Holy Name Society

Point of Contact – Steve St. Hilaire, president  or John Nellegar, vice-president

Steve’s Contact Information – svsthilaire@yahoo.com  – 973-338-5371

Brief Description –

Purpose

    The Confraternity of the Most Holy Names of God and Jesus (Holy Name Society) promotes reverence for the Sacred Names of God and Jesus Christ, obedience and loyalty to the teachings of the Catholic Church, and the personal sanctification and holiness of its members.  Members are regular men who are aware of their sinfulness; yet, with God’s grace and mercy seek to live lives of holiness through prayer and action. The HNS has been living this tradition at STA since the parish was founded.

    Members are called to contribute to the evangelization mission of the Church and to make perpetual acts of reverence and love for our Lord and Savior. The apostolate of the society is to assist in parish ministries by performing the Corporal and the Spiritual Works of Mercy. 

Examples of some of the experiences, services and events provided by, or sponsored by, the HNS:

The Prayerful Discipline of the “Little Way”

    Men of the HNS acknowledge the social justice teachings of the Church; but, they realize that in the normal course of a day they are called to the “little way” in the path to holiness that St. Therese of Lisieux described:  “Love proves itself by deeds, and how shall I prove mine? … .  I can prove my love only by scattering flowers, that is to say, by never letting slip a single little sacrifice, a single glance, a single word; by making profit of the very smallest actions, by doing all for love.”

    These actions include:  ushers/ministers of hospitality, greeters, Eucharistic ministers, lectors, Mass servers, religious education of children, friendship with the poor and food distribution to the poor in the Newark, visiting the sick, driver safety, organizers of parish concerts for STA’s cultural life, income tax preparation, collection counters, fund-raising, and financial administration, to name only a few.

Prayer and meditation before the Blessed Sacrament

    HNS members are strongly encouraged to be present at STA in prayer and meditation at the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for at least 30 minutes from noon to 8:30 p.m. on the last Monday of every month.  This vigilance to this devotion has been interrupted by the pandemic; however, the parish is finding ways, consistent with social distancing during the pandemic to keep this devotion before our parishioners.

San Alfonso Retreat, West Long Branch, NJ

    The HNS has been sponsoring the annual weekend retreat at San Alfonso Retreat House.   The House is a Redemptorist spiritualty center, situated on eight beautiful acres overlooking the ocean.  (See http://www.sanalfonsoretreats.org/  for description and photos.)  Its outdoor shrines, prayer garden, beautiful chapels, and comfortable accommodations have been “Holy Ground” for laity, religious, and clergy for almost 90 years.  As the men of STA will testify, it is truly a place to reflect on the action of God in one’s life under the guidance of experienced retreat masters in a group setting with men throughout the region.  Monthly Luncheons and Annual Dinner to Honor a parishioner who displays exceptional service at STA

The Stewardship of Talent: Income Tax Ministry and Drivers’ Safety Forum

     During the income tax season starting in early 2022, members of the HNS provides assistance to elderly and disabled parishioners with non-complex federal and N.J. State tax preparation.  Also included is assistance with the property tax rebate (“PTR”). (Assistance will not be provided at this time for the federal Affordable Health Care Program.)  See the bulletin and website for details on how we will serve you during the pandemic.
In 2018, the HNS again sponsored the ever popular drivers’ safety program where a knowledgeable person from AARP comes to STA to conduct a refresher course. Attendance helps with certain insurance companies in lowering premiums and perhaps the lowering or elimination of 2 points on a driver’s record.

   HNS Programs in the Recent Past:

• In October 2016, the HNS sponsored a program with a nationally recognized expert on elder law who spoke on Medicare, Medicaid and Medication Availability.  She focused on asset and estate contingency planning for admission to a nursing home and in-home alternatives to it and available resources at home. The HNS invited Protestant congregants as well as the Bloomfield community at large and had 71 people in attendance.

