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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving - Diocesan Center Closed


The St. John Neumann Pastoral Center will be closed November 23 and 24, in observance of Thanksgiving. The pastoral center will reopen at 8:30 a.m., Monday, November 27. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday!

  • Location: St. John Neumann Pastoral Center
  • Website: none
Saturday, December 2, 2017

Our Lady of Lourdes Annual Christmas Bazaar

9:00am – 4:00pm


Our Lady of Lourdes (OLOL) Parish, 44 Cleveland Avenue, Milltown, will host its Annual Christmas Bazaar 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 2, 2017. The Bazaar has been a parish event since 1978. The event will offer a day of holiday shopping, food and family activities. Highlights include OLOL Shoppes featuring a mini Tricky Tray with prizes from local businesses, an Old-Fashioned Bake Sale, a New-to-You Christmas booth, an Ornament booth, a Vintage Jewelry booth, Religious Articles booth, a Stocking Stuffer booth, “Nearly New” toys, Games for children, Basket Raffles including a Gift Card Christmas Tree Raffle, and a Magic Christmas Tree. There will also be a special raffle with a chance to win a party package, valued at $319, from Urban Air Adventure. Additionally, vendors will offer crafts, jewelry, designer bags, chocolate and candy, toys, specialty foods, decorative items, organic skin care products, grave covers and wreaths. Breakfast and lunch items will be available. The Knights of Columbus’ annual Breakfast With Santa also will take place December 2, with seatings at 9a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Advance registration is needed. For more information on both events, call the church rectory at (732) 828-0011 or Bernadette at (732) 828-6726.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

First Sunday of Advent

12:00 am – 12:00 pm

On December 3, we begin the season of Advent, which marks the start of a new liturgical year for the Church. The readings for Sunday Mass are arranged on a three-year cycle. Each year features a different Gospel-Matthew, Mark, or Luke. Readings from the Gospel of John are interspersed throughout all three years. With this year's first Sunday of Advent, we begin Cycle B of the Lectionary, which focuses our attention on the Gospel of Mark. This week and next week, our readings from Mark's Gospel present two important Advent themes: the Lord's return at the end of time and John the Baptist's preparation for Jesus.

Today's Gospel is taken from the end of Mark's Gospel, the chapter that immediately precedes Mark's account of Jesus' Passion. Having been questioned repeatedly by the scribes and the Pharisees, Jesus is now questioned by his disciples-Peter, James, John, and Andrew-who want details about his prediction of the destruction of the Temple. Jesus answers with many warnings about the difficulties that the disciples will face.

Today's passage comes at the conclusion of Jesus' warnings to his disciples. Jesus emphasizes the need for watchfulness. The Son of Man will come without warning; only the Father knows the exact hour. The disciples must not be caught unprepared when this time comes.

Scholars believe that Mark's Gospel was written around the time of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70. Mark's audience consisted of Christians who were living in difficult social and political times, times of conflict. They were likely beginning to face persecution as followers of Jesus. In this difficult time, it helped to recall that Jesus had foretold of such difficulties. Early Christian communities took courage from Jesus' warning to remain alert and watchful, and they found in his words a way to persevere through suffering.

Today's Gospel reminds us that Advent is about more than our preparation for the Church's celebration of Christ's birth at Christmas. Advent is also about preparing ourselves for Christ's return in glory at the end of time. Like the disciples and the faithful in Mark's community, we must also stay alert and watchful. Our faithfulness to God, through the good times as well as the difficult times, shows us to be ready for the coming of the Son of Man.

(Content courtesy of Loyola Press: https://www.loyolapress.com/our-catholic-faith/liturgical-year/sunday-connection/first-sunday-of-advent-cycle-b-sunday-connection)

  • Location: All Parishes
Sunday, December 10, 2017

Second Sunday of Advent

12:00 am – 12:00 pm

The Gospel for the second Sunday of Advent is taken from the beginning of Mark. Unlike Luke and Matthew, Mark does not include any details of Jesus' birth. Instead Mark begins with the appearance of John the Baptist in the desert. On this the Second Sunday of Advent, we are invited to reflect upon the role of John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus and the salvation that he would bring to us.

