St. Thomas March 2016 E-News

March 2016

In this issue:
  • Year of Mercy - Mercy in Scripture
  • Saint Thomas School Articles
  • Archdiocesan Men's Commission
  • Pictures
  • Holy Week
  • Easter Sunday
  • Upcoming Events

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Year of Mercy

December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016.

God's Mercy is Forever:
His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly.

The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.

Luke 1:50-55

God's Mercy is a Beatitude:
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Matthew 5:7

God's Mercy is a Call to Love Neighbor
This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.'
Zechariah 7:8-10
Link to Pope Francis's "Face of Mercy" (Misericordiae Vultus)

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

Old newspaper offers a glimpse back for Bloomfield students

Taken from and written by Christina Giannantonio of The Star-Ledger

BLOOMFIELD — When one of his students brought in a newspaper from 1929 that he found while helping his grandfather clean out his basement, St. Thomas the Apostle School fifth-grade teacher Michael Petrillo seized the opportunity to use it as a history lesson.

The newspaper was a Newark-Ledger from Dec. 3, 1929. The students were able to look through the newspaper and compare advertisements, news articles and political cartoons from then and now.

According to Petrillo, "Anyone can read from a text book over and over again, but giving the students something to hold, read, and see from a certain era, that is mind blowing to anyone let alone a fifth-grader."

Technology and Reading Comprehension

Taken from
BLOOMFIELD — When one of his students brought in a newspaper from 1929 that he found while helping his grandfather clean out his basement, St. Thomas the Apostle School fifth-grade teacher Michael Petrillo seized the opportunity to use it as a history lesson.

Technology on a new level! Several members of the 8th grade class in St. Thomas the Apostle School were given the opportunity to use Plickers to check reading comprehension!! The students were given cards with a scan code on them to show the answer of A, B, C, or D during a Vocabulary Comprehension Lesson in the 8th Grade. It is just a short period of time before this new method of teaching reaches out to the rest of the school!

Archdiocesan Men's Conference

Oh what a day it was! It really was!
1,500 men, 16 from St. the Apostle, came to Seton Hall University looking to be inspired and rejuvenated in their Faith and they were not disappointed.

The first speaker was Gus Lloyd, a radio talk show host for "Seize the Day" on The Catholic Channel Sirius XM 129, talked about "deeply planted seeds of faith" that were planted by our parents, teachers and others. When we stray those seeds bring us back to the Church for healing and to the way to lead the good life. Hopefully, it does not take the near death drowning of a two year old daughter to wake us up to this fact, as was the case for Gus and his wife. He is now an evangelist with a local Catholic talk show. He is also noted for his one minute reflections and books on how to explain and defend the Catholic Faith.

Gus offered his advice and a challenge to keep a marriage solid: It takes only 47 seconds to say an Our Father, a Hail Mary and Glory be. It was tested there on the 1,500 men as all said the three prayers in 47 seconds. His advice is to spend one minute a day with your spouse. Hold hands and say the three prayers and for the remaining 13 seconds just look into each other's eyes.

The second speaker was Patrick Madrid, another talk show host on Immaculate Heart Radio, "a cradle Catholic" being born and raised Catholic. He thought everyone was Catholic until he was in the 5th grade and was challenged by a Protestant girl he liked, who claimed all "Catholics are Idolaters" (worship statues). He responded "NO! We are not idolaters. By the way, what's an idolater"? He went home and told his father who quickly reached for a book oriented toward the defense of the Catholic Church and with his mother, they helped him to understand and explain the challenge. From then on Patrick welcomed challenges from non-Catholics, because it gave him a chance to explain what Catholicism really is to anyone, whether they be Protestant, Jew, Muslim or Atheist.

Patrick responds to the question "Why am I Catholic?" with "I am Catholic, because I am convinced the Catholic Church is the church that was established by Jesus Christ". For those of us who know someone who has left the Catholic Church - we need to "invite", not cajole or nag, them to come back. To do this we have to know why we are Catholic and what we get out of our Faith.

Our own Father John Gordon was so enthusiastic and inspiring - Praise the Lord!!! We are so blessed to have him here at St. Thomas with us.

