September 13, 2015

KEYS TO THE KINGDOM – WEEK I

Our In – Parish Fall Retreat begins this week as we learn about and experience the Keys to the Kingdom in homilies, song, bulletins and website reflections. The keys joined to the heart in the illustration above represent the Keys to the Kingdom which are promised to St. Peter and to the community of the church when Jesus says, “I will give you the keys to the kingdom.” Matthew 16:19. The Keys to the Kingdom are many. Some Keys that we have explored in the past are: Scripture, Sacraments, Spirituality, Social and Service Ministry, and the experience of Truth, Beauty and Goodness.

Our current theme focuses on the ways that Prayer is the Key that turns in Faith, with Hope and for Love to set us free.
Prayer in Faith turns us away from anxiety and distress toward the freedom of trust in God’s Providence in all things.
Prayer with Hope turns us away from fear and frees us to experience courage and God’s enduring power at work in our lives.
Prayer for Love turns us toward peaceful relationships with God, self and others by freeing us from the need to judge and control others. Prayer for Love transforms us to live our Mission of Charity, which is Opus Christi, Christ’s Work.

Weekend Scripture Reflection

  • The Prophet Isaiah trusts that even in distressing circumstances God hears and is near, “See, the Lord God is my help. “
  • St. James challenges us to pray in faith and to be instruments of hope through loving works.
  • Jesus asks the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” In the midst of suffering, trials and crosses that are part of discipleship, Jesus desires to be the one who saves us and sets us free to experience trust in God, courage, love and inner peace.

Reflection Story – Floating Free

Few sights are as lovely as hot-air balloons floating colorfully in a deep, blue sky. Before gracefully lifting from the earth the balloons need to be set free. Sandbags and lines are released so that the balloons can ascend. We often wish to experience the type of freedom symbolized by a peaceful, gliding balloon. Yet anxiety, distress, fear, disharmony in our relationships with ourselves, others and God hold us down. We sometimes feel shackled and as we say, “all tied up in knots.“

God desires to set us free. Even when circumstances remain the same God’s mission is to free us. Prayer is the Key that God uses to free us. Prayer is the Key that releases our shackles and enables us to ascend through God’s grace. Prayer frees us to trust in God in Faith. Prayer frees us with Hope and courage and empowers us with God’s strength to endure. Prayer frees us to release others to God’s care through prayer for them. Prayer frees us to be transformed in love and for Love to do Christ’s work. Prayer is the key that sets us free.

Reflection Questions

What do I worry about? What stresses me? Talk to God in prayer about these things. How is God inviting you to trust?

Prayer Key

If you do not already have a colorful Blessed Prayer Key, you may take one as you leave Church along with a Blue Prayer Booklet. Attach the key to your own set of keys as a reminder that
“Prayer is the key that sets us free.”

Activity

Pray the Blue Prayer Booklet or read the prayer below while turning your Blessed Prayer Key.

Lord, I turn the key of prayer in Faith.
I am set free to trust in your Providence.
Lord, I turn the key of prayer with Hope.
I am set free from fear;
knowing that you desire to do for me
what I cannot do for myself.
Lord, I turn the key of prayer for Love.
I pray that you may bless others (name) and
transform me to set me free.

Journey with Us
Open Your Heart to God
Discover the Keys to the Kingdom

RCIA

  • Are you interested in exploring your spiritual life?
  • Do you want to discover the abundance of God’s love and peace?
  • Would you like to have greater motivation for service?
  • Do you want to know more about the Catholic Faith?
  • Did you ever think about becoming a Catholic?
  • Are you a Baptized Catholic and have never made your First Communion and/or Confirmation?
  • Are you baptized in another faith and have a desire to become Catholic?
  • Have you never been baptized in any faith but wonder?
Journey with Us!

Through the process of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or RCIA, we explore all these questions and discover the keys to the kingdom. RCIA is a restoration of the ancient practice of initiation into the Church. Through a process of discernment, spiritual development and ritualizing stages of conversion, you are guided to sacramental initiation. These Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist which are celebrated at the Easter Vigil open your hearts and empower you to lives of service, charity and justice as witnesses to our mission of OPUS CHRISTI, Christ’s Work. RCIA is not a program but a sacramental process. RCIA reflects a sacramental attitude that is at the heart of all Christian living: CONVERSION, turning your heart to God.

We invite you to be our companion on the journey and discover the keys to the kingdom. We gather on Monday evenings from 7:00-8:30 PM in the Russo Room. If you would like more information about RCIA, please call Donna Scancarella at 973-779-6200.

Bishop’s Annual Appeal-Serving Christ Among Us

By coming together as a faith community, our collective gifts to the Appeal serve tens of thousands of people through our Catholic Charities agencies, as well as assist our inner-city area schools, our retired priests at Nazareth Village and seminarian education. Please join your fellow parishioners by making a generous pledge to the 2015 Bishop’s Annual Appeal.

ST. PHILIP’S PARISH PICNIC
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2015
1:00-4:00 PM

JOIN US FOR FOOD, FUN, MUSIC & ACTIVITIES FOR ALL AGES!

  • OUTDOOR BIG TOP TENT & INDOOR AC SEATING
  • CASH KITCHEN, BEER, WINE, SODA & WATER
  • COMPLIMENTARY:
    – COFFEE, TEA & COOKIES
    – DJ AND DANCING
    – YOUTH MINISTRY ACTIVITIES, GAMES, RELAYS, ETC.
    – FIRE TRUCK
    – SPECIAL SHOW: UNIQUE CREATURES (3:30 PM GYM)
  • DONATION ACCEPTED:
    – BOUNCY HOUSE SLIDE & CASTLE
    – FACE PAINTING
    – PUMPKIN DECORATING

THE MAIN PARKING LOT WILL CLOSE AFTER THE 8:00 AM MASS. SHUTTLE BUSES WILL BE AVAILABLE FROM THE JOHN PAUL II SCHOOL PARKING LOT, BEGINNING AT 9:30 AM & ENDING AT 4:30 PM.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

Religious Education Registration

Religious Education classes Grade 1-6 begins this week at the 8:00 Mass with parents and children. A mandatory parent meeting will follow. Parents will visit the classrooms and children will be dismissed at that time.

Grade 7-10 Sept 19. Parents and students at 8:00AM Mass followed by mandatory meeting. Parents will visit classroom and students will be dismissed from there.

This year there are several ways to register your child for Religious Education:

  • You can go online at www.stphilip.org, complete the form and pay online.
  • You can register in person, by appointment only, by calling 973-779-1439 after 4:30 PM Monday-Thursday and pay in cash or check.
  • You can call the Religious Education office at the above number to request that the packet be mailed to you and return with payment.

Catechist substitutes are needed for Grades 1-8 and a catechist for Grade 9.

To read complete bulletin click here