News and Announcement Archives

Expansion Gallery 2: Digging the new foundation

Our second Expansion Photo Gallery shows work progressing on demolition, as well as work on digging out the new foundation.

Church Expansion Gallery Two

Gallery One is still available as well.

Thanks to parishioners Rich and Emily Kopf for providing the great photos.

'Bountiful Bucks' 50/50 raffle kicks off

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are happy to introduce a new and exciting raffle called Bountiful Bucks 50/50. It is an opportunity to provide family members, friends, acquaintances and co-workers a chance to significantly supplement their Christmas shopping fund. Every ticket provides the lucky holder with one of three chances to win some Bountiful Bucks! The first prize winner will receive 25% of the total proceeds. Second and third prizes are 15% and 10% of the proceeds, respectively.

Here is how it works:

  • Each family is requested to sell 2 books of 10 tickets each at $10.00 per ticket.
  • Assigned ticket books will be labeled and available for pick up after Mass, beginning October 1st.
  • Make checks payable to St. Catherine of Siena and note in memo line Bountiful Bucks."
  • "Additional tickets will be available in the Parish Office at the Center.
  • Return your sold tickets and proceeds in the envelope provided and place in the container marked Bountiful Bucks in the Parish Center Narthex. All ticket stubs, funds and unsold tickets must be turned in no later than Sunday November 12th at 12pm.
The drawing will take place at the Parish Center on Sunday November 12, 2017 during the Knights of Columbus Pasta Dinner. Winners need not be present for the drawing and will be notified by telephone.

As always, we thank you for your support of Parish projects and your efforts to make Bountiful Bucks 50/50 a success.

Yours in Christ,

Father Chester

Campaign Corner Update: September -- Construction begins!

In case you haven't noticed, there is plenty of action going on to our "Little Church on the Hill" and much progress is being made. The foundation is already being dug to begin the next phase of construction.

Viewing our progress can be done safely on our website, which will reveal the various phases of construction as they become available. A slide show presentation will also be available in the narthex before all Masses for those who are not able to access the website. Please take a peek!

While everyone has a vested interest in our church progress, for safety reasons everyone is prohibited from entering the premises during the active construction. No exceptions! Safety is a priority and must be respected at all times.

Pledge and Financial Report
Please remember your pledge commitments as they are more important than ever since cash flow is needed during this active phase of construction. We are grateful for the Matching Gift Challenge raising $63,533. Our deepest thanks to all who participated in the match as well as those donors who funded the challenge.

If you have not yet committed to our project with a pledge, please prayerfully consider doing so. Our project is in full process and needs your help.

Don't miss out on your free portrait and parish directory

Time is running out to be reserve your sitting for our new parish directory. Every family who participates receives a free 8x10 portrait and a free parish directory, with no obligation to purchase anything and no sitting fees.

Learn more here. Sessions are coming up and available spots are going fast, so reserve your spot today. Kits are available at the parish center or you can reserve your spot online.

First Church Expansion photo gallery shows demolition work in progress

Parishioner/Parish Photographer Rob Preston provided some great photos that show the Church Expansion Project in full swing.

The demolition and clearing out of the old church building can be clearly seen, as crews ready the building for its addition.

We'll post more photos throughout the project as they are available.

Church Expansion Gallery One

Reserve your portrait session for our NEW Parish Directory

Our parish is partnering with Lifetouch to create a new Parish Directory featuring professional portraits of our parishioners.

Lifetouch is providing the directory at no cost to our church, and every family photographed will receive a complimentary directory and an 8x10 portrait. You can sign-up for your portrait online at the Lifetouch website or stop at the sign-up station in the Parish Center before or after Mass on the weekends of September 16-17 and 23-24.

A New Directory...

  • Preserves this special time in the life our church
  • Becomes a lasting record of our current membership
  • Helps us connect faces with names
Photography Dates

Thursday, October 12th: 1:30-9pm
Friday, October 13th: 1:30-9pm
Saturday, October 14th: 8:30-2pm

To accommodate families with college age members, we'll also have two sessions over Thanksgiving Weekend:
Friday, November 24th: 1:30-9pm
Saturday, November 25th: 8:30-2pm
"Be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to be professionally photographed. We are looking forward to seeing you in our directory. I am encouraging 100% participation!"
--Father Chester
For your convenience, all photography and portrait viewing will take place at the Parish Center with NO sitting fee. Sessions will take about an hour, including check-in, photography and portrait viewing. You will have a variety of poses taken. One pose will be selected for the directory. In addition to your complimentary 8x10, you will have the opportunity to purchase additional portraits on the day of your portrait session. Lifetouch's portrait price lists are available in the church office for those who would like them prior to photography.

Lifetouch is offering 20% off for Military Service and First Responders (coupon code MILT) and Seniors (coupon code SENI).

Father Chester and the Stewardship Committee emphasize that "we need YOU to make our directory complete! To celebrate our church family and strengthen the bond within our congregation, we welcome you to be a part of our upcoming new directory."

"Be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to be professionally photographed. We are looking forward to seeing you in our directory. I am encouraging 100% participation!"

Online signup is quick and easy--reserve your spot today!

IMPORTANT: All Masses, activities now at Parish Center

Please note that as of July 1st ALL Masses will be at the Parish Center.

All Church activities will be relocated to the Parish Center. Please check with your respective ministries and the church calendar regarding meeting dates and times as there will be changes.

The Parish Office has also been relocated to the Parish Center. Phone numbers and office hours remain the same.

Campaign Corner: Construction is underway, Matching Challenge continues

Here's the latest news from the Church Expansion Committee:

Our expansion project has officially begun. Our Parish celebrated the groundbreaking for our church expansion on June 25th. Highlights can be found in the Catholic Spirit available at the Parish Center and here.

The actual construction work will commence shortly. Your prayers and patience is needed. We will keep you informed of our progress as we begin work on our "Holy Ground."

Your pledge commitments are more important now than ever. If you have not yet pledged please prayerfully consider participating.

Matching Gift Challenge continues
Our original challenge has been met! Our deepest thanks to everyone who stepped forward to generously contribute to the Matching Gift Challenge.

Great News! The Matching Gift Challenge is still on thanks to three families. Currently, there is $4,422.00 still left in available funds to match. As always, we greatly and sincerely appreciate your generosity.

Your used clothing can help others -- and build a church

Remember that St. Catherine's has Clothing Donation Bins located at the Parish Center parking lot. Your clothing donations will be shipped throughout the US, Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America to help those in need.

For the use of our Parish sites, we receive a monthly payment of $100 for each bin. As we help others by donating clothing, we also help our Parish gain funds toward our Building Campaign.

Silver & Gold Wedding Anniversary Celebration

St. Catherine's parishioners are cordially invited to celebrate their 25th or 50th Wedding Anniversary in the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, Metuchen on Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 4:00pm.

Application forms are available after Mass or by the Diocese's Marriage Enrichment website. Forms must be signed by your priest or deacon and returned to the Family Life Office by the parish office by Friday, September 1st. A confirmation letter with further details will be sent once your application has been processed.

For further information, please call the Family Life Office at 732 562 1990 ext. 1705 or 4573.

You can help Rosary Society support Lynda's Helping Hands to benefit women in need

St. Catherine's Rosary Society is partnering with the New Jersey Chapter of Lynda's Helping Handbags. The Rosary Society says it's "well on its way to collecting and filling 150 new and gently used handbags for women and teens." The handbags will be donated to the Women's Transition Center of Phillipsburg and the Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault Crisis Center of Warren County.

Lynda's Helping Handbags was started in 2016 in Green, Ohio by two sisters, Lynda Dodson and Cindy Rutherford. While struggling with serious health issues, Lynda decided on reaching out to help others rather than focusing on herself. She decided to address a basic personal necessity that all women use: a handbag -- something that many take for granted. Lynda wanted to fill the handbags with common necessities and give them to women in need.

Parishioners who would like to participate in the project can donate suggested items that will be used to fill the handbags, including:
  • Hand lotion (small bottle)
  • Body spray (small bottle)
  • Chapstick or lip gloss
  • Blush
  • Mascara
  • Hairbrush and/or comb
  • Nail file and/or clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Shampoo and/or conditioner (Trial size)
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste and/or toothbrush
  • Tissues (Individual size)
  • Pocket calendar
  • Pens
  • Tampons or pads (Trial size)
  • Hand sanitizer (Small bottle)
Donated items will be collected at the Parish Center during the weekends of August 5-6 and 12-13. All items to fill the handbags must be new.

The Rosary Society thanks all participants for their generosity.

St. Catherine's celebrates groundbreaking on Church Expansion project

Our Parish Expansion Project was officially kicked off with a Groundbreaking ceremony on June 25th with a final Sunday Mass in the existing church building.

NJ.com covered the groundbreaking, reporting on Bishop Emeritus Paul Bootkoski's call for parishioners 'to celebrate the growth of our parish through the generations,' as he recalled the generous 1991 gift of a new church to the Catholic families in the area from a donation made by the late John W. and Catherine Raymonds."


About 120 parishioners attended the ceremony and reception, which also including parish clergy, local dignitaries and representatives of the companies involved in the expansion.

The nj.com article quoted Father Chester as noting that "the building expansion is necessary for our growing parish community because it will increase church seating from approximately 100 to 300 people at a single mass." It also creates additional space in the lower level of the building for parish ministries to meet. "It is an opportunity for all of us to become more closely united as a Faith Family -- to individually and communally recommit ourselves to our faith and the presence of the Church here in Pittstown," he said.

Actual construction on the site will begin pending final approvals of permits and is expected to be complete sometime in 2018.

You're Invited: Mass and Groundbreaking for St. Catherine's Church Expansion

We request the honor of your presence at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the expansion of St. Catherine of Siena Church

Sunday, June 25th
Mass at 1 p.m. followed at 2 p.m. by Groundbreaking Ceremony
2 White Bridge Rd., Pittstown, NJ

Join us for refreshments and fellowship.

Announcing St. Catherine's Matching Gift Challenge

It is with great pleasure that St. Catherine's would like to inform you of a Matching Gift Challenge. A small group of generous parishioners has made additional gifts totaling up to $20,000 to be used to match all new donations to the capital campaign from July 1st through September 1st, 2017. In essence every new dollar you donate will be doubled.

This is an exceptional opportunity to raise much needed funds for our church construction and we would like to especially encourage all those who have not yet contributed and those who have considered increasing their donation to take advantage of this unique moment.

You may mail or drop off your matching gift donation to the Parish Office or place your gift into the offertory basket at any Mass.

All donations must be explicitly marked "Matching Gift Challenge." Please mark the memo line of your check in recognition towards the Challenge.

As always, we greatly and sincerely appreciate your generosity.

Sincerely,

--St. Catherine's Stewardship and Steering Committees and Pastoral Council

Coming Soon: St. Catherine's Parish Photo Directory

St. Catherine Parishioners and their families are invited to have their photo placed in a New Church Photo Directory by Lifetouch Photographers.

Each family who participates will get a free 8x10 photo. Seniors and Military personnel will receive a 20% discount on their photo packages.

Beginning in August, order packets will be available as well as sign up sheets to schedule photo sessions. Sessions will also be able to be scheduled on our website.

Photo sessions will take place on: October 11th and 15th; November 24th and 25th. All sessions will be held at the Parish Center. November 24th and 25th are the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, giving you the opportunity to include your college students who are home for the Thanksgiving break.

Please see future bulletins and the parish website for updated information.

New titles available at Parish media kiosk

The Lighthouse Catholic Media kiosk has been stocked with new titles designed to help parishioners learn more about our faith in an easy, convenient way. Here's a sampling of the titles that have just arrived:

Booklets

  • "Lent with the Saints"
  • "Stations of the Cross with Pope Francis"
  • "Is Jesus Really Present in the Eucharist?"
  • "Mary, The Mother of God"
Books
  • Did Jesus Really Rise From the Dead?, Carl E. Olson
  • The Hidden Power of Kindness, Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik
  • Everything You Wanted to Know About Heaven, Peter Kreeft
  • The World's First Love, Venerable Fulton Sheen
Donations for items ($3-5) can be made at the kiosk and help continue this program. Please make checks payable to St. Catherine's.

Easter Week Schedule

  • Holy Thursday: April 13th
    • Mass of the Lord's Supper: 7:00pm-Parish Center
  • Good Friday: April 14th
    • Stations of the Cross: Noon-Church
    • Celebration of the Lord's Passion: 3:00pm-Parish Center
  • Holy Saturday: April 15th
    • Blessing of Easter Basket Food: 11:00am-Church
    • Easter Vigil Mass: 7:30pm-Parish Center
  • Easter Sunday: April 16th
    • Mass: 8:00am-Church; 9:30am and 11:00am-Parish Center

40 Cans for 40 Days of Lent: One can of food a day can make a difference

During Lent, our Knights of Columbus council is conducting a "40 Cans for 40 Days of Lent" program. The goal is for each family to put aside just one can of non perishable food every day of Lent and bring the seven cans to Mass each weekend. The Knights will collect all donations and deliver them to local food pantries.

Rosary Society invites parish children to Easter Egg Coloring/Hunt

St. Catherine's Rosary Society is sponsoring an Easter Egg Coloring/Egg Hunt at the Parish Center on Sunday, April 9th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. Children up to age 10 are invited to participate. All items will be provided, including donuts, cider and prizes -- just bring a basket for the egg hunt.

Please RSVP no later than April 2nd by filling out a registration form available after Mass and returning it in the marked basket.

2017 Bishop's Annual Appeal now underway -- view the video here

Bishop Checchio is asking all St. Catherine's parishioners to view a video with information on this year's Bishop's Annual Appeal.



Your gift to the Bishop's Annual Appeal supports more than 25 pastoral, educational and charitable ministries serving thousands of people each day throughout the Diocese of Metuchen. Together we are Ambassadors for Christ.

For a number of reasons, the campaign launch for the Bishop's Annual Appeal is being moved from September to February and we invite you to continue your support for the ever-growing pastoral, educational and spiritual needs of our faith community.

Visit the Bishop's Annual Appeal page on the Diocese website for more, including information of how to donate, matching gifts programs and more.

ICC invites St. Catherine's women to 'Cornerstone Day'

Immaculate Conception Church's Women's Cornerstone invites the women of St. Catherine's to attend their one-day experience on Saturday, March 25th. The group will gather at ICC parish hall beginning at 8:00am with breakfast and ending with a reception after 8:00pm Mass. "We will share our faith journey, grow in Christian community, renew our spiritual life, and deepen our relationship with the Lord," the group says.

