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 September 2018
Fr. Joe’s Messages for August 2018
Fr. Joe’s Messages for July 2018
Fr. Joe’s Messages for June 2018
Fr. Joe’s Messages for May 2018
Fr. Joe’s Messages for April 2018
Fr. Joe’s Messages for March 2018
Fr. Joe’s Messages for February 2018
Fr. Joe’s Messages for January 2018
Fr. Joe’s Messages before January 2018 (Archive)
 


Fr. Joe’s Posts for September 2018

 
September 9, 2018 – 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
This week we are continuing our Spiritual Enrichment Program in our parish. Catherine Joanne will return and conduct a Mini-Retreat in our cafeteria on Tuesday evening at 6:00 PM in our cafeteria. Dinner will be provided as a “Pot-Luck” or “Covered Dish” meal so everyone is invited to bring their specialty and share it with those who come. Spiritual Direction by Catherine will be given on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday by appointment only so call the rectory to arrange a time. A Spiritual Date Night is something new added this year whereby couples can deepen your relationship with a loved one – and with God – in a relaxed setting. This Friday night session will be held in the Rectory dining room on Friday at 7:00 PM. Bible Study continues on Saturday morning at 10:00 in the Rectory. The focus this year is the Gospel of St. Luke. On Sunday evening, we will conclude the week with an hour of prayer at 5:00 in Our Lady’s Chapel.
 
We hope that you participate in some or all of these special services to help better your relationship with God. Everyone is welcome. And when you come, bring a friend.
 
Next Sunday is Catechetical Sunday. At the 10 o’clock Mass our children in the PREP program will serve in all the lay aspects of the Mass – the greetings, the Scripture readings, the presentation of the gifts, collections, and helping to distribute the Church Bulletin. If possible try to attend this Mass in support of our teachers and children who are studying our Catholic faith and preparing for their sacraments.
 
The Carnival is coming to our parish and community beginning on September 27th and we could use your help. Volunteer forms are at the entrance of Our Lady’s Chapel in case you didn’t get one last week. Also, in this bulletin is inserted a donation form of the things we need to purchase for the carnival. All donations will help make our profit greater.
 
May God bless you as you strive to become better versions of yourself this week.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Before the Church or nations change, people must change. If we want the Church to get better, we must get better. If we want to change the world, we must first change our own life.”
 
HOW ABOUT A SECOND THOUGHT?: “If you seek God, you will find him, even if he is found in ways that are difficult to understand or very different than you anticipated.”
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
*************
 
September 2, 2018 – 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
Here we are, already at the end of summer. We welcome back all who have been away these past months and hope you had an enjoyable time wherever you were. Now it’s back to school and the daily routine we live in most of the year. With us here in the parish, September means getting ready for some big events that I hope bring more life into our parish and community. Our annual Carnival will begin on September 27th. It begins 4 days of fun for the neighborhood, especially our children. The excitement begins for them when they see the rides getting set up in the parking lot. We have already had meetings to prepare for the Carnival. Your help as a volunteer to work serving food or selling chances, etc. is always appreciated. See the enclosed form and fill out the slip to let us know if you can help and what days you can be here.
 
The next baptismal class (Pre-Jordan) will be held this Tuesday, September 4th, at 7:00 PM in the Chapel. Parents and Godparents are expected to attend. Godparents must bring a letter of eligibility from their parish stating that they are practicing Catholics.
 
The following is expected for Godparents and has been printed here several times:
 
The information printed below is the policy of the Church and the parish with regard to issuing Letters of Eligibility to those who have been asked to be a Godparent for Baptism or a Sponsor for Confirmation. If you are considering asking a particular individual to be a Godparent or Sponsor for your child, please make sure that the requirements listed below are being lived out. The Church mandates these requirements. I ask that you inform family members who may not be attending Mass and practicing their Catholic faith about these requirements. If you need a letter of eligibility, please contact the Rectory for an appointment with Father Konstanty or me.
 
When a person is asked to be a Godparent for Baptism or a Sponsor for Confirmation, a letter of eligibility must be obtained from his/her parish. The responsibility of being a Godparent or Sponsor is a great one. You will be asked to help the parents with the spiritual upbringing of the child. To do this responsibility, the practice of one’s Catholic faith is imperative. In order to receive a letter of eligibility, the following are required:
– That you be a registered member of a parish;
– That you practice your Catholic faith by attending Mass on Sundays and receiving the Sacraments frequently;
– That you have received the Sacrament of Confirmation;
– That, if married, you were married in the Catholic Church;
– That you be 16 years of age or older.
 
May God bless you always!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “We tend to overestimate what we can do in a day, and underestimate what we can do in a week.”
 
HOW ABOUT A SECOND THOUGHT?: “If we want to get to know Jesus, there is no better place to do so than in the Gospels.”
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
*************
 
 


Fr. Joe’s Posts for August 2018

 
August 26, 2018 – 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
We are heading into the last week of summer and are approaching the Labor Day weekend. Many of our children are beginning school this week and our young adults have already begun their college studies. We pray for them all as they begin the new school year and ready themselves for their future.
 
I remind our young parents who are expecting babies or who have already given birth that they must attend a baptismal class (Pre-Jordan) before a baptism can be scheduled. It is important that parents practice their faith by attending Mass on Sunday. The next Baptismal Class will be held on Tuesday, September 4th, 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. Please call the Rectory to enroll so we can make adequate arrangements.
 
We are making plans for our annual Carnival that will take place in our parking lot on September 27th to the 30th. The Carnival is always a great time in our community as it brings everyone together for a lot fun and togetherness; and of course, our Christmas Bazaar will be on November 9th and 10th. Make plans to be with us.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “God will give you exactly what you need, even if it is not what you desire or expect.”
 
HOW ABOUT A SECOND THOUGHT?: “If you seek God, you will find him, even if he is found in ways that are difficult to understand or very different than you anticipated.”
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
*************
 
August 19, 2018 – 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
Here we are – already past the midway part of August. Our children and grandchildren will begin school next Monday. Some of our older children are beginning college this week. How time flies! How quickly this summer is passing! It makes us think about our lives and where we are going and what we are doing. Perhaps this week we can pause and reflect what we are doing in our lives and how much we are giving back to God. There is perhaps something we can offer to a person in need, our parish, our neighborhood that could make a difference in someone’s life – and our own.
 
