February 14, 2016


Parish Lenten Retreat

Our Parish Retreat, Compassion on the Journey, is our participation in Our Holy Father’s invitation for the Church to celebrate a Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Compassion is the heart of Mercy.

You are invited to join us as we experience God’s compassion and learn to be more compassionate and of fuller service to one another. The retreat will unfold in the weekend homilies, liturgical music, bulletin reflections/ stphilp.org, a Holy Hour, workshops and suggested activities involving the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.


The church banner pictured above displays symbols of the various themes of our Retreat. Our journey begins with God who creates us, accompanies us through life, death and resurrection until we return to God in glory. Our journey is from “glory to glory” (2Cor.3:18). Along the way we are transformed into the image and likeness of Christ. God is our compassionate companion on the journey and invites us to offer compassionate service to one another.

The Two Figures shown form a Heart Shape as they symbolize human and divine love. The word compassion has its origins in two Latin roots; com-with and passion-to suffer/intense force. The meaning of compassion is a union of love that motivates beyond sympathy and empathy, ‘to be one with’ and, therefore, compels with a commitment to action physically, emotionally or spiritually as needed.

The Cross in the center of the heart is the sign of compassion.

The Vertical line of the cross calls to mind the unconditional compassion for us that comes From God.

The Horizontal line of the cross suggests the purpose for our lives which is to offer compassionate service For Others.




The image above (for a clear view/see website) is a reproduction of Rembrandt’s Portrait of Christ’s Head 1650, oil on wood, State Museum Berlin – Dahlem.

Our future focus will be on ways to reflect and pray with the masterpiece. For now appreciate the expression of Christ captured by the artist. Notice the exposed ear which suggests that Jesus listens with compassion. St. Benedict of Nursea encouraged compassionate listening with the challenge,

“Listen with the ear of your heart.”

Compassion is listening with the ear of your heart and acting on what you hear.

Lenten Prayer:

God of all compassion, guide our hearts to serve.
Dona nobis pacem, Grant us Peace.

Ash Wednesday Reflection

Our lives are often filled with burdens, problems, fears, responsibilities and an exhausting busyness. The thought of Lent seems like another thing to do. Lent is an opportunity for us to experience and to do things differently. Imagine that the burdens you carry are a ball that you are holding so tightly in your hands that your knuckles are white and your fingers tremble. We may wish to let some of these challenges go but they are our responsibilities. There is another way. Turn to God in prayer. You can relax your grip on the ball by opening up your palm and resting the ball in the center. Your burdens are still there, you still carry them but in an entirely different and freer way.

Lent is an opportunity to experience God’s compassionate care for us. God helps us through prayer and the sacraments to relax our grip and to trust in God’s Providence. When we share our burdens with God as our compassionate companion on the journey we are able to see the needs of others, feel compassion and reach out with our free hand to others in service. Compassion is a gift From God, For Others given to us without condition. When we experience compassionate care From God we are empowered to share compassionate service For Others. Marked with the cross of ashes we receive Compassion: From God, For Others.

Week I: First Sunday of Lent
Who Moved?

On Valentine’s Day a couple who had been married for a few years were stopped at a red light. The wife said to her husband, “Look at us, me here, you there behind the wheel. I remember a time when I sat right beside you in this car holding hands and kissing when we stopped at a red light.” Listening with the ear of his heart and with a smile the husband asked, “Who moved?” They both laughed and it was the best Valentine’s Day they ever remembered.

In our relationships we are tempted to put the blame for what is missing on the other. It is difficult for us to take responsibility for our part. This is true in our relationship with God as well.

In our first reading we learn that the Israelites gave the first fruits of their labors to God as a way to remember that God had been generous and compassionate toward them. In the letter to the Romans we are reminded that God is always near to us and very close to everyone who calls on the name of the Lord. God has not moved. God sits compassionately beside us desiring to deepen our relationship. In today’s Gospel, Jesus is tempted, as we are in our humanity, to mistrust his Father’s compassionate care. Scripture and prayer help Jesus to remember that his Father in heaven never moves.

God never moves. Lent is our opportunity to experience God’s compassionate care in prayer. Lent is an opportunity for us to share the compassion we receive from God for others. Lent is an opportunity to ask ourselves “Who moved?” in our relationships with God and others.

Reflection Questions

  1. What thing can I do to move toward God?
  2. What one person am I being called to move toward? How?
  3.  Who needs my smile?

Works of Mercy Activity: What three actions will I take this week?

Workshop Opportunity with Fr. Joe
“Listening with the Ear of the Heart”

February 17, 2016
Wednesday – 09:45 AM – Marian Hall
Wednesday – 07:00 PM – Russo room

Season of Lent Opportunities

Renew your faith and your spiritual life for service and compassion to one another.

  • The Eucharist is the most perfect prayer and Lenten observance
  • 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 – Fr. Julio
  • 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 Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.
  • 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 from meat.
  • Lenten Bible Study: Final Chapters of Luke’s Gospel leading to Christ’s Passion, suffering and death on Mondays at 11 AM in the Molloy Center
  • CRS Rice Bowls supports Catholic Relief Services



Journey with Us

Our next RCIA session is Monday, February 22nd at 7:00 PM in the Russo Room. Fr. Julio will be presenting the Sacraments of Healing.

6th Annual St. Patrick Dinner Dance & St. Joseph Dessert Table

Saturday, March 5, at 7 PM (doors open 6:30 PM)
School auditorium
Tickets are $40 pp Traditional Irish dinner, beer, wine, soda, coffee, tea, Italian desserts
Entertainment will be provided by The Peter McKiernan Band.
Special Guest Performances

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


Contact parish office between 9:00 AM & 4:30 PM

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, April 10, May 15

Grade 2: February 28, March 6 & 13, April 10

Grades 7, 8: March 13, April 17, May 1

Confirmation Grade 9, 10: March 13, March 24-Holy Thursday,

April 17 and May 1


Our students have been busier than ever having fun and learning each day! This past week PK3, PK4, and Kindergarten celebrated Catholic Schools Week with My Guy and I. PK3 and PK4 were buddies with the 7th grade. They enjoyed reading books together and having ice cream sundaes, enjoyed eating pancakes and wearing pajamas after learning all about the letter P!

Second Grade also celebrated Catholic Schools Week with a spelling bee and math bee. Spelling Bee Winners were: 1st Julian Torres, 2nd Luis Valentin, 3rd Madison Clarke. Math Bee Winners were: 1st Lilth Roman, 2nd Maximus Sidoti, 3rd Luis Valentin.

PK3 and PK4 thank our priests for always being a presence in our school and this week specifically, coming to the classrooms to talk about Ash Wednesday and distributing ashes.

To read complete bulletin click here