• This last Advent, the HNS sponsored an afternoon Reflection entitled:  “Now that Pope’s ‘Year of Mercy’ is Ending:  Where Do We Go from Here with Mercy: In Our Individual Lives, Parish Community & the World Beyond our parish borders?”  Sister Gerrie Muller, SSJ, a retreat master at San Alfanso’s Redemptorist Retreat House, and Ms. Linda Tober-Flores, director of the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless led us in practical ways to live the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

• The HNS co-sponsored on March 22, 2017 a Lenten program with Rosarians, Beyond Cornerstone and STA Adult Education Ministry on Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudate Si’ (on environment, human rights, income-vulnerable people, etc.), featuring Sr. Mary Elizabeth Clark, SSJ, who serves as Ambassador of the US Catholic Conference of Bishops for Creation Covenant.

• The HNS presented a program in the October, 2017 on the biblical basis for “welcoming the alien and stranger” in light of Cardinal Tobin’s call for the resettlement of 51 refugees through the Archdiocesan Office of Catholic Charities.  Speakers experienced in refugee resettlement from Archdiocese and the Vatican refugee agency, CNEWA.  STA affirmed the refugee work of Sacred Heart and St. Teresa of Calcutta parishes as well as Park Methodist Church. PARTs 1, 2 & 3:      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44dApszrXDk ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6YkWqfecTE ;   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlMYcUFRl_Q  .

• The Wellness Ministry and the Holy Name Society co-sponsored an program on Elder Care program on June 25, 2019 involving a panel of experts: Elder law attorney (Wills, Medicare, Estate Planning, Power of Attorney), Senior advisor (Nursing Home/Assisted Living Placement/In Home Care), Transition specialist (Estate Sales, Relocation, Downsizing), Financial advisor, and (Retirement, Investment, Annuities, 401k), and Funeral Director (Funeral Trust Accounts, Pre-Planning, Medicaid Spend Down). Videos: Panel:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qF2ABh032qQ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GxsMP0fpO0  .

• The STA HNS is currently reaching out to another parish in our deanery to see if there are common projects that we could collaborate on to further the nearly 750-year commitment to the Beatitudes and the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy and reach out to young men to help perpetuate the worldwide mission of the HNS.

        So, it is clear that the purpose and mission of the HNS is timeless, essential to the building of community at STA in concert with other organizations, and its focus is to draw men of ALL ages.  And the HNS is commissioned to seek input from men and women on imaginative ways to make this happen!  It is particularly important to focus on the participation of young fathers in an effort to promote the transmission of Christian values.  Older HNS members can sometimes be mentors of younger fathers as in some ancient cultures.

Archival History: Read about some of the Holy Name Society’s past activities with photos via the E-Newsletter Article: https://www.stachurchbloomfield.com/web/holy-name-society-article-november-2014/

Meeting Dates – None scheduled at this time.

How can someone join? – Can join by reaching out to our contact persons.   Looking for those concerned about God’s merciful love as being prayerfully part of their life’s journey and who are open to reflect on, and to evangelize with other STA parishioners on Scripture’s call to mercy.


Below contains historical information about this ministry.


Purpose

The Confraternity of the Most Holy Names of God and Jesus (Holy Name Society) promotes reverence for the Sacred Names of God and Jesus Christ, obedience and loyalty to the teachings of the Catholic Church, and the personal sanctification and holiness of its members.  Members are regular men who are aware of their sinfulness; yet, with God’s grace and mercy seek to live lives of holiness through prayer and action. The HNS has been living this tradition at STA since the parish was founded.

Members are called to contribute to the evangelization mission of the Church and to make perpetual acts of reverence and love for our Lord and Savior. The apostolate of the society is to assist in parish ministries by performing the Corporal and the Spiritual Works of Mercy.  In seeking God’s grace to live a holy life, members are called to: receive the sacrament of penance, strengthen themselves with the most Holy Eucharist, nourish their souls on Sacred Scripture, increase their desire of divine love through prayer, and lead their families, friends, and coworkers to Christ Jesus by their acts of charity and piety.  The HNS members are refining its Mission Statement and invite ideas. (To learn about the history of the Society, going back to the Council of Lyon in the year 1274, see the National Holy Name Society’s website: http://www.nahns.com/index.htm .)

Examples of some of the experiences, services and events provided by, or sponsored by, the HNS:

The Prayerful Discipline of the “Little Way”

Men of the HNS acknowledge the social justice teachings of the Church; but, they realize that in the normal course of a day they are called to the “little way” in the path to holiness that St. Therese of Lisieux described:  “Love proves itself by deeds, and how shall I prove mine? … .  I can prove my love only by scattering flowers, that is to say, by never letting slip a single little sacrifice, a single glance, a single word; by making profit of the very smallest actions, by doing all for love.”

