October 20, 2019 – A View from the Rectory Window

I write to ask for your guidance regarding The House of Charity – Bishop’s Annual Appeal that seeks to raise funds to provide care, respect, justice, peace and dignity for every soul in the Diocese of Camden.

I am encouraged to report that since 2012, our parish census indicates that every year there has been an increase in registered families. At the same time, the number of donors to The House of Charity – Bishop’s Annual Appeal reflects a recent decline in participation:

2012 – 257 donors

2013 – 289 donors

2014 – 250 donors

2015 – 291 donors

2016 – 254 donors

2017 – 242 donors

2018 – 184 donors

2019 – 150 donors (to date)

As you may recall, when I introduced the 2019 The House of Charity – Bishop’s Annual Appeal, I had requested that a greater number of families participate in this effort. At that time, I stressed that the amount pledged was not my focus but rather that we participate in this endeavor as an expression of faith.

To this point, I return to my continued expressions of my profound gratitude to you for your generous support of time and treasure to our parish family. We need only look at the campuses of the Church of the Resurrection and Saint Casimir, to the overwhelming services of outreach to those in need and to the development of services and community we have created in our parish family. I repeat, I am humbled and encouraged daily by your goodness and aspire to respond in equal manner as your pastor.

And so I ask you to fill out the anonymous survey attached below that will help me and the parish council discern how best to continue to serve the members of our parish family and the people of God entrusted to our care. I ask you to fill out this document, drop it off at the parish office or in the Sunday collection.

Gratefully, Fr. Pete

Great Pumpkin

Altar Server Training Session

Father Pete will hold two altar server training session one of Tuesday, November 12, 2018 at 5:00 or Saturday November 16, 2019 at 10:00 am. Please print out the alter server training registration form http://saintmaxkolbe.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Registration-Altar-Server-2019-1.pdfand return it to the parish office.

October 13, 2019 – A View from the Rectory Window

Welcome to October. What a great month to be Catholic. I believe the great feasts of October encourage us on our pilgrim journey to our heavenly homeland. Saint Therese opened the month, calling to us from heaven. As she was dying in the convent infirmary, Therese could look out and see the rose bushes blossoming. She loved roses. She had thrown rose petals as a Child before the Blessed Sacrament. As she reflected on her quiet, hidden, and gentle life ending, she believed in faith that God had great things in store for her. She believed that her mission was only beginning as she entered the fullness of life with God. She explained: “After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses. I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth. I will raise up a mighty host of little saints. My mission is to make God loved…

“Saint Therese’s message is about simplicity and love in the ordinary events of life. Trust in Therese is important, and when she wills, roses or their fragrance may appear. The stories are remarkable how roses have shown up in the lives and experiences of people, especially in the darkest times. The ordinary and constant way these roses and graces have shown up in people’s experience is extraordinary. It is important to always maintain the rose of confidence that our All-Loving God hears and responds to our needs, according to the mysterious ways of His Love.

“Angel of God, my guardian dear. To whom his love God commits me here; Ever this day be at my side. To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen”

Another sign to encourage us that our All-Loving God hears and responds to our needs, according to the mysterious ways of His Love is the feast of the Guardian Angels (October2). It is an established Catholic teaching that every human being, from the moment of conception, has a guardian angel. Our guardian angels are constant companions in every season of our lives. This angel remains a protective spirit of that person until bodily death. Catholics believe in the protective ministry of the angels and are encouraged to go to their guardian angels and indeed talk directly to them. God does not leave us unprotected, he sends his angels to watch over us as King David affirms: “For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways (Psalm 91:11).

October also gives us St. Francis of Assisi and St. Bruno, St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II, the great mystics St. Teresa of Avila and St. Margaret Mary, the martyr bishop of Antioch St. Ignatius the martyr bishop of Paris St. Denis, the martyr missionaries John de Brebuf, Isaac Jogues and their companion North American Martyrs, St.Luke the Beloved Physician and St. John Capistrano, along with other shining saints.

But October’s crowning feast is that of the Holy Rosary, October 7. The rosary is our dearest companion and ladder to heaven, the greatest of all devotions and our defensive weapon against the evil one’s attacks. By praying the rosary, every day, we come under Our Lady’s protective and beautiful mantle; we rest safely in the grace of Christ our Lord.

To put these graces into expression the Church in the United States asks us to go out into the world and witness to the Gospel of Christ, especially in the midst of what Saint John Paul II called a “culture of death.” October is Respect Life Month. The annual Respect Life Program is a nationwide effort to help us understand, value, and become engaged with building a culture that cherishes every human life.

