Parish News

After more than three months of Lent and Easter, we return today to the Sundays in Ordinary Time. We will be hearing from the Gospel of Saint Matthew for the rest of the year, with the first reading intended to prepare us in some way for the day's Gospel. The second readings proceed through several of Saint Paul's letters. As we settle down to summer living, these next few Sundays focus on what it is like to be a disciple.

Ominous indeed are Jesus' predictions of what faithful disciples will face. Challenging, his expectations of how courageous we should be. Jesus is straightforward about our obligation to bear witness in a dangerous, cynical world. His warning is matched to the first reading from Jeremiah. Whenever the Gospel issue is the cost of discipleship, we hear from that prophet whose life was a testimony to fidelity in the face of rejection and cruelty. Less dramatic, but no less painful, is the experience of many who today support Catholic teaching on a wide spectrum of moral or social issues. But our obligation to do so derives from our Baptism, which anoints us to the prophetic office, and from Confirmation, which strengthens us for witnessing by gift of the Holy Spirit.

It is important, then, for us to hear another command that Jesus issues three times in this one passage: Do not be afraid! God's providential love is evident all around us in the world of nature. If that divine love does not fail to take account of trials that befall the humblest sparrow, "sold for a small coin", surely it will not fail us, purchased at the price of Christ's precious blood. If we fear anything, perhaps we ought to be afraid that discipleship has cost most of us very little indeed. Let us pray to have hearts open to what the Lord is telling us.

Although we're limited in what we can do to honor Msgr. Rosie as he prepares to take up his new assignment, we want to ensure we do our best to express the gratitude in our hearts for the great gift of his priestly ministry during his time as pastor at St. Paul.

Join us for a drive-thru farewell, giving families/households the opportunity to greet Msgr. Rosie and express thanks for all he's done! We'll utilize the parish/school parking lot to facilitate a car line of well wishes.

Rain date: Sunday, June 28, 2020

Artisan breads have become very popular. Some small bakeshops specialize in them and only sell these special loaves. Supermarkets may have a dedicated section in the bread aisle for artisan bread. Artisan bread may be basic consisting of only flour, water, salt, and yeast; or it may be flavored with herbs and other ingredients added. What all breads that are called "artisan" have in common is that they are not mass-produced, but crafted. Making this bread is an art. Each loaf is unique. The gospel this Sunday is about bread. However, this bread is surely not mass-produced in some factory. It is not even artfully crafted in some small bakery or home kitchen, as special as that is. This bread is unique, unequaled, unsurpassed in its nourishment. This bread is more than a staple of life. It is Life.

In the gospel Jesus is the bread that is the living bread; this is all we need to "live forever." The reasoning is simple enough: by partaking of Jesus' Body and Blood we become what we eat—we become the "one body" (second reading) in which we all share. This is the "Holy Communion" that assures us of who we are as baptized Christians—the Body of Christ. This is why Eucharist is (and remains throughout our life) a sacrament of initiation: we are constantly being fed on the Bread of Life and constantly drawn more deeply into being who we are—members of the one Body of Christ.

As members of Christ's Body, we are to be his life poured out in our everyday good living. We are to give our life—his life!—unreservedly for others. As this living bread nourishes us, so are we to nourish others. The sacramental eating and drinking of Jesus' Body and Blood is the culmination and ritual manifestation of the self-giving of our everyday living. It is our strength for choosing to be who this bread makes us to be: the living Body of Christ given for others. The challenge ultimately issued by this solemnity is to be as giving as Jesus is. This is the way to eternal Life. Jesus giving himself as living bread is a foretaste of the Life that one day we will share eternally with him. Jesus is the "living bread that came down from heaven." When we eat this bread we "will live forever." The Life this bread gives is eternal.

Heaven is above. Forever is beyond. Life is fleeting. But Life eternal is here and now in Jesus, "the living bread" who "came down from heaven" to give himself "for the life of the world." We who eat his flesh and drink his blood have eternal Life now. Heaven is not above. Forever is not beyond. Life is not fleeting. Because Jesus is living bread. It is far too easy for us to file out of our pews or chairs into the Communion line, receive, return, leave after Mass is over, and get on with our lives. The food and drink that Jesus offers us in this memorial celebration requires of us conscious preparation, deliberate partaking, and ongoing savoring by how we live. The Divine Artisan crafts us to live more holy and self-giving lives. We can't just put on a costume or cloak of being Jesus' followers; sharing in the Body and Blood of Christ means that we share in Jesus' life of self-giving. This means becoming more aware of others' needs and responding to them; it means doing our everyday tasks well and out of love; it means being honest, just, and forgiving. Eternal life is the fruit of our transformation in Christ. We are to remain in him and are sent to be his Presence in the world.

