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The Beacon February 12, 2015 : Page 1

SUSSEX 3 U S ING S YNOPTI C GO S PEL S TO EV A NGELIZE PASSAIC THE A W A RDWINNING NEW S P A PER OF THE R. C . DIO C E S E OF P A TER S ON, N.J. MORRIS FEBRUARY 12, 2015 P ASTORAL V ISIT TO H AWTHORNE P ARISH 12 7 The Catholic Center for Evangelization at Bayley-Ellard RELIGIOU S HOLD OPEN HOU S E S FOR YE A R OF C ON S E C R A TED LIFE ‘W ELCOME H OME TO H EALING ’ All churches in the diocese to be open on Monday nights during Lent for confessions By CECILE SAN AGUSTIN REPOR TER M A DI S ON SC HOOL’ S ENGINEERING C LUB T A KE S P A RT IN FUTURE C ITIE S C OMPETITION BEACON PHOTO | JOE GIGLI 9 Bishop Serratelli made a pastoral visit Feb. 8 to St. Anthony Parish in Hawthorne and celebrated Mass for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. After the Mass, the bishop and Msgr. Raymond Kupke, pastor, did the traditional blessing of throats to mark the Feast of St. Blaise. Pictured here is Jessica Bonilla holding her daughter, Jewell, and singing with the congregation during the Mass. Story, more photos on page 2. 8-9 10-1 1 12 13 14-15 DO NOT DELAY — TIME SENSITIVE NEWS Y OUTH V IEWPOINT W HAT T O D O O BITUARIES C LASSIFIEDS Morris County parishes wage successful campaign to keep grants for historic preservation of churches By MICHAEL WOJCIK NE WS EDIT OR MORRISTOWN Grant funding for the historic preservation of churches in Morris County will continue to be available, thanks to a campaign in which several parishes in Morris County took part in. The parishes joined with an interfaith coalition of religious communities in the county to suc-cessfully defeat a resolution before the county Board of Chosen Freeholders at its Jan. 28 meet-ing that would have barred the awarding of his-toric preservation grant funds to houses of wor-ship. During the meeting, Freeholder William “Hank” Lyon withdrew the resolution that he originally proposed Jan. 14, which would have made churches ineligible for the grants. Originally, he argued that granting them preservation funds seemed to violate the State Constitution. Instead, the board voted unanimously later during the Jan. 28 meeting to approve a resolution to reaf-firm the eligibility of churches to receive grant money after two hours of vigorous debate. “I’m very pleased that the Freeholders decided to provide funds to assist in the preservation of historic churches in Morris County,” said Msgr. John Hart, pastor of Assumption Parish here, who emailed members of the Morris County Clergy Council to help mobilize opposition to Lyon’s original resolution. “I also am happy that we [religious communities] were organized. These churches are part of the religious and his-toric fabric of Morris County. They also are part of our nation, which was founded on biblical val-ues and a Judeo-Christian ethic,” he said. In his email, Msgr. Hart encouraged churches of the Interfaith Clergy Council — led by the Rev. Janet Broderick, rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, and Council president — to gather at the Presbyterian Church on the Green in Morristown, before the Jan. 28 Freeholders meet-ing to select speakers for the meeting. He included a petition against the ban on funding for members of these religious communities to sign and sample language for members, who wanted to write or PRESERVATION on 6 CLIFTON The holy season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 18, and on the following Monday, Feb. 23, the Diocese of Paterson will begin its annual “Welcome Home to Healing” program. In the “Welcome Home to Healing” program, every church in the Paterson Diocese will open its doors from 7 to 8:30 p.m. each Monday evening from Feb. 23 to March 23 during Lent for penitents to go to confession. Bishop Serratelli invites all to experience God’s mercy and forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. “Nothing is more startling and, at the same time, more consoling than the truth for which Jesus lived and preached and died. It is this: God is love,” he said. The “Welcome Home to Healing” program began in 2009 and thousands upon thousands of Catholics from around the diocese and beyond have “come home” and experienced God’s healing love. The purpose of the program is to draw the faithful closer to a call of conversion as they pre-pare for Holy Week and the Easter season. Father Kevin Corcoran, vice chancellor and coordinator of the program, said, “This is our 7th year reaching the faithful through the ‘Welcome Home to Healing’ program. It seems to be effec-tive in bringing back so many to the sacrament. Many priests have said it’s been common to hear about people coming to confession for the first time in 30 or even 40 years.” Since the program began, parishes have wel-comed many Catholics back to the Church through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Often, churches have been kept open longer to accom-modate all those seeking to go to confession. WELCOME HOME TO HEALING on 6

Morris County Parishes Wage Successful Campaign To Keep Grants For Historic Preservation Of Churches

Michael Wojcik

MORRISTOWN Grant funding for the historic preservation of churches in Morris County will continue to be available, thanks to a campaign in which several parishes in Morris County took part in.

