Lenten Mission - Living the Joy of the Gospel
March 27 - March 29
Our Lenten Mission will take place from Monday, March 27th thru Wednesday, March 29th at 7:00 pm. Tuesday night will include an opportunity for Reconciliation. Fr John Anglin, OFM from the Franciscan Ministry of the Word, will conduct the mission. The theme is Living the Joy of the Gospel. With so many challenging issues facing us today it is tempting to succumb to a mood of darkness and sadness, yet Pope Francis calls us to live the Joy of the Gospel. Just what is joy, however? Is it something more than just putting on a smile? During this mission, we will see that Joy is something deep within us if we have truly embraced Jesus’ call to discipleship. Please join us.
Day 1: A Loving God: The Cause of Our Joy - We will see that once the love of our God touches our hearts we have a joy that sustains us even in the most difficult times. We will see as well that we are called to give witness to that joy by the way we live and by sharing that love and joy with others.
Day 2: The Gift of Mercy - Pope Francis is constantly reminding us that God is merciful beyond our wildest imagination. We will see that this mercy is shown to us through the forgiveness of our sins as well as in the healing of our brokenness and pain. Because we are the recipients of God’s mercy we are called to be merciful people not only by forgiving others, but also in treating those we differ with and those who are on the “margins” of life with mercy.
Day 3: Caring for our Common Home, Mercy for our Brothers & Sisters & for all God’s Creatures - Pope Francis has spoken often about the need to help the poor and about the need to care for creation. Is this just politics, or is it truly a spiritual and theological challenge. Today we will see that the Redemption that Jesus won on the cross was not only forgiveness of our personal sins but the grace to overcome and heal the terrible injustices to people and to our environment caused by our sin. We are called, by His grace, to do what we can to be healers for a broken world.
Fr John Anglin, OFM
Fr John was born and raised in Boston, MA where he entered the friars after graduating from high school. He was ordained in 1971 and obtained a Masters in Religious Education from the Catholic University of America in 1974. Also, in 1992, he received a certificate in homiletics from the Aquinas Institute in St Louis. Since ordination Fr John has served in various ministries including high school teaching, parish ministry, the formation of candidates to the friars, marriage encounter and two years as a missionary in Bolivia. He has been with the Ministry of the Word since 1987 and has conducted over 450 parish missions and presented many retreats for priests and religious. Fr John has also published two books — The Wandering Friar, published in 2013 and Following Jesus in the Footsteps of Francis published in 2015. Both will be available during the mission. The first book paints a picture of the Church through the eyes of the many people and places that Fr John has served over the years, the second is a guide to Franciscan spirituality for everyone. Fr John speaks Spanish as well as Italian. Some of his interests are bicycle riding, movies and an avid following of all of the Boston Sports teams.
Grade 2 First Eucharist Prep
New Family Orientation Meeting
Families who will be registering a child for Religious Education for the first time must attend one of the scheduled orientation meetings: Sunday, April 9th at 1:00 pm OR Sunday, April 23rd at 1:00 pm. The meetings will be held in the school auditorium. Please call the Religious Education office at 201.447.2779 to register for one of the above.
Join Deacon Anthony for an evening of heartfelt stories and songs as we journey through Lent
Thursday, April 6 at 7:30 in the Church
Lent is a season of hope. Join Deacon Anthony and his son Christian as they present “I Need You Now”, a collection of inspired stories and songs that help weave together the fabric of who we are as followers of Christ.
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St Luke’s Hospitality Ministry
The Hospitality Ministry is inviting you to join us as a Greeter. All are welcome - young, not so young, married, single and entire families. Please consider. Any Mass that works for you is okay. Contact Dan @ 201.445.5863 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Blessed Sacrament Food Pantry is supported through donations from our parishioners and delivered once a month to Newark. If you would like to contribute, please bring any food items to the Church or to the Parish Office during the week. The next delivery date is Sunday, April 2.
Below is the Vatican’s new document on Christian burial and cremation.
(Vatican Radio) The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a new instruction on the burial of the dead and on the conservation of the ashes in cases of cremation. The instruction reiterates the long held view that the Church is not opposed to the practice of cremation, though it continues to recommend that the bodies of the deceased be buried in cemeteries or other sacred places. However the new document insists that ashes should not be kept in private houses and that the scattering of ashes on land or at sea is not permitted. Please see below the new instruction from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Full article appears on: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/1267621.
Instruction Ad resurgendum cum Christo regarding the burial of the deceased and the conservation of the ashes in the case of cremation.
