February 2018 E-Newsletter

February 2018


In this issue:

  • Healing Waters: A True Miracle from Lourdes?
  • Sharing God’s Blessings Annual Appeal
  • Men’s Conference and Women’s Day of Reflection
  • Lent
  • Dan Schutte in Concert at Saint Thomas- March 23, 2018
  • Pictures – School, Troop 22, Holy Name Society Men Honored and Soup Kitchen Service
  • Feast of Saint Patrick – March 17th
  • Feast of Saint Joseph – March 19th
  • Upcoming Events

 

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Healing Waters: A True Miracle from Lourdes?

by: Angelique Butler Sharps



Our Lady of Lourdes Stained-Glass Window
at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church

Most Catholics are familiar with the story of Our Lady of Lourdes, but for those who may be doubtful or wary of whether or not the waters at the famous Lourdes grotto are truly a conduit for spiritual and physical healings, let me tell you a true story that certainly confirms it for me.

In 2017 I ordered a couple of bottles of Lourdes water from an organization called Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality North American Volunteers (http://lourdesvolunteers.org/). There was no charge for the water, just a voluntary donation if one wanted to contribute to the organization’s humanitarian efforts.

I kept one bottle at home and carried the other in my purse along with a small bottle of regular holy water. On a trip to Annapolis, Maryland, my husband and I decided to visit one of his ailing aunts who was suffering from dementia and a number of other deteriorating conditions. At the time, she was being treated at a hospital and we joined some other family members to visit her there one late afternoon.

Verdell is over 100 years old but she was in good spirits when we decided to pay her a visit. She didn’t exactly remember who we all were, but she was happy to see us and we were equally happy to see her. We spent several hours in her hospital room but near the end of our visit, I asked if she wouldn’t mind if I blessed her with some holy water. Verdell isn’t Catholic and I wasn’t exactly sure if she understood what I was asking, but she was agreeable with my request and was all smiles as I reached into my purse to get the bottle.

Unbeknownst to her and to the others in the room, I had a small dilemma on my hands. Should I use the regular holy water to bless her or use the Lourdes water? I had both bottles with me and was somewhat torn as to which to use. In the end, I decided to go with the Lourdes water. I blessed her on her forehead and said a private prayer that she would recover from her dementia. Several close family members had been concerned that she no longer recognized them when she saw them. I thought it might be a good thing if one day they paid her a visit and she was able to call them by name.

After our visit my husband and I returned to New Jersey and I kept hoping to hear that his aunt had recovered from her dementia. As time passed and we didn’t hear anything about her condition improving, I became somewhat concerned that perhaps I should have used the regular holy water. After all, it was more of a sure thing because it had been blessed by a priest. On the other hand, I could not be sure that the Lourdes Water was really from Lourdes. What if it was just tap water and the organization was passing it off as Lourdes water? Crazy thoughts, I know, but that’s what went through my mind and it was quite distressing. Of course, it was God’s will either way as to whether or not any miracle took place at all. Nevertheless, my doubts persisted.

Many months later, on a return trip to Annapolis, I met with Verdell’s granddaughter who gave me an update on her grandmother’s condition. She began by saying that she was no longer in the hospital and had been placed in a home where she had round-the-clock care. Then quite unexpectedly, she happily announced, “Oh guess what? She no longer has diabetes!” “What!” I exclaimed.

Apparently, Verdell had had diabetes for many years but just before she was released from the hospital the last time we saw her, her doctors determined that she no longer had the disease. So was this my miracle, I wondered. Was this God letting me know that yes, the water I had used for the blessing had indeed come from Lourdes? I definitely took it as such and am truly grateful that such a wonderful blessing has been granted to Verdell. She still has dementia, of course, but as her family members later professed, she can now eat all the cake that she wants!

I learned from this experience that we must have faith and not be afraid to express our faith in both private and public ways. Although I decided to bless a non-Catholic person in a room full of other non-Catholics, I didn’t do it for the public display of it but because I truly believe in the spiritual traditions of the faith and felt it was a good thing to do under those circumstances. As for the alleged miracle, it wasn’t what I had hoped for, but it was a blessing all the same. It taught me that God doesn’t always give us exactly what we desire in the ways that we want, but will often answer in ways that are surprising, unexpected, and maybe even a little perplexing. Our faith teaches us that God’s will be done in all things, and if we truly believe that, then that’s certainly good enough.

If you would like to read more about Our Lady of Lourdes, her spiritual message, and the healing waters at the Lourdes grotto, see the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Lourdes . The feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is typically celebrated on February 11, the date on which the Blessed Virgin Mary first appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858.


Sharing God’s Blessings Annual Appeal


My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Greetings in the Lord! A little more than a year
ago, God’s providence summoned me to the Archdiocese
of Newark. My initial shock at Pope Francis’
request was gradually replaced by the peace
of knowing that, despite the tasks magnitude and
my own limitations, the Lord’s faithfulness knows
no bounds. Our “Yes” to God always pales in
comparison to His abundant generosity.

