It is moving week at Saint Maximilian Kolbe Parish! The parish office staff will transition into the Immaculate Hall offices beginning Tuesday, January 28th. Telephone and Internet will be down for part of Tuesday and many of you know it may take a couple of days for any technology glitches to work themselves out. The staff will be working between both buildings moving their office contents. We appreciate your patience as we get settled in.

Offices will be open in Immaculate Hall beginning Wednesday, January 29th. We appreciate your patience as we get settled into the new building.

Immaculata Hall

Immaculata Hall hosted it’s first event for the Rejoice Advent Mediation Group on Wednesday evening. The group attend Mass at Resurrection Church followed by a catered dinner in Immaculata Hall.

On Sunday, January 5, a bi-lingual Mass was celebrated at Saint Casimir to celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany and the beginning of National Migration Week.

Following Mass, gifts were given to the children who were present embracing the tradition in many Latin American and European countries that children receive gifts recalling the gifts the 3 kings brought to Baby Jesus.

Parishioners also shared in a Rosca cake or “Kings Cake”. The oval-shaped bread, the “King’s Wreath”, represents the infinite circle (no beginning or end) to God’s love. The crystallized dried fruits that are placed around the bread symbolize the jewels encrusted in the crowns of the three wise men. A hidden Baby Jesus, in the cake recalls when Mary and Joseph had to hide from Herod.

Whoever discovers the Baby Jesus is “King for the Day” but also has to provide the food for the feast day of Candlemas or the Presentation of the Lord on February 2.

Scam Alert:

Today, January 8, 2020 a few parishioners reported that they received email’s from

“Msgr. Peter M. Joyce” [pjoyce.saintmaxkolbe@gmail.com]

In the past parishioners have received emails from

‘Rev. Msgr. Peter M. Joyce’ <priest.catholic001@gmail.com>

‘Monsignor Peter M. Joyce’ <purehearts@list.ru>.

Along with the above emails, a member of the community received a text from

#201-500-5674 stating “are you available, via text its me Msgr. Peter M. Joyce”.

Please note none of the above information is related to the parish. Father Pete and the staff would never solicit anyone for money, gifts or otherwise in this manner. Please call the parish office if you have any questions at 609-390-0664.

December 29, 2019 – A View from the Rectory Window

I write at the beginning of this New Year to invite you to stick to our strength – Jesus.

I imagine some of you, like me, have made New Year’s resolutions. Among our various resolutions, commitments, hopes and dreams, there is one that I hope we hold in common as the parish family of Saint Maximilian Kolbe; to embrace our mission, which we embody differently, to grow as disciples of Christ who change the world through our witness to His message.

That’s what disciples are. “Discipline” is not punishment or uncomfortable rigor; it’s simply being intentional. It means practicing. A spiritual practice is anything that focuses our awareness and intention on God. If we’re going to be the church, it’s important that we be intentional about being in relationship with Jesus.

I believe that, if people are falling away from their religious practice it is because they are not interested in a religious social club. They’re interested in changing their lives and changing the world. They’re seeking real meaning and purpose. And the way we do this is in a community of people who are intentional about meaning and purpose, intentional about being in relationship with God who is our strength.

I invite you to make a New Year’s Resolution: to join me in the Church of the Resurrection, beginning January 2, from 6pm to 7pm for a First Thursday Adoration and Holy Hour. During this hour, Jesus will be present in the Most Blessed Sacrament upon the Altar. We will pray with the worldwide church Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of Hours. We will spend time in Eucharistic Adoration.

Understood simply, Eucharistic Adoration is adoring or honoring the Eucharistic Presence of Christ. In a deeper sense, it involves “the contemplation of the Mystery of Christ truly present before us”.

During Eucharistic Adoration, we “watch and wait”, we remain “silent” in His Presence and open ourselves to His Graces which flow from the Eucharist. By worshiping the Eucharistic Jesus, the Lord draws us to Himself and gently transforms us.

In its fullest essence … Eucharistic Adoration is “God and Man reaching out for each other, at the same time!”

In 2020, may we stick more closely to Christ who is our greatest strength,

Father Pete

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

December 22, 2019 – A View from the Rectory Window

And so it came to pass that I was asked: what might be on my “unpublished wish list” for this Christmas? So here is my (Previously) Unspoken Wish List for Christmas.

1. For Hands and Hearts and Eyes to be opened to the presence of God, particularly through those who comes to us in need; “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40).

2. That We Persevere despite the constant expressions of disdain for the Catholic Faith that we experience today; “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. ”(James 1:12).

3. For a Return by those who have gone away; “And return to the LORD your God and obey His voice with all your heart and all your soul according to everything I am giving you today, then He will restore you from captivity and have compassion on you and gather you from all the nations to which the LORD your God has scattered you.…” (Deuteronomy 30: 2-3).

