Pastor’s Corner – 2019

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 May 2019

 
May 19, 2019 – Fifth Sunday of Easter
 
Even though we had a rainy Sunday last weekend, the May Procession was another beautiful ceremony in the life of our parish as Olivia Lukomski crowned our Blessed Mother in Church. If you would like to see it, you may do so on our parish website.
 
The members of our parish Respect Life Committee thank you for your charitable donations toward. the carnation sale. Your financial gifts amounted to $440.00 and will aid the pro-life cause. Our beloved Pope John Paul promoted the Culture of Life as the fundamental goal of our Church.
 
This 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 next weekend, May 27th and 28th. The food that you bring will be delivered to Mother of Mercy House in Kensington and given to the poor.
 
Many priests celebrate the anniversary of their ordinations to the priesthood this week. I will celebrate my 41st Anniversary on May 20th. Father Konstanty was ordained on May 28th, 1983 and celebrates his 36th anniversary. Father Edward Burke, who helps us on Sundays, was ordained in 1973 and is celebrating his 46th anniversary and Fr. Jozef Krajewski, who helps us occasionally with the Polish Masses, is also celebrating his 46th Anniversary. Together, we all represent 169 years of priestly service. We all 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.
 
Next weekend we celebrate Memorial Day Weekend. We will celebrate the 10:00 Mass with our war veterans. It is a great opportunity to pray with them and thank them for their service to our nation and us. May Mary our Mother watch over you and protect you always.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “By realizing that God has a purpose for everything, we learn to trust him and the beautiful plans he has for our lives.”
 
AND A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Whatever challenges come your way in life, you are never alone; Jesus is at your side. He is your friend and your teacher.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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May 12, 2019 – Good Shepherd Sunday
 
We wish all the women in our parish a HAPPY MOTHERS 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. 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.
 
Today also is a joyful day in our parish as we will have our May Procession and Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary after the 10:00 Mass.. We will process (if weather permits) from Church to the statue of the Blessed Mother in the Marian Garden. As we process, we will sing in English and Polish. Miss Olivia Lukomski 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 the Parish Societies with their banners. May is the Month of Mary – when we honor her as our Queen and Mother.
 
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 beloved Pope John Paul promoted the Culture of Life as the fundamental goal of our Church.
 
This weekend the ushers will distribute Manna Bags as you leave Church. We ask you to fill these bags with nonperishable food and return them next weekend, May 18th and 19th. The food that you bring will be delivered to Mother of Mercy House in Kensington and given to the poor.
 
The work on the brick pointing of the Church began last Monday. After speaking to the men who are working, they told me how bad the mortar was between the bricks, so much so, that when they cut out the mortar, water poured out. So it is good that we are getting the work done now before more damage occurs. Once again I thank you for your donations toward this project. Gifts are still coming in and we are not far from our goal of $75,000.00.
 
This week on Tuesday, Catherine Joanne returns to our parish for the monthly Spiritual Enrichment Program. We invite you to attend one – or all – of the following: Tuesday evening at 6:30 in the rectory (Mini-Retreat with Pot Luck Supper); Friday evening at 7:00 in the Rectory dining room (Spiritual Date Night). Bring a date or your spouse. Light dinner provided; Saturday morning at 10:00 in the Rectory dining room (Bible Study of the Gospel of St. Luke); Sunday evening at 5:00 (Holy Hour in Church). All these spiritual events are uplifting and will help better your relationship with God and one another – and help you to continue to grow spiritually as we continue to celebrate Easter.
 
May Mary, our Queen and Mother, watch over you always!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Our God is a God of surprises. We can never put limits on what he is capable of or how his love can transform something ordinary into something truly extraordinary.”
 
AND A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Life is a wonderful journey. Anytime you feel lost or confused, turn to Jesus and ask him to guide you and comfort you.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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May 5, 2019 – Third 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.
 
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 Olivia Lukomski 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 News Bulletins and to offer live carnations. Your financial gift will aid the pro-life cause.
 
