My Dear Parishioners,
This Sunday is Catechetical Sunday. It is a special recognition of all those who give of their time, effort and skills to see that our parishioners have the opportunity to be properly formed in the faith. This includes all those involved in St. Joseph/ St. Robert School – teachers, principal, administration, staff, and volunteers. We also recognize and thank those involved in faith formation in our CCD program, including our program director and catechists, assistants, staff and volunteers. In addition we are grateful for the members of our RCIA team and youth formation team. They play a crucial role in preparing and instructing our youth and adults to come into the faith, or complete their initiation. We thank them for all they do in handing on the kingdom. Please pray for them and ask God to bless them for the very good work they do. This year, the theme is: “This is my body given for you.”
The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. The term “Eucharist” originates from the Greek word eucharistia, meaning thanksgiving. In the celebration of the Eucharist, bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and the instrumentality of the priest. The whole Christ is truly present — body, blood, soul, and divinity — under the appearances of bread and wine, the glorified Christ who rose from the dead. This is what the Church means when she speaks of the “Real Presence” of Christ in the Eucharist.
As a reminder, we are all catechists, and we should all join together in passing on the faith. If you know someone who is considering joining the Catholic Faith, or someone who simply needs to be asked, now is the time. We are holding our special Night of Inquiry Wednesday, September 28th at 7:00 p.m. in classroom 18. Anyone interested in finding out more about the faith is invited to join us. Please call the rectory if interested, 215-672-3020.
As part of our 100th Anniversary celebration, we will celebrate our 40 Hours with a special “Eucharistic Retreat.” Our Homilist for 40 Hours will be Fr. Pio Mandato, FMHJ. Fr. Pio is a Franciscan priest living as a missionary hermit. Fr. Pio was born in Italy and along with his brother Vincenzo, received his first holy communion from Saint Pio before coming to the USA. He grew up in New Jersey and entered the Capuchin Franciscans at the age of 17, and was ordained in 1985. In 1998 he was accepted in the diocese of Scranton, Pa., and now lives a life of solitude, prayer, and intercession. He is also Chaplain to the Capuchin Sisters of Nazareth and at times is engaged in the preaching apostolate. When summarizing his “Eucharistic Retreat” he says, “Jesus’ whole life can be summarized as the offering of Himself in sacrifice on the cross so we could share in deep communion and intimacy with His Father in the Spirit (Hb. 10:12). Three words that synthesize this teaching which is embodied in the Eucharist are presence, sacrifice and communion. These words are the very core of any act of authentic love. The retreat will focus on these Eucharistic realities in the life of the Lord and pray for the grace so we may enter into them. Our 40 Hours will be on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday October 16, 17, and 18. There will be opportunities for confession, the celebration of Evening Prayer and benediction, and on Tuesday, a healing prayer service with the opportunity to be blessed with the glove of Padre Pio.
I am also very pleased to announce that St. Joseph Parish has renewed our registration with The Augustine Institute for the FORMED Program. With this enrollment, each member of the parish will continue to have access to the many spiritual programs offered over the internet.
God Bless you,