Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2014

Dear Parish Family,

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis continually calls all the Christian Faithful to do all in their power to help the poor especially those who live on the periphery of the world. Through the efforts of Change-A-Life, a new ministry here at St. Aloysius Church, and those who partner with them, this small village on the periphery of the world community is being raised up.

On Thursday evening fourteen lay leaders of the parish met with Clare Polatschek (Parish Coordinator for the Change-A-Life Ministry) and Jean Semlar (President of Change-A-Life Uganda) for an information evening on Change-A-Life Uganda. Jean had just arrived home that morning at 1am and hand carried a letter from a 5th Grader who wrote on behalf of all her schoolmates to thank the parish for what we have done thus far. So I am dedicating the remainder of this page to Teopista Nakanemba’s letter to you, really a letter of love from the periphery of poverty!

Peace and Good – Fr. Bambrick

Dear Community and Church of St. Aloysius Jackson, N.J.

Before the water project was brought to our village, we used to buy water from the water-sellers, the water they sold was very expensive and used up a lot of our money. I myself was in boarding school and sometimes we used to not be able to bathe because of a lack of water for our community.

We mostly used unsafe water which led to a lot of suffering from many diseases like diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid and other sicknesses because the community lacked water which was safe to drink. We used to fetch our unsafe drinking water from contaminated wells and retention basins which were filled with garbage and waste products, especially run-off from the road next to the basins.

Before constructing a water project, people in the community had to fetch water from very far areas where the old person, young children and pregnant women could not afford to walk such long distances carrying cans to collect the water for the house. This was a real burden.

So when the Change-A-Life brought a water project to our area we were very anxious to see it! Now people are taking clean water and people have stopped suffering from diseases which have shortened their lives.

People are very happy to see the water project which will help them to run their homes, businesses and our schools. Our school no longer lacks clean water for preparing meals. Having clean water for meal preparation means students will be healthy and have energy to comprehend what our teachers are teaching us. So we, the students, are so very glad and happy to see the water project because you have solved a problem of water for our community.

The presence of water in the community, which has been brought by the Change-A-Life Uganda program, will at-tract many people in the area for safe water. Also on behalf of all students I thank your Church and community who participated in the provision of water for our community. I assure you that we are going to be well!

May God Bless You!

Yours Sincerely, on behalf of all the Change-A-Life Students,

Teopista Nakanemba

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They Were Naked, Yet They Felt No Shame

Warning: This blog is about sex. If you are offended by sex, please don’t read it. Actually, if you are offended by sex, maybe you should read it—you’re probably thinking about it wrong, and this might help.

In the beginning, when God created humanity, the first thing He said to them was, “Be adam and evefertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.” (Gen 1: 28) That pretty much means, “go have babies.” (which requires sex) One chapter later, we are told that, “The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame.” (Gen 2: 25) So, we learn in the first two chapters of the first book of the Bible that not only is God pro-sex, but that it is not even dirty and neither is the human body. On the contrary—they are each a holy gift.

When the enormous, five month pregnant statue of Mary was placed in our new church, we got some complaints. Some women were offended that Mary was pregnant because it was “dirty.” “How could we think of her being pregnant? That’s disgusting.” (they said) After recovering from my initial shock at the boarder line heresy, I was sad to think that these good women—mothers all—thought that pregnancy was dirty (even Mary’s which was sexless!). I wondered at what shame they were carrying around.

To be perfectly fair, I must say here that before I had children, this blog could never have come from my finger tips. The RCIA team can attest to the fact that when I had to do the lesson on marriage and human sexuality, I would become the brightest shade of red known to humanity, never dare to make eye contact and really prefer to hide under the table. The ability to acknowledge the things I’m typing today came to me only after I had no shame left—I lost it all in the delivery room with my first son. That changes you…

I chalk my past embarrassment up to the unfortunate point that we are taught to be ashamed of our sexuality and sex in general. A warped portrayal of sex is so prevalent in our culture that we (naturally) react with embarrassment and deal with it in deep and abiding discomfort. We pass this on to the smaller people around us because a detailed explanation is either too awkward, or not appropriate. Instead, we have the misfortune of having to fumblingly change the channel, turn their attention away from the billboard and say a clumsy something about averting their eyes. We don’t want kids to see it because we know it’s not right. And it’s everywhere.

