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January 17, 2019 – A View from the Rectory Window

Recently I wrote about the lost and found in our church’s sacristies. Among the most common items left behind are holy cards. Which leads me to ask; “Are you a card-carrying Catholic?” It seems a lot of us are.

The Catholic News Service reported recently that an old Catholic custom has gotten a new lease on life. The business of holy cards is booming. People are selling them on eBay, trading them on Websites, and even collecting them in—for want of a better term —mass quantities.

A Staten Island priest said he has about 40,000 holy cards. An Ohio collector has more than 20,000—one of them, he says, dates from the 17th century. We shouldn’t be surprised. Holy cards are among the cheapest and most familiar of sacramentals—those devotional items that assist us in our prayer lives. (The palms you collected on Palm Sunday—and that are now collecting dust on top of your refrigerator—fall into the same category.)

We find holy cards everywhere: They’re given out at funerals and baptisms, sold in gift shops, enclosed with birthday and sympathy cards.

They find their way into wallets and purses, breviaries and Bibles. They are wedged into mirrors, tacked to bulletin boards, pinned with magnets to refrigerators. Some of mine are yellowing in the bottom of my desk drawer, where I put them and forget them. Others are vivid reminders of mileposts in living, and dying. I still have cards from the funerals of many of my family and friends, and from time to time I look at them, read them, reflect on them.

There’s something poignant and potent about them. Here, in slivers of laminated paper, are the final punctuation marks of life.

There are other reasons for collecting these remembrances. For some of us, these holy cards, adorned with saints or icons, become portable chapels—pocket-sized shrines. Place one on your desk and you have an altar. Tack one to your refrigerator and you have a memorial. Your wallet can be a repository of receipts—and of reverence. Where else can St. Jude share space with a credit card?

We can’t all collect priceless art. But for a dollar, you can get a picture that you can carry in your pocket, to take out and study while you whisper a prayer or two, anywhere, any time.

And as the Church adds to her communion of saints, the faithful adds to its collection of cards. St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Padre Pio, St. Katherine Drexel, and Mother Theresa are now sold in stores beside St. Casimir, St. Francis, St. Anthony and St. Joseph. (When you think of the roster of saints we have, it’s quite a gathering of All Stars. Imagine if kids traded saint cards the way they trade baseball cards. Hey, I’ll give you my Maximilian Kolbe for your Francis de Sales!).

In the end, maybe that’s the most important thing about these sacramentals: They remind us of all those who came before us. Need any proof that the Catholic Church has given the world some of the most dynamic, creative and enterprising characters in history? You don’t have to look far. It’s in the cards.

Fr. Pete


2019 House of Charity

This weekend Father Pete invited all parishioners to consider giving to the House of Charity. If you would like to learn more about the House of Charity, you can listen to Bishop Sullivan’s talk on the House of Charity at http://www.camdendiocese.org/hoc/watch-2019-video/

The House of Charity – Bishop’s Annual Appeal seeks to raise funds to provide care, respect, justice, peace and dignity for every soul in the Diocese of Camden. Support of the 2019 House of Charity – Bishop’s Annual Appeal ensures the vitality of essential Diocesan ministries and programs that sustain the healing, teaching and redemptive Presence of Jesus Christ through the Diocese of Camden.

If you have decide to make a donation to the House of Charity, you can fill out a pledge card and place it in the collection basket at Mass or you can visit the Diocese website at https://16042.thankyou4caring.org/ to make a donation.

Thank you.


February 3, 2019 – A View From the Rectory Window

There are shelves in the sacristies of our churches that hold a hundred stories. On them are rosaries, some losing their color, counted by unknown hands. There are thick glasses, for eyes that need help to pray. There are ancient prayer books, small and concise, their leather covers cracked with age, their pages beginning to fall loose. Some have holy cards tucked inside. Some have pictures inside. Some of them have faded notations written inside in pencil, in a foreign language—personal reminders that, like everything else in that drawer, are now missing.

