NEWS AND UPDATES
Eucharistic Ministers Workshop – This past Monday evening I led our wonderful Eucharistic Ministers in a workshop. The workshop functioned as a time to regroup and refocus on this immensely important ministry in our parish. I am wholeheartedly grateful for their faithfulness to the Eucharist, our Church, and the ministry in which they are invited to participate.
As Catholics, we believe that the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the gift that fulfills our Lord’s words to us when He said: “I will be with you always, even until the end of time.” As such, one of my primary responsibilities as the shepherd of this beautiful parish community is to protect the Eucharist, nurture the
faithful’s understanding of the Eucharist, and celebrate the Eucharist as a community of faith.
If ever you or someone you know is ill, homebound, or hospitalized, and would like to receive Communion (even on an ongoing basis) please be sure to call the rectory office to make the request. Our Eucharistic Ministers are eager to visit their fellow parishioners and bring them Communion.
On Tuesday, Feb. 8th, at 7pm in the church, I will lead a workshop for our Lectors. I am looking forward to working with our Lectors in reflecting on the awesome gift of proclaiming the Word of God at Mass.
Update to Sunday Mass Schedule – With Fr. Tony’s departure, many are wondering if we are receiving a parochial vicar who will replace Fr. Tony. For many reasons, this will not be the case, at least not in the near future. Consequently, this will mean some changes to our pastoral and sacramental ministry here at St. James going forward, particularly our Sunday Mass schedule.
Friends, please be assured that I will continue to minister to this wonderful parish community with zeal and love and work hard to ensure that the sacramental needs of our parish are adequately provided for.
Here are the most relevant reasons why my options are limited and how this will impact our parish:
Priest Shortage – An emerging reality is the decline in young men discerning a vocation to the priesthood, in addition to the limited pool of available priests. I serve on the Seminary Admissions Board, the archdiocesan board that reviews applicants for the seminary, and currently there are only two men entering the seminary for the Archdiocese of Newark this year. The numbers are quite disheartening and
sobering. What this means is that there will be fewer and fewer priests available for the over 200 plus parishes within the Archdiocese of Newark. I earnestly implore you to pray that young men may courageously discern a call to the priesthood.
Deficit Reduction – One of my top priorities has been to work closely with our parish finance council to tackle our budget deficit and our debt. While we have already made great strides to improve our financial situation, simply put, our budget cannot support an additional priest.
Sunday Mass Schedule Adjustment – While the parish will not be receiving a parochial vicar, I am happy to say that Fr. John Dennehy will continue to assist me regularly on the weekends. I am grateful for his
priestly ministry among us, as I am sure you are as well. However, even with the continued assistance of Fr. John, we will adjust the Sunday Mass schedule beginning the first weekend in February. Having consulted my staff, the parish pastoral council, and parish finance council, we all agree that a new Sunday Mass schedule is needed at this time. Therefore, our new Sunday Mass schedule, beginning February 6th, is as follows:
Sunday Masses will now be held at 8:00am, 10:00am, and 12:00pm. The Saturday 5:00pm Vigil will remain the same. Saturday Morning Mass will now be held at 8:30am.
Quote of the Week
Today we still cast the net. And Christ fills it. And Christ calls to conversion those who are found . . . among the waves and tempests of the world.