From the Pastor–May 14, 2017

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in From the Pastor Columns

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, The Church, in her wisdom, gives us the Month of May 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 of each of us, her earthly children. You should 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. 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 Mary 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). As we honor our Holy Mother Mary  on this Mother’s Day, let us remember to pray for all of our mothers, living and in heaven, for the many gifts they have shared with us, and for the many ways that they have showed us God’s love. A Mother’s Day Prayer Thank you, Holy God, for our mothers. 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.  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. Amen. Happy Mother’s Day and God Bless. In the Lord, Fr Phil Florio, SJ Pastor...

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Parish Pastoral Council Election Ballot

Posted by on May 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

Our parish is electing several parishioners for vacant positions on the Parish Pastoral Council.  As you know, the Council exists in large part to represent your needs, concerns, and well-being as a valued member of this Christian community. Please, review our candidates below. Click here to download a ballot form. You can also email your vote to osjpc@oldstjoseph.org. Please have your vote in by  Monday, May 29, 2017. Suzanne MacFarland Suzanne MacFarland has been a parishioner at Old St. Joseph’s church for a little over a year, but has a long history of appreciating and following the Jesuit tradition.  A Philly native, she moved back six years ago for work and spent several years looking for a spiritual home.  She was fortunate enough to join the OSJ parish hoping for a socially accepting, dynamic, and welcoming parish community, and has not been disappointed!  She has been involved with programming in the Young Adult Community, and has also been involved in the Social Justice Committee and the Philadelphia Interfaith Community.  As a member of Parish Pastoral Council, she would hope to continue the efforts of the parish to be active in local social justice efforts. She also is interested in continued efforts at education and active participation in interfaith peace efforts and community engagement.  She is incredibly appreciative of the community and fellowship in faith that she has experienced at OSJ, and would be thrilled at the opportunity to serve. Len Mancini Bornand raised in a northern New Jersey suburb of NYC, I moved to Philadelphia in 2009.  I first met the Jesuits when I attended the University of Scranton in the late 1990s.  My introduction to Jesuit spirituality in Scranton shaped the path that I have taken in life: I worked as a youth retreat minister, I taught science at a Jesuit high school, Scranton Prep, and lived two years as a novice in the Jesuits discerning religious life.  Subsequently, I began a second career as a nurse, and currently serve as the nurse manager of an ICU at Penn Medicine. I became a parishionerof Old Saint Joe’s in 2013, and frequently serve as an altar server at the 9:30 and 11:30 Masses.  Living life and praying with Jesus as St. Ignatius prescribed is central to my spirituality; having served on the OSJ Ignatian Spirituality committee since 2016 has given me the opportunity to share this with you.  As a member of parish council, I hope to help our parishioners to be “men and women for others” within our parish and beyond, always striving to live and serve for God’s greater glory. Mary Freedman Three years ago my husband and I were looking for a forever-home city for our retirement, I had only onerequirement...

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From the Pastor–May 7, 2017

Posted by on May 9, 2017 in From the Pastor Columns

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, Today, in a special way, we congratulate and offer thanks to our young people of the parish and PREP program that celebrate their First Communion. We are very proud of you and your love for Jesus. Together, with your family and friends, we pledge our support and prayers! In today’s Gospel on this 4th Sunday of Easter, John the Evangelist writes: “But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” That shepherd, of course, is Jesus Christ who protects us, cares for us, and leads us to the Father. In turn, the Lord entrusted us, His Church, to our chief shepherd, our pope, who like Jesus leads us and us guides in holiness. We know that Jesus called himself the Good Shepherd (John 10:14). Throughout the Gospels the Lord talks about sheep, goats and shepherds, and He compares the people of God to the “flock of God.” In the image of Jesus, the Lord fulfills the prophecy from Ezekiel 34:23 where God himself promises to become the Good Shepherd who will judge His people with justice. Jesus fulfills this prophecy when He declares himself the Good Shepherd. But who would lead the flock after Jesus returned to heaven? Jesus said there would be “one flock, one shepherd” (Jn 10:16). After His resurrection, in a moving and tender conversation with Peter, Jesus assigns His job as shepherd of the sheep to St. Peter, our first pope. Peter becomes the spiritual father of the people of God and the prime servant of Christ’s Kingdom with full authority in Jesus’ absence. Today, as God’s flock, let us remember to pray for our earthly shepherd, Christ’s vicar on earth, Pope Francis, as well as for Pope Emeritus Benedict, and for all of our Church leaders who are charged with caring for us and leading us in holiness. A Prayer for the Pope: Let us pray. O God, the Pastor and Ruler of all the faithful, look down, in your mercy, upon your servant, Pope Francis, whom you have appointed to preside over your Church; and grant, we beseech you, that both by word and example, he may edify all those in his care; so that, with the flock entrusted to him, he may arrive at length unto life everlasting. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. In the Lord, Fr Phil Florio, SJ...

