Wednesday, December 17, 2008

OMG- Praying the O Antiphons

The last seven days of Advent are traditionally marked by chanting/praying The O Antiphons. The Antiphons recall both seven names for the Messiah as well as seven prophecies by Isaiah about the Messiah. Traditionally, the Antiphons are prayed as part of the Church's evening prayer (Vespers) at sunset.

Today, we meditate on "O Wisdom"

O Wisdom who proceeds form the mouth of the Most High,
reaching out mightily from end to end,
and sweetly arrange all things:
Come to teach us the way of prudence.

“The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.” (Is 11:2-3), and “Wonderful is His counsel and great is His wisdom.” (Is 28:29).

What wisdom might you seek in Christ?

Take a few moments (1:38 minutes to be exact) to listen to this chant:

Thursday, November 13, 2008


This coming Sunday, Most Reverend Manuel Cruz, Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Newark will preside at a Spanish language Mass in our Cluster. Bishop Cruz was appointed in June and his ordination as Bishop took place in early September.

Mass begins at 1:15 PM at St. Aloysius Church, 219 Bloomfield Avenue in Caldwell.

Bishop Cruz is 54 years old and was born in Cuba. Although Bishop Cruz's ministerial background includes experience in parish work, he is best known for his work in hospital chaplaincy and in helping to educate health care providers on spirituality, healing and end of life issues. His own story is fascinating; see how Rocco Palmo frames it on Whispers in the Loggia.

Bishop Cruz, who will be Episcopal Vicar of Union County, indicates he does not have any special projects -- just to get out and know the people of Union County and to serve them.

In our Church, Bishops are the leading catechists; we hope that Bishop Cruz will have much to teach us about the gift of freedom, the gift of healing and, the gift of welcome.

Come by on Sunday. Bring a friend. Pass this on to others -- especially those who will enjoy the experience of celebrating Mass in Spanish.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Beyond 9 to 5

Lots of great stuff happening to support your careers and to give yourself a break!

Happy Hour in Mo'town11/6
Our friends from Morris Catholic Young Adults invite you to Happy Hour at Tashmoo in
Morristown, Thursday evening.

Ticket Bargains at
Check out last minute bargains for performances all around NJ!

Take a Hike 11/8
Saturday morning at 10:30 AM. Bring your water and lunch.
Please go to MCYA calendar for the details.

Spirituality and Healthcare Conference 11/8
Conference for those interested in the ethical issues and the spiritual side of healthcare. Continuing education credits offered. College of St Elizabeth-- Morristown.

Catholic Worker Movement Lecture: 11/8
Fordham presents an afternoon program on Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement.

FOP at Don Bosco Center South Orange 11/8
Festival of Praise! Then, meet new folks!

Spirituality at Work? Soul of a Leader: 11/11
Author, consultant and motivational speaker Margaret Benefiel will sign books and speak on "The Soul of a Leader" at the Alumni Theater, Caldwell College. Reception at 6PM; Lecture follows at 7PM.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


It has been an historic 24-hours...record number of voters and new voters.
Crowds taking to the street. A dream fulfilled. A transformational, transcendent moment.

Our President-elect also reminds us that the times ahead will not be easy -- but that it is our work.

So whether you were "red" or "blue"-- we are reminded that together we can make "purple."

And maybe that is the color of change.

President-Elect Obama ended his remarks by asking for God's blessing on us and on America.

Deacon Greg, author of The Deacon's Bench , offered a thought for today, Wednesday, "What would your prayer be for Barack Obama today?"


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Single? Over 35?

Our parish cluster defines young adult ministry for those aged 18-35. Most young adult ministries define themselves for those in their '20s and '30s -- and we don't have big age barriers for those who are 35ish. It is not surprising that this ministry receives inquiries from older Catholic singles.

So, I am posting some information for those over the age of 35ish - please pass on to your friends!

There are two new Catholic singles groups in Northern NJ: One is at the Church of the Presentation in Upper Saddle River and the other is at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Oakland.

October 24th, 8-11 PM Reception
Church of the Presentation, Upper Saddle River
Wine, Cheese and Beer Reception; Music by Steve Lafiosca. $10/at the door. This group is for Singles over 40.
More info:

Not In Limbo Singles is the group out of OLPH in Oakland. The group meets every 2nd and 4th Wednesday at the Knights of Columbus Hall and is for singles over the age of 35. Contact Pastoral Associate Phil Brady for information. October 22nd is the next gathering and will feature motivational speaker Janet Pfeiffer on "Profound Awareness." Attendees will discover the four key principles of "intentional living."

