St. Thomas May 2015 E-News

May 2015

In this issue:
The Wellness Ministry, St. Thomas the Apostle School Pictures, Photos, Easter Season, Solemnities of Pentecost, Trinity, and Body and Blood of Christ, Stained Glass Windows - Saint Anthony, Upcoming Events

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The Wellness Ministry

Members of the Wellness Ministry

Our Wellness Ministry at St. Thomas the Apostle was established over 10 years ago. Our former pastor, Msgr. William Hatcher, as the first moderator, called together a core group of nurses to organize this ministry whose purpose was to continue the healing mission of Jesus Christ by working together to create a spiritually and physically healthier faith community. Our present Pastor, Rev. Charles Miller, remains enthusiastically committed to this original mission. Our focus is on wellness, disease prevention through education, and healing the mind, body and spirit in times of need. Components of the Wellness Ministry include: an educational program, monthly blood pressure monitoring and consultations, glucose screenings and lipid evaluations (3 times a year), a telephone help desk, referral services, rides to the doctor, help with shopping, outreach, the annual blood drive, and the Shawl Ministry.

We began with a group of eight nurses that included Mary Stark, Alicia von Schaumburg, Peggy Zeuner, and Barbara St. Hilaire as co-facilitators. Our present facilitator is Loida Togonon. A core group of eight still minister within our parish nursing committee, although some have left and new persons have joined. Many of us are certified in parish nursing. Some of our nurse volunteers are employed full- or part-time and others are retired from active nursing. Our co-facilitators have been active since the beginning within their specific areas of the ministry. Gerry Neville, Elaine Gatuso, and Mary Stark are in charge of our wellness phone lines at the Parish Center. Mondays through Fridays a nurse is available to take telephone calls from parishioners. We have received calls seeking rides to the doctor, help with shopping, consultation on medication management or other types of medical or referral services. We started with a parish survey asking for volunteers to assist with this ministry and to pray with us that it would be successful. The answers to our survey revealed that many of our elderly parishioners requested that a friendly phone call or a visit to pray the rosary would be appreciated. Social health was very high on the priority list.

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St. Thomas the Apostle School

Chicks in the incubator.

Our chicks have hatched in the pre-K and are beginning their journey through life!!! Oh the things we do!

Our eager second graders and more of our school during the May Crowning.

Our eager second graders and more of our school during the May Crowning.

STA School Book Fair

The Pre-k, and Kindergarten students of St. Thomas the Apostle School learned about fire safety this week!
The 23rd Annual Irish Night - The Holy Name Society of St. Thomas the Apostle

Wellness Ministry, Shawl Ministry and Blood Bank

Holy Name Society - Man of the Year John Nellegar

Paul Alongi Presenting John with the Holy Name Society Many of the Year Award

The Nellegar Family Celebrating John's Achievement

Drivers Safety Program dor St. Thomas Parishioners

Solemnity of Pentecost - Sunday May 24, 2015

This year we will celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation on Pentecost. At the 9:00 A.M. mass Father Charles will confirm 3 of our parishioners: Jaimee Castles, Nicole Chakowski and Wendy Huelsenbeck. Please keep them in your prayers as they take this important step in their lives as followers of the Lord.

For the Jewish people, Pentecost was a feast of thanksgiving that marked the conclusion of the grain harvest; it was also a time to commemorate the giving of the law at Sinai. It was celebrated 50 days after Passover. For the first Christian believers, gathered to celebrate this feast in Jerusalem, the giving of the Holy Spirit reinvented Pentecost. It marked a new beginning: God would be present among his people not in words carved in stone, but in a whole new way, living in their hearts, and speaking through them. Just as the old feast was a time to celebrate the abundance of God's gifts by giving back to God the first fruits of the fields, so the new Pentecost celebrates the incredible abundance of God's giving, the many gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Pentecost is "the joyful conclusion of the Easter season" (Proclamation of the Dates of Easter on Epiphany). It ranks with Christmas, Epiphany, and the Ascension (see General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar,59). It is a day to pull out all the stops, a day for incense, processions, banners, for creative expression of the truth we celebrate: the gift of the Holy Spirit has been given to us. Jesus is here!

Pentecost is 50 Days after Easter and is known as the birthday of the Church. This year it is on May 24, 2015.

Click Here to read about Pentecost in the Bible (Acts 2)

The stained glass window is from St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Bloomfield, NJ.

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity - Sunday May 31, 2015

The solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity is ancient. The origins of the solemnity can be traced to the seventh century. It has been on the Church's universal calendar for nearly seven hundred years. "The central mystery of Christian faith and life" is the mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity (CCC, 234 - Click Here to read more). This solemnity offers us time to meditate upon this defining mystery of our faith.