When interviewed, men in the HNS uniformly say that they are drawn by the example set by their parents years ago; by the current warm fellowship they find in the members; and by the inspiration they gain from the example of members’ actions that include the corporal and spiritual acts of mercy both within and beyond STA’s borders.  These actions include:  ushers/ministers of hospitality, greeters, Eucharistic ministers, lectors, Mass servers, religious education of children, friendship with the poor and food distribution to the poor in the Newark, prison ministry, visiting the sick, driver safety, organizers of parish concerts for STA’s cultural life, income tax preparation, collection counters, fund-raising, and financial administration, to name only a few.

Prayer and meditation before the Blessed Sacrament

HNS members are strongly encouraged to be present at STA in prayer and meditation at the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for at least 30 minutes from noon to 8:30 p.m. on the last Monday of every month.  This vigilance to this devotion has been interrupted by the pandemic; however, the parish is finding ways, consistent with social distancing during the pandemic to keep this devotion before our parishioners.

San Alfonso Retreat, West Long Branch, NJ

The HNS has been sponsoring the annual weekend retreat at San Alfonso Retreat House.   The House is a Redemptorist spiritualty center, situated on eight beautiful acres overlooking the ocean.  (See http://www.sanalfonsoretreats.org/ for description and photos.)  Its outdoor shrines, prayer garden, beautiful chapels, and comfortable accommodations have been “Holy Ground” for laity, religious, and clergy for almost 90 years.  As the men of STA will testify, it is truly a place to reflect on the action of God in one’s life under the guidance of experienced retreat masters in a group setting with men throughout the region.  We are reminded that Cardinal Tobin is the former world-wide Superior General  of the Redemptorist Order.  On a weekend in July 2019, seven STA parishioners attended the retreat with the theme of “The Call to Holiness.”  The talks dwelled deeply on Pope Francis’s very readable Apostolic Exhortation,   GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE (ON THE CALL TO HOLINESS IN TODAY’S WORLD) (03/19/2018). A member of our STA team assisted the retreat staff with media technology issues and offered to help the staff with marketing.                            http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20180319_gaudete-et-exsultate.html

Irish Night

From 1993 to 2018, the HNS sponsored “Irish Night” in February, which was a gala event of group song led by a DJ, as well as the participation of young Irish dancers. Most important of all was the fellowship that the event engendered which carried over in enlivening the liturgical, ministerial service, and cultural life of STA.

Monthly Luncheons and Annual Dinner to Honor a parishioner who displays exceptional service at STA

These events have been interrupted due to the pandemic; however, we look forward to reviving them when it is safe to do so.  Stay tuned!

The Stewardship of Talent: Income Tax Ministry and  Drivers’ Safety Forum

During the income tax season starting in early 2021, members of the HNS provides assistance to elderly and disabled parishioners with non-complex federal and N.J. State tax preparation.  Also included is assistance with the property tax rebate (“PTR”). (Assistance will not be provided at this time for the federal Affordable Health Care Program.)  See the bulletin and website for details on how we will serve you during the pandemic.

In 2018, the HNS again sponsored the ever popular drivers’ safety program where a knowledgeable person from AARP comes to STA to conduct a refresher course. Attendance helps with certain insurance companies in lowering premiums and perhaps the lowering or elimination of 2 points on a driver’s record. One attendee reported that s/he was before a municipal court judge and s/he pled guilty to a minor traffic infraction and the judge reduced the fine because of an otherwise unblemished record and evidence that s/he attended our program! Stay tuned as to whether we will be able to resume this service in the months ahead after the COVIE-19 pandemic subsides. 

