January 26, 2018


JANUARY 26, 2018

What we know as of 11:30 AM on January 26th which is the time that the Bulletin goes to press.

On January 11, 2018 our St. Philip School building experienced a fire. To date, the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The fire and smoke damage is much more extensive than originally thought:
• The Kaleidoscope wing, where the fire originated, needs to be completely demolished.

• The main school corridor which houses grades 1, 2 & 3, the offices, and the auditorium received the greatest amount of smoke and soot damage. While extensive restoration work has been done there is much more that needs to be accomplished in that area. The ongoing work entails meeting codes and laws specific to school buildings and the safety of children.

• Teams of up to 40 workers have been working twelve hour shifts seven days a week on our behalf. Their accomplishments are truly amazing.
Many plans have been underway and worked toward simultaneously.

The plan is that on January 29th, students will return to classroom instruction with their teachers:

IF our school building is approved for children to be present in the Middle School and Pre-K wings while restoration is taking place in the main corridor, then this is our plan.

• The Pre-K and Middle School wings are approved for use, the Pre-K and kindergarten will return to their normal classroom space.

• Grades 1, 2, and 3 whose classrooms need ongoing restoration cannot be used.

• The children in grades 1-3 will be relocated, with their clean desks and new equipment, to the middle school wing classrooms along with grades 4 and 5.

Grades 6, 7 & 8 will be bused to and from our property to Mary Help of Christians Academy, a Catholic preparatory high school in the Salesian tradition, in North Haledon. Along with their teachers they will be educated in their own wing of the building, in individual classrooms. We are very grateful to Sr. Marissa, and the Salesians sisters for accommodating us so graciously.

Within hours of the fire Bishop Serratelli telephoned me offering our neighboring John Paul II Center classroom space for our use. We learned after exhaustive investigation that because sections of building were not used as a school for ten years extensive renovation was needed to gain approval meeting 2018 code requirements. Work began immediately and is ongoing to prepare this space to receive our children, if necessary. Approvals are needed at every step and for each room and section before children can enter. Other Catholic schools in Clifton and elsewhere are prepared to receive certain classes, should there be a need.
• Grades 6, 7, 8 will go to Mary Help of Christians (see Plan 1)
The duration for either plan is projected to be in place for 90 days.
We will be having a parent meeting to share how we will move forward as a school community on Sunday, January 28 in St. Philip Church.

Molloy Center
Restoration is in process for the Molloy Center which includes Cerullo and Marion Halls. Returning children to a classroom setting for our School and Religious Education classes education is the priority. The timeline at this point for the work that needs to be accomplished in the Molloy Center is not fully determined. The contents of the Kaleidoscope wing including all parish organization closets are unsalvageable.

I recognize that parish organizations are experiencing hardship without space to gather. We are studying what is possible and will communicate with you when more information is available to us.

All parish business is conducted in the room between the Church and the Rectory – at the end of the side sidewalk by the bell tower.

Remember that this process of coming up with best solutions to an unforeseen event has been frustrating and difficult for everyone involved.

You can help with your prayer for wisdom, patience and endurance. Thank you for your support. Be assured of our continued prayer for you. We are blessed with God’s presence and with the gifts and talents of all, as we continue our mission of doing Christ’s Work with faith, in hope and for love.

Restoration updates, past and ongoing, can be viewed on our parish website:  http://stphilip.org/school-fire-update/

Seeing With The Eyes Of Faith
A Step Along the Way

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view. 
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.
Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw


God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Reinhold Niebuhr

17110610 Xmas Ornament COLOR - Jubilee

The Year of our Lord 2018 is our parish Jubilee commemorating 75 years of fulfilling our mission of Opus Christi –which is Latin for Christ’s Work. During the decades our parish has been love in action, bringing good news through spiritual, service and social ministry.

Jesus said to our parish patron St. Philip, “Whoever believes in me will do the works I do and even great works.” John 14:22

Share your e-mail with us so as not to miss any of the good news. Visit stphilip.org/jubilee to be included in our email list. Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/stphilipclifton.

Fr. Matt is looking for some old photos and film in any format about St. Philip Church and/or school to compile our history. Items can be left with Barbara Salzer at the Parish Office.

Our Jubilee Prayer
Rejoicing in you, O Lord, with thankful hearts we pray as . . .
We Remember
gratefully our past companions on the Journey whose sacrifice inspires us.
We Celebrate
the good news of love in action that empowers spiritual, service and social ministry.
We Believe
in God’s providence as faithful stewards who continue Christ’s work using the Keys to the Kingdom.

Our Parish Office is operating out of the office at the front entrance to the Rectory (located at the end of the walkway near the Bell Tower). Mass cards, other business, etc. is being conducted from this location.


To be determined


To be Determined

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