As with all holy gifts, we are expected to treat them with the reverence and dignity that they deserve. Sex should be considered with particularly great weight because it was a sort of “prime directive.” It is a way that humanity expresses our being made in God’s “image and likeness” (Gen 1:26) in a truly powerful way because it is how we: 1) participate in creation 2) express love for one another on a deep and meaningful level and 3) become so closely united that we (as married people) become one body. It is the perfect gift of one’s whole self to another—it’s meant to be a private thing. Not for display. Not for sharing with someone who’s not your spouse. Not for something to gawk at or for anyone else to be lusting after. It’s a mutual, loving gift between two married individuals.

When the gift is twisted and misused—that’s when it becomes dirty. When we see it out of its proper context, being used instead of gifted, when it becomes a spectacle instead of a private, intimate sharing, when the dignity of the individual is removed and a objectified bunch of parts is put in its place, when it degrades instead of builds up—that’s when it is dirty. And not dirty because it’s a “guilty pleasure”—but dirty because it’s a mockery of what it ought to be.

Pornography has become so “normal” in our society, and yet it could not be less normal (in reality) if it tried. It’s so disoriented from what God intended sex to be—it’s deviant. It’s degrading. It’s objectifying. And it has a very unfortunate effect on normal human relationships. This article from The Guardian shows the result of tests which neurologists did on how consistent use of pornography changes a brain. This article from Huffington Post (somewhat graphic, so reader beware—but if you can deal with it, it makes excellent points) speaks of the “neutering effect of porn.” People who use pornography have expressed that they become more dissatisfied with their partners after interacting with it. They lose their sex drive, and become more interested in the virtual sex that they are experiencing than in having real sex with an actual human being. Pornography has the opposite effect of what good sex does.

So, if you’re married, you should have lots of good sex with your spouse. It builds up a marital relationship. It is good for you! Let it be the gift that God means it to be for you—let it be the uniting, creative, joyous thing that makes you a stronger, more loving couple. See each other deeply—be fulfilled in one another—be loved. Live in God’s image and likeness.

Jen Schlameuss-Perry

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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2014

Dear Parish Family,

Summer is half over already, hard to believe! Why does it seem that Summer is the fastest moving season of the year? I hope you’re enjoying all the wonderful weather we have been experiencing.

Summer is also a time to visit and receive guests. We said goodbye to Deacon Al Gamalo on Monday as he left for the week long Diocese of Trenton Seminarian Retreat which ended on Saturday July 26 and then he is off to visit his family in the Philippines. He returns to St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore the third week in Au-gust to complete his last semester and is scheduled to return to our parish in December.

Next Sunday Fr. Eric Mallam of the Archdiocese of Kaduna in Northern Nigeria will be visiting here for a month long vacation. I first met Fr. Eric when he was assigned to me while on a one year sabbatical from teaching at the Archdiocese Seminary some 6 years ago. He currently is a pastor of a parish in Northern Nigeria. He is a very affa-ble and happy man who will greet you asking, “Are you Happy in the Lord?” He will look for an enthusiastic reply! Please welcome Fr. Eric Mallam who is due to arrive Sunday Afternoon August 2.

Religious Education (CCD) Registration is ongoing and the process is both simple and convenient as it is completely online – please be sure to register your child by August 1. After August 1 all children will be placed in the home study program and a late fee will apply. Classes begin in September and the staff has to know the number of re-turning children to plan the number of classrooms, teachers and books to order. A program in excess of 1,700 students requires a great deal of planning so if you want to have your child in a classroom program register by August 1.

Summer Vacation Bible School begins this week with the Theme “Weird Animals”. What does that mean? Well we will have to wait for the kids to explain it to us. I was just getting up to speed on Instagram now I have to figure out what weird animals are!

I know one animal that is not weird and that is Fr. Fernando’s dog, “Dante”. He is growing big and once in a while is a little mischievous (like eating ugly pillows) but most of the time a darling dog. He does occasionally act a little weird though, such as when he climbs over me on the couch like a mountain goat or steals my reading glasses and puts them in front of the door to the garage! Does that count as a “weird animal”?

Have a Blessed Week.

Peace and Good – Fr. Bambrick

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CCD–Here We Go Again…

A few weeks ago a friend of mine shared an article written by a mom who is an atheist ccd comingabout her young son’s journey to atheism. Like many parents, she meant to leave him a blank slate so that, without her interference, he could come to his own conclusions about the existence of God and the necessity of religion in his own time. She spoke of how she wasn’t intentionally raising him atheist, and her realization that by raising him with no spiritual foundation, she actually was raising him to be an atheist.

