September 20, 2015

KEYS TO THE KINGDOM – WEEK II

Our In – Parish Fall Retreat continues 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.

PRAYER IS THE KEY

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 Book of Wisdom records God’s Key promise to take care of all who turn to God in truth.
  • The Letter of St. James describes the Key of wisdom and the gifts discovered in prayer: purity, peace, gentleness, mercy, sincerity of heart, righteous actions that cultivate peace.
  • Jesus teaches that the Key move to discipleship is service. Prayer enables us to be open to the needs of others and gives us welcoming hearts for every individual. Greatness is measured by love.

Reflection: “Put Your Oxygen Mask On First”

Every airplane flight begins with the same safety instructions. The one directive that makes perfect sense but that does not feel right is, “Put on your oxygen mask first before you attempt to assist another passenger.”

Our, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” tradition of, “others first,” struggles with the idea of tending to yourself first. The key to understanding the wisdom in this practice is the truth that only when we are alert, healthy and composed are we best able to help others.

Making a healthy decision for ourselves first is not only wise on a plane but also in the spiritual dimension of our lives. Prayer is like putting on your oxygen mask first. Prayer is the key to survival for ourselves and helps us to turn to others and respond to their needs. Prayer turns our attention to God so that we can breathe deeply and calmly within God’s provident, eternal care.

Prayer fills us with wisdom so that we can experience God’s abundant gifts and awaken to our full potential. Prayer motivates us to share what we are given for the good of others.

Prayer empowers us to make the Key moves that are needed for service. Prayer turns us from reacting in fear and anger toward responding with trust, wisdom, compassion, sacrifice and, at times, heroic acts of selfless love.

Prayer is putting on your oxygen mask first.

Reflection Question

In what situations and/or relationships do I feel as if, I cannot even breathe? These situations and people are opportunities for you to see God’s power at work in your life. Talk to God in prayer about them and be honest.

Putting on Your Mask – Breathing as Prayer

When you see the warning lights of fear and anger turn red, stop and put on the oxygen mask of prayer first before doing or saying anything else.

How? Just breathe. Be aware that God is closer to you then you are to your next breath. Breathe out – fear, anxiety, frustration, resentment. Breathe in – God’s gifts of gentleness, mercy, light and peace. Take a few deep, prayerful breathes. In prayer, God can do for you what you cannot do for yourself. Prayer is the key that sets us free to act with wisdom and love. Put on your oxygen mask of prayer first. Breathe deeply of our God who is the very breath of life.

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

Journey with Us!

Through the process of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or RCIA, we explore explore 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.

Evangelization Minister

Evangelization is sharing the Good News of the Gospel through word and deed so that the Keys to the Kingdom might set all people free. Our parish has a rich history of evangelization in our variety of ministries and in our tradition of outreach and service. Donna Scancarella follows in this legacy of Spiritual, Social and Service Ministry as she officially embraces her role in the Parish as our Evangelization Minister. Donna’s gifts and talents will be used in all areas of ministry with a concentration in the R.C.I.A., Adult Faith Formation, social activities and theme programs.

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.

Bishop’s Annual Appeal-Serving Christ Among Us

As you consider your pledge to the 2015 Bishop’s Annual Appeal, it is important to know that the Partners in Faith Campaign conducted in 2013 and the Bishop’s Annual Appeal are different drives serving different needs. The Partners in Faith Campaign raised funds for ministries outside the Diocese’s general operating funds and include some endowments with an eye toward future needs. The Bishop’s Annual Appeal helps fund immediate, day-to-day operations of four ministries & programs: Catholic Charities, seminarian educations, priests’ retirement residence and our inner-city schools.

ST. PHILIP’S PREPARATORY SCHOOL

In Kindergarten, we are excited to start our unit on apples this month. We will be learning about different kinds of apples and how they grow. Also in September we will be meeting our 8th grade buddies that help us in church and other fun activities. We are also looking forward to October. We will be learning about community helpers.

To read complete bulletin click here