February 07, 2016

The Jubilee Year of Mercy

Pope Francis began the Year of Mercy on December 8, 2015. These reflections are preparation for our parish Lenten theme which will focus on “Compassion” as the way we both experience and share God’s mercy in our everyday lives.

The Jubilee of Mercy and the Promise of Christ: Section 3
Arthur J. Serratelli, S.T.D., S.S.L, D.D.
Bishop of Paterson

[19] In many ways, modern theology has stepped away from the Church’s long standing custom of granting indulgences. To most of our more recently catechized young Catholics, the concept of an indulgence is unknown. To many, even to some in ministry, the idea is outdated. And, certainly, to those of other faiths, the notion is misunderstood. What, then, is an indulgence? Why do we need one? What gives the Church the privilege to grant one?

[20] Sin affects us in two ways. First, mortal sin completely breaks our relationship with God. In choosing to sin in a serious way, we close ourselves completely to God and set ourselves on the path to the eternal separation from God which is hell. In his mercy, God offers us the Sacrament of Reconciliation to repair our broken relationship and place us in the state of sanctifying grace on the path to heaven. Venial sin does not destroy our communion with God, but it does weaken it. It lessens our charity and increases our attachments to this world.

[21] Second, whenever we sin, we not only offend God, but we harm ourselves. In sinning, our heart becomes disordered. We turn from God who is our true happiness in order to find some passing pleasure in his creatures. In confession, the priest’s absolution takes away our sins for which we are truly sorry. But, his absolution does not remove the harmful effects of sin within us. These effects, these unhealthy attachments to this world, weigh us down. They cause us sufferings, both physical and spiritual, that are called the temporal punishment due to sin.

[22] We should not deceive ourselves into imagining that temporal punishment due to sin comes from an angry and vengeful God. Not at all! God is love and always loving us. The punishment for sin comes from the very nature of sin itself. In sinning, we bend our human will against God. By prayer, fasting and works of mercy, we must struggle and suffer to bend our will back toward God. And, mercy is the best way. For “[We] may cultivate [our] heart, clear the soil…root out vices, sow virtues, but if [we] do not release the springs of mercy, there is no fruit” (St Peter Chrysologus, Sermo 43). Mercy makes our heart beat in unison with the heart of God.

[25] As he has given the Church the power to forgive sins, Christ also has granted her the privilege of remitting the temporal punishments due to sin through prayers, pious works and acts of charity to which she attaches an indulgence (cf. Mt 18:18). Christ also desires us to repair the damages done to our soul by sin. He wants us to eliminate the temporal punishments due to sin. If we do not do it in this world, we will do it in Purgatory in the next. (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1472)

[26] In a particular way, during this Holy Year, Pope Francis invites us to share in the Jubilee indulgence by performing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. The seven spiritual works of mercy are admonishing the sinner, instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, comforting the sorrowful, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving injuries and praying for the living and the dead. The seven corporal works of mercy are feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, visiting the imprisoned, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick and burying the dead.

[27] We who receive the abundant mercy of God are called to share that mercy with others. By our charitable acts, no matter how small, we relieve human misery and continue in our day the Jubilee that Jesus began. By our kindness and compassion to others, we stand before Christ who promises us: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”
(Mt 5:7).


Introduction To Our Parish Lenten Retreat

Ash Wednesday, February 10, 2016 marks the start of our journey of Lent. Throughout the season of Lent and culminating in our Easter celebration we offer a Parish Retreat titled, Compassion on the Journey. You are invited to join us as we experience the Lord and love of each other more fully. The Retreat will unfold in the weekend homilies, liturgical music, bulletin reflections/stphilip.org, and workshops.



As you are marked with ashes in the sign of the cross reflect on how in your heart, you are being called to serve with Compassion on the Journey;

  • the vertical line your relationship with God
  • the horizontal line your relationship with others

What are the gifts and blessings that come with your heartfelt service?
What are the challenges?
What thoughts words or deeds need compassion and God’s healing touch?

