Daily Prayers and Reflections from Father Tom 

Important information from Fr. Tom

Dear Friends.

                       God be with you!   Let us continue to pray for one another and for the world.

We are delighted to welcome you to pray here in the heart of our parish.  Please be sure to maintain proper social distancing  so as to help prevent further contagion.

We are live streaming Mass daily at 9:15 am Consequently the church will not be available for private prayer on Sunday from 8:45 to 9:45  nor Monday through Saturday from 9 to 9:45.   Sts. Philip and James pray for us.

 

Church will be open for private prayer Monday thru Friday from 7 am - 7 pm Saturday and Sunday 7 am - 3 pm.

__________________________________________

Click here for  A Message to the Faithful of the Diocese of Rockville Centre from Bishop John O. Barres.

Click here for  Divine Mercy Letter to the Faithful of the Diocese of Rockville Centre from Bishop John O. Barres.

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DAILY PRAYERS - REFLECTIONS - AND WORDS

FROM FATHER TOM 

 - Parish Office 

The office is continuing to operate as "normal" as possible.  While some programs are "on hold" until further notice others are continuing to be available to those in need.  While we are NOT open to the general public, a staff member IS in the office daily to answer all calls and questions.

Mass Intentions and Altar Memorials are available.  You may request via phone message, e-mail, or drop your request in the mail slot at the side of our office entrance door. You will receive a call back verifying dates and times requested.  Mass Cards may be picked-up - you will be notified when it is ready.  You may also leave a message to have a name added to our prayer list.

Our Food Pantry, under Parish Social Ministry, is operating.  We are meeting the needs of those in our parish.  You can find a list of pantry items needed in our bulletin as well as on our facebook page.  If you know a family who is in need of support, please have them contact us and we will be happy to assist in any way we are able.  

 

Our church is open daily - Monday - Friday from 7 am - 7 pm / Saturday and Sunday from 7 am - 3 pm.

Perhaps you would like to stop in to a light a candle, say a prayer or find some quiet peace....

We ask you to maintain acceptable personal distance in church for the safety of all. Our maintenance staff is on site daily to clean and sanitize our church.  

 

We are livestreaming Mass daily at 9:15....click on the Facebook link on the opening page of our website.

If you are in need of a priest you may call the office and select the option for Emergency After Hours.

 

Please note that the Easter Gabriel went to print prior to the Corona Virus Pandemic....therefore some articles

may not be timely in the current situation. Our bulletin is going to print weekly.  There are limited hard copies available in the rear of the church....the publications can be found on our website. 

As you know our parish runs on donations, contributions and offerings made through the generosity of our parishioners. If you are able to continue financial support, offerings may be mailed to 1 Carow Place.  They may also be dropped into the mail slot at the side of the office entrance door.  You may choose to sign-up with Faith Direct, there is a link on our opening webpage.  The Diocese of Rockville Centre has established a Text-to-Give program as an alternative way to financially support your parish.  

 

Parish Rectory Office   -  631-584-5454

General email                  info@sspj.org

Business Manager           vportanova@sspj.org

 

We are grateful for your generosity and support. 

 Click to join our Live-stream Mass and services or by following                 the facebook link on our website home page:  sspj.org

Click here for the   lLink to USCCB Mass readings- click on appropriate day.  Click on the Religious Ed Tab -scroll down to prayers - click and find the Act of Spiritual Communion prayer at the bottom of the page

         

      

  Music for June 7, 2020   ~ Holy Trinity Sunday

   

Gathering                  –  All Creatures of Our God and King #538

Presentation             –  How Great thou Art #424

Communion             –  Sing To the Mountains #532

Sending Forth          --  Holy God We Praise Thy Name #22 TM

Permission to podcast/livestream the music in this service is        obtained from OneLicense with the license # A-607678

 

      **Recorded CD music is not included in this license.

Click here for _-

June 4, 2020 

Dear friends,

     In today’s letter to Timothy,  St. Paul writes, “there is no chaining the word of God....if we have died with Christ, we shall also live with him... charge people to stop disputing about words. This serves no purpose since it harms those who listen.”

    Timothy was a peacemaker in the early church. He urged members of newly formed congregations to work out their differences rather than foster needless division. Sadly church life (Catholic and otherwise) still involves far too many stories of division sometimes over the smallest things.  Be a voice for reasonable compromise so that “ in a world torn by conflict and division, your people may shine forth as a prophetic sign of unity and concord”.  Peace. Father Tom

June 3, 2020 

     Dear Friends,

         Sister Theresita’s Sister, Dona, passed away unexpectedly this morning. Please keep Sister T and her family in your prayers. Should you wish to send her a card, you can send it to the rectory: 1 Carow Place, St James and I will she that she receives it.  Thanks. Father Tom

Click here for _-

June 3, 2020 

Dear Friends,

      Please read what Pope Francis has said today in his address in Rome. Let’s heed his words and pray with him for an end to violence and racism. Peace Father Tom           http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/

Click here for _-

June 2, 2020  ST. JOHN PAUL’S MESSAGE FOR OUR TIME: ‘ON MY KNEES, I BEG YOU TO TURN AWAY FROM THE PATHS OF VIOLENCE’

Dear Friends,

     Some important words for today. Let us heed them....and “ give to God what is God’s”.....our vocation to image God and to be God’s currency to bring about a new heaven and a new earth. Let us pray for peace.  Father Tom

     

Click here for _-

June 1, 2020

Dear Friends,

      Let’s continue to pray for healing in our country....the Sisters of Mercy

have prepared the following prayer for the elimination of racism.  May we

learn new ways to receive one another. God bless. Father Tom

Click here for _-

May 31, 2020

Dear Friends,

      Happy Feast of Pentecost....feast of beginnings,

of new understandings....of grace shared and received.

As we pray for one another and for our church and world

I invite you to reflect with me on the following words of

Dan Shutte who led us these past nine days in a

Pentecost Novena:

https://www.ncronline.org/news/spirituality/novena-pentecost-feast-pentecost

Feast of Pentecost

I'm sure many of us wish we would wake up one morning soon and realize that these past few months have been a terrible dream. But we're slowly learning to live in a new reality where we can't even welcome our friends with a strong embrace or even a handshake. We're not unlike those first disciples who had to get used to a new reality, a reality that didn't include the physical presence of Jesus, their Lord and teacher. Like them, we are afraid and some days would rather lock ourselves away rather than face this new way of being.

