From The Pastor: 1-31-16

Posted by on Jan 27, 2016 in From the Pastor Columns

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, We have survived the blizzard of 2016 and the parish is grateful to all who helped to keep us safe and warm. Sadly, there is peril for many amid the beauty of the falling snow and our prayers go with all who were able to help those most adversely affected. This week I write to invite you to consider joining us in a new initiative for the parish; our OSJ Evangelization Committee.  This is just one of a few new committees that I hope to introduce to the parish to help us to advance the sacred mission entrusted to us at OSJ. Given the high number of persons in our community that are often “un-churched” meaning baptized Catholics, who for a plethora of reasons have drifted away from the faith and no longer belong to a parish, we want to say loudly and clearly to them “OSJ is a truly welcoming parish and one where many can find a solid, joyful, spiritual home…..join us, remain with us!” For a small parish we have so much to offer and so many different ways to grow in one’s faith life. That is what we hope to share. That is evangelization; sharing the good news that all are loved by God and all have a place in God’s Church. Therefore, the OSJ Evangelization Committee will seek to focus on the following objectives: Promoting and Sharing our Faith with the larger  community Reaching out to those seeking a Spiritual Home Helping one another to rediscover our Faith Marketing and Promoting OSJ Collaborating with OSJ Hospitality Ministries We are looking for creative and generous parishioners willing to develop, plan and conduct events in one or more of the five focus areas. If you can spare some time and talent and are interested, please contact Luanne Balestrucci via Luanne will chair our efforts and work closely with me and the parish council to insure that the work of sharing the Good news (the Gospel) of our faith is a defining factor of our parish life at OSJ. Thank you and God bless. With my esteem and prayers, © 2016 Fr. Philip A. Florio, S.J....

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From The Pastor: 1-24-16

Posted by on Jan 19, 2016 in From the Pastor Columns

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, Thank you to all who continue to ask about the status of our beloved OSJ senior priest, Father Jerry McAndrews, S.J.  As you may know, he suffered a broken ankle after a terrible fall in the rectory. He is currently receiving excellent attention at our health care wing at the Jesuit Center in Wernersville PA, just outside of Reading. Fortunately he continues to advance in his rehabilitation and he is in great spirits. In addition to his orthopedic issues, Father will also undergo a procedure that will result in a pacemaker. At 87 years old he continues to enjoy good health and he is not discouraged by these setbacks. He is very encouraged by your prayers and well wishes and all of us in the Jesuit community are grateful to you as well. In fact Father McAndrews in an email to me this week wrote; The parishioners who have sent their best wishes and prayers have inspired me with confidence and hope. Especially is this true for the younger members of the parish, those preparing to receive their First Communion, who each sent me their hand made cards filled with good will and blessings.  What a fine parish you run Father Pastor!  I thank you for your leadership. I thank the younger members for their enthusiasm and joy in looking forward to receiving the Lord. I thank all the parishioners for their compassion and wisdom. Is he not remarkable?  With that, if you have not had a chance and would like to drop Father a note or a card, again here is his address: Rev. Jerry McAndrews, S.J. Jesuit Community of St. Isaac Jogues P.O. BOX 223 Wernersville, PA 19565-0223 Thanks again and let us pray for Father McAndrews and all who are in need of God’s healing peace. With my esteem and prayers, © 2016 Fr. Philip A. Florio, S.J....

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From The Pastor: 1-17-16

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in From the Pastor Columns

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, With the holidays behind us now, I simply want to take a moment to offer a word of thanks, on behalf of all in the parish, to those who helped us to celebrate the holy season of Christmas at OSJ with such beauty and reverence. The experience of “my first Christmas at OSJ” was incredible. Our church was filled for every Mass, the spirit was tangible and the community celebrated with great joy. Thanks especially to all of our liturgical ministers: acolytes, music ministers, lectors, Eucharistic ministers, ushers, hospitality ministers, and art and environment ministers. The church looked beautiful, elegant in fact, and the crèche was inspiring. Thanks as well to Mr. Ronald Rex Piselli, our dedicated parish funeral director, who loaned us the beautiful Gesu Bambino statue and several sacred vessels. They were perfect. I learned quickly that the Gesu Bambino is a loved fixture at OSJ! Finally, thanks also to all who sent gifts for the Jesuit Community and for the parish. We are grateful for your remembrance. In closing I am happy to share too that our friends at the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society sent us a letter of thanks for our recent show of solidary and support following the the shameful act of vandalism committed there a few weeks back. They pledged their gratitude and respect to our parish community. My prayer is that we all continue to work to promote greater love, understanding and compassion among peoples of all faiths, as God would have us.         Again thanks to all and a very Blessed 2016! With my esteem and prayers, © 2016 Fr. Philip A. Florio, S.J....

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From The Pastor 1-10-16

Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in From the Pastor Columns

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, St. Paul teaches us in his letter to the Thessalonians.  In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you – Thes 5:18. It is always great when we offer our gratitude to God and to one another, we need to simply say thanks as often as we can! Indeed, gratitude is a gift to both the giver and the receiver! With that, I share with you a letter of thanks that comes to our parish from the Gesu School. I am so proud of OSJ’s efforts to support the students at our Jesuit sponsored grade school in North Philly! Below is the letter from Mr. Bryan Carter, President and CEO, of Gesu School and Sister Ellen Convey IHM, their principal:  To the Parishioners of Old St. Joseph’s, Thank you from Gesu School for the outpouring of generosity from this year’s giving tree. Our students and families truly appreciate your kindness and this longstanding tradition, which brings so much Christmas joy to our community. We especially recognize Charles Capaldi and the Old St. Joseph Outreach Committee for making this possible. Santa visited Gesu on December 22 to deliver the gifts, and students in grades Pre-K through 2 were delighted to open new books! Our youngest students also received hats, scarves, and mittens, which will keep them warm throughout the winter. To share in the children’s excitement, please view our photos of this special day on our Facebook page: As you may know, Gesu School serves 450 students in Pre-K through 8th grade in our surrounding North Philadelphia neighborhoods, including the three poorest zip codes in Philadelphia. Inspired by the Jesuit and IHM traditions of social justice, faith, hope and love, Gesu School strives, without selective admissions, to provide a quality, innovative education for its neighbor children to empower them to break the cycle of poverty and violence. We invite you to learn more about Gesu by exploring our website,, or visiting our school. To arrange a tour, to learn about volunteer opportunities, or to discover other ways to give, please contact our Development Office at 215 763 9077. Kudos and thanks to all who helped to support this wonderful ministry of OSJ, to Gesu School! With my esteem and prayers, © 2016 Fr. Philip A. Florio, S.J....

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