From the Pastor 7-10-2016

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in From the Pastor Columns

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, Please try to join us at the 5:30pm Vigil Mass on Saturday July 30th as we celebrate the feast day of our Holy Jesuit Founder, Saint Ignatius Loyola, with our worldwide Jesuit Family and the entire Church. Admittedly one of my favorite saints, Ignatius of Loyola was born in 1491 in Azpeitia in the Basque region of northern Spain. The youngest of thirteen children, at the age of 16 he was sent to serve as a page at the local royal court.  Later at the age of 30, while serving as an officer defending the fortress at Pamplona against the French, a cannon ball struck Ignatius, wounding one leg and breaking the other.  This began his conversion. After a long recuperation, and reading the life changing book The Life of Christ and the Lives of the Saints, Ignatius allowed the Holy Spirit to touch his heart. He decided that he no longer desired to serve the King of Spain but rather the Eternal King of Peace, Jesus Christ, as his faithful soldier! He went on to write his infamous Spiritual Exercises, a manual for prayer and greater communion with God, which animates every work of the Society of Jesus—including our parish! It was with his trusted friend Saint Francis Xavier and six other faithful men that they formed a new religious order, the Jesuits. Since they had referred to themselves as the Company of Jesus (in Latin Societatis Jesu) in English their order became known as the Society of Jesus. Ignatius was unanimously elected on the first ballot of the group to be the first Superior General. Ignatius, whose love it was to be actively involved in teaching catechism to children, directing adults in the Spiritual Exercises, and working among the poor and in hospitals, would for the most part sacrifice his love for the next fifteen years–until his death. He worked out of two small rooms, his bedroom and next to it his office, directing this new Society throughout the world. From his tiny quarters in Rome, he would live to see the Society of Jesus grow from eight to one thousand members, with colleges and houses all over Europe, and as far away as Brazil and Japan. The former worldly courtier and soldier, who had turned his gaze to another King and a different type of battle, died on July 31st and his feast day is celebrated by the universal church and the Jesuits on this day! Won’t you join us for the Mass and Dinner to help us honor and remember our good and holy founder? Tickets for the dinner are available at the parish office. Thanks and God Bless Fr Phil...

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From the Pastor 7-3-2016

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in From the Pastor Columns

Dear OSJ Family, As I mentioned to those at the 9:30am Mass last Sunday, the 9:30am Mass is the only liturgy at OSJ where the congregation remains standing (and not kneeling) after receiving communion. When I first arrived here almost ten moths ago and saw this, I asked many parishioners and staff why this was the case. In all truth, no one seemed to know why, nor could anyone offer and explanation!  I do know that in some chapels and churches where there are no kneelers continual standing is the practice, and that seems to make sense in those cases. After speaking with former Jesuits and staff here I learned that almost ten years ago, in an effort to better organize the flow of the communion line, the practice of standing became the custom at the 9:30am Mass at OSJ. Now that we have established an effective way of proceeding, that provision is no longer needed. Given this, and after consultation with our parish liturgy advisory committee and the priests, beginning July 3rd at the 9:30am Mass, we will all kneel (as one is able) after the Lamb of God and remain kneeling (or sitting) until the tabernacle is closed. This is consistent with the liturgical guidelines and norms, and is in practice at all of the other Masses at OSJ. In doing so we are reminded that we are one Body in Christ, united in faith, practice and most of all, love. Thank you for continuing to help us to make Old Saint Joseph’s Church a place for prayerful worship and reverent liturgy as we seek to grow closer to God. God bless, Fr. Phil Florio,...

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From the Pastor 6-26-2016

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in From the Pastor Columns

Dear OSJ Family, Thanks again to all who joined last week for our prayer commemoration of the victims of the horrible Orlando massacre. We are grateful to the members of our Parish Pastoral Council, in particular to Rana McNamara, for helping to prepare the service. We are grateful to our lectors and ushers who helped to serve this prayer, and we are grateful to parishioner Tom Farris who tolled the church bell for the start of each service. Many have asked for a copy of the introduction that I prepared for the service and I happily share those words with you here: Today we, the faithful of Old Saint Josephs Roman Catholic Church, pray in solidarity with all  those who denounce  the  unspeakable violence this past week in Orlando.            Those that were killed or injured were men and women, black, white, Native American, Latino and Asian. They were Christians, Hindus, Jews and Muslims. They were Democrats and Republicans, teachers and students, young and old, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters, married and single, straight and LGBT, all precious and loved children of God.         We know that they were singled out because of their sexual identity and we ask God, in His compassion, to help us all to work to put an end to homophobia and all and any bias, hatred and prejudice that does harm to God’s people.        We ask God to forgive the grave sins of Omar Mateen and to judge him according to God’s mercy and justice.         Our prayers are with the innocent victims, their families and all those affected by this terrible act. The merciful love of Christ calls us to solidarity with the suffering and to ever greater resolve in protecting the life and dignity of every person and so we pray. After this introduction, we heard a beautiful reading from the first letter of Saint John (1 John 4:   7-14) and then reverently read aloud the names of all 49 victims who lost their lives. We concluded with the Lord ’s Prayer and a blessing.  It was very moving! One parishioner, Heather Squire, who is active in our Young Adult Community, noted of this service on social media: I am grateful to be a part of the welcoming and affirming community at Old St. Joseph’s. Last night after Mass (and at each of the earlier Masses) we held a prayer vigil outside for the victims and for greater conversion within each of us that we may more resolutely answer our most important calling – to love one another as God loves us. We took turns shouting out the names of every one of the...

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From the Pastor 6-19-2016

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in From the Pastor Columns

Dear OSJ Family. Happy Fathers Day to all of our dads, living among us and those living among the saints of heaven! This Father’s Day the Jesuit Leadership Conference of the US and the Ignatian Solidarity Network—inspired by Pope Francis’s call for justice for immigrants—are joining interfaith immigration partners in calling on President Obama and his administration to stop breaking apart families through our country’s broken immigration detention and deportation system.  You can find the details of this initiative here: http://ignatiansolidarity.net/fathers/ The sign-on letter to President Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson highlights the stories of several fathers who will not celebrate Father’s day with their families, and points to a reality faced by thousands of fathers and others being held in detention.  It draws on our faith’s values of forgiveness and the significance of family unity. The American Jesuits thought that this appeal could be a particularly poignant advocacy action to undertake in Jesuit parishes across the East coast, and an opportunity for religious education and peace and justice leaders to join together.  Jesuit parishes around our country are undertaking this initiative together! At OSJ, this gives us all an opportunity to engage in faith-justice work with our sister Jesuit parishes. I offer now a prayer for our Fathers: A Prayer for Christian Fathers Heavenly Father, you entrusted your Son Jesus, the child of Mary, to the care of Joseph, an earthly father. Bless all fathers as they care for their families. Give them strength and wisdom, tenderness and patience; support them in the work they have to do, protecting those who look to them, as we look to you for love and salvation, through Jesus Christ our rock and defender. Amen.-Unknown God Bless, Fr. Phil Florio...

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