Those early Christians didn't know how to be church. When Jesus of Nazareth left the future in the hands of his followers, he didn't present them with a handbook of how to do it. But he promised them his own Spirit to dwell with them and in them to be their hope, their comfort and their guide. All they had to do was listen to the quiet, gentle voice in their heart of hearts that spoke of love and truth and mercy.

The most powerful message we preach to the world is in the way we treat each other, especially at times like this when we are afraid and tired and confused. "By this shall they know that you are my disciples: by the way you love one another." This is where Pentecost begins. This is how we become the church.

 

       Also for further reflection find some suggestions for the day from the Jesuit Retreat House in Gloucester.

Father Thomas Haggerty

 

Click here for _-

May 31, 2020

Dear Friends,

Also for further reflection find some suggestions for the day from the Jesuit Retreat House in Gloucester.

Father Thomas Haggerty

 

 

We share with you points for Pentecost prayer, “From Chaos to Kairos.” 

 

Pentecost Points for Prayer

 

Pentecost Points for Prayer (2)

 

In the Gospel for the Vigil of Pentecost, Jesus cries out, “Let anyone who thirsts, come to me and drink.” The video slide presentation for today uses images from the past 50 days since Easter morning with “As Water to the Thirsty” by David Haas.

 

Pentecost/ As Water to the Thirsty

 

Here is a link to a danced version of David Haas’ “Send Us Your Spirit.”

 

Send Us Your Spirit

Click here for _-

May 30, 2020

Dear friends,

     Today  is the next to last day of the Easter season.

  Tomorrow, the great feast of Pentecost marks the

fiftieth and final day of the Easter season for 2020.

It certainly has been a memorable

Lent and Easter, to say the least. The coronavirus pandemic has made this Easter time anything but a resounding alleluia. It’s been one long Lenten fast from human contact, from work and school, from the pleasures that enrich our lives - and even a fast  from gathering at the table of the Risen One  to celebrate the sacrament of God’s love.

 

And unfortunately, we’ve also seen a resurgence of racism.

 

So we pray with genuine fervor on this last day,

“ Come Holy Spirit, renew the face of the earth!”

 

But this Easter season has made a mark on all of us: we’ve come to a new appreciation of the blessing of family and friends in our lives. We have a new understanding of our belonging to one another: we realize that the sufferings and struggles of others affects us. We have a new respect for those on the front line of medical emergencies . We’re more aware of the many hard-working people who keep public service and supply chains functioning.

 

So may we welcome the new awareness of God’s gift to us this Easter, and may the wisdom and understanding we have realized in the course of this

one, long Lenten fast enable us to bring the transforming hope of Easter into every season.

 

With the Spirit’s help, let’s bring about that new Pentecost, fired by the contagion of hope.....and witness anew to one another and to the world, that our God reigns.    Peace be with you! Father Tom

 

May 29,2020:  You Make All Things New is a live-streamed Pentecost Sunday Concert Click here for May 29, 2020_-

Dear Friends,

     For music lovers.....here’s a link to a free Pentecost Concert offered by David Hass....a contemporary Church musician who composed many of the songs we use at Mass.   Peace. Father Tom

Click here for May 29, 2020_-

Come Holy Spirit / Pathways to God - May 29, 2020

Dear Friends,

Here are some tools to use to ready ourselves for Sunday’s feast of Pentecost.  Be well. Father Tom

IGNATIAN PENTECOST VIGIL PRAYER

WHAT IS DISCERNMENT?

PRAYER AND DISCERNMENT IN LOCKDOWN

THE ROSARY  - Pray as you go Rosary 

Click here for May 28, 2020 _-  

May 28, 2020

 

Dear Friends,

From today’s gospel...” the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them”

Perhaps you saw this on the news:

Luciana Lira teaches English as a second language. The family of one of her first grade students are asylum seekers from Guatemala. The entire family of four came down with Corona virus - just as the mother was about to give birth. They had no one else to call except the seven year old’s teacher.

And Luciana and her husband stepped up.

When the baby was born by C-section five weeks prematurely, Luciana took the baby into her own home. The mother became gravely ill and was put on a ventilator but is now recovering at home. She chats everyday with Luciana and her baby. Luciana will continue to care for the baby until the family tests negative for the virus.

“It’s an amazing experience,” she says. “ I’m so glad that mom called and asked me to help and she was able to trust me.”

When nurses in the hospital asked if she was the mother’s sister as she was listed as a primary contact, Luciana responded, “ I’m just a teacher.”

 

“ Just a teacher.” In Jesus we are so much more than the jobs that define us, the tribes and nations we belong to, the languages we speak. We are one family in God...and at the Last Supper Jesus prays that’s the extraordinary sense of love that binds the Father to the Son will bind us to one another, as well. Such sacred love is total, selfless, unconditional and complete; it is love that transcends credentials and labels, fears and biases to realize that we are all children of God. Through such love, the resurrection of a Jesus becomes real to us in our own time and place as we await its fulfillment in the time and place of God.

 

Luciana is more than just a “ teacher”. She is the answer to Jesus’ Last Supper prayer.  Like Jesus, she has given us an example.