The next Baptismal Class will be held on Tuesday, September 4th, 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.
 
In case you missed it the last time we printed this: We are printing the information below once again to make everyone aware of the privilege and responsibility it is to be a Godparent or Sponsor for the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. Those who are asked by the parents to take on this responsibility should be practicing Catholics, meaning that they attend Mass and receive the sacraments regularly so that they can give a good example to the child whom they are sponsoring.
 
The information printed below is the policy of the Church and the parish with regard to issuing Letters of Eligibility to those who have been asked to be a Godparent for Baptism or a Sponsor for Confirmation. If you are considering asking a particular individual to be a Godparent or Sponsor for your child, please make sure that the requirements listed below are being lived out. The Church mandates these requirements. I ask that you inform family members who may not be attending Mass and practicing their Catholic faith about these requirements. If you need a letter of eligibility, please contact the Rectory for an appointment with Father Konstanty or me.
 
When a person is asked to be a Godparent for Baptism or a Sponsor for Confirmation, a letter of eligibility must be obtained from his/her parish. The responsibility of being a Godparent or Sponsor is a great one. You will be asked to help the parents with the spiritual upbringing of the child. To do this responsibility, the practice of one’s Catholic faith is imperative.
 
In order to receive a letter of eligibility, the following are required:
– That you be a registered member of a parish;
– That you practice your Catholic faith by attending Mass on Sundays and receiving the Sacraments frequently;
– That you have received the Sacrament of Confirmation;
– That, if married, you were married in the Catholic Church;
– That you be 16 years of age or older.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Some days you will feel like praying and many days you will not, but if you keep showing up you will develop a phenomenal friendship with God.”
 
HOW ABOUT A SECOND THOUGHT?: “Jesus wants to turn your life upside down, and then it will be right side up.”
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
*************
 
August 12, 2018 – 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
I write this to you on Monday evening, August 6th, from the Poconos. The weather, like yours down in Philly, has been hot and humid. I’m relaxing and at the same time, am cleaning out my basement from the 8” of water that entered the house after the big rainstorm two weeks previously. I’m just happy I’m up here to do the clean-up. I work for an hour and rest for a half hour. That’s all I’m capable of doing any more. Vacation is over and now it’s back to work.
 
On Monday evening, August 13th, we will honor Our Lady of Fatima with a Holy Hour and Procession in Our Lady’s Chapel, at 7:00 P.M. We invite everyone to come and pray to our Lady and participate in this beautiful prayer service.
 
Wednesday, August 15th, is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This feast is a Holy Day of Obligation. We will have Mass on Tuesday at 7:00 PM in English, 9:00 AM on Wednesday in English and 7:00 PM in Polish. We hope you take the time and come to celebrate Our Lady’s Feast Day. There will also be a Mass celebrated at 8:00 AM for the Roman Catholic High School Soccer Team that you wish to attend.
 
I hope you are all enjoying your summer.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Parents are the first teachers of their children in the ways of the faith. Parents are called to pass on to their children the best of what they’ve been given, and yes, to help them learn from their mistakes.”
 
HOW ABOUT A SECOND THOUGHT?: “The things of this world, no matter how flashy, will all pass away. What matters is where we spend eternity.”
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
*************
 
August 5, 2018 – 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
I am writing this to you on Tuesday evening, July 31, from the Poconos. I arrived here safely this afternoon and unloaded my motorhome. My travels to Wellsboro, Erie and Altoona were relaxing and enjoyable. The weather for the most part was beautiful, with some really bad rain storms. I was, however, able to do some sightseeing and learned more about our beautiful state and its history. I finally saw Lake Erie and the infamous Horseshoe Curve in Altoona. When I returned home up here, I learned of the terrible rainstorm that occurred that filled my basement with over 8 inches of water. So I have some clean-up to do during the remainder of my vacation. You will see my motorhome in back of the rectory. I brought it down on Wednesday so I could get my car. I will return on Saturday, August 11th.
 
All the parishes received the following from Archbishop Chaput. We were asked to share it with you:
 
In his most recent column Archbishop Chaput writes, “Predictably, as soon as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement earlier this summer, pro-abortion groups began lobbying the U.S. Senate hard to reject any nominee who might question or oppose Roe v. Wade. The irony here is exquisite. In past elections, abortion advocates have piously lectured Catholics to avoid making the abortion issue a “litmus test” in rejecting candidates for office. Now – no surprise — many of the same abortion advocates are doing exactly what they warned us not to do: making abortion a litmus test in rejecting Supreme Court nominees. The double standard is obvious. We need to contact our Commonwealth’s two U.S. Senators (Robert Casey, Jr., and Patrick Toomey) and urge them to resist such lobbying. And just as importantly, we need to pray.
 
Each Friday, from August 3 to September 28, 2018, the Church asks American Catholics to join in a nine-week effort of prayer, fasting and education that a change in the U.S. Supreme Court will move our nation closer to the day when every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life. As part of a U.S. bishops’ national ‘Call to Prayer,’ participants can receive weekly prayer reminders by text message or email. In addition to fasting on Fridays, participants will be encouraged to pray one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for this intention and will receive important facts about how Roe is not health care, is bad law, and fails women.”
 
Instead of Fridays, we at St. John Cantius will pray during Wednesdays when we will have adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from noon to 7:00PM. We ask that you pray as Archbishop Chaput asks at home or in Our Lady’s Chapel.
 
On Monday evening, August 13th, we will honor Our Lady of Fatima with a Holy Hour and Procession in Our Lady’s Chapel, at 7:00 P.M. We invite everyone to come and pray to our Lady and participate in this beautiful prayer service.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Let’s get real. It isn’t easy to put God first. But when we do, our hearts are centered, and everything else falls into place.”
 
HOW ABOUT A SECOND THOUGHT?: “Everyone has a free will to make his own decisions, but you can influence people for the better through your own actions.”
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
*************
 
 


Fr. Joe’s Posts for July 2018

 
July 29, 2018 – 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
Hello everyone! After spending 3 beautiful days in Wellsboro, I arrived in Erie, PA on Sunday. I am writing this to you on Wednesday morning. I understand that the weather is not its best there in Philly. There was a lot of rain overnight in Wellsboro, about 3-4 inches. It’s been raining here off and on but nevertheless, I am enjoying myself. Presque Isle is a beautiful park here and when you look out on Lake Erie, you would think you were at the Jersey Shore, minus the waves. I am relaxing and am being very careful driving. I’ll be leaving here on Friday and will be headed to see the 911 Memorial in Shanksville, Pa. and then head to Altoona to see the railroads and to Johnstown to see the Flood Museum.
 
