Category Archives: Uncategorized

Father Harrison’s Message for the Seventh Sunday of Easter

I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
(Psalm 27 – Psalm for the Seventh Sunday of Easter)

During this bleak time of the pandemic these words may seem hollow.  Where can we actually see the good things of the Lord?  When will we be able to do everything just as we had done in the very recent past?  How will we be able to live as before?  We are continually confronted by the problems created by one of God’s smallest creature – a virus.  And we, the best of all creatures, are confounded by the workings of this minute organism.  Where are those good things?  Are they just the promise of heaven, whenever we may arrive there?  Do we have to “tough it out” here in order to receive the reward hereafter?

When Philip asked Jesus to let the apostles see the Father, He questioned Philip, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and still you do not understand?  If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”  Have we been with Jesus all this time (the whole of our lives for most of us) and still we cannot see the good things of the Lord?  They are all there, in that same living person, Jesus.

Jesus is everything to us, quite literally.  In Him do we find the image of God, the love, mercy and understanding of God, not as coming from a philosopher or an academic paper, but from God, Himself!  He has described the kind of world that He wants for us, not merely as a possibility but as a project to be completed – by us!  Look beyond the evils of the day and ask what is needed here or there.  You will find that the answer lies in the descriptive words of Jesus – love your neighbor as yourself.  The answer to our present problems is not simply in a vaccine for the virus – as significant as that may be – but rather in the strong, vibrant faith of the individual follower of Jesus – us.  We carry around in our hearts the answer to the problems of mankind.  When the virus has diminished, there will still be hunger, hatred, prejudice, inequality, etc.

Do we really want the good things of the Lord – here, on earth?  Then we must open our eyes and recognize the answer before us: we must be peace in the midst of war; we must be love in the face of violence; we must be hope in the face of despair; we must be self-sacrifice for the oppressed; we must be home for the homeless!

To do this we must not be distracted. We must stay focused on Jesus!.

Happy Mother’s Day

We wish all the Mothers, Grandmothers, Godmothers and Spiritual Mothers in our
St. Joseph Parish family a very happy Mother’s Day!

“Loving God, as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children, so you watch over Your Church.  Bless these women, that they may be strengthened as Christian mothers.  Let the example of their faith and love shine forth.  Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect.”

-Source: Book of Blessings by Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1989

 

 

Happy Easter!

We wish our St. Joseph family, both near and far, a blessed Easter.  For those who couldn’t make it to St. Joe’s today, we are bringing St. Joe’s to you!  Here are some pictures that we took today.

Father Harrison’s Easter 2020 Message

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Happy Easter to everyone!  Yes, it is still Easter, despite the peculiar situation in we all are living right now.  It is still our Easter celebration – Jesus has risen from the dead.  He who took the sins of humanity on His own shoulder brought them to the grave and has risen free of them.  And now, thanks to God’s gracious mercy, we share that very same life through the Sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist.

This last Lent was “different”.  Usually, we engage that season with prayer and penance and properly dispose ourselves for a fitting celebration of Easter.  But now that, in a sense, we were deprived of that usual Lenten routine, are we as ready to celebrate the new life of Easter?  Are we prepared to get past the discomfort of not having all the ordinary Lenten activities and, then, fully engage the mysticism of our union with the Risen Christ?  Will the world be able to see in us a clear description of this new life with all its virtue and joy and undefeated hope?

Yes, we may not presently have the “usual” Easter items around us.  But, then, isn’t Easter more than that: the chocolate eggs and bunnies, fading lilies; new clothes and Easter baskets?  Easter is so much more than these passing things.  True, we are used to them and they do make us feel good (perhaps a little too nostalgic about our own childhood Easters).  But, does our faith and the strength surrounding Easter depend on such thing?  No, of course not!

Then, let us engage the world around us with the considerable experience of knowing Jesus crucified and risen.  Let us approach each aspect of life, both happy and unhappy, with the joy on realizing that: His resurrection is the promise of our own – today; that His strength is ours – today; that His wisdom brings hope to all – today; that His mercy is life-giving – today; that His presence is for all – today – through our hearts, united in Him!  Especially now, under these viral circumstances, there are people who really do need to experience the risen Christ.  Do not be afraid to bring Him to them!

Archbishop Perez’s Easter Message

Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez released video pastoral messages in English and Spanish on the occasion of Easter 2020.

To view the video is English, please click below.

Pastoral Message to the Faithful from Archbishop Pérez on the Occasion of Easter 2020 from Kearns Media Consulting LLC on Vimeo.

To view the video is Spanish, please click below.

Mensaje del arzobispo Nelson J. Pérez a los fieles con motivo del Domingo de Pascua from Kearns Media Consulting LLC on Vimeo.

Easter Sunday at St. Joseph

On Easter Sunday, St. Joseph Church will be open from 9am until noon.  In the sanctuary of the Church, you will be able to obtain Holy Water that Father Harrison will have blessed the previous evening at the private Easter Vigil service.  (Please bring your own bottle in which to take home the Holy Water.)

The Easter/Pentecost reflection booklets will be available in the gym.

If you bring your offering envelope, please drop it in the mailslot of the Parish Center entrance along Waters Rd.  Thank you!