Women 25 years of age or older, from ICC, St. Catherine's and ICS are encouraged to join.

Register online at www.iccannandale.org/womenscornerstone.aspx or look for our brochures soon after Mass. Any questions? Please contact Amy Highsmith, 908-642-7222 or amyhigh-smith2@gmail.com or Jennifer Emejulu, 323-702-3060 or judeochu81@gmail.com.

March 1st Ash Wednesday Schedule

Ash Wednesday is March 1st. Masses and Placing of Ashes will be held as follows:

  • 8:00 a.m. - Mass & Placing of Ashes @Church
  • Noon - Mass & Placing of Ashes @Church
  • 4:30 p.m. - Prayer Service and Placing of Ashes @Parish Center
  • 7:00 p.m. - Mass & Placing of Ashes @Church

Friday Soup and Stations begins March 3rd

Each Friday starting March 3rd, St. Catherine's will offer a complimentary Lenten soup meal prepared and served by different Ministry members in the Church Undercroft beginning at 6:00pm.

Immediately following, we will begin Stations of the Cross at 7:00pm at the Church. All are welcome.

Veteran Ministry, Religious Education Program thanked for Holiday gifts

The St. Catherine's Veterans Apostolate received this note of thanks from Veterans Haven North:

The Veterans Transitional Housing Program in Glen Gardner has conveyed their sincere appreciation to all of you for the donations of six $25 Shoprite gift cards; one $50 Walmart gift card; one $50 Visa gift card; two $25 Walmart gift cards; and 10 $15 Walmart gift cards during the Holiday Season.

A special thanks to our Religious Education students who prepared over 75 personalized holiday cards and candy canes for distribution. This program depends heavily on such donations which helps support Veterans in need and is very much appreciated.

All Scouters invited to celebrate Scout Sunday at 9:30 Mass February 8th

February 8th is the 107th birthday of the Boy Scouts of America organization.

In keeping with tradition, the Boy Scouts National Council has declared Sunday, February 5th as Scout Sunday. St. Catherine of Siena Parish, the chartered organization of Cub Scout Pack 119, welcomes all scouters from all areas to wear their uniforms to 9:30 Mass on Sunday, February 5th, at the Parish Center.

Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Venturers and Girl Scouts are all encouraged to participate, and Scouts of all faiths are welcome to join.

Online Giving Tax Statements available for download

Parishioners who participate in our Online Giving Program can now obtain tax statements for the 2016 tax year.

  1. Log in to your Online Giving donor account
  2. Click on "My Online Giving History" (view a detailed history of your past Online Giving)
  3. On the right side, click the "Print" button
  4. Set your date range from 1/1/2016 to 12/31/2016
  5. Change the report type to "Full Detail Report (Tax Purposes)"
  6. Leave the tax filter option checked
  7. Click Print
You will want to have your pop up block disabled. This allows the PDF to pop open for you.

Print Online Giving History Report:
You can print a PDF report (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) of your Online Giving History by selecting either a Summary Report or Detail Report and then clicking the Print button.

Blessing of throats offered after Masses this weekend

Blessing of Throats will be offered following Mass the weekend of February 4-5.

According to centuries-old tradition, two candles are blessed, held slightly open, and pressed against the throat as the blessing is said: "Oh God, deliver us through the intercession of Thy holy bishop and martyr, Blaise, from all evil of soul and body, especially from all ills of the throat.

St. Blaise is the patron of physicians, sick cattle, wax chandlers, woolcombers, and of wild animals because of his care for them and of those with throat maladies and was a bishop of Sebastea in Armenia who was martyred during a Christian persecution in the fourth century.

Giving tree participants raise over $10,000 in gifts for needy local families

The St. Catherine of Siena Rosary Society sent this note of thanks to the parishioners who participated in the Giving Tree this Holiday Season:

Dear Parish Family:

Thank you for your abundant donations to the 2016 Giving Tree! As a parish, we have collected over $10,500 in material gifts, gift cards, and checks. Through your generosity, our parish was able to provide many items, including warm coats, boots, hats, gloves, diapers, toys, baby toiletries, baby crib items, and gift cards for the single mom families served by the Friendship Center for New Beginnings in Flemington and Life Choices in Phillipsburg. Your generous donations of checks and gift cards will benefit families in our parish, the Veteran's Ministry, Diocese of Metuchen Ministry for the Disabled, and the Family Promises ministry.

May God bless you for your kindness.

The St. Catherine of Siena Rosary Society

2016 Year End Campaign Corner Update

The Capital Campaign continues to grow through your prayers and generosity.

Thank YOU!

  • If you have not yet pledged please consider helping us bring our parish back together. Perhaps you were not able to pledge in 2016 but may be able in the New Year!
  • There are still naming opportunities available to those who would like their pledge dedicated to various items within the church. For example, there are 31 long pews still available for a gift level of $5000.
  • Naming opportunities allow the parish to recognize the generosity of donors to the Campaign.
  • We appreciate the generosity of many in the parish and acknowledge that some church items were named over the years. Previous donors and their gifts will continue to be acknowledged.
  • Memorial gifts can also be made in honor of a loved one as well. All memorials will be recognized in a tribute book. In addition, they may appear on a plaque.
  • We have made significant strides toward our goal but still need your help and your diligence. We anticipate going back to the College of Consulters on January 17th and will inform you of our progress.
As of January 3, 2017 we had:
Parishioner Participation = 47.5%
Amount Pledged = $1,016,319.37
Amount Collected = $493,483.81

Campaign Corner Update: December -- Your pledge questions answered



What happens after I pledge? | When should payment begin? | How do I make payments?

Your scheduled payments should begin immediately in accordance with the terms you indicated on your pledge card. For example, some parishioners are paying their pledge amount over three years, semi-annually, quarterly, or monthly. Please consider accelerating your pledge if you are able.

Payments may be made in any of the following ways:

  • By check, marked "United in Faith Campaign: Building for the Future"
  • For offertory envelope users: Place your payment in the United in Faith: Building for the Future offertory envelope (the one with an orange border), placing it any weekly collection basket. Please let us know if you are not receiving envelopes and would like to receive them in the future.
  • Through Online Giving: To open an account or add this contribution to an existing one, use the Parish website at the following link: Online Giving.
Please let us know if you are not receiving envelopes and would like to.

Your tax-deductible pledges will be recorded and a statement will be issued annually.

We thank you for your sacrifices and ask for your continued prayers for our campaign's success.

If you have not yet pledged, please prayerfully consider giving and make your generosity a tangible part of this beautiful season of Advent.

Campaign Status
Participation: 44.6% of active parishioners
Amount Pledged: $986,579.37
Amount Received: $390,426.16

Capital Campaign: We need to hear from you!



We're reaching out to parishioners who haven't yet responded

It's important that we receive a response from every parish family to meet our financial goals and move forward with our church expansion project.

There are three ways to let us know your response:

1) E-MAIL US
If you've already returned your pledge card, we thank you!

If you haven't, please take a moment to email us with your intention. Or, simply click here for a pledge form you can download, print and return to the church or parish center.

EVERY pledge amount is appreciated, but if you're unable to contribute, we need to know that, too. If each family committed $20 per week for 3 years we would achieve our goal. We hope that you'll continue to pray for the project's success.

2) RECEIVE A PHONE CALL
Our Building Committee will follow up by phone in the next few days if we haven't received your response.

3) SET AN APPOINTMENT
E-mail us a request and Father Chester or Bishop Paul will be happy to call and arrange a time to discuss the importance of this project for our future.

We are a parish "United in Faith" -- let us also be united in this campaign. Thank you for your generosity and we look forward to seeing you during this Christmas season!

Campaign Corner Update: November

Please read this important update on our Capital Campaign -- "United in Faith." It contains important information and action items for all parishioners -- whether you have made a pledge to the campaign or not.

On October 31st, Father Chester and two members of the Steering Committee presented the progress of our Capital Campaign, "United in Faith" to the College of Consulters (the governing body of our Diocese). As a result, the Steering Committee is sharing these recommendations received by the College of Consultors.

While the members of the College were particularly impressed with the renderings of the proposed worship space, they felt that our fund raising efforts to date have not reached the required goal despite the generosity of our contributors. To avoid an unacceptably large loan we need to have 50% of the cost of the project in cash prior to beginning any active construction.

As a result of this, we are reviewing all the elements of the design to reduce costs where ever possible. We urge those of you who have not yet participated in the campaign to prayerfully consider doing so by completing a pledge card, since that is the record of measure by the Diocese. To those who have already pledged, please consider accelerating your payment schedule, if at all possible.

Currently we have:

  • Active Parishioners: 488
  • Pledges Received: 196
  • Participation: 40.2%
  • Amount Pledged: $926,100
  • Amount Collected: $326,348
We appreciate and continue to encourage the use of the orange envelopes, found in your monthly envelope packet, for donations to the campaign.

And as always, please continue to pray for our success!

New renderings of church expansion project provide peak at our future church

Paul Juliano of Juliano Architects provided new renderings of what St. Catherine's might look like after the Church Expansion Project.

The photorealistic images show representations of the views of the church from the transept, sanctuary and church entrance.

Click on a thumbnail below for a larger view of each image.

Campaign Corner Update: September

To those of our Parish Family away this summer: Welcome back! For the latest news and happenings on our building campaign, "United In Faith: Building for the Future," check out our news in the bulletin, which will appear about every two weeks or so and on the church website at www.scochurch.org/future.

The schematic design of our church was unanimously approved by our Steering Committee and we will now be moving toward the developmental phase of the project.

Our Progress

Our Parish Family is 650 members. As of September 12th we have received 183 Family pledges, representing 28% of our parish families.

$882,745.00 Campaign total raised to date.

Have you pledged yet? It's not too late.

Please prayerfully consider and pledge what you can. We need your help! There are many ways to do so. (some questions raised about pledges are answered below)

What is a matching gift program and can St. Catherine of Siena get money from these programs?

Through matching gift programs companies support employee charitable giving. Companies match gifts made by employees to a wide variety of non-profit organizations, but there are often restrictions and many businesses will not match gifts made to churches. To see if St. Catherine of Siena is eligible, please talk to your company's human resources office about guidelines.

Can we make our gift through stocks?

Appreciated securities offer donors an income tax deduction for a charitable gift and donors avoid capital gains tax that will be incurred through a sale. Please consult your tax accountant for advice. Call the parish office for information on how to transfer the stocks to the parish brokerage account.

Tricky Tray announced for October 7th; time, talent and financial support needed

St. Catherine will be hosting a Tricky Tray on Friday, October 7, 2016 at The Elks Lodge, Flemington, beginning at 5:30PM. The activities of the night will consist of dinner (optional), Tricky Tray and Special Raffles.

Prizes will include theme baskets, gift certificates, event and amusement tickets, services, sports tickets/memorabilia and merchandise. Additionally, monetary donations to purchase items or offset the cost of supplies are appreciated.

Participation in our Tricky Tray will allow more of our financial resources to be focused on the spiritual and charitable needs of our Parish and community. These funds will offset the cost of our new building expansion.

Your donation of time, talent or financial support are critical to our success and are welcomed. If you would like to be a part of this team or for any questions, please contact Carol Rocha at 908-616-2397 or email St.catherinetrickytray@yahoo.com.

St. Catherine's Parish Picnic scheduled for September 18th -- seeking volunteers

St. Catherine's Annual Parish Picnic will be Sunday, September 18th at the Parish Center. Anyone interested in helping out is asked to contact Lori Young at young20@centurylink.net.

Knights of Columbus scholarships available to parish students; essays due June 1st

St. Catherine's Knights of Columbus are offering "Good Samaritan Scholarships" to a registered boy and girl parishioner. These Scholarships will be awarded to individuals who have demonstrated the qualities of a "Good Samaritan" through activities they have been involved in with the Church, the community and charitable organizations. Essay applications are due June 1st and more information is available here.

Capital Campaign Reception slideshow now available

The slide presentation from this month's Capital Campaign Reception is now available for viewing.

It contains important information about our expansion project, including updated renderings of the proposed expanded church, cost estimates, information on pledging and more.

Whether you were at one of the receptions or were unable to attend, this information may help you make a prayerful decision about the level of support you choose as the project moves forward.


St. Catherine's Spring Bible Study announced

St. Catherine of Siena will start its Spring Bible Study on Tuesday evenings beginning April 12th at 7pm in the Church Undercroft and will meet on the following Tuesdays: 4/12, 4/19, 4/26, 5/10, 5/17, 5/24, 5/31.

This Spring Bible Study, "A Biblical Walk Through the Mass" will take participants on an exciting tour of the Liturgy as it explores the biblical roots of the words and gestures we experience at Mass and explains their profound significance. See, perhaps for the first time, why we say what we say and do what we do every week at Mass. The words and gestures will be seen in a new light, giving new life to the liturgical experience.

In this series of videos by Dr. Edward Sri and group discussions we will:

  • Learn the "biblical background" to the words, prayers and gestures of the Liturgy, all in the context of the revised Mass translation
  • Discover how the Mass is a "true representation" of Christ's redeeming sacrifice on the Cross
  • Explore the three key aspects of the Mass as a "Sacrifice, Real Presence and Holy Communion"
  • Gain helpful insights for "getting the most out of every Mass" and much more
Anyone interested in participating in the Bible study should contact Stephen Kassebaum at stephenkassebaum@comcast.net or 908-268-2910.

New kiosk offers inspirational DVDs, books and more

St. Catherine's will be offering materials from Lighthouse Catholic Media -- a "practical and effective program to help Catholics know their faith."

Denise Botto, who is running the program for the parish, said "We all live busy, busy lives. Finding the time to learn about our faith can be difficult." She said the presence of the Lighthouse Media kiosk provides many options to meet parishioners' needs whether it's a CD to listen to on the way to work, a DVD to watch or a book to read. "These items will help deepen your understanding and love for the Catholic faith," said Botto.

Starting the weekend of Feb 20-21 a kiosk will be placed in the narthex of the St. Catherine's Parish Center, offering a variety of CDs, DVDs, books and booklets. These feature some of the most well-known Catholic speakers and writers: Bishops, priests, deacons and eminent Catholic laymen and women. The material will be available after Mass, while they last. When the initial supply is exhausted, a new set with different titles and speakers will be ordered.

