May 7, 2017

EASTER TIME
We Remember, We Celebrate, We Believe

EASTER TIME

EASTER PRAYER

THE SIGN OF THE EASTER CROSS

Make the sign of the cross. As you do, know that this desire to pray is God’s gift. You are praying.
• Touch your forehead…
Remember God’s blessings in your life. Say, “Thank You” which is the perfect prayer.
• Touch your heart…
Celebrate God’s presence in you. Smile.
• Touch your left and right shoulders…
Believe that you were created to receive and give love.

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The Risen Christ commissioned the disciples and therefore us, to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News! Part of the Good News of Jesus Christ is the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us and among us. We are given all that we need to live our mission to love and to work for justice and the flourishing of all people.
As we journey through the Easter Season to Pentecost the same Holy Spirit that propelled the disciples to live their mission of Opus Christi, Christ’s Work animates us.
Through Baptism and Confirmation we are empowered with spiritual gifts. During this Easter Season we will explore thematically the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and experience them at work in our lives in new ways.

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Fear of the Lord (“WOW!” Awe, Wonder, Amazement) is awakening to God’s blessings freely given: in the beauty of creation, the truth of compassion deep within us, the goodness of loving relationships – recognizing that “All is Gift.”

Piety (Reverence) is living gratefully in a graced world with a profound respect for all life and a passion to be faithful stewards of God’s bountiful gifts.

Fortitude (Courage) enables us to dream of what is possible with Christ’s love. Fortitude emboldens us to take responsibility for that vision and to creatively make it a reality.

Right Counsel helps us to sift and sort in prayer what cannot be changed and needs to be accepted and what can be changed and needs to be accomplished.

Knowledge focuses our priorities and shifts our perspective to think, feel and act with faith, hope and love.

Understanding is seeing, feeling and listening with the “ear of our heart.” Understanding and compassion are God’s heart.

Wisdom enables us to discern and relish God’s presence in all things, to trust in Providence and to therefore live with compassion on the journey.

REFLECTION ON “WOW!” AND AWE
FINDING GOD IN THE GARDEN

Daffodils in the front garden of our new house became an annual reminder of God’s presence in every season.
We moved into our first house in the suburbs in November, shortly before Thanksgiving. The house was about 50 years old. To say that the previous owners liked to grow things would be a statement of the obvious; trimming and clearing the yard and garden would occupy many of our weekends during the coming spring.

AN ABUNDANCE OF NATURAL GIFTS
“We began clearing the property as the children played. In the backyard stood two tall pine trees that framed a hollowed-out area in the ground. Our kids and their friends soon transformed the area into a natural playhouse with a pine needle floor. A bed of ivy covered most of the yard, and much was eventually cleared for a swing set and picnic table.
Working on the front yard, we felt like the prince in the tale of Sleeping Beauty who had to cut down the overgrown briars to make his way into the castle to rescue the princess. Two large evergreen bushes stood guard on either side of the entrance to the front porch. The bushes had to go because they destroyed any chance of the sun’s warming our living room. We replaced them with smaller bushes that were less overwhelming and that allowed the sun to blanket the front of the house.
About a week before Easter, we were surprised when shoots pushed their way through the soil in the front garden. Before long, these shoots turned into flowers with sunny faces and delicate dresses. A bit of song from Mary Poppins came to mind whenever we walked up the front path: The daffodils are smiling at the doves. We had planted azalea bushes and some sturdy green shrubs; our city upbringings did not include education in the care and tending of bulbs.
One day a neighbor walked across the street and commented on how much better the place looked with the overgrowth cleared away. She also told us about the daffodils. The son of the previous owners had planted these bulbs on a cold pre-spring day several years ago while his mother was at work. He didn’t tell her about them; instead, he let the daffodils’ appearance surprise his mother when spring came. Every year the flowers came back, a reminder of this act of love and generosity.

GOD’S LOVE REVEALED IN NATURE
Saint Ignatius of Loyola taught us that all things of this world—from creation to ourselves, to the things we make and do—are gifts from God and can be our means of recognizing and drawing closer to God. We leave a legacy of some kind with everyone we meet, whether we want to or not. Every time I see daffodils, I am reminded of this act of love and generosity from a son to his mother, a small but beautiful reminder of the countless acts of love and generosity given by our Father to each of his children. “
By Julianne B. McCullagh; Director of Family Life Ministry at St. Philip the Apostle Church in Lewisville, Texas.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS AND ACTIVITY

1. What is the most beautiful place that you have ever seen? What does this say to you about God our creator? Talk to God about your thoughts and feelings.
2. In the musical Le Miserables one of the song lyrics reads, “To love another person is to see the face of God.” Picture the faces of those you love who are here and those who now live with the Lord. One by one express your love for them and thankfulness to God for the gift of each one of them.
3. Choose one act of service for another person to express your gratitude to God. Do it.

