June 16, 2019 – A View from the Rectory Window

Happy Father’s Day

As we are aware, fatherhood is a divine gift that is also a vocation of love manifested in a complete giving of self. As with any vocation, fatherhood is fundamentally not about the father himself, but about how he relates to others: as protector, defender and sanctifier of his family.

This notion of fatherhood as a divine vocation finds wonderful expression in the teaching of Pope Francis who wrote in “The Joy of Love” that “The love of parents is the means by which God our Father shows his own love.” The Holy Father goes on to write, a parent’s “selfless and loving service” is “a sign of the free and selfless love of Jesus.”

But can God’s quiet presence truly be recognized in the rush, confusion and even chaos of ordinary family life? Pope Francis seemed aware of this question when he wrote that “no family drops down from heaven, perfectly formed; families need constantly to grow and mature in the ability to love. This is a never-ending vocation.”

The Holy Father did not want parents and families to be discouraged by their imperfections. Contemplating “the fulfillment that (they) have yet to attain” allows families “to see in proper perspective the historical journey” they are making, he sought to assure them.

In a special way I write to acknowledge and ask God’s blessings on our fathers who lead, protect and defend us on our journey to eternal life with Christ.


Speaking of “the rush, confusion and even chaos of ordinary family life” – I ask your patience for the next several months as our parish family experiences some ‘chaos’ during the construction of our Parish/Community Center.

In particular, you will discover that portions of our parking lot will have restricted access for construction vehicles. We have made plans to utilize the field on the corner of the Church of the Resurrection campus for parking. I ask you to be courteous and to follow the layout of parking to ensure the safety of our parishioners.


To give you the grace to get through these next several months, I encourage you to mark your calendars for the Parish Mission on Tuesdays; July 16, July 30 and August 6 leading up to our Parish Feast Day Celebrations on August 14, 5:00 pm, Strathmere Beach.


And if you really want to celebrate on our Parish Feast Day, don’t forget to get your parish raffle tickets. With the raffle packets ‘on the street’, we are already halfway to our goal.

Thank you for all you do for our parish family. It is my greatest blessing to celebrate my own vocation of ‘father’ with you,

Fr. Pete

June 9, 2019 – A View from the Rectory Window

Welcome to our Parish celebration of the Feast of Pentecost.

Perhaps some of you are here in response to a hand-written invitation. My hope is that we all recognize that we are here in response to an invitation extended to us through the Holy Spirit. For I am convinced that it is the Holy Spirit who desires, for our benefit, that we be assembled together on this day and in this manner. Often we think of the Holy Spirit in a relationship that is something intensely personal. The work of the Holy Spirit, we imagine, takes place within the confines of the human heart. We think: only when we get away from the clamor of the world’s many voices will we hear the still, small whispers of the Holy Spirit who guides us on our way.

I am not saying that this is untrue—to be sure, the Spirit speaks into our lives in personal ways. But this is clearly not how we encounter the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.

The second chapter of Acts provides us with our ‘first impression’ of the Holy Spirit—who He is and how He works. The Spirit comes to a community that has been gathered together (Acts 2:1). Peter and the disciples had not gone off on their own into a private and personal relationship encounter with God. They were together with the Church. And while they were together, the Spirit’s actions were anything but a gentle whisper to be felt and cherished. Rather, we hear a mighty and “violent wind” blow through the room where they were gathered. We witness “tongues of fire” descend upon the Apostles. And from this encounter with the Holy Spirit the Apostles are empowered to speak to the nations.

This Pentecost Day encounter reminds us that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not for a private and personal enriching of self but for an outpouring of gifts for the sake of others, for “every race and nation.” This movement of the Holy Spirit can be traced in Saint Peter’s sermon, which sets the truth plainly before his hearers and begs the unavoidable question: “what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). And the answer comes back, go out, so that all might be lifted up.

And so this Pentecost, perhaps we recognize that we are here in response to a hand-written invitation. Or perhaps, we are here in response to the Holy Spirit who has brought us together to encounter the movement of God not in a gentle word of comfort that we can lock away safely in our souls, but in a life transforming rushing wind that stirs and transforms our lives and the lives of those to whom we are sent.

