. Also, with this appeal, we can balance our budget and not end up with a deficit at the end of this fiscal year. Your increase in the Sunday Collection will help immensely. So again, I thank those who have already made an increase in their Sunday envelope and are putting into practice the Fourth Sign of being a Dynamic Catholic – GENEROSITY.
 
The rectory office will be closed on Thursday, May 5th for the Holy day of Obligation .
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Christianity is beautiful. But we must make it our own, and find ways to live it that are joy-filled and practical. Only then does the world around us become intrigued with the Jesus of long ago and far away, and recognize that he really is the same Jesus of here and now.
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 


Fr. Joe’s Posts for April 2016

 
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April 24, 2016 – 5th Sunday of Easter
 
Next Sunday, May 1st, the reception of First Holy Communion our children will take place at the 10:00 AM Mass. This is truly a parish celebration as we share with these children the joy of receiving Jesus for the first time. The procession into Church will begin at 9:45 so we ask you to come early next week for this Mass. The children who attend the Polish Language School will receive their First Holy Communion at the 11:30 AM Mass. The Parish Societies with their banners are invited to come and lead the children into Church at both Masses if they are able.
 
On Sunday, May 8th, at 10:50 we will have our May Procession and Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We will process outside (if weather permits) from the Church to the garden where the statue of the Blessed Mother stands. As we process, we will sing the Hymn, Immaculate Mary in English and Polish. When we reach the garden, we will recite the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary and then the statue of the Blessed Mother will be crowned. We hope many of you will participate in this beautiful ceremony, as we honor the Mother of God. The School Children, PREP Children, Polish Language School Children, our First Communicants and Altar Servers are all asked to participate, as well as all the Parish Societies and Organizations with their banners. We are having the procession between Masses to encourage many more parishioners to attend this beautiful and traditional ceremony which has been a part of our parish life and the month of May for many years.
 
We thank those who purchased Lottery Tickets for the months March. A total of 514 tickets were sold at $5.00 each for March. After prize money was paid out, a profit of $1,920.00 was realized.. You can purchase these tickets after Masses on Sundays or at the Rectory during office hours. If you can sell a few, call the Rectory and speak to Terry. Every little bit helps to maintain our parish. Purchase your May tickets now. We especially thank all our sellers for their donated time to sell these tickets each month.
 
Next weekend the ushers will distribute Manna Bags as you leave Church. We ask you to fill these bags with non-perishable food and return them on Sunday, May 15th. The food that you bring will be delivered to a food distribution parish and given to the poor.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Be the difference that makes the difference.
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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April 17, 2016 – 4th Sunday of Easter
 
Last weekend’s parish celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation was extraordinarily beautiful. Bishop Robert Maginnis confirmed over 40 of our young adults. We congratulate these young people as they received their final initiation sacrament and the Holy Spirit.
 
It has become my concern once again about the lack of parishioners to “keep watch with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament” on Wednesday afternoons in our Chapel. I am asking that those of you who are home during the afternoon on Wednesday to take a period of time for prayer so that the Lord will not be alone. A new schedule form is hanging in the back of the Chapel to sign, indicating what times are available. The Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on our altar has been in place since 1980 and has been a blessing to our parish. I pray that we can continue this weekly adoration time in our parish, BUT WE NEED SOMEONE TO BE IN THE CHAPEL THROUGHOUT THE AFTERNOON. Please consider and commit to a time. God will bless and reward you.
 
You will be receiving a letter from me – or maybe you have already received one – asking you to increase your Sunday Offering. There are a lot of repairs that need to be done in the parish, especially in our hall and cafeteria. I would also like to install new lighting in the Church and Chapel. To me, both seem to be dark, and that is because we are unable to purchase the wattage of light bulbs that we previously were able to. I know we are all proud of our parish buildings and grounds. They are indeed beautiful. Many visitors comment to me how beautiful everything is. But we have to maintain them. Please consider an increase in your offering. Every little bit helps.
 
FYI: First Holy Communion will take place on Sunday, May 1st, at the 10:00 Mass for our PREP and Blessed Trinity Children, and at the 11:30 Mass for our Polish Language School Children.
 