The way we, in our homes, relate to God, faith and religion; whether intentional or not does, in fact, raise our children to be something. If we speak of God’s presence in our individual lives and in the life of our families, pray together, do charitable works together, make Mass part of our routine and celebrate holidays with their intended meaning, we are creating a culture of faith, belief and probably a lasting relationship with God and the Church that will be passed on to the generation beyond our own children. If we don’t, we are sending a different message, and imbuing our children with a different set of values.

Many of my friends, without a direct intention of doing so, are in fact, raising their children to resent Church. Many of my friends, believing themselves to be doing what is expected of them, and even believing themselves to be doing right by God and the Church, drag their kids, kicking and screaming to CCD every week. After a long day of school, sports, homework and then a rushed dinner, parents—aggravated and exhausted themselves—grumble to their kids to get a move on so they aren’t late for Religious Ed. And then…nothing else. The only experience of Church that these kids and their parents are having is the rush, annoyance and dissatisfaction of fighting for a spot in an overcrowded parking lot after a long day for something that neither parent nor child has any other material or emotional connection with. I know this is not everyone’s experience—but it is a very common experience.

Unintentionally, we are training our children to believe that religion is a requirement only for children (for who knows what reason) that will be escaped and finished with as soon as the child is Confirmed. An unintentional relationship with God breeds an unintentional lack of relationship with God in the next generation.

So, what can be done? Parents can take a look at why they are inflicting CCD on their families. They can ask themselves a few questions:
• Why am I sending my child to religious education?
• What do I hope that my child will gain from it?
• What do I want for my child in regards to a relationship with God and the Church?
• What do I believe about God and how I can respond to the relationship that God is inviting me to?
• If it is not of value to me, why do I persist in it?

We are so intentional in our parenting in so many ways. We try to establish healthy habits for our children by modeling for them, placing restrictions on and educating them. We take time and effort with things that are important to us and make sure that our kids understand them and have a foundation that they can grow on. Faith is no different. If it is of value to us, we have to make it an intentional part of our family experience—not just for the kids to make their Sacraments—but for all of us to live and be transformed by. We can only pass on what we ourselves have. Maybe this is the time to question what we believe, and if we find that we don’t have the answers or that there is something lacking, perhaps it’s the time to do something about it.

Begin with prayer. It’s easy to introduce prayer into the life of a family—it can be as simple as beginning with Grace before meals. Come to Mass as a family. When our families come together in worship with other families, we see that we belong to something much bigger than ourselves, we have our values strengthened and affirmed, we spend time together, and we spend time with our God. The parish offers discussion questions for families in the bulletin (and online) to encourage a deeper understanding of what we hear in the Scriptures. Taking these two steps will open the door for bringing God into your daily family life in a very natural way.

Teaching your kids at home is an alternative to the classroom model of CCD that can remove some of the stress, making time for faith discussions at home, parents can learn right along with their children by teaching the lessons (books are provided!) and there are a few sessions a year where families come to the parish together in community with activities and faith sharing. It is the role of the parent to be the primary educator of their children in faith. This is a great opportunity to claim that role and grow in faith yourselves. And, you’re not on your own—if there’s something you don’t know the answer to or don’t understand, the parish staff can help with that, too.

But, before you sign your kids up for Religious Ed (CCD) this year, ask yourselves some questions. Consider your intentions. Make the most life-giving decision that you can for your family.

Jen Schlameuss-Perry

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Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2014

A sign of what the community celebrates--clean, fresh, drinkable water.

A sign of what the community celebrates–clean, fresh, drinkable water.

Dear Parish Family,

Several months ago the parish took part in a project to help finish a water project for the village of Migyera. We celebrated the completion of the project at the 10:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday May 18. Though the construction was completed, there was an obstruction in the well that had to be cleared before the pumping of the water could take place.

