December 2017 E-Newsletter

December 2017


In this issue:

  • Advent
  • Children’s Epiphany Pageant Signup
  • Simbang Gabi Schedule
  • Pictures
  • Christmas and the Christmas Season
  • Solemnity of Mary
  • Saint John and Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini
  • Epiphany and Baptism of Jesus
  • Upcoming Events

 

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Advent


Advent marks the beginning of the new liturgical year. We prepare for the annual celebrations of Christ’s incarnation at Christmas, his manifestation at Epiphany, and the beginning of his mission at the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Advent means “coming.” We are to prepare for the coming of God among us as a child who is a King, as an infant who is a Savior, as one born at a given time and place yet who is a Messiah for all ages and people.

Advent has a two-fold character: as a season to prepare us for Christmas when Christ’s first coming to us is remembered; as a season when that remembrance directs the mind and heart to await Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time. Advent is thus a period for devout and joyful expectation.


Children’s Epiphany Pageant Signup

Epiphany Sunday, January 7, 2018 Immediately following the 12:00PM Mass
For parish children ages 4-11

Practice Date:
Rehearsal Saturday. December 16th in the Church
1:00PM until about 1:45PM – Parent must stay!
Costumes will be distributed and explained.
Carol practice sheets given out!

Dress Rehearsal:
Saturday, January 6th 1:00PM – 1:45PM
Parent must stay!
Please bring all costumes to this rehearsal


Please fill out the information below and bring it to the December 16th rehearsal or drop it off to parish center.

Child’s Name:______________________

Age: _______

School Grade: ______

I would like to help with the pageant performance: ______

Parent/Guardian Information

Name: ______________________________

Phone During Day: _______________________________(cell preferred)

Email During Day: _______________________________

See pictures from past years at:
2008
2009
2016
2017


Simbang Gabi 2017 Mass Schedule

The Catholic Parishes of Deanery 16 invite you to our Simbang Gabi Novena Masses.
For more about the Simbang Gabi, use this link below.

Date Church/Town Contact/Web Information
Friday December 15 at 7:00PM Our Lady of the Lakes

Verona, New Jersey

973-239-5696

(Website)

(Google Map)

Saturday December 16 at 7:00PM St. Thomas the Apostle Church

Bloomfield, New Jersey

973-338-9190

(Website)

(Google Map)

Sunday December 17 at 5:00PM Holy Family Church

Nutley, New Jersey

973-667-2580

(Website)

(Google Map)

Monday December 18 at 7:00PM Sacred Heart Church

Bloomfield, New Jersey

 

973-748-1800

(Website)

(Google Map)

Tuesday December 19 at 7:00PM St. Anthony’s Church

Belleville, New Jersey

 

973-481-1991

(Website)

(Google Map)

 

Wednesday December 20 at 7:00PM St. Valentine Church

Bloomfield, New Jersey

973-743-0220

(Website)

(Google Map)

Thursday December 21 at 7:00PM Holy Name of Jesus Church

East Orange, New Jersey

973-675-4444

(Website)

(Google Map)

Friday December 22 at 7:00PM St. Mary Church

Nutley, New Jersey

973-235-1100

(Website)

(Google Map)

Saturday December 23 at 7:00PM St. Peters Church

Belleville, New Jersey

973-751-2002

(Website)

(Google Map)


Photos

Click/tap an image for a larger view


School Pictures







Troop 22 Pictures





Advent Giving Tree
Through the generosity of Saint Thomas Parishioners, over 90 bags of gifts & over $4000 in gift cards were collected for the charities. Thank you to all, especially the Rosary Society at Saint Thomas who organizes and coordinates the Advent Giving Tree




Beyond Cornerstone – Soup Kitchen Service- December 3, 2017




Merry Christmas


Our Dear Parishioners and Friends,At Christmas we celebrate, not only the birth of a child, but more importantly we rejoice in the “Incarnation.” In this birth God becomes human like us so that each of us could become more like God and share in the gift of eternal life. We celebrate this truth not just for one day but for the whole Christmas Season.It gives us great joy to wish you, your family, and your loved ones a very Blessed Christmas, and Peace and Happiness through the New Year. Thank you for the support you give to all the staff of St. Thomas the Apostle by your presence and the sharing of your time, talent and treasure.