We thank you for your generous donations for Easter. We will give you an up-to-date amount next week.
 
As announced last week, the necessary work on the Chapel has been completed and we can once again hold services there. The Chapel does need a new roof which will be installed after the brick pointing of the Church is completed. That work will begin very soon.
 
Blessed Easter Water is available at the Baptismal Font throughout the Easter Season.
 
May you all have a beautiful week!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Every day is a new day in your journey with God — and every day God has a message he is trying to share with you.”
 
AND A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “God knows your needs: He desires to bring you closer to himself, and he will do so as long as you keep striving and stumbling towards him.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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Fr. Joe’s Posts for April 2019

 
April 28, 2019 – Divine Mercy Sunday
 
Next Sunday at 10:00 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. Our children in the Polish Language School will be receiving their First Holy Communion next Saturday morning at 11:00 A.M.
 
On Sunday, May 12th, 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. Miss Olivia Lukomski 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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
And once again—we are looking for someone to take over the Aid for Friends Program in our Parish and I repeat an earlier request that I made in January which follows below.
 
Are you looking for something to do for God and the Parish? The Aid-for-Friends Program in our parish has existed since 2001. It is a program that helps feed those people in our community who are homebound by taking them homemade meals prepared by parishioners on a weekly basis. The program is operated from the Aid-for-Friends (AFF) home base in northeast Philadelphia. Jesse and Dori Michalek have been running the program in an exceptional way since we began the program here in the parish. They told me last month that they will retire from this ministry. So now we are looking for someone to take over this ministry that helps the aged members in our parish and the Bridesburg Community. If you are interested in learning more about what is involved and perhaps running this program, please call me at the rectory. We could sit down and discuss the program and the work that is involved. Easter Holy Water is available at the Baptismal Font. 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: “Ask God what you can do for him today. No matter how many days or years you have wasted, it’s never too late to get started. Today is a new beginning.”
 
AND A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “In a world filled with change, the stability of God is comforting. When faced with unexpected challenges, we can always take refuge in him.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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April 21, 2019 – 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, Matthew Burnosky, Mike Goodroe, Mark Pasternak, Joseph Slota and Stephen Lazauskas for cleaning our Church and setting up the Repository and Grave; to Father Konstanty and Krystyna Szymanski 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, Dr. Joanne Walls, our PREP teachers and young boys and girls of our PREP Program 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.
 
This week on Tuesday, Catherine Joanne returns to our parish for the monthly Spiritual Enrichment Program. We invite you to attend one – or all – of the following: Tuesday evening at 6:30 in the rectory (Mini-Retreat with Pot Luck Supper); Friday evening at 7:00 in the Rectory dining room (Spiritual Date Night). Bring a date or your spouse. Light dinner provided; Saturday morning at 10:00 in the Rectory dining room (Bible Study of the Gospel of St. Luke); Sunday evening at 5:00 (Holy Hour in Church). All these spiritual events are uplifting and will help better your relationship with God and one another – and help you to continue to grow spiritually as we begin this Easter Season.
 
Our next Baptismal Class will be held on Tuesday, May 21st, in the Rectory, 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 Rectory Office will be closed tomorrow (Monday).
 
May you all have a most beautiful Easter.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Let no one ever come to you without coming away better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness.” (St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
 
AND A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “If we pray—we will believe. If we believe—we will love. If we love—we will serve.” (St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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April 14, 2019 – 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 5:50 A.M. and Mass (in Polish) will follow at 6:00. Masses for Easter Day will be at 6:00 (Polish), 8:00, (English) 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, April 20tht, please use the form that is printed in this Church Bulletin and return it to the Rectory by Friday, April 19th.
 
If you have not already done so, 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. May we all live this Holy Week walking with Jesus to his suffering, death and resurrection.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “What we all need right now is hope. In a world filled with empty promises that lead to despair and brokenness, we need to know that fulfillment can only be found in Jesus.”
 
AND A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Your head will tell you everything that society has conditioned you to think, but God touches your heart. When you listen to your heart, you’ll hear God’s voice.”
 