If you have not already done so, please bring your Rice Bowl Offerings next Sunday and place them in the bowl in the vestibule of the Church. These offerings will be sent to the Propagation of the Faith and will aid the poor and needy in our Archdiocese as well as in mission lands. We thank you for your support and sacrifices.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Consider all the things you busy yourself with. Now consider how few of these are really necessary. Seek simplicity. There is beauty and genius in it.
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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April 10, 2016 – 3rd Sunday of Easter
 
The Sacrament of Confirmation will be celebrated today in our parish at the 10:00 AM Mass. The Most Reverend Robert Maginnis will confer the Sacrament upon our young adults. We welcome Bishop Maginnis to our parish. He has been here many times and we are happy that he has come to be with us once again.
 
If you have not already done so, please bring your Rice Bowl Offerings next Sunday and place them in the bowl in the vestibule of the Church. These offerings will be sent to the Propagation of the Faith and will aid the poor and needy in our Archdiocese as well as in mission lands. We thank you for your support and sacrifices.
 
We are still collecting for the house in Haiti. We began this effort in Advent and as of today, we have $2,647 .00 towards the goal of $5,200.00 to build the house for a needy family. You may place your offerings for this endeavor in the basket under the sign in the vestibule of the Church or place it in the Collection in an envelope marked House in Haiti. We thank those who have given so generously to this special collection. Easter Holy Water is available at the Baptismal Font. Please bring a container and take some home for your use.
 
You may have noticed some work done around the parish property these past several weeks. Brickpointing and cleaning of the stones at the school entrance and well as power washing of the walls has been done to prepare the school to be leased. Your donations toward the “Parish Repairs Offering” has enabled us to do this work.
 
In case you haven’t heard, Fr. Konstanty became a United States citizen on Monday, March 21st. We congratulate him.
 
Have a wonderful week!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Self-control is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Ask for it.
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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April 3, 2016 – Divine Mercy Sunday
 
The liturgies of Holy Week were once again beautiful and inspiring. It was edifying to see many of you there as we celebrated the Paschal Triduum – the suffering, death and resurrection of our Savior. It is the greatest feast of the Church year and those of you who attended had to be uplifted. Our Church was (and still is) beautifully decorated and full of gorgeous flowers due to your outstanding generosity and the talent of Krystyna Szymanski. I also thank Joe Slota, Jim Nalenz, Jan Goral and his helpers for helping to decorate the Church and the tomb. It is wonderful to see how our long-time and young parishioners take an active interest in our parish and volunteer to help wherever and whenever they can. The Living Stations on Good Friday is another example. Thank you to our PREP children for their participation in the Living Way of the Cross on Good Friday. Everyone left the Church inspired by what they witnessed. The choir under the direction of Wojciech Hollender was again outstanding. It was indeed a great week because it was a “Holy Week” – and all of you helped make it so.
 
If you have not already done so, please bring your Rice Bowl Offerings next Sunday and place them in the box in the vestibule of the Church. These offerings will be sent to the Propagation of the Faith and will aid the poor and needy in our Archdiocese as well as in mission lands. We thank you for your support and sacrifices.
 
Our Easter Offering amounted to $ 14,850.00. Your generosity helps keep our parish maintained and beautiful. Many former parishioners “come home” for Easter and remark to me how beautiful our Church always is, especially during the holidays. We can all be proud of what we do here. If you have not yet sent in your Easter Offering, please do so.
 
Easter Holy Water is available at the Baptismal Font. Please bring a container and take some home for your use.
 
Next Sunday at the 10:00 Mass, Bishop Robert Maginnis will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on our young adults. THE 10:00 MASS WILL BEGIN AT 9:45. Please make a note of this. All parishioners are invited to attend this Mass and celebrate this beautiful event in our parish.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: God is not interested only in your moral well-being. He is interested in you as a whole person: body, mind, heart, and soul.
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 


Fr. Joe’s Posts for March 2016

 
March 27, 2016 – Easter Sunday
 
HAPPY EASTER !! It is with great joy that we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The sadness of Good Friday is lifted by the fulfillment of His promise to us that He will come to life again. He extended His hands on the Cross, so through His Resurrection He could lift us to celebrate the joy of new life. New life is all around us today – the beautiful flowers we smell and see in Church, the young children and babies, and each and every one of us. After our days of penance and sacrifice, we should all feel renewed and alive in Him Who sacrificed His life for us on the Cross. Even though Lent is over, let us strive to maintain the promises we made that our spiritual – and physical lives – will benefit in a way that we continue to live in love and harmony with God and one another.
 