Don't forget that Immaculate Conception Single Adults in Montclair gathers its members for social and service outings throughout the year. To receive their email directly, send a note to

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Get Carded.

...At your local library!

The Caldwell Public Library is a magnet for readers of all ages; a salon for local artists and center for community-building through partnerships of all kinds. On the national scene, it is a two-time recipient of a Big Read grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Most recently, CPL is partnering with Caldwell College and Teach for America.

So, do you see yourself as part of the solution? someone who wants to (and can!) make a difference? CPL's latest partnership event has your name written all over it!

Teach for America pledges to eliminate educational inequity; to stop the correlation between geographic community and educational quality/opportunity. TFA encourages new teachers to take challenging teaching assignments, trains them to be leaders as well as educators -- with the expectations that their experience in these challenging districts will provide a direct impetus to fostering nationwide, systemic change. Social entrepreneurship.

On Wednesday, October 15, CPL, TFA-Newark and the Business Division of Caldwell College invite you to FRONTLINE/World (PBS) Social Entrepreneurship Series Film Screening. The Screening starts at 6:30 PM in the Alumni Theater at Caldwell College.

On Wednesday, October 29th, continue the community discussion on the film at Caldwell Community Center (behind the CPL) @ 6:30 PM. The conversation will focus on social entrepreneurship illustrated by the experiences of young teachers currently working with TFA-Newark. Get inspired!

The Big Read initiative is to get lots of people reading, sharing and acting on the ideas spurred by literature. This year's Big Read is a short book with a big message: The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick. CPL's Director Karen Lembo purposely selected The Shawl for its ability to tie together the many faith communities in West Essex. While The Big Read will begin in the winter, you don't have to wait to read The Shawl. (In fact, it may spur an idea for an event or activity we can share.)

Check out the CPL website and events section.
Some events you might like:

Essex County Photo Club Exhibit/Reception 10/14
Early Morning Book Club Sat 10/18
Poetery Reading 11/6

(And check out Tasty CoCo almost across the street while you are there!)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Brother Francis

Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Because of Francis' love of creation, he often comes to mind as a patron saint of ecology and of all creatures great and small. This weekend, many of our cluster parishes will honor Francis' memory by holding a "Blessing of the Animals."

Another way we connect to Francis, is in peacemaking-- to carry out "The Peace Prayer of St. Francis" -- "Make me a channel of your peace."

Yet another connection comes in God's call to Francis, "Rebuild my church." Even Francis didn't get it right the first time -- putting his energy into literally rebuilding the bricks and mortar dilapidated chapel in which he first heard God speak. And, then coming to a further realization, that God was calling him to build a church community. The community where the Gospel was told even "using words if necessary." This church of Living Stones is harder to build than the church of bricks and mortar -- primarily because we are human. But that doesn't mean that we should stop trying to be church or to live the Gospel.

Ecologist. Peacemaker. Poet. Activist. Community builder. Blessings for The Feast of St. Francis-- whoever you are!

May the Lord bless you and keep you; May the Lord show his face to you and have compassion on you! May He turn his face to you and give you peace! Amen.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Join Us

Feed me. This blog, that is.

October 5th

Please join us for Sunday Mass, October 5th at St. Thomas More Parish, Fairfield. "Mass and...the Versailles Diner." Heart attack fries. With gravy.

October 8th

Apologies to our friend Bill McGarvey at BustedHalo. His website is a Beautiful Mess; this writer's mind is a blessed mess! Join Bill and his band at TOT hosted by St Helen's. C'mon out to Molly Maguire's on Central Ave in Clark at 7:30 PM. DOC.*

In a more thoughtful mood? "Therese, The Story of a Soul" will be presented at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Boonton at 7:30 PM. DOC.*

October 20th

Paul's back. Snatchko that is.
Paul will lead a discussion of Faithful Citizenship at St. Thomas More, Fairfield at 8PM -- following Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 7PM.
October 22nd

You loved her as the NJYAC keynote speaker: Sr. Marilyn Minter shares her ingishts on St. Paul during an evening at St. Thomas More, Fairfield @ 7:30 PM.

*Details on Calendar!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Festivals Galore!

Holy day/holiday. An abundant meal. Joy and merrymaking.
We adopt "festival" when we gather in an extraordinary way.

Here are some ways to make your weekend extra-ordinary.

