Saint Thomas the Apostle

FEAST DAY JULY 3rd

St. Thomas, our parish patron Saint, was one of the Twelve Apostles. He was a Jew from Galilee called by Jesus to accompany him on his mission to proclaim the Kingdom of God. When Jesus’ life was threatened as he went to raise Lazarus from the dead, Thomas said to the others, “Let us also go, that we may die with Jesus’.
Thomas doubted that Jesus had truly been raised from the dead. The Resurrection was proven to Thomas when Jesus appeared to him. Thomas said, “My Lord and My God”.
St. Gregory the Great once said, “The unbelief of Thomas has done more for our faith than the faith of the other disciples. Our doubts are answered by the demand of St. Thomas to know that Jesus’ resurrection was real.
According to tradition, St. Thomas preached the gospel in India.

Links to Scripture about St. Thomas the Apostle:

Thank You Father Charles!!!

Thank you Father Charles for your 47 dedicated years to the priesthood and the 13 years you served and led the parish of Saint Thomas the Apostle.

Gracious and loving God we thank you for the gift of priesthood.

Through them, we experience your presence in the sacraments

We thank you for the service of Fr Miller in our community of faith and as he continues to follow your call.

Grant him the wisdom, understanding and strength he needs to follow the footsteps of the high priesthood of Jesus Christ.

Allow him to experience your joy and may he always be an instrument of your grace.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns as our Eternal Priest.

Amen.

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

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.

Taken from our June 14, 2009 bulletin.

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

“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.

During our Eucharistic Liturgy the use of the Trinity is expressed in many ways, including:

  1. with the sign of the Cross
  2. the Doxology at the end of the presiders prayers
  3. the Gloria
  4. the Profession of Faith
  5. the Eucharistic Prayer culminating in the Great Doxology above
  6. Solemn Blessing at the end of Mass.

The stained glass window is from Saint Thomas the Apostle Church, Bloomfield, New Jersey

Pentecost

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 GNLYC,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 20, 2018.

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.

Memorial Day

Monday May 27, 2019

We are grateful for and inspired by those service men and women who have given their lives for our country. Thank you!

Staff Sgt. Kerrin Kampa of Mifflinburg, Pa., and Staff Sgt. Judy Dukes of Aurora, Ill., plant U.S. flags at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on May 23, 2013 in honor of the fallen to mark Memorial Day. CNS photo/Nancy Phelan Wiechec
God of power and mercy, you destroy war and put down earthly pride.

Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears,
that we may all deserve to be called your sons and daughters.

Keep in your mercy those men and women who have died in the cause of freedom
and bring them safely into your kingdom of justice and peace.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

R. Amen

Prayer taken from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers

More Prayers for Those in Military Service

Content taken from http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/prayers/memorial-day-prayer.cfm.

Easter Season – The 50 Day Long Feast

Alleluia! Alleluia! He is Risen!

The fifty-day feast of Easter developed from the harvest feast of ancient Israel known as “Shavuot,” or the “Feast of Weeks.” It was a period of seven weeks (a “week of weeks”) plus one day, beginning with Passover and concluding with the fiftieth day, the day of Pentecost. The fiftieth day marked the end of the barley harvest and included an offering of the first fruits. By the time of Jesus, this festival also had become a celebration of the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai.

The themes of harvest, Exodus and the Law also became part of the Christian celebration. Christians celebrated the Passover of Jesus through death to new life and the Covenant that was established in him. Images of Christ as paschal Lamb and as first fruits are the earliest Easter images used by St. Paul.

Easter was the first of our feasts to develop beyond the weekly Sunday celebration. This fifty-day period of rejoicing seems to have been adopted by all Christian communities by the second century. Within a few centuries, however, the unity of the feast began to weaken, and the resurrection, the ascension, and the descent of the Holy Spirit began to be celebrated separately. Easter and Pentecost became two separate days rather than the two names for the same fifty-day period. Only in our own time has the unity of this celebration been reestablished, at least in the liturgical books. The pastoral challenge is to reestablish it in the minds and hearts of the parish, and the best way to do that is by celebrating the whole feast well.