On Monday evening, August 13th, we will honor Our Lady of Fatima with a Holy Hour and Procession in Our Lady’s Chapel, at 7:00 P.M. We invite everyone to come and pray to our Lady and participate in this beautiful prayer service. I hope you are enjoying your summer in spite of all the rain and that Fr. Burke and Fr. McNamara are taking good care of you on Sunday.
 
God bless all of you!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Regardless of where you have been or what you have done, be at peace. The same God who forgave Moses the murderer, Rahab the prostitute, David the adulterer, and Peter the denier will forgive you also.”
 
HOW ABOUT A SECOND THOUGHT?: “Just hold on one more moment. God is in control, even if it feels like he isn’t. He is in control, and he loves you. There are better things ahead.”
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
*************
 
July 22, 2018 – 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
We are printing the information below once again to make everyone aware of the privilege and responsibility it is to be a Godparent or Sponsor for the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. Those who are asked by the parents to take on this responsibility should be practicing Catholics, meaning that they attend Mass and receive the sacraments regularly so that they can give a good example to the child whom they are sponsoring.
 
The information printed below is the policy of the Church and the parish with regard to issuing Letters of Eligibility to those who have been asked to be a Godparent for Baptism or a Sponsor for Confirmation. If you are considering asking a particular individual to be a Godparent or Sponsor for your child, please make sure that the requirements listed below are being lived out. The Church mandates these requirements. I ask that you inform family members who may not be attending Mass and practicing their Catholic faith about these requirements. If you need a letter of eligibility, please contact the Rectory for an appointment with Father Konstanty or me.
 
When a person is asked to be a Godparent for Baptism or a Sponsor for Confirmation, a letter of eligibility must be obtained from his/her parish. The responsibility of being a Godparent or Sponsor is a great one. You will be asked to help the parents with the spiritual upbringing of the child. To do this responsibility, the practice of one’s Catholic faith is imperative.
 
In order to receive a letter of eligibility, the following are required:
– That you be a registered member of a parish;
– That you practice your Catholic faith by attending Mass on Sundays and receiving the Sacraments frequently;
– That you have received the Sacrament of Confirmation;
– That, if married, you were married in the Catholic Church;
– That you be 16 years of age or older.
 
May God bless you always!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Whether you are sixteen or 116 years old, it doesn’t matter. Make yourself 100 percent available to God and he will find a way to work powerfully through you.”
 
HOW ABOUT A SECOND THOUGHT?: “Even in our imperfection, our own brokenness, we can help others heal.”
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
*************
 
July 15, 2018 – 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
I will be leaving for my vacation on Thursday, July 19th and will return on Saturday, August 11th. I will be traveling around the state of Pennsylvania beginning in Wellsboro and then heading to Erie. From there I will visit the Altoona-Johnstown area and return to the Poconos to finish my vacation. I pray that my travels will be safe, restful and enjoyable. May your vacations also be the same. Wherever you go, whatever you do in these coming weeks, be sure to take God with you. With him as our companion, we can be assured of his loving presence and guidance in our journey.
 
Fr. Donald McNamara will be here once again to celebrate Mass as well as Fr. Edward Burke. They both enjoy being here with you and coming to Saint John Cantius to be with you Again may you all have a wonderful summer and enjoy your vacation. Don’t forget about God and Sunday Mass. As I mentioned in previous bulletins, 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.
 
May God bless you always!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “It isn’t that God has stopped speaking, but rather that we have stopped listening. If we can drag ourselves away from the crazy, noisy, busy world and step into the classroom of silence, God will speak to us in this place and this time.”
 
HOW ABOUT A SECOND THOUGHT?: “The goal is to see yourself with the eyes of God, which means to love yourself as God loves you.”
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
*************
 
July 8, 2018 – 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
I hope you all are enjoying your summer. I know that some days the temperatures have been very high and that the humidity makes it unbearable to do things outside. Please be careful.
 
There is never enough to write about during the summer months. The parish doesn’t close down – there is just less happening. There are, however, many repairs that need to be addressed over the summer as I spoke of several weeks ago. Even though there aren’t many events going on, we are still busy planning for September and the months following. Our annual carnival will take place from September 27th through 30th. That week is always an exciting and fun-filled week for our parish and the Bridesburg community.
 
I am leaving for my vacation on Thursday, July 19th. Fr. Donald McNamara will be here on the weekends of July 21st, July 28th and August 4th – along with Fr. Edward Burke- to celebrate the English Masses. I will be traveling to Wellsboro, Pa., Erie and Altoona and spending some time in the Poconos. I will return on Saturday, August 11th.
 
May God bless all of you!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “In a world that can seem so dark at times, God gives you a candle and a match and says ‘You are the light of the world’.”
 
A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Truth is beautiful, and the truth about you is beautiful. You and I are not perfect, but we are beautifully imperfect.”
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
*************
 
July 1, 2018 – 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
On behalf of our parish community, I thank Nikolas Korn and members of Boy Scout Troop 120, for painting the fence that surrounds our parish property. Nick and his dad approached me early this year and told me they would like to do something for the parish so Nick could earn his Eagle Scout badge. They suggested the painting of the fence. All the materials and labor were provided for by Nick and the Scouts. We thank them for their hard work in helping to beautify our parish campus.
 
As we celebrate this week 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 your journey and vacations. May God bless you always.
 
The Rectory Office will be closed on Wednesday in celebration of Independence Day.
 
There will be no Eucharistic Adoration in Our Lady’s Chapel this Wednesday July 4th because of the Independence Holiday.
 
May God grant you a happy and safe holiday!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Truth is beautiful, and the truth about you is beautiful. You and I are not perfect, but we are beautifully imperfect.”
 