Common Corporate commitment to specific corporal and spiritual works of mercy

At its November 2014 organizational meeting, the members decided to not only promote individual corporal and spiritual works of mercy by its members based on their diverse gifts and talents; but to select at least two each year that all of the members would commit themselves to in a corporate and unified way and then to measure and evaluate progress over time.  We note that the new STA Social Concerns Ministry is sponsoring a Lenten Program in March 2021 on “The Sermon on the Mount” to reflect on the Beatitudes and the Works of Mercy and to encourage all to service and actions for justice.  A pitch will be made to our members to attend because the Works of Mercy are central to the mission of the HNS

HNS Programs in the Recent Past:

  • In October 2016, the HNS sponsored a program with a nationally recognized expert on elder law who spoke on Medicare, Medicaid and Medication Availability.  She focused on asset and estate contingency planning for admission to a nursing home and in-home alternatives to it and available resources at home. The HNS invited Protestant congregants as well as the Bloomfield community at large and had 71 people in attendance.
  • This last Advent, the HNS sponsored an afternoon Reflection entitled:  “Now that Pope’s ‘Year of Mercy’ is Ending:  Where Do We Go from Here with Mercy: In Our Individual Lives, Parish Community & the World Beyond our parish borders?”  Sister Gerrie Muller, SSJ, a retreat master at San Alfanso’s Redemptorist Retreat House, and Ms. Linda Tober-Flores, director of the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless led us in practical ways to live the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.
  • The HNS co-sponsored on March 22, 2017 a Lenten program with Rosarians, Beyond Cornerstone and STA Adult Education Ministry on Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudate Si’ (on environment, human rights, income-vulnerable people, etc.), featuring Sr. Mary Elizabeth Clark, SSJ, who serves as Ambassador of the US Catholic Conference of Bishops for Creation Covenant.
  • The HNS presented a program in the October, 2017 on the biblical basis for “welcoming the alien and stranger” in light of Cardinal Tobin’s call for the resettlement of 51 refugees through the Archdiocesan Office of Catholic Charities.  Speakers experienced in refugee resettlement from Archdiocese and the Vatican refugee agency, CNEWA.  STA affirmed the refugee work of Sacred Heart and St. Teresa of Calcutta parishes as well as Park Methodist Church.
  • The Wellness Ministry and the Holy Name Society co-sponsored an program on Elder Care program on June 25, 2019 involving a panel of experts: Elder law attorney (Wills, Medicare, Estate Planning, Power of Attorney), Senior advisor (Nursing Home/Assisted Living Placement/In Home Care), Transition specialist (Estate Sales, Relocation, Downsizing), Financial advisor, and (Retirement, Investment, Annuities, 401k), and Funeral Director (Funeral Trust Accounts, Pre-Planning, Medicaid Spend Down). Videos: Panel
  • Evaluation survey:  85% favorable response.   
  • The STA HNS is currently reaching out to another parish in our deanery to see if there are common projects that we could collaborate on to further the nearly 750-year commitment to the Beatitudes and the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy and reach out to young men to help perpetuate the worldwide mission of the HNS.

 All of these ministries are inspired by the men’s devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus in their coming together in fellowship, seasoned with humor, and their efforts to cooperate with God’s grace in a prayer life directed to evangelization through St. Therese’s “little way.”

So, it is clear that the purpose and mission of the HNS is timeless, essential to the building of community at STA in concert with other organizations, and its focus is to draw men of ALL ages.  And the HNS is commissioned to seek input from men and women on imaginative ways to make this happen!  It is particularly important to focus on the participation of young fathers in an effort to promote the transmission of Christian values.  Older HNS members can sometimes be mentors of younger fathers as in some ancient cultures.

How to become a member of the Holy Name Society:

      If you would like to inquire about becoming a member (no fee) of the HNS please contact:

Steve St. Hilaire, president, at (973) 338-5371 or email at svsthilaire@yahoo.com or John Nellegar, vice-president, email at jnellegar2004@yahoo.com


Read about some of the Holy Name Society’s activities via the E-Newsletter Article

Link to the National Holy Name Society Website


Holy Name Pledge

Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus
I believe, O Jesus – that Thou art the Christ
The Son of the Living God.
I proclaim my love – for the Vicar of Christ on earth.
I believe all the sacred truths
Which the Holy Catholic Church believes and teaches.
I promise to give good example
By the regular practice of my faith.
In honor of His Divine Name
I pledge myself against perjury, blasphemy,
Profanity and obscene speech.
I pledge my loyalty – to the flag of my country
And to the God-given principles
Of freedom, justice and happiness – for which it stands.
I pledge my support – to all lawful authority
Both civil and religious.
I dedicate my manhood (myself)
To the honor of the Sacred Name of Jesus Christ
And beg that He will keep me faithful
To these pledges – until death.
Amen.