More information is available in a PDF flyer.

St. Catherine's community hosts first annual Advent Cookie Exchange


Pat Dziubek shared her thoughts on St. Catherine's first Advent Cookie Exchange:

Our Parish Community -- Celebrating the spirit of Advent with our very first Advent Cookie Exchange at our parish center. Participants enjoyed an evening of Christmas cheer while exchanging many delicious homemade confections. All left with at least four dozen cookies and recipes to share with family and friends.

For our families and younger members some family fun was enjoyed with cookie decorating, personalizing their own creations then kicking back to enjoy a movie classic "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol."

There were cookies galore, great refreshments but most of all we shared friendship and the fellowship of Christ with one another.
The event was sponsored and supported by the Parish Council for the St. Catherine's community during this Advent season.

Understanding the Liturgy of the Mass: Part IV - The Communion Rite to the Concluding Rite

by Deacon Dennis Webster

For this season of Advent, Father Chester and your deacons would like to help you make the Mass come to life for you in a new and personal way. Our homilies in the next four weeks will be based on the book by Mark Hart, entitled Behold the Mystery: A Deeper Understanding of the Catholic Mass. We highly recommend that you order a copy for yourself and read it. Mark Hart is a layperson, who is an executive vice president for Life Teen International, and hosts a SiriusXM Catholic radio show called "Fired Up!"

Mark Hart states that the Mass is a cataclysmic event because it brings Heaven and Earth together. It requires that we put our gifts and talents in the hands of God, allowing him to take something simple and transform it into something majestic. Christ is present in the liturgy, not like you and I are present, but deeper than that. We encounter Christ in four places at every Mass. At the community gathering through our Baptism, in our priest, in Sacred Scriptures, and finally most importantly in his Eucharistic Body and Blood. The Mass is made up of movements and content and the better we know what the movements and flow of the Mass mean, the more we will understand the why the Catholic Mass is, first and foremost, a sacrifice.


The Communion Rite is regarded as a very special and uniquely sacred part of the Mass (not to minimize any of the other parts of the Mass) but it is regarded as such because our Lord is present on the altar from the time of the Consecration until the reception of the Body and/or Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ by all communicants.

There are several subsections that fall within the Communion Rite, the first being the "Our Father." It is important to note that the Lord's Prayer could have been placed at any point in the Mass, but it is inserted at this particular point in the Mass because of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist on the altar. Additionally, it should not go unnoticed that this prayer, as we often hear it introduced as, "In the words Jesus taught us..." is a prayer directed not only to His (that is, Jesus') Father, but to Our Father -- each and every one of us present today, from the youngest to the oldest.

Lastly on this subject of the Lord's Prayer, I would like to offer a caution. Anytime we do something repetitively we have an inclination to do it by rote, that is, say something mechanically or unthinkingly without pondering each and every word we utter. In this particular case it is very important we not do that. And I confess to you I, too, am guilty of this on occasion. What good is it to say, "OurFatherwhoartinheavenhallowedbethynamethykindgdomcome...?" Or even to say "Our Father, who art in heaven..." but having our mind be off on the golf course or wondering what we are going to prepare for dinner -- or the argument we engaged in with our children just prior to coming to church? I know you all understand this and recognize it, but it takes some special effort not to just mouth words, but to believe in what we speak.

The next subsection in the Mass is the Rite of Peace. We often refer to it as "The Sign of Peace," but at one time it was called "The Kiss of Peace." Now, for some this is a very uncomfortable time. Some people are not "touchy-feely" and a mere nod or a smile will suffice for them. Then there are others who are high-fivers or more demonstrative. But it is important to recognize the Sign of Peace is not a break or intermission in the Mass or the opportunity to forget Who is still present in the sanctuary on the altar -- Jesus -- but it is a time where we are invited to genuinely make peace with, if necessary, our spouse (if s/he is present with us) or that child we scolded just prior to coming to Mass because they were dilly-dallying around; or, just as importantly, those unrelated-by-blood brothers and sisters in our parish community that we may have "had words with" in the past; or neighbors on the streets where we reside who we haven't spoken to in years because their dog... well, I don't have to get graphic.

Recall, the Sign of Peace follows the words we have just prayed to Our Father ... "forgive us our trespasses (sins) AS WE FORGIVE THOSE who trespass against us."

Following this exchange of peace, the priest begins the Fraction (as in to fracture or break) Rite, which includes the "Lamb of God," in Latin "Agnus Dei" or the Breaking of the Bread and the Commingling where the priest takes a piece of the now consecrated bread, breaks it off and drops it into the chalice of wine transubstantiated into Christ's sacred Blood. The Breaking of the Bread calls to mind the great account of the on the Road to Emmaus story in which the disciples recognized our Lord. You will remember elsewhere in Sacred Scripture where St. John the Baptist proclaimed Jesus as "The Lamb of God." And so, we, too, proclaim Him as "The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those..." etc. Here we continue our petitions to the Lord to have mercy on us and forgive us our sins. We ask for His grace and pray for peace of heart, mind and soul.

And now all that we've been preparing for: Communion (common union with Christ, communion with each other). We proclaim first that we are not worthy -- for who is? But we pray that our souls will be healed by the Great One and Only Healer. We have been told elsewhere in God's Word through St. Paul that our bodies are temples, so when we receive Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist he is literally coming under the roof of our temples to transform us -- if we are open to that transformation.

And now we approach quietly, reverently, humbly, respectfully (as we bow before Our Lord -- not bowing to the priest or the deacon -- but to Our Lord and God) and are fed, nourished with the Body and/or Blood of Jesus Christ. As has been done for over 2,000 years all over the world.

We now enter into the time for Communion Meditation. Just as an aside, when I sit where I usually do these days, in the pews along with you, when I return to my seat and kneel to continue my personal prayers, I lean over to kiss him, our seven-year-old who has yet to receive his First Holy Communion. I kiss him on the lips, for I have just received a wonderful gift and I want to share it with him. What greater expression of love can I render? I would ask you to consider that for yourselves when bringing your little ones to church. (Parenthetically, you might choose to do the same with someone other than a young child, perhaps an adult who, for one reason or another, has not Received Holy Communion.)

So, as we're kneeling -- if we're physically able -- as our brothers and sisters approach one-by-one to be spiritually nourished with the Eucharist, we might call to mind the words of St. Alphonse Liguori who commented: "there is no moment within the course of our week that we are more closely united to the sacred heart of Jesus and to our loved ones who have gone before us to heaven than in the moments immediately before and after reception of the Eucharist."

We are still kneeling while everyone who has chosen to come forward to "Receive" has and have gone back to their seats. We all remain prayerfully kneeling as all the ciboria with the remaining Eucharist is brought back from the Communion stations to the altar to be consolidated into one vessel and placed into the tabernacle by either the deacon or the priest. The appropriate time to resume your seat is once the Eucharistic Jesus has been returned to the tabernacle. Now, no one is saying you can't kneel and pray for as long as you want, but it is fitting to stop kneeling when Jesus is placed back into the tabernacle.

The Concluding Rite: Finally, the Final Blessing. Briefly, God has just filled us with His Word, His Body, with His love. He is sending us out armed to do good works in His name. He has given us the encouragement, the tools, His Holy Spirit - to guide us. We are sent forth and in response we say: "Thanks be to God." For certainly we are thankful.

The Recessional: We are blessed with a music ministry. In addition to our musicians and choir we have many parishioners that are gifted with good voices. There are some who are not. I would urge you if you fall into the latter category that I do that you at least follow along in the hymnal and read the words -- for it is a final prayer in praise to God.

One last thing, I would like to emphasize the importance of our Church's teaching in the real presence of Jesus at the altar. This belief on our part is essential to our understanding of Jesus in our lives. Real Presence is central to our faith. This does not make us any better than our brothers and sisters in other denominations within the Christian faith, but we as Roman Catholics do not deal with symbolism when it comes to the Eucharist.

Every once in a while someone will come up to me and say, "Deacon Dennis, I remember years ago when you said in a homily..." this or that. And I will usually respond: "I did?" But I do remember one thing I said at the last homily I gave prior to my going into "retirement status" as a deacon on the last weekend of July in 2010. It was in my closing statement at those Masses. When I had the opportunity to "do the dishes" during the Communion Meditation I would cleanse all the vessels with water and take the paten (the gold dish-like vessel) and swish the minute morsels of remaining Eucharist as if I were panning gold. Now, mind you, I didn't say "panning for gold," for that's what the California gold rushers did many years ago. This Gold we have been gifted with has already been refined and is of the highest quality. It is the most precious gift the world has ever been given.

Understanding the Liturgy of the Mass: Part III -- The Liturgy of the Eucharist

by Father Chester Zalubski

For this season of Advent, Father Chester and your deacons would like to help you make the Mass come to life for you in a new and personal way. Our homilies in the next four weeks will be based on the book by Mark Hart, entitled Behold the Mystery: A Deeper Understanding of the Catholic Mass. We highly recommend that you order a copy for yourself and read it. Mark Hart is a layperson, who is an executive vice president for Life Teen International, and hosts a SiriusXM Catholic radio show called "Fired Up!"

Mark Hart states that the Mass is a cataclysmic event because it brings Heaven and Earth together. It requires that we put our gifts and talents in the hands of God, allowing him to take something simple and transform it into something majestic. Christ is present in the liturgy, not like you and I are present, but deeper than that. We encounter Christ in four places at every Mass. At the community gathering through our Baptism, in our priest, in Sacred Scriptures, and finally most importantly in his Eucharistic Body and Blood. The Mass is made up of movements and content and the better we know what the movements and flow of the Mass mean, the more we will understand the why the Catholic Mass is, first and foremost, a sacrifice.


Presentation of Gifts: The Liturgy of the Eucharist begins with the presentation of the gifts and the preparation of the altar. When offering the gifts of bread and wine we also are supposed to be offering our prayers and ourselves. This is the time when we place ourselves on the altar of sacrifice. We offer back to God all our gifts and talents and our very self. In essence, we are walking into the sanctuary and lying down upon the altar, offering our lives in honor of our Father.

At this point in the Liturgy there are two things that the priest does that I would like to mention. First we see the priest or deacon diluting the wine with water. We may be thinking, "Makes sense. That wine is really sweet." Well, yes, but it's much more than that. When the water and wine are mingled, it's supposed to point us toward the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Water symbolizes the earthly; wine, the divine. When we see the water and wine commingle, we are supposed to be reminded of how God took human flesh -- Jesus becomes Human and Divine.

The second action is when the priest turns and washes his hands. Again we may think, "Good, there are a lot of germs around." But this action is symbolic of the priest recognizing his own sinfulness. During the moment of ceremonial washing, the priest is beseeching God to take away his iniquity and to cleanse him from his sins.

The Preface: The Preface is when we hear the familiar prayer; The Lord be with you. And with your spirit. Lift up your hearts. We lift them up to the Lord. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right and just.

At this moment the priest is praying that God's spirit will be very much alive and animated within us. Why? Because we are going to need power of the Holy Spirit to accept what we are about to do. What are we about to do? Lay our life, hopes, dreams, fears, anxieties -- our very self -- upon the altar, to be consumed and transformed by God. Here we are giving God permission to take, break, and remake our lives in him. At this moment of the Mass, we give God our everything.

Holy, Holy: Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts....When we sing the Holy, we are joining in the song of the angels in heaven (Revelation 4:2-8). It is pure worship. It's a song of praise celebrating God's presence among us.

Epiclesis: The epiclesis is a monumental moment within the liturgy. It is a prayer invoking the Holy Spirit (signified by the sweeping-down motion of the priest's hands over the gifts upon the altar) to come down and transform the gifts of wine and bread into body and blood of Christ. Note: it is not the priest but the priest's prayer that changes the gifts upon the altar.

Consecration: Consecration happens when the priest recites the words of Jesus over the bread and wine: "This is my body which was given up for you; this is my blood of the new and everlasting covenant, do this in memory of me." During the consecration the bread and wine become nothing less than the very Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. God is made present upon the altar...for you and me. God fulfills his promise never to leave us (Matthew 28:20). This reality deserves contemplation.

Then the priest elevates both the bread and the wine. The elevation ought to draw our minds back to the "elevation" in Scripture -- of Moses with the healing saraph serpent in the desert (Numbers 21:4-9) and of Jesus elevated upon the cross to redeem our sins.

The Memorial Acclamation: "We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again." None of us doubt that Christ died. None of us doubt that Christ rose. Judging by decisions many of us make on a weekly basis, however, one could make the argument that a large percentage of us doubt or possibly forget that Christ is coming back. The good news is that he's already here, at this exact moment, upon the altar in his glorified flesh and blood. This proclamation is so powerful that we do it when kneeling.

The Memorial Prayer: At this moment we are "remembering" Christ's self-sacrifice and death upon the cross. Remember that while Christ is not being "re-crucified" in any way, in God's timelessness we are being transported back in time to Calvary. In this moment, we get to participate as a Church in what Jesus did on the cross; our tiny sacrifices are being taken up and joined with his perfect sacrifice. Our prayers, pains, struggles, doubts, joys, hopes and dreams are all being elevated and perfected as we offer them to our Father in heaven. We see now why it is so important that we bring something to the Mass -- some intention -- along with us.

The Doxology: The Liturgy of the Eucharistic ends with a doxology. The priest elevates the sacred Body and Blood of Jesus exclaiming: "Through him, and with Him, and in Him, Oh God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, forever and ever." This is more that a short hymn of praise to God -- it is eruption of praise to God. What just minutes ago, was simple bread and wine, now is our Savior, the God of the universe. The only acceptable response is one of praise, as all people in the church collectively affirm in one voice --"Amen".

The Great Amen: The Great Amen is an expression and affirmation of our belief in and love for Jesus who is now present in our midst. The corporate and great amen should be loud enough that the angels ought to cover their ears with their wings (if they had wings or ears).

Understanding the Liturgy of the Mass: Part II - The Liturgy of the Word

by Deacon Steve Kassebaum

For this season of Advent, Father Chester and your deacons would like to help you make the Mass come to life for you in a new and personal way. Our homilies in the next four weeks will be based on the book by Mark Hart, entitled Behold the Mystery: A Deeper Understanding of the Catholic Mass. We highly recommend that you order a copy for yourself and read it. Mark Hart is a layperson, who is an executive vice president for Life Teen International, and hosts a SiriusXM Catholic radio show called "Fired Up!"