This week brought the joyful news that clean potable water is now flowing into the village and there was a dedication and blessing of the project by the Bishop Paul Ssemogerere. I share with you Jean Semlar’s message below:

Yesterday (7/14) was a special day in the life of the students of St. Lawrence School, the patients and staff at St. Francis Health Center and the community of Migyera. Bishop Paul Ssemogerere from the Kasana Luweero Diocese in the presence of priests from the diocese, community members, the school band, local and district officials, Fr. Lawrence and our ChangeALife Uganda team, blessed our water project and pulled the lever to let the water flow. What great excitement and celebration – finally clean, safe water from the deep aquifer! The whole community celebrated with music, singing and traditional dances performed by St. Lawrence School students. Smiles and laughter filled the school yard as the children for the first time in their lives jumped up and down and played in water as it fell on their heads, wet their shirts and cooled them off in the hot afternoon sun. It was overwhelming for Dave and me as tears ran down our faces thinking of the many donors – especially the quarters from hundreds of NJ school children and the caring and generous donors who made this gift possible. It has been a long journey from when we started in 2009 – 5 years later, plentiful clean water in Migyera. On behalf of Fr. Lawrence Kimbowa, Dave and me and the ChangeALife team, please thank the parish community and the school children of St. Aloysius Parish for their support.

So thank you to all who provided material support and prayers to make the gift of water a reality! As they say in Africa, “Water is Life”.

The pictures are viewable on our Facebook Page.

Peace and Good – Fr. Bambrick

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Grace In Death

Have you ever been blessed with the opportunity to journey with someone who was dying?

"As long as I have the love of each of you, I can live my life in the hearts of all of you". Picture by my friend Meg Lebedz.

“As long as I have the love of each of you, I can live my life in the hearts of all of you”. Picture by my friend Meg Lebedz.

Do you know the peace, comfort and beauty of being with someone in their last moments; as they take their final breath? Many of us have, and wouldn’t trade it for the world. The process of dying at the hands of terminal illness can be one of the most difficult and graced periods in this life.

The author of the book of Wisdom says, “…God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.” (Wis 1:13) God never wanted death for us, but as with all evil, God never allows it to go unchallenged. When evil is present—even the (now) necessary evil of death—God is there, fully present; ministering to us and making sure that we can have a life-giving experience in the midst of our grief.

Anyone who has volunteered for Hospice, nurses and doctors who care for those in their last days, family and friends who have walked with their loved ones to the cusp of new life can all witness to the healing that comes with the process. We see the gathering of families, the reconciliation that can be effected, the letting go of past hurts and resentments, the prayers of the Church that ask God to bring them to Himself in mercy and compassion—to forget the bad that they did, and only remember the good; the grace present for the dying and their loved ones.

Often, when someone is close to death, they have trouble speaking, recognizing people or remembering things—but the second you start praying, they are right there with you. They can belt out an Our Father or a Hail Mary like they were in the prime of their youth. They become like children, relying on their Father, drawing close to Him and longing to be with Him. There is a sense that they are being prepared spiritually and emotionally for their final union with Him—and it is beautiful.

I have had the privilege to be with family members and some parishioners as they prepared to go home, and I have witnessed the healing and grace first-hand. Sometimes we are so (naturally) consumed with the discomfort and pain that our loved ones are experiencing that we want to do whatever we can to stop it. The stages of grief, letting go and physical pain for the one who is dying are a terrible challenge, but when the process is respected and allowed to take place, does result in unfathomable peace. We can’t know the fullness of what is taking place in their suffering, but we do know that it is never in vain. Jesus’ suffering assures us of this.

New Jersey assemblymembers are considering a bill that would make assisted suicide legal. As Catholics, our faith calls us to respect and protect the dignity of human life from natural conception to natural death—because life is a gift from God, because we believe that God heals us in every situation and never skimps, because we know what the process of dying has to offer everyone who is touched by it. Please take a moment to contact your assemblymembers and ask them to vote “No” on A2270, the Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act. Click HERE to make your voice heard.

Jen Schlameuss-Perry

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Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2014

Dear Parish Family,

The Change-A-Life ministry has hit the ground running with great enthusiasm. Their first initiative as a committee came after the third meeting when they proposed the parish donate the Stations of the Cross and Resurrected Christ from the old church to the parish in Africa. These fine quality sacred images were only gathering considera-ble dust as well as paint speckle through the years. I thought this was a marvelous idea and very much in keeping with our Holy Father Pope Francis directives to turn our attention to the poor.

No sooner had I endorsed this proposal when the team descended on the old Church to not only remove them but also clean, remove years of paint speckle and repair them. Some of the stations were damaged so each one was re-stored. Mark from the UPS store across County Line Road, next to Stop n Shop, volunteered to carefully pack each one for shipment. They were taken by the Change-A-Life Medical Team as luggage on their mission of mercy. When the team arrived in Kampala their luggage and the Stations ended up in England. Eventually the Stations made their way to the parish and have been mounted on the walls there to the great joy of the people who have been struggling for years to complete their Church. Photos are available online!