HOW ABOUT A SECOND THOUGHT?: “If we attend to the things that are most important to God, he’ll come into the mess of our lives and begin to create beauty and order.”
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
*************
 
 


Fr. Joe’s Posts for June 2018

 
June 24, 2018 – The Nativity of St. John the Baptist
 
It is with sadness that I announce to you the retirement of Terry Dombkoski as our Director of Parish Services. Terry has worked at this position for over 7 years and has done a fantastic job working for the parish in many capacities. She will be missed, but not totally absent from the activities of the parish. We thank Terry for these years of dedication and commitment to the parish and we wish her the best of health during her retirement.
 
To continue Terry’s work we have hired two individuals: Dr. Joanne Walls and David Zagorski. Dr. Walls comes to us with over 30 years in the education field, most recently as Principal of St. Hubert’s High School for Girls. She will be the DRE (Director of Religious Education) in the parish. The PREP program, Adult Education, Young Adult Education, the RCIA and the RCIC will all be under her direction. David Zagorski will be the new Director of Parish Services. David has been involved in our music ministry by playing the saxophone at Sunday Masses and other special Masses. He recently taught music at Roman Catholic High School. David’s responsibilities are many, some of which are Liturgical Committee, parish scheduling, lottery, Activities Committee and assisting me in many ways to keep the parish running in an orderly fashion. We welcome Joanne and David to our parish staff and family. With their help, our parish will continue to grow spiritually, intellectually and socially as a family of God.
 
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.
 
The next Baptismal Class will be held on Tuesday, June 26th, in the Chapel, at 7:00 PM. This will be the last class offered until September. 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!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Holiness isn’t measured by our perfection. It’s measured by how we love.”
 
HOW ABOUT A SECOND THOUGHT?: “When you get that quiet time to think and pray, it’s really easy to see what matters most in life: loving God, and doing his will.”
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
*************
 
June 17, 2018 – 11th 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. I know I repeat every year on Father’s Day this beautiful prayer to St. Joseph, but it is a great and powerful prayer to the patron of the Church.
 
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).
 
Vacation time is upon us and, as school ends, we will be travelling to various destinations. Please don’t forget to attend Mass on Sundays. 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. Our 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.
 
The Mass Intention book for the last six months of 2018 is now open. Masses will be available from July 1st to December 31st.
 
I will be away for my yearly Retreat in Vermont this week and will return next Saturday afternoon. You will be remembered in my prayers.
 
May God bless you today and every day!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Life is too short to be lived halfheartedly.”
 
HOW ABOUT A SECOND THOUGHT?: “You cannot change one moment of your past, but you can change your whole future. Now is your time.”
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
*************
 
June 10, 2018 – 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 families.
 
Masses next weekend will be in the air-conditioned Chapel. Beginning this weekend, Scrip will be sold at the side entrance of the Chapel. Thank you for your continued support of this program.
 
The next Baptismal Class will be held on Tuesday, June 26th, in the Chapel, at 7:00 PM. This will be the last class offered until September. 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.
 
The Mass Intention book for 2018 for Masses from July 1st to December 31st will be open on June 12th during Rectory Office hours. Please do not come to the Rectory to request Mass dates before the 12th. Since there are a limited number of Masses available, we ask that no more than 3 Masses per individual be requested.
 
I will be leaving on my annual Retreat to St. Joseph’s Dwelling Place in Vermont next Sunday after the 10:00 Mass.
 
May God bless you always!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “All of life’s important relationships thrive under the condition of carefree timelessness. Learn to waste time with the people you love.”
 
HOW ABOUT A SECOND THOUGHT?: “All relationships can be measured by our ability to share ourselves with others.”
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
*************
 
June 3, 2018 – The Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ
 
Today 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. Many years ago in Europe, people would process with the Blessed Sacrament from town to town and stop at Churches of roadside shrines. Prayers and blessings would occur at each stop. Today, we will have a Eucharistic Procession to three altars around the Church after the 10:00 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 as well as 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 10:00 Mass around 10:50.
 
The Mass Intention book for 2018 for Masses from July 1st to December 31st will be open on June 12th during Rectory Office hours. Please do not come to the Rectory to request Mass dates before the 12th. Since there are a limited number of Masses available, we ask that no more than 3 Masses per individual be requested.
 
May God bless you always!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “It is patience that allows us to find God in all things and generosity that sets us free to be men and women for others.”
 
HOW ABOUT A SECOND THOUGHT?: “We require God’s help in order to become the people he desires us to be.”
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
*************
 
 


Fr. Joe’s Posts for May 2018

 
May 27, 2018 – The 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 10:00 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 10:00 Mass around 10:50.
 
I sincerely thank those who came last Sunday to celebrate with me my 40th Anniversary as a priest. It was a most enjoyable day for me. It was so good to see many of you and share the celebration of Mass and dinner afterwards. It has been a quick 40 years for me – at least it seems so. It has also been a most rewarding and wonderful time working with and ministering to you and to many others in the parishes in which I served. I pray that I may continue my life serving God and the Church for many more years.
 
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 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.
 
We thank everyone who brought in a Manna Bag filled with food for the poor. We took your bags to the Mother of Mercy House on Allegheny Avenue. They were most grateful to receive them. The food that we delivered will be used to help feed the needy in the area during the summer months. Once again you have shown your generosity.
 
The Rectory Office will be closed on Monday, Memorial Day.
 
May you enjoy the parade and the celebration of the holiday.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “We must not allow the mistakes of our lives to discourage us from boldly living our faith.”
 
HOW ABOUT A SECOND THOUGHT?: “A great source of happiness is seeing someone you love experience joy.”
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
*************
 