     

 

Father Thomas Haggerty

Click here for May 27, 2020 _-  

May 27, 2020

Dear Friends,

      I marvel at you who are parents! Years ago I read a book, Parents Are People Markers....thinking and praying for you in these tough times....I just want to take a moment to applaud you and in the name of our church community to thank you for shaping in your families a future of Hope. Here’s “ an invitation to a little peace along the parenting journey.  Blessings. Father Tom

Click here for May 26, 2020 _-  

Dear Friends,

    The following post includes an invitation to join with Pope Francis and brothers and sisters throughout the world this Saturday. Today’s Pentecost Novena invites us to pray for the gift of kindness.....and today’s feast of St Philip Neri urges us to spread the contagion of joy! Let’s go forth and lift up our hearts and the hearts of others.  Be a blessing today.    Peace. Father Tom

Click here for May 25, 2020 _-  

Dear friends,

     Happy Memorial Day! We pray in gratitude for all those who have given of themselves that we might know freedom. May we build on their self sacrifice as we reimagine a new Pentecost. The gift we pray for in today’s Pentecost Novena is patience. Attached today as well is a short reflection on today’s gospel by Vanita Wright. Peace. Father Tom

Click here for May 26, 2020 _-  

Powerful weapon: Pope to pray rosary with Marian shrines,

asking for help in pandemic

Click here for May 24, 2020 _-  

Dear Friends,

    In the following homily, Deacon Kendra poses a challenging question: “ what will we bring forth from our Upper Rooms into the world? “ To help answer the question, let’s continue the Novena to the Holy Spirit and pray for an imagining that leads to a new Pentecost. If you’re looking for some family suggestions for next Sunday....in addition to wearing red, check back to the postings for May 17. Have a blessed day!  Father Tom

Click here for May 24, 2020 The room where it happened:_

The Upper Room is central to so much of the story of Christianity. But it is, most significantly right now, not just “the room where it happened,” but the room that

was, for the first days of the Church, the very home of the Church.

A place of prayer. Of anticipation. Of wondering. Of watching. Of waiting.

 

It should feel familiar to all of us right now. A lot of us have been forced by

circumstances to stay at home. And home is now our office, our classroom,

our gym, and — at moments like this — our church.

Click here for May 23, 2020 _-  

Dear Friends,

     Here is a video prayer for discernment as we welcome the Holy Spirit into our deepest selves.  Enjoy the weekend. Father Tom 

Click here for May 22, 2020 _-  

Dear friends,

In her book Scared by Struggle,  Transformed by Hope, Sister Joan Chittester, writes about embracing hope when all seems hopeless:

 

“Despair is a spiritual disease into which is built its antidote: hope. It is a matter of refusing to die at exactly the moment when we are being offered new life. Hope is not a denial of reality. But it is also not some kind of spiritual elixir. It is not a placebo infused out of nowhere. Hope is a series of small actions that transform darkness into light. It is putting one foot in front of the other when we can find no reason to do so at all… The spiritual  task of life is to feed the hope that comes out of despair. Hope is  not something to be found outside of us. It lies in the spiritual life we cultivate within. The whole purpose of wrestling with God is to be transformed into the self we were meant to become, to step out of the confines of our false securities and allow  our creating God to go on creating. In us.”

 

When we are paralyzed by fear and doubt as St. Paul experiences in today’s first reading, when we are overwhelmed with exhaustion and discouragement as Jesus warns in the gospel, may we carry on daring to hope in the constancy of God’s presence.

 

Let’s continue to pray for a new Pentecost. I encourage you to use the Pentecost novena mentioned yesterday.

 

Enjoy the beautiful day! God's blessings.   Father Tom

Click here for May 21, 2020 _-  

Here is how to sign up for the Novena to the Holy Spirit

Click here for May 21, 2020 _-  

Novena for Pentecost from Dan Schutte

Click here for May 21, 2020 _-  

Dear friends,

    Happy feast of the Ascension of Our Lord! I liked the following homily, especially the end by Deacon Kendra in which he invites us to be missionaries at home. Also, you’ll find a novena to the Holy Spirit to help ready us for the great feast of Pentecost. It’s been prepared by Dan Schutte, composer of songs such as You Are Mine. It looks like a great way to ready ourselves for what we pray will be a new Pentecost.  God bless!  Father Tom

     

Click here for May 20, 2020 _-  

God is Being Itself

     

Click here for May 20, 2020 _-  

Dear Friends,

     During this week....the fifth anniversary of the publication of

Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si....he invites us to again reflect

both on his letter and the goodness of creation itself.

    Jewish tradition tells a story about a rabbi whose young son once

came running to him, crying inconsolably. Between huge sobs,

he manages to say,  “father, I’ve been playing hide and seek with the

other children. It came my turn to hide, but after I found a good place, I sat there in the woods for hours waiting for the others to find me. No one ever yelled into the woods to tell me to come out. They just left me there alone.” His father put his arms around the child and held him close, rocking back-and-forth.  "Oh my son,” he said, “that’s how it is with God, too. God is always hiding, hoping that people will come to look for him. But no one wants to play. He’s always left alone, wanting to be found, hoping someone will come. But crying  out because no one seeks him out.“

    God cries out in all creation! I invite you to reflect on the following reflection posted by Father Richard Rohr, ofm.

     

Click here for May 19, 2020 _-  

Dear Friends,

     Here’s a 50 minute suggestion for you. Check out the following video on how to make this desert time fruitful. I listened in three segments....I found particularly interesting her ideas on control, choice and obedience. I hope you find it helpful.   Peace.  Father Tom

An Interview with Dr. Holly Ordway

Making a "Desert Moment" Fruitful...

     

Click here for May 18, 2020 _-  

Faith at Home for Young Catholics

     

Click here for May 17, 2020 _-  

My suggestion to families for Pentecost Sunday....in addition to

wearing red.....get ready now!

                              

Click here for May 17, 2020 _-  

How and Why to Celebrate Pentecost with your Kids

Click here for May 18, 2020 _-  

Dear Friends,

     Today’s first reading....with all the various cities St Paul visited left me wanting to go on a cruise of the Greek Islands. That’s not going to happened! Like you, I’m home. I found myself wondering as I prayed over the reading...how did Paul know where to go next? The answer, he allowed himself to be led....by the same Spirit calling each of us in this Easter season not to geographical travels but rather  to internal and relational ones. Let’s call on that Holy Spirit and pray for a new openness to go where we are led into a new time of being church together. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle within us the fire of your love....use us to renew the face of the earth

      What follows is a nice song for reflection.   Peace. Father Tom\

.                   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v73h-6LSXBs

Click here for May 17, 2020 _-  

Dear Friends,

     It’s hard not to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation on a day like today. I found myself humming How Great Thou Art going over to open the church early this morning. If you get a chance, read the following reflection on creation ....and if you’re looking for more, google a précis of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si.    Enjoy this beautiful day!  Father Tom 

                              

Click here for May 16, 2020 _-  

     Today a friend sent a suggestion....it proved to be a good one. Go to youtube and listen to David Haas’ song “Dedicate Yourselves”. He includes a litany of gratitude and thanksgiving:

                    Choose gratitude over bitterness.

