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From the Pastor July 31, 2016

18th Sunday in

Ordinary Time – C


My next reflection on the 50 Saints with an Obligatory Memorial and full set of orations [Collect, Prayer over the Offerings and Prayer after Communion]
is Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, 1696-1787, whose Feast Day is August 1. He is depicted as a young priest, bent over with rheumatism, or as a Bishop with tomes of law and/or theological books, a Crucifix or image of our Blessed Mother.


Born Alphonsus Marie Antony John Cosmos Damien Michael Gaspard de Liguori on September 27, 1696, near Naples, Italy, the oldest of seven children, he earned a doctorate in canon [church] and civil law by age 16 and by 19 practiced law! Against his wealthy family’s wishes, he became a Priest – but heeded their request that he NOT go to a foreign mission. He founded the Redemptorists, who brought healthy, orthodox Catholic teaching and secular skills to the indigent in the Naples area. Here’s how his orations honor him:


Collect – Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop & Doctor


O God, who constantly raise up in your Church new examples of virtue, grant that we may follow so closely in the footsteps of the

Bishop Saint Alphonsus in his zeal for souls as to attain the same rewards that are his in heaven.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ … and ever. Amen.


A POSITIVE AMONG NEGATIVES. In Liguori’s days, the Church was plagued by a heresy called Jansenism; its hopeless viewpoint dismissed us off as unredeemable, condemned creatures. To combat this poisoned view of humanity, Liguori used Parish Missions, faith formation groups and the Confessional to focus on God’s mercy and forgiveness. In his homilies and writings he highlighted God’s compassionate grace, countering the strict legalism and minimalism Jesus also condemned. Though he tried to reject the honor, he was made Bishop at age 66, and despite ill health, reformed his Diocese. His Collect asks: what do we do to better
know and spread the joys of Catholicism in a world that sees us as the problem, not as the solution.


Prayer over the Offerings – Alphonsus Liguori


Be pleased, O Lord, to enkindle our hearts

with the celestial fire of your Spirit,

just as you granted that Saint Alphonsus

should celebrate these mysteries and by them offer himself to you as a holy sacrifice.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


CELESTIAL FIRE OF THE SPIRIT. When the Holy Spirit enters us at Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, Ordination, or non-sacramentally, He expects us to do what our Blessed Mother, the Apostles and first disciples did with the Gift of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. The Spirit expects us to be set

with His love, as did the holy men and women who went before us.


To many, Alphonsus Liguori is synonymous with his still popular version of the Stations of the Cross. Unique for their time, they explain what happened to Jesus – and OUR part in Christ’s Passion and Death. His reflections ask: as Pilate and the Romans, the Jews and the Sanhedrin condemned Jesus, who do we American Catholics condemn? Do we, like Peter, deny; like Judas, betray; like the disciples, abandon anyone? Do we, like Simon, help others carry their cross; like Veronica, comfort the dying; like Joseph of Arimathea, bury the dead? Do we allow His Mother to comfort us, as she consoled Jesus, when we walk in the valley of tears? [When did you last pray the Stations of the Cross, which can easily be found and prayed online these days?]


Prayer after Communion – Alphonsus Liguori


O God, who gave us Saint Alphonsus to be

a faithful steward and preacher of this great mystery, grant that your faithful may receive it often and, receiving it, praise you without end.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


WE BECOME WHAT WE EAT. This prayer asks what I often ask: how could anyone ignore the invitation to come to Mass each week to be fed at the two tables: the AMBO, the teaching table of God’s Word … and the ALTAR, the table of the Divine Banquet? Saint Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us … and may WE never miss Mass!


In His holy Name,





Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS

From the Pastor July 10, 2016

15th Sunday in

Ordinary Time – C



My next reflection on the 50 Saints with an Obligatory Memorial and a full set of orations [Collect, Prayer over the Offerings and Prayer after Communion] is Saint Benedict who lived from about 480 to 557. He died on March 21, which would always put his Feast Day in Lent or Holy Week, so the 1969 liturgical reforms moved it to July 11; he is often portrayed with a bell, broken tray, raven, or crosier
as explained below.


