St. Thomas January 2016 E-News

January 2016

In this issue:
  • Year of Mercy - The Face of Mercy
  • Pictures
  • Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
  • Catholic Schools Week
  • Feast of the Presentation
  • Lent Begins February 10th
  • Feast of St. Bernadette
  • Upcoming Events

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Year of Mercy

December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016.

The opening to Pope Francis' "The Face of Mercy":
Jesus Christ is the face of the Father's mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith. Mercy has become living and visible in Jesus of Nazareth, reaching its culmination in him. The Father, "rich in mercy" (Ephesians 2:4), after having revealed his name to Moses as "a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness" (Exodus 34:6), has never ceased to show, in various ways throughout history, his divine nature. In the "fullness of time" (Galatians 4:4), when everything had been arranged according to his plan of salvation, he sent his only Son into the world, born of the Virgin Mary, to reveal his love for us in a definitive way. Whoever sees Jesus sees the Father (cf. John 14:9). Jesus of Nazareth, by his words, his actions, and his entire person reveals the mercy of God.

Link to the entire "Face of Mercy" (Misericordiae Vultus)

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

Corporal Works of Mercy

Feed the Hungry
Give Drink to the Thirsty
Shelter the Homeless
Visit the Sick
Bury the Dead
Visit the Prisoners
Give Alms to the Poor

Spiritual Works of Mercy

Counseling the Doubtful
Admonishing the Sinner
Comforting the Sorrowful
Forgiving Injuries
Bearing Wrongs Patiently
Praying for the Living and the Dead


St. Thomas the Apostle School Santa Breakfast

St. Thomas the Apostle Christmas Christmas Concert

St. Thomas the Apostle School Students Hard at Work

St. Thomas the Apostle School Christmas Play

St. Thomas the Apostle School Concert

Christmas Trees Going Up

St. Thomas the Apostle Epiphany Pageant

The Week Of Prayer For Christian Unity - January 18–25, 2016

At least once a year, Christians are reminded of Jesus' prayer for his disciples that "they may be one so that the world may believe" (John 17:21). Hearts are touched and Christians come together to pray for their unity. Congregations and parishes all over the world exchange preachers or arrange special ecumenical celebrations and prayer services. The event that touches off this special experience is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Theme for 2016: "Called to Proclaim the Mighty Acts of the Lord" (1 Peter 2:9)

For more information about the week of prayer for Christian Unity, please visit

Catholic Schools week - January 31-February 6, 2016

National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week, which in 2016 is January 31 - February 6. The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2016 is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service." Schools typically observe the annual celebration week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation.

Daily Themes:
Celebrate the following daily themes and celebrations during Catholic Schools Week 2016.

Sunday - In Our Parish
Monday - In Our Community
Tuesday - In Our Students
Wednesday - In Our Nation (National Appreciation Day For Catholic Schools)
Thursday - In Our Vocations
Friday - In Our Faculty, Staff and Volunteers (Teacher Appreciation Day)
Saturday - In Our Families

Please visit our Parish School Website at

For more information about Catholic Schools Week, please visit

Feast of the Presentation: February 2nd

Jesus is presented at the temple 40 days after his birth.

Luke 2:22-32
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord," and to offer the sacrifice of "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons," in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him.

It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

"Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel."

<!-- The child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted(and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him. -->

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.

Ash Wednesday - Feburary 10
Masses with Distribution of Ashes 7:30AM and 11:30AM
Prayer Services with Distribution of Ashes 4:00PM and 7:30PM
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

St. Bernadette Feast Day: February 11th

Bernadette Soubirous was a young French girl who saw a vision of the Blessed Virgin in a cave in Lourdes, France in 1858. The Blessed Virgin told St. Bernadette to pray for sinners and to have a church built on that spot. When asked many years later what the Blessed Virgin Mary looked like, St. Bernadette replied, "She was so beautiful, that to see her again, one would be willing to die". Eventually, St. Bernadette became a Sister of Charity and died at the age of 35 years old after a painful illness. St. Bernadette was canonized, not because of the visions she had, but because of the patience and trust with which she bore the trials which resulted from them.

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

Parish Events:

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

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

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

Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Hour
Monday January 25 @ 11:00 AM - 8:30PM

Scout Sunday
Sunday February 7 @ 9:00 AM

Shop Rite Gift Card Sale to Support STA Home & School
Sunday February 7 @ 10:00AM-12:00 Noon

Ash Wednesday - Wednesday February 10
Masses with Distribution of Ashes at:
7:30AM and 11:30AM
Prayer Services with Distribution of Ashes at:
4:00PM and 7:30PM

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

Irish Night
Monday February 22 @ 6:00 PM - 10:00PM

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

Meeting Dates:

Shawl Ministry
Sunday January 17 @ 11:30AM

September Club Meeting
Monday January 25

Men's Scripture Reading and Reflection
Monday January 25 @ 7:30PM

September Club Meeting
Monday February 1

Rosary Society Meeting
Monday February 1 @ 7:00PM

September Club Meeting
Monday February 8

Men's Scripture Reading and Reflection
Monday February 8 @ 7:30PM

September Club Meeting
Monday February 22

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

Shawl Ministry
Sunday February 21 @ 11:30AM