Thurs 9/25: Cafe Iguana, Fundraiser for Delaware Opportunities Inc. Support efforts to rebuild flood-devastated homes in Delaware County NY. Info on calendar.

Thurs 9/25-Sun 9/29: Reel Jersey Film Festival, Rutherford
Attend Friday evening's Weird NJ Party and Midnight Show; get a free ticket for Saturday!

Sun 9/28:

St Thomas More Picnic
, Fairfield
Last of the cluster picnics; Eucharistic Feast outdoors at Noon; BBQ on the great lawn follows.

Morristown Festival on the Green
Hang with our friends from Morris Catholic Young Adults; Booth 56 on South Park St.

Genesis Farm Festival at St Al's, Caldwell
Support the Dominican Sisters and their care for Creation. 2-5PM.

TOT New York Style
Join our friends at St Paul the Apostle NYC for Fr Ron Franco's look at the lessons of St Paul brought to the political scene. At PJ Clarke's, Lincoln Square @ 6:30 PM.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Word. Life. Mission.

It's Catechetical Sunday!

This weekend we acknowledge those "who serve our parishes by bringing the Word of God into the hearts of others."

All our parishes have dedicated catechists preparing our youngest community members to receive sacraments, better understand the teachings of our Catholic faith and to experience faith in community.

Do you believe that sharing your faith with others is important? Do you have a natural ability to teach or share information and ideas? Are you willing to learn more about your own faith as you prepare to teach others?

If so, consider being a catechist!

All the parishes in our cluster seek new catechists or those who want to learn the ropes by teaming up with another catechist or being an aide.

In particular, OLBS needs day program catechists for its after school program held on Monday and Tuesday. Contact Cathy Gibbons ( for more information. Being a catechist is also a great way for college students in educational disciplines to experience a classroom setting or to round out their schedules with community service.

Our cluster parishes also seek volunteers in their faith formation efforts. Please contact the catechetical directors for further information:

Bill Schutte: Notre Dame (
Cabrina Kinslow: STM (
Sr Justine Pinto and Ed Karpinski: St. Al's (

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Let us take some time today to be reverent as we remember the events of September 11, 2001.

In NYC, the memorial service begins at 8:40 AM and includes the reading of the names of those who died. I take time to remember Jack Charles Aron, Luigi Calvi, John Griffin, Fr. Mychal Judge and Simon Weiser.

In West Essex, all communities are invited to gather at the 9/11 Memorial Monument at Verona Town Square on Bloomfield Avenue at 7PM for a period of silent remembrance and tribute. Everyone will then walk together for an Interfaith Taize Prayer Service at Our Lady of the Lake Church.

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum site has information on how you can add your name and message to the structural beams as well as an ongoing compendium of 9/11 stories and tributes.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mass and...PICNICS!

Our communities call us to gather at the Table of the Lord...and then to enjoy each other's company at festive picnic tables!

Although the 7PM Sunday Mass at STM resumes this weekend, we will resume our "Mass and..." on the first Sunday of October so everyone may savor this time as part of their parish communities.

Sunday, 9/7: Notre Dame kicks off the Picnic Season with an outdoor Mass on the front lawn at Noon. The Picnic follows 'round back with something for everybody.

Sunday, 9/14: St Al's Picnic starts at 1PM -- following the Noon Mass. You'll need a ticket: $5/pp or $15/family. Lots of family fun!

Sunday, 9/28: The month ends with STM's outdoor Mass on their great lawn, followed by a picnic. Last year the quintessential Italian ices from Lyndhurst Pastry Shop were a great treat. Can't promise for this year, but show up and find out!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Last Call! A Few Tix Left

...for the Jackals game. First come, first served!
Email to:

Monday, August 25, 2008

Baseball! Fireworks!

Night of the Jackal:

Thursday, August 28th

Get a lead on Labor Day Weekend!

Young adults 18-35ish are invited to end the local baseball season with the Jersey Jackals.

The umpire shouts "Play Ball!" at 7:05 PM at Yogi Berra Stadium in Montclair (NJ Transit train stop!).

It's "Thurs-T" Thursday and the Jackals offer $1 drink deals.

We'll end the night with a bang: Fireworks follow the game.

Tickets are $6.75.

Email to reserve tickets and for more information! Bring a friend!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tap Into Something More!

If it's's Theology on Tap in Northern NJ.

TOT season just started with young adults throughout Northern NJ coming together Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in four counties.

Hottest topic: Election '08. And to that end, many events will include discussions on the US Catholic Bishops' document "Faithful Citizenship."

