Saturday, May 16, 2020

THOUGHTS ON SCHOOL OF LEADERS - MAY 15, 2020 by RONNIE MARTELLA

What a joy it was to see all those who were able to join us on the Zoom call last evening for School of Leaders.    

Each time we gather, no matter the medium, we are given a chance to learn and grow from each other.   We open ourselves to what God has for us, wants to tell us and give us though our time with each other and the talks.   Each talk touches on similar but different aspects of the theme for the time.  And the Holy Spirit does what the Spirit does and brings the talks together.

But in addition to that is the chance for those in community to respond to the talks, ask questions, seek clarification, and deepen the discussion with their own experiences and resources that have discovered, and last night was no different. 

Last night, the idea of praying our most well known prayers; The Our Father, The Hail Mary and others, using different words was presented.  What a wonderful way to break open a prayer, to really reflect on what the prayer means.  We also were told about The Chosen, the story of Jesus, told through the lives of those closest to Him.   At this link you can see something of a preview of the show.   

https://studios.vidangel.com/the-chosen

Thanks to Barbara Kittle, from the Diocese of Newark, for opening me up to these wonderful resources.

At the most recent Pennington ultreya, held by conference call, several of us shared different resources we’ve discovered or that have been recommended to us. As the question on the card for Piety asks:  what spiritual aids have been of help to you? And we shared on how these resources have been spiritual aids to us.  We were reminded that we are blessed to have so many options and chances to access that we can sometimes feel overwhelmed, but we need to discern which of the resources are meant for us, through which ones does God speak to us?   Good advice to follow.

Kathy, Robert and Bob- great job, thanks again for the chance to connect, share and be with each other.

Peace,   Ronnie Martella


MARY by RONNIE MARTELLA

Prayer:        

All praise and glory are Yours, almighty Father:

You have given us Your Son Jesus to save us from sin.

We praise You for choosing Mary to be His Mother,  for teaching her to believe Your message, for helping her accept Your holy will.

Strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit to be like Mary:

To ponder Your word in our hearts,

To obey Your will,      To love Your Son,     To sing Your praises every day.

Father, we praise You through Jesus Christ, Your Son in the love of Your Spirit, for ever and ever.

Amen 

When Robert asked me to do a talk on Mary, two songs came immediately to mind:  I kept them in the back of my mind while I looked at the Catechism and other sources to prepare the talk- but the two songs stayed with me, coming to the front of my mind and on to my lips at different times.   I wondered why but I continued reading and preparing the paper….

The first source I went to was the Catechism.  For me the Catechism is something that at first glance is kind of cut and dry but when I read and really take in what is there I discover so much more.    

And the catechism tells us:

To be sure, there are as many paths of prayer as there are persons who pray, but it is the same Spirit acting in all and with all.   It is in the communion of the Holy Spirit that Christian prayer is prayer in the Church.

MARY, OUR MOTHER AND OUR FREEDOM by FATHER EDWARD BLANCHETT

Opening Prayer: 

O Mary, You shine continuously on our journey as a sign of hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who, at the foot of the cross, were united with Jesus’ suffering, and persevered in your faith. 

Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform ourselves to the will of the Father and as at Cana in Galilee, to do what Jesus tells us. For he took upon himself our suffering, and burdened himself with our sorrows to bring us, through the cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. 

We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God; Do not despise our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from every danger, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

May has historically been known as “the month of Mary”. We pay special devotions to her: we begin the month with a crowning of her image, there is special emphasis on the Marian devotion of the Rosary, there are litanies offered on her behalf, many times we end the month with – a personal favorite of mine – the feast of the Visitation. The question to ask is: Why? Why is May the month of Mary? 

