My Dear Parishioners,
Thank you to all who helped make our SJR School Open House a success. Our students are really doing great work, and it is good that we can highlight them in this way. If anyone is interested in registering for our Pre-K or Kindergarten, please contact the school as soon as possible (215-343-5100), as registration is now open to those from outside the parishes as well.
Last week I was on my retreat. I want you to know that I prayed for all of you and your families. I spent the week at Brigittine Retreat House. I was able to join the sisters for their prayers and liturgies, and they even asked myself and my friend Fr. Tim to celebrate some of their Masses. Thank you to the priests who helped us out by covering the daily masses, funerals, and any emergencies that came in.
This week we will be celebrating Thanksgiving. It is a beautiful opportunity to reflect on all the blessings that God has given us and to make our response back to Him with praise and worship. You are invited to join us for a Mass on Thanksgiving morning, November 23rd at 8:00 a.m. At this Mass we will continue the tradition of blessing loaves of freshly baked bread and then handing them out after the Mass. It is a way to symbolically carry the blessing of the Mass home with you to your Thanksgiving tables. Please plan to be with us on this special day.
This weekend we are starting our Giving Tree program. It is a special way of donating to those in need for the upcoming Christmas celebration. We are asking that you take a gift tag off of the tree in our sanctuary and return it with a gift card or check for the specific charity. They will then be given to those charities or used here locally for those in need at Christmas.
This week we welcomed Mr. Benjamin Speranza, a parishioner of St. Robert Bellarmine and a graduate of St. Joseph / St. Robert School to speak to us about St. Charles Seminary. He is coming as a part of the annual Seminary Appeal. You received a separate mailing from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for this appeal. If you do not have your appeal information, extra cards are available in the pews and also on the tables at the church exits. Thank you for all you do to support the education and formation of priests. This appeal is important because it helps with the formation of Diocesan priests and we are severely in need of more priests throughout our country. Thank you to Ben for his willingness to discern a vocation.
I recently met with the priest who asked me to consider going into the seminary. At first I told him he was crazy, I had a plan, I was going to be a doctor. But after some prayer and reflection, he helped me to see that I should not go to the seminary because I knew I already had a vocation, he said instead that I should go to find out. Please pray that more and more men will want to find out. The US Bishops have published a number of prayers for vocations. Please consider using one or more of these prayers to pray for our Archdiocese and also for Ben and others like him.
Loving God, you call all who believe in you to grow perfect in love by following in the footsteps of Christ your Son. Call from among us more men and women who will serve you as religious. By their way of life, may they provide a convincing sign of your Kingdom for the Church and the whole world. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
O God, Father of all Mercies, provider of a bountiful Harvest, send Your Graces upon those You have called to gather the fruits of Your labor; preserve and strengthen them in their lifelong service of you.
Open the hearts of Your children that they may discern Your Holy Will; inspire in them a love and desire to surrender themselves to serving others in the name of Your son, Jesus Christ. Teach all Your faithful to follow their respective paths in life guided by Your Divine Word and Truth. Through the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, all the Angels, and Saints, humbly hear our prayers and grant Your Church’s needs, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
God Bless you,