Current Affairs

Memorial Day Weekend

In_remembrance
Not only have sacred holy days been commercialized almost beyond recognition in recent years, but neither can the more somber notes be heard in the gleeful celebrations of some our national holidays.

Memorial Day is now taken to mean the official start of summer, more than a commemoration of those who have served to protect our country and lost their lives in sacrifice.

Please take some time to join the Holy Cross contingent in the Rumson parade, or to observe the day at the service in Sea Bright. I hope to see many parishioners at both events.

Enjoy a peaceful and refreshing Memorial Day weekend.

 

Fire at the Former St. Francis of Assisi Church in Germantown, Philadelphia

GERMANTOWN – November 26, 2013 (WPVI) – The Philadelphia Fire Department has been called to a church fire in Germantown.

 The fire broke out around 9:00 p.m. Tuesday at Victory Community Church, formerly St. Francis of Assisi, on the 4800 block of Greene Street.

Officials say Victory Community Church is leasing the building from the Archdiocese.

 Neighbors tell Action News there have been a lot of break-ins in the building lately.

 The fire was place under control around 10:20 p.m.

No injuries have been reported.

 (Copyright ©2013 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

 

How sad for the residents of the neighborhood and those for whom St. Francis Church held so many consoling memories. The treasures we were able to obtain from St. Francis' Church are even more meaningful.

40 Days of Prayer Witness for Life

Today parishioners from Church of the Holy Cross joined others from Church of the Nativity and St. James Church to keep a vigil of prayer outside the Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic on Newman Springs Road in Red Bank.

For many years the clinic has been the site of prayerful vigils by the bishops of our diocese along with members of the faithful.

Today's witness marked the beginning of 40 consecutive days of prayer to bring an end to abortion – a goal which is more realistic now than any time in recent memory. Most Americans are opposed to abortion on demand and would limit or restrict them to a very small fraction of the number which are performed in the United States daily.

This is the abortion clinic in case you've never realized what it is by its unassuming appearance.

Planned
So many motorists pass by each day, imagine the prayers which could be directed toward the protection of human life and the safety of the unborn. The prayerful witness is silent: pray the rosary, read Scripture, recite the Divine Mercy chaplet, any non-confrontational but public prayer.

Our trio of parishes has been assigned Thursdays from 9 AM to 6 PM. If you can join us anytime during these Thursday vigils please call the Parish Office to sign up for a specific hour so we know we can count on you.

Grant Us Peace

2260494905_1673413c07Thank you to all who prayed with us for peace after the 12 noon mass. The service was prayerful and reverent. It was, I think, the first time the Blessed Sacrament has been exposed for veneration in our gymatorium. We still, of course, cannot use incense anywhere on the campus since both the chapel and the gym are wired with smoke detectors which immediately object to such things as burning incense. 

It was good for us to unite our minds and hearts in worldwide prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East and the world. 

Let us persist in prayer for the security of the world and the dignity of all God's peoples.

 

Pope Francis and Cardinal Sandri Urge Peace in Syria and Egypt

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/ 
August 17, 2013

The following list of 58 looted and burned buildings (including convents and schools) has been verified by representatives of the Christian Churches.

At least 58 Christian churches, schools, institutions, homes and shops have been attacked, looted and torched over the last three days by the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Mohamed Morsi, the former Egyptian president who was deposed on 3 July . On August 14 the army has tried to evict the sit-in of the Islamists in Rabaa El Nahda Square and Adaweya. In a wave of devastating violence, over 600 people were killed and thousands injured. But violent attacks were also carried out on Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical churches as well as the homes and shops of Christians, as we have documented

The representatives of the Christian Churches have drawn up a list which we publish below. The list was handed over to AsiaNews by the Press Office of the Catholic Church in Egypt.

Catholic churches and convents

1. Franciscan church and school (road 23) – burned (Suez) 
2. Monastery of the Holy Shepherd and hospital – burned (Suez) 
3. Church of the Good Shepherd, Monastery of the Good Shepherd – burned in molotov attack (Asuit)
4. Coptic Catholic Church of St. George – burned (Minya, Upper Egypt) 
5. Church of the Jesuits – burned (Minya, Upper Egypt) 
6. Fatima Basilica – attacked – Heliopolis 
7. Coptic Catholic Church of St. Mark – burned (Minya – Upper Egypt) 
8. Franciscan convent (Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) – burned (Beni Suef, Upper Egypt) 
9. Church of St. Teresa – burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt) 
10. Franciscan Church and School – burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
11. Convent of St Joseph and school – burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
12. Coptic Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart – torched (Minya, Upper Egypt) 
13. Convent of the Sisters of Saint Mary – attacked (Cairo)
14. School of the Holy Shepherd – attacked (Minya, Upper Egypt)

