April 2016 E-News

April 2016

In this issue:
  • Children's Liturgy of the Word
  • St. Thomas Fish Fry
  • Year of Mercy - Mercy in Scripture
  • 300 Club Raffle
  • Pictures
  • Easter Season
  • Stained Glass - Saint Mark and Saint George
  • Upcoming Events

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Children's Liturgy of the Word

On Palm Sunday the children of our Parish commemorated the triumphant arrival of Christ into Jerusalem as they processed around the lower area of the church, enthusiastically waving their blessed palm branches and singing "Hosanna" before they settled down in the St. James Room for the Children's Liturgy of the Word.

During the Children’s Liturgy of the Word, the children heard the same readings and Gospel message as their parents were hearing in church upstairs. Children learned that Jesus entered Jerusalem on a young donkey and received a special welcome from the townspeople who threw palm branches in front of him as a sign of honor which was a customary practice in Jesus’s time for people who were greatly respected.

To prepare the children for Holy Week, it was explained by the Homilist that, although Jesus was celebrated and honored with joy on Palm Sunday, things changed very quickly and he was soon to be betrayed and, only a week later, would rise from the dead on the first Easter. Children also learned that palm branches are recognized symbol of peace and victory, which is why they are used on Palm Sunday.

The Children's Liturgy of the Word at St Thomas the Apostle parish is a very special time for our youngest parishioners. It is offered for children of elementary age at the 10:30 Mass each Sunday as a way to simplify this part of the mass celebration for young children while maintaining it’s liturgical character. As their parents remain in the church for the Liturgy of the Word, volunteers trained in using the appropriate materials bring the children downstairs to the St. James Room. During this special time, the volunteer musician and homilist leads the children through prayers, songs and readings that are simplified for children. The children learn about the same Scripture readings as the rest of the assembly. They are taught a simplified main message of the readings and are encouraged to share that message with their parents after Mass. The children return during the preparation of the gifts and are reunited with their parents for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Children look forward to the Liturgy of the Word each week and are encouraged to grow in their faith and participation in the celebration of the Eucharist.

Volunteers are always welcomed!

If you want to learn more about this ministry, e-mail Frances DiPaola at weebkids@aol.com. We would love to hear from you!

Parish Fish Fry Recap

On Friday, March 11, Parishioners gathered in Herron Hall in St. Thomas the Apostle School for the Annual Parish Fish & Chips Dinner. The dinner is sponsored by the St. Thomas the Apostle Rosary Society and catered by Argyle’s, Kearny. Approximately 150 people were in attendance. For those who could not attend, we offered take out service as well.

Our servers were 8th grade students from St. Thomas the Apostle School and they were an enormous help and we are very grateful for their community service.

The Fish & Chips Dinner is only one of many activities sponsored by the Rosary Society. All women of the Parish are invited to join this very active, faith-filled and integral part of our Parish Community.

Year of Mercy

December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016.

God's Mercy is Empowering
"Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need."
Hebrews 4:16

God's Mercy is Long-Suffering
"The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and great in loving kindness. The Lord is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works."
Psalm 145:8-9

God's Mercy is Overflowing
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),...."
Ephesians 2:4-5
Link to Pope Francis's "Face of Mercy" (Misericordiae Vultus)

Useful Links:
The Vatican's Year of Mercy Website
USCCB Year of Mercy Page

Irish Night Thank You

The Irish Night committee wishes to thank all those who attended and participated the 24th annual Irish Night. In particular, we wish to thank Mr. Tim Dennin and the Youth Group for their assistance in setting up,etc.

The event was a social and financial success.

Mark your calendars for next year's event which will be our Silver Anniversary edition Sat,3-25-17.

St. Thomas 300 Club Raffle

St. Thomas the Apostle and your Finance Committee invite you and your friends to participate in our 300 Club.  Only 300 tickets available, each ticket costs $100.

The Raffle will be held Wednesday May 25, 2016
Prizes are as follows:
1st Prize - $10,500 or 35% of tickets sold
2nd Prize - $3,000 or 10% of tickets sold
3rd Prize - $1,500 or 5% of tickets sold
Click here for the STA 300 Club 2016 form


Click/tap an image for a larger view

Parish Fish Fry

Girl Scout Sunday

Children's Liturgy of the Word

Palm Sunday

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.

Saint George - Feast Day April 23rd

St. George was a Christian soldier who was martyred in Palestine in the fourth century. Although very little is known of his life, legend says that he rescued a King's daughter from a dragon, and because of his faith in fighting the dragon, many people believed in Christ and became baptized.

Stained Glass Window is located with the lower windows in the Mary Queen of the Universe Transept.

Saint Mark - Feast Day April 25th

St. Mark, author of the second Gospel, was a member of the early Christian community in Jerusalem. He was a friend of St. Peter and St. Paul, and was a cousin of St. Barnabas. According to tradition, St. Mark became a leader in the Church of Alexandria in Egypt. In the ninth century, his relics were brought to Venice where they rest in the beautiful Cathedral of St. Mark. In art, St. Mark is depicted as a winged lion. It is believed that he wrote his Gospel, the first to be written, about thirty years after the Resurrection of Jesus.

Stained Glass Window is located in the Sanctuary.

Ascension Thursday - May 5th

40 Days after Easter. This year it is celebrated on Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Holy Day of Obligation

Masses 7:30am, 11:30am & 7:30pm

Click on any of the links for more information and the option to download to your electronic calendar.

Parish Events:

April Blood Pressure Screening
Sunday April 17 @ 8:00AM-12:00PM

April Hospitality
Sunday April 17 @ 9:30AM-12:00PM

Wellness Lecture
"Understanding Stroke. There is treatment if you act fast"
Wednesday April 20 @ 7:00PM

Shop Rite Gift Card Sale to Support STA Home & School
Sunday April 24 @ 10:00AM-12:00 Noon

Ascension Thursday Mass @ 7:30AM
Thursday May 5 @ 7:30 AM

Ascension Thursday Mass @ 11:30AM
Thursday May 5 @ 11:30 AM

Ascension Thursday Mass @ 7:30PM
Thursday May 5 @ 7:30 PM

Parish May Crowning
Saturday May 7 @ 4:45PM

Mother's Day
May 8

Pentecost Sunday
May 15

May Blood Pressure Screening
Sunday May 15 @ 8:00AM-12:00PM

May Hospitality
Sunday May 15 @ 9:30AM-12:00PM

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
May 22

Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Hour
Monday May 23 @ 11:00 AM - 8:30PM

Saint Thomas 300 Raffle
Wednesday May 25

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
May 29

Memorial Day
May 30 - Mass at 8:30AM and the Parish Center is closed.

Meeting Dates:

Shawl Ministry
Sunday April 17 @ 11:30AM

September Club Meeting
Monday April 18

Men's Scripture Reading and Reflection
Monday April 18 @ 7:30PM

September Club Meeting
Monday April 25

September Club Meeting
Monday May 2

Rosary Society Meeting
Monday May 2 @ 7:00PM

September Club Meeting
Monday May 9

Men's Scripture Reading and Reflection
Monday May 9 @ 7:30PM

Shawl Ministry
Sunday May 15 @ 11:30AM

September Club Meeting
Monday May 16

September Club Meeting
Monday May 23

Men's Scripture Reading and Reflection
Monday May 23 @ 7:30PM