 
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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, April 19th.
 
NAME________________________________________________________________________________
 
ADDRESS_____________________________________________________________________________
 
PHONE NUMBER________________________________________________________________________
 
 
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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April 7, 2019 – 5th Sunday of Lent
 
Next weekend we begin the holiest week of the Church year. The schedule for next Sunday (Palm Sunday) is the following:
 
Palms will be blessed and distributed before the 5:00 Vigil and 8:00 Sunday Masses. Solemn blessing of palms with procession will take place at the 10:00 Mass (Blessing of Palm and Procession from the Chapel will begin at 9:45) and 11:30 A.M. Mass (Blessing of Palm and Procession from the Chapel will begin at 11:15). All are asked to gather in the Chapel for these two Masses. If the Chapel cannot be used, we will begin the 10:00 and 11:30 Masses in Church.
 
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, April 19th. We will print a schedule for Holy Week in next week’s bulletin. 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.
 
Due to the children receiving their First Penance on Wednesday at 7:00 P.M., the evening Mass that day will begin at 6:00 P.M.
 
May you all have a beautiful week!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “No matter how weak you may think you are, you are never too weak to be used in great ways by God.”
 
AND A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “In a world of selfishness, we are called to be a gift. In a world of egotism, we are called to serve each other.”
 
 
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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, April 19th.
 
NAME________________________________________________________________________________
 
ADDRESS_____________________________________________________________________________
 
PHONE NUMBER________________________________________________________________________
 
 
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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Fr. Joe’s Posts for March 2019

 
March 31, 2019 – 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. The vestments give us a strong visual cue that Easter is fast approaching.
 
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. And now that Spring has begun and hopefully the warm weather too, we can get out and serve our Lord more by our presence in Church. If you haven’t done anything for Lent yet, you can begin today. We are already beginning the Fourth 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. God is indeed patient with us. Let’s do what we can for him – and better ourselves at the same time.
 
In case you were unable to attend the Mass when the relic of St. Pope John Paul II was presented to our parish two weeks ago, you may view it at the websites below. If you know of someone who would like to watch the Mass and view the pictures, tell them about these sites or even perhaps take a laptop to them so they can watch them.
 
 
Pierogi and Golabki homemade by our Polish community will be sold after all Masses this and next weekend. Proceeds will go towards our Parish Church and Chapel Repairs. Pierogi Flavors: Potatoe & Cheese and Sauerkraut & Mushroom. Cash only.
 
Our next Baptismal Class will be held on this Tuesday, April 2nd, in the Rectory, 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 continue to bless you during this Lenten Season.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “If we walk humbly with our God, he will lead us by the hand to exactly who and what we need, and this will be the cause of our deep fulfillment and happiness.”
 
AND A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Compassionate love, shown in kind deeds of mercy, can speak a language of its own when no other communication is possible.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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March 24, 2019 – 3rd Sunday of Lent
 
For those of you who attended the 5:00 Mass last weekend when our parish was presented the relic of St. Pope John Paul II have to agree that it was a most magnificent and beautiful ceremony. Many of you commented to me that evening and during this past week how edified they were to be there and experience the joy and privilege of being present at the Mass and reception that followed. I was also overjoyed to see a Church full of parishioners and visitors who came a distance to be with us. Archbishop Mokrzycki expressed to me his gratitude for the warm reception and your prayerful presence at the Mass. It is a tremendous joy for us to have the relic of such a great person in our parish – someone who lived and served God during our lifetime. May St. Pope John Paul II pray for all of us as we live for and serve God.
 
It was also a great joy for me this past weekend as I saw your love and generosity show for our Church and Chapel renovations. As you can see in the weekly accounting of our Sunday collection in this bulletin, we collected $26,384.00 for the project this past weekend. This – added to the previous collection last month – gives us so far a grand total of $38,777.00. We are a little bit over the halfway mark of our goal of $75,000.00. Some individuals, organizations and friends of St. John Cantius have given extraordinary amounts of money to help us reach the 50% mark. If you have not yet donated to this cause of repairing our Church and Chapel, please prayerfully consider a “gift that will make a difference” and help us to reach our goal. May God bless you for your support and love of our parish.
 