May 20, 2018 – Pentecost Sunday
 
40 YEARS – A REFLECTION: My life as a priest began on May 20, 1978. I was ordained with 9 other classmates at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul by John Cardinal Krol. It was a beautiful day – as was the entire weekend. I celebrated my First Mass at St. Josaphat’s in Manayunk. My first assignment was St. Edmond’s Parish in South Philadelphia. That same summer, I studied Polish in Lublin, Poland, for 6 weeks. It was my desire to minister in Polish Parishes. In November of 1979, I was assigned to Assumption B.V.M. Parish in Feasterville. Though I was only there for 6 months, the parish was a great experience for me. However, one of our Polish priests died and I was sent to St. John Cantius in June of 1980 serving here until June of 1986. It was a great time here for me working with the people and especially the youth in our school and high school. Our CYO Program became the “best” in the Archdiocese and I was extremely proud of those kids and the adults that worked with me. My next assignment took me to St. Adalbert’s where I returned to be with my mentor, Msgr. Anthony Jaworowski. He had a great part in my formation as a priest and pastor. He taught me how to be with people and treat them respectfully and lovingly. I could never forget his positive effects on my life. I left St. Adalbert’s in June of 1993 to become pastor of Sacred Heart in Swedesburg, Pa. I had tremendous support there from the parishioners as we strove to keep our Catholic School open. Working together we managed to do so for the 7 years I was there. I will never forget the people there who supported me and worked with me in various ministries and projects. I then returned to St. John Cantus as your pastor in October of 2000. Since coming back “home”, I have renewed many friendships that I made in the 80’s when I was here and made new ones. Though we have struggled financially at times, I believe we have become – and are becoming a vibrant parish. It pained me terribly when we had to close our parish school. It was also a difficult time when I had to leave you for a year when St. John Cantius and All Saints merged in 2013. But joy returned to me when I came back in 2014. We have all been through a lot together and through the blessings of God, and the intercession of St. John Cantius and all the Saints, we have been able to accomplish a lot. That is my reflection for today and a brief history of my priesthood.
 
I have been a priest for 14,610 days. I have celebrate that many and more of Masses; baptized and married countless babies and young adults; and buried thousands of devoted parishioners and friends. I thank all of you for supporting me here as I hope to serve you many more years. Though my health isn’t the best these days, I hope you will continue to pray for me and help me to be your pastor for many more years to come.
 
Besides myself, many priests celebrate the anniversary of their ordinations to the priesthood. Father Konstanty was ordained on May 28th, 1983 and celebrates his 35th anniversary. Father Edward Burke, who helps us on Sundays, was ordained in 1973 and is celebrating his 45th anniversary and Fr. Jozef Krajewski, who helps us occasionally with the Polish Masses, is also celebrating his 45th Anniversary. Together, we all represent 165 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.
 
The rain and clouds did not dampen the spirits of our parishioners last weekend as we honored the Blessed Mother as Erika Szymanski crowned her as our Queen. Our Lady provided us with enough time to honor her outside with our Marian celebration. We thank everyone who had a part in preparing the ceremonies and those who participated so beautifully in the services.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “We reach the ultimate goal of our journey one step at a time.”
 
HOW ABOUT A SECOND THOUGHT?: “God never abandons anyone; God’s only desire, for even the worst sinner, is that we repent and return.”
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
*************
 
May 13, 2018 – 7th Sunday of Easter
 
On behalf of all the poor and needy people who will benefit from your generosity, I thank you for your wonderful donations to the Rice Bowl which amounted to $1,259.55. This amount is outstanding, added to your sacrifices that you made during the Lenten Season. In addition to your Rice Bowl Offering, I also thank you for your Easter Offering to the parish that amounted to $13,295.00_. We are continuing our upgrading of our parish property to keep up with segments of the campus that need repair. We need to replace the second half of the school roof this summer and to repair sections of the convent. A new gas boiler will be needed in the school, hall and convent buildings. We just about got through the winter with the old one. Lease money from the school district, the day care center and the lease of the convent helps – but it is never enough. Every day is an adventure here and I never know what I will wake up to each morning. THANK YOU for caring about your Church and the needy people that we are called to help throughout the year.
 
TODAY, Sunday morning, we will crown the Blessed Virgin Mary as our Queen and Mother, after the 10:00 Mass. Miss Erika Szymanski will be the May Queen this year. We invite everyone to come and pray with us as we honor our Blessed Lady.
 
Catherine Joanne will be here this week beginning on Tuesday with the Mini-Retreat on Tuesday evening, at 6:30 in the cafeteria. Bible Study will be on Saturday in the Rectory dining room at 10:00 AM and a Holy Hour next Sunday at 5:00 PM in the Chapel. Try to come to these times of prayer and reflection.
 
I invite you to come and pray with me next Sunday as I celebrate Mass in thanksgiving for the 40th Anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood at 2:00 PM . There will be a dinner in our hall following Mass. If you would like to come to dinner, please send the enclosed coupon to the Rectory no later than Monday of this week so we can make adequate arrangements.
 
May God bless you throughout this coming week.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Temptations will be with us for our entire life. However, their presence or absence is no indication of personal holiness; how we deal with them is.”
 
HOW ABOUT A SECOND THOUGHT?: “Think of the person you most respect—you can become that for someone else.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
*************
 
May 6, 2018 – 6th Sunday of Easter
 
Today, (Sunday), at the 10:00 Mass our children will receive their First Holy Communion 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.
 
This Thursday, May 10th, is Ascension Thursday – a Holy Day of Obligation. We celebrate on this day Jesus’ commissioning His disciples to baptize in His name, reminding them – and us – that He is always present through His Spirit. Our Lord ascended to His Father amid cries of gladness. We are to be His witnesses, for we have been gifted with His Spirit of wisdom and revelation. Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday evening (Vigil) at 7:00 (English) and on Thursday at 9:00 A.M. (English), and 7:00 P.M. (Polish).
 
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. Miss Erika Szymanski 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 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.
 
Next weekend, members of our parish Respect Life Committee will be on hand to distribute Pro-Life Union New Bulletins and to offer live carnations. Your financial gift will aid the pro-life cause.
 
Last week I went into the hospital to have a catheterization done. I had a 90% block on one of my arteries. The procedure was successful and my doctor gave me a “thumb’s up”. I thank everyone for their prayers and best wishes. I was told to slow down with my activities and I will. However – as you know – the next five weekends will be busy around here: May Procession, my parish celebration of my 40th anniversary, Memorial Day weekend, Corpus Christi Procession. I thank everyone who will help make all these ceremonies and events go smoothly. I always believed that an active and busy parish is a great and happy one as we serve our God and one another. I love serving you and I love all of you too!
 
May God bless you always!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “We are not promised an easy path, or even a clear one. But we are commanded to follow and we are promised an eternal reward.”
 
A SECOND DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “As we grow in love for him, he will help us grow in love for others.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
*************
 
 


Fr. Joe’s Posts for April 2018

 
April 29, 2018 – 5th Sunday of Easter
 
Next Sunday at 9:45 A.M., our PREP Children will receive their First Holy Communion. All Parishioners are invited to come and celebrate this great day with the children, when they will receive Our Lord for the first time and they become more fully a part of our community. This is what Eucharist means. We receive the Body of Christ and realize that we are one with Him and one another. It is a very special day in the lives of the First Communicants, their parents, and in the life of the parish. The Parish Societies with their banners are invited to come and lead the children into Church.
 