In the Lord,

Father Charles Miller and Priests, Deacons, Sisters and Staff

Fourth Week of Advent Masses
Saturday December 23 at 5:00PM
Sunday December 24 at 7:30AM
Sunday December 24 at 9:00AM
Sunday December 24 at 10:30AM
No 12:00PM MassChristmas Eve Masses
Herron Hall – Sunday December 24 at 4:00pm
Church – Sunday December 24 at 4:00pm
Church – Sunday December 24 at 6:00pm
Church – Sunday December 24 at 10:30pmChristmas Day Masses
Church – Monday December 25 at 8:00am
Church – Monday December 25 at 10:00am
Church – Monday December 25 at 12:00 Noon

Christmas Liturgical Season


The Christmas Liturgical Season begins on Christmas Eve, includes the Feast of the Holy Family the following Sunday, the Solemnity of Mary (January 1st), and the Solemnity of the Epiphany the following Sunday. The Christmas season continues through feast of the Baptism of Jesus.


St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Feast Day December 22nd


She took religious vows in 1877 and did so well at her work that when the orphanage closed in 1880, her bishop asked her to found the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to care for poor children in schools and hospitals. Pope Leo XIII then sent her to the United States to carry on this mission. She and six Sisters arrived in New York in 1889. They worked among immigrants, especially Italians. Mother Cabrini founded 67 institutions, including schools, hospitals, and orphanages in the United States, Europe and South America. Like many of the people she worked with, Mother became a United States citizen during her life, and after her death she was the first US citizen to be canonized.


St. John the Evangelist

Feast Day: December 27th

St. John was one of the twelve apostles and is referred to as the “disciple whom Jesus loved”. Of all twelve apostles, St. John was the only one who accompanied Jesus all the way to the Cross. Besides his Gospel, St. John wrote several letters and the book of Revelations. According to tradition, St. John died at Ephesus when he was about 94 years old. St. Jerome tells us that as an old man, St. John was too weak to walk or to speak much. However, every day when the community met to share the Eucharist, St. John would insist that he be carried to the meeting place. Once there, he would always say the same thing , “Little children, love one another. ” When someone asked him why he always said the same thing over and over he replied “Because it is the Lord’s teaching and if you do this alone, it is enough.”


Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God – Monday January 1st, 2018


Due to the unusual calendar this year, the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God remains a Holy Day but not a Holy Day of Obligation. Therefore there will be one mass at 8:30am on January 1st.

The church celebrates that Mary is the Mother of God (Theotokos or more specifically “Bearer of God”). One of the most outstanding
characteristics of Mary is her willingness to know and do God’s will. We seek to follow Mary’s example more closely so we can be bearers of Christ to the world in the modern world.


The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord – January 7, 2018

The word “epiphany,” which means a shining forth of light, has slipped from its religious use into secular usage to indicate any sudden flash of insight. First used in this sense by the writer James Joyce, the term has degenerated to the point where “Epiphany” is even the name for an integrated suite of customer relations management software. Presumably using this software will give one striking new insights into how to manage one’s customer relations.

The distance between the secular usage of the term “epiphany” and what we celebrate on this feast can be seen in the fact that we do not celebrate a flash of insight, but the shining forth of God’s light in our world through the person of Jesus. Pope Benedict XVI wrote that to be a Christian isn’t merely an ethical choice or a noble idea, but the encounter with an event, a person who gives life a new horizon and a definitive direction. The Epiphany is not about an idea occurring to us but about an encounter with a person: Jesus Christ.According to tradition, St. Thomas traveled East after Jesus’ Resurrection and encountered the three wise men. They were then baptized by St. Thomas.

The Baptism of the Lord – January 14, 2018


The Baptism of the Lord is yet another powerful revelation (manifestation or epiphany) of Christ’s identity: God’s beloved Son, on whom his favor rests. Like the visit of the Magi and the wedding feast of Cana, the baptism of Christ by John in the River Jordon is an experience of God’s action and presence revealed in Christ.

All Baptized Christians share in the priestly, prophetic and kingly aspects of Jesus’ ministry:

“These faithful are by baptism made one body with Christ and are constituted among the People of God; they are in their own way made sharers in the priestly, prophetical, and kingly functions of Christ; and they carry out for their own part the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the world.” (Lumen Genitum 31).


