St. Thomas March 2015 E-News

March 2015

In this issue:
Men's Scripture Reflection, St. Thomas Music Ministry, St. Thomas School Lego League, Photos, Lent, Holy Week and Easter Schedule, St. Patrick Stained Glass Window, St. Joseph Statue, Upcoming Events

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Cornerstone Men’s Scripture Reflection
Three years ago, members of our Saint Thomas the Apostle Mens's Cornerstone group expressed an interest in learning more about our faith. Some members even felt a deep spiritual need to become more knowledgeable about our Catholic faith by reading the bible and studying the Gospel. We were blessed enough to have a couple of our faithful members come forward, volunteer their time, and organize a Men's Cornerstone 'Scripture Study Group'.

On alternating Monday evenings in the St. James room, a dozen or more men, and occasionally our priests, gather to share the scripture for the coming Sunday. We pray as we were taught and guided to do. We reflect on the Word of God. Over the last 3 years, we have shared the Sunday scriptures, read through half of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, listened to a guided Retreat with Pope Francis and shared the works of the Church from contemporary writers to the Church Fathers.

In summary, we (ordinary men of the parish) read the bible and catechism, interpret God's word, pray, support each other and share God's love for us in our Catholic journey.

How Does God See Our Sctipture Reading?
Jesus, when at a moment of physical weakness was tempted by the Devil to fill him with good things should he only listen to the tempters words. Jesus answers, that man lives not only on material things for they only satisfy the body but more so on the spiritual things that give life to the soul. Jesus rebuffs the Devil and also tells us that we come to know God in His Word.

"The tempter approached and said to him, 'If you are the Son of God, command That these stones become loaves of bread.' He said in reply, 'It is written: ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God''" (Matthew 4:3-4).

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How is the music selected for our Masses
Music is subjective and Music for Sacred Liturgy is a whole different realm of subjectivity! Not only is every person's individual musical taste different, but there are widely different backgrounds of familiarity for each individual. Luckily, since we have directives from the Roman Missal, the Liturgy Documents of the Vatican Council, the local worship office, Bishops, Priests, and many Catholic composers and hymnal companies pleasing everyone's musical preference every Sunday is not possible, though that would be amazing!

So with music in so many styles and variations, what is the decision for our weekly songs at liturgy based on? Those choices are rooted in the Liturgical Year ... the cycles of Ordinary Time, Advent/Christmas and Lent and Easter. The readings in the three scripture cycles in the Roman Catholic Lectionary for Mass closely guide the selection of the music, in various styles and tones based on the context of the Season. An obvious example is that no one would expect to hear Christmas Carols in our current Lenten season!

It wasn't always this way. In Pre-Reformation times worship was largely done for the people, with music sung by paid scholas and in Latin rather than the vernacular or language of a particular congregation. "In the Catholic tradition, the Second Vatican Council under Pope John XXIII fine-tuned reforms to allow for all masses to be said in the various languages, and the composition of scripture based Catholic Church music began. Worship became participatory, and with the evolution of the printed hymnal [and now in many churches the digital projection of lyrics on screens] increased the ease and love of singing in Church.

What Interests Parishioners
Some wish we would go back to just looking for "that spiritual feeling" and nothing more. A nice Latin Ave Maria or sung motet each week would be fine with them. And sometimes we do those pieces as they are traditional and beautiful and have an important role.

Most people, however, simply enjoy participating. Singing helps lift us from our daily burdens and connects us to God and our loved ones in heaven. The power of music and song can immediately bring us to a deeper meaning in the life of Jesus and His ministry, whether His birth, works, teaching or Passion and Resurrection.

It takes years of repetition in the Cycles to realize the fruits of this work, but it is a wonderful gift music brings to the liturgical life of a parish. It is really exhilarating when it works.

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St. Thomas the Apostle School First Lego League offers a sponsoring opportunity to support and expand its critically acclaimed, award-winning First Lego League Robotic After-School Club. The Atlantic Philanthropies Director/Employee Designated Gift Program awarded St. Thomas the Apostle School generous start-up monies last year. We now seek continued matching grants. Anyone interested in seeing and supporting this state-of-the-art Lego program in action is invited to call or email the school for details at 973.338.8505 or


St. Thomas Blood Drive - September 2014

Blood Pressure Screening - February 2015

Shawl Ministry Meeting - February 2015

Saint Thomas the Apostle School at the Nultey St. Patrick's Day Parade - March 2015

See a picture of STA at the event on by clicking here.
See more about the school at their twitter feed by clicking here

Lent 2014: February 18th - April 2nd

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
Stations of the Cross Reflection
Reconciliation on Saturdays at 11:00AM and during Lent Wednesdays at 7:30PM.
Pope Francis's 2015 Lenten Message
Prayer Life Resources on the STA website
Prayer Life Resources external to the STA website

Come Celebrate Holy Week With Us!

