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home : features : advent & christmas December 13, 2018

Hope, lying in a manger, is the reason for joy, even during our difficult times
Anger is one of many obstacles that can stand in the way of joy. “Forgiveness in difficult situations always frees a person from some bondage, which constrains a person’s spirit,” says Father Jerome Guld, parochial vicar in St. Joseph Parish, Toms River. Stock photo

Anger is one of many obstacles that can stand in the way of joy. “Forgiveness in difficult situations always frees a person from some bondage, which constrains a person’s spirit,” says Father Jerome Guld, parochial vicar in St. Joseph Parish, Toms River. Stock photo

For Msgr. Sam A. Sirianni, rector of St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold, Advent and the Christmas season are fruitful times to help parishioners come to a fuller understanding of the meaning of Christian joy, since joy is inherent in this holy time of the Church.

“Christian joy is rooted in hope, and our hope is in Christ and in a sense that life has meaning,” Msgr. Sirianni stressed.

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Christmas events from Rome, D.C. available live online and telecast
Pope Francis has a full schedule of Christmastime events planned for December and January, which includes the customary Baptism of newborn babies Jan. 13, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. More ...
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Spirit of Christmas comes alive through parish, business collaborations
In this season of wish lists and gift-giving, parishes, schools and neighborhood businesses have been collaborating to support families in need – partnerships that unite communities in sharing, which blesses not only those who receive, but also those who give. More ...
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Christmas events from Rome, D.C. available live online and telecast
Pope Francis has a full schedule of Christmastime events planned for December and January, which includes the customary Baptism of newborn babies Jan. 13, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. More ...
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Kids reaching out to kids is focus of Advent Day of Giving
The gymnasium in St. Ann School, Lawrenceville, took on a fair-like setting for a couple of hours Dec. 8. More ...
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Music adds prayerful dimension to Advent, Christmas seasons
Terri Marino of St. Mary Parish, Middletown, strongly believes how hymns sung during Advent and the carols sung during Christmas can enhance one’s understanding and appreciation of the seasons surrounding the Birth of Jesus. More ...
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Advent retreat a time of gratitude for extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion
An Advent mini-retreat Dec. 5 in Morris Hall, Lawrenceville, gave volunteers who serve as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion to the patients in St. Lawrence Rehab Center and Morris Hall an opportunity to focus on the importance of their “sharing” ministry. More ...
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Stations of Nativity a teaching tool for all ages

“Take a look. Listen. Breathe. And expect.”

Such were the words Maria Gimello offered her fifth- through eighth-grade religious education students in hopes of getting them to focus more on the greatest gift of the season – Jesus.

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Thursday, December 13, 2018
Advent, Christmas a good time for families to reflect on how to live like Mary

Jessica Donohue, parish catechetical leader in Sacred Heart Parish, Mount Holly, believes that thriving during Advent and Christmas begins with family relationships.

“With the hectic nature of the holiday season, it is unfortunately sometimes too easy to neglect that,” she noted. “But caring for our ‘domestic Church’ is so important and really affects our other relationships as well.”

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Tinton Falls parish choir aims to keep Christmas season alive with Epiphany concert
Instead of presenting a Christmas concert in the days and weeks before Dec. 25, the music ministry of St. Anselm Parish, Tinton Falls, has chosen to uphold its six-year tradition and host a concert on Epiphany Sunday. More ...
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Festival, parish choirs to present Dec. 14 Christmas concert
The works of Camille Saint Saens and Benjamin Britten will be highlighted in the Dec. 14 Christmas concert to be presented by the music ministry of St. Anthony of Padua, Red Bank. More ...
Thursday, December 6, 2018
An Advent message from Bishop O'Connell: The 'both/and' nature of our spiritual preparation
I confess, I’m guilty.  Once Thanksgiving is over my thoughts turn to Christmas.  I put up my tree and decorate the house for that “most wonderful time of the year.” I pull out my Christmas CDs and watch all those great Christmas specials and movies on TV.  All these preparations – admittedly secular – put me in a happy frame of mind and give me a good feeling to welcome my favorite holiday.  I don’t want to miss a minute! 

At the same time, I don’t lose sight of the real “reason for the season,” the birth of the Savior, God the Father’s gift of his Son Jesus to the world.  The four weeks of Advent that precede Christmas Eve and Day keep me focused liturgically, in prayer and worship, on the ancient anticipation of the coming of the Messiah. 

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Friday, November 30, 2018
Advent traditions bring peace to a busy holiday season
Advent, the four-week period preceding Christmas, is a time to slow down as we wait in hopeful expectation for Christ’s coming. It’s a time to take stock of what’s important in our lives, casting away extra commitments and wasted energy we’ve added throughout the year.

Here are a few traditions that an individual or family can practice to slow down and draw closer to Christ during Advent.

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Thursday, November 29, 2018
Simbang Gabi a Filipino tradition with strong roots
The way Father Mark Nillo sees it, there are two reasons why Simbang Gabi continues to be a beloved Filipino tradition: it brings people together to pray, exchange stories and enjoy various seasonal Filipino delicacies, and it can raise awareness to Catholic devotions unique and deeply rooted in the culture of certain ethnic groups. More ...
Thursday, November 29, 2018
Christmas Carol Festivals spread joy, unify
Once again, parishes throughout the Diocese of Trenton are prepared for their Christmas Carol Festivals – an annual tradition that brings generations together for a Christ-centered season. More ...
Thursday, November 29, 2018
Parishes prepare for Advent season
As part of their celebration of the holy season of Advent and preparation for the Birth of Christ, the following parishes have announced events for the Advent season. More ...
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Young people play big roles as Epiphany's gifts celebrated in Trenton, Marlton

Honoring the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child, young people took center stage during parish observances of the Feast of the Epiphany Jan. 7.

“We are very blessed here,” Deacon Luis Ramos said as children prepared to receive gifts from three young parishioners dressed as the Magi after Mass in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton. “People are very good to our parishioners.”

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Middletown youth introduce 'Scrooge' to the Baby Jesus in Christmas play

After watching, “A Christmas Carol” with her family, 15-year-old Angela Gibilisco, wanted to take the story and give it a religious twist.

“It was during the scenes with the Ghost of Christmas Past that I first imagined an angel appearing to a man similar to Scrooge," said Gibilisco, member of the youth ministry in St. Catherine Laboure Parish, Middletown.

 

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Bishop O'Connell celebrates Feast of the Epiphany with hundreds of Manalapan's faithful

In the back of St. Thomas More Church, behind hundreds of faithful, Diana Saverino sat transfixed in the glow of the Feast of the Epiphany.

Calling it a Mass to cherish, the parishioner of 25 years was moved by the Manalapan church that was illuminated by thousands of lights and bathed in soaring music and the reverence of the homily, given by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.

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Sunday, January 7, 2018



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