September 2015 E-Newsletter

September 2015

In this issue:

  • Reflections on the Seasons by Deacon Brian Murphy
  • Welcome Weekend
  • Photos From the Beyond Cornerstone Service Ministry
  • Saint Matthew, Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel and Saint Francis Stained Glass Windows
  • Upcoming Events

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Reflection on the Seasons, by Deacon Brian Murphy

Brookdale Park, Bloomfield NJ, Fall 2015
Photo by Deacon Brian Murphy
Brookdale Park, Bloomfield NJ, Fall 2014

Greetings to my friends at St. Thomas!

As I write these words – the morning temperature is 84F. – and in a few hours, the temperature will be well into the 90’s. September days like these make it hard to believe that the summer season is almost gone. I would like to see the summer stay a bit longer, but God has other plans.

How wonderful are all the earth’s seasons. They bring us to a deeper awareness – an awareness of nature’s wondrous cycle of life and death. If we are open to it, we will notice the cycles of the seasons mirrored in our own lives, in our disappointments, our struggles, and our triumphs. More importantly, the cycles of the seasons mirror the dying and rising of Our Lord.

Soon we will be entering the colorful and transitional season of autumn – the season of turning leaves, cool mornings, cloudless skies, and nights that fade like a softly sung hymn. The season of apple picking, pumpkins, the smell of burning leaves and wood smoke – crows, cardinals, jays and hawks – the Feast of St. Francis, All Saints Day and All Souls – and of course, Trick or Treat. Author Lee Maynard says “I loved autumn, the one season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it.” I heartily agree!

“Autumn is really the best of the seasons; and I’m not sure that old age isn’t the best part of life. But of course, like autumn, it doesn’t last.” — C. S. Lewis

…….Click Here to Continue the Article…….

Saint Thomas the Apostle Church
60 Byrd Ave, Bloomfield, NJ 07003
Welcome Weekend
October 17, 18, 2015 

We will begin the Welcome weekend with a concelebrated mass at 5:00 pm on Saturday,  followed by a reception downstairs in the parish center where you can meet our priests including our new priests, Fr. Anton and Fr. John (in residence) and share refreshments with them, parishioners & neighbors. On Sunday there will be a similar Hospitality gathering after each Mass.Everyone is welcome to attend. Parishioners are encouraged to invite at least one family member or friend including those who have been away from the church or our parish for a while. The simple question … “Will you come to Mass with me this Saturday or Sunday”?
Father John Gordon
Fr. John was ordained in 1988 and currently serves as the Coordinator of the Office for Evangelization as Associate to the Vicar for Pastoral Life in our Newark Archdiocese. He is currently in residence at St Thomas. Previously he was parochial vicar for several local parishes including Sacred Heart in Bloomfield and Holy Family in Nutley. He also served as Chaplin of St. Joseph’s Regional High School in Montvale.
Father Antonio Sarento
Fr Anton , is the youngest of four children and was raised on a farm in the Philippines. It was in High School that he first became interested in the priesthood. After coming to the United States, he studied for the priesthood at Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall Univ. Fr. Anton served his diaconate at Holy Family Parish in Nutley and celebrated his first Mass in May.
Small Prayer Groups

  • Small groups that gather for prayer & reflection (Wed, Thurs, Fri)
  • Pray for people in need … fellowship after prayer meetings
  • Visit & feed the homebound, infirmed and elderly

Eucharistic Ministers

  • Distribute Communion at Mass
  • Bring Communion to the home-bound and infirm

  • A team of Nurses
  • Health education & consulting
  • Monthly blood pressure monitoring
  • Quarterly Glucose screening
  • Telephone ‘help desk’
  • Rides to the doctor & shopping
  • Annual blood drive

Rosary Society

  • Annual Communion Breakfast, Oct-3
  • Thanksgiving goods collection for the needy
  • Christmas giving tree (gifts for the needy)
  • May crowning of the Blessed Virgin
  • Scholarships based on service to the parish
  • First Communion outfits for children in need.
  • Bread & Wine fellowship on Holy Thursday
  • Annual Fish & Chip Dinner
  • Monthly Prayer (Rosary) & business meetings
Holy Name Society

  • Support for “Mary’s Meals” .. hungry families in poor countries
  • Attend Eucharistic Adoration (monthly)
  • Annual Irish Night
  • Man of the Year

Boy & Girl Scouting

  • Camping, hiking, fishing, marksmanship
  • Summer camps
  • Trips … Gettysburg, Niagara Falls, etc.

