EASTER - THE 50 DAY LONG FEAST

Alleluia! Alleluia! He is Risen!

The fifty-day feast of Easter developed from the harvest feast of ancient Israel known as "Shavuot," or the "Feast of Weeks." It was a period of seven weeks (a "week of weeks") plus one day, beginning with Passover and concluding with the fiftieth day, the day of Pentecost. The fiftieth day marked the end of the barley harvest and included an offering of the first fruits. By the time of Jesus, this festival also had become a celebration of the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai.

The themes of harvest, Exodus and the Law also became part of the Christian celebration. Christians celebrated the Passover of Jesus through death to new life and the Covenant that was established in him. Images of Christ as paschal Lamb and as first fruits are the earliest Easter images used by St. Paul.

Easter was the first of our feasts to develop beyond the weekly Sunday celebration. This fifty-day period of rejoicing seems to have been adopted by all Christian communities by the second century. Within a few centuries, however, the unity of the feast began to weaken, and the resurrection, the ascension, and the descent of the Holy Spirit began to be celebrated separately. Easter and Pentecost became two separate days rather than the two names for the same fifty-day period. Only in our own time has the unity of this celebration been reestablished, at least in the liturgical books. The pastoral challenge is to reestablish it in the minds and hearts of the parish, and the best way to do that is by celebrating the whole feast well.

Easter Sunday

Easter calls us to grasp, on a deeper and more profound level, what it means to be a follower of the crucified and risen Christ. In the prayers and readings of the season, we are led each Sunday to a deeper understanding, for our lives, of what it means to be baptized into the death and Resurrection of Christ. We are called to deeper conversion - deeper immersion - into the mystery of our participation in Christ's Passover from death to life. In our own experience of the sacraments of initiation, God's power and presence in Christ made us a new creation, his chosen sons and daughters, members of his eternal reign. Easter is the time to reflect on these mysteries of our faith and to meditate on their importance for our lives of faith in the world today. The liturgical life of the season - the readings, prayers, rites, devotions - allows us and calls us to this reality.



Holy Week

Come Celebrate Holy Week With Us!

Saturday April 12, 2014 - Palm Sunday Mass at 5:00pm

Sunday April 13, 2014 - Palm Sunday Masses at 7:30am, 9:00am, 10:30am and 12:00noon

Monday April 14, 2014 - Morning Mass at 7:30am and 11:30am

Tuesday April 15, 2014 - Morning Mass at 7:30am and 11:30am

Wednesday April 16, 2014 - Morning Mass at 7:30am and 11:30am

Thursday April  17, 2014 - Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:30pm & Holy Thursday Night Prayer at 11:00pm

Friday April 18, 2014 - Good Friday Morning Prayer at 8:30am, Celebration of the Lord’s Passion at 3:00pm & Living Stations of the Cross at 7:30pm

Saturday April 19, 2014 - Holy Saturday Morning Prayer at 8:30am and The Great Easter Vigil at 8:15pm

Sunday April 20, 2014 - Easter Sunday Mass at 7:30am, 9:00am, 10:30am and 12:00noon

 

Holy Week is quiet week
No ministry events are scheduled and all are encouraged to attend Holy Week services. Schedule of Events at St. Thomas

 

Lent 2014: March 5th - April 17th

Lent is a time of good resolutions and new beginnings. Lent is a season of repentance and a season of hope.

The word Lent means springtime. This word comes from the same root as lengthen. Daytime lengthens during Lent. The northern hemisphere turns toward the sun, the source of life, and winter turns into spring. In Hebrew, the word for repentance is the same as the word that means to turn, like the turning of the earth to the sun, like the turning of the soil before planting.

Calendar of Lenten Events at St. Thomas

Stations of the Cross on Fridays at 7:30PM

Reconciliation Wednesday during Lent at 7:30PM and all year round on Saturdays at 11:00AM.

Lenten Small Christian Communities

Pray the Stations at home the rest of the week with this video.

Prayer Life Resources on the STA website
Prayer Life Resources external to the STA website

Summer CCD 2014 Forms are now posted.

02/02/2014

Forms are now posted at the following link:

http://www.stachurchbloomfield.com/node/178

Saint Thomas History

75 years ago, on January 26, 1939, the Archbishop of Newark, Thomas Joseph Walsh, canonically established the parish of St. Thomas the Apostle in the Brookdale section of Bloomfield.

Mission Statement

The Roman Catholic Faith Community of St. Thomas the Apostle recognizes God's call to be a sign of His Kingdom in the communities we serve.
We respond to this call by:

  • Leading people to a deeper relationship with Christ by providing opportunities for spiritual growth, renewal, education, the celebration of the Sacraments, and the worship of God in the sacred liturgy;
  • Encouraging a commitment to justice and to service of those in need;
  • Promoting good stewardship of our time, talent and treasure;
  • Building a community of hospitality and support in the daily living out of Christian ideals by nourishing mutual respect and understanding within our Church, our families, our community, and other faith traditions.