For more information on these events
please visit our online calendar or the bulletin online.
Click here for the Saint Thomas Online Calendar
Click here for the Saint Thomas Online Bulletin

Parish Events:

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception Masses
Friday December 8 at 7:30AM
Friday December 8 at 11:30AM
Friday December 8 at 7:30PM

Boy Scout Wreath Sale
Saturday & Sunday December 9-10 at all masses

Blood Pressure Screening
Sunday, December 10 from 8:30AM – 12:00PM

Hospitality in Saint Peter’s Room
Sunday, December 10 at 9:45am-12:00PM

Bloomfield Parishes’ Reconciliation Service at Sacred Heart Church
Monday, December 11 at 7:30PM

Santa Breakfast in Herron Hall
Saturday, December 16 at 9:00AM

Volunteers Are Needed for the
Placement of the Christmas Trees
in Church On Saturday
Saturday December 16 at 9:00AM

ShopRite and Stop & Shop Gift Card Sale to Support STA Home & School
Sunday, December 17 at 10:00AM – 12:00PM

Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Hour
Monday, December 18 from 11:00AM – 8:30PM

Fourth Week of Advent Masses
Saturday December 23 at 5:00PM
Sunday December 24 at 7:30AM
Sunday December 24 at 9:00AM
Sunday December 24 at 10:30AM
No 12:00PM Mass

Christmas Eve Masses
Herron Hall – Sunday December 24 at 4:00PM
Church – Sunday December 24 at 4:00PM
Church – Sunday December 24 at 6:00PM
Church – Sunday December 24 at 10:30PM

Christmas Day Masses
Church – Monday December 25 at 8:00AM
Church – Monday December 25 at 10:00AM
Church – Monday December 25 at 12:00 Noon

New Year’s Day – Parish Center Closed
Monday, January 1

Mass for Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
Monday, January 1 at 8:30AM

Masses for Solemnity of the Epiphany
(Annual “Bell Sunday”)

Saturday January 6 at 5:00PM
Sunday January 7 at 7:30AM
Sunday January 7 at 9:00AM
Sunday January 7 at 10:30AM
Sunday January 7 at 12:30PM

Children’s Epiphany Pageant
Sunday January 7 after 12:00PM

Martin Luther King Day – Parish Center Closed
Monday, January 15

Martin Luther King Day Mass
Monday, January 15 at 8:30AM

Dark Night:. Through darkness and doubt often comes the greatest strengthening of our faith
Wednesday, January 17 at 9:00AM-3:00PM
Loyola Jesuit Center in Morristown

Blood Pressure Screening
Sunday, January 21 from 8:30AM – 12:00PM

Hospitality in Saint Peter’s Room
Sunday, January 21 at 9:45am-12:00PM


Ministry Meeting Dates:

If you are not part of a ministry but are interested in the group, please feel free to stop by for more information.

Friday Night Small Christian Community
Friday, December 8 at 7:00PM

Children’s Liturgy of the Word at 10:30AM Mass
Sunday, December 10 at 10:30AM

Prayer Shawl Meeting
Sunday, December 10 from 11:30AM – 12:00PM

Support Group For Those Grieving the Death of a Loved One
Sunday, December 10 @ 12:00PM

September Club Meeting
Monday, December 11

Children’s Liturgy of the Word at 10:30AM Mass
Sunday, December 17 at 10:30AM

September Club Meeting
Monday, December 18

Men’s Scripture Reading & Reflection
Monday, December 18 7:30PM

Children’s Liturgy of the Word at 10:30AM Mass
Sunday, January 7 at 10:30AM

September Club Meeting
Monday, January 8

Rosary Society Meeting
Monday, January 8 7:00PM

Men’s Scripture Reading & Reflection
Monday, January 8 7:30PM

Friday Night Small Christian Community
Friday, January 12 at 7:00PM

Children’s Liturgy of the Word at 10:30AM Mass
Sunday, January 14 at 10:30AM

Friday Night Small Christian Community
Friday, January 19 at 7:00PM

Children’s Liturgy of the Word at 10:30AM Mass
Sunday, January 21 at 10:30AM

Prayer Shawl Meeting
Sunday, January 21 from 11:30AM – 12:00PM


Mass Times

Weekend Masses – Saturday 5:00PM, Sunday 7:30AM, 9:00AM, 10:30AM and 12:00PM
Weekday Masses – Monday-Friday 7:30AM and 11:30AM; Saturday 8:30AM
Holy Day Masses – 7:30AM, 11:30AM and 7:30PM
Holiday Masses – 8:30AM Only
Reconciliation – Saturday at 11:00AM