                    Choose thankfulness over resentment.

                    Choose happiness over anger.

                    Choose promise over reneging.

                    Choose smiling over grimacing.

                    Choose goodness over evil.

       Enjoy this beautiful day!   Peace.  Father Tom

                              

Click here for May 15, 2020 _-  

                                Peace. Father Tom

Click here for May 15, 2020 _-  

Dear Friends,

Looking for a few spiritual offerings? Check out the following - 

            here are some online opportunities to pray, encounter God, learn more about Ignatian     spirituality, or go on retreat in the coming days. We hope you'll join us!

                                Peace. Father Tom

Click here for May 14, 2020 _-  

Dear friends, 

Today as we celebrate the feast of Saint Matthias, we’re not in control of our

lives, and most of us find that very hard.

 

Which puts a unique perspective on today’s first reading. As we read, Matthias

succeeded Judas to bring the complement of the apostles back to Jesus’

original 12. But there was no vetting or search committee to fill Judas’ place: it was

left to prayer and lots. It wasn’t for a lack of control that Peter and company took this route - it was an abundance of trust in God’s wisdom and mercy. The disciples did what they could and should do: Agree on two faithful and gifted candidates, and then left it to God. And whatever happened, they would make it work.

 

What these days demand of us is similar trust: trust in our own ability to do what is right and just , trust in one another to support the common good, trust in God‘s love in our midst keeping us all together.

 

These out-of-control days can leave us depressed, anxious, cynical and, yeah, selfish. May today’s feast of Saint Matthias restore us to trust in the wisdom and grace to follow Jesus’ way of humble generosity and selfless service to one another.

 

Lord, please help us to follow the example of Matthias and Barsabbas to readily give witness to your gospel, in every place and circumstance. May what we have experienced of your grace and love in our own lives enable us to trust always in your call to be your ministers of reconciliation and peace.  Father Tom  

 

Click here for May 12,2020 _-  

LET US PRAY WITH ALL THE WORLD…Thursday, May 14

Click here for May 12,2020 _-  

Message regarding Thursday, May 14, 2020

Pope Francis has accepted the proposal from the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity for May 14, 2020, to be a Day of Prayer and Fasting and Works of Charity, to implore God to help humanity overcome the coronavirus pandemic.

The Holy Father made this announcement after praying the Regina Caeli from the Library of the Apostolic Vatican Palace on Mary 3

.

“We began May a short while ago, Marian month par excellence, during which the faithful love

to visit Shrines dedicated to Our Lady,” Pope Francis said. “This year, because of the health

situation, we go spiritually to these places of faith and devotion, to place in the Holy Virgin’s

heart our worries, expectations, and plans for the future.

“And, as prayer is a universal value, I have accepted the proposal of the Higher Committee of

Human Fraternity so that next May 14 believers of all religions unite spiritually in a Day of

Prayer and Fasting and Works of Charity, to implore God to help humanity overcome the

coronavirus pandemic. Remember: May 14, all believers together, believers of different

traditions, to pray, fast, and do works of charity.”

Click here for May 13,2020 _-  

Dear Friends,

     Today is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Father Casey Cole, OFM, provides an insight in the following clip on Marian devotions.  Peace. Father Tom

Click here for May 11,2020 _-   Mother's Day 

Dear Friends,

     Maybe you too have found yourselves in conversations about opening up; freedom; the common good and the interface of them all. I found this article helpful and its’ suggestion. Peace. Father Tom

   

Click here for May 10,2020 _-   Mother's Day 

Dear Friends,

    A very happy Mother’s Day to all mom’s who everyday mirror for us the loving face of God.....we thank God for your place in our hearts and in our lives, for opening us to wonder and for introducing us to Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life. It is our honor to remember you at Mass today. Blessings.  Father Tom
 

   

Click here for May 9,2020 _-   

History of the Devotion to Mary, Untier of Knots - click link to read more

Schmittdner depicts the Virgin Mary as she is untying the knots of the ribbon of married life. The crushing of the serpent illustrates that Mary is the Immaculate Conception, since she as the one exempt by special grace from all stain of original sin is the serpent’s eternal opponent. The dove is a reference to Mary as the Bride of the Holy Spirit. Angels assist the Blessed Mother; one presents the knots of our lives to her, while another angel presents the ribbon, freed from knots, to us.  Peace, Fr. Tom

   

Click here for May 9,2020 _-  Mary, Help Us Trust in God's Mercy 

Dear Friends

     Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and May is a month devoted to Mary. One of

Pope Francis’ favorite devotions is to Mary, Untier of Knots....certainly in these

days of pandemic, things are tangled ....let’s again invite Mary into our “new ordering “

Peace, Fr. Tom

   

Click here for May 8,2020 _-   

Living Life to the Full in Lock-Down - link to the prayer 
 Then, perhaps with a cup of tea, I spend some time reflecting

 The following questions might be helpful:
 • How do I feel now?

 • What feels important?

 • What do I love about my life?

 • How do I want to live differently? 

   

Click here for May 7,2020 _-   

Dear Friends, 

    Here’s a suggestion for you for tomorrow .  Father Tom

Click here for May 6,2020 _-   

 

Dear Friends,

     Please join me in thanking all those who minister to us as nurses on this

National Nurses Day and we off this prayer to you, having gratefully remembered

you at Mass this morning.  God bless! Father Tom

https://www.chausa.org/prayers/cha-prayer-library/prayer/a-nurse%27s-prayer

Click here for May 5, 2020  

Dear Friends,

     A line that jumped out at me in today’s first reading was this one....Barnabas saw the grace of God.....wow! Barnabas allowed himself to be captured by a sense of wonder, of awe....of something; of Someone bigger than himself .....it was the gospel of Jesus.... enfleshed in community life in Antioch .....where the disciples were first called Christians. A very diverse group of people receiving one another and so doing receiving the Lord! Barnabas, whose name as you remember means “son of encouragement “ saw the grace of God and was moved himself to become a saint maker.....he went to get Saul. Everyone knew about Saul. Saul had persecuted the early community. Saul was complicit in the death of Stephen. Barnabas saw more....Barnabas saw the Paul within Saul . We might never have come to know of Paul had not Barnabas seen the grace of God. And invited others to recognize the same.