The work in the Chapel is moving along quite well. New brackets and supports have been installed to support the aging wood braces. We still have to wait for the inspectors from L&I of the City of Philadelphia to give their OK to return to the Chapel for services. I will keep you posted.
 
The profit we realized from the Cash Bingo two weeks ago amounted to $5,805.35. We once again thank the members of the Activity Committee and all of you who supported the Bingo.
 
Our next Baptismal Class will be held on Tuesday, April 2nd, in the Rectory, 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 be with you always. Have a good week.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Who has God used throughout history to do his work in the world? The people who make themselves available to him.”
 
AND A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “While the modern world is filling up with more and more noise, God is inviting us into the silence and into his presence. Here, in the presence of God, we will find rest for our weary hearts and minds.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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March 17, 2019 – 2nd Sunday of Lent
 
We hope you take advantage of all the opportunities the parish affords you during this season of Lent: evening Mass at 7:00, Stations of the Cross on Thursday evening at 6:30 in English and on Fridays in Polish at 6:30. These are only two suggestions. Reading a spiritual book, saying a rosary daily, doing a act of kindness for someone, helping the poor are all special way where we can better ourselves. Lent is a time we can really do something to make ourselves better spiritually – and in our lives as a whole. We thank everyone who came and supported our Cash Bingo last Sunday. It was a tremendous success.
 
I also wish to thank all who have sent in an offering for the Church & Chapel repairs. Your donations have been outstanding! I will announce a total of where we stand in next week’s bulletin. You may have noticed the thermometer in the vestibule of the Church that is charting our appeal. If you would like to make an online donation, please visit www.stjohncantiusparish.org/parish-giving.
 
There will be a Holy Hour this evening (Sunday) at 5:00 PM in the Church to close our Spiritual Enrichment Week. Please come and pray with us. May this second week of Lent be one where we increase in holiness.
 
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.”
 
AND A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “We prepare for everything we consider important in life. Preparation makes a wonderful experience possible. When was the last time you prepared for Mass?”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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March 10, 2019 – First Sunday of Lent
 
Next Saturday at the 5:00 PM Vigil Mass, we will welcome Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, from Lviv, Ukraine, who will celebrate the Mass and present to our parish a relic of St. Pope John Paul II. It is a great honor for our parish to receive this relic. After the Mass we will hold a reception in our hall where light refreshments will be provided and you will have the opportunity to meet the bishop and thank him. Enclosed in last week’s bulletin was a form that we ask you fill out and return to us by Monday of this week if you intend to come to the reception.
 
The Knights of Columbus of our parish thank everyone for their most generous donations for the women who are expecting babies. The amount donated through the “Baby Bottle Campaign” amounted to $1.045.61.
 
To bring you up-to-date regarding the restoration of Our Lady’s Chapel: permit requests for the repair work were sent to the City of Philadelphia and the ceiling in one of the upstairs classrooms was removed.
 
And something happy to think about: we have made arrangements with a new carnival company. Our parish carnival will take place from September 11th to September 15th this year. I realize that it’s early but we need to start the planning now. The carnival will be bigger and better.
 
WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR LENT? This week on Tuesday, Catherine Joanne returns to our parish for the monthly Spiritual Enrichment Program. We invite you to attend one – or all – of the following. Tuesday evening at 6:30 in the rectory (Mini-Retreat with Pot Luck Supper); Friday evening at 7:00 in the Rectory dining room (Spiritual Date Night). Bring a date or your spouse. Light dinner provided; Saturday morning at 10:00 in the Rectory dining room (Bible Study of the Gospel of St. Luke); Sunday evening at 5:00 (Holy Hour in Church). All these spiritual events are uplifting and will help better your relationship with God and one another – and help you to grow spiritually during this Lenten Season.
 
