St. Thomas February 2016 E-News

February 2016

In this issue:
  • Deacon Al - Forty Years as a Deacon
  • Scout Sunday
  • World Marriage Sunday
  • Year of Mercy - Mercy in Scripture
  • Catholic School Week
  • Pictures
  • Lent and Holy Week
  • Upcoming Events

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Deacon Al - Forty Years as a Deacon

Deacon Al
Deacon Al Tizzano

On Saturday, January 9th, St. Thomas the Apostle Church community celebrated at 5:00 PM, a Mass of Thanksgiving for Deacon Albert Tizzano’s 40th Anniversary as a Deacon. Al was ordained as Deacon in the 1st Diocese Deacon Ordination group at Sacred Heart Cathedral for the Arch Diocese of Newark in December, 1975.

Born to Clementine and Luca Tizzano, he was one of five children raised in a faith filled family. After completing his education, he worked in a family automotive business in Montclair and served in the Army during the Korean War. After his return, he met and married the love of his life, Mary, and settled in Bloomfield where they became parishioners at Saint Thomas. When the Arch Diocese started the program to ordain men as Deacons, with Mary’s support and encouragement, he applied and was accepted and later ordained.

Over the last 40-years, Deacon Al has been involved in many church activities: training altar servers, teaching CCD, visiting the sick, bringing communion to shut-ins, Baptisms, Weddings and funerals. Most close to his heart was the blessing of animals in October near to the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi. An assortment of animals from dogs, cats, birds to more exotic ones such as snakes, lizards, and fish arrived with owners for the annual event. He now continues the practice here at St. Thomas.

Deacon Al and Mary had a long and happy marriage for 50-plus years. He was a devoted husband seeing to her care and needs. This was especially so during her last years at Saint Vincent Nursing Home until her passing in May, 2011. He was there on a daily basis and still volunteers there one or two days a week. Deacon Al is always there for family and friends helping in any way he can to make one’s life easier.

We pray that God will continue to give Deacon Al stable health and may he continue to grow spiritually. May God give him the ability to do all that he can with love, patience, and understanding for all the lives that he touches yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Scout Sunday

At St. Thomas, we are blessed to sponsor a very active Scouting program with both a Cub Pack (first through 5th grades) and Scout Troop (to age 18). Over 130 youth and 40 adult volunteers participate between the two groups.

Scout Sunday 2016
Picture of the Boy and Cub Scouts from Scout Sunday 2016

Throughout the year, you may see our Scouts meeting at the school, volunteering in the community, or marching in the Memorial Day parade. Many parishioners have bought Christmas wreaths from generations of Boy Scouts. But once a year, Pack and Troop 22 join us at the 9:00 Mass, to celebrate Scout Sunday.

Scout Sunday, first celebrated in the 1940's, is held on the Sunday closest to the Feb. 8th anniversary of Scouting in the U.S (Jewish Scouts celebrate the Scout Sabbath on the following Saturday.) It is a way to make members of many faiths aware of Scouting, and to give Scouts a public means to perform their "duty to God."

Scout Awards
Scouts receiving their religious awards at the Cathedral on Scout Sunday

This year, a number of St. Thomas Scouts also journeyed to the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Scout Sunday afternoon to be recognized for earning their religious emblems. Many faiths offer a similar program, where Scouts learn more about their religion and, upon completion of the requirements, receive a recognition that can be worn on the BSA uniform. For Roman Catholic Scouts, there are several different age-appropriate programs, each with its own award.

World Marriage Sunday

World Marriage weekend was celebrated February 13th and 14th, 2016. A special blessing was given to the following couples celebrating significant anniversaries.

Celebrating 15 years of marriage
Michelle and Michael Pasquale
Mary and Kevin Spink

Celebrating 25 years of marriage
Linda and Mike McDonnell
Rocelyn and Rossini Solatorio
Gina Marie and George Smith

Celebrating 30 years of marriage
James and Donna Gradzki

Celebrating 35 years of marriage
Cecelia and James Battaglino

Celebrating 40 years of marriage
Cheryl and Anthony D'Allegro
Charles and Andrea Kluepfel

Celebrating 45 years of marriage
Eileen and John Colby
Marlene and Nick Joanow
Barbara and Louis Delisio
Vicky and Victor Go
Ampy and Cris Escobinas

Celebrating 50 years of marriage
Linda and Donald Albanese
Lucia and Jim Avallone
Roz and Bill Frunzi
Matt and Diane Guagliardo

Celebrating 55 years of marriage
Lucy and Gene Foti

Celebrating 65 years of marriage
Marie and John Meehan

The following blessing was given to all married couples:
"May God the almighty Father, give you joy." Amen
"May the only Son of God have mercy on you and help you in good times and bad." Amen
"May the Holy Spirit always fill your hearts with love." Amen
"And may almighty God bless you all, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." Amen

Year of Mercy

December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016.

God's Mercy is a Journey With God:
He has made clear to you, O man, what is good;
and what is desired from you by the Lord;
only doing what is right, and loving mercy,
and walking humbly with your God
Micah 6:8

God's Mercy is Life Restoring:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again
to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
1 Peter 1:3
God's Mercy is Patient:
....for this reason I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost,
Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience,
as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life."
1 Timothy 1:16
Link to Pope Francis's "Face of Mercy" (Misericordiae Vultus)

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

Catholic School's Week Pulpit Talk

There are many reasons we chose St. Thomas as the school for our children. I’d like to highlight our three main reasons:

The first is St. Thomas’ strong academic program. I graduated from St. Thomas over 20 years ago, and then went on to attend Seton Hall Prep. The Prep is known for having a high achieving academic program among New Jersey high schools. I can honestly say there is nothing I encountered in my studies there that I wasn’t prepared for thanks to my time here at St. Thomas. Even though my daughter is only half way through kindergarten, she is already reading, writing, and even speaking Spanish very well. It’s clear to me the faculty has made what was a good program even stronger over the years.