    Let’s look for that grace! Let’s be captured by One bigger than ourselves! Let’s be saint makers!   Peace.  Father Tom

Click here for May 4, 2020  

Dear friends,

      A question Peter raises in today’s first reading is an intriguing one to consider for ourselves. He asks, “Who am I to hinder God.” As with ourselves today, God speaking in actual experience was inviting Peter to that “more abundant“  life Jesus spoke of yesterday. Jesus, “the door, the gate “ to that more abundant life was prompting Peter to a new way of thinking. Well versed in Jewish customs, Peter was lead to think outside the box. Here’s a question to consider with Peter, is our trust in God expansive and bigger than our limited views? After all, if we imitate Christ, our viewpoint could become the cross of sacrifice, where we all are changed and no longer hinder God nor each other.

I found myself thinking earlier of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s,

                               Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God,

        But only he who sees, takes off his shoes; the rest sit round and pluck blackberries.      Peace.  Father Tom

Click here for May 3,2020 _-  April 30, 2020  

Dear Friends,

Here is the prayer we will pray as we are blessed together today:

          Dear Lord, with Your Presence in our lives, help us to cultivate in our hearts as beautiful an abode for your Presence as we are capable of doing. Send us as you sent Philip and James before us, as Your Apostles of Hope in this our world. Amen.

 

Prayer as we consecrate ourselves again to Our Lady under her title, Mary Mother of the Church. As we pray with her, let’s ask that we too like her might “do whatever He tells us “ as we re-imagine with God’s Grace how we are called to be church today. Peace. Father Tom

Click here for May 2, 2020  

Dear  Friends,

As we celebrate our parish feast tomorrow, May 3, the feast of Sts Philip and James.....like them, as Apostles of Hope.....stop by the church between 11 and 3 to pray a prayer as did Philip and James ....for a reimagining of the world......made new by the Gospel message...... the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed. ...leave a prayer of Hope in the prayer basket which we will remember at our daily streaming Mass each day during the week.....bring something for Parish Outreach which can be distributed in honor of our Apostles Philip and James and/or a flower to be placed in front of Our Lady’s statue as we consecrate ourselves to her as Mother of the Church to be part of God’s reimagining . At 3 pm we will have a Eucharistic Blessing of all on the church steps. Please remain in your car in the church parking lot.......please be sure to maintain social distancing within the church.

God bless us all.....Apostles of Hope.           Father Thomas Haggerty 

  

Click here for May 3, 2020  

Dear Friends,

     Happy Feast of Sts Philip and James....it was an honor to remember all of you and all who have been part of our parish since our foundation at Mass this morning....if you have a minute listen to this recording....it’s very touching and God's message of hope to all of as we like Philip and James, praise God for inviting us to be Apostles of Hope . God bless each of you! Father Tom

Click here for May 1, 2020  

Dear  Friends,

    In this morning’s first reading we hear that as Saul was on his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me?”

 

It’s hard to admit we are wrong, especially if we’ve invested a pretty good amount of time and energy or a considerable portion of our reputation and credibility on something that fails to gain support or traction. It’s a devastating moment when we have to face the reality that we were wrong about our assessment of an individual, that we were wrong in our understanding of an issue, that we were wrong in the way we handled a situation.

 

Saul comes to such a painful realization in that first reading. In a moment of “blinding” reality, he understands for the first time the pain and hurt, the destruction and devastation, his misguided persecution of Jesus’ followers has caused. And what makes it all the more difficult is the fact that Saul thought he was doing the right thing: that he was defending the laws and traditions of his beloved Jewish faith.

 

Everyone needs a “Damascus” moment when we understand that our anger and mistrust is misplaced, that our certainty isn’t as certain as we thought. We need to be “blinded” by God‘s light now and then to see beyond our fears and self interests to realize the certainty of the Risen One’s peace that is at the heart of our Easter faith.

 

So let’s not be afraid to step back and take a “Damascus” moment when our anger is getting the better of us, when we fail to see the other side of the equation, when we forget that this individual who is the target of our anger is a son or a daughter of God.

 

Like Saul, soon to become Paul, let’s gratefully say with him, I’ve come to account it all as rubbish when compared with coming to know Christ Jesus....I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.     Stay well.  Father Tom

Click here for May 1, 2020  

Dear Friends,

 Here is my wish for each of you.   God bless you! Father Tom

        God Whispers yt.wmv - YouTube

Click here for April 30, 2020  

Dear Friends,
     Here is a prayer for us to use tomorrow as we consecrate ourselves again to

Our Lady under her title, Mary Mother of the Church. As we pray with her, let’s

ask that we too like her might “do whatever He tells us “ as we re-imagine with

God’s Grace how we are called to be church today. Peace. Father Tom

Click here for April 30, 2020  

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Here are the texts of two prayers, written by Pope Francis,

for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. He is asking people to recite the rosary

and pray these prayers afterward.

Click here for April 29, 2020  

Dear Friends,

If you are looking for some further deepening .....here’s an offering for Thursday and Friday 

 please scroll down after opening the page  .....  Peace. Father Tom

Click here for April 28, 2020  

Dear Friends,

    Remember this quote, “ be who you were meant to be and you will set the world on fire.” It's by St Catherine of Siena whose feast day we celebrate tomorrow.  I recommend to you a short video by Sister Pat Twohill, op which will introduce or re-introduce you to this passionate, mystical Doctor of the church. Just click on Sister Pat Twohill, St Catherine of Siena.....peace. Father Tom

Click here for April 26, 2020  

Dear SSPJ Parish Family,

Greetings from home and Many prayers coming your way. This Corona Virus has presented us with many challenges but also with many opportunities. So, I am ready to offer you a great opportunity. Thanks to Virginia I am able to get a link on line here and share with you my idea. Ready for an adventure then follow the link. I think you will be glad you did..........Sister T

April 27, 2020

Dear Friends,

     I hope you will consider joining in one of our Zoom sessions as we prepare to re-imagine our hoped for joining together again. We will be using Macrina Wiederkehr, osb’s book, The Song of the Seed. She is a member of the St Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith, Arkansas. She directs retreats and workshops through the United States.

