Thursday, January 29, 2009

Getting Ready for Saturday!

We're getting ready for the Saturday, 5:30 P.M. liturgy, at which the choir from St. Michael's College in Vermont will help us sing the liturgy! All of us here at St. Anselm are very excited about this upcoming event. We're really looking forward to hosting this college choir who will help us sing the liturgy, and the wonderful dinner to follow the mass on Saturday!

Tell your friends and family members to come join us for a wonderful celebration in these cold dark days that will lift our spirits and will warm our hearts! Let's join together and praise the God who never fails to call us to His heart!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Catholic Primary Education: Uncertain Future

Just this past Saturday, the Diocese of Trenton announced that three schools in northern Monmouth County would be closing in June of 2009. The Office of Catholic Schools had conducted a study and consultation of all of the Catholic grade schools in the Bayshore area of Monmouth County for the past few years. The decision, announced this weekend was that three Catholic grade schools would close: St. Joseph in Keyport, St. Ann in Keansburg (pictured here) and Holy Family in Hazlet.

The current stats on enrollment are very telling: in the three schools combined, there is a total of less than 400 students! Geographically, they are all less than 5 miles from each other.

This development is raising anxiety for Catholic educators in our area. We have 5 Catholic High Schools within Monmouth County. What does the closing of these primary schools mean for the future of our Catholic High Schools?

All good questions. School boards need to plan for the long-haul, and try to keep tuition minimal while exploring outside sources of funding for education. It is a time when we all need to start anew, seek new ways of funding and development, and try new ways of passing on the faith.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Lone Catholic Prayer at today's Inauguration

The lone Catholic cleric heard from today was the chaplain of the House of Representatives -- Fr Daniel Coughlin of the archdiocese of Chicago -- who offered the closing benediction at the post-inaugural lunch in Statuary Hall.

Here's Coughlin's prayer as delivered:

Let us pray.

Lord God of history,
we have been blessed to witness the meteoric rise of President Obama,
the long, faith-filled journey of African-Americans,
the vibrant hopes of a nation catapulting into new directions.

Lord God of the present moment,
we are blessed, as free people
to see your hand in the peaceful transfer of power,
and your guidance in the affairs of state.
May we be attentive to your word and reach our full potential,
with equal justice for all,
compassion for the least,
and self-discipline to achieve lofty goals.

Lord God,
be with us into the future,
bless us by shaping a changing world into a more stable one
where all peoples and all nations will live in peace.
Protect and guide with creative touch President Obama and Vice President Biden, their families, and all in public service.
May each day be filled with peace and satisfaction
because they are about building your reign here on earth.

This we pray today, tomorrow and forever.


The first priest to serve as cleric-on-duty to the lower house of Congress, Coughlin was named to the chaplain's post in 2000 by the then-Speaker Dennis Hastert, an Illinois Republican.

A very historic day

A day of new beginnings, full of hopes and dreams, and great rejoicing. May the Lord bless us, our nation, and our future!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"Come, and see!"

This weekend's Gospel story is the call of the first disciples. John's account has the interesting dialogue between Jesus and Andrew about where Jesus "stays." The truest answer is that Jesus has come to "abide" with us "always."

This week begins national "Vocations Awareness Week," and we're called by our bishops to pray for an increase of vocations to the priesthood, and religious life, and even to lay ecclesial ministries. In our own Diocese of Trenton, we've been blessed with a good number of young men responding to a call to ordained ministry. Some of these talented young men are from lands far away from America....and we're grateful for their willingness to respond to the call to serve the people of our diocese.

Let's pray that we can all be people who invite others to "come and see" the Lord by the lives we live.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Baptism of the Lord

A beautiful icon of today's feast. His baptism reminds us that in those waters, we all become brothers and sisters. Our dying and rising in the waters of baptism give us all a claim to the blessing of God who says to each of us: "You are my beloved child...In you I am well-pleased!"

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Listening to what's in your heart

This morning at Mass, we heard about how Mary came to "ponder all of these things in her heart." After enduring mystical, scary, mysterious events, she gives birth to a baby, and despite many obstacles, raises him and nurtures him. Her faith, and her trust in God's ways helped to bring about the wonder of the incarnation. On this New Year's day, maybe we can reflect on the ways that Christ is being born in us today, and every day.

Thanks for the following video to Concord Pastor!

Mary, Mother of God