CELEBRATING PENTECOST 2017: JUNE 4TH

Multi-language Liturgy
Acts of the Apostles (2:4) reports that on the feast of Pentecost all were “filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” The multiple languages at Pentecost demonstrate God’s desire to be in relation with all people. God speaks to each heart in a unique way. Our celebration of Pentecost will be a multi-language liturgy serving as a symbol of God’s ongoing action to renew the face of the earth.

Volunteers are being sought to proclaim the Scripture readings and general intercessions in their native language. Please contact Donna Scancarella at 973-779-6200 or dscancarella@stphilip.org for more information and to volunteer.

Festive Clothing
On the first Pentecost the Spirit hovered over the disciples like tongues of fire. The manifestation of God’s power symbolizes the fire of love that compels the followers of Jesus through spirituality, service and social ministry. Therefore, parishioners are invited to wear flame colors of red, yellow or orange. Our multi-colored glow will be a communal affirmation of our commitment to rekindle the fire of God’s love and to live our mission working for peace and justice with zeal.

Flag Bearers Needed
Our Pentecost Eucharist procession is led by our flag bearers. We are in need of six volunteers for each Mass on Pentecost weekend as carriers. The flags are more cumbersome than heavy; however moderate upper body strength is a requirement. A sign-up sheet for each Mass time can be found in the Sacristy.

MAY CROWNING?

On Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 14th, following the 8 AM Mass, the outside Statue of Mary will be crowned. Please join us along with the first communion children and Rosary Society as we pray a decade of the Rosary and sing a Marian hymn.

RCIA

The Road to Emmaus
All are invited to join the RCIA as Father Julio guides us on a journey to the “Road to Emmaus” on Monday, May 8th from 7-9 PM in the RUSSO ROOM.
This retreat is open to the entire parish.

ST. PHILIP PREPARATORY SCHOOL

May is a very busy month at SP Prep! We would like to congratulate all of the students who have made or are about to make their First Holy Communion!
Throughout the school, the students are working hard to prepare for our annual Multicultural Day. Each grade is researching a different country and on the “travel day” students will circulate from room to room learning about the various countries. May 12th is the luncheon where children are able to sample foods from all over the world as well as enjoy cultural dance displays performed by each grade level. It is an action-packed two days that all of the students enjoy!
May 18th is another exciting day for our fifth grade students. They will be enjoying a trip to Sterling Mine where they will get to go on a 1,300 ft. underground walking tour of this once very active zinc and iron mine. They will also visit the Rock Discovery Center where they will learn about the different types of rocks that are quarried in our region as well as collecting a specimen of each rock to take home with them.

MINISTRIES AND ORGANIZATIONS

COLUMBIETTES
Columbiettes Food Drive at Stop & Shop
Broad Street, Clifton
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Please drop off your items between 10AM – 2PM
BLANKET MINISTRY
Next meeting is Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 9:45 AM in the Molloy Center. Last meeting until September. For questions or donations of fabric/yarn, call Cathie at 973-471-1265.

ROSARY SOCIETY

IMPORTANT CHANGE! Monday, May 8, 2017 is the date for the next regular meeting of the Rosary Society. We will begin with the Rosary at 6:30 PM in Marian Hall. This will be our Induction Meeting, May Crowning, pizza party and annual group picture! Don’t miss it!

BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT & MINISTRY

“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.”
The Monday Night Widow/Widowers Group:
A social group for widows and widowers. Next meeting: May 8th in the Left Conference Room and May 22nd at 6:30 PM in Cerullo Hall.
Spouse Bereavement Group:
A support group for people grieving the death of their
spouse. Next meeting: TUESDAY, May 9th and 23rd at 7:00 PM
in the RUSSO ROOM. For information contact Dr. Rachel
Rengifo at 201-248-4335.

PRIME TIMERS

The monthly Atlantic City trips to Resorts Casino will be May 11, June 8, July 13 and Aug. 10. The cost is $27 p.p. per trip and the bus leaves at 9:30 AM. Contact Sylvia at 973-742-9286 for tickets.

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