The outside of the second-floor windows in a group home of the diocesan Department for Persons with Disabilities (DPD) was in need of a cleaning. Last week, some of the teens, who volunteered as part of Catholic Heart Workcamp (CHWC), came to the rescue. They took turns leaping up on each other’s shoulders to give those hard-to-reach windows a thorough washing.
Armed with clues, the children in grades k–4 moved as a group, looking for the items along with accompanying puzzle pieces, during a scavenger hunt. It was part of Holy Spirit’s new Vocation Bible School (VBS), held from July 18 to 22. Before the tabernacle, one boy asked, “Is there a puzzle piece in there?” eliciting laughter. He was assured “no.” But the game symbolized VBS’ purpose: to help the children start their journey to piece together the puzzles of their lives and discover God’s plan for them as a priest, religious, married person, or single person.
This past Sunday, July 24, the Universal Church marked the second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. Established by Pope Francis in 2021, the observance is celebrated each year on the fourth Sunday of July, coinciding with the feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s parents and Jesus’ grandparents, Ss. Joachim and Anne (Yes, Jesus had grandparents!).
Earlier this month, Major League Baseball held its Mid-Summer Classic, or what we commonly refer to as the All-Star Game. Interest in (and television ratings for) the All-Star Game is not what it used to be. But for most baseball fans, it is exciting each year to find out which players are selected as All-Stars and then to root for the American or National League.
Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney made a pastoral visit to Good Shepherd Parish here July 14 to celebrate the 5:30 p.m. Saturday night vigil Mass — the first-ever Mass said in Spanish at the parish. Concelebrating the Mass were: Father Yohan Serrano, chaplain to the diocesan Office of Hispanic Ministry with responsibility for the pastoral care of the Spanish-speaking and immigrant communities in Sussex County, who resides at Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Sparta; Jesuit Father Tom Florek, executive director of the Catholic Migrant Farmworker Network; Father Javier Bareno, parochial vicar of St. Therese Parish in Succasunna, and Father Emerson Francisco, Good Shepherd’s parochial vicar. Father Timothy Dowling, Good Shepherd’s pastor, was unavailable for the Spanish Mass because he was officiating at a wedding. Father Francisco represented the parish at the liturgy.
Fifty-one teens and 21 chaperones from St. Joseph Parish in Mendham traveled to Paintsville, Ky., from June 19 to 25, as part of the parish’s 14th annual Teen Appalachia Mission Trip. The team worked in conjunction with Good Neighbors, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that serves the working poor in Johnson County, Ky.
On Pentecost Sunday, the Diocese of Paterson’s Office of Catechesis and Faith Formation launched a new ongoing series of short videos in English and Spanish to familiarize local catechetical leaders and catechists with the latest edition of the new Directory for Catechesis (DC). Published in 2020, the new directory emphasizes the role of catechesis in the mission of evangelization, as set out previously in the teachings in the Gospels, Church documents, and past editions of the DC.
Altar servers carried long rows of candles — either with long wax stems or in small lanterns — into Our Lady of Mount Carmel (OLMC) Church here at the beginning of a Mass on July 17 to mark the 175th anniversary of OLMC Parish. These flames symbolized the faith community today, which draws on its rich history in its continuing efforts to answer Christ’s call to become “a light to the world” and live out lives of worship and witness.
Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney has named Cecile Pagliarulo to serve as the new director of the Passaic Neighborhood Center for Women (PNCW) here. Many in the Paterson Diocese may recognize Pagliarulo’s name. For 17 years, she has worked as a reporter for The Beacon. Pagliarulo is set to begin in her new role on July 25.
Since the announcement of the Dobbs decision by the U.S. Supreme Court June 24, Catholic churches and their ministries, and crisis pregnancy centers that not only help women choose life instead of abortion, but also help women after their babies are born, have been the targets of unrelenting domestic terrorist attacks by pro-abortion zealots with no end in sight. None of these domestic terrorist attacks has yet to be condemned by the Biden Administration nor has the Department of Justice made a single arrest in any of these hate crimes.
If you read last week’s Beacon (or follow the Diocese of Paterson’s Facebook page or my Instagram), you would know that I recently had the opportunity to travel to Ireland. On the eighth day of a nine-day trip, I visited St. Teresa’s Church on Clarendon Street in Dublin. After returning home, I wanted to learn more about the church, so I visited the parish website. There, I found a very informative “introduction video” and learned how historic the church is. Some of the most notable people in Irish history worshiped there. Watch the video here.
This June, Carol Lenc, Bible study coordinator at St. Jude the Apostle Parish in Hardyston, took more than 60 parishioners on a journey through the Old Testament stories that teem with references and symbols that prefigure and explain the Body of Christ in the Eucharist. On Tuesday mornings from June 7 to 27, she held sessions for the series, appropriately titled “The Old Testament Roots of the Eucharist.”
The Catechetical Leaders Association (CLA) of the Diocese elected officers to its executive board for the 2022–23 school year during a retreat for local catechetical leaders in June at Villa Pauline in Mendham. Debbie Dericks, director of religious education (DRE) at Our Lady of Consolation Parish in Wayne, was elected CLA president-elect.
Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney is visiting Ireland, homeland of his late parents, Agnes (Blewitt) and James Sweeney, who were born in the island nation. The Bishop is visiting his many aunts and uncles there as well as his cousins from both sides of his family.
During the last week of June into July’s first week, 30 teen volunteers and adult chaperones took a different road to start their summer break. They participated in Catholic Heart Workcamp (CHWC) and traveled to Bridgeport, Conn. for a week of service and spirituality.
Kathleen Deighan loved her job teaching second-graders in a Catholic school. But she still felt something missing in her life, as she continued to wrestle with discerning her vocation — married life or religious life? When the young woman had breakfast with a religious sister, whom she knew from college — it turned out to be a meeting that was as challenging as it was providential.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling that overturned a Maine law denying religious schools access to state tuition assistance available to students attending secular private institutions was a victory for students, parents, school choice advocates and, most importantly, religious liberty.
To the public, Dobbs v. Jackson was about abortion rights, but in the court case, the subject was hermeneutics. It is hard to believe but true that most college graduates complete their studies without hearing the word or engaging the concept of hermeneutics. Like the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, they receive a diploma but not an education. Hermeneutics is most simply defined as the methodology of interpreting texts.
Marking 25 years as a priest, Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney celebrated his silver jubilee with priests from around the Diocese of Paterson and beyond during a Mass, at which he was the principal celebrant, marking the Solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Paterson June 29.