Mark Hart states that the Mass is a cataclysmic event because it brings Heaven and Earth together. It requires that we put our gifts and talents in the hands of God, allowing him to take something simple and transform it into something majestic. Christ is present in the liturgy, not like you and I are present, but deeper than that. We encounter Christ in four places at every Mass. At the community gathering through our Baptism, in our priest, in Sacred Scriptures, and finally most importantly in his Eucharistic Body and Blood. The Mass is made up of movements and content and the better we know what the movements and flow of the Mass mean, the more we will understand the why the Catholic Mass is, first and foremost, a sacrifice.


Today I will be talking about the Liturgy of the Word.

The Lord Jesus, before feeding us with His body and His blood in the Liturgy of the Eucharist, feeds us first with the Word of God in the Liturgy of the Word. Through the readings, we hear directly from God as He speaks to our hearts and souls.

The First Reading: The first reading is mostly chosen from the Old Testament and during some seasons the Book of Acts might be read. With these words, God was speaking through the prophets and was preparing his people for the coming of Christ. This reading usually harmonizes with the Gospel reading.

The Responsorial Psalm: The Psalm reflects themes in the readings as there is a link between the First Reading and the Psalm; the Psalm is our prayerful response to what we heard in the First Reading. Jesus used the Psalms for prayer every day and would have known most of them by heart, which is an added reason for paying attention to the Psalm.

The Second Reading: This reading is usually taken from one of the letters in the New Testament, which may also include the Book of Acts or the Book of Revelations. They are the writings of Jesus' Apostles. We hear the preaching and writings of the men that Jesus instructed to minister to us when He left. These men were filled with the Holy Spirit and committed to spreading the Good News. While the letters address particular situations in the early Church and were written during the years of ~60-110AD, their message transcends the centuries with guidance that applies to us in our lives today.

The Gospel Acclamation - Alleluia: Just as the Gospel Alleluia begins, you'll see the Deacon bow before the Priest. What is being said is this: The Deacon says, "Your blessing Father," and the Priest says, "May the Lord be in your heart and on your lips, that you may proclaim His Gospel worthily and well in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. And sometimes Father Chester says to me -- "Don't mess up the Gospel Deacon Steve." (Just kidding!)

"Alleluia" is a Latin echo of the Hebrew acclamation "Praise God!" Here it heralds the Gospel. In a solemn celebration, the deacon goes to the altar where the Gospel is enthroned. We bow and then lift the book and process with the Gospels held high while the choir and our community acclaim the good news with "Alleluia." We acclaim the most wonderful deed of God among humankind, Jesus Christ -- here made visible in the Book of Gospels containing His words and message to us all.

The Gospel Reading: In the first reading, God spoke through His prophets, in the second through His Apostles, and now in the Gospel speaks directly through His son Jesus Christ. It is the most important time of the Liturgy of the Word. We hear directly from Jesus' speaking, teaching and healing. The word Gospel means "good news" and this good news is not just any message, it is Jesus himself speaking to us!

As the deacon or priest introduce the Gospels, we perform the sign of the cross on the Book of Gospels and then all of us do the sign of the cross traced on our forehead, our lips and over our heart. This is done to symbolize that we receive the word of God in our mind, we confess it with our mouth, and we keep it in our heart.

Hearing the Gospel proclaimed also reminds and identifies us with the first community that heard these words from the mouth of Jesus. On the conclusion of the reading the Priest or Deacon proclaims, "The Gospel of the Lord." We mean not the book, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the "Good News" itself. The congregation's response is, "Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ." The readings follow a three-year cycle, so it will be three years before you hear these readings proclaimed in Church again.

After The Gospel is read, you see the Priest or Deacon raise the Book of Gospels and kiss it -- along with that kiss we silently say these words -- "Through the words of the Gospel, may our sins be wiped away".

The Homily: We believe that "faith comes through preaching." (Romans 3:13-15). This idea is rooted in the Jewish belief that the creative power of God's word transforms human life. The word Homily comes from a Greek word that means "dialogue" or "conversation." It is the moment in which we explain the scripture readings.

The Scriptures are not always easy to understand and apply to present life. For this reason we try to break open the Scriptures, showing how the word of God addresses us today. How His words and guidance apply to our lives today, to the world we live in, to the issues we deal with every day.

The Profession of Faith (the Creed): The Creed is a written profession summarizing our faith. Initially defined at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. and finalized at the Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D., the Nicene Creed is most often used at Mass, although the Apostles' Creed may be used at some liturgies. The Creed is our opportunity to respond in faith to God's Word to us.

General Intercessions (Prayers of the Faithful): The Liturgy of the Word concludes with the Prayer of the Faithful or General Intercessions. In these simple prayers we pray to God for all our needs. We call them the Prayer of the Faithful because all our prayers are united and offered to the Father as one prayer.

In part three, Father Chester will discuss The Liturgy of the Eucharist as we work to help the Mass come alive for you. God Bless you all.

Understanding the Liturgy of the Mass: Part I - The Introductory Rites

By Deacon Tony Russo

For this season of Advent, Father Chester and your deacons would like to help you make the Mass come to life for you in a new and personal way. Our homilies in the next four weeks will be based on the book by Mark Hart, entitled Behold the Mystery: A Deeper Understanding of the Catholic Mass. We highly recommend that you order a copy for yourself and read it. Mark Hart is a layperson, who is an executive vice president for Life Teen International, and hosts a SiriusXM Catholic radio show called "Fired Up!"

Mark Hart states that the Mass is a cataclysmic event because it brings Heaven and Earth together. It requires that we put our gifts and talents in the hands of God, allowing him to take something simple and transform it into something majestic. Christ is present in the liturgy, not like you and I are present, but deeper than that. We encounter Christ in four places at every Mass. At the community gathering through our Baptism, in our priest, in Sacred Scriptures, and finally most importantly in his Eucharistic Body and Blood. The Mass is made up of movements and content and the better we know what the movements and flow of the Mass mean, the more we will understand the why the Catholic Mass is, first and foremost, a sacrifice.


This weekend allow me to walk you through the first part of the Mass: Introductory Rites.

Procession: Why do we process in? Consider what the procession signifies. We are all gathered here in the church, and Christ (in the person of the priest) enters last, while we are all standing and singing God's praises. as the priest joins the gathered family, our collective prayer and attention are drawn to the sanctuary, where all the action happens.

Bow: Prior to entering the sanctuary, we make a deep reverent bow, signifying that we are about to enter into sacred space. The sanctuary mirrors the old Holy of Holies in Scripture, which only the high priest could enter only once a year to offer sacrifice to God. Prior to Christ's passion, a large veil separated the people from the inner sanctuary. It was during Christ's crucifixion, the veil was torn, and with it -- through Jesus' blood -- the separation between God and us was destroyed. The sanctuary now, usually marked with steps, historically with a rail, offers us a visible reminder that this is far more than a "stage" for the priest but an offering place for the Lord.

Altar Kiss: When the priest and/or deacon arrive and depart the altar, we kiss it. The altar itself is a symbol for Christ, and we are venerating Christ. When we bend to kiss the altar we are looking down into over 2,000 years of history!

Sign of the Cross: "In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." What do those words mean to you? It becomes almost instinct for us. We are marking ourselves with the greatest sign and act of love that the world has ever witnessed. Without the cross, we would have no hope of salvation. We would die, our past would dictate our future, which, to be clear, wouldn't be any future at all. No afterlife, no heaven my friends! The Church begins with the sign of Christ's love because she wants to ensure that we never, ever forget its importance. When we mark ourselves with the sign of the cross, we proclaim to the world and to ourselves who we are by demonstrating whose we are, thanking Christ for his ultimate sacrifice and example of love.

Greeting: When the priest says, "The Lord be with You," we automatically respond, "And with your Spirit." This opening greeting from Father, is far from a "Good morning" or "How you doin'." This greeting is reserved for epic moments in salvation history, times in scripture when God is warning and reminding those he loves that there is a dangerous mission before them. The greeting is both a reminder that God is with us, personally and communally, and is a plea for his divine grace and strength to remain with us, because we're going to need it for what we are about to experience. And why is it so important to say, "and with your Spirit"? First, because its more than an informal "What's up Father?" It's a formal response, because throughout the history of the Church, such a response has been directed to the very core of who that person is. The importance of the priest, who stands in the person of Christ as the leader of the people, is emphasized in this more formal and faithful response. As you say it, pray for Father, that he might continue to live his priesthood with faith and enthusiasm for us. Consider it like a return blessing when you respond, but to his spirit, the core of who he is as a priest.

Penitential Act: When we come to Mass, we often bring our burdens and things we have done throughout the week -- either sins against God or one another. At the Penitential Act, we humbly announce our fault and our need for forgiveness of any sins that we might have committed. To be "penitential" means to be sincerely sorry, and mean it. There are three forms of this prayer, and we usually use form "C", but realize no matter what form is used, it's not just about being sorry and asking for forgiveness; we are also admitting that it's our fault, and we need God's forgiveness and prayers of our community to avoid sin again. One important thing to remember, the priest doesn't give absolution at the end of this rite! Rather, he asks that God will have mercy on us. When you come up for Eucharist, that will forgive any venial sins, but we need to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation to be forgiven for serious and habitual sin.

Kyrie (kee-ree-ay) (Lord have Mercy): The deacon or priest says a prayer, you respond "Lord, have mercy," then "Christ, have mercy," then once again, "Lord, have mercy." It can become dangerously automatic...do you desire divine mercy from God? Do you need Christ's mercy....do we yearn for our Lord's mercy? Yes...more than the air we breathe! The Church in her wisdom not only recognizes our need; she pauses and encourages us to collectively pray for God's mercy before we go any further into the sacrifice of the Mass.

Gloria: Ok, name the point in the Bible when we hear these words sung: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to his people of good will." Here's a hint: one silent and holy night. Luke's gospel...the voice of angels, erupting in praise of God's incarnate presence in this world. How fitting, since the Mass is not only a celebration of Chris's sacrifice, but also, of Christmas. At every Mass, we celebrate Jesus' enduring presence among us and within us. During Advent and Lent we refrain from the Gloria because they are penitential seasons. For the same reason the Alleluia is not said at Mass, whether with the Psalms, the Gospel acclamation or in hymns. But the Gloria adds a "celebratory character" to the Introductory Rites that is better expressed sung than in recitation, and increased in collaboration with a full choir -- reminding us of the glory of God.

Collect: When the priest says, "Let us pray," it's actually an invitation to us to offer a prayer in our hearts to God to prepare for Mass. The Collect "collects" all those silent prayers from us and offers them to God in one universal prayer of the Church.

The Collect ends the Introductory Rites and sets us up spiritually to listen to Sacred Scriptures for the next part of mass - The Liturgy of the Word, which Deacon Stephen will present at mass next weekend.

May the Mass this coming year come alive for you and bring joy to your life -- God Bless.

Holiday Mass Schedule

Thursday, December 24th

3:30 pm Children's Pageant: Parish Center
4:00 pm Mass: Parish Center
6:00 pm Mass: Parish Center
12:00 am Mass: Church

Friday, December 25th

8:00 am Mass: Church
9:30 am Mass: Parish Center
11:00 am Mass: Parish Center

Thursday, December 31st

8:00 am Mass: Church
7:00 pm Vigil Mass: Church

January 1st (Solemnity of Mary)

10:00 am Mass: Church

Good nutrition habits on the menu at Adult Friendship Ministry


Sheila Suerig, the Health and Wellness Coordinator from Shop-Rite spoke to the Adult Friendship Ministry of St. Catherine's on Nov. 13, 2015. Sheila presented portion control, suggestions for reduced caloric products to use and treated the group to a number of healthy appetizers to taste.

The next session of the Adult Friendship Ministry will be on Dec. 2, 2015 at 11:30 am in the undercroft of the church. A Christmas potluck luncheon celebrating family traditions where attendees are asked to bring a food they typically have at Christmastime would be welcome. Please call the Parish Office at 908-735-4024 with the name of your food dish if you plan on attending.

'United in Faith, Building for the Future:' Church expansion project gets green light from diocese to move forward

Thanks to the support of the parish community, St. Catherine's has been given diocesan approval to proceed with the church expansion project, titled "United in Faith, Building for the Future." The church expansion steering committee made the announcement at this weekend's Masses.

The committee, along with Father Chester and Dan Dawson, worked for the past several months to evaluate not only the need and feasibility of the plan, but to work with firms to develop architectural plans, site suitability testing and logistics for both the expansion project and the campaign to support it.

New plans were created to account for a larger worship area, sacristy, choir loft and undercroft/office space expansion, elevator, and increased parking. The committee considered different options for the size and seating capacity of the worship area and some supporting mechanical and safety specifications and selected a final design.

Father Chester, Dan Dawson and Jim Young from the Steering Committee met with the Diocesan College of Consulters on September 30th to share the strategic approach and plan for the parish's expansion and its ability to manage and meet the financial obligations associated with a large-scale capital campaign. Architectural and engineering plans were shared as well.

Several critical land and associated tests have been done by Engineering firm French & Parrello including a Conceptual Layout Plan, Wetlands, Traffic, NJDEP LOI, Septic, Water Supply Test, Storm water test and a complete Management Plan. Members of the steering committee are planning to have their first meeting with Franklin Township on November 11th, where a comprehensive plan will be shared with the township committee.

Next steps in the project are now underway:
  • A comprehensive brochure has been developed that outlines the entire project. All registered parishioners will receive the brochure in the mail in the coming weeks.
  • Elizabeth and Herman Martin have graciously stepped up to serve as the Capital Campaign Chairs and are very excited to embark on the project.
  • The steering committee will need volunteers to assist with the campaign. More information on how to sign up is forthcoming.
  • More details will be available in the coming weeks, including the mailing of the brochure and additional website updates.

St. Catherine's Annual Parish Picnic: A festive mosaic of faith, family and friendship

Loretta Cuccia provided a report of this year's Parish Picnic:

A brilliant blue sky and mild temperatures provided a picture-perfect setting for St. Catherine's annual fall picnic. This year's theme, "Many Cultures: United in Faith" transformed the Parish Center grounds into a virtual international games motif. Flags representing a diverse assortment of countries and states decorated the bounty of food and festivities. A steady stream of more than 350 guests arrived by car, on foot or via Deacon Tony's Reliable Golf Cart Service.

