February 28, 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 III

  • Moses hears the voice of God and enters into a dialogue. God’s own words instruct Moses on what to say and on what to do for God’s people.
  • In the letter to the Corinthians St. Paul warns us not to become overly confident, lest we miss an opportunity for God’s transforming Word to be active in our lives.
  • In the time of Jesus, many people believed that when bad things happened to people it was somehow their fault. Jesus is clear that this is not how God works. We are all beneficiaries of God’s unconditional compassion. In addition, we are like fig trees that need constant care. God is always speaking challenging words seeking to renew us, with a comforting voice which promises forgiveness and healing.

Political prisoners were being released from a Soviet Gulag prison. An interviewer rushes up to a famous symphony orchestra conductor who has been held in prison for years and in isolation for months. “What piece of music did you miss hearing the most?” asks the eager reporter. Without hesitation the conductor answers, “I have learned through great suffering, that in the entire world, the most beautiful music is the sound of another human voice.”

The human voice echoes the divine voice. God speaks through the Scripture, in the Sacraments, in Church teaching and in personal prayer. At all times God speaks of faith, hope and love. The human voice mirrors the divine voice by revealing God’s truth, awakening all senses to beauty and opening the heart to experience the unconditional goodness of God in all things.

We are invited to listen to God’s compassionate voice.  God invites us to use our voices to speak and act with compassion for others.

Questions and Activity

  • Who were/are the voices of God’s compassionate care for me? How will I express my gratitude to these people in deed or in prayer?
  • Who needs to hear the sound of my voice reaching out in compassionate ways? What action will I take?

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.

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
  • 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


Journey with Us

Our next RCIA session is Monday, February 29th at 7:00 PM in the Russo Room.  “Let Us Pray” … Were you ever reluctant to pray because you didn’t know how?  Well there is no one right way to pray.  Join the RCIA this Monday as we experience four of the many different ways to pray.  All are welcome!

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! Only a few tickets left!

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 will be celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday and Read Across America on Wednesday March 2. Early childhood will celebrate this monumental day with Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham. Read Across America is a nationwide campaign to foster children’s love of reading.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

To read complete bulletin click here