Our next Baptismal Class will be held on Tuesday, April 2nd, in the Rectory, 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 us and help us persevere as we begin our Lenten journey.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “God certainly hears all prayers, but maybe the answer he gives is one we don’t expect.”
 
A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Love begins in the heart—in our thoughts—and is usually expressed initially in our words .But it must not stop there; it must be lived out in our actions.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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March 3, 2019 – 8th 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 Church 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 6:00 P.M. English) in Church and 7:00 P.M. (Polish) 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 Church. 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-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.
 
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, 8:00 AM or 7:00 PM
 —  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 Church
 —  Participate in our Spiritual Enrichment Program beginning on Tuesday, March 12th
 —  Do some spiritual reading – suggested book – The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity (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, March 3rd, 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 Church. 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.
 
Please also remember that all Masses and Services will be celebrated in the Church until the Chapel renovations are completed.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Our sufferings test us, but they are all tailor-made to bring us closer to God. When God sends us a cross, it applies uniquely to our own situation.”
 
AND A SECOND THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “If we are to become children of God, we have to go against the grain and reach out to others in compassion, patience, and service.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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Fr. Joe’s Posts for February 2019

 
February 24, 2019 – 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
We would like to reiterate the policy for receiving letters of eligibility to be Godparents for the Sacrament of Baptism and Sponsors for the Sacrament of Confirmation. We have listed the requirements to receive this document several times. If there is someone in your family who is being asked to serve in one of the above mentioned capacities, please make them aware of what they must be. First of all, they must be a registered member of the parish who is practicing their faith by attending Mass on Sundays and receiving the sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist regularly. If they are married, they 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.
 
In the vestibule of the Church, 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 March 6th, just a few weeks away.
 
Would you be interested in going to see and listen to Matthew Kelly? He is the author and founder of Dynamic Catholic who is the author of the books that I have been giving you at Christmas. He is a very dynamic speaker who will make a presentation at St. Ephrem Parish on Saturday evening, June 29th, beginning at 7:00 PM. With his signature combination of the profound and the practical—and witty sense of humor—Matthew Kelly introduces you to new habits that will re-energize every area of your life, and inspire you to start living with passion and purpose. If you are interested in going, please call the rectory. Tickets are $39.00. If we get enough people, we will get a bus. If not, we will carpool.
 
May you all have a beautiful week!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Prayer helps us identify what matters most and strengthens our hearts and minds to give priority to those things in our daily lives.”
 
A SECOND DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Even though God has the power to renew the face of the earth with mighty winds and powerful forces, he does not do so. He chooses to use you and me—he wants to bring renewal in his people through his people.”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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February 17, 2019 – 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
Thank all who attended the Italian Night Dinner in our auditorium last Saturday. It was a great night of delicious food, entertainment and fellowship. The hall was decorated beautifully and gave everyone the charm of an Italian Restaurant. We realized a profit of $1,656.93. Thank you to the members of the Activity Committee and to everyone who helped make the evening a wonderful one.
 
Our next parish event will be a Bingo on Sunday, March 10th, at 2:00 PM in our auditorium. Since our Second Collection for the Parish Repairs two weeks ago that amounted to $6,125.00, we have received donations of $5,142.00, $3,000.00 of which came from the Polish Language School, the remainder given anonymously. Total given so far for the brick-pointing of the Church and the Chapel roof repair is $11,267.00!
 
There will be a Holy Hour this evening (Sunday) at 5:00 PM in the Church to close our Spiritual Enrichment Week. Please come and pray with us.
 
At the entrances of the Church, 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 March 6th, just a few weeks away.
 
Would you be interested in going to see and listen to Matthew Kelly? He is the author and founder of
Dynamic Catholic who is the author of the books that I have been giving you at Christmas. He is a very dynamic speaker who will make a presentation at St. Ephrem Parish on Saturday evening, June 29th, beginning at 7:00 PM. With his signature combination of the profound and the practical—and witty sense of humor — Matthew Kelly introduces you to new habits that will re-energize every area of your life, and inspire you to start living with passion and purpose. If you are interested in going, please call the rectory. Tickets are $39.00. If we get enough people, we will get a bus. If not, we will carpool.
 