We extend our sincerest gratitude to everyone who made the liturgies of Holy Week so special and beautiful. We are grateful to Wojciech Hollender and the members of our Choirs. We thank the Altar Servers, Lectors, Cantors, Extraordinary Ministers of the Holy Eucharist and Ushers for their dedicated service; to Jan Goral, Mark Pasternak and Joseph Slota for preparing our Church and setting up the Repository and Grave; to Krystyna Szymanski who decorated our Church so beautifully. We thank all of you who contributed for the Easter Flowers. Without your generosity, we could not make our Church as beautiful as it is today. Also, we thank in a very special way, the young adults of our parish who led us in the Living Stations on Good Friday. Together we have made this most sacred week of the year prayerful, reverent and pleasing to God in thanksgiving for His Son’s suffering, death and resurrection for our salvation.
 
Fr. Konstanty and I thank you for your Easter Greetings and prayers. You are all very special to us and you are remembered in our prayers.
 
Even though Lent is over, we can still practice our almsgiving, fasting and prayer during the Easter Season and beyond. We have wonderful opportunities here at the parish to do so. We are still collecting for the house in Haiti. You may leave your offering in the bowl in the vestibule of the Church or place it in the Collection basket. Mark your envelope “House in Haiti”.
 
We will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation on Sunday, April 10th. Bishop Robert Maginnis will confirm our young adult at Mass, beginning at 9:45.
 
The Rectory Office will be closed tomorrow (Easter Monday).
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: God’s ways are not simply a minor adjustment of our own. They often represent the opposite end of the spectrum. Jesus invites us to a change in attitude, but that alone is not enough. Ultimately that change in attitude should lead to a change in behavior.
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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March 20, 2016 – Palm Sunday
 
Today we begin Holy Week. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we will hear confessions before the 8:00 AM and 7:00 PM Masses. Confessions will also be heard on Good Friday from 1:00 – 3:00 and Saturday from 3:00 – 4:30. On Holy Thursday we begin the celebration of the Paschal Mystery of our Lord. Mass will begin at 7:00 P.M. We are reminded of His Love for us in leaving us His example of service, as He washed the feet of the Apostles and proclaimed His Presence in the Holy Eucharist. On Good Friday the Living Stations will be performed by our parish children beginning at 12:00 Noon in the Church. The service of the Veneration of the Cross will be at 7:00 P.M. At the Easter Vigil on Saturday Mass will begin at 8:00 P.M. because the service must begin in darkness. The new Paschal Candle will be lighted and we will all share in the brightness that it will bring to our Church and our lives. Water will be blessed at this Mass. Bring a jar or bottle with you to take home for your private use throughout the year. We also remind you that on Easter Sunday morning, the procession will begin at 5:30 A.M. and Mass in Polish will follow at 6:00. Masses for Easter Day will be 8:00 and 10:00 (English) and 11:30 A.M. (Polish).
 
If you would like a priest to come to your home to bless your food on Holy Saturday, please fill out the form that is below and return it to the Rectory or place it in the Collection Basket by Good Friday, March 25th.
 
NAME ___________________________________________________
ADDRESS ________________________________________________
PHONE NUMBER__________________________________________
 
We ask you to bring your Rice Bowls next Sunday and place them in the large bowl in the back of the Church before Mass. Your Rice Bowl Offerings will be brought up to the altar during the Offertory Procession. The Rectory Office will be closed on Thursday morning so the priests and rectory staff could attend the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral-Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. The Office will also be closed on Good Friday from 12:00 to 4:30 and on Easter Monday.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: If you let Jesus turn your life upside down, you will be happier than you ever imagined was possible. And you won’t just have happiness—you will have joy!
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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March 13, 2016 – 5th Sunday of Lent
 
This Saturday, March 19th, at 6:00 P.M., we will have a “Poor Man’s Supper” in our auditorium. The menu will consist of homemade vegetable soup, bread, butter, a small dessert and a beverage. The cost for the meal is $6.00. We will show the movie The Miracle Worker starring Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke. The movie is about seven year old Helen Keller who never saw the sky, heard her mother’s voice or expressed herself. Then Annie Sullivan, a no-nonsense young teacher who has just recently regained her own sight, lead her bold pupil on a miraculous journey to happiness and light. Tickets are available at the Rectory and at Sunday Masses. Plan to attend.
 