Catholic Schools Week 2020

This week is Catholic Schools Week which is an annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States.  We thank God for the many people who dedicate their lives in service to our Catholic Schools and for the parents and benefactors who have given support and witness to the importance of Catholic education.  We pray that God will continue to bless their efforts and that our Catholic Schools students will continue to grow in faith, knowledge and service of others.

Although our own parish school, Saint Joseph School, closed in 2004, we are blessed that a number of our parish children attend our twinned parish’s school, Presentation BVM School. Registrations for the 2019-2020 academic year for grades K through 8, as well as the full day Preschool 3 and Pre-Kindergarten 4 programs, are now being accepted. Call the school at (215) 379-3798 to reserve a time to visit and tour the school. They look forward to meeting you and sharing their Pres Pride!

Come Out and Support Your Local First Responders

The 100% Volunteer Cheltenham Fire Company is excited to announce that it is teaming with NBC10 for a screening of a new episode of the hit series: CHICAGO FIRE.  The event will be held at Presentation BVM Church Hall,100 Old Soldiers Rd., Cheltenham from 6pm to 8pm on January 22, 2020.

This will be a very exciting evening! NBC10 will be on-site with Harry Hairston to emcee the event. There will be NBC10 give-aways and light refreshments. The Cheltenham Fire Company will be featured on Philly Live as well as on additional segments of the news, and the StormRanger10 Mobile Weather Vehicle may be parked at the event with potential live coverage (weather dependent).

Enjoy snacks, fun and surprises while learning how to help your local fire house!

The Epiphany of the Lord

The Epiphany Home Blessing is an ancient blessing in the Catholic tradition that transcends cultures and continents.  Legend holds that the letters correspond to the initials for the names of the Three Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar.  More importantly, these letters abbreviate the Latin phrase Christus Mansionem Benedicat” – “May Christ bless this house”.

The year “2020” is divided by this phrase as a reminder to keep Jesus at the center of our lives and our relationships, wherever we go.  The four crosses signify the four corners of the world to which we the Baptized are commissioned to proclaim the Gospel.  The crosses also remind us that in the Year of Faith that we are called to:

  • grow in faith
  • witness to our faith
  • share our faith
  • be transformed in faith

Traditionally this blessing is done on Epiphany but it can be done at any time. The chalking ritual below is as a way to encourage every household of faith to begin the New Year in faith.  This is a simple and versatile way to include family members of varied Christian denominations.  The short prayer that follows can be shared at the main entrance of the home.

Chalking Entranceway Prayer

Begin by singing a refrain of familiar a Christmas song (e.g. “What Child is This?”)

Leader:  The Lord be with you;
ALL:  And with your spirit.

Leader: May Christ dwell in this house and bestow peace to all its inhabitants!
ALL: And all who enter it!

Leader: Let us pray.  O God, you once used a star to lead wise ones and all people of good will to your Son.  May the light of Christ guide us to recognize him in the epiphanies of our lives, each and every day.  As we cross this threshold each day for work, study or play remind us of our true purpose – to love your people, do your will and lead others to you just as did the wise men of old.  May all who enter here find your gracious hospitality in our company and may all who dwell here seek you in the face of every guest.
ALL:  Christ bless this house.

Invite each person present to chalk the door way with the phrase: 20  + C + M + B +  20.  Provide a step ladder and assistance so that younger family members can participate.  If possible, conclude by singing another song (“O Come All Ye Faithful” or “We Three Kings”)

Leader:  May Christ dwell with us, keep us from harm and make us one in mind and heart, now and forever We pray for this and all good things in the name of your son, Jesus Christ.
ALL:  Come, Lord Jesus, into our homes and our hearts and remain with us now and always.

ONE NIGHT ONLY – Divine Mercy Movie

Don’t miss your ONE-TIME, ONE NIGHT ONLY opportunity to see “Love and Mercy: Faustina” in theaters on Monday, October 28, at 7pm, including three theaters in our area.

Tickets are selling out quickly so be sure to order your tickets online in advance.  Bring a friend! What a great way to share in the message of Divine Mercy!

Help make “Love and Mercy: Faustina” a complete sell-out across the country.

The docudrama follows the incredible call of St. Faustina to religious life and the healing effects of this message on countless people around the world.

For more information on Divine Mercy, visit thedivinemercy.org.

Happy Father’s Day!

We wish all the dads in our Saint Joseph Parish family a very happy Father’s Day.

God our Father, in your wisdom and love you made all things. Bless these men, that they may be strengthened as Christian fathers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect.

Grant this through Christ our Lord.

Book of Blessings
Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy
A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences,
The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1989

Happy Mother’s Day!

We wish all the Mothers, Grandmothers, Godmothers and Spiritual Mothers in our Saint Joseph Parish family a very happy Mother’s Day!

Loving God, as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children, so You watch over Your Church. Bless these women, that they may be strengthened as Christian mothers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect.

Book of Blessings
by Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy
A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences,
The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1989

Congratulations, First Communicants!

Prayerful best wishes are extended to the families of Luke and Alexander who received their First Holy Communion at our Church on Sunday, April 28, 2019.  May the joy and peace of Jesus present in the Holy Eucharist be with you always!

Luke and Alexander are pictured here with Father Harrison and their catechists, Miss Jalia Harris, Mr. Kevin Dinh and Miss Leslie Melecio.