On this solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the focus is not so much on who the three Persons of the Trinity are, but rather on who we are as God's people in relation to the Holy Trinity. For God has sought us out and saved us through Jesus Christ, and given us a Spirit of adoption, so that we might call on God's name. God's self-revelation as Father, Son and Holy Spirit draws us ever deeper into a relationship of grace that begins in baptism, is nourished through the Eucharist and will come to fullness in the joy of eternal life.

The origins of the celebration of Trinity Sunday go all the way back to the Arian heresy of the fourth century, when Arius denied the divinity of Christ by denying that there are three Persons in God. To stress the doctrine of the Trinity, the Fathers of the Church composed prayers and hymns that were recited on Sundays as part of the Divine Office, the official prayer of the Church. Eventually, a special version of this office began to be celebrated on the Sunday after Pentecost.

While we can never fully comprehend the mystery of the Trinity, it is through God's self-revelation that we can know God as one in three persons. One God in relationships. Reflecting on the Trinity invites us who God created in his image and likeness, to be mindful that we too are created to be in relationship. First with God and then with one another. Our faith is alive as we live the relationship that God calls us to with one another. Religion can never be solely individualistic, it must be communitarian. We reflect the image of God as we celebrate, aid and come together. That is why Sunday liturgy is so important for us as Catholics. We celebrate our communion, relationship with God and one another, living the image in which we were created. How appropriate after celebrating the birth of the Church at Pentecost, that we celebrate the God who has made himself known to us and created us in his image and likeness. We are sisters and brothers invited through Jesus to be heirs to the divine life. A great God indeed do we worship. As a nation experiencing the crisis of the coronavirus and a national reflection on racism, our Christian faith reminds us that we are united in our common humanity to one another, sisters and brothers—called to be with one another for we are all members of God's one family!

With the announcement by the governor this week that larger religious gatherings may be conducted inside places of worship, Bishop O'Connell has published guidelines for the resumption of the celebration of sacraments in parish churches in the Diocese of Trenton. Bishop has decided that daily Mass with specific guidelines may resume on Monday, June 8 limited to 100 people and Sunday Mass with specific guidelines beginning on the weekend of June 13-14 limited to 1/3 of the church's seating capacity. The Parish Team of St. Paul will meet this Monday to discuss these guidelines and their implementation here at St. Paul. The resumption of the celebration of the sacraments necessitates adaptations and is not merely a return to normal since the coronavirus remains a serious threat. Each of us must continue to do our part to mitigate the spread of the virus particularly as we come together in larger groups so that we can be able to gather for Eucharist and nourish our spiritual lives through reception of Holy Communion. As we adapt to these new protocols, it is important to remember that the faithful of the diocese continued to be dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. What is important is the opportunity to receive the blessed sacrament, not to fulfill an obligation. If Sunday Mass is not possible, because of limitations perhaps attending one of the daily masses to receive communion can substitute. If you wish to read the complete letter of the bishop, visit the diocesan website. We will publish the procedures for St. Paul Parish as we formulate them, in order to give everyone adequate time to make their decisions and understand what will be expected. I thank you in advance for your continued understanding and cooperation as we begin the process of resuming parish life.

Happy Pentecost! Today we conclude our fifty-day celebration of Easter and our celebration of the Paschal Mystery that we began on Ash Wednesday. This extraordinary time which none of us could have imaged nonetheless has enriched us as disciples of the Lord as we journeyed again to root ourselves firmly in the Lord. We have been renewed, reborn and reclaimed our Christian identity as children of God through our participation in Jesus' passion, death and resurrection. On this day that is often called the birthday of the church, we gather at the Spirit's urging to praise and thank our loving God for all that has been given to us in and through Christ Jesus. And let us rejoice in the movement of the Holy Spirit today, who calls us to continue the work of Jesus Christ and the church in our own lives.

The celebration of Pentecost is not just a remembrance of a gift given once to the apostles, but a renewal of the Spirit's presence and power through our prayer and worship. We must take seriously the words Jesus shared with us, that as he returns to the Father the gift of the Holy Spirit will be shared, a gift that will enable us to do great things in the name of the Lord. We believe not only in the Spirit, but the power of the Spirit alive and active in our day. Let us ready ourselves for Pentecost.

