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 at


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

Alert of Gift Card Scams

Please be wary of any solicitation of funds, or other unusual requests, from Saint Thomas the Apostle Church unless you hear about it in a mass announcement or in the bulletin.  Electronic media is susceptible to being compromised and anyone can create an email address that looks legitimate.  If you receive an email or see a post on our website/social media that looks suspicious, please contact the parish center to ensure it is legitimate before responding. Know that the clergy and staff of our parish will never make a request such as this.

See also from the past:

Report Online and International Scams

Report fake websites, emails, malware, and other internet scams to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Some online scams start outside the United States. If you have been a victim of an international scam, report it through Your report helps international consumer protection offices spot trends and prevent scams.

Please beware of fraudulent emails or text messages claiming to be from a pastor
or a representative of the archdiocese asking you to purchase gift cards to help the poor or sick. Such fraudulent activity should be reported to the State of New Jersey Cyber Crimes Unit at (609) 584-5051, ext. 5664, or online at Please feel free to call the
parish or school office to validate the authenticity of any suspicious email claiming to be from our priests or staff.

COVID-19 Vaccine Info

COVID-19 Vaccine Info – Updated Jan 14, 2021:

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).  

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

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

“Appointments only can be made after the county receives the vaccines. Vaccinations will be given in two doses. Residents making reservations to receive the vaccination will receive two appointments. It is critical that residents attend both appointments. Residents will be asked to provide their medical insurance information and their insurance provider will be billed $16.94 for the first dose and $28.39 for the second dose. If a resident does not have insurance, the cost of the vaccine will be covered by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provide Relief Fund. There will be no out-of-pocket expenses charged to residents.”

Here’s what to expect, county officials say:

“Each vaccination site is set up in a similar fashion. Residents entering the site will first be pre-screened to verify they have an appointment. Those who do not have an appointment will not be allowed to receive the vaccine that day. Residents will then proceed to a registration table where they will be provided with their paperwork for their visit and receive a card to remind them about their second appointment. After being inoculated with the vaccine, residents will be required to wait 15 minutes while they are monitored for any side effects. Social distancing guidelines will be followed at every site and areas will be sanitized on a regular basis throughout the day.”


New Jersey is rolling out its vaccines in phases. An exact timeline hasn’t been made available. Vaccination is voluntary; nobody is required to get a shot.

Here’s how state officials originally described the eligibility list:

In Phase 1A, only frontline health care workers in close contact with the virus were cleared to get a vaccination. Certain vulnerable populations such as nursing home residents and prison inmates were also able to get a shot.

In the first part of Phase 1B, police and firefighters were cleared to get their shots. When the second part of Phase 1B kicks in, other essential employees such as teachers, food service workers and truckers, as well as people over 75-years-old, will be eligible to get a vaccination.

In Phase 1C, the list will expand to other essential employees who work in “overcrowded settings” such as colleges, adults 65 to 74, and people aged 16 to 64 with medical conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19.

In Phase 2 of the rollout, anyone in the general public will be able to get a vaccination.

However, New Jersey took a detour from its distribution plan on Jan. 13. Now the list includes seniors over 65 and people with medical conditions that put them at risk from the virus (a group that was originally in Phase 1C.) Read More: Gov. Murphy To Expand COVID Vaccine To NJ Seniors 65 And Older:

Eligible conditions people with medical conditions that put them at risk for COVID, over age 16 include:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD
  • Down syndrome
  • Heart conditions
  • Obesity
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Individuals who are pregnant
  • Those in an immunocompromised state and a weakened immune system because of issues such as an organ transplant

This posting has information that is subject to change by the County. So, to obtain current information, contact the above telephone number or County website for future updates on administration of the vaccine.


Moral Considerations Regarding the New Covid-19 Vaccines

Prayer for Protection in Time of Pandemic

Taken from

O Mary, you always brighten our path as a sign of salvation and of hope.

We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who, at the Cross, took part in Jesus’ pain while remaining steadfast in faith. O loving Mother, you know what we need, and we are confident you will provide for us as at Cana in Galilee. Intercede for us with your Son Jesus, the Divine Physician, for those who have fallen ill, for those who are vulnerable, and for those who have died. Intercede also for those charged with protecting the health and safety of others and for those who are tending to the sick and seeking a cure.

Help us. O Mother of Divine Love, to conform to the will of the Father and to do as we are told by Jesus, who took upon himself our sufferings and carried our sorrows, so as to lead us, through the Cross, to the glory of the Resurrection. Amen.

Under thy protection we seek refuge, O Holy Mother of God. In our needs, despise not our petitions, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.

Prayer in a Time of Pandemic

May we who are merely inconvenienced,
remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have no risk factors,
remember those most vulnerable.

May we who have the luxury of working from home,
remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.

May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close,
remember those who have no options.

May we who have to cancel our trips,
remember those who have no safe place to go.

May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market,
remember those who have no margin at all.

May we who settle in for a quarantine at home,
remember those who have no home.

As fear grips our country,
let us choose love.

During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.


— Author Unknown.

Holy Mary, Health of the Sick, pray for us.

St. Joseph, Hope of the Sick, pray for us.

St. Rocco, protector against epidemics, pray for us.

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.