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Fr. Ron's Blog

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Fr. Ron's Blog

Dear Friends,
This weekend is Pledge Weekend for us here at Mount Carmel. Throughout the Archdiocese – Pledge Weekend for the Annual Appeal, now called Sharing God’s Blessings was last weekend – Super Bowl Sunday. We didn’t do it last weekend, not because of the Super Bowl, but because we also had a Confirmation Retreat going on and it’s hard for me to be in two places at the same time, or even to run back and forth from here to Kearny.

Dear Friends,
From the Past – Last weekend’s Men’s Cornerstone was a very special moment for the seventy or so (not all first time retreatants) men who attended. There was a great spirit, a lot of fellowship and many deeply moving spiritual moments and ended with a wonderful celebration of the Eucharist – the Church’s thanksgiving for God’s gifts and presence in our lives. And my schedule worked out in such a way that I was able to be present for more of the 26 hours than usual. It was a great experience. If any men of the parish know someone who attended, ask them about it and put it down on your calendar for next year. It’s always that last weekend in January, the one between the AFC/NFC Championship games and the Super Bowl. To the retreatants – don’t forget the reunion Monday night (2/4) at the K of C at 7:30 PM.

Dear Friends,
As you can see from the front cover of today’s bulletin, Catholic Schools Week begins today. This is the week throughout the nation when we celebrate the history of, and continuing presence of the Catholic school as part of the American Catholic parish experience. There are a host of activities happening at our school, the Academy of Our Lady, which we support along with St. Catharine’s. At the conclusion of all the masses this weekend, both here and at St. Catharine’s, a student from the Academy, from his/her particular parish, will speak of their experience at the Academy. I know you will be impressed.

Dear Friends,
Last Sunday, at the 9:30 Mass, we celebrated the Rite of Acceptance into the RCIA. Say What? For those who usually attend the 11:00AM Sunday Mass they might have known, because we usually do these rites during that Mass but I couldn’t this past week because I was speaking at “When Families Gather” at 11:00. So what is the RCIA? It is the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, the journey, the process by which adults become fully participating members of the Catholic community.

Dear Friends,
Varia – a number of unrelated items

- Last Sunday we celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany, the visit of the Magi to the newborn Christ child and their presentation of their gifts, gold for the Child’s Kingship, frankincense for His divinity (and also His status as High Priest), and myrrh, pre-figuring the anointing of His Body. When we think of Epiphany we commonly, and exclusively, think of this event. But for the first four hundred years of the Church, Epiphany was a wider celebration, and those celebrations differed from place to place. What was celebrated in Tours, in what is now France, was vastly different from what was celebrated in Alexandria. In those first few hundred years, Epiphany was the name given to the celebration of the threefold manifestations of Jesus as the Messiah.

Dear Friends,
As we begin this New Year, it has become my custom to begin by recognizing the blessings God has given us and to say thanks. The 1stReading for the Mass on January 1 is the famous blessing of Aaron on the Israelites: “The Lord bless you and keep you.” We here at OLMC are so blessed in so many ways. One of those blessings is the people who are so good to us, sharing their time and talents.

Christmas is a tiring time for everyone, in your homes and offices, and ours as well. Putting together all the elements that make for a joyful celebration of God’s great gift to us in Jesus Christ is the work of a great number of people here in the parish and I begin this New Year by expressing my thanks and appreciation to all.

Dear Friends,
Today is Holy Family Sunday, the day on which the Church celebrates family life and asks us to reflect on the family as the basic unit of society. It is the family in which we are nurtured and nourished and which, throughout our lives, offers the support that allows us to continue to grow and, at the same time, to be secure in the knowledge that there is a place where we are loved. It is in the family that we experience the ties that bind, bringing us together into the most intimate of all human relationships.

Dear Friends,
Today is the 4thSunday of Advent. Though not quite as hectic as last year, when the 4thSunday was also Christmas Eve (because Christmas was on a Monday), logistically, it still presents many obstacles in terms of timing. That’s why the church is already decorated for Christmas. So, in the sanctuary you see the Christmas trees & poinsettia next to the Advent wreath.

Dear Friends,
Each day, every priest in the world prays the official prayer of the Church. It is called the Liturgy of the Hours. In the past it has been referred to simply as the Breviary (or Brev.) or the Divine Office (or Office). One of the intentions in praying it was to sanctify the parts of the day by requiring it to be prayed at certain times of the day. Its composition is a combination of the psalms, readings from Scripture and spiritual writers, intercessions and prayers.

The Office of Readings is the hour that contains these longer readings from Scripture and spiritual writers or readings. The other day, the reading was from the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium) of the 2nd Vatican Council. It concluded with this paragraph...

Dear Friends,
Advent is a special time when our hearts are often touched by the gift of believing that God loves us so much He came to share life with us, and the reality of that fills us more with hope than at any other time of the year. It is also the time to “put things right” with that God, a time to acknowledge our sins and seek forgiveness and reconciliation. For those who have been away a long time, I guarantee it will make a big difference in your celebration of Christmas. In that light, I repeat a column I wrote several years ago.

“Several weeks ago, in response to an article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal, I wrote a reflection on the article and on the Sacrament of Reconciliation. As we come closer to the Feast of Christmas, the parish will once again offer extended hours and opportunities for the celebration of this Sacrament. I repeat below some of that article as an invitation for the parish to celebrate with us this Sacrament of Peace.

Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 

 

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