My protestant grandmother used to say that “life is like probation.” By this, she meant that through life we undergo the test of whether or not we are worthy to be united with God for all eternity. The sin of our first parents assured this imbalance in our desires and tendency toward disobeying God in order to seek our own selfish passions. The most serious of these sins is lust (also defined as a deadly sin). God provides the Sixth Commandment to help us, which states: “You shall not commit adultery” (Ex 20:14; Dt 5:18). The Catechism explains: “The tradition of the Church has understood the Sixth Commandment as encompassing the whole of human sexuality” (ccc 2336).
A typical day for many children living in villages in the Diocese of Santa Rosa, Guatemala, consists of waking up at dawn to accompany a parent to work each morning or being sent to the village plaza to sell items in order to bring home income for their family.
As Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen (CCDOM) recognizes employees who have achieved milestones in their employment at the agency, its Child Care program must replace one of its longest serving employees.
WATCHUNG — Less than six percent of Girl Scouts earn the distinction of “Ambassador Girl Scout” and Ava Janish (Capece) of Cranford is one of them. A senior at Mount Saint Mary Academy, she has been involved in scouting since kindergarten, where she started as a Daisy in Troop 40534.
“Back and better than ever!” That’s the mantra for St. Thomas Aquinas High School (STA) after a restrained year because of COVID-19 or coronaviorues pandemic restrictions. The 2020-21 school year was not without its highlights, which included Proms, a Maker Faire, the first Christmas Tree Lighting, athletics events, and pre-recorded musical and dramatic performances. But this year the faculty of STA was determined to pull out all the stops to make it a memorable year filled with longtime favorite events and a few new ones as well.
A collaborative effort by the diocesan Office of Schools and the faculties, staff and parents of students at the 27 Catholic institutions of learning have not only helped maintain high academic standards despite the nearly two-year challenges of the COVID-19 or coronavirus, but caused some to flourish.
WATCHUNG — Hannah Cunniffe, a senior at Mount Saint Mary Academy, placed second overall out of 100 participants at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Oireachtas for Irish dancing held in Philadelphia over the Thanksgiving weekend.
In 1962, America was launching its space race, dealing with the Cuban Missile Crisis, watching the classic “West Side Story” and dancing to Doo-Wop. That same year in Somerset County, a growing Catholic population and a visionary parish community met the goal of expanding Catholic education in the area. Immaculata High School, the county’s first Catholic secondary school, opened.
Our annual celebration of Catholic Schools Week is set to begin on Sunday, January 30. It is with great joy that we join with schools across the nation to acknowledge the many blessings of our Catholic schools. Additionally, we are in the midst of celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Diocese of Metuchen! Indeed, we look to 2022 as a time of hope and gratitude for the many gifts that are given to each of us.
The constitutional right to abortion has never been as fragile as it is heading into 2022. The United States Supreme Court is considering Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case which could potentially weaken or even overturn the 1973 landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in our land. A decision is expected sometime in June. Currently, the United States is one of only four countries, including China and North Korea, which allows the abortion of a child at any time during a woman’s pregnancy.
For Susan Feeney, service to the Church and the poor has always been an important part of her life, whether it is as an extraordinary minister of holy communion or catechist or doing pro bono work as a tax attorney with a prominent national law firm.
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, As we begin a new calendar year, we always make time to recognize our Catholic schools. Unfortunately, again this year we are challenged to celebrate Catholic Schools Week (January 30 – February 5, 2022) in the midst of rising COVID numbers and the disruption that has resulted. But, as always, our schools will rise to the challenge. I was very proud that our schools were able to offer in-person education last year to those families that wanted to have their children in school. In addition, for those families that preferred to have their students remain at home, a very successful virtual learning opportunity existed in every school. It was a great blessing to be able to serve our families, and I am so grateful to the pastors, principals and teachers that made it happen. The students were most cooperative too. Without a doubt, being able to keep our schools open during that challenging time was certainly a blessing.
How we need a little Christmas right this very minute! Many people are saying this Christmas will again be a subdued one. The pandemic continues and rising inflation has come down full force upon our country and, in reality, the entire world. The fears that have stalked us with our military overseas, threats of attacks and terrorism, all contribute to make us a little more somber this year. It also contributes to the weakening of the value and dignity of all human life and hence to life giving celebrations, like Christmas.
PLAINSBORO — Among the many challenges and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic have been the celebration of Masses of installation for new pastors to lead parishes in the diocese.
METUCHEN — With a unique blend of military-like precision and faith-filled solidarity, men and women who had sworn to “protect and serve” filled the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi Sept. 29 for the diocese’s 19th annual Blue Mass.
SOMERSET — Two groups of men integral to the life of the Church of the diocese — its priests and members of the Knights of Columbus — expressed their mutual admiration and respect Sept. 9 at the annual “Pride in Our Priests” dinner at The Imperia.
Know that you are in my prayers as we begin this synod experience. God has been good to us, and I have no doubt, will continue to be. Thank you for your fidelity to Him and His Church. The process will be guided by our reliance on our friendship with Jesus and the constant teachings of our Church.