Recently 81 young people at the Shrine of St. Pope John Paul II/Holy Rosary Parish in Passaic received the Sacrament of Confirmation. On June 12, Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney administered the Sacrament and on June 13, Bishop Emeritus Arthur J. Serratelli administered the Sacrament.
Liturgical ministers of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Flanders — from lectors and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion to ushers and music ministers — recently learned not “how” to perform their various important tasks while serving at Mass but more importantly “why” they do them.
St. Vincent Martyr Parish in Madison took advantage of the increased time for prayer and reflection that the COVID-19 lockdown afforded to dream up ways to refine — and even innovate and revitalize — the ways it evangelizes the Gospel as New Jersey emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. Emboldened and enlivened, St. Vincent’s expects to unveil in September a comprehensive plan that will offer specific ways that the parish will move forward in worship, formation, and outreach in the post-COVID-19 era.
The Sisters of Sorrowful Mother announced June 29 that the order would close St. Francis Residential Community in Denville, a nonprofit senior independent living rental community. The official closure will likely take place in 2022 with no firm date set as the sisters want to ensure that every senior currently living at the facility has a new home.
There were many moments when a team of missionaries from New Jersey who were at the Texas-Mexico border saw the face of Christ. For Evelyn Lopez and Philline Luz, both in their 20s, it was seen on the faces of the children, who in spite of facing such a perilous trek through Central America and Mexico across the U.S. border, managed to smile and be joyful.
Last month at their spring meeting, the U.S. bishops voted decisively to approve the drafting of a teaching document on the Eucharist that in a proposed outline includes a subsection on Eucharistic consistency. The bishops’ doctrine committee, said it would include a “special call for those Catholics who are cultural, political, or parochial leaders to witness to the faith” and uphold Church teaching in public life.
Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney will ordain seven diocesan seminarians to the transitional diaconate on Saturday, July 10, during a Mass at 10 a.m. in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Paterson — the final step before being called to be ordained as priests of the Diocese in 2022.
The lush “Green” in Newton sits both in the middle of the town and at the center of its civic life. In recent years, the town square has hosted activities from outdoor concerts and memorials to fallen military veterans to a Black Lives Matter demonstration and Respect for Life prayer rallies. Often, at the edges of these gatherings, Newton Police stand watch, ensuring the peace. There on the morning of June 26, more than 100 people of all faith backgrounds raised their voices in support of the work of these law enforcement officials — local, county, and state — and to pray for their safety.
For 15 minutes, Christian Philips, 13, of St. Lawrence the Martyr Parish in Chester, lived a metaphor of vocations. Wearing a helmet and suspended from cables, he carefully balanced himself while walking on wires more than 40 feet in the air on an indoor zip line here at Camp Shiloh in the Hewitt section of West Milford on June 25.
Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Passaic on Saturday, June 26 at its 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. vigil Masses. During the two Masses, the Bishop confirmed 63 young people. The Confirmation was the final one before the summer season.
In support of diocesan Catholic Charities, 325 golfers played 18 holes at Crystal Springs Resort here June 21 at the 47th annual Wiegand Farm Golf Classic to benefit the agencies of Catholic Family and Community Services (CFCS), the Department for Persons with Disabilities (DPD), and Straight and Narrow (SN).
For 94 years, Mary Josephine Healey Feenan has called the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Paterson her spiritual home. Ten years before it was known as the Diocese’s mother church, her parents brought her to be baptized there on April 3, 1927. For her family, the cathedral parish holds a special place in the family’s history. Her grandfather, John Shields was one of the many Irish laborers who came to the city of Paterson looking to build a better life for their families and sought a place to live their Catholic faith in freedom.
On the corner of Main Street and Grand Street in Paterson, “a presence that is right in the thick of things, and a presence that is big enough to accommodate all comers,” describes best the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, which for generations has welcomed all who come through its doors. That is how Msgr. Raymond Kupke, diocesan archivist and pastor of St. Anthony Church in Hawthorne, described the cathedral parish in his homily during a Mass June 24 to mark the cathedral parish’s 200th anniversary celebration on the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.
Today, July 1, Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney marks the one-year anniversary of his episcopal ordination and installation as the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Paterson, which took place in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Paterson. It was a historic first year for the Bishop. It began in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic with a press conference that took place virtually via Zoom on April 15 when the announcement was made that Pope Francis had chosen then-Father Kevin Sweeney, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, N.Y., as the new Bishop of Paterson.
In the days leading up to Religious Freedom Week June 22–29, the U.S. Supreme Court made the celebration of the week even more important. With its unanimous 9–0 decision in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, it defended our religious freedom. In 2018, Philadelphia ceased placing children with foster parents that partner with Catholic Social Services demanding that the agency change its religious practices (the belief in traditional marriage as between one man and one woman) or close their much-needed ministry.
If you read this column on a weekly basis and/or if you have heard me preach, you know that, at times, I struggle to be “succinct” (briefly and clearly expressed). I will try to offer a succinct description of my thinking in preparing to write this column, so that I may share at some greater length a “change in plans.”