January 2021 E-Newsletter

Saint Thomas the Apostle Church Bloomfield New Jersey

January 2021

Published January 16, 2021

In this issue:
  • Statement of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, on violence in U.S. Capitol
  • Prayer to Respect Life
  • Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – January 18–25, 2021
  • Virtual Morning of Reflection by the Spiritual Direction Ministry – January 21, 2021
  • Eucharistic Adoration – January 25, 2021 at 7:00PM
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Info
  • Catholic Schools Week – January 31-February 6, 2021
  • Feast of the Presentation – February 2nd
  • Feast of St. Bernadette – February 11th
  • Lent Begins February 17, 2018

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Statement of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, on violence in U.S. Capitol

Taken from https://www.rcan.org/statement-cardinal-joseph-w-tobin-cssr-archbishop-newark-violence-us-capitol

Jan. 7, 2020

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, issued the following statement in response to yesterday’s violence in the United States Capitol:

As I watched the appalling chaos in the U.S. Capitol yesterday, I witnessed an icon of democracy occupied and hostage to mob rule. The procession of violent images was deeply troubling. Particularly disheartening is that this event unfolded amid a deadly pandemic, a terrible plague that our troubled nation should face in solidarity.

The events of yesterday are a graphic exposure of the deep and advancing polarization in American society that has festered for years. This divisiveness disregards faith, justice and the rule of law. As shocking as it may be to glimpse how disordered our nation has become, the terrible truth is that we are not immune from further moral and social decay.

If we wish to claim it, Catholics have a legacy that is crucial to the healing of the nation. Our faith includes a commitment to mutual respect, dialogue, and the principles on which our democracy is based. We must come together as one nation under God, who loves and bestows dignity on all. The person with whom you may vehemently disagree is also a beloved child of God. For two millennia, our community has tried to live the teachings of Jesus. We are at our best when we put others first, with the common good as our guiding star.

Let us join with all people of good will in a choice for peace during this arduous time. We pray for our Savior’s protection and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, Prince of Peace, teach us the way forward. Our Lady of the Americas, pray for us.

Prayer to Respect Life

Lord, help us to show respect for all life. Help us to have compassion for the elderly, for the unborn children and their mothers, for persons with disabilities, and for all those who are unable to protect themselves.

Remind us that all human beings are sacred to You and that You love each of us.

Give us the courage and the strength to protect those who cannot protect themselves and to support leaders who also value and respect all life.

Ever hopeful that our nation will be more caring towards those who cannot speak for themselves, let our light shine now to illuminate the darkness of ignorance and prejudice so that in the future we will be known as a nation which respects all life.


The Week Of Prayer For Christian Unity – January 18–25, 2021

Christians around the world begin the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Please pray to the Lord “That they may become one in your hand.” The theme for 2021 is: Abide in My Love…You Shall Bear Much Fruit (John 15:1-17). For more information and resources, please see the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity site.

Throughout the Biblical narrative of salvation, an unmistakable motif is the unrelenting determination of the Lord to form a people whom He could call His own. The formation of such a people, united in a sacred covenant with God, is integral to the Lord’s plan of salvation and to the glorification of His name. The prophets repeatedly remind Israel that their covenant demanded that relationships among its various social groups should be characterized by justice, compassion and mercy. Reconciliation often demands repentance, reparation and healing of memories.

As Jesus prepared to seal the new covenant in His own blood, His earnest prayer to the Father was that those given to Him by the Father would be one, just as He and the Father were one. When Christians discover their unity in Jesus, they participate in Christ’s glorification in the presence of the Father, with the same glory that He had lived in the Father’s presence before the world existed. Therefore, God’s covenanted people must always strive to be a reconciled community that serves as an effective sign of how to live in justice and peace for all the people of the earth.

The traditional period in the northern hemisphere for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is January 18-25. Those dates were proposed in 1908 by Fr. Paul Wattson, SA Founder of the Society of the Atonement, to cover the original days of the feasts of the Chair of St. Peter (January 18) and the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25) , and therefore have a symbolic significance.

The Church Unity Octave, a forerunner of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, was developed by Servant of God Father Paul Wattson, SA, at Graymoor in Garrison, New York, and was first observed at Graymoor from January 18-25, 1908. Today, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity invites the whole Christian community throughout the world to pray in communion with the prayer of Jesus “that they all may be one” (John 17:21).

In 1966, the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches and the Vatican Secretariat (now Council) for Promoting Christian Unity began collaborating as a common international text for worldwide usage. Since 1968 these international texts, which are based on themes proposed by ecumenical groups around the world, have been developed, adapted and published for use in the United States by the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute.