Here is the communication I received from St. Aloysius Parishioner, Jean Semler and her medical team:

“Fr. Lawrence and the parish priests, Fr. Paul and Fr. Aloysius are so grateful for the gift of the Stations of the Cross. You’ll see from the photos that the Church and altar are unfinished, however the walls, roof, window frames are in. Glass for the windows will be installed this week thanks to a recent fundraising effort from the Christian community. The Church has been at this stage for a number of years but step by step it will be finished. Now the Church has Stations of the Cross…a gift from St. Aloysius Church community and Fr. Bambrick. Thanks to every-one who helped along the way especially Bernie and Clare who did the “restoration”. If you see Mark, the owner of UPS store, please thank him for us.”

All is well in Uganda. The medical mission team is on their way back to the US as I write this. They performed physicals on 460 children – establishing a baseline and identifying tinea (ring worm), intestinal worms, malaria, one case of TB, poor vision etc. The Ob-Gyn MD performed physicals and cervical cancer screening on 90 women. She brought an ultra scan which identified fibroids and other irregularities. It was an amazing week. We visited homes of the families who are participating in our Gardens for Health program which teaches the mothers and grandmothers how to raise and cook a variety of food to prevent and treat malnutrition in the children.”

Now our two parishes are connected by the Way of the Cross, how very beautiful. May we always walk together with The Lord of Compassion sharing each others joys and burdens. This first project is a beautiful testament of our common faith, thanks so much to our newest ministry team for this wonderful idea and for making it a reality especially for our poor brothers and sisters in Africa! I feel so much joy in my heart to be part of a community of love and caring!

Peace and Good – Fr. Bambrick

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Donna Noble, A Most Important Chicken

The day our 5 chickens arrived, Donna Noble, a Rhode Island Red, emerged as the caregiver and protector of them all. Right out of the box it was clear that she was keepdonnaing an eye on the rest of them, and from that day on, always has. Until about a week ago. Donna has decided that she wants babies. She’s a natural nurturer—it makes perfect sense—except that we don’t have a rooster, and there is no possible way that she can have any babies in her current situation. She only leaves the nesting box if I remove her, and then as soon as I’m not looking, she’s right back in there. She’s actually sneaky about it! When I open the nesting box she shrieks at me like what I imagine a pterodactyl would sound like. She is neglecting care of her sisters, missing out on all the wonderful things a country yard in the summer has to offer, and even neglecting her own self-care. And she’s doing it for something that is just plain impossible. It’s almost heart-breaking to watch.

Now, I know that Donna is just a chicken. I know she can’t reason or make actual decisions—I know she doesn’t know where babies come from (and I’m not giving a chicken “the talk”)—she’s acting entirely on instinct, and I would even go so far as to say her own natural disposition. But, her inability to see the truth in front of her and to persist in her desire for what both cannot happen for her and what is not good for her certainly does speak to the human condition and the choices we make.

So often we, like poor Donna, have our heart so set on something so stubbornly, that we refuse to see reason regarding it not being good for us, or even taking us away from what is good for us or what we should be focusing on. Donna’s desire for chicks is very natural and wholesome—there is nothing wrong with that desire in and of itself (in a human, I’d call it a holy desire). But, since it can’t happen right now and it is preventing her from living, there is something very wrong with her hanging on to it. It is detrimental to herself and to her sisters. Now that she’s not in the mix, the other chickens are not behaving as well as they do with her monitoring them. Cartoon is picking on Butterscotch, and Butterscotch is picking on Martha Jones. Donna would usually be there to referee.

Sometimes it’s hard to know what God is calling us to do. Sometimes it’s hard to know why we would have a desire in our heart that we can’t answer (right now, at least). But, we are always told that we can know what is from God by its fruit. So, even when something is nagging at your heart, calling to you all the time, if it takes you from what is productive, compassionate of others and life-giving, you know it can’t be what God wants from you right now. What are we called to do in moments like that? We are called to pray for clarity, work for charity and pay special attention to the people and situations directly in front of us. Sometimes what seems like a harmless distraction is the evil one trying to keep us from doing something huge, or coming to a new understanding, or meeting someone who will change our lives, or making a decision that will change the world. Bring it to prayer and keep on keeping on. God always answers our prayers—they never go unheard or un-responded to. Clarity comes, but we must be faithful.