Our TOT on Monday, July 28th is no exception.

"Faith in Politics?"
Speaker: Paul Snatchko
Monday July 28
From 7 - 9 PM
The Cloverleaf Tavern 395 Bloomfield Ave, Caldwell
$15- Buffet/Soft drinks. Cash bar.

Paul loves to talk about the two taboos: religion and politics. He is a 1998 grad of NYU. His career in politics (elected official, candidate, campaign director and political consultant) combined with his experience as a marketing manager for a Catholic publisher bring a unique perspective to the conversation.

TOTs are a great forum for those curious about faith in every day life. And, a great place to meet new people. Come join us!

Check the calendar for TOTs this month!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Vaya con Dios!

“Go with God!”

This weekend, these words are with two special people who have supported and encouraged young adults in the West Essex community: Fr. John Gabriel and Fr. Anthony Randazzo.

Fr. John will be leaving as Pastor of St. Thomas More with his assignment as Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Newark and of Emmaus House – a residence for those discerning priestly vocations. Fr. John’s welcoming and hospitable nature has imbued his time at STM. Fr. John just returned from a pilgrimage to Medjugorje and will say his last Mass at STM at 10 AM on Sunday morning. A reception in O'Connor Hall will follow after Mass.

May you have the grace of encouragement

To awaken the gift in the other's heart,

Building in them the confidence

To follow the call of the gift.*

This weekend, Fr. Anthony will receive friends and good wishes at Notre Dame as he prepares to leave for a sabbatical. We hope that Fr. Anthony will return at Christmas refreshed by his travel, study and prayer to continue ministering in the same way he promises to return his phone messages (and in the way we have come to rely): “with compassion.” Following all Masses this weekend, you can catch up with Fr. Anthony—or attend the Open House from 1-4 PM. Fr. Anthony will preside at the 10:30 AM and Noon Masses.

May you travel safely, arrive refreshed.

And live your time away to its fullest;

Return home more enriched and free

To balance the gift of days which call you.*


*Both these blessings can be found in “To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings” by John O’Donohue.

Friday, June 20, 2008

6/20: Happy Summer! Happy Hour!

Summer arrives at 7:59PM tonight.
Welcome summer with some fun & a chance to meet new friends!
JustJakes 30 Park Street Montclair starting@ 7PM.
Live Music. Drink Specials.
"Pay as you go."

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Father's Day

Tim Russert’s death hit me hard.

My husband Frank can tell you that one of my cherished Sunday morning rites includes Russert’s lively and thought-provoking “Meet the Press.” I particularly loved that Russert let us glimpse his own life and values – his love of family, sports and his faith. Many observe that his Jesuit education and legal training helped shape his tough but fair “no whining” interview style.

A few years ago, I gave my dad Sam a copy of Russert’s best-selling book, “Wisdom of Our Fathers” as a Father’s Day gift. This book grew from an earlier popular book “Big Russ and Me: Father and Son: Lessons from Life.”

The irony of Russert’s passing at the beginning of Father’s Day weekend is not lost. With his own reverence and passion for fatherhood, Russert has raised this special day to an even higher level. On today’s “Meet the Press,” Russert’s executive producer said that Tim would call Big Russ after every show to see how the show went. His father's opinion was the true test of the broadcast. My heart goes out to Big Russ who probably never thought his son would pre-decease him.

My own love of books and reading comes from my father. My dad Sam grew up during the Depression and he served in the US Army during WW2. In his youngest days, he would save his money, box tops and “proofs of purchase” so he could build a library. Books were a precious commodity in those days. My dad is also a (very) civil engineer, a terrific grill master and a soft touch for babies and puppies. A patient teacher, he's been a popular guest at his grandchildren's schools: reading aloud and sharing his love of stamp collecting. Dad keeps a daily diary and is the “go to guy” when we can’t remember something! Every time the Yankees are in trouble, we wonder why George is not calling my father for advice – or with a job offer. As a Brooklyn native, he chose the Yankees over the Dodgers as his team a long time ago!

This year, I am giving my dad Bobby Murcer’s book, “Yankee for Life: My 40-Year Journey in Pinstripes.” I learned the game of baseball watching and listening to Yankees’ games with my dad. At my peak of baseball fascination, I kept a scrapbook of Mickey Mantle’s last home runs and chronicled the early career of another native Oklahoman—Number 1, Yankees’ centerfielder Bobby Murcer. I still have my Bobby Murcer baseball bat –a cherished momento from a “Bat Day” trip to Yankee Stadium with my dad and brother. Bobby Murcer is more familiar to many now as a Yankee broadcaster. Two years ago, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. This memoir is a testament to families and to the idea of family expressed in close knit communities and among colleagues.

