St. Thomas December 2015 E-News

December 2015

In this issue:
  • St. Thomas Synergistics Lab
  • St. Thomas Youth Recognition Awards
  • Pictures
  • Year of Mercy Prayer
  • Advent
  • Christmas and the Christmas Season
  • Solemnity of Mary
  • Saint John and Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini
  • Epiphany and Baptism of Jesus
  • Upcoming Events

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Synergistics and Technology Soar at St. Thomas

The Synergistics Lab at St. Thomas the Apostle School is constantly moving with technology, kinetic activities and engineering experiments

Taken from
Engineering, Scientific Experiments, Aeronautical Advancements, all subjects that are taught within the St. Thomas the Apostle School Synergistics Lab. This Lab is a course of study for students in the 7th and 8th grade. In this classroom setting students are given hands on experiences to create models such as wind turbines, torque racers, and other such engineering experiments. This lab allows students to show their creativity and learn how the world works. To understand the world around us, and how it works, will further advance our lives, and who better to learn these technological advancements than the students who are our future.

Youth Recognition Awards

Three members of the Saint Thomas Community are recipients of Youth Recognition Awards for their service to the Saint Thomas Community.

Tim Dennin - Saint John Paul II Award

Mark Mabalatan - Archdiocesan Parish Youth Discipleship Award

David Trias - Archdiocesan Parish Adult Light of the World Award David F. Trias

Youth Recognition Sunday was November 15, 2015 at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark.


St. Thomas Memorial Concert

School Donations to Harvest of Hope

School Lego Team

Cub Scout Pancake Breafast

Boy Scout Troop 22 Wreath Sale

The wreath sale has long been the major fundraiser for Boy Scout Troop 22. Proceeds raised go towards our programming. We are very grateful to St. Thomas and its parishioners for their support of this sale, but also for their ongoing support of the Troop.

We have a very active troop of 50+ boys, and a busy schedule. There are weekend campouts every month, and our Scouts enjoy a weeklong summer camp experience. Other activities include a "hike of the month club" and a sportsman group that meets to enjoy challenges like archery, fishing and shooting sports.

So far this year alone, we have visited West Point for Scout Day and a football game, enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour at the Rhinebeck Aerodrome and camped on the beach at Sandy Hook. Upcoming trips include horseback riding and a Delaware whitewater trip.

St. Thomas Giving Tree

Year of Mercy

December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016.

Prayer of His Holiness Pope Francis for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy

Lord Jesus Christ,

You have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father, and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him.
Show us your face and we will be saved.
Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money;
the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things;
made Peter weep after his betrayal,
and assured Paradise to the repentant thief.
Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman: "If you knew the gift of God!"

You are the visible face of the invisible Father,
of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy:
let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified.
You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness
in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error:
let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God.

Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing,
so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord,
and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed, and restore sight to the blind.

We ask this through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy, you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.



Sunday November 29, 2015 through Thursday December 24, 2015

Advent marks the beginning of the new liturgical year. We prepare for the annual celebrations of Christ's incarnation at Christmas, his manifestation at Epiphany, and the beginning of his mission at the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Advent means "coming." We are to prepare for the coming of God among us as a child who is a King, as an infant who is a Savior, as one born at a given time and place yet who is a Messiah for all ages and people.

Advent has a two-fold character: as a season to prepare us for Christmas when Christ's first coming to us is remembered; as a season when that remembrance directs the mind and heart to await Christ's Second Coming at the end of time. Advent is thus a period for devout and joyful expectation.

Merry Christmas

Our Dear Parishioners and Friends,

It gives us great joy to wish you, your family, and your loved ones a very Blessed Christmas, and Peace and Happiness through the New Year. Thank you for the support you give to all the staff of St. Thomas the Apostle by your presence and the sharing of your time, talent and treasure.

In the Lord,

Father Charles Miller and Priests, Deacons, Sisters and Staff

Christmas Eve Masses
Herron Hall - Thursday December 24 @ 4:00PM
Church - Thursday December 24 @ 4:00PM
Church - Thursday December 24 @ 6:00PM
Church - Thursday December 24 @ 10:30PM

Christmas Day Masses
Church - Friday December 25 @ 8:00AM
Church - Friday December 25 @ 10:00AM
Church - Friday December 25 @ 12:00 Noon

Christmas Liturgical Season

The Christmas Liturgical Season begins on Christmas Eve, include the Feast of the Holy Family the following Sunday, the Solemnity of Mary (January 1st), and the Solemnity of the Epiphany the following Sunday. The Christmas season continues through feast of the Baptism of Jesus.

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Feast Day December 22nd

She took religious vows in 1877 and did so well at her work that when the orphanage closed in 1880, her bishop asked her to found the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to care for poor children in schools and hospitals. Pope Leo XIII then sent her to the United States to carry on this mission. She and six Sisters arrived in New York in 1889. They worked among immigrants, especially Italians. Mother Cabrini founded 67 institutions, including schools, hospitals, and orphanages in the United States, Europe and South America. Like many of the people she worked with, Mother became a United States citizen during her life, and after her death she was the first US citizen to be canonized.