February 10, 2016
Ash Wednesday Schedule

Masses with Eucharist and distribution of ashes:
7:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 12:00 PM & 7:00 PM
3:30 PM Prayer Service with distribution of ashes


Season of Lent Opportunities
Renew your faith and your spiritual life for service and compassion to one another.

Lenten Practices :
  • Participating in weekly or even daily celebration of the Eucharist is the most perfect prayer and Lenten observance
  • Engage in the variety of opportunities for community and private prayer and reflection in our Parish Retreat, Compassion on the Journey
  • Spirituality Workshops:  Wednesday, February 17th, 9:45 AM in Marian Hall and 7 PM in the Russo Room Sunday, March 13th, 11 AM in the Russo Room
  • Adoration/Benediction Hour:  Wednesday, February 24, 7 PM in Church
  • Welcome Home: Sacrament of Reconciliation; Mondays 7 to 8:30 PM Saturdays 11 AM to 12 Noon; Saturday, March 19th 10 AM to 12 Noon in church
  • Stations of the Cross: Fridays 7:00 PM in Church Living Stations of the Cross: March 18th
  • Lenten penance includes acts of self-denial as a tool for mindfulness of God’s bountiful gifts and presence and/or an increase in charitable acts and works of kindness.
  • Days of Fast and Abstinence: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence when we refrain from eating meat and have one full meal and two lesser meals. All Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence.
  • Lenten Bible Study: Seven week series begins on Monday, February 8th at 11 AM in the Molloy Center
  • CRS Rice Bowls which support Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities Emergency Assistance Service Programs are available in the vestibule of the Church.


Journey with Us

Our next RCIA session is Monday, February 8th at 7:00 PM in the Russo Room. Fr. Joe will be presenting a lesson on the Synoptic Gospels. All are welcome.

We invite you to be our companion on the journey and discover the keys to the kingdom. If you would like more information about the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, (RCIA), please call Donna Scancarella at 973-779-6200.

Saint Philip the Apostle Parish
And Preparatory School

Sunday, April 17, 2016
2:00 to 6:00 PM
The Valley Regency
Tickets: $65 per person
  • Includes $25 Gift of Chips for Gaming Tables
  • Butler served hors d’oeuvres, Carving Station
  • Complimentary: Beer, Wine, Soda, Coffee, Tea
  • Gourmet Desserts, Cash Bar, Piano Music
  • Gaming Tables: Black Jack, Roulette, Craps, Wheel of Chance
  • Gift Baskets for Casino Winnings, Silent Auction, Super 50/50

Click here to book your tickets.

6th Annual St. Patrick Dinner Dance


St. Joseph Dessert Table

St. Philip’s will host its 6th Annual St. Patrick Dinner Dance on Saturday, March 5, at 7 PM (doors open 6:30 PM) in the school auditorium.

Tickets are $40 pp and include a traditional Irish dinner with beer, wine, soda, coffee and tea, plus a St. Joseph dessert table. Specialty drinks available for purchase.

Entertainment will be provided by The Peter McKiernan Band.

Tickets will also be sold after all masses on February 13/14

To purchase tickets, please send the following to:

St. Philip the Apostle Church
797 Valley Rd., Clifton, NJ 07013
Attn: St. Patrick Tickets

1. Your name
2. Phone number
3. Number of tickets requested
4. Payment (check payable to St. Philip the Apostle)

This event sells out quickly so order your tickets early!
For more information call Donna @ 973-779-6200

Tickets will not be available at the door.
You must be 21 years or older to attend this event

Religious Education Classes schedule
Grades 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6: February 28, March 6
Grade 2:  February 7 & 28, March 6 & 13
Grades 7, 8:  February 7, March 13
Confirmation Grade 9, 10: February 7, March 13

To read complete bulletin click here