This Sunday our parish would have celebrate Ministry Sunday as part of our Pentecost celebrations. Although, this is not possible this year, I hope that part of our Pentecost celebration will embrace the spirit of Ministry Sunday. Ministry Sunday is a visible sign to us that the outpouring and gifts of the Holy Spirit are indeed alive and enthusiastically shared within our community. It is also an opportunity to thank those who have been faithful in serving our community as well as an opportunity for each of us to consider sharing our time and talent with a ministry particularly as we prepare in the coming months to move parish life from an online experience to in-person. Even if I am unable to volunteer time is there some special ministry I might remember in prayer? Support with my treasure?

We are called in baptism to continue to the mission of Jesus and his Church, strengthened in the Eucharist and empowered by the Spirit. We are called in baptism to continue to the mission of Jesus and his Church, strengthened in the Eucharist and empowered by the Spirit.

I am most grateful to all those who have participated in our online parish experiences through participation in Mass, the rosary, meetings and faith enrichment sessions. I thank you for taking the extra effort to continue your financial support in these times of uncertainty and various commitments and requests. Your generosity has enabled us to continue to be a source of hope and surety in the Lord. I am certain that we will continue with an online presence as well through this transition so that all particularly those in vulnerable circumstances will continue to experience and fee apart of our Catholic Community in Princeton. God bless and let us pray: Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth!

Today we recall Christ's ascension to his Father in heaven. Before he left, he promised his disciples that he would be with them always. Indeed, the Lord is with us when we gather in his name, as we listen to the word of God, and as the bread and wine are consecrated. Let us celebrate the assurance that Christ is with us always, now and until the end of time.

As we continue our personal responsibility in mitigating the virus. We have all had to change and adapt. This even includes our common prayer and liturgy. As you are aware the Ascension in our part of the country is celebrated on the 40th day after Easter: Ascension Thursday and it is a holy day of obligation, but in these challenging times the bishops of the north east providences of our county have for this one year transferred the Ascension to this Sunday, providing us with an opportunity to liturgical celebrate this event in the early life of the church in our liturgical prayer. A gift? In the midst of much suffering. For our liturgical celebration of the ascension is not just something to recall that happened in history to Jesus, but is intimately link with the meaning of resurrection and who we are as an Easter people. It is still and always is for us Easter time!

A couple of years ago, Pope Francis declared a year of mercy. An opportunity for us to reflect on mercy and for each of us to grow in mercy. We rediscovered the meaning of forgiveness, community, and our traditions corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Hopefully, we have grown in mercy. I also think that we came to understand that mercy is much more than forgiving. Forgiving yes, but forgiving to built community and relationship. Francis is in images and preaching always reminding us that we as church are called to gaze, see one another especially the suffering and those on the periphery and built relationship and communion. Jesus' passion, death and resurrection is God's gift of mercy pour out abundantly upon us. We are forgiven and our relationship, communion with God is re-established. As I share so often the powerful image of God taking a walk with Adam and Eve each evening in the garden. Sin brought chaos and separation, Adam and Eve hidden themselves from God and one another as it was time for their daily walk. In sin they were ashamed, they realized they were naked. The resurrection reestablishes god's relationship with the human family, not because of what we have done, but because of what God desires and has done in the word made flesh. God wishes to journey with us, creation renewed and regenerated! The ascension is fruit of the resurrection, not merely Jesus return to the Father, but Jesus bringing all of creation with him. Jesus has lifted us up to the Father, Jesus invites us to enter and say yes to this communion. We no longer need to be ashamed, experience our nakeness for God has clothed us in his mercy. Our rising is to strive to grow in holiness, in conversion—to bring the image of God in which we were created to manifestation in our words and actions—to conform our will to the will of God. To live communion with God.

