A Note from the Pastor

April 17, 2022

Dear Parishioners,
It goes without saying that this year’s Easter celebrations, although with the utmost respect and observance of the spirit of joy and light which the feast always intrinsically brings with it, will be marked by a veil of sadness and pain because of the excessive number of victims who were lost to this tragic pandemic. Let us also not forget the people of Ukraine who are currently struggling this new scourge between life and death.
How can we rejoice in all its fullness, seeing our brothers and sisters killed and massacred by such hatred? Yet, as Christians, we cannot let ourselves be drowned into discouragement, depression, and anguish — the antechamber of the loss of faith, that for believers can be an evil no worse than any other physical evil or misfortune.
Let us then open our hearts with hope that “all goes well.” That Ukraine and the entire world may “rise” and return much stronger and more beautiful than before, while preparing to celebrate the Lord’s Easter, the most beautiful, most significant moment of the liturgical year. But for a Feast to be joyous, a reasonable amount of preparation is required. Thus, we have prepared for Easter with prayer, fasting and almsgiving. We confessed our sins in the sacrament of confession and celebrated the Triduum with great devotion. 

Now is the day… the most IMPORTANT day of the year for Christians. Easter is the Victory of Our Lord Jesus Christ who has conquered death. 
May the song of the Alleluia open us to the Easter joy, and give us in this time of grace, the possibility of experiencing the love of the Risen Christ, Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He guides every one of us to those fertile pastures where He is the good shepherd.
With these sentiments of faith, hope and charity, I sincerely wish each of you a Holy Easter.

Fr. Mauro Primavera

February 20, 2022

Dear Parishioners,
     Pope Francis announced the Sixteenth Ordinary Synod of Bishops, which will take place in 2023 in Rome. His theme for the Synod is for a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission. The term Synodality means walking the same road together. We journey as a Church together, all of us –Pope, bishops, clergy religious, and those on the margins. The mission of Christ can only be accomplished by all of us collaborating together to make the Gospel heard in our time. Every age in Church history has had to figure out the best way to proclaim the Gospel and this is our time.
     Pope Francis has asked for an extraordinary task to be done – that is, he wants to hear from every part of the Church throughout the world, those committed to the church, those who have left the Church, never been a part of the church, or who are poor, marginalized and don’t feel welcome in the Church. Some say that this is the largest single consultation in the world! We are all asked to join in and be a part in the ways best for us and to be as inclusive as possible.      In this consultation, Pope Francis asks us to consider this question of proclaiming the Gospel and continuing his mission through prayer and discernment together. His overarching question is: What does the Holy Spirit expect of the Church of the 21st Century? 

Two subsequent questions to be used at the listening sessions to expound on this question are:
1. How is this “journeying together” happening today in your parish community, campus ministry, university, school, youth group, religious congregation or other areas of Church life?
2. How are we “walking together” as a Church, and what steps does the Holy Spirit  invite us to take in order to grow in our journeying together?
The Synod 2023 will have three phases:
Phase One: The Diocesan phase in which we will all be able to reflect and give feedback to the Archdiocese – December 2021-March 2022
Phase Two: The Continental Phase in which all dioceses will synthesize feedback and send a report to the bishops’ conference in Washington, DC (USCCB) by April 1, 2022. In turn, the USCCB will then synthesize feedback and send a report to the Vatican Synod Committee by April 2022.
Phase Three: The Universal phase, which will be the actual Synod of bishops in Rome on October 2023 

     Therefore, we will be having a Lenten Parish Retreat on Saturday March 5, beginning with an 8:30 am Mass followed by a discussion on Synodality, talks, and a moment of fellowship. The retreat will then conclude with the possibility of Confessions for those who are interested. EVERYONE IS INVITED and I hope to see you all as we continue to pray for one another.
Your pastor,
Fr. Mauro

November 19, 2021

Dear Parishioners:   
     Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration started at St. John the Apostle Church 25 years ago. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament “offers the opportunity to the people of God for prayerful reflection on their call to a deeper devotion to the Holy Eucharist and a more faithful living of the Christian life. It provides them with an opportunity to become more aware of Christ’s presence with His people and invites them to a spiritual communion with Him” (Order for the Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist). Over these 25 years, thousands of the faithful have come to adore Jesus Christ, present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Blessed Sacrament…24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 
     I am writing to call your attention to a new guideline from the Office of Divine Worship of the Archdiocese of Newark, which says: “There should be at least two people present during the period of Eucharistic exposition. This will ensure the safety of both the Blessed Sacrament and those present for adoration.” Currently, we have many hours with only one adorer present.As a result, in order to continue perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, we must have at least two adorers for each hour 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I ask you to consider coming to pray an hour with Jesus Christ. The need is urgent and the future of our Perpetual Adoration depends on your response. Contact the rectory (908-486- 6363) or email adoration@sjanj.net, if you will spend an hour with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Thank you and may God continue to bless you for your generosity in giving the gift of time in prayer at our Perpetual Adoration Chapel!

Sincerely yours in Christ,  
Fr. Mauro