On Sunday, May 13th, after the 10:00 Mass, we will have our May Procession and Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We will process (if weather permits) from the Church to the Marian garden. As we process, we will sing a hymn to Our Lady. We hope many of you will participate in this beautiful ceremony, as we honor the Mother of God. Our First Communicants are all asked to participate.
 
You most probably have received your offering envelope for the Catholic Charities Appeal. I ask that you be as generous as possible with your donation that helps the Archdiocese with its many Social Service ministries. There are many times throughout the year that I myself call to help our parishioners who come to the Rectory seeking help and advice. You may place your generous offering in the collection basket next Sunday or send it directly to the Appeal Office.
 
On Wednesday, April 18th, I took a stress test. My cardiologist saw an abnormality in my heart through the test and the echocardiogram that I also received. As I write this on Monday, I am preparing to go to Jeannes Hospital on Wednesday, April 25th for a catherization to find out what’s wrong. I’ve been extremely tired lately. I don’t know if my heart is the problem or something else. Hopefully, when you read this I will have an answer and told you in church what the results were. Please keep me in your prayers.
 
May you all have a beautiful week.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Love gives and serves without expecting to be repaid.”
 
A SECOND DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “In order to forgive, we must open our hearts to a love that does not originate in us.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
*************
 
April 22, 2018 – 4th Sunday of Easter
 
Because of the Gospel Reading this weekend, this Sunday is referred to as Good Shepherd Sunday. We reflect this Sunday on how our Lord watches over us and protects us. We are his flock, the sheep he takes care of. The loving and beautiful image of Jesus holding a sheep shows us his divine love. Let us carry this image with us as we walk life’s journey, knowing that our shepherd is with us in good times and in bad and is only a prayer away.
 
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW: First Holy Communion will be celebrated by our young people on the weekend of May 5th and 6th our Polish children on Saturday, May 5th, at 11:00 AM and our PREP and Blessed Trinity children on Sunday, May 6th, at 10:00 AM. May Procession will be celebrated on Sunday, May 13th, between the 10:00 and 11:30 Masses. These are beautiful parish celebrations. We hope you all come and celebrate them with your parish community. We are still accepting your Rice Bowl Offerings. Please place them in the large bowl in the vestibule of the Church. Easter Holy Water is available at the Baptismal Font throughout the Easter Season.
 
Have a beautiful week!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Christians are never Lone Rangers. We are part of a spiritual family, the Church, to which each one of us contributes.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
*************
 
April 15, 2018 – 3rd Sunday of Easter
 
We thank you for your most generous offerings for the Easter Collection. The money received will continue to help us improve our property and buildings. This summer, we need to repair the second half of the school roof and replace one of the boilers in the school building. This past winter we have had many issues with the oil boiler and we have decided to purchase a gas boiler. Also, we are close to having the convent leased which will bring us more income (more information about this will be given in the coming weeks) and enable us to make some urgent repairs throughout our parish grounds. Again, I thank you for all your support and generosity.
 

We will have our Holy Hour this evening at 5:00 PM in the Chapel. We invite you to come and spend some quality time with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
 

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 suffering in our Archdiocese as well as in mission lands. We thank you for your support and sacrifices. Easter Holy Water is available at the Baptismal Font throughout the season of Easter. Please bring a container and take some home for your use.
 

I hope you all have a wonderful week!
 

OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Prayer is sitting on the runway, and God’s grace meets us there, fuels our plane, and takes us into the atmosphere.”
 

Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
*************
 
April 8, 2018 – Divine Mercy Sunday
 
As I sat before the Blessed Sacrament on Easter morning, I got an enormous feeling of gratitude to our Lord for not only his goodness to me but to our parish. The blessings that he bestows on our parish community are enormous and we should be eternally grateful to him for everything we have received. I placed all of you into his hands as we prayed. I hope you all had a beautiful Easter last weekend, celebrating our Lord’s Resurrection. He has given his life to us to share and give to one another. May we all continue to live good Christian lives and be who God calls us all to be, As Matthew Kelly says: “Let us all be better-versions-of- ourselves.”
 
To those who participated in the services of Holy Week, I thank you for your presence. 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 and full of the Lord’s presence. 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 Jan Goral and Matthew Burnosky for setting up the Repository altar and the tomb. The Living Stations on Good Friday was outstanding. Thank you to the children of our PREP Program, along with their teachers for their participation in the Living Way of the Cross. Everyone left the Church inspired by what they witnessed. The choir under the direction of Wojciech Hollender again led us in our liturgies and added great solemnity to our services. It was indeed a great week because it was a “Holy Week”.
 
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 suffering in our Archdiocese as well as in mission lands. We thank you for your support and sacrifices.
 
Easter Holy Water is available at the Baptismal Font. Please bring a container and take some home for your use.
 
As we conclude this eighth day of Easter (Octave), I wish all of you a HAPPY EASTER!!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Through his resurrection, he transforms our sorrows into joy.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
*************
 
April 1, 2018 – 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. Your attendance at daily Mass and the Stations of the Cross that we offered was edifying. It showed your love for the Lord Who shows His Love for us every day. 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 the English and Polish Choirs. We thank the Altar Servers, Lectors, Cantors Eucharistic Ministers and Ushers for their dedicated service; to Jan Goral and Matthew Burnosky for setting up the Repository and Grave; to Father Konstanty, Krystyna Szymanski and the others who helped to decorate our Church so beautifully. We thank all of you who contributed in the Second Collection 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, our PREP teachers and the young adults 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.
 
We congratulate Michael Pharo, who last night at the Easter Vigil was baptized, confirmed and received his First Holy Communion. He became a member of our Catholic Community. Michael has been coming to RCIA classes for a year preparing for this great step in his life. We wish God’s blessing upon him as he begins his new life in Christ.
 
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.
 