As we hear the conclusion of Matthew's gospel, we are blessed to hear details of the meaning of the ascension. First, Matthew tells us that there were 11 disciples who went to Galilee. Not twelve, but eleven. Judas is no longer among the company of those who represent the new Israel. This remains a painful reminder that not all followers of Jesus are perfect. We doubt; we drag our feet; we sometimes are not as courageous in carrying forth Jesus' saving mission as we might be. Yet, in spite of our weakness, Jesus has still empowered us to carry on his ministry. His ministry will continue, and it is this continuation of the ministry of Jesus that is the fruit of our relationship and communion with God. The disciples went to Galilee. Galilee is where Jesus' saving mission began; it is where it ends. But not really. These verses from Matthew's chapter 28 conclude his gospel. Note that there is no mention of the Jesus rising into the heavens as we heard in Luke's Acts. Matthew ends with the Great Commission to go and baptize "all nations." There is no end to Jesus' being with us because we take up his work and carry it—carry him—forward for all time. Finally, Jesus ordered his disciples to a mountain, a place in Scripture of divine encounter and divine revelation. Jesus promises to be with them "until the end of the age." His Presence is his farewell gift to the disciples. They are to take up his saving mission by making "disciples of all nations" through baptizing and teaching. The disciples are his farewell gift to the world. Taking up his saving mission, so are we. It takes us a lifetime of following Jesus and proclaiming his Good News to learn how gifted we are and what a gift we are to others. What the disciples hadn't yet come fully to believe was that Jesus would always remain with them, giving them strength. Through the Spirit. There was a startling newness to what Jesus was doing and the message he was conveying. Never before had someone so completely shared power. Never before had someone promised the most potent power—the Holy Spirit who is with us "until the end of the age."

The power given Jesus is now handed over to his disciples, and the new thing about this power is that it is a divine Person—the Holy Spirit who is sent to dwell within us, making us one with divinity. This Spirit given us is the way Jesus remains with us. We have the power to make disciples, baptize, and teach; we are Jesus' gift to others. But more importantly, we have the power to be the Presence of the risen Christ through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which is his gift to us. With the Holy Spirit we can faithfully continue Jesus' ministry. The Holy Spirit transforms us into being gift for others. And now we journey in these final days of this easter season praying for the renewal of the Holy Spirit in our time and day as we move towards Pentecost. Jesus has ascended to the Father not to abandon us, but to divinize us and empower us with the Holy Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

Like you, I am eagerly looking forward to time when we will be able to celebrate Mass together within our beautiful Church building. I wish to briefly address two items that have recently been in the news:

First, you may have seen that Bishop O'Connell in accordance with state guidelines has permitted "drive-thru" Masses. After discussing with our pastoral team during our daily meeting, it was decided that due to the limited size of our parking lot and the requirements for social distancing that it would not be possible for us to provide a drive thru mass. I regret this decision, but truly believe that this is best for our safety and maintaining proper dignity of the Eucharist within the guidelines developed.

Secondly, the President stated that churches and other houses of worship are essential and should be open immediately. Bishop O'Connell has informed us that there is a group working to develop guidelines for the safe opening of our church for liturgical celebrations. While no definite time line has been set, the guidelines will be provided as soon as possible and provide parish staff the appropriate amount of time so that these guidelines may be implemented to assure the safety of all while complying with guidelines issued by the state government as well. Bishop has asked us not to schedule any liturgical services in church yet. The church is open for private prayer with appropriate social distancing guidelines and procedures. In the interim we will continue to celebrate and live stream Sunday and daily Mass. As I have shared, it is just as challenging for your priests to celebrate Mass in this manner as it is for you at home.

You will also see in this week's bulletin, that the Diocese has directed that all in-person Religious Education Programs during the summer months be cancelled. This will affect our Summer Academy and Vacation Bible Camp. We are hoping to be able to conduct an online version of Summer Academy. If you have registered or were thinking of registering your children for Summer Academy, please email John McGuire at if you would participate in an online Summer Academy this year.

Let us continue to pray for one another especially for those we remember this Memorial Day Weekend who have given all that we might live in the freedom of our nation.

Self-will is mighty strong. Some children learn to say "No!" even before they say "Mama" or "Dada." Self-will is a form of self-assertion whereby we establish boundaries around ourselves, determine our own destiny, protect ourselves from doing what we don't want to do. When our self-will is overly strong and selfish, we rail against any rules and laws and commandments. We want to do this, not that. If we were the only person in the world, this behavior might be OK. But we're not the only person in the world. So from early on in our lives we learn the value of curbing our own selfish wills and choosing to behave in a manner that enhances the quality of life for all. In this gospel Jesus is telling his disciples to "keep my commandments." He is shaping our self-wills in a way well beyond choosing simple actSo much of our life seems anything but connected to Jesus and expressive of our love for him. Our sheer busyness hardly leaves us with a moment to catch our breath, let alone be concerned about loving Jesus!