I always inscribe the books I give as gifts. I haven’t inscribed this one yet – but I hope to find words to connect me, my dad, our love of reading and baseball.

This weekend, Fr. Ed writes of the importance of mentors in the Notre Dame bulletin. What man in your life is helping you write your memoir?

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Calendar!

Check the calendar for details of upcoming events!

Friday, May 9, 2008

P4P: Sat May 10th

Got an old bike?

Get it out and donate it to the "Pedals for Progress" Bike Drive at St Thomas More. Bikes and a suggested donation of $10 for shipping and refurbishing can be brought over to the parking lot at Hollywood Ave/Horseneck Road on Saturday, May 10th from 1-4PM.

Bikes do not have to be in perfect working order, but should be fixable and in one piece!

Mamma Mia

Last night on TV, a production assistant on Martha Stewart's staff described his mother as "classy, elegant, strong" and, "yet, sensitive, loving, and sweet." He ended his list of glowing attributes by saying, "She's my momma."

My mom is RoseMarie. She was 26 was I was born to her on Valentine's Day. She says I was her best Valentine gift. (I am certain there were many days when she wished her little gift slept better, was quiet and stopped asking so many questions!)

My mom is very gifted and can give Martha Stewart a run for her money. Her home-making skills have been used in works of love... the hand-sewing of Halloween costumes; crocheting trendy floppy hats for friends; baking her famous crumb cake for the cheerleading squad's "Spirit Breakfasts;" binding my book of calligraphy for an art project; consulting with the bridal salon seamstress to make sure my best friend's wedding dress fit properly; whipping up a "get well" cheesecake for my friend Mike. My mom is also one of the most hospitable people around -- inviting Patti to move in after a fire at her house; treating Teddy like a king during his winter break visit after his Hodgkins' treatment; inviting Colin, Nigel and Caroline to celebrate holidays at our home when they were far away from theirs. My friend Carol once said, "I was in Lyndhurst and thought about stopping in to see your mom -- but I wasn't hungry."

Sunday, we will honor our mothers and the special women in our lives.

I can write for many more hours and not fully acknowledge all the ways my mom is a gift.
However, right now, I will choose to honor her and thank her for blessing me, our family and our friends with an abundant spirit and her good example of hospitality.

What woman's example or gifts have made a difference in your life?

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Right now, the news is dire.
Please pray.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mass and...Cinco de Mayo!

All are invited to First Sunday Mass (May 4th) at 7PM at St. Thomas More Parish, Fairfield.
Musician? Sit in with the contemporary music ensemble: meet in the choir loft at 6PM.

We will head to Jose Tejas/Border Cafe following Mass in recognition of Cinco de Mayo (about 8PM).

Don't normally take a head count, but if you know you will come, it will be helpful this month!

Monday, April 28, 2008

National Day of Prayer May 1(click!)

"The National Day of Prayer Task Force's mission is to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, mobilizing the Christian community to intercede for America and its leadership in the seven centers of power: Government, Military, Media, Business, Education, Church and Family."

What might we pray?

Government: For good stewardship and....
Military: To serve honorably and.....
Media: To report truth and to be a forum for all views and...
Business: To subscribe to a code of ethics and....
Education: To ensure there will be no child left behind and.....
Church: To help us be faithful citizens and...
Family: To recognize that family and supportive communities are the heart of our country, and...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Daniel 3: 52-90

Driving through the heart of the Cluster today, Earth Day, I was struck by how yellow, green and pink our natural world is right now -- blooming, bursting and shining in the sun. Made me think of John Angotti's "Canticle of Daniel" (you can find it on iTunes) based on the referenced Scripture.

"Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever." (Dn 3:57)

What will you do to reverence the earth (and its Creator) today?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Got Pope? Get Hope! the sign on the side of our bus leaving the Chancery Office yesterday for the Youth Rally at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers. It was a long day...traveling, getting through security, waiting on interminable lines for lunch and for getting our shuttle back to our coach for the ride home.

Yet, the 10 teens from my parish agreed that in spite of these challenges the day was a "once in a lifetime" opportunity. Anthony liked getting to know the fellow pilgrims on our trip better; Tyler was drinking in the Pope's message; Catherine realized the care and kindness of friends; Ashley and Jackie saw that even in adversity "they were in the place they were meant to be," Amber realized her words (to the media) were important -- and that having blue hair goes noticed!

