From the Pastor–March 19, 2017

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, This weekend, as we celebrate the 3rd Sunday of Lent, we as a parish dedicated to the patronage of Saint Joseph, blessed spouse of Our Lady, the Virgin Mary, and foster-father of Our Lord, in prayer, remember our holy patron. Since March 19, 2017 is the Third Sunday of Lent, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph is transferred to the following Monday, March 20. While celebrating the Mass for the 3rd Sunday of Lent, we will remember Saint Joseph in a special way at our parish patronal celebration on Saturday evening. When we speak of our holy patron, it is important to recall that our good Saint Joseph never drew attention or the spotlight to himself. Throughout the scriptures, Joseph’s voice was a silent one, spoken only in the shadows and his work on the surface was unassuming. We see in Joseph an unpretentious man, who made his living from the work of his hands and the sweat of his brow, but also, and more importantly, we see the earthly father of Jesus who made his mark and earned his place in heaven by his faithful obedience to God’s plan for him and for us all – the plan for the salvation of the world in Jesus the Christ. The sacred scriptures tell us that Joseph was “a just and good man” meaning he practiced justice; he did what was right in the eyes of God. In obeying God and standing by Mary’s side, Joseph becomes the first teacher of the Child Jesus, and as a loving father he holds him and guides him and teaches him in the ways of justice, faith and peace. Could there be a better model for us all of a Christian servant? Saint Joseph: good, just, chaste, faithful and true. How so many of us love that our parish bears his name—the first teacher and the faithful servant! Today let us ask God to give us the courage and the faith to learn from the example of Saint Joseph, so that the work of our hands may help to advance the mission of the one whom Joseph loved like his own: Jesus the Eternal Word and Prince of Peace. Happy and Blessed Feast day to all at OSJ! Saint Joseph, pray for us! In the Lord, Fr Phil Florio,...

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From the Pastor–March 12, 2017

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, With one week of Lent behind us, we can continue to focus our attention on our beautiful Catholic traditional Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and alms giving in this most holy season of the Church. This week I draw our attention to the Lenten practice of prayer. Lent, as we know, is a time of spiritual renewal. Without prayer, fasting and almsgiving are merely actions we do out of tradition without much meaning. Prayer is our conversation with God. Our Jesuit Founder, St Ignatius Loyola called prayer “intimate” conversation with God” because is through prayer that we develop a closer, more personal relationship with God. Prayer offers us all a very special opportunity to grow in our relationship with God and to deepen our commitment to a way of life, rooted in our baptism. In our busy world, prayer provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon our patterns and sins. We should pray more deeply, experience sorrow for what we’ve done and failed to do, and to be generous to those in need. To help you to better pray, here are some of my personal recommendations for praying in Lent : http://www.loyolapress.com/living-lent-daily.htm http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Lent/Daily-prayers-00.html http://www.usccb.org/about/justice-peace-and-human-development/upload/Lenten-Prayers.pdf http://www.sacredspace.ie/ http://www.pray-as-you-go.org/home/ http://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?s=27 Blessed Lent! Fr Phil Florio,SJ...

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From the Pastory–March 5, 2017

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in From the Pastor Columns

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, With the start of Lent, this past Wednesday, Roman Catholic traditional Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, alms giving, and other forms of self-denial are still most warmly recommended by the Church. This week I draw our attention to the Lenten practice of fasting. Broadly speaking, fasting is the voluntary avoidance of something that is good. When Catholics talk about fasting, we normally mean restricting the food that we eat. We can fast between meals, by not eating snacks, or we can engage in a complete fast by abstaining from all food. While fasting takes the form of refraining from eating, it is primarily a spiritual discipline designed to tame the body so that we can concentrate on higher things, like prayer, reflection, and meditation. Fasting also unites us with others in their daily sufferings and trials. Not just Christians, but Jews, Muslims, and members of other faiths practice fasting as a means to holiness! Here are the Diocesan Guidelines for fasting: -Everyone 14 years of age or older is bound to abstain from meat on all the Fridays of Lent and Good Friday. -Everyone 18 or older, and under 59 years of age, is bound to fast on Good Friday. -On Good Friday, only one full meatless meal is allowed. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted. When health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige. I hope this is helpful and I wish you a most Blessed Lent! Fr Phil Florio, SJ...