Loving Jesus doesn't require that we pray all the time or that we are consciously aware of Jesus' risen Presence. Loving Jesus is a simple matter of keeping his commandments—being gentle and reverent toward others, having a clear conscience, doing good (see second reading). For most of us we are already doing what we need to do to be good Christians; what more is needed is to recognize that these good actions are the way we keep Jesus' commandments and express our believing in him. In other words, his commandments are pretty simple to know: love as he loved, believe as he believed, be self-giving as he was, do the Father's will as he did. Most of all, keeping his commandments means opening ourselves to the Spirit who dwells within us and makes us like the risen One.ions. He is drawing us out of ourselves and our self-will into him and his self-giving.

This week, our Parish Religious Education Programs would have gathered for the their last class/session. Even though we end this year very different, we have so many people to thank for a year that was filled with grace inspirit of challenging times and unforeseen difficulties.

Thank you to the catechists for your generous response to the call of this community to the extremely important ministry of instructing our parish children in the faith and partnering with the parents of our parish community in the faith formation of their children. By your ministry you serve as a stellar example of the life of discipleship which the Lord calls all of us to through our Baptism. Thank you to the parents of the children in our Parish Religious Education Programs. As the primary educators of the faith to your child, we value and appreciate the wonderful partnership we have with you. You hand on the faith as committed disciples of the Lord through prayer at home and participation in Sunday Mass and your own outreach to those in need in our community and beyond. You reinforce by example, the lessons that the children learn in their Religious Education sessions. In a special way thank you for teaching at home as we had to change our program due to the pandemic. We thank the members of Saint Paul Parish. Our vibrant parish life, so evident to anyone who visits us, is at the center of our efforts to hand on the faith to the next generation. When we gather together, when we pray, when we reach out, we strengthen the faith of one another and set before the children of our parish an example of Catholic discipleship that is second to none. Thank you! We thank the children in our Religious Education Program. You lift us up by your presence. You inspire us by your faithful participation in the Religious Education program, by your inquisitive questions, by your wide-eyed and heart-felt participation in Sunday Mass, by your desire to know and love Jesus. Your presence among us invites us to re-visit and re-commit ourselves to the faith which is the center of our lives. I know that many of you are disappointed since we have not been able to celebrate your dedicated work in the celebration of your Firs Holy Communion and Confirmation. I assure, you are not forgotten and soon we will celebrate. We eagerly wish to welcome to the table of the Lord and experience the fruits of the Spirit in you! Finally, our community expresses its thankfulness to Mr. John McGuire, Ms. Sara Cortes, Mrs. Kait Meyer and Mrs. Maureen Sano who coordinate our Faith Formation Programs. They will continue to provide opportunities for faith formation throughout the summer months particularly for the sacramental years.

I want to express my appreciation for your cooperation in following the guidelines for the opening of our church building for private prayer. Let us remember one another in prayer particularly those suffering

No GPS or road map can show us the way to the Father: the truth of all that is, the Life that is offered. Only Jesus can. He is our "GPS": God's Presence through the Spirit. Thomas and Philip completely miss Jesus' point. They are looking for a road map—they ask Jesus to show them the way. They haven't grasped what they have encountered all along: Jesus is "the way and the truth and the life." Jesus' claim that he is "the way and the truth and the life" is a sweeping one that dares us to see Jesus as everything we need to come to the fullness of risen Life ourselves. The "way" is not always appealing—dying to ourselves, self-giving for the sake of others. The good news and truth is that we can also follow Jesus' way in less dramatic, everyday ways. Our simple acts of reaching out to others, alleviating their suffering, or eliminating their need is how we follow Jesus' way. But more: this is how we ourselves become the way! As we do Jesus' works, we become more like him—we take on his care, his love, his passion for others. As we do his works, we ourselves become the way to the Father for others. No greater work can we do!

It is appropriate that as we recognize this journey of accepting Jesus, his way, truth and life and becoming a way for others that we join in the celebration of Motherhood this weekend. Mother's Day is a reminder to us of the sacred work of our mothers! Not much is stronger than a mother's love for her child. Our mothers, together with our fathers, are the ones who first teach us about love and how to respond to those in need. As the parish family of St. Paul, we are grateful to the mothers and all the women of our parish who share their faith and love with us and strengthen us in the journey of Christian discipleship. We are most grateful for your love, faith and presence. Happy Mother's Day! As we celebrate this Mother's Day in a unique way, please be assured of our prayers and spiritual communion.

