May 2017 E-Newsletter

In this issue:

  • Caring for Our Common Home
  • Pictures (First Communion, May Crowning, MESH network, Saint Thomas the Apostle School, Holy Name Society Man of the Year Mass, Cardinal Tobin Deanery Mass)
  • Easter Season
  • Solemnity of the Ascension
  • Solemnity of Pentecost
  • Solemnity of the Trinity
  • Feast of Saint Anthony
  • Upcoming Events

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Care for Our Common Home

Six people gathered for a follow-up meeting on May 4, 2017 to explore what next steps could be taken in response to Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si – “Care for our common home.” The original meeting was an Evening of Reflection on the encyclical and was presented by Sr. Mary Elizabeth Clark,SSJ on March 22, 2017. A summary of that presentation was in our April 2017 E-Newsletter and can be viewed by clicking this link..

Pope Francis tells us in his encyclical that climate change is happening and the situation has become dire. The need for the world to change its habits is urgent and awareness and education about the issue is a good place for us to begin.

The group discussed many possibilities for prayer and further education opportunities regarding what the Pope calls “integral ecology”, that is everything is interconnected in the web of life, especially the poor and disenfranchised.

The group will further look into what is happening in the surrounding communities and congregations to share whatever knowledge becomes available with the parish at large through the E-Newsletter, bulletin and future programs.

As an initial step for education on “Caring for our Common Home”, the following page as been added to our website –

Our next meeting is Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 7pm in the Parish Center if you are interested in attending and participating with this group.

Some first good steps that everyone can do is learning what, where and how to recycle. These days almost everything can be recycled and most townships offer those services. It helps your town with income and helps the environment with less trash! In addition to your regular pickups, electronics, clothing, motor oil, appliances can all be recycled through your municipal recycle center or Department of Public Works.

Bloomfield – 9am – 1pm Mon – Sat 973-680-4127
Map:230 Grove Street

Clifton – Recycling 7am – 7pm Monday – Saturday 973-470-2237
Map:1 Recycle Drive

Montclair – Deptartment of Community Services 973-509-5711
Map:219 North Fullerton Avenue
Montclair Recycling

Nutley – Recycling 8am – 4pm Monday – Friday 973-284-4984

Glen Ridge – Recycling


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First Communion Pictures



If you would like to share a picture of your child from First Communion this year, please send the photo(s) to

Parish May Crowning at the 9:00AM Mass on May 7, 2017
Young Catholics process in and present Mary with blue flowers prior to the May Crowning.
Gerri Michalek, a religious education teacher for the past 25 years, crowns Mary before the start of mass.


Saint Thomas Parishioners Denise, Carol, Barbara, Etta & Sylvia help to prepare and serve meals for MESH (Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless).
For more information about MESH, the work they do and how you can help, please visit

Saint Thomas the Apostle School Picture (Courtesy of








Holy Name Society Man of the Year Mass
Father Anton offered a prayer of Thanksgiving for the gift of Ron Burgers, the 2017 Holy Name Society Man of the Year, and his service to the People of God at Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish.The Holy Name Society was founded at the Council of Lyons 1274. Father quoted a scripture verse found on the Holy Name Society’s website – “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17).

Tying in the Gospel for May 15, 2017, Father Anton said that we should call upon the aid of the Holy Spirit who teaches us everything and reminds us of everything that Jesus told the Apostle. The Holy Spirit transforms everything it touches and it is all the more transformative within us when our faith is transparent and sacrificial. In closing Father encouraged us to be always open and submissive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit so all our works would be done in the name of Jesus.

After the closing prayer, all those in attendance offered a round of applause in Thanksgiving to Ron for his service to the parish.

More pictures are on our website at



Cardinal Tobin Deanery Mass – May 16, 2017
Look for the June issue for more pictures and a description of the event.


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.

Ascension Thursday – May 25th
40 Days after Easter. This year it is celebrated on Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Holy Day of Obligation

Masses 7:30am, 11:30am & 7:30pm

Readings for the Solemnity of the Ascension

Solemnity of Pentecost – Sunday June 4, 2017

For the Jewish people, Pentecost was a feast of thanksgiving that marked the conclusion of the grain harvest; it was also a time to commemorate the giving of the law at Sinai. It was celebrated 50 days after Passover. For the first Christian believers, gathered to celebrate this feast in Jerusalem, the giving of the Holy Spirit reinvented Pentecost. It marked a new beginning: God would be present among his people not in words carved in stone, but in a whole new way, living in their hearts, and speaking through them. Just as the old feast was a time to celebrate the abundance of God’s gifts by giving back to God the first fruits of the fields, so the new Pentecost celebrates the incredible abundance of God’s giving, the many gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Pentecost is “the joyful conclusion of the Easter season” (Proclamation of the Dates of Easter on Epiphany). It ranks with Christmas, Epiphany, and the Ascension (see General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar,59). It is a day to pull out all the stops, a day for incense, processions, banners, for creative expression of the truth we celebrate: the gift of the Holy Spirit has been given to us. Jesus is here!

Pentecost is 50 Days after Easter and is known as the birthday of the Church. This year it is on June 4, 2017.Click Here to read about Pentecost in the Bible (Acts 2)

The stained glass window is from St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Bloomfield, NJ.

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity – Sunday June 11, 2017

The solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity is ancient. The origins of the solemnity can be traced to the seventh century. It has been on the Church’s universal calendar for nearly seven hundred years. “The central mystery of Christian faith and life” is the mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity (CCC, 234 – Click Here to read more). This solemnity offers us time to meditate upon this defining mystery of our faith.

This is also the first of the three doctrinal feasts celebrated after Pentecost, which commemorate not a person but a theological tenet, doctrine, or devotion. Today’s solemnity celebrates the doctrine of the Triune God, one God in three divine persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

In the fourth century, the Church underwent a serious crisis when Arius, a priest of Alexandria, denied the divinity of Christ, and as a consequence, faith in the Trinity and the equality of the three divine Persons. The heresy, called Arianism, was condemned by the councils of Nicaea (325) and Constantinople (381). The result was the formulation of the Creed that we recite at Mass today.

In celebration of the Eucharist, notice how frequently we articulate our belief in the Trinity: with the sign of the Cross, the Doxology at the end of the presidential prayers, the Gloria, the Profession of Faith, and the Eucharistic Prayer culminating in the Great Doxology above, and finally with the Solemn Blessing at the end of Mass.

This year it is on June 11, 2017.
The stained glass window is from St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Bloomfield, NJ.

Saint Anthony of Padua, Missionary & Doctor – Feast Day June 13th

St. Anthony began as a missionary to Muslims but poor health resigned him to monastery work where he realized his great gift of preaching and biblical knowledge. Through his eloquent words many notorious sinners, heretics and careless people were brought to conversion. He was given the title, “Doctor of the Church” in 1946 by Pope Pius XII because of his orthodox preaching and teaching. He died of frail health when he was only thirty-six. Although pictured with lily and Child Jesus, Anthony was known as the “Hammer of Heretics” for his fearless and strong opposition to oppression, clerical abuses and the laity’s half-hearted dedication to their faith.

Prayer to Saint Anthony

O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and Charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me (request). O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen.

The stained glass window is from St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Bloomfield, NJ.