Deacon Michael McKenna and his wife, Betty Ann, lead the “Celebrating Angels” prayer service held Dec. 10 in St. Rose of Lima Church, Freehold, for those in the midst of grief during Advent. Lois Rogers photo
Grief at the loss of a loved one can be a constantly evolving process.
Just ask Bob Rizzo of Mother of Mercy Parish, Asbury Park, who has been missing his wife, Theresa, for five years. While life certainly goes on for the 85-year-old, he said he still cries for the “lady who lit up his life” since 1952.
Memories of their family Christmas celebrations are especially apt to flood back at this time of year, said Rizzo, who after his wife’s death, devoted much of his time to a bereavement ministry in his parish.
Every once in a while, at parties or dinners before Christmas, I’ve asked adults about their holiday plans only to hear some lament, “Oh, Christmas is for children.” I must confess that such a comment saddens me a bit.
As December ushered in the Christmas season, schools and parishes across the Diocese made their to-do lists and checked them twice when it came to helping those in need or bringing smiles and good will. More ... Thursday, December 14, 2017
St. Rose Parish, Belmar, is welcoming the world-renowned Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale to its church to celebrate the Christmas season. Known as “America’s Ambassadors of Song," the choir will perform at 3 p.m., Jan. 7 in the church.
It is always a wonderful coincidence that our celebration of Thanksgiving occurs before the First Sunday of Advent each year. Although Thanksgiving is not a liturgical feast, it is appropriate on that day to bow our heads in grateful prayer to God before beginning a new Church year. More ... Thursday, November 30, 2017
In the Filipino Catholic tradition, the nine-day Novena of Masses known as Simbang Gabi spiritually prepares one for the celebration of Christmas, a tradition with deep roots in the country’s religious culture beginning after midnight Dec. 15 and running through Dec. 24. More ... Thursday, November 30, 2017
“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” is among the favorite hymns of Advent.
The refrain, “Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel” embodies, in word and song, the expectant waiting for Jesus, which is at the heart of Advent.
But there is more to Advent than joyful anticipation.
This period of preparation is not just a time of getting ready for Christmas by planning celebrations, decorating homes and buying gifts. It is, most significantly, a spiritual preparation for the Second coming of Christ, which is enriched through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Christmas Carol Festivals, which combine music, faith witness, Scripture and fellowship, have delighted attendees for a decade. With an aim to welcome lapsed Catholics and those expressing an interest in learning more, CCF will return throughout the Diocese in force this Advent. More ... Wednesday, November 29, 2017
While many rushed headlong into the Christmas season Nov. 26 by shopping or decorating their front yards, 25 families in St. Barnabas Parish, Bayville, prepared for the season of Advent while crafting their very own family Advent wreath. More ... Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Dedicated to serving the poorest of the poor through the art of sacred music, Caritas Chamber Chorale will present a series of Christmas concerts to benefit the Adorno Fathers’ African Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. More ... Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Just as Joseph and Mary traveled from their homeland to the tiny Bethlehem manger, so, too, did the faithful of the Diocese of Trenton travel in faith throughout the blessed octave of Christmas celebrating the Infant Jesus’ Birth.
Solitary, quiet prayer was counterbalanced by youthful and joyous evangelization, and adorning parish environments and extending thankful praise to helping hands served as worthy exhibitions of faith and gratitude. More ... Thursday, January 5, 2017
Simbang Gabi may be a long-treasured tradition in the Philippines that has begun to grow around the Diocese’s parishes and beyond, but for Father Leandro Dela Cruz, it’s a childhood memory, too. More ... Thursday, January 5, 2017