From the Pastor, September 25, 2016

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, Thank you to all who continue to ask about the status of our newly arrived senior priest, Father Mike Siconofli, SJ.  As some may know, Father arrived here following intensive surgery and was hoping to slow down at OSJ after having served for almost eight years as the Catholic chaplain at Quantico. He enjoyed a thriving ministry to our Marines there and was anxious to begin serving the liturgical and sacramental needs of our parish. He celebrated several Masses in the past few weeks and proved to be an excellent preacher.  Sadly, last week he became ill again and, at the request of the Jesuit Provincial superior, has been summoned back to our health care facility at Fordham University in New York. There he will receive excellent medical attention and it is our hope that he will advance in his restoration to health. Please keep him in your prayers. Also, I invite anyone to help us at this time in giving a donation to purchase new altar server vestments. Many of them are in need of replacing and, through your generosity, we hope to do that in time for the holidays. Indeed, vestments truly add to the beauty and dignity of our worship. The vestments that we hope to purchase will cost around $160 each and they can be donated in memory of a deceased person or in honor of a living person. If you choose to purchase one or more vestments, we hope to create an honor roll of these names that will be placed in the church sacristy. If you’d simply like to make a small donation to the fund we will gladly accept that gift as well. Either way, If you’d like to help us purchase new vestments, please see me after Mass or call me at the parish offices 215-923-1733. Thanks again and let us pray for Father Siconolfi and all who are in need of God’s healing and peace. With my esteem and prayers, Fr. Phil Florio, SJ...

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From the Pastor September 18, 2016

Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 in From the Pastor Columns

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, Can you believe that it is already mid- September?  Where has the time gone?   Summer is now a distant memory, the shore and other vacation spots have quieted down, life in the city has perked up, and school is in full swing for all of our students who have made their way back to the classroom.  With that, we wish all of our students a year filled with great learning and great experiences! We also pray that God bless our teachers, professors, aides, parents, guardians and all who guide our students in the way of knowledge and the ways of Jesus Christ—the Master Teacher. At OSJ, while we do not have a grammar school of our own, we do have our Parish Religious Education Program (PREP)  which is second to none! Our program, under the dedicated leadership of Christine Szcepanowski, is successful due, in part, to the talented and generous teachers who serve our young people. This year we are served by the following volunteers: Ann Louise Markham (1st grade) Anna DeAngelo (2nd grade) John Trumbore (3rd grade) Sister Asunta Thanh, acj- 4th grade) Helen Grady (5th grade) Adrienne Riley (aide) We could not be more excited about what God has in store for our PREP program and for all of our students everywhere.  Please, let us continue to pray for all our students and teachers and for the valued work of education! In the Lord, Fr. Phil Florio, SJ...

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From the Pastor September 11, 2016

Posted by on Sep 12, 2016 in From the Pastor Columns

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, In this jubilee year of MERCY, we are called by Pope Francis to reflect on the corporal works of Mercy—those acts of love and mercy that tend to those most in need: For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.  Matt 25:35-36 One of those ministries that serve the corporal needs of the church is our Hospital Ministry. Each Sunday, in addition to us priests that visit the sick regularly at Pennsylvania Hospital, members of OSJ bring communion and visit with our sick sisters and brothers there. It is a valuable service to God’s people and a source of great blessing. Parishioner, Donna Frithsen who coordinates this ministry tells us, “Many of the hospital ministers tell me how incredible the experience is—how much the patients want to receive the Eucharist, and how present we and they are in those moments…very different from distribution of Eucharist during the liturgy in a church.  I agree wholeheartedly. The joy with which we are greeted and invited into that moment of desire in the patient room is beyond my feeble words. . It is such a humbling experience to be Christ for them in that moment and to bring Christ to them…” I ask you then to please consider helping us in this much needed ministry, as more volunteers are surely needed at this time. If you can spare some time monthly, weekly etc please pray about and consider this invitation. To sign up please call the parish offices at (215) 923-1733 and Donna or one of the other  hospital ministers will return your call. Once we fill the ranks for the hospital shifts, we want to expand to a larger ministry for the sick and infirm of our own parish—as Donna notes, we have only just begun! Thanks for you kind consideration! In the Lord, Fr Phil Florio, SJ...

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From the Pastor September 4, 2016

Posted by on Sep 12, 2016 in From the Pastor Columns

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, Where has the summer gone? It feels like just yesterday that we were welcoming the spring flowers and the longer days of summer. As those sunny days have been getting noticeably shorter, and as our hemisphere moves toward the autumn equinox this month (Sept. 22—the time when the sun crosses the celestial equator going southward), we will be blessed with the bright colors and crisp days of fall for which our part of the country is known. While we still have a few more weeks of “summer” weather to enjoy, this weekend our nation traditionally marks the end of the summer and return to school with Labor Day. On Labor Day we celebrate a time when, as a nation, we pause to remember and honor the good work of all people, work that helps to build up our society in a myriad of ways, and can if we allow it, bring glory to God. Regardless of our respective occupations, we all should remember that we each have our work to do, and our own part to play, in the building up a more just, loving, and productive world. In truth, working is a holy endeavor. God works. God labored to create our world in seven days and God’s Holy Spirit is constantly working in us to guide us in living a holy life each day. Indeed, even in our darkest moments and most arduous trials, God is working! This Labor Day, let’s all take a moment to reflect on how our work may give glory to God. Then, after some reflection, we can give thanks and we can relish the many gifts that He has given us. It is fitting to recall the words of our Holy Founder, St. Ignatius Loyola, who rightly said: “Work as if all depends on you, pray as if all depends on God” With that in mind, thank you for all you do to help our parish community to work so well, and have blessed and restorative LABOR DAY! In the Lord, Father Phil Florio, S.J....

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