According to many sources, one reason was because in ancient Greece (remember that the Church went to Greece in its earliest apostolic missions) May was the month dedicated to the Greek god Artemis (or Diana in Roman mythology), the goddess of fertility. Rededicating the month to the Mother of God was a way the early Christians looked to "baptize" pagan culture. But there can be so much more to it, and particularly to us during this time of the coronavirus pandemic, a time that is seen as a restriction to many of our freedoms in this “sheltered in place” environment; even as we slowly begin to open our churches (during the Memorial of the Apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, which was a very interesting coincidence), you won’t be able to even  step into a church building without following a lot of rules that could be seen as obstacles to your freedom. The reason I called this an “interesting coincidence” is because there is a close relationship to the view of freedom and our devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

So, to answer my first question “Why is Mary the Month of Mary”, I’m going to start with another question: What is Freedom? – there’s society’s definition, of which I looked up in the dictionary so that there’s no mistake: 

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

SCHOOL OF LEADERS COMING TO YOUR HOME! A NOTE FROM KATHY TUCKER, LAY DIRECTOR

Hello my Beloved Brothers and Sisters,

I hope everyone is healthy and safe.

We have a wonderful opportunity to have our SOL on Zoom! (Thank you Bob Morris.) We will have SOL on May 15, 2020 Friday night 7-9PM. You will be receiving an email on how to sign on your computer, iPad or cell phone.

We are hoping that we will be able to have our Quarterly Mass if we are freed from our humble abodes.

Thank you for your faith and prayers. We need to stay prayerful at this time. Continue to reach out to your fellow cursillestas!

Anyone need any shopping or medication please reach out to your families, friends and neighbors.

Any questions or issues please contact me directly.

Prayers and peace of mind to all!

Your Humble Servant, Kathy
908-415-6006

Sunday, March 29, 2020

KEEPERS by MARY ANN DOWD

Once upon a time not very long ago.  In fact, at the start of this story; there lived a loving and very wise KING.  This King created a Utopian city which he called the greatest city in all the land. The King put a group of rulers in charge of this city to rule it wisely and lovingly just as he had imagined.  The King told these rulers his magnificent dream for his kingdom. The King called these rulers Keepers and He entrusted them with the power to make his dream a reality in the greatest city in all the land.   He wanted a place where all people could live in peace and safety. He wanted his kingdom to be a place where his people could live and work and play and be happy.. The King knew his perfect plan would ensure that above all else, his people would be happy, content and at peace with each other..


The people who lived in the city had all anyone could wish for to live a happy life. .  Happiness was the most precious gift the King wanted his people to have and so he made the city beautiful with parks and streams and plenty of places for children and adults to play and have picnics and go fishing and boating.  The trees were of every color and size and some bloomed all year long.


In the winter the city was covered in a blanket of snow and the children and grown ups could skate on the ponds and ride their sleds down the hills and make snowballs and snowmen and women.  Many people worked with their hands. They built the buildings where people worked and lived. They built parks and playgrounds and museums and theaters. Some people used their minds to imagine the best way to make their city prosperous and healthy and even more beautiful for all the people.  Some stayed home to raise the children to be responsible, loving and caring adults who would honor the King and his vision and carry on the good work he had started. The citizens of the greatest city in all the land were grateful and they hoped they could always live this way thanks to their good King.


The King smiled when he saw how well his dream was coming together.  He left the city for sometime but promised to return and charged the Keepers to continue all the good work he had started.


After a few years some of the Keepers began to grow weary with simply obeying the instructions the King had given them.They began to think that they had a better plan, or, at least more ideas to make the city more of what they might envision.  After all, they reasoned, don’t we have ideas just as good as the Kings’? We can make people happy too, can’t we? What if we give them everything they ask for? So slowly the wise vision of the King began to give way to the Keepers vision for the city.  The Keepers began to turn on each other because each one wanted the love and respect of the people to show that they were the greatest in the greatest city in all the land.


So one by one they began to promise the people anything and everything they said would make them happy.  With each new promise came more power and respect for the Keeper until it became clear that no request was too outlandish or preposterous.  Some of the people’s requests forgot about being kind or loving or even moral. Soon all the dreams of the King were forgotten. The people, instead of becoming happier, became increasingly  unhappy. The beauty of the city faded into disrepair as each one argued over the best way to keep it beautiful. The joy and happiness that the people felt when they were all working and playing together became a bitter struggle to have things their own way.  The people began to realize they could go to the Keepers to get what they wanted and the Keepers knew by promising them what they wanted they could have the honor and power that was always only meant for the King.