Many are disgusted with the immoral, licentious acts of those who live in the lands ringing the Mediterranean Sea these days … and so was Saint Benedict. As a young man, he fled secular society to avoid sinful temptations and immoral behavior; he also feared that Christianity in Europe would be destroyed by non-believers. [Don’t we fear these same things these days?] Now let’s see what his orations teach about him.


Collect – Saint Benedict, Abbot


O God, who made the Abbot Saint Benedict an outstanding master in the school of divine service, grant, we pray, that, putting nothing before love of you, we may hasten with

a loving heart in the way of your commands.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


LET NOTHING KEEP US FROM CHRIST. As the Abbot [from the Arabic ‘Abba’ for ‘Father’] of his monastery, Benedict [a name meaning ‘blessed’ from ‘benedictus’] wore a monk’s habit and carried a crozier
to signify his fatherly role. His attempts to reform and purify his sons’ lifestyle – promoted by his famed, groundbreaking Rule of Saint Benedict
which governed monastery life – was not always well received. Once, a priest tried to kill him by serving him a piece of poison bread while he was in his hermitage; suspicious of the bread, Benedict asked a raven to take it away so no one would eat it; the raven eventually heeded the Saint, so he’s portrayed with a raven and morsel. More importantly, we can never let anything keep us from promoting what is right and just … even in the face of danger or death.


Prayer over the Offerings – Saint Benedict, Abbot


Look kindly, Lord, upon these holy offerings,

which we make in honor of Saint Benedict,

and grant that, by following his example

in seeking you, we may merit the gifts

of unity in your service and of peace.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


When he fled the world for prayerful solitude, Benedict asked his elderly nurse to accompany him and care for him. One day, the tray she borrowed to prepare his meal broke; to calm her tears and fears, Benedict prayed over the tray
and it was made whole! The purported tray: his first miracle, still hangs in a church in Affile, some 30 miles from Rome. Some dismiss this as silly, but it showed Benedict had loving concern for life’s little things – even broken trays
and so must we.
For sometimes, by the seemingly insignificant things we do to help calm and console others, we, too, perform minor miracles!


Prayer after Communion – Saint Benedict, Abbot


Having received this pledge of eternal life,

we humbly beseech you, O Lord, that,

attentive to the teaching of Saint Benedict,

we may faithfully serve your designs

and love one another with fervent charity.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


FEEDING ON SPIRITUAL FOOD. During his years in a tough to reach mountainside cave hermitage, his daily food was lowered by a rope; another rope, on which a bell was hung, signaled his confers were sending down food. One time, the bell’s rope was broken by a demon; perhaps the rope was severed as an act of revenge, as fellow monks sought to starve Benedict for his attempts to reform the local monastery. And that set off bells in Benedict’s head … who saw in the bell’s broken rope … a ‘hidden’ meaning.


Sometimes those opposed to God’s way and/or Church teaching intentionally thwart our efforts to promote Gospel values and establish the moral, ethical and religious footings of God’s Kingdom on earth … and we must be as alert to their shenanigans as was Benedict to his bell rope breaker! Saint Benedict, pray for us!


In His holy Name,




From the Pastor July 17, 2016

From the Pastor    July 17, 2016

16th Sunday in

Ordinary Time – C


My next reflection is on Saint Mary Magdalene, Feast Day: July 22. On June 10, Pope Francis elevated her from an Obligatory Memorial to a Feast; besides a full set of orations [Collect, Prayer over the Offerings and Prayer after Communion] Mary of Magdela, history’s most falsely maligned woman, now gets the Gloria prayed on her Feast Day!