Orthodox and Evangelical Churches

1. Anglican Church of St. Saviour – burned (Suez)
2. Evangelical Church of St Michael – surrounded and sacked (Asuit, Upper Egypt) 
3. Coptic Orthodox Church of St. George – Burned (Minya, Upper Egypt) 
4. Church of Al-Esla – burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
5. Adventist Church – burned, the pastor and his wife abducted (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
6. Church of the Apostles – burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
7. Church of the Holy renewal – burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
8. Diocesan Centre Coptic Orthodox Qusiya – burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
9. Church of St. George – burned (Arish, North Egypt)
10. Church of St. George in al-Wasta – burned (Beni Suef, Upper Egypt) 
11. Church of the Virgin Mary – attacked (Maadi, Cairo) 
12. Church of the Virgin Mary – attacked (Mostorod, Cairo)
13. Coptic Orthodox Church of St. George – attacked (Helwan, Cairo) 
14. Church of ​​St. Mary of El Naziah – burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt) 
15. Church of Santa Damiana – sacked and burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt) 
16. Church of St. Theodore – burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
17. Evangelical Church of al-Zorby – Sacked and destroyed (Fayoum, Upper Egypt) 
18. Church of St. Joseph – burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt) 
19. Franciscan School – burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt) 
20. Coptic Orthodox Diocesan Center of St. Paul – burned (Gharbiya, Delta) 
21. Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Anthony – burned (Giza)
22. Coptic Church of St. George – burned (Atfeeh, Giza) 
23. Church of the Virgin Mary and father Abraham – burned (Delga, Deir Mawas, Minya, Upper Egypt) 
24. Church of St. Mina Abu Hilal Kebly – burned (Minya, Upper Egypt) 
25. Baptist Church in Beni Mazar – burned (Minya, Upper Egypt) 
26. Church of Amir Tawadros – burned (Minya, Upper Egypt) 
27. Evangelical Church – burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
28. Church of Anba Moussa al-Aswad- burned (Minya, Upper Egypt) 
29. Church of the Apostles – burned (Minya, Upper Egypt) 
30. Church of St Mary – arson attempt (Qena, Upper Egypt) 
31. Coptic Church of St. George – burned (Sohag, Upper Egypt) 
32. Church of Santa Damiana – Attacked and burned (Sohag, Upper Egypt) 
33. Church of the Virgin Mary – burned (Sohag, Upper Egypt) 
34. Church of St. Mark and community center – burned (Sohag, Upper Egypt) 
35. Church of Anba Abram – destroyed and burned (Sohag, Upper Egypt) 

Christian institutions

1. House of Fr. Angelos (pastor of the church of the Virgin Mary and Father Abraham) – burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
2. Properties and shops of Christians – Burnt (Arish, North Egypt) 
3. 17 Christian homes attacked and looted (Minya, Upper Egypt) 
4. Christian homes – Attach (Asuit, Upper Egypt) 
5. Offices of the Evangelical Foundation – burned (Minya, Upper Egypt) 
6. Stores, pharmacies, hotels owned by Christians – attacked and looted (Luxor, Upper Egypt)
7. Library of the Bible Society – burned (Cairo)
8. Bible Society – burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
9. Bible Society- burned (Asuit, North Egypt). 

Burned buildings owned by Christians

*1. 58 houses.

*2. 85 shops.

*3. 16 pharmacies.

*4. 3 hotels (Upper Egypt)

*5. 75 buses and cars.

7 Victims (killed) 17 kidnapping and hundreds injured. 

 

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pope-francis-mourns-as-christians-die-and-churches-burn-in-egypt/#blogComments

Jesus Calming the Storm

What do you think about the possibility of an exterior statue/shrine of Jesus Calming the Storm at Sea? It could be located toward the East of the Prayer Garden Plaza and possibly face Ward Avenue and the Ocean!

They are not that common, at least images of them on the Internet aren't. A rather famous statue on Corpus Christi, Texas and another in a cemetery pond in Gainesville, GA are the only sizeable ones I can find. Likely it would need to be designed/commissioned.

With enough donor interest, I think it would contribute a wonderfully consoling message to the community and a needed spiritual note to the many rebuildng efforts already underway. Let us know what you think in the Parish Office or by email to the webmaster at Holy Cross' webpage.

Corpus Christi

Jesus Calming the Sea at Corpus Christi Bay

 

Pope Consecrates Vatican City State to Sts. Michael and Joseph

How heartening to see both Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict together in public at the consecration of the new monument to St. Michael the Archangel in the Vatican gardens.

Pope Francis spoke about St. Michael in the context of the modern world:

In the Vatican Gardens there are several works of art. But this, which has now been added, takes on particular importance, in its location as well as the meaning it expresses. In fact it is not just celebratory work but an invitation to reflection and prayer, that fits well into the Year of Faith. Michael—which means “Who is like God?”—is the champion of the primacy of God, of His transcendence and power. Michael struggles to restore divine justice and defends the People of God from his enemies, above all by the enemy par excellence, the devil. And St. Michael wins because in him, there is He God who acts. This sculpture reminds us then that evil is overcome, the accuser is unmasked, his head crushed, because salvation was accomplished once and for all in the blood of Christ. Though the devil always tries to disfigure the face of the Archangel and that of humanity, God is stronger, it is His victory and His salvation that is offered to all men. We are not alone on the journey or in the trials of life, we are accompanied and supported by the Angels of God, who offer, so to speak, their wings to help us overcome so many dangers, in order to fly high compared to those realities that can weigh down our lives or drag us down. In consecrating Vatican City State to St. Michael the Archangel, I ask him to defend us from the evil one and banish him.

