As we begin the sacred season of Lent, there is traditionally much talk about .. "what to give up". Recently, I came across a reflection from Apple Seeds, a newsletter published by Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.
Give up complaining - focus on gratitude
Give up pessimism - become an optimist
Give up harsh judgements - think kindly thoughts
Give up worry - trust Divine Providence
Give up discouragement - be full of hope
Give up bitterness - turn to forgiveness
Give up hatred - return good for evil
Give up negativism - be positive
Give up anger - be more patient
Give up pettiness - beome mature
Give up gloom - enjoy the beauty this is all around you
Give up jealousy - pray for trust
Give up gossiping - control your tongue
Give up sin - turn to virtue
Give up giving up - hang in there!
May these 40 days be a time of blessing for all in our faith community.
The history of the Stations of the Cross dates back to the 4th century when Christians were allowed to legally practce their faith in the Roman Empire after 250 years of persecution. In 335AD, Emperor Constantine built the Church of the Holy Sepulcher at what was believed to be Jesus' burial site. Soon after, worshippers began taking pilgrimages to the Holy Land and to the church on Good Friday to retrace the final journey of Jesus.
Pilgrims developed stops along the way to Calvary to note specific events that took place(Jesus falls the first time; Jesus meets the women of Jersulem, etc). Pilgrims could only guess where some of the incidents took place because Jerusalem had been almost completely destroyed by Roman armies in 70AD.
I invite all to participate in this ancient devotional practice as we prepare for the great Feast of Easter. Stations of the Cross will be prayed on Friday mornings folllowing the 8:00am Mass during the season of Lent. Please join us.
As we recall the Feast of St Blaise this weekend, the traditional "Blessing of the Throats" will be offered at the conclusion of our Masses.
Through the intercession of St Blaise, bishop and martyr,
may God deliver you from every disease of the throat
and from every other illness:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
May all parishioners and friends of St Joseph's enjoy the healing power of the Lord in their lives.
As we begin our annual Catholic Schools Week celebration (Jan 28 - Feb 2), I call your attention to the special schedule of events at Bishop McHugh Regional Catholic School noted in our parish bulletin this week. I encourage parents/guardians who are considering enrolling their son/daughter for the upcoming academic year to visit the school during these wonderful days.
To receive further information or to schedule a visit to Bishop McHugh at another time, please feel free to contact the school at 624-1900.
Catholic education....."the gift of a lifetime!".
As recently reported in the Atlantic City Press, the New Jersey Department of Edcation stated that the average cost per student in the Garden State was $14,736 (2014-15). The NCES noted that the national average for elementary and secondary education (per student) was $12,509 during the same period. To state the obvious....education is expensive!
Next weekend (1/27-28), our special second collection will be in support of Catholic Education in the Diocese of Camden. Donations are designated to supplement tuition assistance monies available to Catholic families with children enrolled in one of our Catholic schools. Your gift is an investment in the future of our faith commmunity in Southern New Jersey.
Kindly support the mission of Catholic Education in our region for it truly is ... "the gift of a lifetime". Additional envelopes are available in the narthex.
The 10:30AM Mass on Sunday, January 28 will celebrate Catholic Schools Week. with a special focus on Bishop McHugh Regional Catholic School and Wildwood Catholic High School. Please plan to join us.
With the Christmas Season behind us and the decorations of this special time being stored away for another year, I would like to express my gratitude to all parishioners and friends of St Joseph's for their kind generosity.
The Christmas collection approached nearly $30,000.
May the blessing of the Lord be upon our parish as we begin a New Year.