I received a phone call from John Toman who asked me to advertise Catholic Charities (
). In particular, he asked that I share their video on
Domestic Violence Services
. I also updated our
to make the Catholic Charities offerings more prominent. Basically, John is helping Catholic Charities in our diocese to become better known so that people in need can contact them and all of us can support them.
Pray for Unity
Jesus prayed that we would be one. Let's follow His example and pray for unity in our country. Jesus attracts us to Himself. By drawing closer to Him with our intentions, we become more open to His direction in all things including how to work for unity. Keep in mind that Jesus suffered and died for us. He invites us to take up our crosses and follow Him. Working for unity will take sacrifice, but it's worth it. For a more concrete statement on unity, read
Archbishop Gomez's statement on the inauguration
With all the crazy things going on in the world, we may wonder if we're on some kind of alien spaceship. I'm finding some very helpful articles and commentaries at the
National Catholic Register
The Catholic Thing
. The last one, especially, includes recommendations for other websites. I found Msgr. Charles Pope's recent reflection very helpful:
Finding Peace in a Difficult Moment
. He starts with a modern parable about an alien spaceship and concludes that we need to stick close to God.
In the Womb
I also receive recommendations from parishioners. While I can't keep up with all the wonderful information out there, I want to pass on to you a recent reflection from Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York:
Why We Catholics Are So ‘Hung Up’ on Abortion
. For an even more animated reflection, read
Catholic Church Is Correct in Not Letting Abortion Issue Slide
. She is a brilliant law professor who often speaks about life and religious freedom issues.
Friday, January 22nd, is the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. We'll be praying especially for an end to abortion at the 8 AM Mass and the 3 PM holy hour.
Lakehurst March for Life
March for Life
will take place on Friday, January 29th, down in Washington, D.C. This year, it will be virtual because of the pandemic and recent social unrest. So, we will do our own little march for life in Lakehurst. We'll assemble at 2 PM at St. John's (probably outside in the parking lot). I have signs that say "Pray to End Abortion" and "Jesus Hears, Heals & Forgives". We'll carry them as we walk along the sidewalks in Lakehurst. We'll do most of our walking along Route 70. We'll be back at St. John's for the 3 PM holy hour. Feel free to join us for one or both activities. If you are unable to walk with us, you could pray in the church at 2 PM or pray from home. The 8 AM Mass that morning will also be a pro-life Mass.
When I look at the numbers, it seems to me that we may have peaked and are slowly declining. Nevertheless, we need to remain vigilant. For example, the chancery is closed this week because three staff members tested positive.
Remember to wear your mask and keep households six feet apart. If you're sick, stay home. If you have a sneezing or coughing fit (even though you're not sick), please go outside or at least farther away from everyone in order to take care of it. If you're in a high risk category, be extra cautious. Let's pray that more and more people can get the vaccine.
Today, I tested negative for COVID-19. I had to be tested before going into the Arbors Care Center to anoint a woman getting ready to see Jesus face-to-face. I last visited her about 18 months ago. I was pleased to learn that the residents will receive their first vaccine shot tomorrow. I was also impressed with the dedication of the staff.
God love you,
Fr. Jim O'Neill
on Wednesday, January 20 at 6:33PM