March 29, 2015

Companions on the Journey

OUR PARISH LENTEN RETREAT- HOLY WEEK

Throughout the season of Lent and culminating in our Easter celebration we offer a Parish Retreat titled, Companions on the Journey. You are invited to join us as we experience the Lord and the love of each other more fully. The Retreat will unfold in the weekend homilies, liturgical music, bulletin reflections/stphilip.org, and workshop.

Our Lenten church banner pictured above displays symbols of the various themes of our parish Lenten retreat.

Our Journey begins with God who creates us, accompanies us through life, death and resurrection until we return to God in glory. Our journey is from, “glory to glory.”(2Cor.3:18) Along the way we are transformed into the image and likeness of Christ. God holds our hand on the journey and we are invited to hold the hands of our brothers and sisters on every step.

We are Companions on the Journey with God and with each other. The Two Figures shown form a Heart Shape as they companion one another in a bond of divine and human love. The word companion has its origins in two Latin roots; com-with and panis-bread. We “break bread” and share meals with the ones we love.

The Host and Chalice remind us of the precious Sacrament of the Eucharist where we share intimate communion with the Lord, our Bread of Life, and with each other.

The Cross in the center of the Host is the sign of our belief in the love of our God, Father, and Holy Spirit.
The Vertical line of the Cross calls to mind that everything, everyone and even we ourselves come From God as free gifts and grace.
The Horizontal line of the cross suggests the purpose for our lives which is to share our gifts For Others.

Our Prayer of Grace for Lent – Using Our Hands

Giving thanks before meals is a holy practice which keeps us mindful that all that we have is a gift From God.
Making a Sign of the Cross as a simple blessing or grace before a meal is a way to reflect our Mission to share our gifts For Others.
During this Lent, you are invited to give thanks with a prayer of grace before each meal.

Trace the sign of the cross, saying or thinking:

Grace means gift; we acknowledge all that comes From God and remember to share what we have and are For Others.

Holy Week

Companions from Garden to Garden

Fr. Jared recently shared his insight that the heart of the Easter story is a journey from garden to garden with Jesus. We are companions along with Christ as he prays in the Garden of Gethsemane, offers his suffering passion and death for our ultimate glory and is glorified in the Garden of Resurrection.

During holy week we remember that God is our companion. The Risen Christ walks with us, holding our hand along each step, as we follow the pattern of his own life, suffering, death and with hope in the gift of eternal life. We celebrate our journey from God’s glory to God’s glory. We believe in the love of our God that strengthens us to do Christ’s work on earth. At each Eucharist we break bread and share Christ’s life as companions on the journey.

As we listened to the story of Jesus during the Holy Week liturgies we hear of the companions who accompanied him. We are called to reflect on the way that we can companion Christ today in our love and service to one another. Jesus said, “Whatever you do for the least of my brothers or sisters you do it for me.”

We can identify with and learn from the companions of Christ in the Paschal story. You are invited to reflect on your walk with Christ today as a companion on the journey with others.

Reflection

Pontius Pilate: Like him we are fearful of other people’s opinions and blinded by self- concern.
In what areas am I being challenged to rely on God’s courage to do the right thing?

Jesus Accepts his Cross: We deny and avoid suffering, refusing to accept our crosses.
What responsibility am I being called to bear for the good of others?

Jesus Falls: We fall willingly into sin, missing our full potential to become all that God desires for us.
How am I being invited to reach for God’s hands and walk in the light of forgiveness, reconciliation and healing?

Jesus Meets his Mother:  Seeing a loved one suffer is painful. We are not helpless; we can always be a prayer companion.
Who is in need of my prayer? What action can I take?

Simon and Veronica Help Jesus: Simon uses his strength and Veronica uses a tender gesture to be loving companions.
What gifts and talents can I give as I walk with others?

Mary and John Stand at the Foot of the Cross: Faithful family and friends sustain us in life.
I remember in thankful prayer those who stood and stand with me in joy and in sorrow.

Mary Magdalene in the Garden of Wonder and Glory: Our Risen Lord appeared to his loving friend Mary, calling her by name. Christ stands by us now, holding our hands and calling our names. God is a God of wonder and surprise.
How is God with me in this moment? Where do I find God’s wonder and glory? What might I do to experience God more fully as my loving companion in hope during this Holy Week?

Be a companion to Christ and One Another
Join Us for our Holy Week Liturgies

RETREAT HYMN REFRAIN
We are companions on the journey,
breaking bread and sharing life;
and in the love we bear is the hope we share
for we believe in the love of our God,
we believe in the love of our God.

Holy Week Prayer

  • Grace before each meal with a sign of the Cross. (See Companion Prayer above.)

HOLY WEEK – EASTER SCHEDULE

  • PALM SUNDAY MARCH 29: Passion of the Lord
    Saturday 5:30 PM
    Sunday 8:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 12 NOON
  • HOLY THURSDAY, APRIL 2
    Mass of the Lord’s Supper 7:30 PM
    Eucharistic Adoration (Marian Hall) 9:00 PM – Midnight
  • GOOD FRIDAY, APRIL 3
    Blood Drive (Gym) 7:30 AM – 1:30 PM
    Celebration of the Lord’s Passion
    (Holy Communion/Veneration of the Cross) 3:00 PM
  • HOLY SATURDAY, April 4
    Blessing of the Easter Food: 1:00 PM
    Easter Vigil 8:00 PM
  • EASTER SUNDAY, April 5
    Celebration of Eucharist
    8:00 AM 10:00 AM 12:00 PM

ST. PHILIP ANNUAL GOOD FRIDAY BLOOD DRIVE

When: Good Friday, April 3, 2015
Where: School Gym
Time: 7:30 AM to 1:30 PM
If you have any questions, please call Doreen Germain at 973-819-4610.

LENTEN BIBLE STUDY

The Lenten Bible Study series will end on Monday, March 30th with a session at 11 AM only!

SPRING ROYALE

THANK YOU TO DONORS, SUPPORTERS AND PARTICIPANTS OF THE SPRING ROYALE. A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL. INITIAL REPORTS INDICATE THAT IT WAS A SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISER. CHECK OUT OUR WEB-SITE FOR PHOTOS OF THE EVENT.

MESSAGE FROM FR. KEVIN

Fr Kevin is most grateful for your very kind wishes and sentiments on the occasion of the most successful Spring Royale.

It is much appreciated and you will be remembered in his prayers.

To read complete bulletin click here