Lent will begin its final days next Sunday as we celebrate Palm Sunday and our Lord’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Palm will be distributed by the ushers as you enter Church for the 5:00 P.M. Vigil and the 8:00 A.M. Masses. Palm will be blessed at the beginning of Mass. We ask that you assemble in the Chapel for the 10:00 A.M. and 11:30 Mass (weather permitting). Palm will be distributed and blessed there and then a solemn procession to the Church will take place to celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. If you are unable to walk, you will receive blessed palm in Church. We ask that everyone participate in the procession, as we begin the Holiest Week of the Church Year.
 
The Easter Schedule and Envelope have been mailed. Food will be blessed (Swieconka) on Holy Saturday in the homes beginning at 9:00 A.M. and in Church at 8:30 A.M. and 2:30 P.M. If you would like a priest to come to your home to bless food, please fill out the form that is below and return it to the Rectory by Good Friday, March 25th.
Please come to bless food in my home on Holy Saturday.
 
NAME ___________________________________________________
ADDRESS ________________________________________________
PHONE NUMBER__________________________________________
 
Our next Baptismal Class will be held on Monday, April 11th 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. We thank those who purchased Lottery Tickets for the months January and February. A total of 535 tickets were sold at $5.00 each for January and 449 tickets for February After prize money was paid out, a profit of $1,675.00 was realized for January and a profit of $1,395.00 for February. You can purchase these tickets after Masses on Sundays or at the Rectory during office hours. If you can sell a few, call the Rectory and speak to Terry. Every little bit helps to maintain our parish. Purchase your March and April tickets now. We especially thank all our sellers for their donated time to sell these tickets each month.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: We all have good days and bad days, and lots of average days. Do you know why? Sure, sometimes things just happen that are beyond our control—both good and bad. But if you had to make tomorrow a really fabulous day, how would you do it? And if you had to do it without doing anything different, just your ordinary everyday activities, how would you do it then?
 
People who are dying despise the way people who are not dying waste life. Too often the temptation is to wake up and just see what happens. Too often we just let life happen to us, rather than using our God-given abilities to make great things happen.
 
And yes, there are some days when you are just not yourself. Perhaps you have a cold or are just a bit tired. When we have a day like that we face one of the great differentiators in life. People who are able to step up and make things happen, even when they don’t feel like it, differentiate themselves from their peers in every human activity.
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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March 6, 2016 – 4th Sunday of Lent
 
This Sunday is traditionally called “Laetare Sunday,” a name derived from the first words of the entrance antiphon, “Rejoice, Jerusalem.” It was during this fourth week of Lent in the ancient Church that the catechumens “received” the Creed. This was a final step in preparing for Baptism and the Church rejoiced at the approach of the coming feast; hence, the joyful nature of this Fourth Sunday. It is customary on this day that rose-colored vestments are worn, which give us a strong visual cue that Easter is fast approaching.
 
On Saturday, March 19th, at 6:00 P.M., we will have a “Poor Man’s Supper” in our auditorium. The menu will consist of homemade vegetable soup, bread, butter, a small dessert and a beverage. The cost for the meal is $6.00. We will show the movie The Miracle Worker starring Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke. The movie is about seven year old Helen Keller who never saw the sky, heard her mother’s voice or expressed herself. Then Annie Sullivan, a no-nonsense young teacher who has just recently regained her own sight, lead her bold pupil on a miraculous journey to happiness and light. Tickets are available at the Rectory and at Sunday Masses. Plan to attend.
 
The Easter Schedule and Envelope have been mailed. Food will be blessed (Swieconka) on Holy Saturday in the homes beginning at 9:00 A.M. and in Church at 8:30 A.M. and 2:30 P.M. If you would like a priest to come to your home to bless food, please fill out the form that is below and return it to the Rectory by Good Friday, April 3rd.
 