October reminds us that we are pilgrims caring for one another, under the care of those in heaven,

Fr. Pete

October 6, 2019 – A View from the Rectory

Financial and Stewardship Reports

I write to encourage you to join me for a ‘Town Hall’ meeting on Thursday, October 10, at 7pm in the extension of the Church of the Resurrection. This week I am providing you with a fiscal accounting summary of our parish for the fiscal year of July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 http://saintmaxkolbe.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/2019-Financial-Report-for-the-people-Final.pdf.

I will also make available for your consideration, some of the efforts of our parishioners to care for those who are in need of spiritual, emotional, and/or physical assistance in the Stewardship Report http://saintmaxkolbe.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/2019-Parish-Stewardship-Report-1.pdf. It would not be possible to present the full scope of our efforts in one summary sheet. For this reason, I ask pardon of those who may feel that their efforts went unnoticed or unacknowledged. At the same time, I trust that our efforts are not done to win the praise of others, but rather, are in response to all that God has given us.

The Parish Finance Council, the Parish Pastoral Council and I have sought to be prudent stewards of the resources entrusted to our care. You can read about these efforts in greater detail in the Pastoral Council Minutes found on our parish website. I know that transparency in this regard is one of our foremost obligations to you. I hope this brief report reflects our intention to be faithful to this obligation.

Members of the Parish Pastoral Council and Finance Council will be present to address any questions, concerns and/or recommendations that you may have for the life of our parish family.

  Respect Life Month

Each October the Church in the United States celebrates Respect Life Month, and the first Sunday of October is observed as Respect Life Sunday. As Catholics, we are called to cherish, defend, and protect those who are most vulnerable, from the beginning of life to its end, and at every point in between. During the month of October, the Church asks us to reflect more deeply on the dignity of every human life.

We know that from the time we are knit together in our mothers’ wombs until we take our final breaths, each moment of our lives is a gift from God. While every season of life brings its own challenges and trials, each season also gives us new opportunities to grow in our relationship with God.

Today the gift of life is threatened in countless ways. Those who are most vulnerable, rather than receiving the protection they deserve, are all too often seen as a burden and as expendable. As new attacks on human life continue to emerge, we can be tempted to despair, but Christ instead offers us unfailing hope.

Hope is not false optimism or empty positivity. Christian hope is something much more profound and goes to the very depths of our identity as followers of Christ. Hope is the virtue “by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit” (CCC, 1817).

Like us, Christ entered the world through the womb of a woman. He willingly experienced the fullness of human suffering. He breathed his last on the Cross at Calvary in order that He might save us. Therefore, “God is the foundation of hope: not any god, but the God who has a human face and who has loved us to the end.” (Spe salvi 31).

Christians know “they have a future: it is not that they know the details of what awaits them, but they know in general terms that their life will not end in emptiness” (SS2). For this reason, a woman experiencing a difficult pregnancy can find the strength to welcome her precious child into the world. A man facing a terminal diagnosis can see that the end of his earthly life is only the beginning of eternal life with Christ.

The Church teaches us that “the one who has hope lives differently” (SS2). Christ’s promise of salvation does not mean that we will be spared from suffering. Rather, the promise of salvation ensures that even in the darkest moments of our lives, we will be given the strength to persevere. By virtue of this Christian hope, we can face any challenge or trial. When the seas of life swell and we are battered by the waves, hope allows us to remain anchored in the heart of God. May we hold fast to Christ our hope, from the beginning of life to its very end.

Fr. Pete

September 29, 2019 – A View from the Rectory Window

My view is changing daily. When I first arrived, before the newly paved parking lot, the tree line encroached much more closely to the rectory. I miss the trees. I miss the shade in the summer, the colorful leaves in the fall, the branches that captured snow in the winter and the buds in spring signifying new life. There is still a tree line, I just have to look a little farther for these same signs that nature and its rhythms are inviting me to experience the beauty of a world greater than anything I could ever contemplate.

Where there was once a pavilion, there is a larger structure taking form. A concrete expression to all the planning for the hope that, “Someday we may have a parish center.” Now, the question is becoming “What do you think?”

You can view it in the pictures that capture its development. I believe that these pictures contain more than just the start of a building. For there in the multi-purpose room, is the first outline of a gathering place for our parish family. Hospitality will be shared with those who gather in the Church for Mass. And Mass will be celebrated. Prayers services will be experienced, rosaries will be prayed, candles will be lit, hymns will be sung and incense will fill this space. Families will celebrate their baby’s baptism and their child’s first communions. Wedding receptions will be blessed. Families who have entrusted the soul of their beloved deceased will gather to console one another in the light of the promise of the resurrection. Children will gather to learn from generous and devoted catechists. Games will be played, snacks will be shared and projects will be undertaken for those in need. From the kitchen countless will be fed and through the efforts of our parishioners many more will be nourished.

