5th Sunday in Ordinary Time


Dear Friends,

Glad to be back: My home trip was a very happy experience, especially because I had not taken my home vacation for a year and a half. Though it was short (18 days in India), I was kept very busy with Memorial celebration of my father’s death anniversary, the wedding of my nephew, feast of the parish, gathering of the extended Orapankal families, visiting, praying with and bringing Holy Communion to my sick aunts and uncles, and spending time with my 91-year old mother. Obviously, it was not a typical vacation to relax or have a quiet time. I am very grateful to Fr. Lancelot for willingly shouldering the parish responsibilities in my absence, taking care of all the pastoral needs in an admirable way, especially the number of funerals and sick calls. Thanks to the parish staff who cooperated with him in serving the parish community.

Catholic Schools Week: Last Sunday we had the opening Mass for the weeklong celebration of National Catholic Schools Week. It was well organized with students of diverse backgrounds participating in the entrance procession, readings, handing out the thank you’s after the Mass, etc. Thanks to Mary Lynch, our Principal, who has been coordinating various activities and events during this past week with the help of the faculty and staff and thus promoting the mission of our Catholic School. Our Bishop Checchio wrote a letter to the parents and guardians on this occasion in which he reminded them:
“As parents, you play a primary, vital role in the success of our children. Your support, encouragement, and commitment to the values of Catholic education contribute greatly to the formation of well-rounded individuals who carry the light of Christ into the world. I am deeply grateful for your partnership in this sacred mission.”
I too wish to echo the same as I thank the parents for choosing St. Matthias School to give the children the best of both worlds: Catholic formation and academic excellence.

2024 Pro-Life Award: This year, in light of the Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade, our Bishop had asked us pastors and pro-life ministries to nominate parishioners who have been laboring in the field and working in the parishes and local communities to promote the sanctity of life from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death. Accordingly, we had nominated our parishioner Eileen King for this award and we, as a parish, can be very proud that she was chosen to be one of the 2024 pro-life honorees from across the Diocese of Metuchen. This award was presented to her on Sunday, January 21, at our Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi.

In the name of the parish community, I congratulate Eileen King for this honor. We are grateful to God for her faith-filled service to life, which is truly a reflection of God’s unconditional love and mercy. This honor is also an invitation to us all to get more involved in life matters, especially by joining the Pro-Life Ministry in our parish. Please contact Fran Johnson at tfxj@msn.com if interested. Whether it be walking with moms in need, walking with the elderly, tending to the sick and dying, working with those with disabilities, or with those who struggle with addiction, efforts to build a culture of life and love are needed now more than ever in the world.

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. Abraham Orapankal