Please come to bless food in my home on Holy Saturday.
NAME ___________________________________________________
ADDRESS ________________________________________________
PHONE NUMBER__________________________________________
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK (from Matthew Kelly’s book Rediscover Jesus) the book you received at Christmas: You cannot become more like Jesus Christ and at the same time stay as you are. To be Catholic means to be striving to live the Gospel, to be striving to become more like Jesus Christ. It is this dynamic approach to transformation that animates the human person – physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually – and allows us to experience life “to the fullest.” (John 10:10)
 
When are you most fully alive? When you are changing and growing and exploring all you are capable of becoming.
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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Fr. Joe’s Posts for February 2016

 
February 28, 2016 – 3rd Sunday of Lent
 
Last week at Mass, I mentioned that we received notice that the Philadelphia School District voted to lease our school building for the school year beginning in September. As of this writing (Monday, February 22nd), the lease has not been signed. Discussion with regard to parish use of the hall and cafeteria still need to be finalized. We will still have accessibility to use these facilities for parish use. The funds received from the lease will benefit our parish immensely. There are major repairs that need to be done. The brick-pointing of the school and some major roof repairs have to take place and are our responsibility. Also, the lighting in the hall needs to be upgraded. This is a real blessing that we can lease the school building. I will keep you informed as to what is happening.
 
On Saturday, March 19th, at 6:00 P.M., we will have a “Poor Man’s Supper” in our auditorium. The menu will consist of homemade vegetable soup, bread, butter, a small dessert and a beverage. The cost for the meal is $6.00. We will show the movie The Miracle Worker starring Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke. The movie is about seven year old Helen Keller who never saw the sky, heard her mother’s voice or expressed herself. Then Annie Sullivan, a no-nonsense young teacher who has just recently regained her own sight, lead her bold pupil on a miraculous journey to happiness and light. Tickets are available at the Rectory and at Sunday Masses. Plan to attend.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK (from Matthew Kelly’s book Rediscover Jesus) the book you received at Christmas: Jesus wants you to become the most generous person in your sphere of influence. He wants you to astonish people with your generosity. He wants you to be generous with your time, talent, and treasure. But he invites you to a generosity that goes far beyond these. He wants you to be generous with your praise and encouragement. He wants you to be generous with your compassion and patience. He wants generosity to reach into every area of your life so that through you he can love and intrigue the people in your life.
 
Great lives belong to men and women who see life as a generosity contest. Decide right now, here, today, to live a life of staggering generosity. Astonish the people who cross your path with your generosity. There may be no more practical way to bring Christianity to life. (Excerpt taken from Chapter 1 of Matthew Kelly’s new bestseller Rediscover Jesus.)
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
*************
 
February 21, 2016 – 2nd Sunday of Lent
 
We remind you of our Lenten devotions and prayer services. In the Gospel of Ash Wednesday, Jesus spoke of almsgiving, prayer and fasting as a means of repentance. The time we give to our relationship with God in prayer is essential to having a fruitful Lent – to change and transform our lives. For the benefit of those who work, there is an evening Mass at 7:00 from Monday to Friday. We also have Stations of the Cross on Thursdays (English) and Fridays (Polish) at 6:30 P.M. followed by Mass at 7:00. Every Sunday, Gorskie Zale will be sung before the 11:30 Polish Mass on Sunday.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK (from Matthew Kelly’s book Rediscover Jesus) the book you received at Christmas: One of the things I love about our faith is that our God is a God of second chances, fresh starts, and new beginnings. In the Bible we read these epic tales of the incredible ways that God transformed people and their lives: Moses, Noah, Jonah, Jeremiah, David, Joseph, Mary, Peter, James, Matthew, Zacchaeus, Paul, Lydia, Mary Magdalene, the woman at the well, and so many others whose names we don’t know. Why not you and me? Why not now?
 
God is always waiting on us. Sometimes we may think we are waiting for him, but that is never true.
 
What’s happening in your life right now? What’s not working in your life? What great question are you grappling with in your heart? Do you need a fresh start too? Whenever I get to a place in my life where things aren’t making sense, it always seems that I need to rediscover Jesus.
 
Jesus is the ultimate new beginning. (Excerpt taken from Chapter 1 of Matthew Kelly’s new bestseller Rediscover Jesus.)
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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February 14, 2016 – First Sunday of Lent
 
Fr. Konstanty and I hope that you take full advantage of the Masses and devotions that are offered in the parish during Lent. We will have Stations of the Cross on Thursdays (English) and Fridays (Polish) at 6:30 P.M. followed by Mass at 7:00 in the Chapel. Every Sunday, Gorskie Zale (Lenten Lamentations) will be sung before the 11:30 Polish Mass.
 