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From the Pastor–April 30, 2017

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in From the Pastor Columns

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, Today on this Third Sunday of Easter, the Gospel reading is the well-known passage known as the “Road to Emmaus.” Emmaus, as we know, is a small town outside of Jerusalem. Today’s gospel account from Luke reports that Jesus appeared there, after his death and resurrection, to two of his disciples while they were walking on the road and that it was only in the breaking and sharing of bread that they recognized him. The fundamental Gospel message that the Emmaus story seeks to convey is that it is not one’s destination so much as it is one’s actual journey that is most crucial in life. Thus, Emmaus represents our journey to holiness, to the very heart of God. As we all seek to travel to greater holiness, I commend to your consideration the possibility of making a spiritual retreat this spring or summer. Retreats are a great opportunity for reflection and renewal, and are an encouraging time to “taste and see the goodness of God” in our own lives and in the beauty of the world around us. Our Jesuit Founder, Saint Ignatius Loyola, because of his formation of the Spiritual Exercises, is honored by the Church as the “Patron Saint of retreats.” So as members of the Ignatian and Jesuit Family, I invite you to give some serious thought and prayer to make a retreat and carve out some precious time to rest, renew, and to grow in your relationship with God. Below are some Catholic Retreat Houses in the Philadelphia area that I highly recommend. Please visit their websites and again, consider visiting these holy places for an opportunity to grow closer to God, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit! SAINT RAPHAELA CENTER-The Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Phone: 610-642-5715 Location: 616 Coopertown Road, Haverford, PA 19041 MOTHER BONIFACE SPIRITUALITY CENTER-The Sisters of the Most Blessed Trinity. Phone: 267-350-1831 Location: 3501 Solly Avenue Phila. PA 19136 CRANALEITH SPIRITUAL CENTER-The Sisters of Mercy. Phone: 215-934-6206 Location: 13475 Proctor Road, Phila. PA 19116 DAYLESFORD ABBEY SPIRITUALITY CENTER-The Norbertines. Phone: 610-647-2530 Location: 220 S. Valley Road, Paoli, PA 19301 FRANCISCAN SPIRITUAL CENTER-The Sisters of St. Francis. Phone: 610-558-6152 Location: 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, PA 19014 MALVERN RETREAT HOUSE-Catholic Lay Leadership. Phone: 610-644-0400 Location: 315 S Warren Avenue, Malvern, PA 19355 THE JESUIT CENTER-The Society of Jesus. Phone: 610-670-364 Location: 501 N Church Road, Wernersville, PA 1956 In the Lord, Fr Phil Florio, SJ...

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From the Pastor–April 23, 2017

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in From the Pastor Columns

AMDG Dear OSJ Family, Today in the Church calendar besides being the Second Sunday of Easter is popularly known as “Divine Mercy Sunday.”  Saint John Paul II formally instituted this feast in the Church’s liturgical calendar during his pontificate. He first encountered this devotion while growing up in Poland. Between 1930 and 1938 Our Lord appeared to a young Polish nun, Sister Maria Faustina, a Sister of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy in Poland who first initiated the Divine Mercy devotion. Sister Faustina, now a canonized saint of the Church, was also a mystic.  For a number of years, Jesus himself appeared to Faustina in various visions and inspired in her, and subsequently the entire Church, the devotion to Divine Mercy . On Good Friday, 1937, Jesus requested that Faustina make a special novena from Good Friday through the following Saturday. Jesus also asked that a picture be painted according to the vision of Himself as the very fountain of mercy. He also gave her a chaplet to be recited and said that it was appropriate to pray the chaplet at three o’clock each afternoon (the Hour of Great Mercy). Because of her promotion of this devotion, she has rightfully earned the title of “Apostle of Divine Mercy”.  Notably, in one of her visions, Jesus said to Sr Faustina: ‘Humanity will never find peace until it turns with trust to the Mercy of God.’   How true. For your personal prayer on this feast, I provide the Divine Mercy Chaplet below. (The Chaplet of Mercy is recited using ordinary rosary beads of five decades.) Make the Sign of the Cross The Our Father The Hail Mary The Apostle’s Creed The Eternal Father Recite: Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. On the ten small beads of each decade Recite: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Repeat for the remaining decades Saying the “Eternal Father” (6) on the “Our Father” bead and then 10 “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion” (7) on the following “Hail Mary” beads. Conclude with Holy God (Repeat three times) Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Together let us continue to trust in God’s abundant mercy and commend all of our prayers and needs to God’s infinite love now, in this Holy Easter Season, and in the days to come. In the Lord, Fr Phil Florio, SJ...

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