Into our parish offices will come those in search of assistance, guidance and consolation. Unimaginable, countless and grace-filled moments are already coming into form. How many people drive down Tuckahoe Road today and slow down to watch the progress saying, “That will be our parish center”? How many take pride in what their sacrifice is making possible? How many others thought: “I’m building that”? The outline of this vision already stands there today, because of you, and so many others who will come after you.

As my view from the rectory window changes, I can’t help but also think about the people who built this parish, in an empty field, generations ago. I remember so many of them from my childhood. How many envelopes were stuffed with small bills to start this parish? We remember that we build upon their sacrifices and vision and after having done our part, will entrust this work to those who follow us. The wonderful fact is: the building isn’t over. The work that began all those decades ago continues. Every Mass and every prayer offered together, every celebration, every marriage, every funeral, every baptism, every gathering builds on what came before.

Yes, the view from the rectory window is changing. But what never changes is the true building up—of faith, of belief, of a spiritual life that guides so many through the passage of time and leads to salvation—that kind of construction never ends.

While I miss the trees, I am hopeful for the view that is and for the view that will be. I hope you are too,

Fr. Pete

A Message to our Catechists

Dear Catechists,

We, the parishioners of the parish family of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, thank you. Thank you for your yes to God’s call to share the beauty and wonder of our Catholic Faith. Thank you for the time, effort, and sacrifice you place in teaching others about the faith which you yourselves love.

What is a Catechist? Perhaps it is fitting to start with what a catechist is not. A catechist is not just being a teacher. For you, as catechist, are a living witness to Jesus. Being a catechist is not simply a “side thing,” something you do to “give back” to God. While this is true and good you have also become a primary source of faith education for most of the children and teenagers that come to your classes.

I believe that one of the greater ‘illnesses’ afflicting Catholics today is ignorance of what the Church actually teaches and believes. As a result, the only time many of the children will hear about God and Catholicism will happen when it is coming from your teaching and example.

The Church has developed a well-known Latin adage that states Nemo potest dare quod non habet, that is: you cannot give what you do not have. In order to form others you must form yourselves first in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the truths of the Catholic Faith. In prayer, I encourage you, our catechists, to draw water from the living fountain of Christ’s heart, which in turn sustains us in all of our endeavors.

As catechists you have a beautiful mission. You can inspire a whole generation of Catholics (our children AND their families). Be assured of the prayers of the people of our parish family that you are strengthened by the awareness that the Lord is with you –even when it may feel at times like our children aren’t. To end this letter, I think a beautiful quote from St. Catherine of Siena will suffice: “If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze.”

To Mrs. Bross, Miss Lalli, our catechists and aides, may the light of Christ’s love for you and our children be your strength and comfort this new academic year,

Your Grateful Fellow Parishioners.

Scam Alert:

On September 11, 2019 a few parishioners received email’s from ‘Rev. Msgr. Peter M. Joyce’ <priest.catholic001@gmail.com> and 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.

September 8, 2019 – 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 invites all our parishioners to come to any or all of the following Tuesday night presentations, from 7:00-8:00pm in the extension of the Church of the Resurrection.

RCIA Syllabus 2019-2020

September 24: Introduction: Belief, Faith, Religion

October 1:The Creed, “I Believe in God. . . Creator. . .” -“I believe in one…”

October 8: “And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord” -“I believe in . . . holy. . . ”

October 15:“Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit” -“I believe in . . . apostolic”

October 29:The Holy Catholic Church -The Hierarchy, Mary and the Communion of Saints

November 12:Divine Revelation: Scripture, Tradition, Magisterium

November 19:Salvation History, “The Resurrection of the Body and Life Everlasting”

December 3:Sacrament of Initiation –Baptism

January 7:Sacrament of Initiation –Confirmation

January 14:Sacraments of Initiation –Eucharist and Mass

January 21:Sacrament of Vocation -Marriage

January 28:Sacrament of Vocation –Holy Orders

February 18:Sacraments of Healing -Reconciliation & Anointing of the Sick

February 25:Sin and Morality, Preparation for Lent

February 26:Ash Wednesday

March 3:Prayer—Liturgy

March 10:Tour of the Church—Sacramentals

March 24:Lenten Penance Service at the Church of the Resurrection

Sacred Triduum

April 09:Holy Thursday-Mass of the Lord’s Supper

April 10:Good Friday-Veneration of the Cross

April 11:Holy Saturday-Easter Vigil

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

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