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From the Pastor — February 26, 2017

Posted by on Feb 27, 2017 in From the Pastor Columns

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, I write to you this week from out of the office as I begin a few days of vacation with my family. Next Wednesday, March 1st, Christians around the world will begin the Holy Season of Lent with our celebration of Ash Wednesday. Masses, with the distribution of blessed ashes, at OSJ are set for the following times: -12:05 pm Mass -7:30 pm Mass Though it is not a Holy Day of Obligation, Ash Wednesday remains one of the most popular and important days in our Roman Catholic liturgical calendar. Indeed, Ash Wednesday begins our time of increased almsgiving, fasting, and prayer. Notably, Ash Wednesday takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday, and while it is chiefly observed by Catholics, many other Christian denominations also observes this day of prayer and fasting. Ash Wednesday, for us, has its roots in the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting where those seeking forgiveness, as a public sign of humility and repentance, donned themselves in sackcloth and covered their faces in ashes. The ashes for our Jewish ancestors, and for us today, symbolize the dust from which God made us. It is a sign of humility of our need for God’s forgiveness and grace in our lives. As the priest or minister applies the ashes to a person’s forehead, they speak the words: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Alternatively, they may speak the words, “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” The ashes used in our Catholic tradition are made from blessed palm branches, taken from the previous year’s Palm Sunday Mass. As we enter into our blessed season of Lent, and as we seek to grow in greater faith, hope, and love in this holy time, let us continue to prayer for the needs of the entire world and to support one another with words and gestures of kindness, compassion, and Christian love. Blessed Lent! Fr Phil Florio,SJ...

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From the Pastor — February 19, 2017

Posted by on Feb 21, 2017 in From the Pastor Columns, Uncategorized

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, With all the conversation recently around refugees, I want bring to your attention a service of our Jesuit Family that is seeking to meet the rising demands of refugees. Many of you have asked how you can help those fleeing persecution and oppression in distant lands, so the Jesuits in the USA are encouraging those we serve to consider supporting the good work of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). This blurb, taken from the JRS website, best explains who they are: The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is an international Catholic organization with a mission to accompany, serve and advocate on behalf of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. JRS programs are found in 50 countries, providing assistance to: refugees in camps and cities, individuals displaced within their own countries, asylum seekers in cities, and to those held in detention centers. The main areas of work are in the field of education, emergency assistance, healthcare, livelihood activities and social services. At the end of 2016, more than 900,000 individuals were direct beneficiaries of JRS projects. Gratefully, the Jesuit Refugee Service celebrated its 35th year in service to those in need. In addition, Pope Francis’ invitation to the Church to reveal Christ’s mercy, especially to those most in need, goes hand in hand with JRS’ mission. Again, Pope Francis has stressed that each of us are invited “to rediscover and make fruitful the mercy of God, with which all of us are called to give consolation to every man and woman of our time.” When addressing the current refugee crisis, the Holy Father has also said “the world is suffering from a ‘globalization of indifference,’ ignoring those who cry out for mercy. But it is time to change that.” If you are interested in supporting the ministry of refugees, please consider the work of JRS, and see their website for more information. Additionally, Dr. Bethany Welch, the steadfast chairperson of our Social Justice Committee, recently offered our parish community these additional agencies that will allow you to support services to refugees and refugee resettlement activities in our region: Welcome the Refugee – Catholic Social Services, Archdiocese of Philadelphia welcometherefugee.org 610-876-7101 HIAS PA hiaspa.org 215-832-0900 Nationalities Service Center nscphila.org (215) 893-8400 Bethany Christian Services bethany.org/Philadelphia (215) 376-6200 Thank you and God Bless. In the Lord, Fr Phil Florio,...

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