St. Thomas October 2015 E-News

October 2015

In this issue:
  • Q&A with Father Anton and Father John
  • Welcome Weekend October 17th/18th
  • Archbishop Hebda visits St. Thomas
  • Pictures from the Blessing of Animals
  • Saint Luke Stained Glass Window
  • October - The Month of the Rosary
  • All Saints Day and All Souls Day
  • Upcoming Events

Are you having trouble viewing this email?
Click here to view the newsletter on the St. Thomas website.

Do you know someone who would be interested in receiving future emails?
Have them signup at

An Interview with Fr. Anton Sarento
Father Anton Sarento

When did you decide to become a priest?
I remember my speech in kindergarten: “When I grow up I want to become an Engineer and construct big buildings and bridges. After pursuing Engineering in college. I came to realize that God really called me to help build his church and be a bridge to His Kingdom, not build buildings. When I was a little boy. I remember I always wanted to see what was going on at the altar. One of the games I played was to imitate the priests by breaking cookies and have my playmates lined up and give them cookies as if I was giving communion. When I was a teenager, I became a leader in both school and in our community. In our parish, I spearheaded our youth ministry. It was then that I felt the joyful spirit and calling to serve God as a priest.

What are your favorite things about being a priest?
I love saying mass and I love being able to forgive sins. I also like being available to help people in need and suffering and give them hope. I love to work with and help inspire young people to develop and nurture their faith. Possibly these inspired young people can then become a conduit to bringing other young people and their elders closer to the church or back to the church.

What are your favorite interests and hobbies?
Mostly I love nature and being outside. It puts me in touch with how lucky we are and reminds me of how wonderful God is. I have many other interests including photography, graphic arts, and sports such as skiing and snowboarding. I also like to travel and see this big beautiful world that God made.

What would you like to do at St. Thomas?
Mostly I would like to work with children. Do simple things such as helping them in their catechism and including them in my homilies and liturgy. I would love for children to participate in as many activities as possible in the parish.

How can the people of St. Thomas better serve the community?
Mostly by showing others that we are people of love and by being of service to others.

What one thing would you like to change about the world?
To let people experience peace and love instead of hatred. This will, over time, help soften conflicts and begin to allow the world to become a more peaceful place.

I would also like to have more people return to religion and attend Mass. To do this, we need to have the family unit participate. It is in this family unit that children first learn who God is and get prayer introduced into their values and hearts. Parents should let their children know of their love with each other… that they love their children, neighbors, and the world. Remind their children that they are loved by God and have been given gifts to serve others. Allow your children to witness you in private prayer and encourage them to pray daily on their own.

Why are you excited about Pope Francis?
Pope Francis is not a superstar that the media is trying to portray, but he is the Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ. He believes that we should not just be for ourselves, but that we should be for others. I am also praying that the example of Pope Francis, will inspire the number of young men and women to enter into the religious life as priests and nuns.

What can we do to have our children grow up and live a faith-filled Christian life?
I think that families should teach their child to make Sacraments as a regular celebration. They can bring the whole family to Mass and/or go to confession. If the family is traveling or on vacation, possibly they could attend a holy pilgrimage by visiting the shrines of saints. In short, do religious things as a family.

An Interview with Fr. John Gordon
Father John Gordon

What made you become a priest?
Becoming a priest was less about me deciding what to do, then it was a realization of a gift that the Lord was offering me. I experienced the tremendous grace of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit when I was 19 years old; I think it was then that I realized that I wanted to offer my life more fully to the Lord. It took several years for that to mature in me.

What do you find most rewarding about being a priest?
I love celebrating the sacraments, most especially the Mass. I love preaching; I am very eager to help people come to experience the Lord, especially in worship.

What did your family think when you first told them you want to be a priest?
While I think they may have been a little surprised, with the various aspects of my life at that point, I think they were not very surprised. I think they were glad I was going to do something positive with my life!