This is also the first of the three doctrinal feasts celebrated after Pentecost, which commemorate not a person but a theological tenet, doctrine, or devotion. Today's solemnity celebrates the doctrine of the Triune God, one God in three divine persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

In the fourth century, the Church underwent a serious crisis when Arius, a priest of Alexandria, denied the divinity of Christ, and as a consequence, faith in the Trinity and the equality of the three divine Persons. The heresy, called Arianism, was condemned by the councils of Nicaea (325) and Constantinople (381). The result was the formulation of the Creed that we recite at Mass today.

In celebration of the Eucharist, notice how frequently we articulate our belief in the Trinity: with the sign of the Cross, the Doxology at the end of the presidential prayers, the Gloria, the Profession of Faith, and the Eucharistic Prayer culminating in the Great Doxology above, and finally with the Solemn Blessing at the end of Mass.

This year it is on May 24, 2015.
The stained glass window is from St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Bloomfield, NJ.

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ - Sunday June 6, 2015

Measured by Church time, the solemnity of the The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is quite young dating from the mid-thirteenth-century. For hundreds of years, in fact, it was commonly referred to as nova sollemnitas, "the new solemnity" (The Liturgy and Time, 104). This celebration has been given many names over the centuries: feast of the Eucharist, feast of the Most Precious Sacrament, even feast of God. In France it is still commonly known as the Fete-Dieu. The solemnity developed at about the same time as the elevations of the consecrated elements during Mass, and it arose out of the desire of the faithful to see the Blessed Sacrament at a time when they did not often receive it. The solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is an expression of our Catholic faith in the real presence of the risen Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Yet, this celebration is also outward-looking, carrying the liturgy out of the Church and into the streets.

The stained glass window is found in the parish center at Saint Thomas the Apostle, Bloomfield, NJ.

Saint Anthony of Padua, Missionary & Doctor - Feast Day. June 13th

St. Anthony began as a missionary to Muslims but poor health resigned him to monastery work where he realized his great gift of preaching and biblical knowledge. Through his eloquent words many notorious sinners, heretics and careless people were brought to conversion. He was given the title, "Doctor of the Church" in 1946 by Pope Pius XII because of his orthodox preaching and teaching. He died of frail health when he was only thirty-six. Although pictured with lily and Child Jesus, Anthony was known as the "Hammer of Heretics" for his fearless and strong opposition to oppression, clerical abuses and the laity's half-hearted dedication to their faith.

Prayer to Saint Anthony

O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and Charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me (request). O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen.

The stained glass window is from St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Bloomfield, NJ.

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

Parish Events:

May Blood Pressure Screening in St. Peter's Room
Sunday May 17 @ 8:00AM to 12:00PM

May Sunday Hospitality in St. Peter's Room
Sunday May 17 @ 9:00AM to 12:00PM

Shop Rite Gift Card Sale to Support STA Home and School
Sunday May 17 @ 9:45AM to 12:00PM

Trip to NJ Ballet Performance of Sleeping Beauty
Sunday May 17

Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Hour
Monday May 18 @ 11:00 AM - 8:30PM

Memorial Day
Monday May 25 - Only one mass at 8:30AM. Parish Center is closed

STA 300 Club Raffle
Friday May 29

Designer Bag Bingo Sponsored by the STA Home and School
Friday May 29 @ 7:00PM

Shop Rite Gift Card Sale to Support STA Home and School
Sunday May 31 @ 9:45AM to 12:00PM

June Blood Pressure Screening in St. Peter's Room
Sunday June 14 @ 8:00AM to 12:00PM

June Sunday Hospitality in St. Peter's Room
Sunday June 14 @ 9:00AM to 12:00PM

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

September Club - A Day at the Races
June 26

Summer Directed Retreat
June 25-28

Summer CCD
June 29-July 2 and July 6-7

Summer Directed Retreat
July 2-5

Meeting Dates:

Shawl Ministry
Sunday May 17 @ 11:30AM

September Club
Monday May 18 @ 11:30AM

Men's Scripture
Monday May 18 @ 7:30PM

September Club
Monday June 1 @ 11:30AM

Rosary Society Meeting
Monday June 1 @ 7:00PM

September Club
Monday June 8 @ 11:30AM

Men's Scripture
Monday June 8 @ 7:30PM

September Club
Monday June 15 @ 11:30AM

September Club
Monday June 22 @ 11:30AM

Men's Scripture
Monday June 22 @ 7:30PM

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.