     Here’s how Patrick Hart, OCSO, general editor of The Journals of Thomas Merton, describes the book. “ Offers a fresh approach to a time of retreat...full of wisdom and insight, forged by years of personal experience. The Song of the Seed is addressed to all pilgrims who are serious about a life of prayer for the journey. It deserves a wide audience.”

     Let’s be part of that audience and let the hand of the Lord shape us a new for when we can

receive one another again with Easter eyes.

Sister Theresita’s letter in the previous posting describes the process and what is necessary to join

in the journey.

I look forward to sharing it with you!   Peace.  Father Tom

Click here for April 29, 2020  

Dear Friends,

     What follows is an interesting piece on re-imagining .....  Peace. Father Tom

April 25, 2020

Dear friends,

Today is the feast of the evangelist, St Mark. They say of Mark that no one ever told him that

Jesus sat down. His is the hurried, harried, hasty Jesus....man on the move.....whose first word

“metanoia” means calling us to a higher mind. One of the things I am doing during the current

shut down is taking an online course on Mercy offered by Father Ron Rohlheiser.  Rohlheiser

contrasts that” metanoia”.....taking if you will the higher road with “paranoia” i.e. holding your fists

up ready to fight, afraid someone wants to take something from you. St Mark’s Jesus invites us to

be quick about laying claim to the saint within each of us.....interpreting things in the best possible

light and discovering with that higher mind,  the merciful outstretched hand of God....offering as

Steve Winwood sang. “ a higher love.”   Enjoy today’s sunshine! Peace. Father Tom

Click here for April 26, 2020

Our Pope prays for those who are sad.  Peace.  Father Tom

April 24, 2020

Dear friends,

Whoever comes up with the vaccine that will lead to the eradication of the coronavirus will be held as the next great “prophet “His or her accomplishment will be honored in no less glorious terms as Jesus‘ feeding of the 5000 in today’s gospel. We will hold up that vaccine as a true sign of God’s goodness in our midst.

 

But there are signs of God’s goodness in our midst right now: the brave healthcare workers caring for the sick, the scientists working in labs 24 /7 to find out at least a test if not a vaccine, the workers who keeps doors open and necessary services going, the police and firefighters still at work to keep us safe, the neighbors who check in and take care of the especially vulnerable.

 

They are the heroes like the boy in the story who gives all that he has- a few crusts of bread

and pieces of fish - that enable a miracle to happen. These good folks have given everything

they have -including their safety and that of the families - that we might make it through this

pandemic.

 

So may we pause today to give thanks to God for those who give their five barley loaves and

two fish so that God can make miracles happen for all of us - and may they inspire us to give

all that we have to make such wonders happen.    God bless!   Father Tom

Click here for April 24, 2020

If you are looking for online retreat, try this one devised by Jesuit priest, Fr David Birchall SJ. It is called ‘Journey into Freedom’ Peace.  Father Tom

Click here for April 24, 2020

Dear Friends,   A thank you to all who are keeping us going.    Peace.  Father Tom

April 23, 2020

Time Magazine recently had an essay by Laura Turner which reflects on staying home as an act of love.

 

“My grandmother is one of the millions of people who are especially susceptible to the coronavirus, and more likely to die from it if they contract it. You probably know someone in that group as well- someone with a compromised immune system, or an underlying condition, or someone over 65. When you’re a  healthy 33-year-old, as I am, the threat of the coronavirus can seem distant, just like the threat of death (though the recent research suggests young people may be at higher risk than previously understood). And when you live in a culture that values individualism and productivity, as ours does, it can be disorientating to be told that you can no longer get things done the way you used to. But if I want to love my neighbors, it is my responsibility to do whatever I can  -even the things that inconvenience me - to prolong the lives of others.

 

“After Cain asks God about being his brother’s keeper, God responds with thunder. Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground! Thousands of people have already died from this virus; scientists predict that thousands more still may die. If I were to do anything to add to that number, the blood of those who died would cry out from the ground. By  sacrificing our own routines and maybe even briefly our senses of identity, we keep our brothers and sisters safe.”

 

Sometimes the Spirit of God calls us to do things that seem  too simple;  the Spirit compels us to act in ways that don’t make sense to us. One sure thing about the Spirit of God: the Spirit  calls us beyond ourselves and our own needs to see the presence of God in the cries of others, the fear of the vulnerable, the isolation of the lost. Like now, what the Spirit bids us to do is simple  - but hard.

 

May we respond to the Spirit’s call to embrace Christ’s example of selflessness in order to bring God’s life and love to the broken and suffering  -even if it means simply staying home.

 

May the light of your wisdom and illuminate our consciences, o God,

so that we may seek your way of justice and mercy in these difficult days.

Let your Spirit fill us with your grace, that our concern for one another and

willingness to sacrifice our own wants and needs for their sake may give

witness to your love in our midst, transforming our homes and hearts in

the love and light of your Son’s Resurrection.     Father Thomas Haggerty

Click here for April 22, 2020

Dear Friends,

  Here is another offering you might find helpful.    Peace. Father Tom

Click here for April 22, 2020

Dear Friends,

     Here is something that might help you as we celebrate together this Sunday via live stream.

Please be assured of my continued prayers .  Peace. Father Tom

Click here for April 21, 2020

 Pope at Santa Marta: Let’s Have Docility to Let Ourselves Be Transformed (Full Text of Morning Homily)

Blessings. Father Tom

Click here for April 20, 2020

.Dear friends,

    Here is a very provocative look at the message of the Resurrection as looked at by the early disciples and a challenge to us as we say and heard said “ we’re in this together”.  Blessings. Father Tom

Click here for April 19, 2020

Keep in Mind 2nd Sunday of Easter.  PeaceFather Tom

Click here for April 18, 2020

Seeing is believing.   PeaceFather Tom

Click here for April 17, 2020

Dear Friends,

 Up for a little history of Easter and some of its’ customs? Check out the following.   PeaceFather Tom

Click here for April 16, 2020

Litany of Trust.  Father Tom

Click here for April 16, 2020

We are excited to be a sponsor for the first National Theology on Tap - tonight at 9PM ET!

https://watch.formed.org/formed-live-1/videos/theology-on-tap --(-link above-)
Be well.  Father Tom

Click here for April 16, 2020

We are excited to be a sponsor for the first National Theology on Tap - tonight at 9PM ET!

https://watch.formed.org/formed-live-1/videos/theology-on-tap --(-link above-)
Be well.  Father Tom

Click here for April 16, 2020

Dear friends, here is a presentation on HOPE!  Be well.  Father Tom

April 15, 2020

Dear Friends

Hope you're doing well . Thought you'd like to hear the latest!...........

