Pastor's Page

Dear OLPH Family,

It’s November already, the month to remember and to pray for all of our family and friends who have gone before us. We usher in the month with the glorious commemoration of All Saints: the day to recall all of those sharing in the glory of Heaven whose names have not been officially recognized or canonized. While it may not be obvious at first, if one is in heaven, one is a saint. Heaven is full of saints, angels and the glory of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit! 

On November 2nd, we commend all our faithful departed to the mercy of God. This year at OLPH, we are renewing the ancient tradition of a Novena (nine days of Masses) dedicated to all the departed carefully noted on the envelopes with accompanying sacrificial offering. It is not too late to fill out an envelope to commend those who have gone before us to the mercy of God. 

This weekend throughout the whole Diocese of Trenton, we are embarking on a vocation campaign: Called by Name. First, We are invited to pray for vocations from our families, from among our parish family. Second, we recognize the gifts for service and leadership in the church. Third, we encourage young men, ages 16-35, who we think would be well suited to the priesthood. These are men in whom we see and experience the seeds of what is necessary to become a priest.

What a wonderful opportunity to pray over and name those we think would be well-suited to celebrate the Holy Eucharist, forgive our sins in Reconciliation, prepare our elderly to meet our Lord through the Anointing of the Sick, baptize our babies and officiate our marriages. Men are present in our community who could be wonderful priests; sometimes they just need a bit of encouragement. They need to be asked: “Have you ever thought of being a priest?” The question… a seed planted.

I say seeds because the seminary, where men are formed for the priesthood, has the same root. It is the place where seeds are sewn, just like the word seminal. For me the seminary was a beautiful time to draw close to God through the Eucharist and the Sacred Scriptures, and to learn from and seek to emulate ordained men whom I held in high esteem. Now, as your pastor, I have the privilege of making present the Holy Eucharist within our midst and the honor of breaking open the Word of God for the community. These two aspects are for me the heart of the priesthood: word and sacrament. It is a special responsibility to pray the Mass for the souls of those who have gone before us.

Usually the priesthood is presented along the triple office (See LG nn.10-11) of teaching, sanctifying and governing. Sometimes these are presented according to the scriptural offices of prophet, priest and king. The prophet teaches. The priest makes holy. The king rules or governs. In Christ, we encounter the culmination of these Old Testament prefigurements. They belong in a singular way to Christ. He shares his one priesthood with all priests. We participate in his priesthood and thus in his mission to teach, consecrate and reign - yet not in the way of kings but in the way of service. Consider the motto of our Bishop David O’Connell, ministrare non ministrari, to serve and not to be served. Jesus comes among us as one who serves.

Please do look around. Search among those men in your life who find joy in service. They may be called to live as Jesus did: attentive to the Father for the sake of his Bride the Church, and to be consecrated as his priests. And do pray for all priests, that they may be made holy, and may belong wholly to the Lord God!

In Christ High Priest and Victim,

Fr. Wilson

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