From Father's Desk

Dear OLPH Family,

In September of 2015, the Diocese of Trenton embarked on a long journey of self-discovery and exploration called Faith in Our Future. The multi-year diocesan-wide initiative seeks to serve our communities better in the 21st century, amid changing needs and demographics. This long-term study recommended that OLPH engage in a COLLABORATIVE model with neighboring parishes. When parishes collaborate effectively, they can accomplish what they could not on their own. Now in 2019, OLPH has hired its first collaborative staff member in our new Director of Faith Formation, Mr. Rich Scanlon. Today, he introduces himself to our parish. Please extend him a hearty and warm OLPH welcome!

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce both myself and my family. I will be overseeing the faith formation programs at OLPH this year. My wife, Laura and I are blessed with four terrific kids -- Dominic, Isaiah, Gabriel and Maria. I grew up in Warminster, PA and after working at a K-12 school in Florida, I have been Director of Evangelization and Faith Formation at Resurrection Parish in Delran since 2017.

This year, I will be working full-time between OLPH and Resurrection as the Director of Faith Formation. My family and I are excited to be in Maple Shade and look forward to meeting you. Please reach out and introduce yourself. My job entails overseeing the PREP program for 1st-8th grade, the Sacraments of Penance, First Holy Communion and Confirmation and Adult Faith Formation. If you have any suggestions for adult faith formation topics, please let me know. At Resurrection I am leading a Bible Study and a life-changing class called the Hearts Afire Program where we learn how to become a Saint in today's modern world.

To me, the heart of Faith Formation is leading people to a deep, intimate relationship with Christ. This happens by understanding and responding to the basic Gospel message which is this:

God created the world and us out of His love and goodness. He created man and woman as the crowning of His creation and to live with Him in a relationship forever. Unfortunately, we turned away from Him when Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the Tree they were forbidden to eat from. However, God continued to pursue us and sent His Son, Jesus to suffer, die and rise from the dead in order to bring us back into a relationship with Him. Jesus then sent the Holy Spirit to establish His Church and give us grace (God's life within us) primarily through the Sacraments so that we can be transformed into Christ and He can take us back to the Father to live in a relationship with Him forever. All we need to do is tell Jesus "I want to live in a relationship with you forever." Then, simply talk to Jesus everyday like you talk to a friend or family member. If you make the commitment to do this, your life will be changed. You will find more joy and fulfillment then you ever had. And, you will find that the Holy Spirit will begin working through you to positively impact the lives of others.

May God Bless You! ~ Rich Scanlon

For my part, I am excited by the opportunity to expand our offerings here at OLPH. We have been in need of a more vibrant program to nurture the faith of our whole parish family. I look forward to working with Rich and with Fr. JC Garrett (pastor at Resurrection in Delran) to develop far richer programs than we would be able to offer on our own.

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Wilson