Parishioners contributed a cultural variety of potluck plates from pierogies and kielbasa to southern pulled pork, plus a multitude of delicious pies and other sweets. The ice cream ladies were dishing it out to folks of all ages and the traditional picnic fare of hot dogs and hamburgers grilled by representatives from various parish ministries helped ensure that no one left the party hungry.

Attendees participated in several activities, including the Knights of Columbus Soccer Kickoff station and Beer, Wine and Sangria Garden, and danced with their significant others to parishioner Martin Guilfoyle's Irish band, "Reel Fire." There were also adult, child and family games where participants raced to collect international stamps in their "passport" as they competed in games at several "Nation Stations."

Patti's mosaic stepping stone craft kept all the children "hopping." Just a stone's throw away from the craft corner was local henna artist Catherine Lent, who dedicated hours of creative designs on the wrists, shoulders, and hands of the young and older who wished to sport this beautiful temporary body art. Other activities included potato sack races, volleyball, spoon-n-egg race and 50/50 raffle, which landed the winner a $567 cash prize. The silent auction of many wonderful basket prizes and the prayer shawl ministry's homespun wearables, kitchen towels, and bookmarks -- all contributed to the communal atmosphere.

We have not one, but two photo galleries of the event.

Watch Pope Francis' US visit live on the St. Catherine's website!



Pope Francis' historic visit to the US is this week. Even if you can't attend the events in person, you can view a livestream of the Pope's events on our website, courtesy of The US Conference of Catholic Bishops, ParishSOFT and Media Fusion.

(UPDATE 9/22/15) The link to the video was changed today by ParishSOFT. If it wasn't working for you earlier, please try again.)

(Note: The livestream is not mobile friendly and can only be viewed on a desktop or laptop computer.)

August Family Mass to feature welcome reception for new parishioners

New St. Catherine's parishioners will be welcomed at the August 30th Family Mass at 9:30 a.m. Light refreshments will be offered following Mass and all are invited to introduce themselves to the parish's newest members.

Family Mass is held monthly with younger parishioners serving in key roles during the Liturgy, including greeters, ushers, altar servers, lectors and hospitality. The Mass also features a special Homily geared to parish children.

All are welcome.

St. Catherine's Care Packages reach hero warriors

The St. Catherine's Veterans Apostolate participated in an outreach project for a collection of items needed for sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, dispatched off the Gulf of Aden on the Yemen coast. Pat Dziubek shared the news that the Care Packages have reached their destination:

Finally and happy to know that our efforts were a success! The Veteran Ministry received this pix of some happy soldiers. One of them is actually holding our bulletin in his hands. Thank you to all of our parishioners for the items donated. They actually made the long journey to the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

Reminder: Eagle Scout helps the Homebound hear 'The Word of God'

Eagle Scout and St. Catherine's parishioner Alex La Tournous created a way for the homebound to receive The Word of God when they can't get to Mass. He and his fellow Scouts read select Scripture readings that the homebound can borrow on CD along with a CD player and headset. Or, they can stream the readings with one click from a web page he created for our parish website.

If you or someone you know would like to have the Word of God available for listening in your own home, just click here to launch "The Word of God" project or call the Parish Office for more information.

Over 40 St. Catherine's youth receive sacrament of Confirmation

On May 23rd and 30th, forty-one St. Catherine's eighth graders were confirmed in the faith, receiving the final sacrament of initiation -- after Baptism, First Penance and Eucharist. The Parish Center was full of family and friends of the Confirmandi as they received the sacrament.

Loretta Cucccia provided this report on the sacrament and the events:

At Confirmation, red is the color of the day as we focus on the Holy Spirit, who strengthened the apostles on Pentecost to give them courage to practice their faith. The Confirmandi and presider's red robes symbolize the tongues of fire seen hovering over the heads of the apostles at Pentecost. The Catholic Catechism tells us that Confirmation furthers the faith which Baptism confers, as the Holy Spirit deepens our connection as children of God and to His Church; unites us more firmly to Christ and to His mission; and asks us to spread and defend the faith.

When Father Chester traces the sign of the cross on the Confirmandi's forehead -- having first dipped his thumb in the holy chrism oil -- and says, "Be sealed with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit," our young adults receive the graces which Jesus promised to His Apostles (and to us) when He said: "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be witnesses for Me. . . . even to the very ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). But this doesn't happen instantly during the brief rite of Confirmation. We are so grateful to our religious catechist, Lori Young and assistant Michael Ricciardi for their dedication to the faith formation of this large eighth-grade class.

In His infinite wisdom, Jesus instituted the sacraments, foreseeing that we would need special graces to face the challenges of our fallen world. May we all continue to pray for the meaningful participation of our younger brothers and sisters in St. Catherine's community -- that they cooperate with the gifts of the Spirit to put their confirmed faith into practice.

Memorial Weekend Mass honors veterans

On Sunday, May 24th, St. Catherine's Veteran Military Apostolate joined in a special Mass to commemorate our Fallen, as well as honoring those who have served our nation. Flags from each branch of the military were carried by Veterans who served in that branch to honor and remember their selfless service to preserve our nation's freedoms. Fr. Chester also gave a special Veterans' Blessing to those who served.

The Apostolate and parish also participated in an outreach project for a collection of items needed for sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, dispatched off the Gulf of Aden on the Yemen coast. The donated items are being packed to make their long journey to the men and women serving there.

Check back here and in the parish bulletin for more information on an upcoming "Big Brother/Big Sister" mentorship program to provide fellowship and support to veterans as they transition back to civilian life, sponsored by Veteran Haven North "The Rally Point," a Transitional Housing Program for homeless veterans in Glen Gardner, N.J.

Great news -- Camp St. Catherine's is back!

Here's some great news from our Religious Education Director:

Camp St. Catherine is almost here!: July 6 to 10, 9am to 12:30pm at the Parish Center

Come join the fun with SonSparks Labs. Each day, kids will discover the answer to an important question about God's plan for the people of His planet! We'll have fun with crafts, music, Bible stories, and more!

They will personally experience God's plan for each of us -- God's Plan 4 U = Jesus! Older kids in 7th to 12th grade can volunteer as counselors and we can always use more adult helpers.
See registration forms for deadlines.

Nearly 240 parishioners kick off monthly Family Mass

On April 26, the St. Catherine's Parish Center was packed as parishioners piled in for the inaugural Family Mass at 9:30 a.m. Nearly 240 people, including youth from newborns to high schoolers participated in this family-centric Mass on Good Shepherd Sunday.

Parish 7th graders lined up behind personalized banner to process in with the Celebrants. During Mass, the youth served as ushers, altar servers, lectors, gift-bearers, music ministers and refreshment servers. With the help of a specially prepared worship aid -- young and more "experienced" parishioners celebrated Holy Mass together with contemporary worship hymns and a special homily geared to the youngsters.

Deacon Tony sat with the children at the foot of the altar to read the Gospel and Father Chester joined the sit-in afterwards for an interactive homily that compared Jesus and his sheep to children and their pets, which recognize their beloved owners and follow them wherever they lead. After Mass, all enjoyed refreshments hosted by our 6th-graders.

The Family Mass committee encouraged parishioners to continue being involved in this youth-focused Mass. They are especially seeking new altar servers (from 2nd grade up) to contact Cecile Sabatino at cecile927@hotmail.com to schedule a one-hour training session.

Family Mass will continue on the last Sunday of each month at 9:30 at the Parish Center.

Click here for a gallery of photos from Family Mass.

Hunting Season (for Easter Eggs, that is) opens at St. Catherine's

On Palm Sunday, March 29, about 45 of St. Catherine's youngest parishioners and parents joined in the fun of coloring Easter eggs and hunting for candy-filled eggs at the Parish Center. The Rosarians played host to this annual event.

Bet you didn't know the history of the Easter egg:

According to History.com, the egg has been an ancient symbol of new life and the spring season. "From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus' emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration."
The Rosarians expressed their thanks to all adult helpers and to the teen helpers who jumped in to assist their younger brothers and sisters in Christ.

Divine Mercy Sunday offers many blessings to St. Catherine's parishioners

On the first Sunday after Easter, April 12 -- Divine Mercy Sunday, St. Catherine's celebrated the Feast of Divine Mercy. This day of mercy was preceded by the Divine Mercy Novena, which was said at the parish every day for nine days leading to the feast day.

About 60 parishioners gathered at the church for a special holy hour, which included hymns, exposition and adoration of Holy Eucharist, Scripture readings, recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Holy Rosary. According to the Divine Mercies Ministries, this devotion was given to Poland's Saint Faustina by Jesus Himself in 1931 in a message of mercy that she was told to spread throughout the world. In her many visions, Maria Faustina was asked to become the apostle and secretary of God's mercy, a model of how to be merciful to others, and an instrument to announce God's plan of mercy for the world.

Jesus told St. Faustina, "I desire that the whole world know My infinite mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable Graces to those souls who trust in My mercy." (St. Faustina Diary entry 687).

Adult Friendship Ministry cooks up its return engagement

St. Catherine's Adult Friendship ministry has returned. Parishioner Dolores Damiano-Szafran will lead the first monthly meeting on Friday, April 17 at 11am to 1pm at the church undercroft. Mature parishioners, men and women, are invited to join the group for a presentation called "Culinary Herb Cascade" where various uses of, and cooking with herbs will be discussed. Following the presentation, a potluck lunch is requested from attendees for this first meeting.

For more information, see below or click download a PDF flyer by clicking here.



St. Catherine's to launch monthly Family Mass: Together, we are a holy family

Parishioners have been asking for a youth-centered Mass, according to Father Chester. "Well," he said, "you asked for it -- you got it!"

Announcing St. Catherine's monthly Family Mass -- launching on April 26th at 9:30. All parishioners are invited -- especially families of teens and young children, who will get to see fellow youth parishioners serve at Mass as Altar Servers, Ushers, Gift-Bearers, Readers, Refreshment Servers and eventually...contemporary music ministers.

Also, the Celebrant will present a Homily geared toward the children to help them understand what is happening in the Mass and explain the Gospel readings at their level. This family-focused Mass will be held on the last Sunday of each month at 9:30 at the Parish Center: April 26, May 31, June 28, July 26, August 30, September 27, October 25, November 29, Dec 27.

Download a PDF flyer by clicking here.

Divine Mercy Novena and Devotion schedule announced

On the first Sunday after Easter, April 12, St. Catherine's will be holding a Devine Mercy Sunday devotion at 3 p.m.

The parish will also be holding a short Novena prayer for nine days leading up to Divine Mercy Sunday:

  • Good Friday (April 3) after 12pm Stations at Church: For all sinners
  • April 4 after 11am Blessing of Easter Baskets at Church: For Priests & Religious
  • April 5 Before 11am Mass at Parish Ctr: For Faithful Souls
  • April 6 after 8am Mass at Church: For Non-Believers
  • April 7 after 8am Mass at Church: For those separated from Church
  • April 8 after 7pm Mass at Church: For Children
  • April 9 after 8am Mass at Church: For Merciful Souls
  • April 10 at 8:30am at Church: For those in Purgatory
  • April 11 after the 4:30 Mass at Parish Center: For those having doubts in the faith.
More information can be found in a special insert in this week's bulletin. You may also download the insert as a PDF by clicking here.

Knights of Columbus donate automatic external defibrillators to parish


Never knowing when a cardiac event may occur, on March 10, 2015, the Knights of Columbus at St. Catherine of Siena Church have provided the parish with Automatic External Defibrillation (AED) units. Using an AED in conjunction with Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) increases the chances of survival for someone in cardiac arrest.

In order to ensure that a trained responder is available at church functions, the Knights and the Ushers of the church will soon be trained in CPR and the use of AEDs with the help of Hunterdon Medical Center. Both parish locations -- the church in Pittstown and the Parish Center in Union Township -- are now equipped with AED units.

Rosarian's 'sweet' Valentine bake sale draws on a common Biblical theme

Did you know that some form of the word 'sweet' is used in the Bible 118 times? Here's an example from Proverbs 24:13: "Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste."

On February 14-15th, St. Catherine's parishioners were certainly loyal to the word as they purchased and consumed approximately 140 sweet desserts from the Rosary Society Bake Sale. The Rosarians pass along their gratitude to members who baked and helped sell, and to parishioners who stayed after Masses to support the works of this vital group of women in our parish.

The Rosarians expressed special thanks to parish youth whose heart-shaped cookies and delicious cupcakes were an essential part of the $1,041.50 that was raised to help the Rosarians charitable efforts for the parish: "Thank you, parents for the ingredients and transportation. Though the roads were sometimes treacherous, the sweet smells that greeted Mass-goers had families arriving with happy smiles. Thanks to these benefactors, for the first time in Rosarian bake sale history, every single cake, cookie, and delectable dessert was sold! What a fabulous sale it was! We plan to present Father Chester with a check in a few months."

The Rosarians also reminded parishioners to call or write to request the Traveling Mary Statue: "Wouldn't it be extra special to have our Blessed Mother in your home when you celebrate your child's First Eucharist in May and Confirmation in June?"

"Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh... and of sweet cinnamon... and of sweet calamus..." Exodus 30:23"

Parishioners renew marriage vows at World Marriage Day celebration at St. Catherine's

The weekend of Feb. 14-15 is celebrated by the Church as World Marriage Day. Father Chester led parish couples in a renewal of their wedding vows at all Masses to "honor husband and wife and to salute the beauty of their faithfulness."

The celebration is also intended to remember and support those who are widowed, separated and divorced and all who need to feel the Church's maternal care in the circumstances in which they find themselves.

Father Chester asked parishioners to pray for every family in our parish, especially for those families whose lives are made difficult by health issues, financial woes, and other obstacles they encounter, not only on World Marriage Sunday but every day.

St. Catherine's welcomes our new Music Ministry Director

A message from St. Catherine's new music director:

My name is Pat Prakopcyk and I was born and raised in Hunterdon County. I have been involved in church music ministry from my teenage years playing at Mass each weekend. After graduating from Westminster Choir College, I continued to pursue my love of music as a director, organist and vocalist throughout several local parishes.

I am pleased to be directing the music program at St. Catherine and applying my experience and knowledge. I feel I will be able to enhance the program and with the help of the congregation, we can add a positive, joyful and new approach to this wonderful ministry. I look forward to meeting you over the next few weeks and am excited to be a part of this church community. Please feel free to come and introduce yourself after Mass!