What is your job ... "Associate to the Vicar for Pastoral Life for the Archdiocese"?
My primary responsibility is to coordinate the Office for Evangelization. The Office for Evangelization directs various activities and events throughout the Archdiocese, as well as trains and equips for the work of evangelization. We want to cultivate a “culture of evangelization” throughout the Archdiocese, to intentionally form intentional disciples.

I am preparing a seminar for leaders and facilitators of bible studies, I am involved with the ‘Discovering Christ’ program at a variety of parishes, I help parishes and their staffs in fostering evangelization at the parish level, I preach at conferences and give retreats as well. In addition, I have some care for the various ecclesial movements in the Archdiocese.

What can we do to get more people to go to church?
As always, to pray. Plus, we can speak positively about our experience of worship in the church. People are looking for witnesses more than teachers; we can witness by our own everyday life about our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and our life in the Catholic Church. To pray and to love is always fundamental. I think that the more we consciously and conscientiously live out our faith, the more attractive it will be to the wider community. The world lacks hope; Jesus is the Savior, He is our hope. The culture of life will overcome the culture of death!

Why are you excited about Pope Francis?
It seems that Pope Francis is reminding us that we are always to point, not to ourselves, but to Jesus. By the way that he has captured the imagination of so many people throughout the world, in particular how non-believers are so attracted to him; gives me excitement as he points them, not to himself, but to the Lord.

What would you like to have him accomplish?
That his own example of humility and holiness would inspire me to do the same.

What is your favorite thing about being a priest?
To help people come to a deeper place in their relationship with the Lord. I can’t think of anything better to do.

What can we do to have our children grow up and live a faith-filled Christian life?
The research shows that young people accurately reflect the spiritual temperature of the adults around them. Thus, to have our children live a faith-filled Christian life, we need to do that ourselves. If adults don’t have a spiritual life, their children won’t have it

What can we do locally to encourage more young men to become priests?
To pray for vocations and to speak about the priesthood and priests in a positive manner. I can’t think of anything more discouraging than to hear people criticize priests and the priesthood; who would want to follow that?

Thank you Archbishop Hebda!
Wonderful morning on Saturday October 3, 2015 with Archbishop Hebda.  The executive board of our Rosary Society did a terrific job! Thank you Archbishop and thank you Rosary Society.  Click here for more pictures.
Saint Thomas the Apostle Church
60 Byrd Ave, Bloomfield, NJ 07003

Welcome Weekend
October 17, 18, 2015

We will begin the Welcome weekend with a concelebrated mass at 5:00 pm on Saturday,  followed by a reception downstairs in the parish center where you can meet our priests including our new priests, Fr. Anton and Fr. John (in residence) and share refreshments with them, parishioners & neighbors. On Sunday there will be a similar Hospitality gathering after each Mass.

Everyone is welcome to attend. Parishioners are encouraged to invite at least one family member or friend including those who have been away from the church or our parish for a while. The simple question ... "Will you come to Mass with me this Saturday or Sunday"?

Blessing of Animals
Click here for all the videos and pictures.... or visit our Photo Gallery
Click here for the blessing of animals video

Some pictures from the Blessing of Animals on the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi.
Click here for a link to view our Stained Glass Window of Saint Francis that is part of the Christ the King Window.

Click here for all the videos and pictures....

STA School Pictures
For more, visit them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Robotics Club

Diorama Project

STA Fall 2015 Spirit Walk

Welcome Weekend Invitation
Mike Albright and Jim McKittrick after the masses on October 4, 2015 inviting everyone to welcome weekend.
For more details about the welcome weekend, please click here.

Feast of St. Luke. October 18th

This stained glass window is located in the sanctuary at St. Thomas the Apostle.
St. Luke, a physician himself, is the patron saint of physicians. He was a friend of St. Paul, and is author of the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. According to tradition, St. Luke died in Greece at the age of 84. In art, he is represented by ox because his gospel begins with the account of the priest Zechariah sacrificing in the temple.

