December 9, 2018 – A View from the Rectory Window

Christmas and New Year’s Schedule

Evergreen by Andrea Granieri

My friends and fellow parishioners:

With Advent upon us, I have been meditating upon the phrase “Keep Christ in Christmas.” I have pondered, especially in the wake of such division in our country, and such troubles in our Church, how I might keep the Light of God burning inside me, when the shortest days of the year and abounding darkness seem to mirror so much of what is happening in the world? 

It occurred to me that one of the best ways I might keep Christ in Christmas, is to first and foremost, to keep Christ in my heart, not only when I come to mass, but in every moment of my day, and in every interaction I have with another human being. Sometimes that spark feels most aflame when I am simply listening to someone who thinks or believes differently than I do, or when validating someone who feels forgotten, or when they are in turn doing the same for me. However, I have also found that I can flame the fire of Christ through music. 

I believe that music transcends language and thought – bypassing our brains, and directly touching the soul. There is a reason that we listen to the timeless Christmas carols of our faith; they fill our homes and lift our hearts in hopeful anticipation for the Light of the world to come. When I sing the opening hymn on the first Sunday of Advent, my heart is immediately brighter. 

And so it was with this in mind, that I made the decision to enter the studio and record a Christmas album of sacred music this year.  The album is called “Evergreen” which is the title of an original Christmas song that I wrote for the record. The song beckons us to keep the spirit of Christmas in our hearts every day of the year, and to remember that God is love, and love (as we all know)… is patient, kind, endures all things…and hopes all things. 

The album will be available for purchase after masses throughout the holiday season. You can also purchase a CD online at https://catch-the-joybug.com/evergreen

I hope this record will help in some small way to keep the flame of Christmas burning in your homes and in your hearts, the way that all of you do for me every Sunday, by giving me the gift of a congregation to guide in song. It’s been a tremendous privilege to be able to be a part of the mass experience here at St. Maximillian Kolbe parish for the last 5 years. Truly you have done more for me and for my spiritual journey than I can every really express, and for that I am eternally grateful.  

Merry Christmas,

Andrea Granieri 

December 2, 2018 – A View from the Rectory Window

O come, O Come Emmanuel

When we begin the season of Advent, I always ask our CCD students, “what does Advent mean?” They know to respond with the words, “to come.” When asked to further explain who is coming, they respond with “Jesus.”

As we begin another season of Advent, how do we prepare our hearts to receive Jesus when we celebrate his birth? A clue to this is what St. Francis did 800 years ago when he created the first live crèche. He wanted to have people experience the moment Jesus was born, which meant he wanted each person to smell, feel, hear, taste and see the hardship and struggle the Holy Family endured during the birth of the Son of God. He wanted us to embrace reality that Jesus was born in a manger that was used to feed the animals of an innkeeper. Jesus came into the world no different than many poor families living on the streets with no shelter, food or support; families living in fear of deportation due to government policies or, families losing their homes to hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires.
Advent is a time to find Jesus, the source of all creation through the poor, the outcast, the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan. This is why it is so important that we connect by personally volunteering at a charity, visiting the elderly, making a call to someone we have been separated from, or helping those serving the poor and marginalized. It is from this encounter that we can begin to know the depth of God’s love when he became one of us.

During the Advent season, we can encounter the scents, sights and sounds of those less fortunate where Jesus surely dwells, as we prepare our hearts to receive Him this holy season. So let us begin Advent today and always, by going to meet the Christ Child in the hearts of others.

Fr. Pete

November 18, 2018 – A View From the Rectory Window

Because I believe: that God is with me 24/7/365… that God watches with care every step I take… that God hears every prayer I offer… that God wants nothing for me apart from all that is good… that God’s grace and mercy are inexhaustible…

And because I know: how lazy and foolish I can be… how inattentive and self-centered I can be… how I fail to respond to God’s love, that I sin… there’s so much about God that I cannot know…

Because of all of this, I’m sure: that I often miss many of the gifts God gives me… that I leave many of God’s gifts undiscovered, unopened… that God often gives me what I need but not packaged as I expected or hoped and so I don’t see it and I don’t find it… that I often don’t know what I need so I fail to find it when it comes…

I believe that besides all I’m thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day, there are countless gifts and blessings from God that have totally escaped my attention…

Perhaps the same is true for all of us. In fact, I believe the same is true for all of us


So this Thanksgiving, let’s thank God for the gifts and blessings we’ve have failed to find and open….

Let’s pray that we learn to look, to search every day, with prayerful hope and expectation, for the many gifts God so generously gives…

And especially let us open our hearts today to the greatest gift God has ever given: the gift of Jesus, our Lord and Brother, our Savior and Redeemer, the source of every joy and blessing in our lives.

One gift that has not escaped my attention is you. I am thankful for you and that I am able to spend another Thanksgiving with you in our parish family. Please be assured of my prayers for you and those you love,

Fr. Pete

Scam Alert

Yesterday on November 12, a few parishioners received an email from Msgr.pjoyce@gmail.com asking for help in purchasing iTunes cards for someone in the hospital. This is a scam and you should delete this immediately! Father Pete and the staff would never solicit anyone for money, gifts or otherwise in this manner. This scam has been reported. Please call the parish office if you have any questions at 609-390-0664.

November 11, 2018 A View from the Rectory Window

Below is the schedule of Father Pete’s presentations on our Catholic Faith.  This is an opportunity for those Catholics who have little training in or affiliation with the Catholic religion.  It is a chance for anyone who wants to learn or ask questions about the Catholic religion.  It is  also for people who are searching.

Father Pete remaining presentations, from 7:00-8:00pm in the extension of the Church of the Resurrection.

RCIA Syllabus 2018-2019

November 13: Divine Revelation: Scripture, Tradition, Magisterium

November 20: Salvation History, “The Resurrection of the Body and Life Everlasting”

November 27: Sacrament of Initiation – Baptism

December 4: Sacrament of Initiation – Confirmation

January 8: Sacraments of Initiation – Eucharist and Mass

January 15: Sacrament of Vocation – Marriage

January 22: Sacrament of Vocation – Holy Orders

February 5: Sacraments of Healing – Reconciliation & Anointing of the Sick

February 12: Sin and Morality, Preparation for Lent

February 19: Prayer – Liturgy

February 26: Tour of the Church – Sacramentals

 Sacred Triduum

March 6: Ash Wednesday

April 18: Holy Thursday-Mass of the Lord’s Supper

April 19: Good Friday-Veneration of the Cross

April 20: Holy Saturday-Easter Vigil

November 4, 2018 – A View from the Rectory Window

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