Welcome to the parish’s lost and found.

Invariably, after Sunday Mass, an usher will bring back something that ends up on that shelf. An umbrella, a baby bottle, a purse, glasses, even a wallet. Most items get picked up later that day. But some are never claimed, and sit there, quietly gathering dust.

It is the things that seem to be most needed, and most precious, that end up being misplaced. How do some people get by without their glasses? Without medicine or inhalers? Some of the prayer books are worn down by hands that have turned over their pages a thousand times. How could someone leave behind something that was so clearly a vital and treasured part of a life?

You’ll also find there: baseball caps, and children’s storybooks. Once in a while, someone forgets a cell phone or car keys. It’s amazing what we allow to slip through our fingers.

Why is it that so much of what we have ends up being taken for granted, neglected, lost?

It happens in friendships and marriages, between parents and children.It happens, too, in our faith.

Christianity requires attention. It demands something.

As Chesterton famously put it: “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” Living “The Way” requires things that we humans inherently shun: sacrifice, humility, martyrdom, pain.

No wonder so many of us end up misplacing our faith.

The Gospel promises that it is worth the effort to hold onto our belief, to keep it from slipping through our fingers. But it takes attention, care, practice.

Practice. There’s a reason, I think, why we practice Catholicism. It is something that needs to be done, again and again, like scales on a piano. Try it sometime. Practice prayer. Practice love. Practice reverence. Practice silence, and simplicity, and fervor. Practice finding God in the details of daily life—in the office, on the sub-way, over the kitchen sink. Even, perhaps, practice it in church. Practice keeping track of the thousand small details that together form our faith, and that touch our lives with grace.

Paying attention to those things, I think, can keep faith from ending up on a shelf, lost and waiting to be found.

Fr. Pete


RCIA CLASS


Father Pete’s RCIA Class for January 29, 2019 has been postponed to February 5, 2019 at 7:00 pm.


January 27, 2019 – A View from the Rectory Window


National Catholic Schools’ Week is fast approaching.  It runs from January 27 through February 1.  The theme for 2019 . . . .“Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.” 

This theme is vibrantly reflected, on a daily basis, at Bishop McHugh Regional Catholic School whose focus is on faith development, academic excellence and dedication to community service.  Within this atmosphere of Catholic values, our students are challenged by their academic curriculum, supported by a caring faculty and invited to engage in service to one another and to others. 

All are invited to visit our parish school this week.  Our school will be holding Open House hours each day during Catholic Schools Week between 9-11 am.  It is so  encouraging to see how we as a parish family are investing in the future of our young women and men.  There is no mission in our parish as devoted to our children and their future.

Our parish family will open our celebration of Catholic School’s Week within the 9:30am Mass at the Church of the Resurrection on January 27.  Information regarding Bishop McHugh Regional Catholic School will be available following the Mass.  At this time, school representatives will be available in the church gathering area to answer any questions.  They will also be hosting Hospitality Sunday in the Pavilion.

As we celebrate anew this Catholic Schools’ Week, I agree wholeheartedly and present for your consideration the remark made by the Most Reverend Roger J. Foys, Bishop of Covington, “While there may be alternatives to Catholic Education . . . there are no  substitutes.”  

Father Pete   

Bishop McHugh is Cape May County’s 

Most Loved Private School of 2018!  

 


                               


January 20, 2019 – A View from the Rectory Window

WE ARE THE DEFENDING CHAMPS!

I waited to write this View.  It is Monday morning, January 14, and we are not going to Atlanta.  While many prayers were lifted up on behalf of and for ‘Saint Nick’ – the ‘miracle’ run has ended.  But much like the Philadelphia Eagles, I believe our parishioners are still the reigning champions.  For last year we began as a parish family what I hope to be a constant tradition and expression of faith:


CEREAL BOWL

Our hope again is to cover 100 yards of a football field with boxes of cereal  from one End Zone to another.  Each box will be measured as the equivalent of one yard.  Last year we collected 120 boxes for the Saint Casimir Thrift Shop and over 600 boxes for Church of the Resurrection Food Pantry.  While New Orleans may lay claim to the moniker, ‘The Saints’, I believe your generosity reflects who truly wears this title.  I thank you for your generosity on behalf of our sisters and brothers.