Have a great week!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Life is about choosing priorities and putting them at the center of our lives. We do this by passionately placing what matters most at the center of each day.”
 
A SECOND DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “God wants to use you in amazing ways! Will you let him?”
 
Remember the Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
 
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February 10, 2019 – 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU for your wonderful response to my request for an increase in the second collection last weekend for the Parish Repairs. The collection amounted to $6,125.00 which is a great beginning to reaching our goal of $75,000 towards the extra money needed for the brick-pointing of the Church and the Chapel repair. The next Church Repair Offering will be on the weekend of March 17th.
 
The Knights of Columbus of our parish are conducting a Pro-Life Drive to help mothers of unborn children. Small baby bottles will be distributed after Masses this weekend. We ask that you make your donation by filling the bottle with a cash donation and return it to Church next weekend. Your donation will help the ProLife Movement in helping these mothers choose life over abortion.
 
At the entrances of the Church, 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 March 6th, just a few weeks away. This week on Tuesday, Catherine Joanne returns to our parish for the monthly Spiritual Enrichment Program. We invite you to attend one – or all – of the following: Tuesday evening at 6:30 in the Rectory Dining Room (Mini-Retreat with Pot Luck Supper); Friday evening at 7:00 in the Rectory dining room (Spiritual Date Night). Bring a date or your spouse. Light dinner provided; Saturday morning at 10:00 in the Rectory dining room (Bible Study of the Gospel of St. Luke); Sunday evening at 5:00 (Holy Hour in Church). All these spiritual events are uplifting and will help better your relationship with God and one another.
 
Would you be interested in going to see and listen to Matthew Kelly? He is the author and founder of Dynamic Catholic who is the author of the books that I have been giving you at Christmas. He is a very dynamic speaker who will make a presentation at St. Ephrem Parish on Saturday evening, June 29th, beginning at 7:00 PM. With his signature combination of the profound and the practical—and witty sense of humor—Matthew Kelly introduces you to new habits that will re-energize every area of your life, and inspire you to start living with passion and purpose. If you are interested in going, please call the rectory. Tickets are $39.00. If we get enough people, we will get a bus. If not, we will carpool.
 
May you have a beautiful week!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Your defeats in the eyes of the world are so often your victories in the eyes of God.”
 
A SECOND DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Connecting with God at moments of high stress introduces divine power into a human situation. Prayer reduces stress and tension and also invites the Holy Spirit to increase self-control.”
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
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February 3, 2019 – 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
To those of you who were at Mass last weekend, you heard me speak about our Chapel and the need to close it until the structural damages are fixed and corrected. In the meantime, all services and Masses will be celebrated in the Church. Morning weekday Mass will be celebrated at 8:00 AM in the Cry Room. The two side doors to the Church will be opened at 7:00. Wednesday Adoration will now begin at 4:00 due to the lack of people present to “keep watch” while Jesus is exposed in the Blessed Sacrament. Adoration will also take place in the Cry Room. I will keep you up-to-date with regards to the Chapel work. I don’t know what the cost of this repair is. As soon as we get an estimate, I will let you know.
 
I also spoke of the need to brick-point the Church because of the water seeping through the Chapel side of the Church and the choir loft. If you look at the bricks, you can see mortar missing between some of the bricks. The cost of this project amounts to $143,000.00. It is quite a sizable amount but the work needs to be done to maintain the structure of the Church.
 
I also spoke of a scam where someone is using my name and an e-mail that is not mine. They are asking that you purchase E-Bay gift cards. PLEASE do not respond to them. If I was in need of something I would not solicit or ask in that manner.
 
We will have an Italian Dinner this Saturday, February 9th, from 4:00 – 8:00, in our auditorium, Tickets are available at the Rectory during office hours and in the vestibule of the Church at the weekend Masses. Cost is $15.00 for adults and $6.00 for children (10 years and under). As I said last week at Mass, our fundraisers are essential to make extra money to complete our repairs. Please come to the dinner with your family and enjoy an evening out with friends – and have a delicious meal.
 