Jen Schlameuss-Perry

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Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2014

american-flag-and-fireworks-thumb-thumb-516x350Dear Parish Family,

Happy Fourth of July Weekend!

Many years ago I had a visitor from Africa who was very interested in the formation of our nation so I took him to Philadelphia to see where the United States began. We took the tour of Independence Hall where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed. The Park Service Ranger asked the crowd, “On what date was the Declaration of Independence signed”. The crowd roared “July 4, 1776” with the exception of one lone voice, mine. I shouted, “July 2, 1776” The Park Ranger was impressed but also a bit disappointed he did not fool everyone. It is a small piece of trivia; the Declaration was signed on July 2 but not publically read until July 4.

Another piece of trivia, did you know that President Adams (2nd President) and his rival President Jefferson (3rd President) who served together on the committee to write the Declaration died on July 4 only a few hours apart on the 50th Anniversary of the Founding of the Nation? Jefferson died first in Virginia and Adams died later in the day in Massachusetts famously saying, “Jefferson Survives”. Those were the pre-internet days so you have to excuse Adams for not knowing Jefferson was already dead!

Did you know that only one signer of the Declaration of independence was a Catholic? His name was Charles Carroll and his cousin was a Jesuit priest named Fr. John Carroll who would go on to be the first Catholic Bishop, later Archbishop, in the new nation. The first Diocese was Baltimore.

It is a disputed historical note that Maryland was named for the Blessed Virgin Mary by the first colonists. U.S. history books say it was named for Queen Mary, who by-the-way was a Catholic. The first colonists however named their first settlement “St. Mary’s City” and no one doubts the city was named for the Mother of God since Queen Mary was no saint!

Enjoy the festivities of our Freedom and remember to give thanks to God for having been born in the GREATEST Nation on Earth! Red, White and Blue, these colors don’t run!

Peace and Good – Fr. Bambrick

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Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles, 2014

Dear Parish Family,

Congratulations to Helen Demichik who is the winner of the Mega 50/50. The prize was $11,915.00. Thank you to all who purchased a ticket. Helen lives on Bates Road right behind the Parish. I am told Bates is a lucky Road, in the history of the Mega 50/50 four winners have come from Bates Road.

Last Sunday our Bishop, His Excellency David M. O’Connell, C.M., led us in a festive celebration of 50 years of faith in Jackson. Parishioners were greeted by a dozen attentive and excited little gators (children) from St. Aloysius School who welcomed and gave out programs. They also, on behalf of the whole parish, presented the Bishop with a basket of locally made bread and wine as it was also the feast of Corpus Christi.

The Mass began with a “procession of Ministries and Societies” representing more than 40 parish ministries lead by the Parish Trustees. Many of these 40+ are umbrella groups with numerous sub-groups under them. You can see these ministries represented by the banners on the railings on the left and right of the Altar.

I want to thank all those who made the day successful and beautiful especially our School Children, Mrs. Perry for the decorations, Jen Perry for the program, Sherri Kroesch for arranging the food, Olive Taylor for the banners, Pat Mulholland for coordinating and getting the bread and wine together, Sr. Eileen for getting the procession of min-istries together, our hospitality committee for the great reception, Gina Corrao and the music ministry for the out-standing splendidly festive music, the 50th Anniversary Committee for a year’s work, Joey Tun and Tom Ball for involving the youth group and young adults in serving at the reception. Many thanks to all the hands who made the day special!

His Excellency noted that our parish has one of the very best web presences in the Diocese and he revealed he reads our web, blog, Facebook, Instagram and twitter feeds. In fact, he sent a “selfie” of himself wearing the anni-versary T-shirt we gave him and we posted it moments later on Facebook and Instagram.

This Sunday is the Solemnity of SS. Peter and Paul which this year falls on a Sunday. It is a Solemnity that marks our unity as Catholics, these two great Apostles of the Lord Jesus. One, St. Peter, who preached to the Jews and one, St. Paul, who preached to the gentiles both lived the command of the Lord to baptize to the ends of the earth. Each received the Martyrs Palm in the City of Rome after giving their final and greatest witness by the shedding of their blood; Peter by upside down Crucifixion and Paul by beheading.

Peace and Good – Fr. Bambrick

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