For centuries, the Catholic Church has dedicated the entire month of May to honor Mary, Mother of God. This tradition expresses our belief that Mary is the Mother of Christ, whom from the first moment of His conception was both human and divine.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Each year, in preparing to release the financial report and statistics about the life of our diocese, I am reminded of the people I have met, particularly within the past year, but also throughout these past five years while serving as your bishop.
EDISON — The life of “a servant of the Church, the community and the nation” was celebrated April 19 at a funeral Mass for Deacon Frank Yuhas at St. Matthew the Apostle Church. The deacon of 13 years died April 13 at the age of 72.
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Five years ago today, I was blessed to become your Shepherd. In sending me to your diocese, I remember Pope Francis said to me, “you must know a lot of people and clergy in your new diocese since it is so close to your home.” Obviously, he thought my transition from Rector of a college in Rome to Bishop in New Jersey would be eased by my friends and acquaintances. However, the opposite was true. I knew very few individuals here having met only a couple of Metuchen priests in my 24 years as a priest, and just a few lay people. Today, the Metuchen Diocese is my home filled with friends: clergy, religious and laity.
On April 24, defense attorney Mark Anderl and United States District Court Judge Esther Salas unveiled a plaque dedicated to their son, Daniel Mark Anderl, in a ceremony at Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. Salas spoke to attendees of the ceremony, and Father Robert G. Lynam, pastor, St. Augustine of Canterbury Parish, Kendall Park -- where Daniel received the sacraments of baptism, first holy Communion and confirmation -- gave the invocation. The plaque includes a passage from the Gospel of John (15:13): “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life…” Daniel, who was a student at Catholic University, planned to pursue a career in law. The plaque was dedicated by the law school in his honor. Friends of Daniel, 20, who was a 2014 graduate of St. Augustine of Canterbury School and a 2018 graduate of Saint Joseph High School, Metuchen, from Catholic University attended the ceremony. One student -- Katherine (Class of 2022) -- gave an emotional witness of the impact that Daniel had on the life of so many at Catholic University, Father Lynam said.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The 58th annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations is scheduled to be celebrated by the Church April 25. the Fourth Sunday of Easter, commonly referred to as Good Shepherd Sunday. The World Day of Prayer for Vocations unites the faithful in praying for those currently discerning and living out vocations to ordained ministry and consecrated life.
Recently, there was a meme on social media showing the devil taunting God. The devil says, “I have closed down every church in the world.” God replies, “Yes, but I have opened one up in every home.” While we cannot be physically present in our church buildings, our homes have recently become the places where we worship God and live our Christian lives. Certainly, this should be taking place in our homes already. Although, the COVID-19 situation causes us to be more intentional in this regard and present circumstances place a greater emphasis on the domestic church.
In this article we continue to reflect on the First Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex 20:3). Did you know that certain activities considered hobbies or pass-times by some are actually sins that break this First Commandment? It is common practice, for example, for many people to check their “horoscopes” each day, often on the Internet but still available in most newspapers, too. When a person becomes fixated on such things, this “thing”, according to the Catechism, can easily become a “false god.”
On March 26, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen child care programs in Somerset, Warren and Morris counties joined communities across the globe to celebrate the importance of social-emotional learning (SEL) on the second annual International SEL Day centered on building bonds and reimagining community.
KENDALL PARK — It was a faith witness, filled with emotion and delivered on Good Friday that most who heard will remember. Father Robert G. Lynam, pastor of St. Augustine of Canterbury Parish, invited U.S. District Judge Esther Salas to speak to his parishioners. On July 19, Daniel Salas, the only son of the judge was killed at his home by a gunman posing as a delivery driver.
METUCHEN — A hushed congregation seated in near-darkness inside the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi heard a message of hope and joy-filled life April 3 during the celebration of the Easter Vigil. Once Bishop James F. Checchio ignited then incensed, the Paschal candle in the sanctuary, a cantor sang the “Exsultet,” or Easter Proclamation, and lectors read Old and New Testament passages that shared the salvation history of God’s people from the world’s creation to the ministry of Christ.
METUCHEN — Standing beneath a stained glass window depicting the visitation of the angel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Bishop James F. Checchio told the seniors seated before him, “Like Mary, you are deeply aware of the presence of God in your lives. You, too, model discipleship in our day.”
METUCHEN — With the obvious exceptions of the various celebrations in honor of our Blessed Mother, only two saints have multiple feast days on the General Roman Calendar each year: St John the Baptist and St. Joseph. One of the days dedicated to the foster father of Jesus Christ and protector of the Holy Family is March 19, when he is celebrated as the Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Last weekend, the Church observed Divine Mercy Sunday, which was our annual opportunity to ask God our Father, to apply the infinite merits of the Cross to the plight of our actual world, in atonement for our personal sins and in reparation for our sins as a Church. St. John Paul II incorporated this feast into the liturgical calendar while he was pontiff. He also insisted that it coincide with the Second Sunday of Easter. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy begins: “Holy Father, we offer you the body and blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement of our sins and those of the whole world.”
METUCHEN — Keeping their parish family intact in a pandemic, reawakening their faith and encouraging them to draw strength from their parish home is a tall order, admitted Bishop James F. Checchio to his priests during a socially-distant Chrism Mass celebrated March 30 at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi. But, the bishop added, they must remember what gives them strength — each other.
Jesus tells us, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life!” And, my brothers and sisters in Christ, how we need the light of life this year!
METUCHEN — “God chooses you for this task and that’s something to celebrate,” said Bishop James F. Checchio to the 15 prospective deacons seated before him at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi Feb. 20.
“It’s incredible what you can accomplish in a couple months.” These words from Megan Kibalo, a junior at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Edison, encapsulate the fervor that pervades the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) Learning Lab, also known as the Makerspace, as students and faculty prepare for the third annual Maker Faire.