March 2021 E-Newsletter

March 2021

Published March 26, 2021


In this issue:
  • Holy Week
  • Holy Week Changes
  • Solemnity of the Annunciation – Feast of the Incarnation – March 25
  • Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, Pastoral Letter on the Eucharist called “Returning to Grace”
  • Cardinal Tobin: Why the Catholic Church opposes the Reproductive Freedom Act – March 16, 2021
  • 300 Club
  • Pope Francis Announces Holy Year of St. Joseph
  • Baptismal Font Symbols
  • First Communion Retreat 2021 with The Potter
  • Children’s Liturgy of the Word Lenten Video
  • Children’s Liturgy of the Word Easter Story Time
  • Easter Sunday
  • Easter – The 50 Day Long Feast
  • Holy Week and Easter Word Search

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Holy Week

Come Celebrate Holy Week With Us!

All Palm Sunday, Triduum, and Easter Masses will be live streamed.

Videos will be available via our YouTube Channel and Parish website.

Saturday March 27, 2021 – Palm Sunday Mass at 5:00pm and livestreamed on our YouTube Channel

Sunday March 28, 2021 – Palm Sunday Masses at 8:00am, 10:00am and 12:00noon and livestreamed on our YouTube Channel

Monday March 29, 2021 – Morning Mass at 11:30am and livestreamed on our YouTube Channel

Livestream of the Chrism mass on the Archdiocesan YouTube Channel at 8:00pm

Tuesday March 30, 2021 – Morning Mass at 11:30am and livestreamed on our YouTube Channel

Wednesday March 31, 2021 – Morning Mass at 11:30am and livestreamed on our YouTube Channel

Thursday April 1, 2021 – Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:30pm and livestreamed on our YouTube Channel & Holy Thursday Night Prayer at 11:00pm

Friday April 2, 2021 – Celebration of the Lord’s Passion at 3:00pm and livestreamed on our YouTube Channel & Living Stations of the Cross available on our YouTube Channel.

Saturday April 3, 2021 – The Great Easter Vigil at 8:15pm and livestreamed on our YouTube Channel

Sunday April 4, 2021 – Easter Sunday Mass at 8:00am, 10:00am and 12:00noon and livestreamed on our YouTube Channel

Holy Week is quiet week

No ministry events are scheduled and all are encouraged to attend Holy Week services. Schedule of Events at St. Thomas

Reminder: You will need to enter the church through the south side handicapped entrance. Doors will be open to enter 30 minutes before mass.

GPS Waypoint on Google Maps

https://www.google.com/maps/place/40%C2%B049’52.2%22N+74%C2%B010’36.4%22W


Holy Week Changes in 2021

HOLY WEEK this year will be celebrated differently because of the pandemic. These changes were made by the Vatican and will be adhered to all over the world in our Catholic churches.

On PALM SUNDAY Palms will be blessed and be available to be picked up on your way out of Mass (not before Mass).

On HOLY THURSDAY the optional “washing of the feet” will be omitted and there will be a revised, shortened version of the Eucharistic Procession.

On GOOD FRIDAY the “veneration of the cross” will be different: only the presider will kiss the cross; all others present, including clergy, will venerate the cross from the pews.

At the EASTER VIGIL there will be no Easter Fire, no individual small tapers to be lit, and no procession with the Paschal candle at the beginning of Mass. The blessing of the Paschal Candle will be private and prior to Mass.

There will be no sprinkling of water after the renewal of Baptismal Promises. Also there will not be a distribution of holy water bottles; however, if you would like to have holy water at home you may bring the bottle of water to Masses for Easter and a priest or deacon will bless it for you.


Solemnity of the Annunciation – Feast of the Incarnation – March 25

Luke 1:26-38
The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”

But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”

But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Stained Glass Window of the Annunciation is from our Church

Click the Image or the link to view the videos.

Hail Mary, Gentle Woman – Our first Live Stream Last Year on March 28, 2020



https://youtu.be/YaZhKWJ5cZI

Salve Regina with images for Mary in our Church



https://youtu.be/FGBsE-7E9Ws


Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, Pastoral Letter on the Eucharist called “Returning to Grace”

Cardinal Tobin has written a Pastoral Letter on the Eucharist called “Returning to Grace”.

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

When church historians write about the Year of Our Lord 2020, I predict they will call particular attention to the “Great Eucharistic Fast.” COVID-19, the pandemic that has taken the lives of millions, obliged dioceses throughout the world to take the unprecedented action of closing our churches and effectively denying our people the opportunity to receive Christ’s Body and Blood in the Eucharist. Some scholars may point out that, as a result, Catholics in Europe and North America experienced what others have suffered for many years due to a shortage of priests or outright persecution, namely, the absence of the sacraments…

Please click link for a video and more information.