As members of the catholic Church of Newark, we
are united by a common mission entrusted to us
by Jesus Christ—to proclaim the Good News, to
pass on the faith to the next generation through
the celebration of the sacraments and to care for
the poor. The 2018 Sharing God’s Blessings Appeal
binds us more closely to this mission through
our stewardship of God’s many gifts.

Your support of this year’s Appeal will have direct
impact in the lives of those served through the
ministries and programs of this Archdiocese. Our
appeal assists our parishes and pastors by providing
them with necessary resources, particularly in
those geographic areas most in need of our presence.
Finally, your gift to the Appeal will provide
for the poor, the elderly and our beloved retired
priests.

As we renew our collective “yes” to Christ’s invitation
to discipleship, I would like to reiterate the
commitment of this Archdiocese and my personal
commitment to transparency and careful stewardship
of your giving to this effort.

God is never outdone in his generosity. We, the
Church of Newark, know this and are a community
that wishes to proclaim our faith in word and deed
boldly. I thank each of you for your generous
support of the Archdiocese of Newark.

With every good wish and my continued prayers
for you and your families, I am.

Sincerely in Christ the Redeemer,
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R.
Archbishop of Newark

For additional information please visit http://www.rcan.org/sharing

Click Here for the Sharing God’s Blessings Video


Archdiocesan Women’s Day of Reflection at Seton Hall
March 3 @ 9:00AM – 3:30PM

Archdiocesan Men’s Conference at Seton Hall
March 10 @ 8:00AM – 4:30PM

 


Lent 2018: February 14 – March 31

Lent is a time of good resolutions and new beginnings. Lent is a season of repentance and a season of hope. In Lent we reconnect with our baptismal spirituality as the Lenten practices help us to prepare to renew our baptismal promises on Easter Sunday. The goal of Lent is Easter.

Calendar of Lenten Events at St. Thomas

Lenten Regulations

Stations of the Cross on Fridays at 7:30PM
Reconciliation on Saturdays at 11:00AM.
Prayer Life Resources on the STA website
Prayer Life Resources external to the STA website


Dan Schutte in Concert at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church

St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church invites you to a wonderful musical and spiritual Evening: A Lenten Concert/Reflection with Dan Schutte, renowned composer of Catholic liturgical music.

Friday, March 23rd at 8 pm in the Church
60 Byrd Avenue, Bloomfield, New Jersey

 

Cost: Single tickets $15. Students $10. Groups [3 or more] $10. at the Door $20.00

Information on how to purchase ticket will be coming shortly. You can order online at https://www.itickets.com/events/394727

Dan Schutte is the composer of “Here I Am, Lord,”; “Where Love is Found,”; “O How Blessed,”; “Glory in the Cross”; and scores of other beloved songs for worship as well as the most popular mass setting since the 2010 Revision, “Mass of Christ the Savior.”; In fact, he is one of the best-known and most influential composers of Catholic music for Liturgy in the English-speaking world. In addition to his Jesuit formation, Dan holds two masters degrees, one in theology, and one in liturgy from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California and studied composition with Fr. Kevin Waters, SJ at Seattle University. Dan also holds three honorary doctoral degrees for his contribution to the life of the Church.

You can visit Dan’s website at http://www.danschutte.com

The event on his website is https://www.danschuttemusic.com/wordpressstore/event/bloomfield-nj-parish-concert-workshop/

If you love the power of music and scripture in liturgy or are just looking for a deeply meaningful way to prepare for Holy Week and the Triduum, you will want to attend this concert and reflection as Lent draws to a close!


Photos

Click/tap an image for a larger view


School Photos
For more, visit the school at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.






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Boy Scout Troop 22
For more, visit Troop 22’s Facebook Page.





Congratulations to Paul Alongi, recipient of the “Msgr. Cornelius J. Boyle Award” and Dennis Sutton who was selected as the Saint Thomas the Apostle Holy Name Society “Man of the Year”

The Essex-West Essex Federation of the Holy Name Societies has announced that Paul Alongi, Sr. has been selected as the recipient of the distinguished Msgr. Cornelius Boyle award for life time service.

In addition, Dennis Sutton has been chosen as our parish Holy Name Society “Man of the Year”. Both Paul and Dennis were honored at a Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark.








Saint Thomas Parishioners Serving at Saint Augustine’s Soup Kitchen in Newark, New Jersey


Saint Patrick Feast Day March 17th

St. Patrick was enslaved by Irish raiders at 16, as a herdsman in harsh conditions, he learned to pray and grew in great holiness. As a missionary to pagan Ireland, he brought the Faith to the Gallic Peoples. Patrick is depicted with a snake (for his legendary removal of snakes from Ireland), a shamrock (to explain the Trinity: 3 persons, 1 nature); a book to represent this “Confessio”, one of few authentic writings which presents him as humble and courageous in converting the people of Ireland, a staff, jewel and green vestments and miter, since, as Bishop of Ireland he divided Ireland into dioceses, founded monasteries, ordained many priests and encouraged spiritual growth among laity. The harp represents the hymn he wrote, “Breastplate: Christ with me… before me… beneath me… above me… on my right… on my left… when I lie down… when I arise… in the heart of every person who thinks of me…in the mouth of every person who speaks of me…in the eye that sees me…in the ear that hears me”.

