January 2017 E-Newsletter

January 2017

In this issue:
  • Welcome Cardinal Tobin
  • Advent Giving Tree
  • Christmas Tree Team 2016
  • Pictures
  • Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
  • Catholic Schools Week
  • Feast of the Presentation
  • Feast of St. Bernadette
  • Upcoming Events

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Welcome Cardinal Tobin

Cardinal Joseph Tobin was installed as the shepherd of our Archdiocese on January 6, 2017.
He was ordained a priest on June 1, 1978 and is a Redemptorist (Congregatio Sanctissimi Redemptoris - C.Ss.R.). He was elevated to Cardinal by Pope Francis on November 19, 2016.

Cardinal Tobin has a Bachelor's degree in philosophy, a Masters in religious education, and a Masters of Divinity in Pastoral Theology.

He served as the Archbishop of Indianapolis for five years, Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in the Roman Curia for three years, and was the Superior General for the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer for twelve years.

Welcome Cardinal Tobin! Keep us your prayers as we keep you in ours.

Advent Giving Tree

Thank you to everyone that participated in the Annual Advent Giving Tree Program. Your generosity and continued support has not only made this program successful but has brightened the Christmas season for many. We collected over $3500.00 in gift cards that served our local community in addition to all the gifts for the organizations listed below.

A total of 97 very large bags filled with gifts were distributed to:

  • Dr. Lena Edwards Charter School, Jersey City
  • Interfaith Hospitality for the Homeless of Essex County, Montclair
  • National Alliance for Mentally Ill, NAMI Essex NJ Inc., Montclair
  • Newark Beth Israel/St. Barnabas Health Care Center for Hemophilia, Newark
  • St. Rose of Lima Parish, Newark
  • The Pope John Paul II Pavilion at St. Mary’s Life Center, Orange
  • St. Joseph’s Social Services, Elizabeth
  • Atrium Senior Living, Park Ridge (Medicaid Residents)

A special thank you to all those who pitched in to help tote and sort the gifts.

Click/Tap a photo for a larger view.


Ephipany Pageant 2017

Advent Mercy Retreat Sponsored by the Holy Name Society

Christmas Tree Setup Team
Thanks to all the parishioners who helped who helped carry in and raise our trees during the Saturday Decemeber 17th snow storm.
Richard Ammiano, Dan Bitecola, Joe Bumpus, Michael Bsales, Greg Hann, Mark Mababtan, Frank Materia, Kevin Rennie, Luke Rosa, Tom Rossano, and Mike Santeramo

Christmas Trees

St. Thomas School

St. Thomas School Sports

The Week Of Prayer For Christian Unity - January 18–25, 2017

The 2017 theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has been selected. On the occasion of the 500th anniversary year of the beginnings of the Reformation, the theme: "Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us" (2 Corinthians 5:14-20) has been chosen. The materials for the 2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has two accents: reflection upon the main concerns of the churches marked by Martin Luther's Reformation and secondly recognizing the pain of the subsequent deep divisions which afflicted the unity of the Church. In selecting this theme, it is viewed as an opportunity to take steps toward reconciliation.

For the coming year the theme finds its origins in Pope Francis' 2013 Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium ("The Joy of the Gospel") when it used the quote: "The Love of Christ Compels Us" (Paragraph 9). The theme finds its scriptural context in 2 Corinthians. 5:14).

For 2017, it should be noted that this biblical text emphasizes that reconciliation is a gift from God, intended for the entire creation. "God was reconciling the world (kosmos) to God's self in Christ, not counting people's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation" (v.19). As a result of God´s action, those who have been reconciled in Christ are called in turn to proclaim this reconciliation in word and deed: "The love of Christ compels us"

The traditional period in the northern hemisphere for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is January 18-25. Those dates were proposed in 1908 by Fr. Paul Wattson, SA Founder of the Society of the Atonement, to cover the original days of the feasts of the Chair of St. Peter (January 18) and the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25) , and therefore have a symbolic significance.

Catholic Schools week - January 29-February 4, 2017

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 2017 is January 29 - February 4. 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 2017.

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 http://www.stthomastheapostlenj.com

For more information about Catholic Schools Week, please visit http://www.ncea.org/our-services/catholic-schools-week

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. -->

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:

Feast of the Baptism of Jesus
Sunday January 15

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

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

Martin Luther King Day - Mass at 8:30AM only and Parish Center Closed
Monday January 16

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

Wedding Music Showcase
Saturday January 28 @ 7:30PM

Saint Thomas School Open House
Sunday January 29 @ 10:00AM-2:00PM

Catholic Schools Week
Sunday January 29-February 4

Day of Prayer - Forgiveness Retreat
Saturday February 4 @ 9:00AM-3:00PM

Boy and Cub Scout Sunday
Sunday February 5 @ 9:00AM

February Blood Pressure Screening
Sunday February 19 @ 8:00AM-12:00PM

February Hospitality
Sunday February 19 @ 9:30AM-12:00PM

President's Day - Mass at 8:30AM only and Parish Center Closed
Monday February 20

Irish Night
Saturday February 25 @ 6:00PM-10:00PM

Meeting Dates:

Shawl Ministry
Sunday January 15 @ 11:30AM

Support Group For Those Grieving the Death of a Loved One
Sunday January 22 @ 12:00PM

September Club Meeting
Monday January 23

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

Support Group For Those Grieving the Death of a Loved One
Sunday January 29 @ 12:00PM

September Club Meeting
Monday February 6

Rosary Society Meeting
Monday February 6 @ 7:00PM

Men's Scripture Reading and Reflection
Monday February 6 @ 7:30PM

Support Group For Those Grieving the Death of a Loved One
Sunday February 12 @ 12:00PM

September Club Meeting
Monday February 13

Shawl Ministry
Sunday February 19 @ 11:30AM