4. For Joy; “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9). May you and I find these gifts ‘wrapped’ in the fabric of our lives.


Along the way, you may have noticed that Immaculata Hall will soon be opened in service to our parish family. On my ‘wish list’ is also:

 A multi-media package (Sound, technology, audio visual, etc.) to enhance our experiences.  Kitchen supplies for the much hoped-for celebrations.

 Furniture to serve both staff and parishioners.

 Youth related materials (sporting supplies, technology supplies).

If you haven’t previously had a chance to make a contribution to this legacy moment for our parish family, please contact me at (609) 390-0664. Your gift would be greatly appreciated.


Most importantly, please pray for me daily, as I pray for you, that through my ministry; “God may give you the desire of your heart . . .” (Psalm 20:4).

Father Pete

December 15, 2019 – A View from the Rectory Window

I share a Dec. 5, 2019 article from the Wall Street Journal for your consideration: Don’t Believe in God? Lie to Your Children The alternative is to tell them they’re simply going to die and turn to dust.

As a therapist, I’m often asked to explain why depression and anxiety are so common among children and adolescents. One of the most important explanations —and perhaps the most neglected—is declining interest in religion. This cultural shift already has proved disastrous for millions of vulnerable young people.

A 2018 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology examined how being raised in a family with religious or spiritual beliefs affects mental health. Harvard researchers had examined religious involvement within a longitudinal data set of approximately 5,000 people, with controls for socio-demographic characteristics and maternal health.

The result? Children or teens who reported attending a religious service at least once per week scored higher on psychological well-being measurements and had lower risks of mental illness.

Weekly attendance was associated with higher rates of volunteering, a sense of mission, forgiveness, and lower probabilities of drug use and early sexual initiation. Pity then that the U.S. has seen a 20% decrease in attendance at formal religious services in the past 20 years, according to a Gallup report earlier this year. In 2018 the American Family Survey showed that nearly half of adults under 30 do not identify with any religion.

Nihilism is fertilizer for anxiety and depression, and being “realistic” is overrated. The belief in God—in a protective and guiding figure to rely on when times are tough—is one of the best kinds of support for kids in an increasingly pessimistic world. That’s only one reason, from a purely mental-health perspective, to pass down a faith tradition.

I am often asked by parents, “How do I talk to my child about death if I don’t believe in God or heaven?” My answer is always the same: “Lie.” The idea that you simply die and turn to dust may work for some adults, but it doesn’t help children. Belief in heaven helps them grapple with this tremendous and incomprehensible loss. In an age of broken families, distracted parents, school violence and nightmarish global-warming predictions, imagination plays a big part in children’s ability to cope.

It’s rare to find a faith that doesn’t encourage gratitude as an antidote to entitlement or empathy for anyone who needs nurturing. These are the building blocks of strong character. They are also protective against depression and anxiety.

In an individualistic, narcissistic and lonely society, religion provides children a rare opportunity for natural community. My rabbi always says that being Jewish is not only about ethnic identity and bagels and lox: It’s about community. The idea that hundreds of people can gather together and sing joyful prayers as a collective is a buffer against the emptiness of modern culture. It’s more necessary than ever in a world where teens can have hundreds of virtual friends and few real ones, where parents are often too distracted physically or emotionally to soothe their children’s distress.

Religion or spiritual practices can teach children mindfulness, a sense of physical and emotional presence necessary for mental health. No matter how active my children were when they were young, they knew when they entered our temple for services they had to calm their bodies and relax their minds. Though they complained when they were kids, and still complain at times as adolescents, they have developed the ability to calm themselves when overwhelmed.

Today the U.S. is a competitive, scary and stressful place that idealizes perfectionism, materialism, selfishness and virtual rather than real human connection. Religion is the best bulwark against that kind of society. Spiritual belief and practice reinforce collective kindness, empathy, gratitude and real connection. Whether children choose to continue to practice as adults is something parents cannot control. But that spiritual or religious center will benefit them their entire lives.

Ms. Komisar is a psychoanalyst and author of “Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters.”

December 8, 2019 – A View from the Rectory Window

Shedd, Oregon. December 25, 1948. “Dear Friends,” wrote Marie Bussard, a homesick mother of three. “Now that Christmas is here again… we find that there is too much news to fit into a note on each card. We have borrowed this idea of a Christmas News Letter from our friends the Chambers and the Danns.”

So they’re the ones to blame.