KEEP THIS DATE OPEN! Sunday, March 10th, at 2:00. We will have a St. Patrick’s Day Bingo in our auditorium. Make plans to be with us for an enjoyable evening.
 
Have a terrific week! Enjoy the Super Bowl.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “You’ve got what it takes to change this world not because of anything you do, but because of what God can and does do through you.”
 
A SECOND DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “At every moment of every day, Jesus is calling his disciples to be a light in the darkness…he is calling you, and he is calling you today.”
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
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Fr. Joe’s Posts for January 2019

 
January 27, 2019 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
Last Wednesday, through an inspection of the Chapel, we were made aware of structural deficiency in the roof. We will not have Masses or services there until repairs can take place. Until then, morning weekday Masses as well as Wednesday Adoration will take place in the Cry Room in the Church. This is so we can conserve fuel and not have to heat the entire Church. The two side doors to the Church will be unlocked for the morning Mass. The Cry Room is located on the right side on the main altar through the door where the statue of St. John Cantius stands.
 
Next Saturday, 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. 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. Blessed candles will be available next Sunday in front of the Blessed Virgin Mary altar for a $2.00 offering. Also next weekend on February 3rd, we will celebrate the feast of Saint Blaise, the patron saint of the diseases of the throat. It is customary on this day that we bless throats so we will bless your throat after all Masses next weekend.
 
Our next Baptismal Class will be held on Monday, January 28th, in the Rectory dining room, 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 will have an Italian Dinner on Saturday, February 9th, from 4:00 – 8:00, in our auditorium, Tickets are available at the Rectory during office hours and in the vestibule of the Church at the weekend Masses. Cost is $15.00 for adults and $6.00 for children (10 years and under).
 
Have a good week!
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Because God has first loved you, he calls you to imitate that love and share it. We are conduits of God’s love to other people.”
 
A SECOND DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “If you want more love, begin giving more love away. And then watch as a harvest of love returns to you. Give what you wish to receive.
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
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January 20, 2019 – 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
The weather was bad last weekend and I know many of you were unable to get to Church to attend Mass. I, too, was unable to attend and celebrate Mass because I was in the hospital over the weekend with a bad infection and weakness. I came home on Sunday evening and have been trying to rest this past week. There is certainly a lot of sickness going around. It is so easy these days to catch something. So I’m telling you what they told me in the hospital: “Drink plenty of fluids and wash your hands often.” We all have heard that – we just have to do it!
 
I was going to speak at all the Masses this Sunday about the brick-pointing project that we have to undertake immediately. We have a Pastoral – Finance Meeting scheduled for this Wednesday when this project will be discussed. Therefore, I will speak at all the Masses next Sunday when I will have more detailed information to share with you.
 
There will be a Holy Hour this evening at 5PM (Sunday) in the Chapel to close our Spiritual Enrichment Week. Please come and pray with us.
 
It is early but I want to let you know that Lent will begin on Ash Wednesday, March 6th and Easter will be celebrated on April 21st.
 
Our next Baptismal Class will be held on Monday, January 28th, 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 will have a Italian Dinner on Saturday, February 9th, from 4:00 – 8:00, in our auditorium, Tickets are available at the Rectory during office hours and in the vestibule of the Church at the weekend Masses. Cost is $15.00 for adults and $6.00 for children (10 years and under).
 
The Rectory Office will be closed on Monday, January 21st, for the Martin Luther King holiday.
 
May you have a good week. God bless you.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “God is only as far away as we place him and never as far away as we think. For it is in him that we live, move, and have our being.”
 
A SECOND DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “When you are shown your weaknesses, take heart and be confident in God’s strength.”
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
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January 13, 2019 – Baptism of Our Lord
 
To say the least, this Christmas has been the most beautiful of celebrations. Beginning with the Ceremony of Carols and the Giving Tree, the beautiful liturgies, the erecting of the new manger in the Marian Garden, the exquisite decorations in the Church and your participation at Masses all contributed in making the Christmas Season so outstanding. Today, we conclude the Christmas Season. We thank all the ministers, choir members – and you. As of last Sunday, the amount donated by you totals $20,597.00. We begin the new year with a major project that needs to be accomplished – the brick pointing of our Church. I will speak to you about this next week at all the Masses.
 