Fr. Pete

June 2, 2019 – A View From the Rectory Window

Welcome home. At the Parish Family of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, we are better when we are together. My experience has been that the summer is a ‘weird’ time in the life of a parish family. During the summer, parishioners usually take week long vacations or shoot off for weekend getaways (even though we are the weekend getaway). Church attendance among the ‘regulars’ may grow sparse every now and then even though this is hidden due to the influx of the extended family who join us each summer. Admittedly, summertime has a different rhythm than other parts of the year. Here is the danger; it becomes very easy to let faith, parish and personal spiritual life vacation during the summer months.

My hope is that at the Parish Family of Saint Maximilian Kolbe this summer will be an occasion for spiritual growth and greater awareness of the mission entrusted to us by God. While some parishes may slim down the schedule for church life during the summer, clearly this will not be the case for our parish family. And so I invite you to be part of our parish’s ongoing works of charity for our sisters and brothers in need, to participate in days/nights of prayer groups, bible study and other forms of prayers, to be with our younger women and men in Vacation Bible School, to be part of the parish Feast Day celebrations on August 14, and to participate in the sacramental life of the Church –most particularly the Mass.

Fr. Pete

2019 Raffle

May 26, 2019 – A View From the Rectory Window

To many of the members of our ‘extended parish family’ it is my joy to say “Welcome home” and “You were missed!” The parish family of Saint Maximilian Kolbe is enriched by your prayer, your presence and your expressions of faith.

As we all know, Memorial Day is the traditional kickoff of summer marked by family getaways, cookouts, picnics, parades and the beach. At the same time, I believe it is always important to put time aside for the events for which this day was created; such as wreath-laying ceremonies, prayer services and visits to war memorials. I believe that as Catholics, we are best disposed to be attuned to these moments.

To give expression to this idea, I share with you an image that captured my attention at a young age:

This picture hung on the walls of the seminary where I was studying for the priesthood. It was a picture of a Catholic U.S. Navy Chaplain’s Field Mass with servicemen during combat operations at the Battle of Iwo Jima.

This picture captures a priest standing on a heavily sloped hill wearing simple vestments draped over his military fatigues. He is seen administering the Eucharist to a marine who was kneeling on a rocky and combat torn hill. Behind the priest was a hasty altar and canopy. Around this battle sanctuary were a dozen or so marines and sailors. They appear captivated by the simple reception of Holy Communion seen at the center of the frame. The photograph is equally strange, mysterious and mystical.

It is strange because of the setting of a battleground that is still being hotly contested. The photo is mysterious because it communicates the singular focus on the Eucharist by the battle-weary men. They have come to pray with a poignant air of grace about them despite the apprehension of the scene. Mystical because in the Eucharist, Jesus is truly present in his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. He is the mercy of God expressed in the saving action of the Eucharist.

Each time we gather for Mass, we encounter the same God who humbled Himself (Phil 2:6) by coming to these servicemen who possess both the desire and need of God. Jesus seeks these combatants in the real and terrible contradiction of conflict and violence and his Love (1 John 4:16). He is the gentle master who comes seeking them to console their hearts. He is the One who can give them rest (Mt. 8:18).

May we see this Memorial Day as an opportunity to honor the great sacrifices of those who gave their all so that we may know the blessings we now enjoy. May it also be a day to restore our assurance of God’s presence in every circumstance of our lives,

Fr. Pete

Summer of 2019 MASS SCHEDULE

Church of the Resurrection

 200 W. Tuckahoe Rd, Marmora, New Jersey

Tuesday to Friday 8:30am Daily Mass

Saturday Evening 4:00pm

Sunday 8:00am, 9:30am, 11:00am & 5pm

St. Casimir’s Church

304 Clay Street, Woodbine, New Jersey

Monday to Friday 7:30am Daily Mass

Saturday Evening 5:30pm

Sunday: 8:30am

Sunday: 10:30am Spanish Mass

May 19, 2019 – A Message from Monsignor Conahan

My Dear Parishioners,

I have asked to direct a few words to you, to thank you for the last 7 years that I have been privileged to serve you at our parish of Saint Maximilian Kolbe. Where to begin? How to not forget anyone or hurt them because I didn’t mention them? Impossible. And so the words to all of you, especially those who were able to join the celebration, my deep and abiding love! and thanks! I promised myself not to fall in love again with any congregation I might serve. I failed! God is really good! So, from a grateful “retired” priest, to a wonderful, accepting parish family, I say simply—love, thanks, good health and every happiness!


Monsignor Conahan

2019 Vacation Bible School

We invite our parish families to join us for Vacation Bible School, dates July 22 to 26, 2019.

To register visit


If you need more information or would like to help please contact the religious education office at 609-390-2203.

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