Home & School Society

  • Run fundraisers for the school
  • Coordinate and chaperone activities for parish school students
Religious Education

  • Faith based classes grades 1 to 8 … Taught by parish volunteers
  • Child & family preparation for Penance & First Communion
  • Altar server training & scheduling
Senior High School Youth Group

  • Meetings every Sunday night .. 7-9pm
  • Service Projects, Liturgy Involvement
  • Retreats and Field Trips
  • Coordinate Confirmation Training
  • Stations of the Cross Presentation
  • Praise, Worship and Serve the Lord
  • See Old Friends & Meet New Ones

September Club

  • Monday meetings
  • Trips, shows, entertainment, Informational speakers (health, etc.)
  • 45th Anniversary luncheon (Oct 26)
Prayer Shawls

  • Knit or crochet shawls and blankets those sick-infirmed
  • Baby blankets for newly christened babies
Men’s Scripture readings

  • Bi-weekly meetings Mondays
  • Reading & reflection on gospels
Parish School Sports

  • Grades 3 to 8 (many teams)
  • Volleyball, soccer, basketball, cheerleading, softball and track
  • Coaches teach the fundamentals
  • Compete in Grammar Instructional League

More than 40 Ministries & groups, all focused to make St. Thomas a special place to worship … Other groups include: Ushers, Lectors, Greeters, Adult Ed, Baptism, Pre-Cana, Bereavement, Finance, Blood Bank, ….Click here for a full list of our ministries

Beyond Cornerstone Service Ministry – Our July visit to St. Augustine’s day camp was a big success. A good time was had by all! Over fifty children enjoyed story time, arts and crafts, gift bags, snacks and supper We wish to thank each one of you who made this visit possible through donations, service or prayer.

See all the pictures at by clicking here.

St. Matthew – Feast Day September 21st
This Stained Glass Window is located in the Sanctuary.St. Matthew was an apostle and evangelist, a tax collector whom Jesus called to follow Him. As a tax collector, St. Matthew was a member of a hated and despised profession, known for unfairness and greed. By inviting St. Matthew to become an apostle, Jesus showed that God invites all people, even sinners and outcasts, to experience his healing friendship. St. Matthew eventually wrote down the stories and words of Jesus in Aramaic, the ancient language of Palestine. According to legend, St. Matthew spread the Good News in the East, where he was martyred in Ethiopia.

St. Michael the Archangel – Feast Day September 29th
This window is on the lower level in the Christ the King transept.

St. Michael’s name means “Who is like God?” He is the archangel who is the great prince, the guardian of God’s people. In the Book of Revelation, St. Michael is the protector of the Church and the angel who escorts the souls of the departed to heaven. St. Michael is usually depicted in art as an angel in soldier’s armor.

St. Gabriel the Archangel – Feast Day September 29th
This window is part of the Queen of the Universe window in the transept.

St. Gabriel is an Archangel and Messenger of God. One of the three angels mentioned by name in the Bible. Appeared to the prophet Daniel to explain the prophet’s visions relating to the Messiah. (Daniel 8:16-269:21) Appeared to Zachariah in the temple to announce the coming of Zachariah son, John the Baptist, and to strike Zachariah mute for his disbelief. (Luke 1:11-20) Appeared to Mary to let her know she’d been selected to bear the Savior. (Luke 1:25-38)

Saint Francis of Assisi – Feast Day October 4th
This window is part of the Christ the King window in the transept.

St. Francis Assisi if one of the most beloved Saints of all time. When he was young he was a wealthy soldier. Then he had a vision of Christ that radically changed his life. St. Francis was devoted to the poverty stricken and the care of the sick. He began religious orders of priests and brothers and with the help of St. Clare an order of nuns. St. Francis had a great love of earth and nature. He once said to a withering tree, “Sister tree, speak to me of God!” and the tree blossomed. Before he died St. Francis said, “Nothing comforts me so much to think of the life and passion of our Lord. Were I to live to the end of the world I would need no other book”.