Bishop Sullivan has called for a Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in South Jersey. Over 600 lay leaders of local faith communities will be joining their pastors for this three-day opportunity scheduled for March 26?-28, 2019. The Bishop has asked for all Catholics to pray for the success of this Convocation as we invoke the fire of the Holy Spirit to invigorate our local Church.
Numerous presenters from across the country will be part of this historic diocesan event. One of our speakers, Chris Lowney, in his new book “Everyone Leads: How to Revitalize the Catholic Church” wrote of our 21st Century challenge:
Preserve the core and stimulate progress: that creative tension keeps organizations anchored but prevents them from becoming stuck. They are rooted, but keep growing. They move forward rapidly, but never lose track of where they come from. In fact, it’s precisely their secure identity that enables them to move confidently, even boldly, in new directions. Mediocre organizations, in contrast, never get that creative balance right. Some seem to lack any core; subject to whims or fads, they drift. They lack the firm standards against which to judge one proposed change worthy and another one wrong-headed.
Other organizations, conversely, doom themselves through the opposite instinct: virtually no change is acceptable; every cow is sacred; no risk is worth taking; every innovative idea seems a threat to “the ways we’ve always done it around here.” Because they cannot adapt, the world leaves them behind. They stagnate. (p.61)
As we continue our Advent journey, I ask that you pray for all those committed to proclaiming the Gospel of Christ in the years ahead.
“Nor was there anyone needy among them . . they used to lay donations at the feet of the apostles to be distributed to everyone according to his need.” (Acts 4: 34?35)
From the very beginning of the Christian community, one of the identifying features of the “new way” was a spirit of generosity. Long before buildings and titles . . . great religious works of art and developed dogma, simple acts of kindness and charity would bear the clear imprint of the Nazarene and those who would claim Him as their Lord.
To that end, I am pleased to advise you that last weekend, with very little advance notice, the faith community of St. Joseph’s raised $8,560 in a special second collection to assist those impacted by a tragic house fire on November 29.
May I express my esteem and gratitude to all those who supported this effort.
IAs we begin the Season of Advent this weekend, I invite all parishioners and friends of St. Joseph’s to “save the date.”
Our annual Advent Penance Service will take place on Wednesday, December 12, at 7:00 p.m. Visiting priests will be joining us and the opportunity for individual confessions will be available at the conclusion of the service as we “make ready the way of the Lord.” (Mark 3:4)
If you have already contributed to the Catholic Strong campaign, thank you for your generosity. If you have not yet done so, please prayerfully consider a pledge today.