Our second reason for choosing this Catholic school is because it develops the whole student. I believe there are great benefits both in the classroom and in the many extracurricular activities from having a small class size. Students learn to be accountable and respectful since their words and actions are monitored closely. The small tight-knit community here enables our children to participate in numerous clubs, sports, and projects where they can develop important life skills such as teamwork and leadership.

Lastly, our third reason for choosing a Catholic school like St. Thomas is that it's a faith-based learning environment. There are studies that show that even when adjusting for socioeconomic status, private religious schools have the highest level of academic achievement when compared to public or charter schools.

In closing, I think I can best summarize my view on Catholic education with a verse from the Bible that reads "Of those to whom much is given, much is expected". Parents of Catholic school students make great sacrifices to provide the benefits of a Catholic-based education. In return, our expectations are high. The teachers here are very committed to student development, and the study body’s drive for results both in and out of the classroom is strong. All of those factors combine to create an outstanding learning environment, and serve as an example of a great Catholic school.

----Paul Drexler

Please visit the Saint Thomas the Apostle School Website at


St. Thomas the Apostle School Science and Synergistics

St. Thomas the Apostle School Grandparents Day

St. Thomas the Apostle School Valentines for Veterans

St. Thomas the Apostle School Religion Bowl

Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts

Scout Sunday 2016
Scouts bringing up the gifts at the Scout Sunday Mass, 2016
Scout Sunday 2016
Five Troop 22 Scouts received their Ad Alteri Dei ("To the Altar of God") medal at the annual Scout Sunday celebration at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Newark. Nick Swetz, Joseph Lambiase, Steven Miller, Peter Haverick, Dan DiAntonio. Mr. Tom Ferraioli served as the program counselor.

Celebrating Deacon Al's Fortieth Anniversary of a Deacon

Deacon Al

Archdiocesan Women's Conference at Seton Hall
February 27 @ 9:00AM - 1:30PM

Archdiocesan Men's Conference at Seton Hall
March 5 @ 8:00AM - 1:30PM

Lent 2016: February 10th - March 24th

Lent is a time of good resolutions and new beginnings. Lent is a season of repentance and a season of hope. In Lent we reconnect with our baptismal spirituality as the Lenten practices help us to prepare to renew our baptismal promises on Easter Sunday. The goal of Lent is Easter.

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 on Saturdays at 11:00AM.
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

Come Celebrate Holy Week With Us!

Saturday March 19, 2016 - Palm Sunday Mass at 5:00pm

Sunday March 20, 2016 - Palm Sunday Masses at 7:30am, 9:00am, 10:30am and 12:00noon

Monday March 21, 2016 - Morning Mass at 7:30am and 11:30am

Tuesday March 22, 2016 - Morning Mass at 7:30am and 11:30am

Wednesday March 23, 2016 - Morning Mass at 7:30am and 11:30am

Thursday March 24, 2016 - Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:30pm & Holy Thursday Night Prayer at 11:00pm

Friday March 25, 2016 - 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 March 26, 2016 - Holy Saturday Morning Prayer at 8:30am and The Great Easter Vigil at 8:15pm

Sunday March 27, 2016 - 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

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

Parish Events:

Stations of the Cross
Friday February 19 @ 7:30PM

Irish Night
Saturday February 20 @ 6:30 PM - 10:30PM

February Blood Pressure Screening
Sunday February 21 @ 8:00AM-12:00PM

February Hospitality
Sunday February 21 @ 9:30AM-12:00PM

Shop Rite Gift Card Sale to Support STA Home & School
Sunday February 21 @ 10:00AM-12:00 Noon

Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Hour
Monday February 22 @ 11:00 AM - 8:30PM

Stations of the Cross
Friday February 26 @ 7:30PM

Archdiocesan Women's Conference at Seton Hall
February 27 @ 9:00AM - 1:30PM

Stations of the Cross
Friday March 4 @ 7:30PM

Archdiocesan Men's Conference at Seton Hall
March 5 @ 8:00AM - 1:30PM

Parish Fish Fry
Friday March 11 @ 6:00 PM - 7:30PM

Stations of the Cross
Friday March 11 @ 7:30PM

Girl Scout Sunday
Sunday March 13 @ 10:30AM

Stations of the Cross
Friday March 18 @ 7:30PM

Bunny Breakfast
Saturday March 19 @ 9:00AM

Palm Sunday
Sunday March 20

March Blood Pressure Screening
Sunday March 20 @ 8:00AM-12:00PM

March Hospitality
Sunday March 20 @ 9:30AM-12:00PM

Holy Week
Monday March 21 - Saturday March 28 - No meetings in the Parish Center

Holy Thursday
Thursday March 24

Good Friday
Friday March 25

Living Stations of the Cross
Friday March 25 @ 7:30PM

Easter Sunday
Sunday March 27

Meeting Dates:

Shawl Ministry
Sunday February 21 @ 11:30AM

September Club Meeting
Monday February 22

Men's Scripture Reading and Reflection
Monday February 22 @ 7:30PM

September Club Meeting
Monday February 29

September Club Meeting
Monday March 7

Rosary Society Meeting
Monday March 7 @ 7:00PM

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

September Club Meeting
Monday March 14

Shawl Ministry
Sunday March 21 @ 11:30AM