From the Pastor-October 30, 2016

Posted by on Oct 31, 2016 in From the Pastor Columns

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, This coming week we Roman Catholics throughout the world celebrate THE COMMEMORATION OF ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED or ALL SOULS DAY. This beautiful memorial immediately follows our solemn celebration of All Saints Day and in our Catholic tradition is a day set aside for honoring and remembering our beloved dead. According to our Catholic belief, the soul of a person who dies can go to one of three places. The first is heaven, that place reserved for the one who dies in a state of “perfect grace” and “communion with God.” The second is hell, where those who die in a state of “mortal sin” are naturally condemned by their choice. The third is purgatory, which is where most people, free of mortal sin, but still in a state of lesser (venial) sin, must go before they rise to the ranks of the angels and saints in heaven. The Church teaches that purgatory is necessary so that souls can be cleansed (purged) and perfected before they enter into heaven. There is scriptural basis for this belief. The primary reference is in 2 Maccabees, 12:26 and 12:32—”Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out…Thus made atonement for the dead that they might be free from sin.” Biblical references are also found in Zechariah, Sirach, and the Gospel of Matthew.  Consistent with these teachings and traditions, Catholics believe that through the prayers of the faithful on Earth, the dead are cleansed of their sins so that they may enter into heaven.  All Souls Day is celebrated in much of the western world on November 2, yet All Souls Day is not a holy day of obligation. It should not be confused with All Saints’ Day, which is a holy day of obligation, November 1. Notably, many cultures throughout the Catholic world also mark the day differently. In North America, Americans may say extra prayers or light candles for the departed souls. Also the Church encourages us to devoutly visit any cemetery to pray for the faithful departed. In parts of Latin America, families visit the graves of their ancestors and sometimes leave food offerings for the departed. In Mexico, in particular, many families pass the whole day at the graves of their loved ones, singing, eating, and toasting their beloved dead. All of this is incredibly beautiful! Here at OSJ, you may light candles for your loved ones at the shrine of Our Lady, to the left of the main altar, and you are also welcome to write the names of your deceased loved ones in the BOOK OF REMEMBERANCE which will be in the sanctuary for the entire month of...

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From the Pastor-October 23, 2016

Posted by on Oct 31, 2016 in From the Pastor Columns

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, The Society of Jesus throughout the world is filled withjoy and gratitude over the news that last Friday, October 14, 2016, a new Father General had beenchosen. Our new Superior General is the very Reverend Arturo Sosa Abascal, S.J. Fr. Sosa is a Jesuit from Venezuela and the 30th successor to our founder, St. Ignatius Loyola. Not unlike our first and non-European pope, Francis, Fr. Sosa is the first Latin American Superior General of the Jesuits. This speaks volumes, I believe, of our swiftly changing and emerging Church! Fr. Sosa, Delegate of the General for the International Houses and Works of the Society of Jesus in Rome, was elected by 212 Jesuit electors at the 36th General Congregation, the supreme governing body of the Society, at the Jesuit Curia, the Society’s headquarters in Rome. He succeeds Father Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, 80, who resigned last week after serving as Superior General since 2008. Father General was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1948. He entered the Society in September 1966 and was ordained a priest in 1977. He holds a degree in philosophy from the Catholic University of Venezuela, a degree in theology from the Jesuit’s Gregorian University in Rome and a doctorate in political science from the Universidad Central de Venezuela. He was provincial superior of the Society of Jesus in Venezuela from 1996 to 2004. Fr. Sosa speaks Spanish, Italian and English and understands French. Prior to his appointment as provincial, he was in charge of the social justice works of the Jesuits in Venezuela, which includes our network of schools for the poor, Fe y Alegría. He was also head of the Centro Gumilla, the Jesuit-run social and action research center. Among his distinguished academic posts, he has served as a member of the founding board of the Catholic University in Caracas and rector of the Catholic University of Táchira. Fr. Sosa, only the 31st Superior General in the Society’s 476-year history, now leads the 16,740 Jesuits worldwide. This includes about 12,000 priests; 1,300 brothers; 2,700 scholastics; and 753 novices. Let us pray for Fr Sosa as he seeks to boldly lead the Jesuits forward in our sacred mission, realized right here at OSJ! May God bless him, the Society of Jesus and our Catholic Church as we continue to serve our rapidly changing world! With my esteem and prayers, Fr. Phil Florio,...