We also consecrate Vatican City State in St. Joseph, guardian of Jesus, the guardian of the Holy Family. May his presence make us stronger and more courageous in making space for God in our lives to always defeat evil with good. We ask Him to protect, take care of us, so that a life of grace grows stronger in each of us every day.

 

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Pope Francis blesses new statue of St. Michael the Archangel in the Vatican Gardens

 

Thought Provoking Article by Theologian Stanley Hauerwas – “The End of American Protestantism”

"The End of American Protestantism" by Stanley Hauerwas

Preacher_10
This article via Bioedge Newsletter was originally published on ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company) by Professor Stanely Hauerwas, now of Duke University.

Entitled "The End of American Protestantism," it decries the dissolution of faith in God, or at least in the American god Protestantism had created from "a synthesis of evangelical Protestantism, republican political ideology and commonsense moral reasoning." Hauerwas' analysis of the peculiar secularism in which we now find ourselves comes from the unravelling of the moral consensus we previously held on the importance of faith in republican democracy and the common sense of the average American. 

Hauerwas begins his article by exempting American Catholicism from his analysis, but I'm not so sure we have escaped the melting pot of America's new god – freedom of choice. Look at the first two paragraphs of his essay and see if they would intrigue you, as they did me, to read the entire piece:

Catholics in America know they do not belong, which is why they are so determined to demonstrate that they are more American than the Americans.

All you need to know to understand America is that the FBI is made up of Catholics and Southerners. This is because Catholics and Southerners have to try to show they are more loyal than most Americans, since Southerners have a history of disloyalty and Americans fear that Catholics may owe their allegiance to some guy in Rome. That is why the FBI is given the task of examining graduates of Harvard and Yale – that is, high-culture Protestants who, of course, no longer believe in God – to see if they are loyal enough to be operatives for the CIA.

The related phenomenon is what I call "the New York Times Catholics." These are Catholics, usually clergy, a New York Times journalist has learned to call after the Pope has issued an encyclical or given a speech that seems offensive to American sensibilities. They call a Catholic, whom they have previously identified as a critic of the church, to have confirmed that whatever the Pope has said, Catholics in America are not required to obey, or even if they are so required, Catholics will not take what the Pope has said seriously. From the perspective of the New York Times, therefore, a good Catholic is one that would be regarded by the Vatican as a bad Catholic.

 

To emphasize the point even more strongly, it seems that several of the most well published writers critical of the Catholic church and its teachings identify themselves as Catholics. 

In a fascinating analysis of why American divorce and abortion have become widespread, Hauerwas asks if the "person on the street" would agree that someone should be held responsible for something they promised when they didn't know what they were doing. Of course not, would be the likely reply. So how could you possibly make an unconditional promise of marriage, or be held to deliver an unwanted child to put the child up for adoption? The dysfunctional marriage or the unplanned pregnancy are circumstantial evidence that at least two persons didn't know what they were doing. Either the marriage or the child can be dismissed.

Don't look for Catholics to save the day warns Hauerwas, for Catholicism in America has become another variety of Protestant Christianity. The laughable assertion that " I believe in Jesus as Lord, but that's just my personal opinion," is likely to be the sentiment of the average politically correct American Catholic. Similarly, a chorus of Catholic elected officials will carefully explain the dinstinction betweeen their "public" and "private" morality in an effort to reassure the electorate they will ignore Catholic doctrine at the office. Should we call this their belief in the Kennedy-Cuomo Doctrine?

The article is thought provoking commentary on modernity, pluralism and religious freedom. It makes interesting companion reading with Pope Francis' Encyclical "The Light of Faith."

Maybe the proverb many of us learned in our youth (perhaps taught by a nun) "better to light one candle than curse the darkness" needs a modern day Catholic revision – important to curse the darkness but keep lighting candles anyway.

Fortnight for Freedom

Fortnight-4-freedom-logo
As a way of participating in the national Fornight For Freedom organized by the United States Bishops, Holy Cross will offer parishioners the opportunity to sign petitions alerting our elected representatives that we object to the HHS contraceptive/abortifacient mandate imposed administratively by Washington. 

After all the weekend masses, we will also pray the novena prayer to protect religious liberty in America 

 

Christians Persecuted Worldwide

Persecution of Christians is increasing all around the world noted Catholic Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomassi during an interview on Vatican Radio.

The bishops of the United States have asked all Catholic parishes to participate in the Fortnight for Freedom, a prayer and petition crusade to protect religious liberties, especially here in the United States. 

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/05/29/vatican-spokesman-claims-100000-christians-killed-annually-because-faith

Holy Cross Parish will again participate in the petition signing and will have petitions available at all our masses. More details to follow.