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The Beacon The Beacon_December 31 2015.pdf : Page 1

4 ME SSA GE FROM THE S T A TE’ S CA THOLI C BI S HOP S SUSSEX 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 DECEMBER 31, 2015 16 The Catholic Center for Evangelization at Bayley-Ellard ‘To obtain peace, we have to fight indifference with mercy’— Francis By ELISE HARRIS CATHOLIC NE WS A GENCY T HE N ATIVITY O F THE L ORD 9 15 DO NOT DELAY — TIME SENSITIVE NEWS BI S HOP M A RK S FE AS T OF THE HOLY F A MILY A T HOLY F A MILY P A RI S H B A BY JE S U S S TOLEN FROM OUTDOOR N A TIVITY A T C LIFTON P A RI S H 13-14 V IEWPOINT 16 W HAT T O D O 17-20 C LASSIFIEDS VATICAN CITY Pope Francis’ message for 2016’s World Day of Peace is packed with bold pastoral and practical advice for both the Church as well as international leaders. In it, he focused on the need to work for peace by overcoming the attitude of indifference and fostering a greater sense of solidarity, mer-cy and compassion. He advocated for concrete acts of mercy on the part of families, individuals and political leaders, such as the abolition of the death penalty and amnesty for prisoners convicted of political offenses. Also encouraged by the Pope was a review of legislation in terms of migrants, a greater at-tention toward women, particularly in terms of equality in the workplace, and debt forgiveness. “God is not indifferent! God cares about mankind! God does not abandon us!” was the opening line of Francis’ message for the 2016 World Day of Peace. POPE on 4 BEACON PHOTO | JOE GIGLI Bishop Serratelli lays the Baby Jesus in the manger at the start of Mass on Christmas Eve night, Dec. 24, to mark the celebration of the Nativity of the Lord at the Bishop Rodimer Center, adjacent to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Paterson. For more photos, please turn to page 5. Parishes begin observances for the Jubilee Year of Mercy By MICHAEL WOJCIK NE WS EDIT OR STIRLING As Pope Francis opened the Holy Doors Dec. 8 at St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, to begin the Jubilee Year of Mercy for the universal Church, numerous parishes throughout the Paterson Diocese, including St. Vincent de Paul here, were starting their ob-servances of the Holy Year by swinging open the spiritual “doors of mercy” — inviting parishioners to deep and lasting conversion by receiving the gift of the Lord’s for-giveness and then sharing that mercy with others. This month, parishes around the Diocese have been holding an array of spiritual and faith-forma-tion events for the Jubilee Year of Mercy — from presentations on the Holy Year and other aspects of mercy and small-group sharing to opening Masses on Dec. 8, Adoration, Penance services and opportunities to receive Confession — that highlight God’s forgiveness. Many local faith com-munities have tied these Holy Year activities for December into their celebrations of Advent. One of the many faith communities that held opening liturgies on Dec. 8 was St. Vincent’s, which was followed by a “teaching and insight” on the writings of Pope Francis in “Misericordiae Vultus” (“The Face of Mercy”) by Father Richard Carton, pastor. “Mercy is the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. Mercy is the funda-mental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life. Mercy is the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever, despite our sinful-ness,” said Father Carton in his summery of the Holy Father’s document — a presentation that he described as an overview of and “road map” for the Jubilee Year of Mercy. “Let us place the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the center once more in such as way that it will enable people touch the grandeur of God’s mercy with their own hands. This is the op-portune time to change our lives. All one needs to do is to accept the invitation to conversion and submit oneself to justice during this special time of mercy offered by the Church,” the priest said. During his talk, Father Carton emphasized, “We need a Year of Mercy. We need to be merciful as God is merciful. It’s the way that the Church shows the face of Christ.” The Mass and presenta-tion — as well as the pastor’s vis-it to the parish school to speak about the Holy Year — kicked off St. Vincent’s observances for the ‘DOORS OF MERCY’ on 7

‘To Obtain Peace, We Have To Fight Indifference With Mercy’— Francis

Elise Harris

VATICAN CITY Pope Francis’ message for 2016’s World Day of Peace is packed with bold pastoral and practical advice for both the Church as well as international leaders.

In it, he focused on the need to work for peace by overcoming the attitude of indifference and fostering a greater sense of solidarity, mercy and compassion.

He advocated for concrete acts of mercy on the part of families, individuals and political leaders, such as the abolition of the death penalty and amnesty for prisoners convicted of political offenses.

Also encouraged by the Pope was a review of legislation in terms of migrants, a greater attention toward women, particularly in terms of equality in the workplace, and debt forgiveness.

