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 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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USCCB Chairmen Statement in Response to Refugee Executive Order

Posted by on Feb 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

On January 27, 2017, President Donald J. Trump issued an executive order that, among other things, suspends issuance of visas and other immigration benefits to nationals of seven predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days, indefinitely suspends resettlement of refugees from Syria (a predominately Muslim country), subject to a possible exception for those who are “religious minorities” in their home countries and facing religious persecution, and suspends virtually the entire U.S. refugee resettlement program for 120 days, also subject to a possible exception for such “religious minorities.” Most Reverend Mitchell T. Rozanski, Bishop of Springfield and Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Most Reverend William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore and Chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, and Most Reverend Oscar Cantú, Bishop of Las Cruces and Chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, jointly issued the following statement in response to this action: We recognize that Friday evening’s Executive Order has generated fear and untold anxiety among refugees, immigrants, and others throughout the faith community in the United States. In response to the Order, we join with other faith leaders to stand in solidarity again with those affected by this Order, especially our Muslim sisters and brothers. We also express our firm resolution that the Order’s stated preference for “religious minorities” should be applied to protect not only Christians where they are a minority, but all religious minorities who suffer persecution, which includes Yazidis, Shia Muslims in majority Sunni areas, and vice versa. While we also recognize that the United States government has a duty to protect the security of its people, we must nevertheless employ means that respect religious liberty for all, and the urgency of protecting the lives of those who desperately flee violence and persecution. It is our conviction as followers of the Lord Jesus that welcoming the stranger and protecting the vulnerable lie at the core of the Christian life. And so, to our Muslim brothers and sisters and all people of faith, we stand with you and welcome you....

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From the Pastor-January 15, 2017

Posted by on Jan 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

AMDG Dear OSJ Family A few of our parishioners asked me to share some startling statistics that I used in my homilies last weekend regarding the ongoing persecution of Christians all around the world. Sadly, but because we need to earnestly reflect on what this means for us as a body of believers and as a human family, I share this information with you, taken from my Epiphany homily: “To believe in Christ, to obey his Gospel and to execute his teachings, means that we will unquestionably need to take some risks. We will be forced to move beyond our comfort zones and at times move into danger zones.  Being a Christian, especially in the unbelieving world in which we live today, is a risk.  Sadly as we begin 2017, The Catholic News Agency reports that Christianity has become the most persecuted religious group in the world. In 2016 there were over 90 thousand Christians killed around the world, with 63 thousand of those on the African continent. Twenty-seven thousand of that 90 thousand were murdered by terrorists, terror sponsored groups, and governments that participate in the persecution of its religious minorities, including North Korea. Today we gather here, in our beautiful and welcoming parish church, freely and without fear, but 500 million other Christians cannot freely practice their faith.  We must pray and work to change that!” (Florio homily of January 8, 2017) Indeed, this sad reality must be addressed by our civil and religious leaders as we move in to the New Year, and like the early Christians, we must not allow the pressures and trials of the world around us to cast us into shadow and darkness where the light and radiance of our holy faith can be extinguished. Religious freedom ought to be a right for all people regardless of what they believe or with which faith they identify. This does not exclude our Christian sisters and brothers who continue to suffer, mercilessly, for their faith. And you will be hated for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved – Matthew 10:22 May God bless and protect all who suffer for their faith. In the Lord, Fr Phil Florio, SJ...

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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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