Without realizing it, Bussard was among the pioneers of a new practice that spread across the postwar landscape in the 1950s and ’60s, as more people moved away from their hometowns. A year-end ritual we have learned to love and hate simultaneously, the holiday newsletter has always been Americanish—efficient, egalitarian and increasingly secular. It got a big boost in the 1960s when photocopiers made rapid reproduction widely available and the U.S. Postal Service brought out the first-class Christmas stamp, encouraging more people to send holiday greetings. In the stamp’s debut year, 1962, post offices sold 1 billion, at 4 cents each.

The emphasis of these Christmas Newsletters, of course, is on the positive, and the great American talent for selfpromotion is much in evidence. One study of holiday newsletters found that the leading topic was travel experiences. Weather was big. Also near the top: Mom and Dad’s professional accomplishments, the kids’ scholastic achievements and the family’s material possessions. At the bottom of the list were personal and work problems. Analyzing about a half-century of newsletters, Ann Burnett of North Dakota State University saw an increase in the use of words such as “hectic,” “whirlwind” and “crazy.” Through their annual holiday letters, she says, people were “competing about being busy.”

The traditional Christmas card was considered a vulgar time-saver when it was first introduced in the 1840s, so perhaps it’s no wonder that almost as soon as newsletters appeared, they too became a punchline. Ann Landers, in her syndicated advice column, published complaints about the so-called “brag rags,” such as one first printed in 1968 asking why “normally intelligent people seem to take leave of their senses at Christmas.” Umbrage, of course, was taken. “How can you, in good conscience, encourage people to not share their happy news in holiday letters?” chided Pam Johnson, the founder of the Secret Society of Happy People. “As culture wars go, this was pretty tame, but an Emily Post Institute survey showed that Americans were sharply divided, with 53 percent approving of the holiday letter and 47 percent hating it.

I debated. The internet might have put an end to this oddly fascinating custom. Who needs a once-a-year family fun marketing report when Facebook and Instagram can update friends and strangers every minute?

But in the end, I couldn’t help myself. Please let me brag about my family in the next few pages of this bulletin (full bulletin online can be seen at
http://saintmaxkolbe.com/download/2012/12082019-StMaximilianKolbe-1.pdf ).

Happy Advent,

Father Pete

December 2, 2019 – A View from the Rectory Window

I always hope things will slow down in Advent. This desire, if you share it, I think comes from a reminder of how much we all need time and space for preparation, for hope, for light in darkness in the busyness of our lives. Yes, it’s always a struggle to fight the urge to leap forward into the celebration of Christmas and the urge to get caught up in the excess of the secular holiday season.

But somehow, isn’t this the essence of Advent – figuring out how to live in this in-between time when the reign of God is not yet fully upon us? It’s about learning what the life of faith is all about – learning to live in between the assurance of God’s promise to us and the fulfillment of that promise.

I recently read a take on Advent which suggests that this in-between-time should match the intensity of Christmas itself. That God is as much in the waiting as in the arrival. That God is powerfully present in our waiting. The author sets the scene this way:

The house lights go off and the footlights come on. Even the chattiest stop chattering as they wait in darkness for the curtain to rise. In the orchestra pit, the violin bows are poised. The conductor has raised the baton . . . . . .

The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment . . . . . .

And if you concentrate on that instant, somewhere you can feel the beating of your heart. For all its madness and lostness, not to mention your own, you can hear the world itself holding its breath.”

I love this image of the ‘world itself holding its breath’ before the initiative of God. Sometimes, it may feel for us that this waiting time for God to reveal Himself in our lives is interminable. Sometimes our energy wanes and we lose our focus on the energy present in the waiting. But in the pause, in the silence, God is there. With us.

To attune yourself to this time and space for preparation, for hope, for light in darkness, I encourage you to join me in some special offerings during the next four weeks of Advent:

  • Advent Parish Mission Begins on Dec. 1-Rejoice!
  • Advent Meditations with Mary (4 Week Mission)
  • Trip to NYC to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and the Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes-December 6
  • Advent Mediation Group meets Fridays, Dec. 6, 13, & 20 in the COTR Classroom #6
  • Advent Day of Reflection with the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal-Sat., Dec. 7-10:00 am – 2:00 pm COTR
  • Feed the Needy Program: Delivery Date December 21 Toys for Tots Giving Tree Collecting Turkeys, Hams and Chickens
  • Saint Casimir’s Christmas Baskets (Distribution date: Dec. 19-21) Giving Tree Collecting Food Donations and Toys for the Needy
  • Advent Penance Service-Dec. 10, 7:00 pm, COTR
  • Christmas Caroling-Saturday, Dec. 14
  • Knights of Columbus, Council 9113 “Bucket List” Raffle and Awards Dinner Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Tuckahoe Inn
  • Bambinelli Sunday-Sunday, Dec. 15 – 9:30 am Mass, COTR
  • Christmas for Covenant House Residents. Delivery Date: Christmas Morning.

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