October - The Month of the Rosary:

In the 1200s Mary appeared to St. Dominic in a vision and gave him the powerful prayer of the Rosary. The lower stained glass windows in the nave of St. Thomas focus on the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries of the Rosary. Use the links below to view the stained glass windows mysteries of the rosary and the theological virtue (faith, hope and love) associated with each.


All Saints Day - Sunday November 1st, 2015

The Church honors all the saints of heaven--God's holy ones--those known and unknown to us. This solemnity celebrates all who have been examples of faith throughout the ages, those whose lives mirrored the Paschal Mystery of Christ. As we heard in the Proclamation of the Date of Easter on Epiphany, it is in the lives of the saints that the Church proclaims the Passover of Christ. Today's solemnity honors all the saints, in particular those who are not individually recognized throughout the year.
Click Here for list the artwork of Saints we have at St. Thomas.

All Souls Day - November 2 - All the Faithful Departed

As we remember our faithful departed in the month of November, we must remember that our prayers for the dead bind us to them in the communion of faith and life promised by Jesus to all who believe in Him. All Souls day is a commemoration of all those who have fallen asleep in Christ marked with the sign of faith and who, we pray, may one day join the saints around the great banquet table of the Lamb. We pray for the dead; we pray for the forgiveness of all their sins; and we pray that God, in his great mercy, will take them to himself.
Please pray for those deceased members of our parish family. The following links are to the bulletins with the names of deceased parishioners from the previous years.
2014 2013 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007

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

Parish Events:

Welcome Weekend
October 17 and 18 after all masses
October Blood Pressure Screening
Sunday October 18 @ 8:00AM-12:00PM

October Hospitality
Sunday October 18 @ 9:30AM-12:00PM

Adult Education presents Robert Barron's Series "Catholicism"
Wednesday October 21 @ 7:15PM

Contemplative Prayer Seminar
Wednesday October 21 @ 7:30PM

Day Retreat: Day of Healing For Those Experiencing the Loss of Loved One – No Matter How Recent or Long Ago
Saturday October 24 @ 9:00AM-3:00PM

St. Thomas Home and School Fall Gala
Saturday October 24

Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Hour
Monday October 26 @ 11:00 AM - 8:30PM

Adult Education presents Robert Barron's Series "Catholicism"
Wednesday October 28 @ 7:15PM

Contemplative Prayer Seminar
Wednesday October 28 @ 7:30PM

Adult Education presents Robert Barron's Series "Catholicism"
Wednesday November 4 @ 7:15PM

Contemplative Prayer Seminar
Wednesday November 4 @ 7:30PM

Adult Education presents Robert Barron's Series "Catholicism"
Wednesday November 11 @ 7:15PM

Contemplative Prayer Seminar
Wednesday November 11 @ 7:30PM

Morning of Reflection for Women
Saturday November 14

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

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

Memorial Concert Honoring our Beloved Faithful Departed "All Souls"
Sunday November 15 @ 7:30PM

Adult Education presents Robert Barron's Series "Catholicism"
Wednesday November 18 @ 7:15PM

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

Advent Day Of Prayer For Men And Women
Saturday December 5 @ 9:00 AM - 2:30PM

Meeting Dates:

Shawl Ministry
Sunday October 18 @ 11:30AM

September Club Meeting
Monday October 19

September Club Meeting
Monday October 26

Men's Scripture Reading and Reflection
Monday October 26 @ 7:30PM

September Club Meeting
Monday November 2

Rosary Society Meeting
Monday November 2 @ 7:00PM

September Club Meeting
Monday November 9

Men's Scripture Reading and Reflection
Monday November 9 @ 7:30PM

Shawl Ministry
Sunday November 15 @ 11:30AM

September Club Meeting
Monday November 16

September Club Meeting
Monday November 23

Men's Scripture Reading and Reflection
Monday November 26 @ 7:30PM