5th Sunday of Lent


Dear Friends,

Last Sunday we had a day of Self Care Fair. It was a wonderful experience with representatives from 16 different organizations explaining their mission and giving away their flyers and other stuff. There were breakout sessions with various demonstrations and presentations on various aspects of being a better you in the library and the classrooms. Msgr. Joseph Kerrigan did a breakout session on Centering Prayer. What made this Self Care Fair very unique was that it was fully youth initiated and led by a total of 23 Teens – grades 8th to 12th from 4 parishes – St. Augustine, Kendall Park, Holy Family, New Brunswick, St. Joseph, Bound Brook, and our own St. Matthias. Thanks to our Deacon John Radvanski in a very special way for his supervising this event with the help of Sue Lenczewski, our SMYLE Coordinator. There were many other adults who served as Mentors and/or Professional Mental Health Advisors to whom we offer our gratitude. We wish to gratefully acknowledge the following organizations and agencies that participated: Catholic Charities, Central Jersey Family Health Consortium, NAMI NJ, Safe & Sound, Community Police Alliance of Somerset County, Franklin Township Stigma Free Council, Freedom From Fear, Operation Code Red, Mental Health First Aid -Empower Somerset, NJ Harm Reduction Coalition, Saint Peter’s University Hospital’s Community Health Services  (Nutrition), The Center For Therapy & Counseling Services, 988 Suicide Hotline,  Caring Contact, Franklin C.A.N. Franklin Cops and Autism Network, RWJ Barnabas Community Health from New Brunswick, and Zufall.

The presence of three Therapy Dogs brought extra cheer to all. There were generous donors (local vendors and individuals) who brought food and drinks to both the visitors and volunteers; they deserve our thanks in a special way. Deacon John Radvanski will be writing about this event in an upcoming issue with more information about and acknowledgment of all those involved/participated. It was truly a unique event for us, showing the holistic approach to our total well being. This event has given us an impetus to have more such events so that our mental, physical and emotional health will be brought into focus together with the spiritual health in the Church.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day today! And Happy St. Joseph’s Feast in two days! Lavish celebrations for these two feasts, especially for St. Patrick’s Day, are typical. But it is very important to reflect on the spiritual dimension of each feast.

On the feast of St. Patrick, the church focuses on the missionary nature of the life of St. Patrick who converted the Irish population to Catholicism in his 33 years of apostolate there. The Irish rightly brought his legacy to places they have settled. This is the right time to read the biography of St. Patrick and be inspired to witness to gospel values in our life.

The Feast of St. Joseph is a higher ranking Solemnity in the Liturgical calendar of the Church. Therefore the Mass celebrated on March 19 is very much like a Sunday Mass with Gloria, and all the readings. The solemnity in the church is certainly followed by the solemnity at the dinner table too! St. Joseph’s silence in the gospels is an indication of his interior disposition of openness to listening to God – something we all can benefit from.

Happy Feast of St. Patrick! Happy Feast of St. Joseph!

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. Abraham Orapankal