Winter Blessing of Throats bestowed during Feast of St. Blaise

Each year, around the Feast of St. Blaise on February 3, St. Catherine's priests and deacons join other Catholic clergy to bestow a special blessing of throats. After all Masses the weekend of February 7-8, parishioners received this blessing.

According to the centuries-old tradition, two candles are blessed, held slightly open, and pressed against the throat as the blessing is said: "Oh God, deliver us through the intercession of Thy holy bishop and martyr, Blaise, from all evil of soul and body, especially from all ills of the throat."

Saint Blaise is the patron of physicians, sick cattle, wax-chandlers, woolcombers, and of wild animals because of his care for them and of those with throat maladies. He was a bishop of Sebastea in Armenia who was martyred during a Christian persecution in the fourth century.

St. Catherine's Rosary Society Giving Tree 2014

From the St. Catherine's Rosary Society:

A special thank you, to the parishioners who have supported the Giving Tree this year. Your generosity has given some families, who were in great need, coats, boots and baby supplies. There were 361 gifts that were delivered to the Friendship Center as well as gift cards to Shop-Rite, Walmart and Kohl's amounting to $2,895.

Your kindness will allow families to provide some necessities for their children while they are trying to find ways of coping with the high prices and basic needs. The depth of their gratitude cannot be conveyed, since everyday is a struggle for some of the participants at the Friendship Center. Over 200 families are given assistance, and none of it is from the government, in order that the Center can maintain their Christian beliefs and programs.

Our "Families in Need" contributions amounted to $3,315. and will be used as needed, for our parishioners. The money will allow our church to help out some of our parishioners who might need help from time to time. Thank you for sharing your blessings with others! The success of the collection is due to your kindness and willingness to share with those less fortunate.

May God bless you and your families for your generous spirit! Wishing you a very healthy and happy new year!

St. Catherine's Rosary Society

Parish youth receive First Reconciliation in their continuing journey with Christ

On January 10th and 17th, the following children participated for the first time in the Sacrament of Reconciliation at St. Catherine's: Jake, Kaden, Julia, Julianna, Dominick, Matteo, Carlo, Riley, Olivia, Russell, Bryce, Kendall, Gabriel, Luke, Morgan, Lance, Brooke, Evann, Colin, Brady, Kathryn, Matthew, Cassandra, Jamie, Sophia, Nathaniel, and Kevin.

According to the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, the sacrament of penance and reconciliation is "the privileged place to receive God's mercy and forgiveness....In this sacrament, all the baptized have a new and personal encounter with Jesus Christ."

Father Chester asks all parishioners to keep these young faithful in their prayers as they continue to prepare for First Eucharist in May.

St. Catherine's Church and its Veteran Military Apostolate recognized by state bureau

On December 10, 2014, the N.J. Department of Military and Veteran's Affairs presented a certificate to our Veteran Military Apostolate in appreciation for our parishioners' dedication, donations, and "selfless service" made throughout the year to Veteran's Haven North in Glen Gardner.

Under the direction of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veteran's Affairs, Veteran's Haven North is a transitional housing program for homeless veterans where they can reside for up to two years. Its team of professionals specialize in psychosocial rehabilitation, social services, addictions, vocational rehabilitation, and nursing. The individualized, compassionate treatment and care is provided with the purpose of attaining realistic life goals and instilling hope and wellness. Upon completion, veterans are able to return to their communities as productive, self-sufficient citizens.

The St. Catherine's Veteran Military Apostolate supports our parishioners who are or have served in the military as well as other veterans in New Jersey. Please see the bulletin or the St. Catherine's website for news on upcoming Veteran Military Apostolate activities.

St. Catherine's Bible Study brings faith family closer

In November and December, the hearts and minds of St. Catherine's parishioners were inspired through Jeff Cavin's The Great Adventure: A Quick Journey Through the Bible, an eight-week video program and discussion group held at the church during Advent. Facilitated by our deacons-in-training Stephen Kassebaum and Ed Ciszewski, with commentary from our pastor, Fr. Chester, participants were led through God's family plan for His people.

More than 40 participants used the color-coded bookmark and timeline tools and workbook as great memory aids in a timeline overview of the lineage of Jesus. Each of the sessions unfolded with a DVD presentation from Jeff Cavins of Ascension Press, followed by a question and answer period and discussion. Attendees expressed gratitude for this learning opportunity and many had favorable comments. "Our deacons' knowledge of the Bible was key and very insightful," said one. The program covered God's plan from Creation in Genesis through Exodus; the conquest of the land of Canaan to Exile; and finally, Christ in today's Church. The majority who attended most weekly 90-minute sessions said they enjoyed getting to know their faith and fellow parishioners better.

Almost all survey respondents hope to continue with more Bible studies at St. Catherine's. A lending program for the DVDs from the full eight-week Bible Timeline program is forthcoming. Additional Bible study and faith formation opportunities will be announced on the parish website.

Prayer Shawl Ministry says 'thanks' for successful sale

Representatives of the St. Catherine's Prayer Shawl Ministry passed on this note of thanks following their scarf sale:

Prayer Shawl Ministry Sale
THANK YOU

The Prayer Shawl Ministry wants to thank everyone who helped make our scarf sale as success.

We especially want to thank Father Chester for showing you a beautiful scarf and how to wear it.

If you know of anyone that would appreciate a prayer shawl, please let us know. Also, think about joining our ministry. We meet every Tuesday at 1:00pm at the Rectory. We currently make baptismal blankets for babies baptized at St. Catherine's and prayer shawls for those in need. Donations made at home are always welcome. For more information, please contact Barbara Oscar at 735-7026 or Donna Mustillo at domol@aol.com.

Merry Christmas!

Parishioners leave behind 'Holiday frenzy' in favor of Advent Retreat

Loretta Cuccia provided this report from the Parish Advent Retreat:

St. Catherine's held its first Advent Retreat on December 14 at the Parish Center. For two hours, more than 70 parishioners ignored the usual distraction of Christmas preparations to bask in the narrative of the Holy Bible and its personal love story intended for each of us.

This year's retreat brought back Bill Donaghy, theology teacher, mission worker, and international speaker. Using sacred art, Bible stories, film clips and music, Donaghy demonstrated how God's family plan runs throughout sacred scripture, starting with the Creation Story and culminating in the marriage of Christ and the Church in Revelation.

The Parish Stewardship Committee coordinated the event, and Ken Mandoli contributed his audiovisual expertise. Father Chester expressed his thanks to them and to the attendees for taking time out of their Holiday schedules and for bringing many delectable snacks to share with our faith community. Father noted that it was wonderful to be together to honor the church's season of Advent. Coming in January, please check back for photos and links to Bill Donaghy's presentation.

'Vision of Our Future' Benefactors' Walkway Is Dedicated

St. Catherine's officially ended its Vision of Our Future Campaign by recognizing its benefactors with paving stones engraved with family names, quotations and remembrances. In the fall, the parish also showed appreciation to contributing families with several "thank you" receptions at the rectory.

On Sunday, December 21, approximately 30 parishioners joined together for a special Benefactors' Mass. Afterwards, many braved the cold to witness the blessing of the newly installed Benefactors' Walkway outside the church in Pittstown. Diverse and delicious refreshments were served afterwards, coordinated by Stewardship and Hospitality Committees. The campaign allowed the parish to purchase the Parish Center, alleviating the serious overcrowding in our rapidly growing parish. The Center has accommodated the majority of Masses, first communions and confirmations, as well as many of the parish's faith community events.

Holiday Mass Schedule

December 24th:

3:30 pm---Children's Pageant @Parish Center
4:00 pm---Mass @Parish Center
6:00 pm---Mass @Parish Center
Midnight--Mass @Church

December 25th:

8:00 am--Mass @Church
9:30 am--Mass @Parish Center
11:00 am--Mass @Parish Center

December 31st:

7:00 pm--Vigil Mass @Church

January 1st: (Solemnity of Mary)

10:00 am--Mass @Church

Veteran's Military Apostolate "Table of Honor"

On the Veteran's Day weekend, November 15/16, St. Catherine's parish family joined together for a special Mass to commemorate our parishioners who are/have served in the military.

The Veteran's Military Apostolate paid tribute to those who served selflessly for our freedom with a special display in the Parish Center Narthex called "The Table of Honor." It allowed all to bear witness and honor their own or a loved one's military service and sacrifice by displaying photos of our parishioners in uniform who served in their respective military theaters.

A small dining table also was set near the Eucharistic table, symbolically representing those who cannot be with us. It included a single place setting with yellow, white, and red roses to represent those who are still Missing in Action, Prisoners of War, and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The Soldiers song was sung, dedicated to those who served and continue to serve for God and Country.

Reservations available for Parish Retreat 'The Bible: A Love Story'

The Bible is, above all, a love story... a Divine Romance! The theme of marriage runs throughout the sacred scriptures, starting with the marriage of Adam and Eve in the Garden, and culminating in the marriage of Christ and the Church in Revelation, with the crown jewel in the center...the Song of Songs.

The next Parish Retreat will explore these themes and more with speaker Bill Donaghy. The retreat takes place December 14th at 2 p.m. in the Parish Center and reservations are now being accepted.

How is it that we too often see the Bible as a kind of Divine Rule Book or cold collection of ethics? Is there a beautiful truth we've been missing, or perhaps one so beautiful we fear to come closer to it? Come and see the scriptures come alive as never before. Come to the wedding feast where Divinity marries humanity!
Click here to download a flyer with more information, including the full schedule and registration form.

Registrations can be placed in the Retreat basket after any Mass in the Church Undercroft or in the Parish Center Activity Room. You can also call the parish office at (908) 735-4024 or just join us on Dec. 14 at the Parish Center.

About our speaker

Bill has worked in the fields of mission and evan- gelization since 1999. Through his work with the Pontifical Mission Societies, Bill gave hundreds of talks on the spirituality of mission to young people throughout the greater Philadelphia area and be- yond. He has experienced the love of Christ in the missions of Haiti, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic, as well as within the realms of Young Adult and Parish ministry in Philadelphia.

In October of 2000, Bill was chosen to repre- sent his country in a special tribute at the Jubilee of Missionaries in Rome. He was given a simple cross by Pope John Paul II and called by the Holy Father to "bring Jesus back to your country." He is filled with a passion for his faith and dedicated to spreading the joy of the New Evangelization.

After teaching theology at Malvern Prep for Boys for 8 years, and speaking for the Theology of the Body Institute, he is now a full-time instructor for the Certification Program of the Theology of the Body Institute, and an international speaker. His work has taken him throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Australia, and Papua New Guinea.

Bill holds an Associates in Visual Arts, a Bachelors in Philosophy, and a Masters in Systematic The- ology. He also teaches theology at Immaculata University in Exton, Pa. Bill and his wife, Rebecca, live in Malvern, Pa. with their three children.

Parish Picnic draws St. Catherine's community together for fun, food and music

Loretta Cuccia provided this report from our parish picnic:

Almost 400 parishioners attended St. Catherine's Church Picnic on September 14th. Among the guests was Elizabeth Blatterspiel, a long-time sacristan at St. Catherine's. The additions of a silent auction, chili cook-off and prayer shawl ministry scarf sale contributed to the communal atmosphere.

Parishioner Wayne Hartman won the 50/50 raffle provided a windfall for Wayne Hartman, with an equal amount going back to the church. The parish's first chili cook-off was a great success with 12 varied and delicious recipes, with Greg Horun's entry earning him a ShopRite gift card.

A Silent Auction of themed baskets consisted of almost 100 different gifts. With a total of over $2,700 collected, the funds could be slotted for the Building and Maintenance fund.

The kids' area was very popular, and Patti Longordo's sand crafts were a big hit. Other activities included potato sack races, volleyball, face painting, win-it-in-a-minute, photo booth, and many other fun choices. The new scavenger hunt was exciting and fit perfectly within the Treasure Island theme. Our teens were excited to participate and listen to our youth band, who performed a variety of upbeat, contemporary Christian music.

Each ministry took a stab as master grillers, with many compliments to the chefs. Potluck main and side dishes and bevy of desserts prepared by attendees drew big crowds, as did stands offering cotton candy, popcorn, and ice cream sundaes. A variety of beverages washed it all down nicely; the selection included birch beer, orange drink, and beer and wine for adults.

"Deacon Tony's Reliable Golf Cart Service" came in handy for those needing to park next door or to traverse the hilltop picnic area. Ken Mandoli once again served as Master of Ceremonies, and the smooth jazz of Divine Trio, with our own Tom Hyland on drums and Nancy Coletti on vocals, made their parish picnic debut.

Father Chester thanked the picnic organizers and attendees for their hard work, cooperation and generosity. A gallery of photos from the picnic is available here.

Camp St. Catherine's 'SonTreasure Island' helps parish kids discover 'God's Hidden Treasure'

During the week of July 7th through 11th, almost 50 campers age 3-12 participated in this year's Camp St. Catherine Vacation Bible School. Under the theme "SonTreasure Island," campers played and prayed on the grounds of St. Catherine's Parish Center under sunny skies and warm temperatures.

After beginning with Mass each day, camp counselors age 13-17 ushered their flocks through five stations: Bible Stories, Crafts, Music, Games, and Snack Time.

Each day's activities were tied to a specific message: "God's love is 1) Giving; 2) Kind; 3) Caring; 4) Forgiving; and 5) Forever." A variety of kid-friendly fun was offered, including a hose-down courtesy of the Quakertown Fire Department, fun and useful crafts, team-building games, Rita's ice, skits, and Bible verse puzzles.

By Day Five, campers had discovered the "hidden treasure:" that we are all Jesus' disciples who mirror God's love, promising to "feed His sheep" as He asks of us.

All the campers we surveyed said they'd be back next year, and Camp St. Catherine's was a hit with parents as well: "My kids had a blast!" "Counselors and adult helpers were easy-going and so friendly!" It was "fun," "educational," "awesome," and "wonderful overall!"

Click here for a special Camp St. Catherine's photo gallery.

St. Catherine's Parishioners pour in to donate at Parish blood drive

On Sunday, June 29th, 32 donors signed up to give the "gift of life" at the latest Knights of Columbus-sponsored blood drive for St. Catherine's parish. The Community Blood Council of N.J. tended to donors into its Bloodmobile parked at St. Catherine of Siena's Parish Center. All donors received a bright t-shirt, snacks, and a beverage.

