November 27, 2016

First Sunday of Advent

Be Still My Heart

The sound of a tea kettle whistle, an alarm ringing, a credit card chip reader honking all shatter our peace and propel us to do something to silence the noise. These weeks before Christmas with the endless activity can shatter our peace and produce some very cranky people. We desire to silence the noise and to be in a peaceful spirit. Advent is designed as a season of stillness, a time of expectation and of eager waiting for a rebirth of Christ in our hearts. How is this possible for us? Prayer is the key that sets us free. Prayer may not change our circumstances but it works miracles in attitudes. Prayer is the key to setting realistic goals, prioritizing tasks, discovering inner peace –no matter how loudly the whistles, alarms and honks scream around us. We are invited to hear in prayer our God whisper the saving words, “Be still and know that I am God.”

Below you will find a hymn for reflection and suggested prayer practices which may still and fill our hearts with peace this Advent season.

Advent Meditation and Hymn

Marty Haugen

Refrain: For you oh Lord, my soul in stillness waits.
Truly, my hope is in you.

1. Oh Lord of Light, our only hope of glory. Your radiance shines in all who look to you. Come light the hearts of all in dark and shadow.
Refrain: For you oh Lord, my soul in stillness waits.
Truly, my hope is in you.

2. Oh Spring of Joy, rain down upon our spirits. Our thirsty hearts are yearning for your Word. Come, make us whole; be comfort to our hearts.
Refrain: For you oh Lord, my soul in stillness waits.
Truly, my hope is in you.

3. Oh Root of Life, implant your seed within us, and In your advent draw us all to you; Our hope’s reborn, in dying and in rising.
Refrain: For you oh Lord, my soul in stillness waits.
Truly, my hope is in you.

4. Oh Key of Knowledge, guide us in our pilgrimage. We ever seek, yet unfulfilled remain. Open to us the pathway of your peace.
Refrain: For you oh Lord, my soul in stillness waits
Truly, my hope is in you.

5. Come, let us bow before the God who made us. Let every heart be opened to the Lord, For we are all the people of His hand.
Refrain: For you oh Lord, my soul in stillness waits.
Truly, my hope is in you.

6. Here we shall meet the maker of the heavens, Creator of the mountains and the seas. Lord of the stars, and present to us now.
Refrain: For you oh Lord, my soul in stillness waits.
Truly, my hope is in you.

Reflection Activity for Each Day of the First week of Advent

Read reflectively the hymn verse for the day (above). Follow along with the suggestions below. End each prayer session with the hymn refrain.

Day 1: Verse 1

Light a candle. In stillness see the light as a symbol of God’s warmth and love. Invite God to lighten your heart and free you from all shadows.

After a few moments answer the questions:
How is God calling me to radiate light to others?
What action will I take?

Day 2: Verse 2

Fill a bowl or glass with water. In stillness see this as a symbol of God’s healing and refreshment. Invite God to quench the thirst of your mind and heart and fill you with peace.

After a few moments answer the questions:
Who is God inviting me to comfort or encourage?
What action will I take?

Day 3: Verse 3

Look at the roots of a plant in a pot or in the earth. In stillness see the roots as a symbol of God’s Providence. Invite God to fill you with strength and hope rooted in God’s desire to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

After a few moments answer the questions:
Who needs me to be a source of strength or hope for them?
What action will I take?

Day 4: Verse 4

Sit and open both of your hands, palms up on your lap. In stillness see your hands as a symbol of God’s gift of life to you. Invite God to hold your hand while you thank God for 10 things, people or gifts for which you are grateful – use your fingers to count.

After a few moments – pray for 10 people for whom you give thanks, express your gratitude to at least one of them today.

Day 5: Verse 5

Look at the sky, day or night. In stillness see the sky as a symbol of God’s Glory, eternal presence and personal gift for you. Invite God to fill you with awe and the “WOW” of God’s indwelling Spirit.

After a few moments answer the questions:
What one thing can I do to bring beauty to the life of another person?
What action will I take?


Prayer Opportunity

“Be still and know that I Am God!” Psalm 46: 10
Join us for prayer, guided meditation and reflection the first Thursday of each month beginning December 1st at 7:00 PM in the Russo Room.

Bible Study

Bible Study Sessions: Mondays at 11:00 AM- 12N in the Molloy Center. Our theme is “The Good News”. At this time we are studying St. John’s Gospel Chapter 6 – the essence and meaning of the Eucharist. Thirty people attend and you are welcome to join them.


Right of Christian Initiation of Adults

Monday, November 28Th at 7 PM in the Russo Room. All are welcome to join us for our Advent reflection “Our Soul in Stillness Waits”. For more information about RCIA please call Donna Scancarella at (973) 779-6200.


Religious Education Classes schedule
Grades 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6: December 4, 18
Grade 2: December 4, 11, 18
Grades 7, 8: December 11
Confirmation Grade 9, 10: December 11

The Giving Tree

As we start the Advent season, and prepare for our own Christmas celebrations, let us not forget those in our community who are not as fortunate.

Beginning next week, the Giving Tree will be decked with Christmas gift tags, labeled with specific gifts needed by people in our local community having difficulties making ends meet and being served by Catholic Family and Community Services, Oasis, Martin de Porres Village, and St. Joseph’s Home for the Elderly.

Please consider being a part of providing a merry Christmas season to these families:

  • Pick a tag from the tree.
  • Purchase the specified gift.
  • Wrap the gift in prayer.
  • Pray for the recipient of the gift.
  • Attach the same gift tag to the wrapped gift.
  • Place your wrapped gift with the specified gift tag back under the tree.

All gifts need to be returned by the 12:00 PM Mass on December 18.


As we come into this holiday season, fourth and fifth grade students have reflected on the various people that help make SP Prep the special place that it is. They created a bulletin board to show their gratitude for the hard work of these very special people. The classrooms have been buzzing with students working on hands-on science labs in the Intermediate School. Students have calculated the mass and density of various mystery cubes to help them identify the metal they are composed of. Others learned about buoyancy from observing a diving sub – a popular toy from the 1950’s. Still others have learned about finding the volume of irregular solids through water displacement. Overall, the students had a great time while learning a lot about science. Pictures will be posted on the website soon! Even though we have not officially begun the Christmas season…practice for our Christmas show has begun. Students are working hard to learn the lyrics and dances that they will be performing on December 6th.

Boy Scout Wreath Sale

St. Philip Boy Scout Troop 21 is having their Annual Wreath Sale after all masses on Saturday November 26th & Sunday November 27th and Saturday, December 3rd & Sunday, December 4th. They will be selling fresh wreaths as well as grave blankets and grave pillows. Please support the Boy Scouts of Troop 21!

Annual Craft Fair

Stop by the St. Philip the Apostle Prep Home & School Association Annual Craft Fair and Bake Sale in the Auditorium on Saturday, December 3rd from 9 AM – 4 PM. Over 40 Vendors! There is something for everyone. Nothing says you are special like a hand crafted gift.

To read complete bulletin click here