The lines for reconciliation were nearly 30 deep at most times during the conference for those moved to receive the sacrament. There were at least 25 priests, a Bishop and an Archbishop hearing confessions. It was amazing the expression of joy from those who just received the sacrament as a great burden had been taken off their shoulders.

Picture this- 1,500 men kneeling on a hard wood floor, barely looking up just to catch a glimpse of the Blessed Sacrament as it processes by with an honor guard of sword bearing Knights, complete with incense and ringing bells. What a sight to behold!!! Fr. Giuseppe, CFR lead the Holy Hour and offered a powerful reflection about the immense love and mercy God has for us!

A beautiful Mass was concelebrated by Archbishop John J. Myers where nearly all the men received communion.

A very special thank you to Jorge Repollet, a Saint Thomas Parishioner, and the many volunteers who made this day possible.

You can get more details talks and books by the speakers, by simply "Googling" their names via the links below:
Gus Lloyd
Patrick Madrid

The tentative date for next year's Men's Conference is Saturday March 4, 2017.


Click/tap an image for a larger view

St. Thomas Irish Night

St. Thomas the Apostle School Science Fair

St. Thomas Baby Chick Incubation

St. Thomas Sports

Archdiocesan Men's Commission - March 5, 2016

St. Thomas in the Nultey St. Patrick's Day Parade

St. Thomas the Apostle School

Holy Week

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

Easter Sunday

Easter calls us to grasp, on a deeper and more profound level, what it means to be a follower of the crucified and risen Christ. In the prayers and readings of the season, we are led each Sunday to a deeper understanding, for our lives, of what it means to be baptized into the death and Resurrection of Christ. We are called to deeper conversion - deeper immersion - into the mystery of our participation in Christ's Passover from death to life. In our own experience of the sacraments of initiation, God's power and presence in Christ made us a new creation, his chosen sons and daughters, members of his eternal reign. Easter is the time to reflect on these mysteries of our faith and to meditate on their importance for our lives of faith in the world today. The liturgical life of the season - the readings, prayers, rites, devotions - allows us and calls us to this reality.

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 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

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

Holy Week
Monday March 21 - Saturday March 26
No meetings in the Parish Center

Holy Thursday
Thursday March 24

Mass of the Lord's Supper
Thursday March 24 @ 7:30PM

Holy Thursday Night Prayer
Thursday March 24 @ 11:00PM

Good Friday
Friday March 25

Good Friday Morning Prayer
Friday March 25 @ 8:30AM

Good Friday Liturgy of the Passion
Friday March 25 @ 3:00PM

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

Holy Saturday
Saturday March 26

Holy Saturday Morning Prayer
Saturday March 26 @ 8:30AM

Easter Vigil
Saturday March 26 @ 8:15PM

Easter Sunday
Sunday March 27

Easter Sunday Mass @ 7:30AM
Sunday March 27 @ 7:30AM

Easter Sunday Mass @ 9:00AM
Sunday March 27 @ 9:00AM

Easter Sunday Mass @ 10:30AM
Sunday March 27 @ 10:30AM

Easter Sunday Mass @ 12:00 Noon
Sunday March 27 @ 12:00 Noon

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

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

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

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

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

Wellness Lecture
"Understanding Stroke. There is treatment if you act fast"
Wednesday April 20 @ 7:00PM

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

Meeting Dates:

Shawl Ministry
Sunday March 20 @ 11:30AM

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

September Club Meeting
Monday March 28

Men's Scripture Reading and Reflection
Monday March 28 @ 7:30PM

September Club Meeting
Monday April 4

Rosary Society Meeting
Monday April 4 @ 7:00PM

Men's Scripture Reading and Reflection
Monday April 4 @ 7:30PM

September Club Meeting
Monday April 11

Shawl Ministry
Sunday April 17 @ 11:30AM

Mass Times

Weekend Masses - Saturday 5:00p.m., Sunday 7:30a.m., 9:00a.m., 10:30a.m. and 12:00p.m.
Weekday Masses - Monday-Friday 7:30a.m. and 11:30a.m.; Saturday 8:30a.m.
Holy Day Masses - 7:30a.m., 11:30a.m. and 7:30p.m.
Holiday Masses - 8:30a.m. Only
Reconciliation - Saturday at 11:00a.m.