The parishes joined with an interfaith coalition of religious communities in the county to successfully defeat a resolution before the county Board of Chosen Freeholders at its Jan. 28 meeting that would have barred the awarding of historic preservation grant funds to houses of worship.

During the meeting, Freeholder William “Hank” Lyon withdrew the resolution that he originally proposed Jan. 14, which would have made churches ineligible for the grants. Originally, he argued that granting them preservation funds seemed to violate the State Constitution. Instead, the board voted unanimously later during the Jan. 28 meeting to approve a resolution to reaffirm the eligibility of churches to receive grant money after two hours of vigorous debate.

“I’m very pleased that the Freeholders decided to provide funds to assist in the preservation of historic churches in Morris County,” said Msgr. John Hart, pastor of Assumption Parish here, who emailed members of the Morris County Clergy Council to help mobilize opposition to Lyon’s original resolution. “I also am happy that we [religious communities] were organized. These churches are part of the religious and historic fabric of Morris County. They also are part of our nation, which was founded on biblical values and a Judeo-Christian ethic,” he said.

In his email, Msgr. Hart encouraged churches of the Interfaith Clergy Council — led by the Rev. Janet Broderick, rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, and Council president — to gather at the Presbyterian Church on the Green in Morristown, before the Jan. 28 Freeholders meeting to select speakers for the meeting. He included a petition against the ban on funding for members of these religious communities to sign and sample language for members, who wanted to write or call the Freeholders directly. The successful campaign inundated several Freeholders with calls and emails, Msgr. Hart said.

One of the Catholic parishes in Morris County that mobilized its parishioners was St. Mary’s in Dover. Based on language that Msgr. Hart provided, SOLT Father Derek Ander - son, pastor, wrote a letter in a recent Sunday bulletin, urging parishioners to act. He noted that the preservation funds do not support the religious activities of a church, but rather the preservation of the church building.

“Many of these building are well over a 100 years old and require considerable financial expenditures for maintenance,” wrote Father Anderson, who reminded parishioners that St. Mary’s received $300,000 in 1997 from the N.J. Historic Trust for the preservation of the church’s exterior and stained glass. “Needless to say, had a similar restriction applied to the Historic Trust, St. Mary’s would have been ineligible for these very substantial funds,” he wrote.

Last year, Assumption received $30,000 from the longoperating program for various repairs. Also, many of these local houses of worship double as social service centers for the poor, housing soup kitchens and outreaches for persons with HIV/AIDS, among others. Assumption houses meetings for Alcoholics Anonymous and has served as a “warm up” center during recent hurricanes, Msgr. Hart said.

Lyon had noted that the withdrawn measure addresses a part of the State Constitution that declares, “Nor shall any person be obliged to pay tithes, taxes or other rates for building or repairing any church or churches, place or places of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he believes to be right or has deliberately and voluntarily engaged to perform.”

However, Morris County Counsel Daniel O’Mullan had told Freeholders last year, that in his legal opinion, the county’s grant program for historic preservation has set up “neutral criteria” for its requirements and has been authorized by law and by public referendum. The program designates money for the preservation of the exterior and mechanical systems of active houses of worship and prohibits funds to be used for operating expenses, interior work, printed materials and promotion of the their faith, according to O’Mullan.

During the Jan. 28 meeting, Lyon announced that he would withdraw his resolution, amid uncertainties about its constitutionality as the assembled crowd cheered.

“This is not necessarily the right body to answer those types of ambiguities,” said Lyon at the meeting, which included debate both in support and in opposition to granting county historic preservation funds to religious institutions.

Freeholder Director Kathryn DeFillippo and Freeholder Douglas Cabana proposed a resolution to reaffirm grant funding for houses of worship, which the all-Republican board passed 7-0. Last year’s grant program awarded $2.4 million to 30 applicants, including nine churches.

