From the Pastor: 11/1/15

Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 in From the Pastor Columns

This weekend in addition to celebrating my formal installation as your pastor, a celebration for which I am most grateful and encouraged, the Church around the world celebrates the Solemn Feast of All Saints. All Saints Day, the day on which we Roman Catholic Christians solemnly honor and remember all the saints, known and unknown, is a surprisingly old feast. It goes back to the early Church. This feast arose out of the Christian tradition of celebrating the martyrdom of saints on the anniversary of their death. When martyrdoms increased during the persecutions of the late Roman Empire, Church leaders instituted a common feast day in order to ensure that all martyrs, known and unknown, were properly honored. Today this solemn celebration recalls ALL of the holy women and men who lived exemplary Christian lives and many of whom were in fact martyrs for our faith. The concept of All Saints Day is associated with the doctrine of “The Communion of Saints” (which we profess in our creed). This is the concept that all of God’s people, on heaven, earth, and in the state of purification (called Purgatory), are spiritually connected and united. Stated simply; we Catholics believe that the saints of God are just as alive as you and I, and are constantly interceding on our behalf. What a great company we have praying for us! Notably the current date of celebrating All Saints on November 1 was instituted by Pope Gregory III in 741 AD. The vigil or eve of the feast, October 31, is commonly known as All Hallows Eve (Hallows means Saints or Holy Ones) better known as Halloween! Many customs of Halloween, scary costumes and decorations for example, reflect the Christian belief that on the feast’s vigil we literally mock evil, because as Christians, evil has no real power over us. In the Middle Ages, on All Hallows Eve , poor people in parts of Europe used to go door to door begging for fruits and cakes and upon receiving these treats, they would agree to pray for departed souls. This is the root of our modern day “trick-or-treat.” Some Christians in various places still visit cemeteries on Halloween, not to practice evil, but to commemorate departed relatives and friends, with picnics and prayers. Accordingly, the day after All Saints day is called All Souls Day, when we remember and offer prayers up on behalf of all of those who have gone before us. Today you are invited to list the names of those souls for whom you wish to pray in our Parish Book of Intentions and throughout the month of November we will remember these souls in a special way! Today as we honor ALL...

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From the Pastor: 10/18/15

Posted by on Oct 12, 2015 in From the Pastor Columns

Dear OSJ Family, I write this week offering you an invitation to help our great parish to be even better! As you may know, our parish supports several religious education programs, a growing young adult ministry, social outreach and a vibrant liturgical life. We have many generous parishioners, along with our dedicated parish staff, to thank for that! You ought to know that so many of the ministries offered here are offered not by our priests alone but by a number of devoted lay persons like yourself, who care enough about the spiritual life of our parish to serve and to give of themselves to others! We could not and would not thrive without all of us sharing our gifts and talents together. It is only as a united body that we can build up Christ’s Kingdom here on earth. In our time, the Second Vatican Council affirmed the unity of all believers in Christ as well as the distinct and diverse gifts laypeople can offer in the worship, mission and spiritual life of the Church. For almost 50 years now, lay ministers have served as lectors, acolytes, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, directors of religious education, youth ministers, ministers of worship and liturgy, and in so many other diverse and much needed roles. This is where the invitation is for YOU today, OSJ needs your generous and dedicated service to help our liturgical life to flourish and grow. Altar Servers, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Hospital Ministers, Music Ministers (both musicians and singers) Ushers, Hospitality Ministers, and Lectors are needed to help keep our beautiful liturgies and parish life growing. We must expand our numbers and draw in as many hands as possible if we are to do this together! If not you, then who? If not now, then when?  PLEASE CONSIDER serving YOUR parish in one of these roles, even if only on occasion.  Training will be provided and scheduling is flexible. Please contact the respective ministry coordinator for more information: Altar Servers: Donna Soultoukis –, Hospital and Extraordinary Ministers: Christine Szczepanowski –, Lectors: Rich DeFortuna –, Ushers: Nikola Sizgorich –, Children’s Liturgy of the Word: Peggy Connolly –,  and Music Ministry: Pat Montenegro – Thank you and God bless! © 2015 Fr. Philip Florio,...

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From the Pastor: 10/11/15

Posted by on Oct 5, 2015 in From the Pastor Columns

In a few short weeks at Mass on November 1st, the Solemn Feast of All Saints, I will be formally installed as your pastor. This liturgy will be presided over by Monsignor Daniel Kutys, the Diocesan Vicar and Moderator of the Archdiocesan Curia, who will represent the Archbishop. At this liturgy I will be invited to make an extended Profession of Faith, renew the vows that I made at my ordination to the priesthood (not to be confused with my Jesuit vows of poverty, chastity and obedience)   and will take an Oath of Fidelity in the presence of the parish. With that I hope that you can try to attend this liturgy which will take the place of the 9:30 and 11:30 at 10:30am.  As your pastor, Latin for shepherd, in imitation of Jesus Christ, it is my place to insure that all who come here have the opportunity to prayerfully celebrate the Sacraments of the Church, hear the word of God and be challenged and inspired to live the Christian gospel. Then there’s all of the administrative work…… As your new pastor I want to make it patently clear that I am blessed and privileged to be here at OSJ, not for its venerable history (as impressive as it is) or its beautiful liturgies (as nice as they are) but rather because of YOU- the good people of OSJ. The CHURCH, for me, is first and foremost the gathered people of God, People are the Church and it is you that I serve as pastor and teacher! Together in this holy place, the birthplace of religious liberty in the USA, week after week , we strive to grown in faith, hope, and love and we do not do this alone, as  it is only in community  that the Church is realized and becomes a living sign of God’s holy presence on earth. Here as a living sign we grow in communion with one another and with God’s Holy Spirit. Again we do not undertake this awesome act of faith alone, together we grow, together we worship together we advance in the Holy Spirit. Thank you for welcoming me here as your pastor and please make every effort to join me as the the Archdiocese of Philadelphia formally installs me as your pastor- the 59th pastor in a long line of dedicated and fervent Jesuits. I ask for your prayers as I assume this awesome mission f the Society of Jesus and I promise mine in return. Thank you and God bless! © 2015 Philip Florio,...

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Looking to get more involved at OSJ?

Posted by on Oct 5, 2015 in Announcements

Old Saint Joseph’s Church is looking for more registered parishioners to serve in ministries during weekend and holyday Masses. Training will be provided and scheduling is flexible. Please contact the respective ministry coordinator to volunteer: To sign up to serve in a ministry, please visit: Thank you for your service to your...

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