My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, On Sunday, June 5, we celebrated the beautiful Solemnity of Pentecost. As you might know, it is one of the most important celebrations on the Church’s liturgical calendar. After the Sacred Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Solemnity of Easter) and the celebration of the Incarnation at Christmas, the Solemnity of Pentecost is the next most important celebration. To mark the occasion, our diocese hosted a vigil of prayer at the Cathedral beginning with the evening’s vigil Mass through midnight, hosted by our Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry along with St. Peter the Apostle University and Community Parish, the Catholic Center at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, as well as the Cathedral parish. How wonderful to see so many young people gather for this time of prayer with the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is such an important Solemnity because it is the Holy Spirit that continues the Divine Presence of God in our world, carrying on the work of Jesus in reconciling the world to the Father. With Jesus’ death, God’s work in the world does not come to an end. The Church, founded on Pentecost with the gift of the Holy Spirit, carries on Christ’s presence in the world. That means He can continue to act through you and me and every other Christian. This spring has spoiled me in that I have so readily seen the Spirit working to renew the face of the earth and our diocese. The work of the Spirit has been evident to me as throughout our diocese thousands of children and hundreds of adults received their first holy Communion. I have seen the Spirit at work in scores of confirmations celebrated over the past few months. The Spirit was shared as our new deacons and priest were ordained for service in our diocese. I also witnessed the Holy Spirit in our graduates at the four Catholic high school graduations I attended and heard such wonderful speeches given by our students about the faith imparted to them during their years at our schools. How grateful we should be to our administrators, teachers and staff, and their generous parents, too. No doubt, the Holy Spirit is moving the hearts of all our elementary, high school and college graduates as they prepare for the next phase of their lives.
After thorough evaluation, Saint Peter’s Healthcare System in New Brunswick, New Jersey will not move forward with a proposed transaction with RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBH), headquartered in West Orange, New Jersey. The leadership of both organizations mutually made the difficult decision after the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently filed suit to block the deal that would have enabled the creation of the first premier academic medical center in New Jersey designed to increase services, provide better access, and reduce the overall cost of such care.
This article examines the Seventh Commandment: “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15; Deuteronomy 5:19), which forbids unjustly taking or keeping the goods of one’s neighbors and wronging them in any way with respect to their goods” (ccc 2401). Does this include seemingly unimportant things like firewood or paper clips or copy paper or crabapples?
For better, for worse, or richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health… until death.” This vow has been declared tens of millions of times over the centuries as a pledge of love between a man and a woman embarking upon their new life as “two becoming one flesh (see Gensis 2:24 and Matthew 19: 5-6). Saint Paul explains further that Christan couples have “put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27 ) who is the model of all chastity. As such, whether married or unmarried, “all th baptized are called to chastity” (cc 2348 ). In fact, “at the moment of his baptism the Christian is pledged to lead an affective life in chastity” (cc 2348 ).
FLEMINGTON — In November 2021, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a document entitled “The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church.” The bishops intended for this document to help Catholics in the United States “to enter more deeply by faith and love into the Mystery of Mysteries, the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.”
Security guard Lorraine Mascher, the woman who for more than 15 years was the first person many saw when they visited the diocese’s St. John Neumann Pastoral Center, Piscataway, was a welcoming presence to all.
NEW BRUNSWICK — For the first 23 years or so working as a registered nurse-first assistant in the operating room at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, Felix Rivera was used to a regular schedule. In addition to assisting during surgeries, he and members of his team gave words of encouragement and comfort to patients as they waited in a holding area.
If we recall the opening Gospel on Palm Sunday, we remember how the crowds placed Jesus on the back of a donkey and placed a purple robe around our Lord and waved palms at him as he entered Jerusalem. They, who did not fully understand Jesus, believed him to be the Messiah, long-promised by the Prophets. However, the King, who they anticipated, would be a “Warrior-King” who would usher in a new age in which all Israel’s enemies would submit to the truth, abandon their false gods and worship the One, True, God whose Ark of the Covenant linked the Jewish people to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in a bond of love because Israel was his Chosen People. As we know from salvation history, the Kingship which they believed Jesus would exercise could not be further from the images they conjured from the Scriptures. To the contrary, their King would be condemned, flogged, crowned with thorns, nailed to a Cross and hung in public view for having been found guilty of blasphemy by the Jewish religious authority, and as a threat to civil peace by the Romans.
EAST BRUNSWICK — Calling it “an important and unique blessing in the Church,” Bishop James F. Checchio presided and gave the homily at Mass at St. Bartholomew Church, during which its new altar of sacrifice was consecrated.
My dear sisters and brothers in Christ, May is one of my favorite months of the year. Perhaps it is that May is one of the months specially dedicated to our Blessed Mother, to whom I and many others have a special devotion. This is a time, too, when the Easter season is in full swing, and the readings from the Acts of the Apostles about the early Church are so inspiring. The Holy Spirit is seen acting so clearly in these readings, even in the midst of such great challenges. We know the Holy Spirit has not left us in our day, and I often wonder how the Holy Spirit is working right now in our Church and world, even as we face challenges of our own. No doubt, He is here with us, but do we look for Him and expect Him to act in our lives, too?
Over the past several months, the world has been struggling to recover from the social isolation caused by the pandemic. At the same time, political divisiveness and hostility is at an all-time high, making it difficult to have meaningful conversations. In recent days, we have been faced with horrendous images from the brutal conflict in Ukraine. Indeed, these are historic times.
With the Lenten season underway and prayer, fasting and almsgiving already being practiced more intentionally, Bishop James F. Checchio has asked that all Catholics in the diocese more intentionally live out the corporal and spiritual works of mercy during the Lenten and Easter seasons.
As part of their celebrations for Catholic Schools Week, held this year from Jan. 30 to Feb. 5, the faculty and students at St. Matthew School, Edison, collected donations of birthday supplies to help needy families.
NORTH PLAINFIELD — The life of Msgr. Michael J. Corona, a longtime priest, educator and proponent of stewardship who “always had the view of resurrection in mind,” was celebrated at a funeral Mass Feb. 10 at St. Luke Church.