Also helping with the campaign against the original resolution were the Knights of Columbus and Bob Fredericks, an Assumption parishioner and a Morris County historian, who arrived at the Jan. 28 meeting bearing petitions, signed by 2,291 people. The effort also gained support from U.S. Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, Msgr. Hart said.

“If we lost this vote, the likelihood of getting support in the future would have been lost with it,” said Fredericks, who also spoke at the meeting. “These are old buildings — some dating back to the 1800s — and require a tremendous amount of money. If some of these churches didn’t receive funding, they might be lost over time,” he said.

In the bulletins for St. Mark and Our Lady of the Mountain parishes, Msgr. Joseph Goode, pastor of both faith communities, thanked parishioners for signing the petition. Meanwhile, Father Anderson thanked the many parishioners, who “wrote to several Freeholders and also passed along to me a copy of your well-written and well-reasoned letters in defense of the county giving historic preservation grants to churches.”

“I would personally like to thank each of you who wrote letters and those of you who took action that I do not know about to preserve the historic and religious fabric of so many communities within Morris County,” Father Anderson wrote.

Read the full article at http://www.livedigitaleditions.com/article/Morris+County+Parishes+Wage+Successful+Campaign+To+Keep+Grants+For+Historic+Preservation+Of+Churches/1927711/245983/article.html.

‘Welcome Home To Healing’

Cecile San Agustin

All churches in the diocese to be open on Monday nights during Lent for confessions

CLIFTON The holy season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 18, and on the following Monday, Feb. 23, the Diocese of Paterson will begin its annual “Welcome Home to Healing” program.

In the “Welcome Home to Healing” program, every church in the Paterson Diocese will open its doors from 7 to 8:30 p.m. each Monday evening from Feb. 23 to March 23 during Lent for penitents to go to confession.

Bishop Serratelli invites all to experience God’s mercy and forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. “Nothing is more startling and, at the same time, more consoling than the truth for which Jesus lived and preached and died. It is this: God is love,” he said.

The “Welcome Home to Healing” program began in 2009 and thousands upon thousands of Catholics from around the diocese and beyond have “come home” and experienced God’s healing love. The purpose of the program is to draw the faithful closer to a call of conversion as they prepare for Holy Week and the Easter season.

Father Kevin Corcoran, vice chancellor and coordinator of the program, said, “This is our 7th year reaching the faithful through the ‘Welcome Home to Healing’ program. It seems to be effective in bringing back so many to the sacrament. Many priests have said it’s been common to hear about people coming to confession for the first time in 30 or even 40 years.”

Since the program began, parishes have welcomed many Catholics back to the Church through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Often, churches have been kept open longer to accommodate all those seeking to go to confession.

According to several priests in the diocese, the program is reaching people who otherwise might not have thought about going to confession.

To spread the message, billboards have been placed at busy intersections throughout the Paterson Diocese with dates and times fro confession. Advertisements can also be found in some of the secular newspapers. Because the program largely aims toward Catholics that have been away from the Church or the sacrament, the Paterson Diocese set up a website for the “Welcome Home” program with resources for people on how to go to confession, frequently asked questions and an examination of the conscience to ease fears or answer questions about the sacrament. A Spanish-language version of the website is also available. Priests may also visit the site for parish resources.

Even in today’s fast-paced and busy society, Father Corcoran thinks it is important Catholics take the time to go to confession. “Confession is one of the two sacraments of healing, the other being the Anointing of the Sick. Pope Francis has talked about how we can tell God our sins oneon- one but we need the priest to bring us healing. Part of being human is the need to reach out in person to others. Confession allows us to heal our relationships with God, each other and the Church.”

With all 111 parishes of the diocese open for confessions on Monday evenings, people who may not feel comfortable to got to confession to their own parish priest can simply head to a nearby church or even visit a parish on their way home from work.

“As part of our continuing call to conversion, priests also go to confession,” said Father Corcoran. “So we know what it is like to be on the other side of the fence.”

In addition to the Welcome Home program, every parish will continue to celebrate their regularly scheduled times for the sacrament.

Father Corcoran said, “Pope Francis talked about how we find freedom and joy when we confess our sins. God wants to give us his love and mercy.”

Information: www.welcomehometohealing.org or in Spanish www.bienvenidoacasaalasanacion.org.

Read the full article at http://www.livedigitaleditions.com/article/%E2%80%98Welcome+Home+To+Healing%E2%80%99/1927712/245983/article.html.

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