August 18, 2019 – A View from the Rectory Window

I thank Pastoral Council members Jacquie Olansen, George Dudzek and Marie Zelinski for their invaluable service to our parish family. I also thank one of our youth representatives Chris George who is now off to college. Thank you to Josh Barnes and Mary Grace Jamison for continuing as youth representatives to the Pastoral Council. As you are aware, the Pastoral Council has one third of its members rotate off after serving a three-year term. The purpose is to keep the Pastoral Council energized with fresh ideas and fresh perspectives.

The present Pastoral Council was instrumental in assisting with much of the direction of our parochial life this past year. We have all shared in and participated in much of the work that their guidance has enabled. You can read about these efforts in greater detail in the Pastoral Council Minutes found on our parish website at http://saintmaxkolbe.com/parish-council-minutes/

I consider the Pastoral Council to be an integral element in the life and direction of our parish, and I trust that I have always sought to act in accord with their guidance. I now invite anyone willing to serve a three-year term on the Pastoral Council to come to a Discernment Meeting on Thursday, September 12 at 7pm in the Church of the Resurrection Extension. At this meeting, three new members for the Pastoral Council will be identified.

This will also be a working Pastoral Council meeting and all parishioners are welcome to bring their own questions, observations and recommendations.

I thank Georgette Costello, Anita McMahon, Jose Santiago, Tim O’Shea, Bill Zipparo, Ab Vallese, Elizabeth Crowley, Josh Barnes and Mary Grace Jamison for their continued generosity to our parish.

Please consider this essential work of our parish.

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

Sometimes being Catholic is challenging. I have found that it is more difficult when we do not understand the richness that underlies our Faith Tradition.

Today, I invite you to consider joining me, beginning in September, for an opportunity to grow in an awareness of the beauty of our Catholic Faith through a consideration of a variety of topics. For some, these ‘classes’ are part of the Catholic Church’s way of initiating new members into the faith and for others it is an opportunity to strengthen the faith of those who are seeking to grow in their relationship with God. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (commonly known as R.C.I.A.), will also help adults become familiar with Catholic teachings and practices, get acquainted with people of the parish, and get involved in service within the parish or the wider community.

It is an opportunity:

** For those who have not been baptized.

** For those who have been baptized, but have little affiliation with, and/or training in the Catholic religion.

** For those Catholics and others who want to learn and ask questions about the Catholic faith.

** For those who are searching.

Through weekly gatherings, Tuesday from 7:00pm – 8:00pm, those attending gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of the Catholic faith, tradition, rituals, and prayer life. I ask you to consider joining us this year and to consider inviting others. Please check a future bulletin for a schedule to be posted.

The first gathering in our parish is for information and inquiry, not commitment. It will take place on Tuesday, September 24 at Resurrection Church. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call and we will try to answer any questions you may have.

Fr. Pete

Feast Day Pictures

We made it on the beach for the feast day, sorry to say we couldn’t stay long, the thunder and lighting chased us from the beach. See more pictures at http://saintmaxkolbe.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Feast-Day.pdf


Religious Education is offering a mini camp “Exploring God’s Word” for children ages 5 to 10 years of age. Dates: August 26to 30, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. To register visit http://saintmaxkolbe.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/2019-Mini-camp-1.pdf

The parish has reserved seat for December 6, 2019 at Radio City Christmas Spectacular. For more information and registration form visit http://saintmaxkolbe.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Radio-City-Music-Hall.pdf

August 10, 2019 A View from the Rectory Window

Our patron, Saint Maximilian Kolbe, is the patron saint of families, prisoners, journalists, political prisoners, drug addicts and the pro-life movement. Pope Saint John Paul II declared him to be “the patron saint of our difficult century. ” As we know so well, the evils which made the twentieth century so difficult were not left behind as we moved into the twenty-first century. His life, his witness and his death continues to provide us with an example of how to stand in the midst of our troubled times.