“God is not indifferent! God cares about mankind! God does not abandon us!” was the opening line of Francis’ message for the 2016 World Day of Peace.

Instituted by Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1968, the World Day of Peace is celebrated each year on the Jan. 1.

The Pope gives a special message for the occasion, which is sent to all foreign ministers around the world, and which also indicates the Holy See’s diplomatic tone during the coming year.

Titled, “Overcome Indifference and win Peace,” the Pope’s message for 2016 is a reiteration of what he has frequently advocated for since the beginning of his pontificate: taking one’s eyes off oneself, and focusing on the needs of others.

In a world afflicted by “a real third world war fought piecemeal,” the Pope expressed his desire to encourage people “not to lose hope in our human ability to conquer evil and to combat resignation and indifference.”

Also highlighted by the Pope were landmark anniversaries for the Church, such as the 50th anniversary of Second Vatican Council documents “Nostra Aetate” on dialogue with non-Christian religions, and the constitution “Gaudium et Spes” on the Church in the modern world.

Francis also pointed to the Jubilee of Mercy, expressing his hope that it will encourage people to “refuse to fall into a humiliating indifference or a monotonous routine which prevents us from discovering what is new!”

Calling indifference “a menace to the human family,” Francis noted that the attitude takes three forms: indifference to God, to our neighbor and to creation.

Indifference toward God, he noted, “transcends the purely private sphere and affects the public and social sphere.”

“Disregard and the denial of God, which lead man to acknowledge no norm above himself and himself alone, have produced untold cruelty and violence,” he said, while indifference toward one’s neighbor is expressed in a general disinterest and a lack of engagement.

On an institutional level, indifference to the dignity, rights and freedom of others is part of a culture formed by “the pursuit of profit and hedonism,” and can foster and even justify actions and policies which threaten peace, Pope Francis said.

Rather than ensuring that the basic rights and needs of others are preserved, economic and political projects frequently pursue power instead, he observed.

When people see their basic rights, such as food, water, health care and employment denied, “they are tempted to obtain them by force.”

Francis stressed that indifference is ultimately overcome by personal conversion, and pointed to the example of Jesus, who took on flesh and showed solidarity with humanity.

Jesus shows us how to be invested in others, no matter how busy we may be, he said, cautioning that the attitude of indifference often seeks to excuse itself with tasks to complete or by “hiding behind hostilities and prejudices which keep us apart.”

“Mercy is the heart of God,” he said, explaining that how we love and care for others is “the yardstick” by which God will judge our lives.

He emphasized the importance of the Church in being a witness to God’s mercy in both her language and her gestures, so that people would be inspired to return to God.

To build solidarity, the Pope said, is the responsibility of everyone, beginning with families and teachers. He also said those involved in the field of communication have a special role to play, adding that their role must “serve the truth, and not particular interests.”

Francis concluded his message by acknowledging the many individuals and organizations, journalists and photographers included, who are committed caring for the poor, injured and sick, despite often dangerous conditions.

In the spirit of the Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis called on civil society to make “courageous gestures of concern” for the most vulnerable.

He closed his message with a threefold appeal to national leaders, beginning with a request for them “to refrain from drawing other peoples into conflicts or wars,” which only lead to destruction.

The Pope then asked that leaders either forgive or find a way to sustainably manage the debt of poorer nations, and to “adopt policies of cooperation which, instead of bowing before the dictatorship of certain ideologies, will respect the values of local populations and…not prove detrimental to the fundamental and inalienable right to life of the unborn.”

Read the full article at http://www.livedigitaleditions.com/article/%E2%80%98To+Obtain+Peace%2C+We+Have+To+Fight+Indifference+With+Mercy%E2%80%99%E2%80%94+Francis/2361241/286427/article.html.

Parishes Begin Observances For The Jubilee Year Of Mercy

Michael Wojcik

STIRLING As Pope Francis opened the Holy Doors Dec. 8 at St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, to begin the Jubilee Year of Mercy for the universal Church, numerous parishes throughout the Paterson Diocese, including St. Vincent de Paul here, were starting their observances of the Holy Year by swinging open the spiritual “doors of mercy” — inviting parishioners to deep and lasting conversion by receiving the gift of the Lord’s forgiveness and then sharing that mercy with others.