St. John the Evangelist

Feast Day: December 27th

St. John was one of the twelve apostles and is referred to as the "disciple whom Jesus loved". Of all twelve apostles, St. John was the only one who accompanied Jesus all the way to the Cross. Besides his Gospel, St. John wrote several letters and the book of Revelations. According to tradition, St. John died at Ephesus when he was about 94 years old. St. Jerome tells us that as an old man, St. John was too weak to walk or to speak much. However, every day when the community met to share the Eucharist, St. John would insist that he be carried to the meeting place. Once there, he would always say the same thing , "Little children, love one another. " When someone asked him why he always said the same thing over and over he replied "Because it is the Lord's teaching and if you do this alone, it is enough."

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

January 1st, 2016

Masses on Thursday, December 31, 2015 at 4:00pm
and Friday, January 1, 2016 at 7:30am and 11:30am.

The church celebrates that Mary is the Mother of God (Theotokos or more specificly "Bearer of God"). One of the most outstanding characteristics of Mary is her willingness to know and do God's will. We seek to follow Mary's example more closely so we can be bearers of Christ to the world in the modern world.

The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord - January 3, 2016

The word "epiphany," which means a shining forth of light, has slipped from its religious use into secular usage to indicate any sudden flash of insight. First used in this sense by the writer James Joyce, the term has degenerated to the point where "Epiphany" is even the name for an integrated suite of customer relations management software. Presumably using this software will give on striking new insights into how to manage one's customer relations.

The distance between the secular usage of the term "epiphany" and what we celebrate on this feast can be seen in the fact that we do not celebrate a flash of insight, but the shining forth of God's light in our world through the person of Jesus. Pope Benedict XVI wrote that to be a Christian isn't merely an ethical choice or a noble idea, but the encounter with an event, a person who gives life a new horizon and a definitive direction. The Epiphany is not about an idea occurring to us but about an encounter with a person: Jesus Christ.

According to tradtion, St. Thomas traveled East after Jesus' Ressurection and encountered the three wise men. They were then baptized by St. Thomas.

The Baptism of the Lord - January 10, 2016

The Baptism of the Lord is yet another powerful revelation (manifestation or epiphany) of Christ's identity: God's beloved Son, on whom his favor rests. Like the visit of the Magi and the wedding feast of Cana, the baptism of Christ by John in the River Jordon is an experience of God's action and presence revealed in Christ.

All Baptized Christians share in the priestly, prophetic and kingly aspects of Jesus' ministry:
"These faithful are by baptism made one body with Christ and are constituted among the People of God; they are in their own way made sharers in the priestly, prophetical, and kingly functions of Christ; and they carry out for their own part the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the world." (Lumen Genitum 31).

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

Parish Events:

Breakfast with Santa
Saturday December 12 @ 9:30AM

St. Thomas 20th Annual Christmas Concert and Reception
Saturday December 12 @ 7:00PM

December Blood Pressure Screening
Sunday December 13 @ 8:00AM-12:00PM

December Hospitality
Sunday December 13 @ 9:30AM-12:00PM

Advent Retreat Day For Men and Women
Sunday December 13 @ 10:30AM-3:30PM

Bloomfield Advent Reconciliation Service at St. Valentine's
Monday December 14 @ 7:30PM

Simbang Gabi Novena Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle
Thrusday December 17 @ 7:00PM

Shop Rite Gift Card Sale to Support STA Home & School
Sunday December 20 @ 10:00AM-12:00 Noon

Christmas Eve Masses
Herron Hall - Thursday December 24 @ 4:00PM
Church - Thursday December 24 @ 4:00PM
Church - Thursday December 24 @ 6:00PM
Church - Thursday December 24 @ 10:30PM

Christmas Day Masses
Church - Friday December 25 @ 8:00AM
Church - Friday December 25 @ 10:00AM
Church - Friday December 25 @ 12:00 Noon

Mary Mother of God
Vigil Mass - Thursday December 31 at 4:00PM
Mass - Friday January 1 at 7:30AM
Mass - Friday January 1 at 11:30AM

Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Hour
Monday December 28 @ 11:00 AM - 8:30PM

Feast of the Holy Family
December 26 and 27, 2015 - Weekend Masses

Feast of the Epiphany
January 2 and 3, 2016 - Bells Sunday
Bring bells to ring at all weekend masses.

Epiphany Pageant
Sunday January 3, 2016 after the 12:00 Noon Mass.

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

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

Meeting Dates:

Shawl Ministry
Sunday December 13 @ 11:30AM

Support Group For Those Grieving The Death Of A Loved One
Sunday December 13 @ 12:00 Noon

September Club Meeting
Monday December 14

Support Group For Those Grieving The Death Of A Loved One
Sunday December 20 @ 12:00 Noon

Men's Scripture Reading and Reflection
Monday December 21 @ 7:30PM

Rosary Society Meeting
Monday January 4 @ 7:00PM

Men's Scripture Reading and Reflection
Monday January 11 @ 7:30PM

Shawl Ministry
Sunday January 17 @ 11:30AM