According to the blood center, supplies shrink during the summer months with families vacationing from work and school, making this drive even more important than usual. If you missed this blood drive, you can schedule an appointment to donate with the Community Blood Center of NJ directly, by visiting their website at givebloodnj.org.

Knights tee up for annual Golf Outing

St. Catherine's Knights of Columbus chapter is holding its annual Golf Scramble on August 25th at Beaver Brook Country Club in Annandale. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. and will feature contests for closest to the line, longest drive, pot of gold and hole in one.

Signups are being accepted now; a brochure/registration form is available for download.

Bishop Bootkoski presides over Confirmation of St. Catherine's youth

On June 7, 2014, Bishop Bootkoski bestowed the Sacrament of Confirmation on 28 of St. Catherine's young women and men.

Confirmation is the second of the three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism being the first and Communion the third). Confirmation is regarded as the perfection of Baptism, because, as the introduction to the Rite of Confirmation states:

By the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.
As the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out, "The original minister of Confirmation is the bishop." Each bishop is a successor to the apostles, upon whom the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost -- the first Confirmation.

Rosarians Spring into the Season with Another Delectable Bake Sale

During the weekend of May 3rd and 4th, homemade cakes, pies and other confections captured the hearts and appetites of parishioners at the annual Rosarian spring bake sale. The baked delights by St. Catherine's Rosary Society and teenage bakers garnered sales totaling about $1,300, making it one of the most successful bake sales yet.

Event coordinators Claire and MaryAnn attributed the spirited seasonal theme, as well as the usual high quality of the goodies as the reasons for the impressive sales. As always, Rosarians will take a vote to decide on a meaningful gift for the parish from the proceeds of the sale.

New Eucharist Ministers Installed

Eleven St. Catherine's parishioners were officially installed as new Ministers of Holy Eucharist during Mass on Sunday, May 4th.

Denise Botto, Monique Dowgin, Patricia Dziubek, Christina Kassebaum, Marie and Joseph G. Kristoff, Maria Prentice, Robert Preston, Cecile Sabatino, Carolyn and Peter Walter received their mandates from Bishop Bootkoski to administer Holy Communion.

Father Chester welcomed them to their new ministry and thanked them for their service to the parish community.

Camp St. Catherine

Come join us for a week of fun at SonTreasure Island . Camp St. Catherine will be held July 7 to July 11. The fun begins each day at 9am until 12:30pm. We will play games, do crafts, have snacks, participate in Bible Stories and so much more. You wouldn't want to miss out when the Quakertown Fire Dept. comes to "hose" us all down! Register now!

Parish 'Retreats' From Our Knots with Bill Donaghy

Loretta Cuccia provided the following report on this year's Parish Retreat, "Untying the Knots: Finding Peace in a Culture of Distraction:"

On March 30, Bill Donaghy's presentation at our Parish Retreat offered much needed reflection time on the personal, cultural and communal challenges of our times and how to give them over to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots. Bill used sacred art; scripture quotes; profound quotes; inspirational music; TV shows; and cartoons to illustrate how life's distractions can distance us from peace of mind and deep relationship with our God...if we allow them to.

A vast majority of some 100 attendees commented on the quality of Bill's presentation, including his "down-to-earth presentation style"; "use of humor"; opportunity for "spiritual enrichment"; and found the retreat well "worth sacrificing [their] time to attend."

A resounding thanks goes out to our brilliant, inspiring speaker, Bill Donaghy, and all who helped put together this year's retreat, including hospitality committee; snack contributors; Ken Mandoli (A/V consultant extraordinaire); photographers; Fr. Chester; and advisors. Join us for more spiritual growth opportunities; you will not want to miss what your parish has in store for you in the future!

The presentation is available for download here. (Note: The file is 20.5MB and may take a while to download.)





Holy Week Schedule

The schedule for Holy Week services and Masses for St. Catherine's is as follows:

  • Holy Thursday, April 17th:
    • Mass of the Lord's Supper: April 17th at 7:00 pm-Parish Center.
  • Good Friday, April 18th:
    • Stations of the Cross at 12:00 Noon-Church
    • Celebration of the Lord's Passion at 3:00 pm-Parish Center
  • Holy Saturday, April 19th:
    • Blessing of Easter Food Baskets at 11:00am-Church
    • Holy Saturday Easter Vigil Mass: April 19th at 7:30 pm-Parish Center
  • Easter Sunday, April 20th
    • 8:00am-Church
    • 9:30am-Parish Center
    • 11:00am-Parish Center

Share Your Voice: Expansion Project Follow-up Survey Now Available

Following this month's Town Hall Meetings, the Parish Building Steering is conducting a follow-up survey regarding the plans for the future of the Parish:

As you know, St. Catherine of Siena Parish retained Ruotolo Associates (RA), a non-profit consulting firm, to conduct a parish study. The results of that study indicated that the parishioners had some questions about the past and plans for the future of our parish.

We tried to address those questions through town hall meetings. The PowerPoint presentation and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) were then put on the website, emailed to all addresses in our database and the Questions and Answers were available in church and at the Parish Center.

Our next step is to complete another survey to determine the parishioner's support of the plans. This is a new and different survey from the one conducted in January. We are asking every family to fill this out whether you participated in the last one or not. If you did not attend a town hall or review the presentation we ask that you do that by visiting our website. We ask that all families participate in this process as each opinion is valued.

We also ask that you prayerfully consider your financial support of a potential campaign and indicate that in the survey where asked. Ultimately, we will not be able to move forward with the plans unless we can show the support of our parishioners.

Please complete the survey no later than Wednesday, April 9th. You should only fill out one survey per household, either online or in writing. This survey is confidential. You may identify yourself if you choose.

Again to avoid duplicate records, we ask that only one survey per household be submitted.
Click here to take the survey. Please remember: Only one survey per household should be completed. Please complete the survey no later Wednesday, April 9th.

How big is big? Visualize the proposed church expansion with our interactive floor plan

Have you seen the floor plan of the proposed church expansion but still don't have a good grasp of what the change would mean to the existing church footprint? We created an interactive tool that lets you compare the current and proposed floor plan in one image. Just drag the slider from left to right to switch between the two renderings

Click here to try it!

Town Hall Presentation available for viewing

The Parish Steering Committee hosted a series of Town Halls to discuss the results of the surveys, interviews and focus groups exploring the feasibility of expanding the current church building and other plans for the future of the parish. The committee also addressed questions raised during the process and facilitated a question and answer session with parishioners.

The presentation from the Town Halls is available for viewing on the Parish website, at www.scoschurch.org/townhall.

"Vision of the Future' FAQs available online

The Parish Expansion Steering Committee has developed a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) based on our surveys, focus groups, interviews and town halls. The FAQs provide clear, direct answers to the questions and issues that arose during the discovery phase of our Parish Expansion Project. This information will also be updated as new questions and information are available.

The FAQs are available on the parish website at www.scoschurch.org/faq and will be distributed in an upcoming church bulletin.

2014 Annual Lenten Retreat aims to 'untie the knots' that tangle the heart and mind

St. Catherine's will hold its Annual Lenten Retreat on Sunday, March 30th from 2-4:30 p.m. in the Parish Center. This year's retreat will feature international speaker and teacher Bill Donaghy from the Theology of the Body Institute. Donaghy will offer "an afternoon of humor, hope and reflections on faith and family life." This event is "a retreat from the chaos into the peace and power of God's original plan for the human heart.

Retreat Schedule

  • 1:30 p.m. -- Gathering at the Parish Center
  • 2:00-2:45 -- Talk One
  • 2:45-3:00 -- Reflection
  • 3:00-3:10 -- Short Break
  • 3:15-4:00 -- Talk Two
  • 4:00-4:30 -- Snacks & Reflection
For more information and a registration form, download the Retreat flyer here.

World Marriage Sunday Photo Contest Winners Announced

To recognize World Marriage Sunday, the weekend of Feb. 8-9, Father Chester led couples at all Masses in a renewal of their wedding vows. Several couples' wedding photos were on display at the church and Parish Center. After all Masses, parishioners were invited to compete in a game of "Who Is That Gorgeous Couple?"

Contestants' guesses have been tabulated, and with not one or two, but five winners. Debbie Jamicky was the winner from the 8 a.m. Mass with only one incorrect answer; she received a framed marriage prayer. At the Parish Center, four winners -- Glen Farbanish, Patti Letko, Jen Peterson, and Lisa Sforza -- all wound up with perfect scores Their prizes ranged from champagne to a marriage-themed message board.

Weddings spanned decades, ranging from 1953 through 2002. All couples who loaned a photo received a laminated wedding prayer to help grace them with many more happy years of wedded bliss.


Soup and Stations

Join us each Friday during Lent, beginning March 7th, for a Lenten Soup Meal in the Church Undercroft beginning at 6pm, followed by Stations of the Cross beginning at 7pm in the Church. During Stations, the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered.

Make your quarters count this Lent

During Lent 2014 (March 5 through April 18), St. Catherine's is challenging parishioners to share their treasure with those in need by answering one simple question:

Can you spare one quarter (25 cents) to give to the Poor Box at every Mass you attend during Lent?

How much does one quarter count?

If 300 parishioners give one quarter per week, by the end of six weeks of Lent, we'd have $450 to donate to those in need....That's at least three week's worth of groceries for a family of four...or 45 boxes of diapers...or warm winter coats for eight children...or (you fill in the blank...it's your quarter!)

Rosarians offer thanks for Giving Tree support

St. Catherine's Rosary Society was able to provide 350 Christmas gifts to the Friendship Center for New Beginnings, through the support of parishioners.

"Your generosity has given some families, who were in great need, costs boots and baby supplies," the Rosarians wrote in a letter to parishioners. In addition to the gifts, gift cards to Shop-Rite and Walmart worth over $2,000 were collected.

"Your kindness will allow the families to provide for their children while they are trying to find employment," the letter continued, "also, it made their Christmas a little less stressful."

The Rosarians said the "Families in Need" contributions amounted to $1,550 and will be used as needed to help St. Catherine's parishioners who need support. The Rosarians thanked those who contributed for "sharing your blessings with them."

The letter concluded: "May God bless you and your families for your generous spirit! Wishing you a very healthy and happy new year!"

The Rosarians also received a letter from the Friendship Center. Click on the image below for a larger version.

Parishioners bring Christmas cheer to needy neighbors

On December 20th, a group of St. Catherine Parishioners participated in the 2013 Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) Christmas Giving. Our group joined volunteers from other churches as well as TASK community staff members to distribute Christmas gift items, including toiletry bags made possible through the donations of St. Catherine's parishioners. Other gift items included warm blankets, sweatshirts and clothing from Flemington Department Store provided by an anonymous donor. Some of our younger volunteers gave out gifts to area children including crayons, coloring books and stuffed animals.

Over 500 Trenton area residents received a full Christmas dinner in addition to the gift items. TASK staffers said it was the largest giving that the soup kitchen has had in many years. Lori Young, who helped coordinate the event, thanked all the parishioners who "helped to make this a memorable year of giving."

More information on TASK, including information on how you can help their efforts throughout the year, is available on the organization's website at www.trentonsoupkitchen.org. The Times of Trenton also profiled the group and its work in an article earlier this year.

Eagle Scout helps the Homebound hear 'The Word of God'

Eagle Scout and St. Catherine's parishioner Alex La Tournous created a way for the homebound to receive The Word of God when they can't get to Mass. He and his fellow Scouts read select Scripture readings that the homebound can borrow on CD along with a CD player and headset. Or, they can stream the readings with one click from a web page he created for our parish website.

Click here to launch "The Word of God" project or call the Parish Office for more information.

Christmas Mass Schedule

December 24th:

  • Children's Pageant:
    • 3:45 p.m. at Parish Center
  • Masses:
    • 4 p.m. at Parish Center
    • 6 p.m. at Parish Center
    • Midnight at Church

December 25th:

  • Masses:
    • 8 a.m. at Church
    • 9:30 a.m. at Parish Center
    • 11 a.m. at Parish Center

St. Catherine's Receives 'Outpouring' of Donors at Parish Blood Drive

Some 35 donors kept the Community Blood Council of NJ Bloodmobile hopping at St. Catherine's first blood drive on Sunday, November 17. Workers tended to a "continuous stream" of parishioners, which enabled the parish to exceed its goal of 25 blood donors.

All donors received a t-shirt, bracelet, and were entered for a chance to win a pair of tickets to Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Every donation also earned a contribution to the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund. The Knights of Columbus led this event and thanked all the donors for their "big-hearted" support. Next year, the Knights plan to expand the drive to two bloodmobiles to accommodate the great turnout for the event.

Rosarians' Bake Sale Raises $1,000 for Nativity

Beautifully decorated home-baked goods were flying off the tables during the weekend of October 26th and 27th at the Rosary Society's Semi-Annual Bake Sale. The annual Autumn-themed Bake Sale was as popular as ever, with parishioners lining up for favorites like German chocolate cake, pumpkin muffins and apple pie.

At their monthly meeting in November, the Rosarians unanimously voted to donate $1,000 from the bake sale proceeds toward the total purchase of a beautiful artisan, life-sized outdoor nativity for the parish.

St. Catherine's Cares About Our Military as New Veteran Apostolate Ministry Is Formed

At Masses on Veterans Day weekend Nov. 9th and 10th, St. Catherine of Siena Parish embraced all Veterans by launching the Veteran Military Apostolate a brand new ministry introduced in May 2013 by the Diocese of Metuchen.

The community celebrated the return of two parishioners fresh from their tour in Afghanistan: Specialist Thomas Ruvo and First Lt. Andrew Baker, who participated in Mass in full dress uniform. The Liturgy also included Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus Color Guard in recognition of the dedicated service to God and country by those Veterans who continue to serve.

St. Catherine's is one of only two churches in Hunterdon County to launch this ministry (the other is St. John Neumann in Califon). The Apostolate mission is "to provide supportive outreach ministry and the fellowship of Christ to Veterans and active service members and their families, striving to be doers of the word and not hearers only; to be firm in faith made one in hope, and constant in charity and guided by the Holy Spirit."

The Veteran Military Apostolate provides parishioners with an opportunity to be led by Christianity to grow spiritually in this Year of Faith through charitable works, prayer, and guidance to all Veterans -- especially those wounded morally and spiritually by war.