On the 20th anniversary of his canonization, the religious order who cared for Saint Maxmilian Kolbe’s writings opened their archives sharing many of his letters.

Among the saint’s manuscripts was the last letter he wrote to his mother:

“Dear Mother,” he wrote. “Toward the end of May I arrived by railway convoy at the Auschwitz concentration camp. All is well with me, dear Mother. You can be at peace about me and my health, because the good God is everywhere and he thinks with great love about everyone and everything. It would be better if you did not write me until I send you another letter, because I don’t know how long I will be here. With kind greetings and kisses, Raymond Kolbe.”

Soon after he wrote this letter, on August 14, 1941, Father Kolbe handed his life over for a fellow prisoner condemned to die and was given a lethal injection in the camp’s death bunker. For the two previous weeks, he had had nothing to eat or drink, surviving along with four of the 16 inmates condemned in reprisal for an escape. Father Kolbe was the last to die. Fellow prisoners and subsequent survivors of Auschwitz recounted that Saint Maximilian Kolbe encouraged the other prisoners to never doubt that, “ . . . the good God is everywhere and he thinks with great love about everyone and everything.”

In our troubled times, ought we not do the same? May Saint Maximilian Kolbe pray for us.

Fr. Pete

Parish Center is coming along

Additional information about the parish center can be view by selecting the drop down menu for Parish Center Capital Campaign at the top of this page.

Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School 2019 Pictures can be viewed at:http://saintmaxkolbe.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/VBS-Pictures.pdf

July 21, 2019 – A View from the Rectory Window

One of my most favorite prayers is The Memorare, found in the Miraculous Medal Novena. In it, we pray to the Blessed Mother; “Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.”

What a wondrous promise to those who unite themselves to Mary in service of her Son and Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Of all the traditions associated with our Parish Feast Day celebration, I believe that the praying of the Miraculous Medal Novena nine days prior to the Feast Day is the most consequential. St. Maximilian Kolbe said of the Miraculous Medal: “We wear Mary’s Miraculous Medal. We human beings are not only spirit, but also body. Our interior life, our ideal and mentality must be perceptible from outside, must be expressed in our external life. Therefore outward signs are necessary in order to bring the interior disposition to light. The Savior willed to grant His graces to people pre­cisely through such “sacred signs”, namely the Sacraments. In a similar manner we make an outward pro-fession of our interior Total Consecration to Mary Immaculate through the use of the Miraculous Medal.”

On the weekend of August 3 & 4 at all Masses we will pray the Memorare to begin our nine day Novena. Prayer can be found at http://saintmaxkolbe.com/?page_id=39065&preview=true

May this Novena be an opportunity to give expression of our interior devotion to Jesus and may we lift ourselves, our parish and those we love into the arms of Mary’s Son, Jesus,

Father Pete

Parish Feast Day, August 14, 2019

Name the Banner Contest: Banner Submissions are FLYING in! Please submit your most creative ideas to Father Pete’s parish email: pjoyce@saintmaxkolbe.com or drop off your suggestions to the parish office. All submissions must be 40 characters maximum and submitted in writing by July 28. Please call the parish office at 609-390-0664 if you have any questions.

Here are the details of the Raffle this year: We are limiting the total number of raffle tickets to 6250. Each signed-out packet contains 5 tickets at a cost of $20 per ticket, Total value of each packet: $100 . Total available packets: 1250. Total packets already signed out( as of 7/12):836. Total packets that remain: 414 Your support is appreciated! Packets are available at the raffle table after Mass or in the Parish Office. Packets are due back to the Parish Office by August 3-4. You can also return packets by placing them into the collection baskets at Mass.