This month, parishes around the Diocese have been holding an array of spiritual and faith-formation events for the Jubilee Year of Mercy — from presentations on the Holy Year and other aspects of mercy and small-group sharing to opening Masses on Dec. 8, Adoration, Penance services and opportunities to receive Confession — that highlight God’s forgiveness. Many local faith communities have tied these Holy Year activities for December into their celebrations of Advent. One of the many faith communities that held opening liturgies on Dec. 8 was St. Vincent’s, which was followed by a “teaching and insight” on the writings of Pope Francis in “Misericordiae Vultus” (“The Face of Mercy”) by Father Richard Carton, pastor.

“Mercy is the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. Mercy is the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life. Mercy is the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever, despite our sinfulness,” said Father Carton in his summery of the Holy Father’s document — a presentation that he described as an overview of and “road map” for the Jubilee Year of Mercy. “Let us place the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the center once more in such as way that it will enable people touch the grandeur of God’s mercy with their own hands. This is the opportune time to change our lives.All one needs to do is to accept the invitation to conversion and submit oneself to justice during this special time of mercy offered by the Church,” the priest said.

During his talk, Father Carton emphasized, “We need a Year of Mercy. We need to be merciful as God is merciful. It’s the way that the Church shows the face of Christ.” The Mass and presentation — as well as the pastor’s visit to the parish school to speak about the Holy Year — kicked off St. Vincent’s observances for the Holy Year. They also will include monthly presentations by members of the parish community on various aspects of mercy, including areas of social justice, Divine Mercy and marriage and parenting, Father Carton said.

Many parishes expect to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Doors in the Diocese that Bishop Serratelli opened on Dec. 13: one at St. Margaret of Scotland Church, Morristown, and Holy Rosary Church/Shrine of St. John Paul II, Passaic. During the Holy Year, Pope Francis is granting a plenary indulgence — which removes all temporal punishment due for sins — to Catholics, who make a pilgrimage and pass through a Holy Door, whether in Rome or in their own dioceses. They also have to make a “worthy sacramental Confession, receive Holy Communion, recite the Creed and pray the Our Father for the intentions of the Holy Father,” the bishop wrote in his recent pastoral letter, “The Jubilee of Mercy and the Promise of Christ.”

St. Simon the Apostle Parish, Green Pond, also opened the Jubilee Year of Mercy on Dec. 6 with a special Mass. After, Father Richard Bay, pastor, presented to a “full house” of parishioners a catechesis that answered questions, such as “What is the Year of Mercy?” “What is a Holy Year?” What is a Jubilee Year?” “What is a Holy Door?” and “What is a plenary indulgence?” That day, the parish also distributed copies of Bishop Serratelli’s pastoral letter, cards that display the Prayer for the Year of Mercy and pamphlets about the Holy Year. In addition, parishioners made a craft to place on their refrigerators: a felt Cross that displays the words “God Loves You” and radiates beams of “love and mercy out to all of us,” Father Bay said.

“God’s mercy is available during this Holy Year. We should take advantage of it,” said Father Bay, who noted that St. Simon’s plans to tie in its Jubilee Year of Mercy activities — which will include a Bible study about God’s mercy in Scripture and participation in a deanery-wide retreat — with the parish’s 70th anniversary next year.

So far this month, Christ the King Parish, New Vernon, started to make Confession available on Saturdays, from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. St. Vincent Martyr Parish, Madison, started an Adult Conversation Series and held an Advent Penance Service. Assumption Parish, Morristown, held presentations about “Credo— I Believe” and “Our Lady of Mercy” by its Young Professionals ministry and “Experiencing God’s Mercy After Divorce” by Vince and Monica Frese of divorcedcatholic.com and an Advent mission by Father Mariusz Koch, a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal.

Also in Morris County, St. Virgil Parish, Morris Plains, started to pray for mercy through its Living Rosary group, which includes homebound seniors praying in their homes, overseen by two coordinators. “The goal is to make the Church of St. Virgil’s a powerhouse of prayer — each of us whispering each day a small prayer for someone, maybe ourselves, who needs mercy; it can be as simple as ‘God grant mercy to a hurting soul,’ ” the faith community’s bulletin states.

For the rest of the Holy Year, St. Virgil’s plans hold other observances, such as fundraising for charity by various ministries and selling copies of compact discs about evangelization by the Evangelization Team. The parish also plans to place an emphasis on mercy during its regular services, outreaches and activities, said Father Lancelot Reis, pastor.

“Mercy has to begin with each one of us. We should become better people and parishioners with more Penance and more charity, performing the works of mercy,” Father Reis said. “We should strive to become new people, who are beginning new relationship with God and with others.”

Read the full article at http://www.livedigitaleditions.com/article/Parishes+Begin+Observances+For+The+Jubilee+Year+Of+Mercy/2361247/286427/article.html.

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