August is Here

Well August is flying by. The hot, humid weather has reminded me that it is indeed August. Most college students will be returning to campus by next week and it won’t be long before the grade and high schools will open their doors for a new school year. Holy Cross Regional opens after Labor Day.

Just a reminder again of our upcoming Forty Hours Devotions, September 9 – 11 with Father Chris Moriconi as our homilist! The dates of these devotions coincide with our Parish Feast Day of September 14, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. We will celebrate our feast day on Sunday, September 9 to open these devotions. These three days are special blessings for our parish family as we worship Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament and give public witness to our unshakeable belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. It is like a mini-retreat to strengthen us for the work ahead.

As in the past, we will have an outdoor procession with the Blessed Sacrament to the front of school for the final Benediction. Once again, we will have the Verdi Band accompany us and afterwards invite everyone into the school for a “Cider Social” with some light refreshments. We are most excited that our various ministries and parish groups will gather together as a group before the Tuesday night services to process into Church and to walk in the procession. We trust that you will mark these dates on your calendar and be present to lend your voice and faith to these devotions.

Wednesday, August 15 is a holy day of obligation, the solemn feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven. Where she has gone, indeed we hope to follow, especially by imitating her gentle and strong faith and humble surrender to God’s will. Masses are on the day itself, 6:30, 9 am, 12:05 and 7 pm.

The feast of the Assumption is a day when traditionally many people try to get to the sea.

An ancient tradition (around 1000 AD) from Venice, the Wedding of the Sea celebration, is still celebrated at various New Jersey communities as well. In Atlantic City, this is the fiftieth anniversary of the event. May God bless and protect all sailors, fishermen and those dependent on the abundance of the seas.

May these days of August allow for some relaxation, rest and recreation. As I mentioned in my homily last weekend, I encourage you to open your Bible to the Gospel of Saint John and read straight through Chapter 6. We are hearing it at the weekend Masses throughout the month. In it Jesus explains that He is the Bread of Life. This week He tells us, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” That brings us back to our Forty Hours and Eucharistic Adoration ~ the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ really, fully and substantially. Don’t be confused. In our Catholic Faith, Communion is not symbol, not a memorial, not a remembrance. To receive Holy Communion in the Catholic Church is to receive the risen Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior, into our bodies and souls. What a communion, what a union ~ all in love!

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