Parish Feast Day Wednesday, August 14, 2019 East Williams Avenue, Strathmere Please come out and join our Parish Family at the beach to honor our Patron Saint, Maximilian Kolbe. 5:00 pm: Mass and Blessing of the Sea. We would like to ensure that there is enough food and prizes so please complete the “tear off” at the bottom of this page and drop into the collection basket or bring to the parish office. You can also call the parish office at 609-390-0664 to confirm your attendance on Feast Day. Consider carpooling. You can arrange to meet in one of the church parking lots and drive over together. There will be a shuttle service in Strathmere available to those who need assistance walking to and on the beach. Don’t forget your beach chair or blanket!

Featured in South Jersey Catholic Digital Newsletter

Saint Maximilian Kolbe was recently featured in the South Jersey Catholic, a digital newsletter put out by the Catholic Star Herald. Every week a Church and/or Catholic School in South Jersey is highlighted. Check it out!

It’s summertime at the Jersey Shore and that means the Parish of Saint Maximilian Kolbe goes to the beach. Festivities include Mass for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary followed by the Blessing of the Sea, music, a BBQ with family and friends, events and prizes for our younger family members and the call to 5 lucky winners of the Parish 50/50.  On August 14, we celebrate not only the Feast of the Assumption, but also our 7th Annual Feast Day as the Parish of Saint Maximilian Kolbe who entered into eternal glory on August 14, 1941.   

Each Feast Day over 600 people join together, representing all generations from young children to parents and grandparents, parishioners and the ‘extended family’ of the parish. Passersby are welcome to join in the expression of faith and family and so the crowd grows. A banner plane flies overhead proclaiming to all this expression of the people of God come together.  Frisbees and kites sail through the air and colorful beach chairs canvas the beach as parishioners and visitors share in the activities. No shoes required to participate. People wade in the water as a lifeboat is rowed out by local lifeguards and the pastor blesses the sea and tosses a wreath of tribute to the wonder of God’s creation.  Containers are distributed to collect Holy Water once the water ceremony is complete. The day is finished with the results of a summer long fundraiser that significantly benefits groups such as the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, the Parish Thrift Shop and the Parish Food Pantry.

The Feast Day of Saint Maximilian Kolbe sparks the fire of the ongoing mission of the parish that lasts throughout the whole year. It is an energetic and active parish, which finds expression in many actions of corporal and spiritual works of mercy, drawing life from the Sacramental Grace of the Church.   

Some of the organizations that give life and expression to the parish are through the two parish food pantries and the Saint Casimir Thrift Shop. The members of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul go in search of those in need and Family Promise ensures that twice a year people find a home in the parish.

The Knights of Columbus, Council 9113 and the Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary facilitate a great number of fundraisers, food and toy drives for those in need throughout the year.

The Parish Religious Education Program offers CCD classes for pre-K -8th grade and also organizes events and activities for all ages through high school. These events include monthly “peanut butter and jelly nights” that benefit the AC Rescue Mission, Branches, and Catholic Charities. Once a month, Rosaries for the Troops are made and sent to our military overseas. Community service projects are ongoing and youth trips and programs are planned and executed. Vacation Bible School is a big hit in July for both local families and visitors.

Saint Maximilian’s ‘Mosaic(Making Our Souls Alive in Christ) is an organization made up of women who share fellowship and mission every month, the Prayer Shawl Ministry, the Parish Nurse Ministry and “Praying for our Adult Sons and Daughters” are other groups that bring people and their talents together.

The Parish also has several prayer groups including First Friday Eucharistic Devotion, the Miraculous Medal Novena every Tuesday, daily and weekly Rosary groups, charismatic prayer and bible studies on Monday nights and Thursday mornings. Saint Maximilian Kolbe Parish provides time and space for support groups such as AA and Nar-Anon 12 step programs.

A quick look at the Parish Bulletin and Parish Web Site; saintmaxkolbe.com will give a full list of parish ministries. These communications along with our FaceBook page present many other expressions of faith and fellowship each week.

The parishioners, the friends and those assisted by the Catholic Community of Saint Maximilian Kolbe Parish respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit at all times and coincidentally at times to the lure of the beach.




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