The Rectory Office will be closed tomorrow (Monday).
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “The happiest people I know are people who have a sense of mission. They have a joy that nobody can take away from them. The joy of their lives is linked not to the worldly scope or scale of the mission, but to the belief that they are uniquely suited to that role and the conviction that they have been called to it. They have a sense that they are in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. Are you at peace with who you are, where you are, and what you are doing?”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
*************
 


Fr. Joe’s Posts for March 2018

 
March 25, 2018 – Palm Sunday
 
Today we begin Holy Week. 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 PREP 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 A.M. Masses for Easter Day will be at 6:00 (Polish), 8:00, 10:00 (English) and 11:30 A.M. (Polish)
 
We will bless food (Swieconka) in your homes beginning at 9:00 A.M. on Holy Saturday and in Church at 8:30 A.M. and 2:30 P.M. On this day the table is covered with the finest linen and china, on which is set the traditional Easter foods to be blessed by a visiting parish priest. No food is eaten until after the blessing; some families do not partake of the blessed food until Easter morning. The food can also be placed in a basket and taken to the Church to be blessed. The “SWIECONKA” consists mostly of hard-boiled eggs (the symbol of life), sausage or kielbasa, ham, bread, babka and, of course, the lamb molded out of butter with a little red banner inserted, which is symbolic of the Lamb of God. If you would like the priest to visit your home on Holy Saturday, March 31 please use the form that is printed in this Church Bulletin and return it to the Rectory by Good Friday, March 30.
 
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.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “From time to time it is good for us all to learn to listen again. Listen to those you love. Listen to your body. Listen to your conscience and soul. Listen to God.”

 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
*************
 
March 18, 2018 – 5th Sunday of Lent
 
This weekend, we welcome Bishop Michael Fitzgerald to our parish as he confers the Sacrament of Confirmation on our young adults of the parish at the 10:00 Mass.
 
We will have our Holy Hour Dedicated to St. Joseph this evening at 5:00 PM in the Chapel. Tomorrow, Monday, is his feast day. We invite you to come and spend some quality time with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, and at the same time, reflect on the life of St. Joseph.
 
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 printed in this Church Bulletin and return it to the Rectory by Good Friday, March 30th. We will print a schedule for Holy Week in next week’s bulletin.
 
As we draw closer to the end of Lent, may God bless you for your sacrifices and the good you do for him and those around you.
 
Our next Baptismal Class will be held on Tuesday, May 1st, 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.
 
The Knights of Columbus will meet this Tuesday, March 20th, in the Rectory.
 
Have a good week!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Become a master of your temper. When things do not go as you would like them to, pause before reacting. Breathe deeply. Remind yourself that in the grand scheme of human history, this is just one moment. And walk away from the situation to collect yourself if necessary. If you’re reading Perfectly Yourself, read pages 123-127.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER- STUDY -GENEROSITY -EVANGELIZATION
 

 
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 30th.
 
NAME_________________________________________________________
 
 
ADDRESS______________________________________________________
 
 
PHONE NUMBER_________________________________________________
 

*************
 
March 11, 2018 – 4th Sunday of Lent
 
Next Sunday, we will welcome Bishop Michael Fitzgerald to our parish as he confers the Sacrament of Confirmation on our young adults of the parish at the 10:00 Mass. This Mass will begin at 9:45 so we ask that you arrive earlier to take your seat. You are all invited to attend this Mass and ceremony. It is an important event in our parish. Since the bishop will have pictures taken with those who will be confirmed after the Mass, the 11:30 Polish Mass will be celebrated in the Chapel.
 
Catherine Joanne will return this Tuesday for our Spiritual Enrichment Program beginning with the mini Retreat in our cafeteria at 6:00 PM. (NOTICE THETIME CHANGE) We invite you to come for the Poor Man’s Supper and experience an uplifting night of prayer and companionship. We will attend Mass 7:15.
 
Catherine will offer the reflection in the Chapel beginning at 7. On Thursday evening at 6 in the Church, Catherine will speak to our Prep parents on the topic of “why go to confession?” All are invited to attend. Bible Study will take place on Saturday, beginning at 10:00 in the Rectory (use back entrance).
 
We are offering all of these Lenten opportunities to you to help make the season of Lent beneficial to your spiritual life. Please take advantage of them.
 
Have a great week!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Be gentle with yourself. You are a marvelous creation, but you are a work in progress.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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March 4, 2018 – 3rd Sunday of Lent
 
JUST A SHORT REFLECTION THIS WEEK: It is nice to see many of you participating in daily Mass and the Stations of the Cross we are offering during Lent. With the busy schedules that we all have, it is at times difficult to do the things we really want to do. I have always realized that when we give God the time, he gives us enough time to accomplish all we plan to do on a specific day. If you haven’t done anything for Lent yet, today is a good day to start. We are already beginning the Third Week of Lent. It’s never too late to start “to give up something”, “to do something extra for someone”, or to attend Mass, the Stations of the Cross or pray a little more.
 
May you have a good week!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Think about the people you respect the most. Why do you respect them? If you’re reading Perfectly Yourself , the book you received at Christmas, read pages 57-71.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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Fr. Joe’s Posts for February 2018

 
February 25, 2018 – 2nd Sunday of Lent
 
Who am I? What difference can I make? Where am I going? These are familiar questions that often dominate and confuse us, but are never really answered by our culture and society. The liturgies in Lent put focus back in our lives and re-affirm our value in God’s eyes. We are the Body of Christ born from the Paschal Mystery and sent forth to proclaim the Good News of Salvation to all people. This identity needs to be renewed and strengthened through prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
 
For those who may not be aware…for many years now we have given parishioners the opportunity to make an offering towards the Sanctuary Lamps that burn in Church and in the Chapel, as well as the lamp that burns in front of the statue of St. John Cantius in the Church. The lamp will burn in memory of a loved one. Donations toward the hosts and wine that are used can also be donated in memory of a loved one. It is a beautiful way of remembering those who are and are special to us.
 
Sanctuary Lamp in Church for one week – $20.00
Sanctuary Lamp in Chapel for one week – $20.00
Lamp that burns in front of the Statue of St. John Cantius for one week – $20.00
Hosts and Wine for one month – $100.00
 
If you wish to make an offering, place your donation in an envelope, write the name of the person in whose memory you are making the donation and towards which lamp. Names will be printed in the Church Bulletin prior to the week (or month) that your donation will be used. You may also come to the Rectory and see what weeks are available.
 