I invite you to bring a box of healthy cereal to the Food Pantry containers located in the Church of the Resurrection and to the foyer of the Church of Saint Casimir over the weekends of Sunday, January 27 and Sunday, February 3, 2018, or to the Thrift Shop during regular business hours. Thank you for your unceasing goodness, 

Fr. Pete

 

New Orleans may lay claim to the moniker, ‘The Saints’, I believe your generosity reflects who truly wears this title.  I thank you for your generosity on behalf of our sisters and brothers.

I invite you to bring a box of healthy cereal to the Food Pantry containers located in the Church of the Resurrection and to the foyer of the Church of Saint Casimir over the weekends of Sunday, January 27 and Sunday, February 3, 2018, or to the Thrift Shop during regular business hours. Thank you for your unceasing goodness, 

                Fr. Pete


January 13, 2019 – A View from the Rectory Window

The Obelisk in St Peter’s Square

In St. Peter’s Square, in Rome, there stands an ancient Egyptian obelisk – a single block of granite in the shape of the Washington monument, almost 100 feet high and weighing 330 tons.

  • It is the oldest obelisk in Rome, dating from about 2500 BC.
  • At that time it had been erected as a monument to the Pharaoh, and it watched over two thousand years of Egyptian history – the longest reigning empire in history.
  • It stood there when Abraham was called, when Joseph was viceroy of Egypt, when Moses led his people out of Egypt.

At the time of Christ, soon after these Magi came to worship him, the Roman Emperor Caligula brought it to Rome as a sign of Rome’s superiority to conquered Egypt.

  • There it stood for four more centuries, a symbol of the Roman Empire, the largest empire in human history.
  • A golden urn with Julius Caesar’s ashes was placed on it.
  • It stood in the arena where St. Peter himself was martyred, along with hundreds of other early Christians.
  • Then the barbarians invaded Rome, and in the Middle Ages it fell.
  • Ivy grew around it. It was half-buried near the old Basilica.

The Church converted the barbarians, and when a new Christian culture emerged and flourished, and St. Peter’s Basilica was rebuilt and expanded, Pope Sixtus V had the obelisk re-erected in 1585 AD. in the center of the plaza.

  • No longer is it a reminder of the long-perished empires of Egypt, Rome and the barbarian hoards.
  • Now it is topped with a bronze cross, and inside that bronze cross is a small fragment of the true cross, the cross on which Christ, conquering his Kingdom, was crucified.
  • Now it serves the universal Kingdom that will have no end, the Kingdom of Jesus.


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


Online Giving

In keeping up with technology, the Parish of Saint Maximilian Kolbe now offers Online Giving. This service is safe and secure. Our purpose is to provide you with an added convenience.

We extend this service so that you now have the option to manage your contributions online or with your offering envelopes. Online Giving is very easy to use and requires no special knowledge other than how to access the Internet.

To register for online giving visit  https://osvonlinegiving.com/4368

 You can give to our special collections in addition to regular offerings. You can choose to do a One Time Gift or a special remembrance, or you can set up regularly scheduled contributions that are withdrawn on the date you specify in the system. Even if you typically use your offering envelopes, you may wish to contribute online to a particular collection. You can make changes at any time. You can see reports on your contribution history and generate tax statements at each year’s end. It’s easy and it’s convenient!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office staff at (609) 390-0664  for assistance.

In the future you will find our online giving on the top menu bar or go into our Home bar of our website.


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Whenever you attend an event, tag the photos and check-in to St. Maximilian Kolbe via Facebook.  This way, it will allow the science of social media to spread all the great things going on here, and make St. Max “go viral”.


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