 

Just be careful because people are going crazy from being in lock down!

Actually I've just been talking about this with the microwave and toaster while drinking coffee and we all agreed that things are getting bad.

I didn't mention anything to the washing machine as she puts a different spin on everything.

Certainly not to the fridge as he is acting cold and distant.

In the end the iron straightened me out as she said everything will be fine, no situation is too pressing.

The vacuum was very unsympathetic... told me to just suck it up, but the fan was more optimistic and hoped it would all soon blow over!

The toilet looked a bit flushed when I asked its opinion and didn’t say anything but the door knob told me to get a grip.�� 

The front door said I was unhinged and so the curtains told me to ........yes, you guessed it ��.....pull myself together

Peace. Father Tom

Click here for April 14, 2020

Dear friends,

     I just prayed with this new song....you’ll recognize the composer, the same one who composed On Eagles Wings. Pray with it, let it bring you consolation....hopefully when we are together again, we will ALL sing it together....come on, I’m doing a cappella at daily Mass! ( no pain, no gain!).  Peace Father Tom

 0n a very happy note in these tough times, my nephew Matt became a dad for the first time today...Reagan Grace came in at 8.2, all doing well ... and my sister Cathy, a first time “Grammy” over the moon!

 

April 14, 2020

Dear Friends

    In today’s gospel Mary Magdalene hears the Resurrected Jesus call her by name. She would not have found Him until He found her....calling her forward as He calls each of us.  We need to accept the Risen One on His terms and not on our own. Mary Magdalene, the Apostle to the Apostles beckons to us...Apostles of Hope not to “cling” as she was told to what was ...but to allow the Risen One to help us repent. i.e. to change our minds about the loving God who longs to raise us up now. Resurrection...God’s inbreaking grace which ushers us into new understandings of intimacy, community, joy and discipleship is no way akin to  resuscitation...returning to the same old same old. No, we are commissioned to bring new beginnings, reconciling hope.....a life raised up with a Christ....here, now, today! Let’s say “yes, my Lord.” And be lead to learn through these trying days where the Risen One longs to lead us.  He calls each of us, like Mary Magdalen, by name.   Peace. Father Tom

Click here for April 13, 2020

Keep In Mind Holy Week 2020 Retreat - Easter Monday

Dear Friends, Happy Easter Monday...here's the material for today from Gloucester.  Stay well.  Father Tom

 

Click here for April 12 2020

"Spread the contagion of hope"

The Pope's extraordinary message for these extraordinary times.    Happy Easter.  Father Tom

Click here for Music for Hope 4/12 @ 1 pm. 

Dear Friends, I'm a long time Andrea Bocelli fan...and I just happened upon the following...an Easter offering he is offering to the world.  I hope you enjoy!  Father Tom

Click here for April 12 2020

"Spread the contagion of hope"

The Pope's extraordinary message for these extraordinary times.    Happy Easter.  Father Tom

Click here for April 12 2020

Keep in Mind Holy Week 2020  Retreat -Easter Sunday

Dear Friends, A Blessed Easter be yours!  Here is today's retreat material...and I hope you remembered to tune in to Andrea Bocelli at 1 pm.  Be sure to download and place your Paschal Lamb in the window...and yea, go for it!  String up some Easter Lights..our God reigns!  Happy Easter.  Father Tom

Click here for April 11 2020

Keep in Mind Holy Week 2020  Retreat -Easter Sunday

Dear Friends, Here is the retreat material for Easter Sunday...I look forward to remembering all of you at Mass tomorrow and rejoice that we are a day closer to being together again.  As a sign of hole, I encourage you to download the Paschal Lamb from the website, hang it in your front window and if possible surround it with "Easter Lights" until we celebrate Pentecost ...anticipating a celebrationof the new thing God is doing....intensifying our desire for "real presence" to receive Him and one another with new eyes of faith.  Happy Easter.  Father Tom

April 10, 2020

Dear friends, I urge you to go to our website and pray the Stations prepared by Dominick Avento...it is a profoundly moving, overwhelming experience.  I would write more...and will tomorrow but having just watched, listened and prayed them I need to be still...but wanted to offer you the same graced experience...Blessings.  Father Tom

Click here for April 10, 2020

Good Friday Homily - Father Tom

Click here for April 10, 2020

Attached is the Paschal Lamb photo to print and display in your window

Click here for April 10, 2020

Keep in Mind Holy Week 2020  Retreat - Saturday

Dear Friends, here is the material for tomorrow's retreat from the Jesuits at Gloucester.  I strongly encourage you too, if you have not yet had the opportunity to do so...to pray with the Stations of the Cross prepared for us by our own Dominick Avento...I'm confident that they well provide you with a graced experience of contact with the Lord.  Peace.  Father Tom

Click here for April 10, 2020   

Dear Friends, here's an additional something you might wish to use for prayer tonight. 

Be sure too, to click on the Stations of the Cross prepared by Dominick!  Peace.  Father Tom                 

Seven Last Words / Pathways to God

April 10, 2020

I had a sneak preview at the Stations of the Cross prepared by our Youth Minister, Dominick Avento, along with some of the youth group members.  It's very moving and invites us in a new way into being present with the Lord  It should be up on the website for our evening prayer on Good Friday following the livestreaming of the Lord's Passion on Good Friday.  I hope too, to pray with you at Morning Prayer tomorrow at 9:15   Peace.  Father Tom

Click here for April 9, 2020

Keep in Mind Holy Week 2020  Retreat - Friday 

Dear Friends, here is tomorrow's retreat material...and don't forget to get out your Easter Lights to surround the Paschal Lamb you can download from the Sunday bulletin and put in your window as a sign of our Easter faith in our God ever with us.  Blessings..  Father Tom

Click here for April 9, 2020

Dear Friends, here are a few more upcoming opportunitis for any wishing to look further into Ignatian spirituality. 