I thank everyone who make insightful and good suggestions to me. Everything cannot happen at once and each suggestion has been – and is – prayerfully considered and discussed. Your concern and interest in the welfare and good of the parish is exemplary and appreciated very much. May God bless you always for your dedication and support of St. John Cantius.
 
Have a good week and a good Lent!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Have the courage to be different. Don’t let yourselves get swallowed up by a society of consumption and empty appearances.”
 
A SECOND DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “In gratitude, our hearts always dance for joy.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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February 18, 2018 – First Sunday of Lent
 
During Lent we reflect upon our mortality, our weakness, our starving for a better relationship with our God and neighbor. As we journey through Lent and keep our Lenten promises, we should see a difference in our lives – we experience life differently. I hope you take full advantage of what is offered in our parish during this Lenten Season. We will have a Holy Hour this evening (Sunday) beginning at 5:00 in the Chapel. This is a great opportunity to spend an hour with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and listen to a reflection by Catherine Joanne.
 
The chimney on the annex next to the Church was repaired last week at a cost of $1,200.00. This amount was donated by one of our Polish families to whom we are deeply grateful for their generosity.
 
To repeat what I wrote last week: Through our Dynamic Catholic Program, I would like to propose to you something different to do for Lent this year. It’s a free email program that will guide you on an incredible 40 day journey to become the-best-version-of-yourself, making this a truly life-changing Lent. I have personally participated in this program the past several years and it is a wonderful program and something great to do in Lent. Just go to www.dynamiccatholic.com and go to Best Lent Ever and sign up.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “We need to learn to offer correction and be corrected, but to do both with such love that both parties can’t help but be better for it.”
 
AND A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “We can’t give love unless we’ve first learned to receive it. And we can’t teach love until we’ve first learned to show it.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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February 11, 2018 – 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
We begin the Season of Lent this Wednesday with the celebration of Ash Wednesday. 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 Chapel and 7:00 P.M. (English) in Church. 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, Tuesday and Thursday in English; Wednesday and Friday in Polish) 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.
 
Through our Dynamic Catholic Program, I would like to propose to you something different to do for Lent this year. It’s a free email program that will guide you on an incredible 40 day journey to become the-best-version-ofyourself, making this a truly life-changing Lent. I have personally participated in this program the past several years and it is a wonderful program and something great to do in Lent. Just go to www.dynamiccatholic.com and go to Best Lent Ever and sign up.
 
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 – Perfectly Yourself (the book you received at Christmas)
– 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 14th, and will continue on Thursday and Friday at 7:00 PM. Evening Mass and homily on Thursday will be in the Polish language. 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: Evening Mass will be in Polish this Thursday.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “To turn our backs on a life of service is to turn our backs on our very selves.”
 
AND A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “When we abandon our beliefs, we abandon ourselves.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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February 4, 2018 – 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
Well I never made it up to the mountains last weekend, My doctor called me the Wednesday before I was to leave and told me I had the Flu and that I shouldn’t be up there by myself. So I didn’t go. I stayed in bed until last Sunday, which is why you didn’t see me last weekend. As I write this on Monday, I am well and had a rather active day.
 
On Friday, February 2nd, we celebrated the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as Candlemas Day. Candles were blessed on this day. If you would like to take a blessed candle home, they are available on the table in the front of the Chapel for a $2.00 offering.
 
Ash Wednesday is on February 14th. At the entrances of the Chapel, we have boxes for you to place your blessed palm from last year. We will burn the palm to create ashes for distribution on Ash Wednesday, just 10 days away.
 
May God bless you always! GO EAGLES!!!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “God’s dreams for you and me go so far beyond what the world has to offer’.”
 
A SECOND DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “God has created you to be here right now for a very specific reason.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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Fr. Joe’s Posts for January 2018

 
January 28, 2018 – 4th 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 $20,967.00. 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.
 
Again I thank you for your generosity and love for our parish. We have so much to do this coming year to repair and upgrade our parish buildings and property. I am proud to be your pastor and extremely proud to have you as my parishioners. May we continue to work together during this year to make St. John Cantius a model parish in the Archdiocese. May God bless you always.
 
We are in that “in between time”: that time between Christmas and the beginning of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, February 14th. In the meantime, we have an opportunity to slow down a little after the busy Christmas Season, get our lives in order and prepare for 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.
 
Some dates this year to remember: Easter this year is April 1st. We have been informed that we will have the Sacrament of Confirmation conferred on Sunday, March 18th, at the 10:00 Mass by Bishop Michael Fitzgerald. First Holy Communion will be celebrated on Sunday, May 6th, at the 10:00 Mass; and May Procession will take place the following Sunday, May 13th. These are all very special days in the life of our parish. Your participation in them is important and welcomed.
 
ANOTHER REMINDER: 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.
 
At the entrances of the Church and Chapel, we have boxes for you to place your blessed palm from last year. We will burn the palm to create ashes for distribution on Ash Wednesday, which will be on February 14th, just a few weeks away.
 
May you all have a beautiful week!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “You asked, ‘What most needs to change in the world?’ The reply, “I do.’”
 
A SECOND DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Find something good in each person you meet and help it to grow.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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January 21, 2018 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
I realize that our Philadelphia Eagles have a big game on Sunday evening, so we are having our Holy Hour at 5:00 PM in the Chapel. We invite you to come and spend some quality time with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. You will return home more fulfilled and joyful and in plenty of time for the game.
 
ANOTHER REMINDER: 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.
 
At the entrances of the Church and Chapel next week, we will have boxes for you to place your blessed palm from last year. We will burn the palm to create ashes for distribution on Ash Wednesday, which will be on February 14th, just a few weeks away. Easter Sunday will be on April 1st.
 
I will be up the Poconos from Thursday of this week until next Monday for a little rest. Many of you have asked me how I’ve been feeling because you see me wincing and favoring my legs when I walk and I appreciate your concern. My right knee has been extremely painful the last several weeks. I need a knee replacement but I can’t have any surgery done until after Easter. The doctors cannot take me off my blood thinner medication until a year has passed when my stent was inserted, so I have to wait. Hopefully if I can rest and stay off my feet for a couple of days it will help. Fr. Burke will celebrate the English Masses next weekend.
 
May God bless you and watch over you!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it..”
 
A SECOND DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “If you want to stop worrying, don’t try to do it on your own. God is right beside you, and he wants to help.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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January 14, 2018 – 2nd 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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