The Pope's visit to Ground Zero this morning was very moving. Channel 2 covered this in holy silence rather than color commentary.

As I personally process the gifts of the Pope's visit, I cannot help but recognize that different places are all sacred spaces.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Morris Catholic YAs Seek Volunteers Saturday

Not seeing the Pope?
Morris Catholic Young Adults, a new group of those in their 20s and 30s, are seeking volunteers
to help out at a nursing home in Denville for this coming Saturday April 19th, 2-4pm. We will be assisting the nursing home residents with a social activity, either games or an art project, and we really need all the help we can get in finding volunteers! Contact Heidi Hornstein:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Viva Il Papa! (click!)

Media Coverage:

The Pope's visit is so busted.
Our friends at BustedHalo will be covering the Papal visit.
More commentary: John Allen, Jr. National Catholic Reporter

See the Pope!

You don't need a ticket to see the Pope. See the Pope on Saturday afternoon by standing along the route as the PopeMobile heads up Fifth Avenue from St Patrick's Cathedral to 72nd Street. Get there early. Anticipated start: 1:15 PM.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Vote Tuesday on Local Schools

No matter what exit you are from, you can always find something to sound off about here in the Garden State. As we file our tax returns, a twist of fate finds our annual school elections falling on April 15th. Annual school elections, you say? Sadly, if you have never voted in a local school election, you ARE in the overwhelming majority in this state. We've gotta change that.

Why should you vote tomorrow?

First of all, because you can.

And then, it is because this election allows you to choose who will be your local voice in school governance. School board trustees are non-partisan elected officials whose decisions affect the policies of school districts, the hiring of school administrators and provide a recommendation to the voting public on the way funds are budgeted in the school district -- including the negotiation of the contracts of district educators.

So, if you have strong opinions on education in your school districts and the way funds are appropriated from your local property tax dollars (the major source of all school revenue in NJ), then plan to vote tomorrow.

By law, polls are open by mandates from 5pm-9pm; districts can choose to expand these mandatory times.

The Progress gives a snapshot of the elections.

Some specific budget info can be found here:
Caldwell/West Caldwell Budget Info
North Caldwell
West Essex Regional District
Essex Fells

Thursday, April 10, 2008

C is for Clapton...and Colbert

Eric Clapton is still cool.
So that's why you might want to read about his prayer practice.

You know, in the same way that you get fascinated by learning that Stephen Colbert is a catechist.


Yesterday, Jason Rowe (OLBS) and I attended an initial conversation at the ArchDiocese on how it might begin a plan to carry out Catholic Charities' Campaign to Cut Poverty in Half by 2020 (info button on right).

Poverty statistics nationwide are startling -- 1 in 8 Americans live in poverty, including 1 in 6 children. Right here in the borders of our ArchD this includes almost 91,000 children. In the state of NJ, there are 1.2 million people without healthcare insurance. Our wealthy state has the 4th highest cost of living in the US; many of the poor are working.
Eliminating poverty is a dignity issue; people cannot let their spirits soar or raise their voices if their basic needs cannot be met.

Statistics on the real cost of living in NJ.

A plan for this Campaign must include efforts to educate/inform, take action, advocate -- and also empower those living in poverty or with low incomes.

Do you have any ideas about how to call attention to this issue? Think about educating, advocating, acting and, importantly, empowering those living in poverty.

Think about how we might reach other young adults who are called to make a difference -- but might not be in our churches. Who do you know that can get behind this issue?


Monday, April 7, 2008

Hearts Burning

Father Dan's homily at Mass last night focused on the Gospel's line, "Weren't our hearts burning within us?" While I was resisting all urges to connect the concept of "hearts burning" with our visit to the diner, I was also thinking that this Gospel story provides a framework for our own lives. We spend a lot of time trying to make sense...of relationships, of our work, of our busy lives. We seek the counsel and comraderie of our friends. We even sleep with our cell phones on our pillows! But when we take time out to listen more closely, open our minds and hearts and stop for refreshment, we can see that the Lord is there for us. While God has been revealed dramatically in a burning bush, the parting of the seas and in the instantaneous cure of illness, we are more likely to recognize God in our midst through a simple thing like the breaking of the bread. Where will you find God this week? Where do you need to find God?

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Calendar


Don't you hate those long e-mails? Let's use this page for our news and calendars!
Click on the event titles to expand and contract the listings.