February 21 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 unfolds 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.

Week II

  • God makes a covenant with Abraham by giving the land for the journey as holy ground.
  • The letter to the Philippians encourages trust in God’s desire to transform lives when we “stand firm in the Lord.”
  • While at prayer with his disciples Jesus is transfigured in glory. The disciples receive the instruction,
    “This is my beloved one, listen to him.”
Reflection Story

Invited to speak at a military base, the professor is met at the airport by an unforgettable soldier. Heading toward the baggage claim area, the soldier keeps disappearing. The soldier dashes to help an older woman retrieve her suitcase from the conveyor belt, to lift two toddlers so that they can see Santa Clause and another time to give someone directions.

“Where did you learn to live like that?” asks the professor. “During the war,” he explains. He shares with the professor that his particular job during the war was to clear the mine fields. During this life-threatening assignment he saw many of his friends meet an untimely end before his eyes. “I learned to live between the steps,” he shared “I never knew when the next step would be my last. In the moments between picking up one foot and putting it down again, I experienced a whole new reality. It was as if each moment had an eternal meaning. I learned to live between the steps. Living between the steps is really living.”

Living with compassion and for service is really living. Prayer is that moment between the steps when we lift our minds and hearts to God to receive God’s compassion. Our God of all compassion guides us to see and to hear with the ear of our hearts what is needed before we take another step. Turning to God in prayer on the journey, fully aware that our mission is to offer compassionate service to others, is how we are transfigured into the image and likeness of Christ. Living between the steps with compassion is really living.

Prayer Card Activity

A prayer card will be available for each individual after Masses. One side of the prayer card has Rembrandt’s Head of Christ image. On the other side is written our Lenten prayer: God of All Compassion, Guide our Hearts to Serve. The prayer card will serve as a reminder to turn to the Lord in prayer, seeking God’s compassion which enables us to share compassion through acts of service on our daily journey.

Reflection Questions
  • What is my plan for my prayer card?
  •  How will I live compassionately between the steps?
  • What actions will I take?

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:
    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
  • 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, death and Resurrection Mondays at 11 AM in the Molloy Center
  • CRS Rice Bowls supports Catholic Relief Services
Thank You

I am most grateful for your prayers for my brother Frank. He has had a full recovery and now is cancer free. Praise the Lord and many thanks. Fr. Kevin


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

For tickets contact parish office between 9:00 AM & 4:30 PM
Hurry! This event sells out quickly.
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

Attention Confirmation Candidates!

If you would like to accrue service hours, the Columbiettes could use your help! We are conducting a Flapjack Breakfast on Saturday, March 12, 2016 from 8-10 AM at Applebee’s in Clifton. If you are interested in volunteering, please call Cathie Murtha at 973-471-1265.


The students at The Prep are officially 100 days smarter! This week marks the 100th day of school. Early childhood celebrated this monumental day counting to 100 and graphing 100 healthy snacks.

To read complete bulletin click here