Read more at: http://geii.org/week_of_prayer_for_christian_unity/theme_announcement_2021.html

Virtual Morning of Reflection by the Spiritual Direction Ministry – January 21, 2021

Spiritual Direction Page

Eucharistic Adoration – January 25, 2021 at 7:00PM

Eucharistic Adoration Page
Virtual Eucharistic Adoration Page

COVID-19 Vaccine Info

COVID-19: How to contact the County of Essex to seek an appointment for the vaccine.

The County of Essex has posted a notice where eligible persons in our local towns can obtain information on how and where to schedule appointments for the receipt of the COVID-19 vaccine (Moderna). https://essexcountynj.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/essex-county-vaccine-flier-3-1.pdf

Here’s how it works, Essex County officials say:

That County posting provides a telephone number (973-877-8456) and a digital link: www.essexCOVID.org to arrange for an appointment. The sites for obtaining the vaccine are different depending on your township residence: Belleville, Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, Montclair, Nutley.

For additional information please visit our website at https://www.stachurchbloomfield.com/web/covid-19-vaccine-info/

Catholic Schools Week – January 31-February 6, 2021

National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week, which in 2021 is January 31 – February 6. The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2021 is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.” Schools typically observe the annual celebration week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation.

Daily Themes:
Celebrate the following daily themes and celebrations during Catholic Schools Week 2021.

Sunday – Celebrating Your Parish
Monday – Celebrating Your Community
Tuesday – Celebrating Your Students
Wednesday – Celebrating the Nation
Thursday – Celebrating Vocations
Friday – Celebrating Faculty, Staff and Volunteers (Teacher Appreciation Day)
Saturday – Celebrating Families

Please visit our Parish School Website at https://staschoolnj.org/

For more information about Catholic Schools Week, please visit https://www.ncea.org/csw

Feast of the Presentation: February 2nd

Jesus is presented at the temple 40 days after his birth.

Luke 2:22-32
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,” and to offer the sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,” in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him.

It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”

St. Bernadette Feast Day: February 11th

Bernadette Soubirous was a young French girl who saw a vision of the Blessed Virgin in a cave in Lourdes, France in 1858. The Blessed Virgin told St. Bernadette to pray for sinners and to have a church built on that spot. When asked many years later what the Blessed Virgin Mary looked like, St. Bernadette replied, “She was so beautiful, that to see her again, one would be willing to die”. Eventually, St. Bernadette became a Sister of Charity and died at the age of 35 years old after a painful illness. St. Bernadette was canonized, not because of the visions she had, but because of the patience and trust with which she bore the trials which resulted from them.

Lent 2021: February 17- April 3

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.

The word Lent means springtime. This word comes from the same root as lengthen. Daytime lengthens during Lent. The northern hemisphere turns toward the sun, the source of life, and winter turns into spring. In Hebrew, the word for repentance is the same as the word that means to turn, like the turning of the earth to the sun, like the turning of the soil before planting.

Ash Wednesday – February 17
Calendar of Lenten Events at St. Thomas

Reconciliation on Saturdays at 1:00PM.

Mass Times

Weekend Masses – Saturday 5:00PM,
Sunday 8:00AM, 10:00AM and 12:00PM
Weekday Masses – Monday-Friday 11:30AM
Reconciliation – Saturday at 1:00PM


  • Everyone must wear a mask before entering the Church and while in the building
  • Everyone must stay 6’ apart when on the church property (both inside and outside the Church)
  • Everyone must sanitize your hands before entering the church (please bring hand sanitizer with you) If you are sick or feel that you’ve been infected or exposed to someone who has been infected with Covid-19, you must wait 14 days before entering the Church
  • We are happy to welcome you back for Mass but please note that even with the best health practices and social distancing, anyone who enters a public space should recognize there is a risk in contracting Covid-19. We will be increasing the cleaning of our Church, but no one should expect they will be any safer from germs here than in other public areas.

Mission Statement

The Roman Catholic Faith Community of St. Thomas the Apostle recognizes God’s call to be a sign of His Kingdom in the communities we serve.

We respond to this call by:
  • Leading people to a deeper relationship with Christ by providing opportunities for spiritual growth, renewal, education, the celebration of the Sacraments, and the worship of God in the sacred liturgy;
  • Encouraging a commitment to justice and to service of those in need;
  • Promoting good stewardship of our time, talent, and treasure;
  • Building a community of hospitality and support in the daily living out of Christian ideals by nourishing mutual respect and understanding within our Church, our families, our community, and other faith traditions.