Mark's description of the appearance of John the Baptist highlights John's continuity with the Jewish prophetic tradition. Mark combines quotations from the Old Testament books of Malachi, Isaiah, and Exodus. Mark's description of John as an ascetic, living in the desert, clothed in camel hair, and eating locusts and wild honey, is reminiscent of the description of the prophet Elijah found in Second Kings. The people of Judea and Jerusalem flock to him, listening to his message of repentance and forgiveness; they also come to him to be baptized. Mark's Gospel is clear, however, that John the Baptist's role is only to prepare the way for another who will come, one who is greater than John.

Many scholars believe that the Gospels reflect the tension that likely existed between followers of John the Baptist and disciples of Jesus. Each of the four Evangelists report on John's preaching and baptizing, and they each emphasize the importance of Jesus' baptism by John. The four Gospels also explain that John was sent to preach in preparation for another. In the Gospel of Luke, the question is raised as to whether John the Baptist was himself the Messiah. Just as in today's Gospel, however, John speaks quite explicitly that the Messiah was to come after him.

In today's Gospel we hear John the Baptist contrast his baptism of repentance with the baptism that Jesus will inaugurate. John says that he has baptized with water, but that the one who is to come will baptize with the Holy Spirit. John's baptism was not yet a Christian baptism, but a preparation for the Sacrament of Baptism through which sins are forgiven and the gift of the Holy Spirit is received.

John the Baptist is presented to us as a model during Advent. We, too, are called upon to prepare a way for the Lord. Like John the Baptist, we are messengers in service to one who is greater than we are. Our Baptism commissions us to call others to life as disciples of Jesus.

(Content courtesy of Loyola Press: https://www.loyolapress.com/our-catholic-faith/liturgical-year/sunday-connection/second-sunday-of-advent-cycle-b-sunday-connection)


  • Location: All Parishes
Saturday, December 16, 2017

2017 Christmas Party for Children and Young Adults with Disabilities

1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

The Diocese of Metuchen Office for Persons with Disabilities will host its 2017 Christmas Party for children and young adults with disabilities on Saturday, December 16 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the St. John Neumann Pastoral Center, 146 Metlars Lane, Piscataway, NJ. If you or someone you know would like to participate, please contact our Office for Persons with Disabilities at (732) 765-6432 or e-mail catholicswithdisabilities@gmail.com for more information.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Third Sunday of Advent

12:00 am – 12:00 pm

The Gospel for the third Sunday of Advent invites us to continue our reflection on the person and mission of John the Baptist. On this day, we depart from the Gospel of Mark and read a selection from the Gospel of John.

The Gospel combines a brief passage from the prologue to John's Gospel with a report about John the Baptist. As in Mark's Gospel, the Gospel of John contains no birth narrative. Instead, John's Gospel begins with a theological reflection that has come to be called the "prologue." This prologue places the story of Jesus in its cosmological framework. It speaks of Jesus' existence with God since the beginning of time. In John's Gospel, Jesus is presented as the fulfillment of the Old Testament and the culmination of the Word, the light that is coming into the world's darkness.

Following this prologue, John reports on the ministry of John the Baptist. We learn about the attention that John the Baptist received from the Jewish authorities. Messengers from the Jewish priests, the Levites and the Pharisees question John about his identity and the meaning of the baptisms that he is performing. John's Gospel uses these questions to establish the relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist. John the Baptist is not the Messiah, nor is he Elijah or the Prophet. In John's denials, we hear echoes of the kind of messianic expectations that were common in first-century Palestine.

The only affirmative response that John the Baptist gives is when he quotes the prophet Isaiah. Upon answering the next question, John announces that the savior they seek is already among them, but as yet unrecognized. John's response highlights for us an important Advent theme: Jesus has already come into the world as our savior. During Advent, we pray that we will be able to recognize Jesus' presence in our midst. Advent also reminds us that Jesus will come again to fulfill the promise of salvation. We pray that we will continue to be watchful as we anticipate that great day.

The third Sunday of Advent is also called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete, a Latin word which means "rejoice," is taken from the entrance antiphon for Sunday's Mass. This theme is echoed in today's second reading from the first Letter to the Thessalonians. It is a reminder that Advent is a season of joy because our salvation is already at hand.

