December 06, 2015

Parish Advent Program

Wrap your Gifts in Prayer

Unwrap the gift of God in Prayer. In the midst of Advent and Christmas busyness, we offer you a way to pray and to discover our God who is with us. Each season the preparation for gift giving can be a source of stress. This year can be different. Our Christmas practice of gift giving is intended to be a visible symbol of love and Christian service in action. Why not use our gift giving as a form of prayer? Wrapping your gift in prayer can add a spiritual dimension to an ordinary task.

Wrap Your Gift in Prayer

As you choose your gift, ask for God’s guidance and bring a prayerful awareness to the exchange. When you actually wrap your gift, whether in wrapping paper or in a gift bag, pray for the recipient. Ask God to fill them with light, love and the peace of Christmas. Cards and electronic greetings may also be wrapped in prayer.

Prayer Method Choices
  • Imaginevisualize the person for whom you pray. Picture the Lord blessing them.
  • Speak pray out loud, “Lord surround (name) with your light; fill him/her with your peace.”
  • Sing – a Christmas carol.
  • Gesture dedicate the use of your hand motions in wrapping as your prayer.
  • Hear – simply repeat the person’s name knowing that the Lord hears our every word.
  • Recite – a pre-written prayer, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Rosary …
  • Act – reach out to someone in need of the gift of your care.

For difficult relationships pray: Lord bless (name) and transform me to set me free.

Sharing your Prayer with a Gift Tag

After wrapping your gift in prayer attach a gift tag that will be provided for you.

Witnessing to your prayer by means of a Gift Tag is like giving an additional gift because it may lead the receiver to become more aware of God’s presence in her or his own life.

This weekend Gift Prayer Tags will be available at the doors of the church. Attach the Gift Prayer Tag to a gift, group of gifts or gift bag. You may also wish to duplicate the gift tag sheets on your own computer by visiting our website

Advent Hymn

Emmanuel is a Hebrew word that means: God is With Us.

Our Advent practice of wrapping our gifts in prayer may lead us into a deeper experience of how very near the Lord is to us in every moment.

A new verse has been composed for the Hymn, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel and will be sung as part of the processional at the Eucharist during the Advent season.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,
Deep within, as gift, your Spirit dwells.
With Advent’s dawning light, draw us near.
Teach us to love as peacemakers here.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
May This Our Gift Of Prayer, Your Glory Tell.

You are invited to use these words and familiar tune as part of your prayer and reflection.

Reflection Questions and Prayerful Activity

Carefully read each line of the Hymn Text.
1. How do these words apply to your life?
2. How is God with you in this Advent moment?
3. What can you do to become a peacemaker, at home,at work, in the world?

Welcome Fr. Julio  –  Our Early Christmas Gift

Like an early Christmas gift we welcome Fr. Julio Barrios as our newest Parochial Vicar to St. Philip the Apostle Parish community. Fr. Julio Alberto Barrios was born in Havana, Cuba in 1985. He is the middle child of three, and the only boy. Father Julio’s parents and grandparents taught him good moral values and respect for others even in the midst of all the struggles they endured when living under a Dictatorship. The family immigrated to the United State in 2000 and settled in Miami.

Moving to the Diocese of Paterson in the year 2008, Fr. Julio began his path to the priesthood enjoying various assignments during his formation. He graduated from Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall with a Master’s Degree in Divinity and another in Systematic Theology. Fr. Julio has been ordained for two years.

Fr. Julio is extraverted, warm and enthusiastic about ministry. He desires to serve and to help others achieve their full potential in life. Reading, the Arts, theater, movies and spending time with friends and family bring him joy.

Fr. Julio’s creed echoes Saint Paul’s words to the Romans: “I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither heights nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” Rm 8:38-39.

Wrap Fr. Julio in your prayer as we celebrate the advent of his ministry among us.

Prayer & Service – The Giving Tree

Our annual Giving Tree is the perfect way to Wrap Your Gifts in Prayer and to live our Mission of Opus Christi, Christ’s Work.

The Giving Tree is located in the vestibule of the church. It holds gift tags that specify needed gifts for the people served by Catholic Family & Community Services, Martin de Porres Village, and St. Joseph’s Home for the Elderly and Mt. St. Joseph Children’s Center.

Giving is easy…

  • Take a tag from the tree with the specified gift to be purchased
  • Purchase the specified gift
  • Wrap the gift in prayer
  • Pray for the recipient of the gift
  • Attach the same gift tag to the wrapped gift
  • Place your wrapped gift with the specified gift tag back under the tree in the vestibule of the Church.

All gifts need to be returned by the 12 Noon Mass on December 20th.

Sacrament of Reconciliation Advent Opportunities

Saturday, December 12 11:00 AM – 12:00 Noon
Saturday, December 19: 10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon


Journey with Us!

The next session of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or RCIA will be Monday, December 7h at 7:00 PM in the *Molloy Center. All are welcome! For more information please call Donna Scancarella at 973-779-6200.
*Note location change.

Lessons and Carols

The Youth Choir, Adult Choir and Hand bell Choir of St. Philip the Apostle will present the Annual Service of Lessons and Carols this Sunday, December 6, 2015 at 3:00 PM in the Church. Admission is free; however, a free will offering is appreciated to help support the efforts of the Music Ministry Program.

Please join us for an afternoon of readings from scripture and singing of hymns and carols in celebration of this most joyous season. Refreshments will follow in the auditorium.

Bible Study

Bible Study sessions take place on Mondays at 11 AM in the Molloy Center. You are most welcome to join!


Congratulations to all the children that are preparing for the sacraments. They celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Saturday. These students will continue to prepare for their 1st Communions.
The Christmas show was a hit at St. Philip Prep this past Thursday! There were two shows; one in the morning in which grades Pre K- 3rd performed at 9:30 AM and the evening show with grades 4th- 8th. The students all worked very hard preparing and it was a great time for everyone!


Widow and Widowers

The Monday Night Group: December 14th at 6:30 PM. There is no need to sign up in advance. If you have had a loss in your life please join us. The New & Recently Bereaved Group: Wednesday, December 9th at 6:00 PM.

Separated & Divorced Support Group

the Divorce Healing Group meets at 7:00 PM on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month. Please call Joan at 973-652-5302 for information.


The Columbiettes #11671 are having their annual Christmas Party on Friday, December 18th at 6:30 PM in Marian Hall. Please bring non-perishable food items to donate to the Fr. English Center. For more information, please contact Deb Sirvidio.

Thank you to all who donated clothing, coats, and other items on November 19th! The warmth of your love & mercy for those in need made the sun shine in our hearts. It was amazing!

Rosary Society

The next meeting of the Rosary Society will be our Christmas Party on Monday, December 7, 2015 in Marian Hall. The meeting will begin with the Rosary at 6:30 pm followed by Mass. Bring your favorite Christmas mug or cup. All are welcome!

Retirement Fund for Religious

Many religious communities lack adequate savings for retirement and eldercare. Your gift to today’s collection for the Retirement Fund for the Religious helps provide medications, nursing care and more.


Religious Education Classes schedule

Grades 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6: December 13; January 24
Grade 2:  December 6, 13; January 10 & 24
Grades 7, 8: December 6; January 10
Confirmation Grade 9, 10: December 6; January 10

To read complete bulletin click here