The Apostolate has subcommittees that are in need of help: Visitation: letting soldiers and Veterans know they are not alone; Communication: letter-writing, prayer chains to military and their families; Specialized Outreach: organizing collection of needed items to send overseas or to local shelters and VA hospitals; and Health & Welfare: participating in monthly outreach meetings, a place of trust and good listening.

If you're interested in helping out with this new ministry, please contact Patricia Dziubek at (908) 735-8875 or email: patriciadziubek@embarqmail.com.

For a diocesan newsletter with more information on this new ministry, click hereand see photos from the Mass in the gallery below.


Knights of Columbus Spaghetti Dinner Nourishes St. Catherine's Families -- Body & Soul

The aroma of garlic, marinara sauce and freshly grated cheese wafting through the air, along with Italian accordion music... It can only mean one thing: The annual Knights of Columbus Pasta Dinner is back.

On the evening of November 10th, St. Catherine's Parish Center was transformed into an Italian bistro as over 150 parishioners enjoyed a feast of spaghetti, meatballs, garlic bread and lasagna to and filled the Parish Center with friendship, song, and laughter.

Other highlights of the evening included: a wine/sangria station; delicious desserts; and a 50th wedding anniversary commemoration of longtime Knight, Bill Smith and his wife Diane. Attendees also donated to assist the survivors of the recent typhoon in the Philippines. The dinner, at a cost of $25 per family, has become a popular community gathering. The Knights plan to hold other parish dinners throughout the year.

St. Catherine's Mass of Remembrance Celebrates Loved Ones' Lives

In conjunction with All Souls and All Saints Days, St. Catherine's held a special Mass on November 2nd to commemorate the souls of loved ones who departed us this past year.

Each attendee came forward to place a red rose in a vase as their loved one's name was recited. U.S. Military personnel who lost their lives this year were also honored. After the Mass, attendees shared light refreshments and fellowship. The St. Catherine's Bereavement Committee organized the Mass and repast, and plans to hold the event again next year.

'Rediscover the Genius of Catholicism'

Last year, St. Catherine's Rosarians gave our families Matthew Kelly's book, Rediscover Catholicism. In a new video, Kelly returns to explain that the world needs changing and to remind us there's no group in the world in a better position to change it than Catholics. But we as Catholics have forgotten our story.

Click here to watch the three-minute video.

St. Catherine's Blood Drive November 17th

The St. Catherine of Siena Blood Drive will be held on Sunday, November 17th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Parish Center. During this Thanksgiving season, help someone be thankful for another day. Give the "gift of life." If you plan to participate, please pre-register.

All donors will be entered for a chance to win a pair of tickets to Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Bring a Photo ID and eat within four hours of donating. Each donor will receive a T-shirt and every donation will give a contribution to the Sandy Relief Fund.

For questions and/or more information, please contact Mike Marion at 908-735-6015.

St. Catherine's Tricky Tray Is a 'Theme-Come-True'

This year's Tricky Tray theme, "Harvest of Giving and Hope" was readily evident when almost 300 parishioners, friends and community members brought their generous and winning spirit on Sept. 27 to this fun event that netted $20,000 in profit for church maintenance and charitable activities.

Expanding on last year's success in humbler surroundings, the 2013 Tricky Tray stepped it up a few notches, featuring almost 300 varied and valuable prizes and a full-course dinner at the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse in Hampton.

Some attendee favorites of the evening were: reserved tables receiving prime seating and extra tickets; the unique lottery aprons that circulated the floor; forming closer bonds with fellow parishioners; and a fantastic assortment and value of prizes. Many commented what a great, enjoyable event it was.

A heartfelt thank you and "wonderful job!" goes out to the giving businesses, volunteers, and attendees, with special thanks to the event chairperson, Katharine Lawrence, who hosted the array of baskets, gifts, wrappings, and supplies at their home, where many dedicated volunteers came together in a spirit of "giving and hope" to match the event's theme.

Don't miss our photo gallery of the event: click here.

Rosary Society Fall Bake Sale

St. Catherine's Rosary Society will be holding its annual fall bake sale the weekend of October 26th and 27th. Home baked goods will be available for purchase after all the Masses at both the Church and Parish Center. Please support this important fundraiser! Thank you!

Please bring all donations to the Parish Center (the Kitchen area only) on Saturday, October 26th between 10am and 1pm (Please no later than 1pm due to a wedding ceremony at The Parish Center at 2pm. Please label each item.

This is a great service opportunity for our Confirmation Candidates.

Survey Says...Annual Parish Picnic Was an 'Excellent Event!'

God shined down the perfect weather on September 15th at St. Catherine's 15th annual picnic, where attendees enjoyed each other's favorite family recipes, ran three-legged races, joined in a volleyball game, or relaxed and socialized. There was something fun for everyone and many offered enthusiastic reviews, such as "the selection of songs (from the Blue Sugar Band) was pleasant for all age groups." Wayne bragged, "We floated the beer keg!"

Young Tara, winner extraordinaire of the donut-eating contest, emphatically stated that sand art -- new to the picnic this year -- "was my absolute favorite craft!" Herman raved, "Definitely the potato salad and pulled pork" were the best foods, and he "enjoyed meeting lots of new people." In a "no pressure" atmosphere, folks said it was "a time for fellowship, not just the norm of worshiping together." Could this possibly be what our pastor has been striving for? "Yes! Community-building -- that's what I have been talking about!" agrees Fr. Chester.

The fine food selection, socializing, and having all activities together in one area were a winning combination for this year's picnic. Fr. Chester and St. Catherine's Community of Faith & Fellowship look forward to another fabulous picnic event next fall. Please join us!

Click here for a gallery of photos from the picnic, thanks to our volunteer photographers!

Book Group Kick-Off

Popcorn and a Movie here at St. Catherine's Church?? That's right, folks. We will kick off church book group by watching the 1966 film "A Man for All Seasons", winner of six Academy Awards, which recounts the epic story of Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield), England's Catholic Chancellor, and King Henry VIII (Robert Shaw).

Join us for this 'G' rated movie at 7:30pm on Friday, Oct. 4th, in the church undercroft after First Friday Exposition and Benediction of Holy Eucharist.

Rosary Society-Mass For Peace

St. Catherine's Rosary Society will be sponsoring a Mass for Peace for our Country and the World. It will take place on Monday, October 7th at 7:00pm at the Parish Center. This date is the Feast Day of Our Lady of the Rosary. We invite all to come and pray with us to try to save our world from the ravages of war. We will pray the rosary after the mass and refreshments will be served.

October is Respect Life Month

Right to Life Chain
Members of our Right to Life Ministry invite all to participate in the Right to Life Chain on Sunday, October 6th from 2pm-3:30pm to show support for the value and dignity of every human life. We will be gathering at the Flemington Circle, Route 31 to Main Street (rain or shine).

Right to Life Raffle Tickets
NJ Right to Life Raffle tickets can be purchased after Mass the weekend of October 5-6 and October 19-20. This year's first prize is a 2014 Volvo All-Wheel Drive SUV. Tickets are $10/each. Proceeds will benefit New Jersey Right to Life, the state's oldest and largest pro-life organization, dedicated to protecting the human life from conception to natural death.

Parish Tricky Tray set for September 27; details announced

St. Catherine's will be hosting its Second Annual Tricky Tray on Friday, September 27, 2013 at The Hunterdon Hills Playhouse at 5:30P.M. The activities for the night will consist of a sit down dinner, Tricky Tray and Special Raffles.

We have some great prizes so far and some of them include:

  • Four One-Day Hopper Passes to Disney World
  • Hot Air Balloon Ride for Two
  • Lobster Dinner for Two from Metropolitan Seafood
  • Kindle Fire 7" 16GB w/Case and Charger
  • Harvest of Plenty Stained Glass from Masterful Mosaics
  • Wedding Basket
  • River Country Tubing for Two
  • Clinton House Gift Cards
  • Italian Basket w/Wine
  • Longaberger Cake Basket with Riser and Insulated Cooler
  • Notre Dame University Tickets to a regular-season home game for one of the following sports: Volleyball, Baseball, Softball Men's or Women's Soccer or Lacrosse
  • and many more great prizes.
Our area businesses have been very generous to our Parish.

Advanced Sales Only
General Admission $50
Receive one sheet of Tier 1 tickets
Reserved Table of Eight $400
Receive two sheets of Tier 1 tickets per person
All admissions include a sit-down dinner with a cash bar.

Tickets are available at the Parish office weekdays from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., after all Masses or order online by clicking here.

St. Catherine's Annual Fall Picnic: 'Faith, Family and Friends'

St Catherine's Annual Fall Picnic will take place on Sunday, September 15th at The Parish Center. Plans are well underway and we are very excited about blending some old picnic traditions in with new. Volunteer sign-up sheets are available following Mass. There are many different areas where you can help with this year's Picnic. Consider joining with fellow parishioners and friends in helping to make this a funfilled, memorable day for our church family. Bring your favorite dish to pass!

Join us for:

  • Live music featuring fellow parishioners Libby Kelly and Chris LoMonte's "Blue Sugar" band;
  • Children's games, crafts and face painting;
  • A bouncy castle;
  • Hamburgers, hot dogs and birch beer;
  • 50/50 Raffle;
  • Beer and wine tent;
  • Ice Cream to top off your homemade dessert
And most importantly, come join with fellow parishioners and friends for fun, fellowship and laughs!

Ticket prices are still $15.00/family and $5.00/individual. If you would like to help, please contact Lori Young at 713-1997 or email to young20@centurylink.net.

Catechists wanted for Religious Education Program

Do you come to Mass and feel that God is calling you to do more? Why not help our children be all they can be. Become a CCD teacher and use the talents God has given you to help teach our faith. Can you give one night a month for them? We are in of need at least six catechists this year. You're life will be enriched and you'll be surprised at how much you learn from them.

How We Support You

  • Curriculum, texts, teacher manuals provided

  • Schedule of class work/homework already created
  • Resources and ideas for enrichment activities
  • Individualized assistance with lesson planning to whatever extent you need
Call Judy at 735-5086 or email re@scoschurch.org with questions or to tell me you are willing to jump right in! You won't be sorry!

Parish Picnic and Tricky Tray Ticket Sales

Parish Picnic (September 15th) and Tricky Tray (September 27th) tickets will be available for purchase beginning the weekend of August 17th and August 18th.

Youth Ministry Heading to Dorney Park Youth Outing

St. Catherine's Youth Ministry will be joining with St. Ann's Youth Ministry (Hampton, NJ) for a Youth Outing to Dorney Park on Saturday, August 17th from 5:00pm to 10:00pm. Buses will leave from St. Ann's Parish parking lot at 4:00pm, please arrive by 3:30pm.

All Teens are welcome; bring your friends, neighbors or classmates. Food and drink will be provided at the Pavilion Group Area hosted by St. Ann's Youth Group.

Details: $25.00 admission includes food & transportation. Permission forms are available after Mass. Questions: contact Andrew Kopka at kopkaandrew@yahoo.com.

Knights of Columbus to Sponsor Charity Golf Event

This Charity Golf Event will take place on Monday, September 16th, 9:00am start, at The Club at Morgan Hill, Easton PA. Cost is $100/pp. Contests planned include: closest to the line, longest drive, pot of gold and hole in one.

St. Catherine's Knights have: assisted with the maintenance of our Parish Center, raised over $1500 in the Life Choices Baby Bottle collection; sponsored basketball free throw contests and other youth activities and raised over $7000 for the Wounded Warrior Project so far this year. Your support of this golf outing will help them to continue their charitable efforts throughout our Church, Community and County. Information and/or registration pamphlets are available after Mass.

New address for online giving

Recently we updated our Online Giving link from our website to a new address. If you are an Online Giving participant, this will not affect any donations you have scheduled, your account information or anything else in your account. It will, however, affect any bookmarks or favorites you may have created on your computer. We ask that that next time you access your Online Giving account that you go to the church website and click on the new Online Giving logo and bookmark this new address. Online Giving is a safe and convenient way to donate to the church. To sign-up, go to www.scoschurch.org/giving to create an account. If you have questions, call Katharine Lawrence at (908-713- 0119).

St. Catherine's Booth at Franklin Township Community Day

Franklin Township will be having DARE Community Day on Saturday, September 28th from 1:00pm-5:00pm at the Clinton Elks Lodge in Pittstown. They have asked us to participate with a St. Catherine of Siena Booth. We will have informational brochures available and an ongoing children's craft, while we introduce our church to our neighbors. If you are available and would like to help for a few hours that day it would be greatly appreciated! Please contact Donna Mustillo at 237-0211 or email domol@aol.com.

Summer Service Opportunities

Summer help is needed in transporting bakery items donated by Shoprite of Clinton to the Phillipsburg Food Pantry. Donations need to be picked-up on Sunday and Monday mornings and delivered to Phillipsburg on Mondays. Please consider sparing a few hours over the summer to help the less fortunate in our community. Please contact Patty Battipaglia at (908) 735-6020 or pbattipaglia@hotmail.com if you are interested or have questions.

St. Catherine's Annual Fall Picnic: 'Faith, Family and Friends'

St Catherine's Annual Fall Picnic will take place on Sunday, September 15th at The Parish Center. Plans are beginning to form and we are very excited about blending some old picnic traditions in with new.

So far this year's picnic will include live music featuring fellow parishioners Libby Kelly and Chris LoMonte's "Blue Sugar" band, many children's games and crafts, face painting and a bouncy castle. We will be serving our traditional hamburgers, hot dogs, birch beer, as well as return to the old tradition of "bring a dish to pass". This year, your home made dessert can be topped off by a delicious ice cream Sunday too!

Ticket prices are still $15.00/family and $5.00/individual.

We will be offering once again a beer and wine tent.

If you would like to help, please contact Lori Young at 713-1997 or email to young20@centurylink.net.

Second Annual Tricky Tray

St. Catherine's will be hosting its Second Annual Tricky Tray on Friday, September 27, 2013 at the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse. We will provide more information as we get closer to the event.

Exciting New Things Are Happening for "The Year of Faith"

With his Apostolic Letter of October 11, 2011, Porta Fidei, Pope Benedict XVI declared that a "Year of Faith" will begin on October 11, 2012 and conclude on November 24, 2013. St. Catherine's is offering a variety of adult faith formation opportunities in this special year. We hope that you will join us and take this opportunity to explore our Catholic faith.

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