Saturday March 28, 2015 - Palm Sunday Mass at 5:00pm

Sunday March 29, 2015 - Palm Sunday Masses at 7:30am, 9:00am, 10:30am and 12:00noon

Monday March 30, 2015 - Morning Mass at 7:30am and 11:30am

Tuesday March 31, 2015 - Morning Mass at 7:30am and 11:30am

Wednesday April 1, 2015 - Morning Mass at 7:30am and 11:30am

Thursday April 2, 2015 - Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:30pm & Holy Thursday Night Prayer at 11:00pm

Friday April 3, 2015 - 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 April 4, 2015 - Holy Saturday Morning Prayer at 8:30am and The Great Easter Vigil at 8:15pm

Sunday April 5, 2015 - 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

Saint Patrick Feast Day March 17th

St. Patrick was enslaved by Irish raiders at 16, as a herdsman in harsh conditions, he learned to pray and grown in great holiness. As a missionary to pagan Ireland, he brought the Faith to the Gallic Peoples. Patrick is depicted with a snake (for his legendary removal of snakes from Ireland), a shamrock (to explain the Trinity: 3 persons, 1 nature); a book to represent this "Confessio", one of few authentic writings which presents him as humble and courageous in converting the people of Ireland, a staff, jewel and green vestments and miter, since, as Bishop of Ireland he divided Ireland into dioceses, founded monasteries, ordained many priests and encouraged spiritual growth among laity. The harp represents the hymn he wrote, "Breastplate: Christ with me... before me... beneath me... above me... on my right... on my left... when I lie down... when I arise... in the heart of every person who thinks of the mouth of every person who speaks of the eye that sees the ear that hears me".

Stained Glass Window is from St. Thomas's North tower.

Saint Joseph Feast Day March 19th

St. Joseph is Jesus' earthly father and protector of the Holy Family. St Jospeh is not recorded as saying a single word in the Gospel, but obedient to God's voice.

St. Joseph is patron of fathers, immigrants, workers, carpenters and many more.

Memorare to Saint Joseph
Remember, O most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary, my beloved Patron, that never it has been heard that anyone invoked your patronage and sought your aid without being comforted. Inspired by this confidence I come to you and fervently commend myself to you. Despise not my petition, O dearest foster father of our Redeemer, but accept it graciously.


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 March 13 @ 7:30PM

Catholic Men’s Conference at Seton Hall
Saturday March 14 @ 8:00AM-4:00PM at Seton Hall

Retreat Day For Men and Women Based on Ignatian Spirituality
Saturday March 14 @ 9:00AM-3:00PM

Blood Pressure Screening in St. Peter's Room
Sunday March 15 @ 8:00AM to 12:00PM

Sunday Hospitality in St. Peter's Room
Sunday March 15 @ 9:00AM to 12:00PM

Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Hour
Monday March 16 @ 11:00 AM - 8:30PM

Parish Fish Fry
Friday March 20

Stations of the Cross
Friday March 20 @ 7:30PM

Shop Rite Gift Card Sale to Support STA Home & School
Sunday March 22 @ 9:45AM-12:00PM

Bloomfield Parishes Lenten Penance Service at Saint Thomas
Monday March 23 @ 7:30PM

Lecture on Pain Management Procedures for Back Pain
Monday March 25 @ 7:30PM

Stations of the Cross
Friday March 27 @ 7:30PM

Bunny Breakfast
Saturday March 28 @ 9:00AM

Living Stations of the Cross
Friday April 3 @ 7:30PM

38th Annual Saint Thomas the Apostle Tricky Tray
Thursday April 30 @ 6:30PM

Meeting Dates:

Shawl Ministry
Sunday March 15 @ 11:30AM

September Club
Monday March 16

Men's Scripture
Monday March 16 @ 7:30PM

September Club
Monday March 23

September Club
Monday April 6

September Club
Monday April 13

Rosary Society Meeting
Monday April 13 @ 7:00PM