As a traditional part of Lent here, we will have a Poor Man’s Supper of soup and bread on Saturday evening, March 12th, in our cafeteria, followed by movie that is yet to be decided. It will be a religious movie that is inspiring. The menu will consist of homemade vegetable soup, bread, butter, a beverage and dessert. The cost for the meal is $6.00. Tickets will be available at the Rectory and in back of the Chapel.
 
If you are looking for something special to do for Lent: The Aid for Friends has been a most beneficial program in our parish as we provide meals to the homebound in our parish and in the Bridesburg community. We are grateful to the many men and women who provide meals and those who deliver them weekly. Service and generosity are two of the primary missions of the Church and is an excellent way to live out the Season of Lent in a very positive way. It is a great way to be a “Dynamic Catholic”. If you would like to participate in this wonderful mission of service by making meals at home or delivering them to our shut-ins, please call Dori Michalak (215-533-4787).
 
We thank the members of our Polish Community for their outstanding donation of $4,738.00 – the profit realize from the Valentine’s Dance that was held in our auditorium on Saturday, January 31st. We thank them for their efforts and donation. Bog Zaplac! (Thank You!)
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Jesus came to set us free, but as men and women we keep putting ourselves back into slavery—food, sex, money, gluttony, debt, etc. Recognize your slavery and allow God to liberate you from it.
 
AND A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: I have never met anyone who relied too much on the Holy Spirit.
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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February 7, 2016 – 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
Believe it or not, we begin the Season of Lent this week. Ashes will be distributed at all the Masses in Chapel on this Wednesday – Ash Wednesday – only after the Gospel. Ashes cannot be given after Mass. The Mass schedule is as follows for Ash Wednesday: 8:00 A.M. (English) and 7:00 P.M. (Polish) in Church and 7:00 P.M. (English) in Chapel. Distribution of ashes will also take place at 1:00 and 4:00 P.M. during a service of the Liturgy of the Word – also in the Chapel. Ashes are a reminder to us of our mortality and eventual death – and also of our need to repent and change our lives to live in union with Jesus. When the ashes are placed on your forehead, resolve to do something positive during Lent, that is, something that will improve your spiritual life and make a lasting impression on all your actions. These Forty Days will go by quickly – let’s not waste them.
 
Ash Wednesday is a day of fast and abstinence. The Bishops of the United States prescribe, as minimal obligation, that all persons over fourteen years of age are gravely obliged to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent. All persons over eighteen years of age and up to the beginning of their sixtieth year are gravely obliged to fast by limiting themselves to a single full meal on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
 
There will be an Evening Mass during Lent celebrated at 7:00 (Monday, Wednesday and Friday in Polish; Tuesday and Thursday in English) to give those who work an opportunity to attend Mass before they get home. We encourage everyone to attend Mass and to receive Holy Communion daily, to use frequently the Sacrament of Penance, to undertake spiritual reading, to attend our parish Lenten devotions (Stations of the Cross every Thursday in English and Friday in Polish at 6:30 P.M.) Gorzkie Zale will be sung on Sunday morning at 11:00 after the 10:00 Mass. We also hope that you will participate in Operation Rice Bowl that has aided countless hungry persons here in the Archdiocese, as well as throughout the world. Attached to this Bulletin is a Rice Bowl. Place your Lenten sacrifices in it during this Penitential Season and return it on Palm Sunday. Let us make it our pledge to pray for our parish during this season that God will bless all our parishioners and all our sick that we will all come to know our Lord better.
 
What to give up for Lent is something we all ponder at this time. “Sacrifice” is the key word here. Jesus showed us that sacrifice is at the core of authentic love. Some areas that many Catholics focus on in their Lenten sacrifice:
– A type of food
– Television or internet time
– Unnecessary spending or shopping
– Alcohol or caffeine
 
We could also go beyond Sunday Mass and use Lent as a chance to broaden and deepen our spiritual lives by:
– Attending Mass during the week
– Read and pray with the Mass Readings that are published in this bulletin every week
– Pray the Stations of the Cross, either individually or in our parish
– Pray the Rosary
– Spend time in Eucharistic Adoration on Wednesday in our Chapel
– Do some spiritual reading – suggested book – Rediscovering Jesus,
– Participate wholeheartedly in the Rice Bowl Program.
 
