Marking the feast of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney celebrated Mass at Ss. Cyril & Methodius Church in Clifton Feb. 14. The history of the parish dates back to 1913 when Slovak Catholics in Clifton and Garfield organized a parish under Ss. Cyril & Methodius and purchased property on Ackerman Avenue in Clifton.
An RCIA retreat was held at St. Paul Inside the Walls in Madison on Feb. 26. The retreat was an opportunity offered by the Office of Evangelization to English- and Spanish-speaking catechumens and candidates in preparation for the upcoming steps they will take on the journey begun in their local communities, said Father Yojaneider García, director of the Catechetical Office and Faith Formation for the Diocese of Paterson.
Stephen Ministry was introduced to St. Anthony of Padua Parish of Butler parishioners at a Ministry Fair on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. Sue Krista is the parish’s Stephen Ministry Coordinator and a trained Leader. “We had a number of people that stopped by and asked questions,” Krista recalled. “Nine people gave me their information, so I think that was a win.”
En un gran clásico de la literatura, El Principito, el autor Antoine de Saint-Exupéry escribió: «Lo que hace al desierto tan bello…es que esconde un pozo en algún lugar.» Para nosotros como católicos, estas cinco semanas de la Cuaresma constituyen un desierto mediante el cual llegaremos a la fuente de agua viva: Cristo. En la Sagrada Escritura el desierto siempre se destaca por ser un lugar de transformación y revelación a lo largo de la historia salvífica del género humano.
During this year’s Rite of Election on Feb. 26, 156 catechumens from 50 faith communities in the diocese moved a step closer to receiving the sacraments of initiation — baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist — in their respective parishes during the upcoming Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday, April 8. On the first Sunday of Easter, Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney presided over the Rite of Election at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Paterson, where he formally selected — or elected — the catechumens.
This past Saturday, March 4, I was blessed to celebrate Mass at our Diocesan Catechetical Conference. You can see and learn more about the Conference from the pictures and article in this week’s Beacon on page 4 and on our social media. In the years before 2020, the annual Catechetical Conference was always well attended. We had a “virtual conference” in 2021 and a “hybrid” conference in 2022, with limited attendance in person and a larger attendance virtually. Therefore, this was my first time, as bishop, to be able to celebrate Mass at the Conference. I would have been happy to celebrate Mass for our catechists and catechetical leaders at any location, but this year I had the privilege of presiding at Mass on the grounds of St. Elizabeth University, Convent Station. Our Diocese received the additional blessing of being hosted by the University staff and the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth.
Before every game, with about 7 minutes left during warm-ups, the Morris Catholic girls basketball team goes over their game plan with the coach on the sidelines, and they all pray the “Our Father” together. It was the same on Sunday before the Crusaders took to the court and won their first state championship since 2006. In the final minute of the fourth quarter, Morris Catholic pulled ahead to beat Rutgers Prep, 71–63, for the NJSIAA Non-Public B Girls Championship final in Toms River.
On Feb. 22, Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney presided over two Masses on Ash Wednesday at Our Lady Queen of Peace (OLQP) Parish in Branchville. He celebrated a Mass in English at 6 p.m. Father Philip-Michael Tangorra, pastor, concelebrated with Deacon Vincent Ricciardi assisting. Then the bishop presided over a Mass in Spanish at 7:30 p.m. Concelebrating the Mass were Father Tangorra and Father Johan Serrano.
An emotional Father Przemyslaw Gawlik basked in the love of his new faith community of St. Thomas of Aquin in Ogdensburg as Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney installed him as its pastor during a special Mass on Feb. 25. It didn’t take long for St. Thomas’ parishioners to embrace Father Gawlik as their spiritual father when he arrived in June 2022 to become administrator of the small country parish with a big heart.
Bishop Sweeney celebrated Mass in the chapel of St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22, the first day of Lent. Concelebrating was Father Alexander Wilder Londono, a chaplain at St. Joseph’s. Assisting was Deacon Lawrence J. Duffy.
At World Youth Day (WYD) 2002 in Toronto, Malbri Reyes earned the nickname “the ambassador.” Then a youth leader at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Passaic, Reyes enjoyed talking with a veritable sea of young people from around the world at WYD, recalled her fellow pilgrims from Passaic.
Holy Family Parish of Florham Park, in addition to always welcoming its youngest parishioners to Mass every weekend, now offers a “Book Baskets” program to further engage them in the education of the Eucharistic celebration and Catholicism in general. Dr. Suzanne Herold, the parish director of Faith Formation, said, “Holy Family is committed to ensuring that we are truly a holy family, a place where each member of our Church feels welcome.
It is always a blessing to hear and share the “Good News” of the Gospel. It is also a great privilege to be able to share good news about “The Good News.” With the renewal of the Church that began at the Second Vatican Council, we have re-captured an important part of the Church’s life and growth from the very beginning.
On Ash Wednesday, I drove by a church marquee on my way to Vernon that said, “What are you giving up for Lent for God?” Hmm, I thought. That’s odd. For those of you who make the daily commute on Route 515, you know the one I’m talking about. You can’t miss it because it’s situated where the road takes a sharp S-turn. You’d crash right into it if you didn’t stay on the road. It’s that classic outdoor church sign style with black lettering on white plastic. They’re all over the place. It’s an American religious tradition often taken for granted.
Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney celebrated two Masses on Feb. 11 — one in English and another bilingual — at St. Mary’s Parish in Pompton Lakes. At the Masses, he administered the sacrament of confirmation to a total of 121 young people of the parish.
The faith community of Our Lady of Victories (OLV) Parish in Paterson celebrated Black History Month with Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney during its annual Mass on Feb. 12. Bishop Sweeney was the main celebrant and homilist of the 10:30 a.m. Mass which featured gospel music led by the choir
The faith community of St. Joseph Parish in Passaic on Feb. 11 welcomed Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney, who celebrated the 5 p.m. Mass. He administered the sacrament of confirmation for 20 young people. Concelebrating the Mass with Bishop Sweeney were Father Dariusz Kaminski, pastor, and Father Adam Wasowski, parochial vicar. Assisting was Deacon Brian Gusciora.
Last Saturday, 128 couples from five different parishes attended a day of prayer retreat for couples in Spanish at St. Margaret of Scotland in Morristown. Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney was among the different presenters and spent time blessing couples along with Father Duberney Villamizar, the parish pastor.
The gym of the former St. Francis of Assisi School in the Haskell section of Wanaque was filled with smiles and laughter. The lights were dazzling, and the music was right for dancing. The night of Feb. 10 was Night to Shine, an event sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, an annual worldwide event that centers on God’s love and celebrates the worth of those who are often overlooked.
Solanyi Rodriguez smiles when she recalls the first time she helped a mother save her unborn baby from abortion. It was in April 2021, and Rodriguez, a pro-life sidewalk counselor, struck up a conversation with Juanita in front of a Montclair abortion clinic. Juanita was a mother of two, pregnant with an unwanted third child. With the love of God, Rodriguez advocated for the baby’s life, but Juanita entered the facility. Then soon after, she exited, declaring, “I can’t have an abortion” — an answer to Rodriguez’s prayers.