The stained-Glass Window is from St. Thomas’ North tower.


Saint Joseph Feast Day March 19th


St. Joseph is Jesus’ earthly father and protector of the Holy Family. St Joseph is not recorded as saying a single word in the Gospel, but obedient to God’s voice.

St. Joseph is patron of fathers, immigrants, workers, carpenters and many more.

Memorare to Saint Joseph
Remember, O most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary, my beloved Patron, that never has it been heard that anyone invoked your patronage and sought your aid without being comforted. Inspired by this confidence I come to you and fervently commend myself to you. Despise not my petition, O dearest foster father of our Redeemer, but accept it graciously.

Amen.


26th Annual Irish Night


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:

Confirmation Meetings for Parents of 2018 Confirmation Candidates
Saturday and Sunday February 17-18 after all masses

All-You-Can-Eat Beefsteak Dinner and Valentine’s Dance!
Saturday, February 17 from 7:00PM – 10:00PM

Blood Pressure Screening
Sunday, February 18 from 8:30AM – 12:00PM

Hospitality in Saint Peter’s Room
Sunday, February 18 at 9:45am-12:00PM

ShopRite and Stop & Shop Gift Card Sale to Support STA Home & School
Sunday, February 18 at 10:00am – 12:00pm

President’s Day
Monday February 19
Mass at 8:30AM only and Parish Center Closed

Presenting “Catholicism – A Journey to the Heart of the Faith” (Part 7 of 10)
Thursday February 22 at 7:30PM

Stations of the Cross
Friday, February 23 at 7:30PM

Pre Cana
Saturday, February 24-25 in the Parish Center

Irish Night
Saturday February 24 from 6:30PM – 10:30PM

Confirmation Meetings for Parents of 2018 Confirmation Candidates
Saturday and Sunday February 24-25 after all masses

Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Hour
Monday, February 26 from 11:00AM – 8:30PM

Presenting “Catholicism – A Journey to the Heart of the Faith” (Part 8 of 10)
Thursday March 1 at 7:30PM

Stations of the Cross
Friday, March 2 at 7:30PM

ShopRite and Stop & Shop Gift Card Sale to Support STA Home & School
Sunday, March 4 at 10:00am – 12:00pm

Presenting “Catholicism – A Journey to the Heart of the Faith” (Part 9 of 10)
Thursday March 8 at 7:30PM

Stations of the Cross
Friday, March 9 at 7:30PM

Presenting “Catholicism – A Journey to the Heart of the Faith” (Part 10 of 10)
Thursday March 15 at 7:30PM

Stations of the Cross
Friday, March 16 at 7:30PM

ShopRite and Stop & Shop Gift Card Sale to Support STA Home & School
Sunday, March 18 at 10:00am – 12:00pm

Bloomfield Parishes’ Reconciliation Service at Saint Thomas
Monday, March 19 at 7:30pm

Stations of the Cross
Friday, March 23 at 7:00PM

Dan Schutte in Concert at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church
Friday, March 23 at 8:00PM

Palm Sunday
Sunday, March 25

Holy Thursday
Thursday, March 29

Good Friday
Friday, March 30

Living Stations of the Cross
Friday, March 30 at 7:30PM

Holy Saturday
Saturday March 31

Easter Sunday
Sunday April 1


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.

Children’s Liturgy of the Word at 10:30AM Mass
Sunday, February 18 at 10:30AM

Prayer Shawl Meeting
Sunday, February 18 from 11:30AM – 1:00PM

Friday Night Small Christian Community
Friday, February 23 at 7:00PM

Children’s Liturgy of the Word at 10:30AM Mass
Sunday, February 25 at 10:30AM

September Club Meeting
Monday, February 26

Men’s Scripture Reading & Reflection
Monday, February 26 7:30PM

Friday Night Small Christian Community
Friday, March 2 at 7:00PM

Children’s Liturgy of the Word at 10:30AM Mass
Sunday, March 4 at 10:30AM

September Club Meeting
Monday, March 5

Rosary Society Meeting
Monday, March 5 7:00PM

Friday Night Small Christian Community
Friday, March 9 at 7:00PM

Children’s Liturgy of the Word at 10:30AM Mass
Sunday, March 11 at 10:30AM

September Club Meeting
Monday, March 12

Men’s Scripture Reading & Reflection
Monday, March 12 7:30PM

Friday Night Small Christian Community
Friday, March 16 at 7:00PM

Children’s Liturgy of the Word at 10:30AM Mass
Sunday, March 18 at 10:30AM

Prayer Shawl Meeting
Sunday, March 18 from 11:30AM – 1:00PM

September Club Meeting
Monday, March 19

Friday Night Small Christian Community
Friday, March 23 at 7:00PM

Children’s Liturgy of the Word at 10:30AM Mass
Sunday, March 25 at 10:30AM

Holy Week is a Quiet Week
No meetings scheduled March 26-March 30