This weekend, our parish would have completed the celebrations of welcoming our children to the Lord's table in their First Holy Communion and sealing our young people in the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the celebration of Confirmation. Although these celebrations have necessarily been postponed please know that you our children and you our young people are remembered in our prayers and thoughts. We eagerly await celebrating with you and know that you wish to celebrate as well. Soon we will welcome you to the table of the Lord and celebrate your gifts to our community empowered by the Holy Spirit. I encourage you not to despair and I am most grateful to your parents and sponsors as they continue to offer encouraging perseverance to you. Best of all, you can live the eucharist you await to receive now by being an instrument of mercy and communion. You can live confirmation and the gifts of the Holy Spirit as you share your talents, love and presence with your family and friends. Hang in there and know our love and prayers for you!

As you will notice in this week's bulletin, Bishop O'Connell has permitted churches in the Diocese of Trenton to be opened for private prayer. Recognizing our moral responsibility to continue to contribute to the mitigation of the coronavirus as society opens up, I am grateful for your cooperation in following the guidelines established to ensure that our church building is safe for those who wish to come and spend time in private prayer and reflection before the Eucharistic presence of the Lord. Sacred and peaceful ground to all. If you have any questions, please reach out to me.

Let us continue to pray for one another especially our young people who are graduating from college and university. Congratulations! God Bless!

With the warm Spring weather predicted for this weekend, it is easy to picture a lush meadow with a large flock of sheep enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. This first Sunday in May, may lend itself to such daydreams. But this is no daydream, for we indeed are part of a flock with a devoted shepherd, one who calls us each by name and invites us to have life and have it more abundantly.

Each year as we gather on the Fourth Sunday of Easter, the image of Jesus, the Good Shepherd and the Church his flock is presented in scripture. From hearing proclaimed in our midst the resurrection accounts, scripture moves to the manifestation and effects of the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus has changed us, we are now his people, the sheep of his flock.

With this image, the Church also celebrates on this Sunday a World Day of Prayer for Vocations—Good Shepherd Sunday. We join with the universal church in this prayer for vocations. The purpose of this day is to publicly fulfill the Lord's instruction to, "Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest" (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). This day of prayer was instituted by St. Pope Paul VI during the Second Vatican Council. Paul VI taught that the entire Church including lay people, are charged with the work of fostering priestly and religious vocations. As we prepare to celebrate Mother's Day next weekend, we recognize that the Church, in many ways, is also a mother to us. She teaches us how to love and to respond to those in need. From her we receive the grace of the sacraments, are taught to hear the word of God, and receive teaching to guide our steps in the truth and freedom of the children of God. To pray for vocations for holy men and women to serve the people of God is thanksgiving to the motherly presence of the Church in our lives. Please pray that young men and women hear and respond generously to the Lord's call to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life particularly the young of our Princeton community.

As I prepare for a new priestly assignment, much of my prayer has focused on my vocation and meaning of priesthood. My journey to priesthood didn't really involve some dramatic or earth-shaking moment. Faith and church were a part of our family life: Mass each Sunday, followed by a family visit with my grandparents, catholic school and parish community activities and events. Through the years an opportunity supported first and foremost by my parents to hear the gentle voice of the Lord calling. A voice confirmed by dedication of my long time pastor, Msgr. Leonard Toomey, and the joy of the Sisters of Charity. I know today there are fewer priests and sisters, but they were an integral part of this journey, but also was the encouragement of parishioners of my home parish of Sacred Heart in Trenton. My parish family. As time grew and college was approaching, the encouragement of friends from high school proved important. I am thankful for those prayers, love and support. The journey of vocation is not in isolation. For me, I am thankful for this support. It is a support that continues to nurture my priestly ministry. Certainly, what I have experience here at St. Paul.

You can find many resources to promote a culture of vocations on the USCCB Vocations webpage at or our diocesan webpage at Let us pray for vocations.

As Catholics, we are familiar that May is a month dedicated to our Blessed Mother. If you have been viewing our parish live stream Masses you may notice that we have changed the picture size including our Altar dedicate to Our Lady. While it doesn't appear likely that we will be able to have a parish May Crowning this year, we have created this "Mary Altar" reminding us of Our Lady's motherly love for each of us during these challenging days. Perhaps you can create a May Altar in your home. In addition we will be gathering Monday through Saturday at 9:00 am for a zoom meeting during which we will gather to pray the rosary. All are invited to join. Simply click the link on our parish website pop-out.

Let us continue to pray for one another throughout. I pray in special way for our children who are preparing for First Holy Communion. I realize that this is the time we would have been celebrating with them their special day and sure that they are disappointed, but I am praying everyday that their special day comes soon!