Cardinal Tobin: Why the Catholic Church opposes the Reproductive Freedom Act – March 16, 2021

The Catholic bishops of the state of New Jersey published a statement on October 5, 2021 that conveyed our “strongest possible opposition” to the proposed Reproductive Freedom Act. At that time, we urged all Catholics and all people of goodwill to reject this proposed legislative initiative in our state and to contact their state legislators to express vigorous opposition to its passage. I would like to outline in simple, straightforward terms why we take this strong stand.

For the complete article published in the Star Ledger, please visit NJ.com at https://www.nj.com/opinion/2021/03/cardinal-tobin-why-the-catholic-church-opposes-the-reproductive-freedom-act-opinion.html

Related:

Post on our website about the October 5, 2020 statement with links to local representatives to express your opinions.

https://www.stachurchbloomfield.com/web/nj-catholic-bishops-statement-on-reproductive-freedom-act-2020/


300 Club

The 300 Club Raffle drawing will be held Thursday May 20th. Only 300 tickets will be sold at $100 each. First prize is $10,500 or 35% of tickets sold, second prize is $3,000 or 10% of tickets sold and third prize is $1,500 or 5% of tickets sold.

Click here for the form. You will only need to print and fill out the first page.




Pope Francis Announces Holy Year of St. Joseph

One hundred and fifty years ago, Blessed Pope Pius IX declared St. Joseph as “Patron of the Universal Church.” To mark the 150th anniversary of this occasion, Pope Francis has proclaimed a Holy Year of St. Joseph from Dec. 8, 2020, to Dec. 8, 2021.

In the Pope’s proclamation of the Year of St. Joseph, Patris corde (“With a father’s heart”), he drew connections between St. Joseph and the humble people working throughout the pandemic. “People who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines, or on the latest television show, yet in these very days are surely shaping the decisive events of our history.”

The Holy Father notes, “how many fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday ways, how to accept and deal with a crisis by adjusting their routines, looking ahead and encouraging the practice of prayer. How many are praying, making sacrifices and interceding for the good of all.” St. Joseph was a man of sacrifice and prayer for the good of the Holy Family. Even today, he continues to inspire others to reach out to those in need, especially during this difficult time.

For more information on the Holy Year of St. Joseph, please visit: https://www.rcan.org/joseph

“St. Joseph, pray for us!”

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.





Baptismal Font Symbols

As we continue our Lenten journey to Easter, where we will renew our baptismal vows, let’s look at the symbols on the baptismal font at Saint Thomas the Apostle.

There are eight symbols on the font, four with a blue background and four with a red and gold background. The ones with red and gold backgrounds represent an aspect of the Trinity while the ones with blue represent part of our faith here on Earth.
The Star of David is on the Baptismal Font because Jesus is descended from King David (Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38) and was raised as a Jew. This symbol shows the importance of Judaism and the Old Testament to Christianity because Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.

Jesus is the Lamb of God.  Here the lamb is shown in a victorious state, winning the battle over death, sin and the devil.

Cockleshells symbolize the hospitality pilgrims enjoy as they spread God’s Word.  Cockleshells represent our baptismal call to spread the Good News.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is surrounded in thorns and ablaze with love.

The loaves and fishes is one of Jesus’ miracles. This miracle is recorded in each Gospel.

See Matthew 14:13-18 and 15:29-39, Mark 6:30-44 and 8:1-11, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:1-14

The dove represents the decent of the Holy Spirit at Jesus’ Baptism.

This symbol of an anchor represents the theological virtue of hope.  In Hebrews 6:19, hope is called the “Anchor of the Soul.”

The crown and the downward pointing hand represents God the Father.  Recall that at Jesus’ baptism God the Father speaks from the heavens “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Matthew 3:16, Luke 3:22, and Mark 1:11.


First Communion Retreat 2021 with The Potter

Click the Image or the link to view the video.



https://youtu.be/EifqhusJdv0


Children’s Liturgy of the Word Lenten Video

Click the Image or the link to view the video.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-4l2jWkY70

Kathy Monacelli from Children’s Liturgy of the Word has a little song and signing that she has traditionally taught the children during the Lenten Season. Prepare Ye from Godspell played by Patricio Molina.

Please share this with a child you love this Lenten Season.


Children’s Liturgy of the Word Easter Story Time

Click the Image or the link to view the video.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Mv_dOTZXiM

Kathy Monacelli from Children’s Liturgy of the Word Reading ‘Twas the Morning of Easter

Please share this with a child you love this Holy Week and Easter.


Easter Sunday

Alleluia! Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

Through our baptism we are baptized into the death and Resurrection of Christ. God continues to call us to go deeper into the Paschal Mystery, but especially at Easter and the Easter Season.

Through God’s power and our response to His grace we are created anew, his chosen people. Easter Sunday and throughout the Easter Season we have the opportunity to reflect on our lives in light of these great mysteries of faith. Through the liturgical life of the Church – the readings, prayers, rites, and devotions – we are more immersed into these realities to be a visible sign of Christ in the world.


Easter – 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.

Holy Week and Easter Word Search

Click the image to open the word search as a PDF.


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

Guidelines

  • 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.