These are only suggestions; there is so much each of us can do. I pray that we all have a beneficial 40 days of preparation for Easter.
 
The Lenten Retreat in the Polish Language will begin this Wednesday, February 10th , and will continue on Friday and Saturday at 7:00 PM. Evening Mass and homily on Thursday will be in Polish and will be celebrated and given by Fr. Jozef Krajewski who has celebrated Mass here many times. The Retreat will be in the Chapel. The Stations of the Cross in English will begin at 6:30 PM on Thursday before the Retreat begins. PLEASE NOTE: Mass will be in Polish this Thursday.
 
The total amount given for the Christmas Collection is $24,206.00. This generosity that you have shown is outstanding. You have also shown me how truly good you are and how much you love St. John Cantius Parish. There is much joy in giving – whether it be financially by money donated, by time offered freely or by talent shared. The “good feeling” that we experience is shared and spreads from person to person. Christmas and its true meaning go beyond the day we celebrate it on December 25th. It will be – and is – celebrated every day of our journey in life. Keep being the “Giver” and the “Gift” and our parish will always flourish and be strong.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: I know this for certain: God is at work in your life. Look for him in people, events, and circumstances and you will find him beckoning you.
 
AND A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Even a blind man knows when he is in the presence of a bright light. Be that bright light in the world. Let your light shine!”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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Fr. Joe’s Posts for January 2016

 
January 31, 2016 – 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
Well, the Blizzard of 2016 is behind us! Last weekend was quite a weekend as we were at the mercy of Mother Nature. We thank Jan Goral, Ted Kosinski and Mark Pasternak for working so hard to clear the snow from our property. It was a lot of hard, back-breaking work. I even learned how to use the snow plow! Hopefully, by the time you read this, most of the snow will be melted. For the time being, we will continue to have the weekend Masses in the Chapel to help conserve heat. It is much warmer in the Chapel.
 
This Tuesday, February 2nd, is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord – also known as Candlemas Day. On this day candles for your use at home are traditionally blessed and will be available after Mass on Tuesday morning and also next Sunday. Blessed candles should be used, when a Priest brings the Blessed Sacrament to your home when someone is sick. He is greeted at the door with a lighted candle and led to the sick person. Blessed candles can also be used during prayer times.
 
On Wednesday, February 3rd, we celebrate the Feast of St. Blaise. We will bless throats after the 8:00 AM Mass on Wednesday.
 
We remind you again that Ash Wednesday is February 10th. There is a box in the back of the Chapel for you to place the palm you received last year. We will burn it to make ashes for this year.
 
A Little Thought that I try to live by: Train your mind to see good in every situation.
 
May you all have a beautiful week!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Your heart is a fountain of spring water. Guard it. Otherwise it will become polluted and poisoned.
 
AND A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: That person who has angered you, frustrated you, wronged you… he is someone’s son, brother, father. She is someone’s daughter, sister, mother. Be gentle.
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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January 24, 2016 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
We are in that “in between time”. That time between Christmas and the beginning of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, February 10th. We have an opportunity to slow down a little after the busy Christmas Season, get our lives in order and prepare for the coming of Lent and the celebration of Easter. Time goes by so quickly for us as we move from one activity to another, the celebrations and the struggles we encounter daily. Let us ask God for the strength and ability to slow down a little and appreciate the little things in life.
 
Ash Wednesday is February 10th. Beginning next week, there will be boxes in the back of the Church for you to place the palm you received last year. We will burn it to make ashes for this year.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: We are all blind to some things. Cry out to Jesus with the blind man, “Lord, open my eyes so that I may see.”
 
AND A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: In this world where information is multiplying at an alarming rate, it is more important than ever to study the faith.
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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January 17, 2016 – 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
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. The amount donated thus far is $23,771. If you have not dropped off your Christmas Envelope, please do so next Sunday. God bless you for your love for St. John Cantius Parish.
 
