In this week’s edition of our Diocesan newspaper, The Dialog, you will find a list of priest personnel changes. These changes happen every year around this time as you may know. In the list of reappointments you will see that Bishop Malooly has appointed me for a 2nd six year term. Yes, that’s right, it has been six years already. I can hardly believe it myself.
I am delighted to be staying (and hopefully you are as well.) I have enjoyed my time here immensely and look forward to another six years. However, the needs of the Diocese will always trump my personal wants, so I could be moved at any time but I’m certain I’ll be here for at least a few more years. (Being the Bishop’s right hand does have its advantages.) As the first term of my first pastorate is coming to an end, I can’t help but reflect on our time together thus far. I know that I have focused much time and energy on the physical plant: new roofs, tearing down old buildings, updating the rectory, respacing and cleaning the pews, new floors and bathrooms, repointing old stone, refinishing marble, landscaping, and lots and lots of paint. Oh, and I almost forgot the earthquake of July 2011. What an unexpected introduction to being a pastor that was!
More importantly, I have been thinking a lot about all of you. You, the parishioners of St. Thomas welcomed me into your lives with open arms. It has been my privilege and honor to get to know you and love you. You have allowed me to be with you when you were sick, to visit you in the hospital, to walk with you when it was time to bury a loved one, to marry your children, to hear your confessions, to listen to your deepest concerns and share in your most profound joys. For your kindness, patience, and trust, I am most grateful.
I am particularly thankful for all our volunteers: lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, cantors, choir, ushers (thank you Jimmy), environment, cleaning crew, and of course, our trusty altar servers. I continue to rely on the support and advice from my finance committee, maintenance and building committee, and the liturgy committee. I am also appreciative to the Knights of Columbus for their support and participation in the life of the parish. We have a gracious staff with Betsy, Mickey, and Patrice who are dedicated to the life and mission of St. Thomas. Finally, I could not do what I do without Deacon Frank Quinlan, my right hand.
During my remaining time here, I want to strengthen us in our faith, our discipleship, and our stewardship. St. Thomas is a truly welcoming yet close knit community. The care and support that you show to one another is truly inspiring. We have much to offer and there are many people looking to belong to a parish like ours. So, what can we do to get their attention?
We have many young families with and without small children (I love hearing the babies cry). We also have numerous young, single people who are looking to get involved. I want to work with you and hear from you. What are your ideas? What can we do together to strengthen St. Thomas? What does your faith life need? What can we do to just have fun? I’m going to be reaching out to you soon so please do not hesitate to be in touch with me. I hope to see you all at the picnic.
May God continue to bless you,
BIRTHRIGHT ROSE SALE Birthright wishes to thank both the volunteers and the parishioners of St Thomas the Apostle for their support of our Mother’s Day Rose Sale. You raised $382.00. We hope you enjoyed the roses. On behalf of our mothers and their babies thank you very much!
MEMORIAL DAY FIELD MASS Everyone is invited to attend the 58th Memorial Day Field Mass at All Saints Cemetery, 6001 Kirkwood Highway, on Monday, May 29th at 10 a.m. Before Mass there will be a brief military tribute by VFW Post 475 from Newark. Principal Celebrant is our pastor, Monsignor Steven Hurley, Vicar General of the Diocese. Musicians and liturgical ministers are from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish. Protection from the weather and seating are provided.
SWING FOR THE SISTERS “June 22nd, 10th Annual Swing Fore Little Sisters Golf Charity Outing at Deerfield Golf Club in Newark, DE with a 12:00 noon shotgun start. Proceeds from our 10th Annual Charity Golf Outing will go toward replacement of hospital beds in our nursing care units. Please visit our website www.littlesistersofthepoordelaware.org or contact our Development office at (302) 368-5886 for further information.
ST. VINCENT dePAUL SOCIETY The St. Thomas the Apostle Conference of St. Vincent DePaul Society formed to provide spiritual support and economic assistance to parishioners and our neighbors in distress. We serve to help the suffering or deprived, and to bring God’s love to the poor by answering their calls and visiting them in their homes. This can only be accomplished through the efforts of dedicated volunteers and your generous contributions. For assistance, to volunteer your time and talents or for further information,please call the parish office at (302) 658-5131 and leave a detailed message at Extension 6.
VOCATION REFLECTION In today’s gospel, Jesus says “Whoever hears my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me.” Can you think of a better way to show one’s love for Jesus than by seeking out God’s will for your life? Finding God’s plan involves listening and responding. If you think God might be calling you to serve the Church as a priest, sister, brother or deacon, and if you’d like to explore steps you can take to listen better, call or write Father Norm Carroll, Diocesan Director of Priestly and Religious Vocations (302-573-3113, firstname.lastname@example.org). Be sure to visit our website: www.cdow.org/vocations!
2017 QUO VADIS DAYS for High School and College students will be Thursday, July 27 to Saturday, July 29 in Malvern, PA. This event offers a time of prayer, fraternity, sports, and recreation focused on the life and ministry of the Priesthood. You will spend three days with other young men who have the same interest and aspiration in life. Is God calling me to be a Priest? For more info and to register online: cdow.org/vocations. Registration deadline is July 9th.
ST. ANN’S CONCERT - JUNE 17 British Singer/songwriter Al Stewart in concert with band - Saturday, June 17. This acclaimed artist will perform his classic hits such as "Year of the Cat" "Time Passages" "Song on the Radio" "On The Border" and more. In his nearly 50 year career, he has sold millions of records and toured internationally. This is an opportunity to see him in an intimate venue with limited seating. Mr. Stewart typically signs autographs after the show. Come hear and meet one of the most respected and innovative songwriters ever! To get tickets, call the St. Ann Rectory at 654-5519 or email email@example.com. Prices are $35 for adults in advance, $38 the day of the show. Ages 13-18 $5.00, children 12 and under free.
GOD IS ON THE AIR Listen to Catholic Forum every Sunday morning at 10:05 a.m. on WDEL 101.7 FM, 1150 AM and www.wdel.com. Next Sunday, June 4th, tune in to hear highlights, including Bishop Malooly’s homily, from the recent ordination of Father Richard Jasper at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Wilmington. For photos, information regarding upcoming guests, podcasts and more, “Like” Catholic Forum on Facebook at www.facebook.com/catholicforum. Listen to past episodes of Catholic Forum online at catholicforumradio.libsyn.com or search “Catholic Forum Radio” on iTunes podcasts.
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY Marriage Moments: Remember your first long trip together - either for fun, to meet each other's family, or even a funeral. What did you like about making travel plans together? What was a stress because of your differences? What have you learned?
Parenting Pointers: The end of the school year can bring lots of banquets, and ceremonies. Inevitably some kids get more awards than others. Help your child recognize his/her internal worth that goes beyond trophies.
WE NEED TO BE EVANGELIZERS Christ’s Ascension was the culmination of God’s divine plan for Him. The Ascension is the grand finale of all His words and works done for us and for our salvation. It was a culmination, but not the conclusion. In today's Gospel, Jesus gives His mission to all the believers: "Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” This mission is not given to a select few but to all believers. To be a Christian is to be a proclaimer and an evangelizer. There is a difference between preaching and proclaiming. “We preach with words but we proclaim with our lives.” As we celebrate the Lord’s return to His Father in Heaven - His Ascension -- we are being commissioned to go forth and proclaim the Gospel of life and love, of hope and peace, by the witness of our lives. On this day of hope, encouragement and commissioning, let us renew our commitment to be true disciples everywhere we go, beginning with our family and our parish, "living in a manner worthy of the call [we] have received.”