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From the Pastor-October 16, 2016

Posted by on Oct 31, 2016 in From the Pastor Columns

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, I write this week to encourage you to join us for an excellent event taking place in our Jesuit sponsored parishes. Jesuit Alumni Sunday is an opportunity for alumni and friends of Jesuit schools to share our common bonds through the celebration of liturgy, followed by a reception highlighting opportunities for continuing spiritual growth and service to the local and global community. Old St. Joseph’s is among the various parishes celebrating Mass on this day across the east coast at our 6:30pm Mass on October 23, 2016. I will preside at the Mass and the preacher will be Fr. Dan Joyce, SJ, the Executive Director of Mission Programs at our beloved SJU. Dr Mark Reed, president of SJU, will try to join us as well. Please come and support our Jesuit family at this special liturgy! To register for the Jesuit Alumni Mass and for more locations and times, please visit:www.JesuitsEast.org/AlumniSunday2016. Additionally, on the 23rd of October, we will also take the opportunity to sponsor our newly named Ministry Fair Sunday (formerly Missioning Sunday). On this Sunday we will commission all of our liturgical ministers, various committee members, and volunteers at our 9:30am, 11:30am and 6:30pm Masses. After these Masses we will have a coffee hour where representatives of our ministries and committees will be present to promote their various ministries. Please join us and please think about getting involved in the various ministries that serve our parish community. I can tell you right now that our Altar Servers, Ushers, and Hospitality Ministers are in dire need of new recruits!  PLEASE CONSIDER HELPING OUR PARISH—ALL ARE WELCOME TO SERVE! With my esteem and prayers, Fr Phil Florio,...

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From the Pastor October 9, 2016

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

AMDG Dear OSJ family, On behalf of the entire parish, I write this week to offer our heartfelt thanks to all who contributed to the vestment replacement fund. I am happy to report that we exceeded our expectations for raising funds to replace many of our tired altar server vestments. In truth, many of them were old and worn but managed to last a long time here at OSJ. I am even happier to report that we raised enough donations to retire most of the vestments!  Through the generosity of so many good people at OSJ we were able to purchase 15 new cassocks, (they will be maroon in color, no longer black which is identified with clergy), 10 new white surpluses (the white vestment, symbolic of the baptismal garment, that is worn over the cassock) and 15 new albs or white server’s robes for both children and adults. The albs, which also represent the baptismal garment, are all of a beautiful ivory color and have neat, crisp lines. These vestments were ordered to accommodate all sizes of those who serve at the altar. All of our servers will now match and add even more beauty to our sanctuary! Again, I am so grateful for the generosity and kindness of so many of our parishioners who care so deeply about our parish and the place of divine worship which is central to who we are as a Catholic, Christian community. All of our new vestments will make their appearance on the first Sunday of Advent. Thank you again on behalf of the entire parish, and God bless each and every one of you. With my esteem and prayers, Fr Phil Florio,...

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From the Pastor October 6, 2016

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

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, This time last year we found ourselves in the midst of the papal visit to Philadelphia where hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from around the world came to our city to celebrate our Catholic faith, the place of the family, and to draw inspiration from our Holy Father, Pope Francis. For me it was a “once in a lifetime event.” I cannot help but think that we are a better city, nation and church after the visit of our first Jesuit pope! You may recall that, at that time, I asked our facilities folks to fly both a papal flag and a colonial American flag (the US flag of choice in our historic area) at the two entrances to our church. The flags were well received.  Consequently, I asked that these flags remain flying after Pope Francis returned to Rome. These symbols have helped draw people to our wonderful parish. Pilgrims recently visiting our city from Ohio told me, “We searched for your historic church but we could not find it! We passed by it several times looking for a steeple or a bell tower but found none!  It was only after our young son identified the papal flag flying down the little alley that we were drawn down the street and saw the sign (our restored sign is striking!) that told us we had found our destination, Old St Joseph’s. We love being here, it is so central to the history of our faith and the church is just so beautiful!” These remarks could not have made me happier—pilgrims discovered our treasured church and the flags helped to lead them here! With that, the flags need replacing around every six months and so we need to purchase additional flags for both entrances. If anyone would like to help purchase new flags please see me after Mass or call at the office to arrange for this. The flags cost $50 each and last for about 6 months. Additionally, I’d like to explore flying these two flags from the balcony inside our church, as is done in our neighboring historic churches. These indoor flags are $175 each and last for several years. Please let me know if you’d like to help us to keep our colors flying at OSJ! Thanks for your kind consideration and may God continue to bless our beloved Nation and Church! With my esteem and respect, Father Phil Florio,...

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