Blessings.    Father Tom

Click here for April 9, 2020

Keep in Mind Holy Week 2020  Retreat - Thursday

Dear Friends, here is the material for tomorrow's retreat.  I was particularly touched listening to the song We Are Not Alone Anymore...it has been so different celebrating Mass in church without you...looking for you, missing you and happily knowing what the song bespeaks.  Praying with you on the journey.  Stay well.  Father Tom

Click here for April 7, 2020

Keep in Mind Holy Week 2020  Retreat - Tuesday

Dear Friends, here is the material to assist us in our prayer for tomorrow.  Peace...let's continue to pray for one another.  God's peace!  Father Tom

Click here for April 8, 2020

Keep in Mind Holy Week 2020  Retreat - Wednesday

Dear Friends, here is tomorrow's retreat materials.  Note that Kathleen Anderson, who ministered here a few years back, offers an intriguing meditation "Dear Judas".  Let's continue to pray for one another!  Peace.  Father Tom

Click here for April 6, 2020

Keep in Mind Holy Week 2020  Retreat - Monday

Dear Friends, here is Monday's retreat material.  Blessings.  Father Tom

Click here for April 5, 2020

Keep in Mind Holy Week 2020  Retreat

 April 5, 2020

Dear SSPJ family, Since my ordination, I've gone yearly to the Jesuit Retreat House in Gloucester, Ma for a silent 8 day retreat and for two silent 30 day retreats based on the Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola.  They have been the cornerstone of my life (my siblings wonder how much worse I would be without them!) would anyone like to adopt a brother or one of three sisters!  Seriously, the retreat team at Gloucester is offering a Holy Week retreat online which I willmake and would love to share with you.  I'm a techno Dino, so I'll try my best to forward the materials.  I would love to make this Camino with you.  God's blessings.  Father Tom

Click here for April 6, 2020

Let there be lights: one diocese’s beautiful proposal for Easter

Dear Friends, what follows is what I think is a great suggestion: Let there be Light!  Check out the article and send in a picture beginning on Holy Saturday night...of your home.  Let's make a parish montage...download the Easter Paschal Lamb from the Easter Sunday bulletin and put it in your living room window...then surround it with Easter lights...light a family candle, pray the Easter prayer and let's let the light of Christ rise in our hearts!  Blessings.  Father Tom 

Click here for April 6, 2020

Dear Friends, Many of our favorite church songs, like You Are Mine, were composed by Dan Schutte.  He put the following together...a Triduum retreat because he is not able to celebrate this year in is home parish.  I hope you'll be part of our's via livestream!  This though might be helpful to you!  God bless.  Father Tom 

Click here for April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday Prayer 2020

April 4, 2020

Dear Friends, Palm Sunday begins our holiest of weeks.  We will be blessing the palms and saving them for you looking forward to the day when we together greet Him as we re-enter not Jerusalem but our beloved church.  I encourage you to join 9:15 livestream as we celebrate Palm Sunday...you might even consider in addition to putting something green in your window or on your door, to cut a branch and hold it while we listen again to the Passion account.  Praying for you and missing you!  God bless  Father Tom

Click here for April 3, 2020

These are our palms’: Homily for April 5, 2020, Palm Sunday

 April 3, 2020

Dear Friends,  Father Joseph Donders has an interesting take on today's Gospel.  Jesus says all those who are addressed by God should be called gods!  "It is to those to whom God's words came who are called gods" (John 10:35).  We should appreciate ourselves as daughters and sons of God because we are all addressed by God.  Holy scripture used the word "gods" of those to whom the word of God was directed.  

 

How can anyone look down upon people whom the Bible considers daughters and sons of God?  How could anyone not think them worthy to be addressed by us, if God considers them worthy of being so addressed?   Father Tom

 April 2, 2020

Dear Friends,  it struck me how many times the pronoun "I" appeared in today's first reading.  It was God, speaking to Abram...about God's promises made to Abram as he walked by faith into the unknown discovering that his very identity, i.e. his name had been changed.  During this time of uncertainty, those same promises are made to us..and even more so...for God in Christ will make of each of us a new creation...

Like Abram become Abraham let's look for ways o "welcome and entertain angels" as our ever faithful God walks the journey with us.  Praying with and for you!   Father Tom

 April 1, 2020

Dear Friends,  sitting in church this morning I had a mini "conversation" with St. Therese while gazing at her statueAs you remember, there were many things she wanted to do in life...she wanted to be a priest, a missionary.  None of those things were possible for her.  She made then a decision and said "in the midst of the Church I will be love".    

There are so many things you and I can't be or do right now and yet where we are...like Therese, we can be love.  Though none of us is in a Carmel, each of us like her are daily challenged with the things that comprised her "little way".  Choosing to do a simple thing, like closing a left open cabinet as a choice to love hopefully over time, can make us over.   Blessings.  Father Tom

Click here for March 31, 2020

Archbishop Perez invites all to online Lenten retreat 

Click here for March 31, 2020

"While it might seem like the Coronavirus is everywhere, God actually is.  And in the midst of all this, God is lovingly seeking you out.  Think / pray about that"

Although we are not permitted to distribute palms this Palm Sunday...here is a great idea (click abpve).  The palms blessed during Sunday's livestream will be saved and distributed when the social distancing requirement is lifted.  

 March 30, 2020

Dear SSPJ family,

     Today I was taken by a line from Psalm 23: only goodness and kindness will follow me all the days of my life.  What a source of consolation in these difficult days....and to know that Jesus himself prayed with those same words and bids us do as he did....to know that God’s goodness and mercy is following closely right behind us.....bidding us even as the movie title from years ago summons  “ to pay it forward” . Let’s renew our pledge to be channels of God’s goodness and mercy....bringing light into darkness, joy into sadness, pardon into injury, faith into doubt.   Emmanuel....God is with us.   Blessings. Father Tom