Very soon the most beautiful city in all the land became the ugliest.  The town was covered in vines and dirt and garbage because everyone was arguing about who should clean it up so no one ever did. Even the air in the once great city became fouled and hard to breath.  The joy and happiness the people enjoyed when they were living in the plan of the King was nowhere to be seen. All the important and urgent matters of running the city were in the hands of those who were entrusted to Keep the peace.  Now, there was no peace, no joy, and sadly, no happiness.


One day the keepers received word that the King was coming back soon and was looking forward to seeing his beautiful city and all the happy people again.  The Keepers realized what they had done. We have completely abandoned the job the King left us here to do. We have gone our own way and our pride, selfishness and greed has led us to lead all the people astray..  What are we to do?  


The Keepers summoned all the people to the town square, now overgrown with weeds, the gazebo in the center of the park crumbling from disrepair.  They beseeched the people saying: “We have failed the King and we have failed all of you citizens of this great city. Please help us to restore our town to the way it was before.”  Many of the people remembered when everyone worked and played together thinking of others and lending a helping hand, when the city was beautiful and clean and the people were happy.  Now it would take a lot of hard work with everyone pulling together to make it look and feel the way it did before. The people agreed to help the Keepers but only if they could appoint new keepers from among themselves who had proven themselves to be kind and loving like the King.  The people found citizens who remembered the King and his dreams and had tried to live that way. These people, faithful to the King were appointed as new Keepers and put in charge of the greatest city in all the land. The Keepers reluctantly agreed and all of the Keepers and people began the work hoping that they would have enough time before the King returned.


This is where our story ends.  The citizens of the town came to their senses at last but was it too late?  They remembered joy and hope and happiness. They were never sure of exactly when the King would return but they were determined to do their best until He did.


.The End

Thursday, March 12, 2020

CURSILLO UPDATE FROM KATHY TUCKER, LAY DIRECTOR

My Beloved Brothers and Sisters,

I with the support of the Secretariat will be cancelling all Cursillo Events for the month of March, for the health and safety of our Cursillistas. This includes School of Leaders/Secretariat meetings.

I have cancelled Tinton Falls Ultreya for this week. My suggestion is to suspend current Ultreya meetings for this month.

Self containment for the COVID19 virus is recommended. Anyone with an immuno-compromised system should not gather in numbers. The numbers of people affected by the virus is growing at a more rapid pace than earlier predictions.

Father Ed states, ask the intercession of St. Damien of Molokai for us in this time of active uncertainty.

This is not to put fear in anyone's heart but to be prudent for health concerns.

Please disseminate this information to your Ultreyas members that do not receive e-mails.

As of March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) has called the outbreak (COVID-19) a pandemic. The last time this happened was  2009 the WHO had declared the H1N1 Flu a pandemic.

Anyone with any concerns please call me directly or e-mail me.

God Bless Us All,
Your Humble Servant,
Kathy Tucker

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

AN UPDATE FROM THE OF TRENTON

Father Ed has made us aware of this update from the Diocese of  Trenton.

INSTRUCTIONS RE: CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) AND LITURGICAL PRACTICES

In light of the escalating concern about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID_19) Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., has issued the following instructions on liturgical practices to be observed in ALL parishes, institutions and organizations within the Diocese of Trenton, effective immediately until otherwise notified:

1. People who have flu-like symptoms or who are otherwise feeling sick should not go to Mass or other Church gatherings;

2. Priests, deacons and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion should practice good hygiene, washing hands with soap and water or anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, before and after distributing Holy Communion;

3. People are encouraged not to receive communion on the tongue; worthy, reverent reception by hand is preferred until otherwise notified;

