From the Pastor 5/15/2016

Posted by on May 18, 2016 in From the Pastor Columns, Uncategorized

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, The Church, in her wisdom, gives us the Month of May in which to honor Holy Mary, our Mother and our Queen. Mary, the Queen of Heaven, is honored for her unique relationship with Jesus and her love and guidance to each of us, her earthly children. You will note that to the left of our altar is the stunning stained glass window of Mary being crowned Queen of Heaven—it is a true treasure of our parish. In the early 70’s, Pope Paul VI declared that May is the month that Christians offer the Virgin Mother more “fervent and loving acts of homage and veneration; and it is the month in which a greater abundance of God’s merciful gifts comes down to us from our Mother’s throne.” Notably, Pope Francis consecrated his papacy to Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Fatima, and he invited everyone to consecrate themselves to her tender, loving care. This month, as we honor our Mother and Queen, let us consider praying the rosary, lighting a candle at Mary’s shrine, or praying one of the various novena prayers of Our Lady (Perpetual Help, Fatima, Un-tier of Knots, Guadalupe, Lourdes). Finally, I share with you a few lyrics from a favorite Marian hymn of my youth that still serves to inspire me to greater devotion to Our Lady, the infamous “May Procession” song:   Bring flow’rs of the fairest, Bring flow’rs of the rarest, From garden and woodland And hillside and vale; Our full hearts are swelling, Our glad voices telling The praise of the loveliest Rose of the vale.   O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today, Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May!   Grace and peace, Fr. Phil Florio,...

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From the Pastor 5/8/2016

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

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, As we honor our mothers today, those among us and those in the company of heaven, we offer this simple but beautiful prayer: A Mother’s’ Day Prayer: I thank you, Creator of us all, for my mothers. I thank you that she gave me life and nurtured me all those years. She gave me my faith, helping me to know you and to know Jesus and his ways. She taught me how to love and how to sacrifice for others. She taught me that it was okay to cry and that I should always tell the truth. Bless her with the graces she needs and which you want to give her today. Help her to feel precious in your eyes today and to know that I love her. Give her strength and courage, compassion and peace. Bless her this day with your love. AMEN. Through the intercession of Holy Mary, our Mother, may God bless our Mothers! Fr Phil Florio, S.J....

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From the Pastor 5/1/2016

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

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, Last Sunday a number of parish youth along with  some from the  parish PREP program celebrated their  First Holy Communion at our 9:30am Mass. It was a beautiful celebration of their faith! We are very proud of them and their commitment to the Lord! We are also thankful to their parents and guardians for encouraging them to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ and with God’s people—the Church. As St. Paul teaches, Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? (1Cor10:16) Our young people have embraced this teaching and learned well that their communion with the Lord is also a communion with all of us united in our holy faith. What a blessing and a grace! I want to thank Christine Szczepanowski and Anna D’Angelo and all who helped prepare these young people for their First Communion. Let us please lift up in prayer these young people and their families listed below as they grow in greater communion! Chase Ahmed – Robert Becker – Oscar Briskin – Samantha Champagne – Connor Cusack -Xavier Donahue – Kathleen Flanagan – Alejandro Guzman – James Markham – Vivian Matkowski – Klara Munoz Mazurkiewicz – Fatimah Pandolfo – Julien O’Hanlon – Grace Porter w Nina Ramunno – Caroline Robb w Caroline Shaw – Ava Stanley – Gianna Tancredi – Maxwell Van Orden – Liam Walsh- Congratulations and God bless you! Fr. Phil Florio, S.J....

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From the Pastor 4/24/2016

Posted by on May 13, 2016 in From the Pastor Columns, Uncategorized

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, As many of you know, my mom Frances M. Florio passed away last week at 81 years of age at a local hospice. She was surrounded by her family and friends, and her last breath was taken as we prayed the Hail Mary—because that is how good old school Italian-American ladies of faith go home to God! She originally entered the hospital after suffering a serious stroke just three and a half weeks ago. She was having difficulty with her physical rehabilitation. After running tests to find out why, her medical team discovered stage four cancer in her pancreas and liver. She was diagnosed on Monday, moved to hospice on Wednesday, and passed on Thursday. It was unreal. I am certain that our holy patron Saint Joseph, the patron of peaceful death, hastened to guide her home to our Savior.  Thank you good Saint Joseph! My family and I thank you for all of the prayers that helped her to return to her eternal resting place at God’s side. I am sure, as a good friend said to me, “Franny Florio does not have to wait in line to get through the heavenly gates”. Though she was never Jesuit educated herself, she and my dad served as an Ignatian Volunteers at the Gesu School. She was a true “person for others” and I am sure that Saint Ignatius ran out to greet her at the gates! I am especially grateful for all from OSJ who attended her beautiful Funeral Mass at our parish Church of Saint Monica’s in South Philly and all who sent cards and well wishes. I am grateful to our OSJ choirs and to Pat Montenegro who brought a taste of our wonderful music ministry to my mom’s Funeral Mass. The outpouring of love from OSJ was, and remains very consoling. My mom leaves behind my dad, my two older brothers, my sister-in-law and four grandchildren.  Please continue to pray for us. Thank you for your prayers and for your kindness. Gifts in her memory (Frances Florio) may be made to the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus. Give her eternal rest, O Lord, and may Your light shine upon her forever. Receive her soul and present her to God the Most High. Amen! Requiescat in pace Gratefully, Fr. Phil Florio, S.J....

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