During the intervening years, the practice of cremation has notably increased in many countries, but simultaneously new ideas contrary to the Church’s faith have also become widespread. Having consulted the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and numerous Episcopal Conferences and Synods of Bishops of the Oriental Churches, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has deemed opportune the publication of a new Instruction, with the intention of underlining the doctrinal and pastoral reasons for the preference of the burial of the remains of the faithful and to set out norms pertaining to the conservation of ashes in the case of cremation.
Through his death and resurrection, Christ freed us from sin and gave us access to a new life, “so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rm 6:4). Furthermore, the risen Christ is the principle and source of our future resurrection: “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep […] For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor 15:20-22).
It is true that Christ will raise us up on the last day; but it is also true that, in a certain way, we have already risen with Christ. In Baptism, actually, we are immersed in the death and resurrection of Christ and sacramentally assimilated to him: “You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead” (Col 2:12). United with Christ by Baptism, we already truly participate in the life of the risen Christ (cf. Eph 2:6).
Because of Christ, Christian death has a positive meaning. The Christian vision of death receives privileged expression in the liturgy of the Church: “Indeed for your faithful, Lord, life is changed not ended, and, when this earthly dwelling turns to dust, an eternal dwelling is made ready for them in heaven”. By death the soul is separated from the body, but in the resurrection God will give incorruptible life to our body, transformed by reunion with our soul. In our own day also, the Church is called to proclaim her faith in the resurrection: “The confidence of Christians is the resurrection of the dead; believing this we live”.
The Church who, as Mother, has accompanied the Christian during his earthly pilgrimage, offers to the Father, in Christ, the child of her grace, and she commits to the earth, in hope, the seed of the body that will rise in glory.
By burying the bodies of the faithful, the Church confirms her faith in the resurrection of the body, and intends to show the great dignity of the human body as an integral part of the human person whose body forms part of their identity. She cannot, therefore, condone attitudes or permit rites that involve erroneous ideas about death, such as considering death as the definitive annihilation of the person, or the moment of fusion with Mother Nature or the universe, or as a stage in the cycle of regeneration, or as the definitive liberation from the “prison” of the body.
Furthermore, burial in a cemetery or another sacred place adequately corresponds to the piety and respect owed to the bodies of the faithful departed who through Baptism have become temples of the Holy Spirit and in which “as instruments and vessels the Spirit has carried out so many good works”.
Tobias, the just, was praised for the merits he acquired in the sight of God for having buried the dead, and the Church considers the burial of dead one of the corporal works of mercy.
Finally, the burial of the faithful departed in cemeteries or other sacred places encourages family members and the whole Christian community to pray for and remember the dead, while at the same time fostering the veneration of martyrs and saints.
Through the practice of burying the dead in cemeteries, in churches or their environs, Christian tradition has upheld the relationship between the living and the dead and has opposed any tendency to minimize, or relegate to the purely private sphere, the event of death and the meaning it has for Christians.
The Church continues to prefer the practice of burying the bodies of the deceased, because this shows a greater esteem towards the deceased. Nevertheless, cremation is not prohibited, “unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine”.
In the absence of motives contrary to Christian doctrine, the Church, after the celebration of the funeral rite, accompanies the choice of cremation, providing the relevant liturgical and pastoral directives, and taking particular care to avoid every form of scandal or the appearance of religious indifferentism.
From the earliest times, Christians have desired that the faithful departed become the objects of the Christian community’s prayers and remembrance. Their tombs have become places of prayer, remembrance and reflection. The faithful departed remain part of the Church who believes “in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are being purified, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church”.
The reservation of the ashes of the departed in a sacred place ensures that they are not excluded from the prayers and remembrance of their family or the Christian community. It prevents the faithful departed from being forgotten, or their remains from being shown a lack of respect, which eventuality is possible, most especially once the immediately subsequent generation has too passed away. Also it prevents any unfitting or superstitious practices.
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The Sisters of Saint John the Baptist, based in the Bronx and working in both New York and New Jersey, invite all to celebrate with them the canonization by Pope Francis, on October 16th, of Alfonso M Fusco, founder of their Congregation.
As a young priest in Angri, Italy, Fr Fusco was inspired by God in the late 1800s to alleviate the plight of poor and abandoned boys and girls. With the help of four young women, a small house was opened to feed, clothe and shelter the many children. His great trust in Divine Providence made possible the growth of the ministry as well as that of the young Community of Sisters dedicated to this task.
Today they are present in 18 countries around the world, and still ministering in various ways to the poor and abandoned, especially through education and care for the elderly. Fr Fusco has promised to pray for and to be present to the Community always. Many graces and blessings have been received through his intercession. You are invited to pray to him as well, who said that he “wished that even his shadow might do good.” St Alfonso Maria Fusco, pray for us.
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