4. The practice of distributing the Precious Blood from the Chalice is suspended;

5. The practice of exchanging the sign of peace by any physical contact (handshake, embrace, kissing) is suspended.
We continue to encourage the faithful to stay informed through our diocesan communications online at :

https://dioceseoftrenton.org/coronavirus

as well as through the Centers for Disease Control and prevention at: 
www.cdc.gov/COVID19

Father Ed offers additional background information which can be found at Visitation Parish website at https://visitationrcchurch.org/coronavirus-update

Friday, February 28, 2020

FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT by DEACON TONY MARTUCCI

Ash Wednesday You are dust and unto dust you shall return.  Someone is under my bed, either coming or going!


After His baptism, Jesus went into the desert for forty days to pray and fast in order to prepare for His ministry. So many times during His lifetime, Jesus went off by Himself to pray, to spend time with His Father. We can learn a great deal from this. 


Lent is our time to come apart from our normal activity to pray and sacrifice in order to grow closer to God in preparation for the celebration of the Triduum and Easter Sunday. Many of us decide to fast from a particular food, such as candy, or desserts. Some of us will try to pray more often, say an extra rosary every day, or attend Mass during the week. One year my Dad gave up cigarettes for lent- it was very hard on him, but even harder on us, his family, as his temper grew short. One friend of mine gave up his morning WaWa coffee, and drank hot chocolate instead. He gained ten pounds.


Lenten sacrifices should be a meaningful gesture of self-denial for the love of God. It is even better when it helps us grow in self-control and in deeper appreciation of the gifts and graces we have in our lives. 


Here are a few suggestions that you might consider as alternatives to our usual Lenten fasts.


Most of us have some attachment to our gadgets and digital media. Lent is the perfect time to fast from them. Spend less time on TV, computer or smart phone. One Radio host has given up tweeting for Lent. If that seems like too hard, try giving it up for the weekend, or an hour each day.


Fast from negative talk or criticism. One year a group of us tried this. It was difficult at first, but since there were several of us, we were able to help each other and made it through Easter. Our work environment became so pleasant and we continued it long after Easter.


Fast from non-essential shopping.  Dont go looking for those special sales, or the latest gadgets. If you must go into a store, bring a list of essentials with you and buy only those thing. Go a step further, and give the money you might save to the poor.


We all love our snacks, as you can clearly see. Often they are harder to give up than a meal. We eat when we are stressed, or tired, or just relaxing. Remember the reason you are doing this and say a prayer for those who may not have eaten at all that day. I have stopped buying snacks that I like so they are not lying around, calling me at night. The money I save goes into the poor box.


I love listening to music and talk radio. Often, the second thing I do after I get up in the morning is to turn on the radio. It is also almost impossible for me to drive without some music in the car. Facing the quiet can be uncomfortable, but we can discover God speaking to us in the silence.


Approach meal planning with a Lenten attitude. Eat simpler meals during Lent. Cut out sweets, or bread, or gravy, or alcohol.  Refrain from foods that seem decadent or celebratory- foods that you associate with holiday meals.

Each of these activities, done in the proper spirit for the love of God, can help us to train our bodies and our spirits to be more attuned to God in our lives every day. This year try something different.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

DIOCESAN MASS - MARCH 6, 2020



The Diocesan Mass will be:
Friday March 6, 2020 at 8PM
Visitation
730 Lynwood Ave
Brick NJ 08723
Following the First Friday Eucharistic Adoration Holy Hour.
Hope to see you there!

Monday, January 27, 2020

CELEBRATE GOD'S LOVE AT A VALENTINE'S DAY DANCE

Robert Lauricella invites all to come celebrate God's Love at the Saint Mary Parish Valentine's Dance. It includes a delicious Buffet Dinner, DJ, a supervised kids program, lots of Dancing, and so much more!!! Admission only $25 for adults, $5 for Children. Call your family and friends to reserve a table. All Welcome - Couples, Singles, Grandparents, Families and Friends. For more information call: (732) 671-0071 ext 239.