We also thank those who responded to the Annual Appeal and Census. Your response has given the parish almost $25,000 that will assist us with our bills, especially with helping us repairs things in the parish. We had to replace one of the lights over the cafeteria entrance as well as the bulbs in the large parking lot. Thanks to the generosity of a parishioner, we did not have to pay for the lift to reach the lights. The money will also help with our monthly payment of $7,000 for fuel. We have all been fortunate thus far that we have had a mild winter. I am sure the frigid cold will be here and we will need to keep our buildings well heated so as to avoid more problems. If you have not yet responded to the Appeal, please do so. We are also in need of your completed census form so we can update our records. This is very important and we thank you in advance for your response.
 
We have received notice this past week that the Sacrament of Confirmation will be conferred in our parish by Bishop Robert Maginnis on Sunday, April 10th, at the 10:00 Mass. Some of you – or your family members, may be asked to be sponsors for the children. I ask you to read the below requirements for being a sponsor. It is a privilege to be asked to be one, but also a responsibility. Practice of one’s faith is essential.
 
The requirements for receiving letters of eligibility to be Godparents for the Sacrament of Baptism and Sponsors for the Sacrament of Confirmation are as follows: First of all, you must be a registered member of a parish who is practicing your faith by attending Mass on Sundays and receiving the sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist regularly. If you are married, you must be married in the Catholic Church. We cannot issue a letter of eligibility to anyone who is not a member of the parish or is not practicing their faith. The privilege of being a Godparent or Sponsor presumes that the faith will be passed on and that the role of being a faithful Godparent or Sponsor will be lived out by example.
 
The Rectory Office will be closed on Monday, January 18th, for the Martin Luther King Observance & Holiday.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Everything in life requires courage, whether it is playing football or coaching football; crossing the room to ask a woman on a date or rekindling a love that has grown cold; whether it’s your first day at college or your first day back at college after twenty years; starting a business, battling a potentially fatal disease, getting married, struggling to overcome an addiction, or coming humbly before your God in prayer. Life requires courage.
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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January 10, 2016 – Baptism of Our Lord
 
With the celebration of the Baptism of Jesus, we end the Christmas season. I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas and new year celebration. I also hope you had the opportunity to celebrate the birthday of Jesus in a way that you experienced his love and peace and that you felt his presence in your hearts and homes. Again, I take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped make our ceremonies during the Christmas season so beautiful: all the ministers, Mr. Hollender and the choirs, Krystyna Szymanski and those who helped her decorate the Church, and of course, all of you for your outstanding donations in the Christmas collections and towards the flowers. We couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
 
Though Christmas was a beautiful time for me, it was also a sad one. My beloved and faithful dog, Abbey, died on the 24th of December. I had to make the decision to put her down because of her inability to walk and eat. As those of you who have had pets, you know how difficult it is to make that decision. Abbey was with me since August of 2008, and was a loyal companion, following me wherever I would go. On Saturday, January 2nd, I went to the ACCT pound on Hunting Park Avenue, and adopted another dog, a pit terrier mix who looks like Petey. He’s around 10 months old and is full of life – and has a lot of love to give. When you come to the Rectory, I’m sure you will meet him. His name is Sammy (after Samson).
 
Our next Baptismal Class will be held on this Tuesday, January 12th 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 tomorrow to enroll so we can make adequate arrangements.
 
We thank those who purchased Lottery Tickets for the month of December. A total of 519 tickets were sold at $5.00 each which gave us an income of $2,595.00. Paid out prize money amounted to $900.00, thus giving us a profit of $1,695.00. You can purchase these tickets after Masses on Sundays or at the Rectory during office hours. If you can sell a few, call the Rectory and speak to Terry. Every little bit helps to maintain our parish. Purchase your January and February tickets now. We especially thank all our sellers for their donated time to sell these tickets each month.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Have you ever been the victim of gossip? How did it feel? Meditate on the pain that it caused you. Go deep into that pain. This will help you to avoid gossiping about others.
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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January 3, 2016 – Epiphany of Our Lord
 
The Magi today remind us of the giving of self to our Lord. They traveled far and wide 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 our love. He asks nothing extravagant – just the simple gift of ourselves.
 
It is a Polish custom to bless chalk and incense on this day. The chalk is used to put the initials of 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+16
 
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. Because this bulletin has to be sent to be printed before Christmas, we will announce the totals next week. 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 in the 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 2016 as Jesus did at Nazareth and pray for one another.
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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