(Content courtesy of Loyola Press: https://www.loyolapress.com/our-catholic-faith/liturgical-year/sunday-connection/third-sunday-of-advent-cycle-b-sunday-connection)

  • Location: All Parishes
Sunday, December 24, 2017

Fourth Sunday of Advent

12:00 am – 12:00 pm

On the fourth Sunday of Advent, we read the story of the angel Gabriel's announcement to Mary about the birth of Jesus. This story is found only in Luke's Gospel. On this fourth Sunday of Advent, the liturgy shifts our attention from John the Baptist to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Both John and Mary serve as important figures for our reflection during the season of Advent; they both played instrumental roles in preparing the way for Jesus. Last week we reflected on John the Baptist's announcement that the Savior was among us, although not yet recognized. This week we reflect upon Mary's example of faith and obedience to God, traits which permitted her to receive the angel's message that God's Son would be born as a human person, as one of us.

We are familiar with the story of the Annunciation, and it is fitting that we recall how God announced the birth of Jesus as we make our final preparations for our celebration of the Incarnation. The angel Gabriel visited Mary, a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph. Mary greeted the angel's news with awe and wonder and asked how it could be possible that she could give birth to a child. In his reply, the angel Gabriel announced the seemingly impossible reality: the child to be born would be conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and would be God's own Son. The angel reported to Mary another miracle; her relative Elizabeth was also pregnant despite having been thought to be unable to have a child. Mary's response to the angel, which is called her fiat, is an example of complete faith and obedience to God.

The story of the Annunciation calls to our attention God's wondrous action in human history. God chose a human person to give birth to his Son so that all humanity would know God's salvation. Mary, already full of God's grace, was able to cooperate in this great plan for our salvation. Thus Jesus was born as one of us, fully human and also fully divine. This is the mystery we prepare to celebrate at Christmas, the mystery of the Incarnation. In the model of Mary, we pray that we will be people of faith who recognize God's saving plan for us and are able respond with obedience.

(Content courtesy of Loyola Press: https://www.loyolapress.com/our-catholic-faith/liturgical-year/sunday-connection/fourth-sunday-of-advent-cycle-b-sunday-connection)


  • Location: All Parishes
Monday, January 15, 2018

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

8:30 am – 4:30 pm

The St. John Neumann Pastoral Center will be closed Monday, January 15, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and will reopen at 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, January 16. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday!

  • Location: St. John Neumann Pastoral Center
  • Website: none
Sunday, March 4, 2018

Forty Hours Devotion

6 p.m.

The New Brunswick Oratory of St. Philip Neri will sponsor Forty Hours Devotion from March 4-6 at St. Peter the Apostle University and Community Parish in New Brunswick. The Forty Hours Devotion will be a time of extended Eucharistic Adoration, which will take place throughout the Forty Hours, interrupted only for 7:30 a.m. daily Mass. Rev. Msgr. Joseph Celano, Vicar for Administration of the Diocese of Metuchen, will preach each evening.


Sunday, March 4  •  6 p.m.
Opening Mass
Third Sunday of Lent

Monday, March 5  •  1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Taize Prayer Service

Monday, March 5  •  7:30 p.m.
Sung Choral Vespers - Music by the Central New Jersey Catholic Chorale
Monday of the 3rd Week of Lent
Sacrament of Reconciliation available after Vespers

Tuesday, March 6  •  7:30 p.m.
Sung Vespers of the Most Holy Eucharist
Eucharistic Procession and Benediction

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Public Veneration of the Relics of Saint Pio Pietrelcina

9:00 am – 6:30 pm

All are welcome to venerate the official relics of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his passing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi
548 Main Street, Metuchen, NJ 08840

The Most Rev. James F. Checchio, Bishop of Metuchen, will preside at a 1 p.m. prayer service for the St. Francis School community.

Rev. Msgr. Robert J. Zamorski, Cathedral Rector, will preside at a 7 p.m. Mass in honor of Saint Pio with Rev. Timothy A. Christy, Vicar of Evangelization and Communication, serving as homilist.

Confessions will be available throughout the day.

To learn more, please visit www.stfranciscathedral.org; email info@stfranciscathedral.org; or call the Cathedral Parish Office at (732) 548-0100 Mon. to Fri. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.