Elsewhere in this bulletin are letters that I have received from St. Edmond’s Home and St. Paul’s Indian Mission School, thanking you for the gifts that were sent to the children. Please read these letters and see how grateful they are to you for your goodness and generosity at Christmas. It is certainly heartwarming to know how you touched the hearts of not only the children but also the people who serve them.
 
Are you looking for something to do for God and the Parish? The Aid-for-Friends Program in our parish has existed since 2001. It is a program that helps feed those people in our community who are homebound by taking them homemade meals prepared by parishioners on a weekly basis. The program isoperated from the Aid-for-Friends (AFF) home base in northeast Philadelphia. Jesse and Dori Michalek have been running the program in an exceptional way since we began the program here in the parish. They told me last month that they will retire from this ministry. So now we are looking for someone to take over this ministry that helps the aged members in our parish and the Bridesburg Community. If you are interested in learning more about what is involved and perhaps running this program, please call me at the rectory. We could sit down and discuss the program and the work that is involved.
 
This week on Tuesday, Catherine Joanne returns to our parish for the monthly Spiritual Enrichment Program. We invite you to attend one – or all – of the following. Tuesday evening at 6:30 in the cafeteria (Mini-Retreat with Pot Luck Supper); Friday evening at 7:00 in the Rectory dining room (Spiritual Date Night). Bring a date or your spouse. Light dinner provided; Saturday morning at 10:00 in the Rectory dining room (Bible Study of the Gospel of St. Luke); Sunday evening at 7:00 (Holy Hour in Church). All these spiritual events are uplifting and will help better your relationship with God and one another. Our next Baptismal Class will be held on Monday, January 28th, 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.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “It is not enough to say, ‘I love.’ We must put that love into a living action.”
 
A SECOND DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “In spite of all our defects, God is in love with us and keeps using us to light the light of love and compassion in the world.”
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
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January 6, 2019 – The 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. Because of your generosity and the monies received from the leasing of our building, we were able to accomplish a lot. There is so much more that needs to be done to upgrade our property — one of major priority is the brick pointing of the Church. When you are in Church, you can see on the Chapel side, cracked walls from the water seeping in. We need to begin working on this very soon before more damage takes place. 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+19. 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 2019 as Jesus did at Nazareth and pray for one another.
 
SOME GREAT AND INTERESTING NEWS: Trulia, a home and neighborhood site for homebuyers and renters, announced the national and local winners of the 2018 Neighborly Awards. Nearly 10,000 neighborhoods spanning coast to coast were ranked. Our neighborhood of Bridesburg won the 2018 Neighborly National Winner for the “Most Holiday Spirit”. The following was written: Some neighborhoods love celebrating the holidays with festive home decorations and events, from extravagant Candy Cane Lanes for Christmas and spooky haunted houses for Halloween. Bridesburg won for being the most spirited neighborhood. Local traditions, like the decades-old St. John Cantius Christmas Bazaar, no doubt add to the holiday spirit where 96% of participating locals in the Bridesburg say they decorate their home for the holidays.
 
May the Spirit of Christmas remain in your hearts and lives and continue throughout the coming year.
 
OUR DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “It’s easy to think about God having plans for the world or even world leaders. But God has plans for you, too. When Jesus entered the world, he knew you and loved you and was ready for you to play your part in his big plans.”
 
A SECOND DYNAMIC CATHOLIC THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “The-best-version-of-ourselves isn’t something we strive for and never achieve. It is something we achieve in some moments and not in others. Every choice we make is a chance to move toward God and toward the light—or away from God, toward darkness.”
 
PRAYER – STUDY – GENEROSITY – EVANGELIZATION
Are YOU a dynamic Catholic?
 
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