For over the centuries she has been wrongly condemned as the adulterous woman thrown at Jesus’ feet, about whom He said: “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” [John 8:7b] Nor was she the sinful woman who washed and dried Jesus’ feet with her tears and hair, anointing them with ointment. For after that event the Gospel speaks of additional disciples, among who were “some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out.” [Luke 8:7]
And when the Gospels speak of evil spirits, there is no mention of any sexual sins; perhaps those with a guilty conscience are reading too much into these texts! Nor was she the sister of Martha and Lazarus. Here’s what Mary Magdalene’s Feast Day orations say about her.


Collect – Saint Mary Magdalene


O God, whose Only Begotten Son

entrusted Mary Magdalene before all others

with announcing the great joy

of the Resurrection, grant, we pray,

that through her intercession and example

we may proclaim the living Christ

and come to see him reigning in your glory.

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


THE APOSTLE TO THE APOSTLES. It was Saint Thomas Aquinas who gave Mary Magdalene the special title, “Apostle of the Apostles”
and honored her with this touching comment: “Just as a woman had announced the words of death to the first man, so also a woman was the first to announce to the Apostles the words of life” [Super Ioannem, ed. Cai, 2519.] This oration asks Mary Magdalene to empower us by her prayers and example to do the same: to announce the Gospel of Life in all we say and do. While we do not know why the Risen Lord gave her this honor, but by reading ‘into’ the story, we can deduce a few possible reasons that are echoed in her other orations.


Prayer over the Offerings – Saint Mary Magdalene


Accept, O Lord, the offerings presented in commemoration of Saint Mary Magdalene,

whose homage of charity was graciously accepted by your Only Begotten Son.

Who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.


HOMAGE OF CHARITY. As I mentioned above, Saint Luke names Mary Magdalene as one of the female supporters of our Lord and His ministry. We assume she and the others helped finance, and performed household chores, cooked and mended and did all the other things women typically did for men … and still do! What Parish does not have, as we do, a team of faith-filled women who serve in so many ministerial and supportive roles?


This oration beautifully ties what these biblical women did with what we are presently doing, as we offer our financial gifts and the bread and wine that represent all we have and all we are. In return, the Lord accepts them and transforms them into a continuation of His ministry, and into His Real Presence in the Eucharist – which we receive so we can become His presence!


Prayer after Communion – Saint Mary Magdalene


May the holy reception of your mysteries,

Lord, instill in us that persevering love

with which Saint Mary Magdalene

clung resolutely to Christ her Master.

Who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.


What Mary Magdalene was blessed to touch and hear in
flesh, we touch and hear in sacramental
signs: the very voice and presence of the Risen Lord! Perhaps she received this grace because – unlike all but one of the Twelve Apostles, she – and some other women – faithfully stood at the Cross until our Lord’s lifeless Body was entombed. Then she courageously and defiantly returned to anoint His corpse, but instead beheld Him face-to-face – as we will one day … if we always cling to Him! Saint Mary Magdalene, pray for us!


In His holy Name,




Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS


From the Pastor July 24, 2016

17th Sunday in

Ordinary Time – C


My next reflection on the 50 Saints with an Obligatory Memorial and a full set of orations [Collect, Prayer over the Offerings and Prayer after Communion] is Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary whose Feast Day is July 26: the original ‘Grandparents Day!’


Although sacred Scripture neither names them nor tell us anything about them, pious tradition and non-biblical sources ‘fill in the cracks’ about what we know must be true: that our Blessed Mother had parents, who had the unique privilege of raising a uniquely graced daughter AND the most unique Grandson! Although they had no idea who He was, do any grandparents, as they love and spoil their grandkids, know who or what they will become? NO! They just ‘love ’em to death’ and ‘smother them with love!’ Such is the love that the ‘Word Made Flesh’
must have known by becoming one of us and living in a human family, with loving grandparents: Saints Joachim and Anne! Here’s their orations.


Collect – Saints Joachim & Anne, Parents of the BVM


O Lord, God of our Fathers, who bestowed

on Saints Joachim and Anne this grace, that of them should be born the Mother of your incarnate Son, grant, through the prayers of both, that we may attain the salvation

you have promised to your people.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


WE DO NOT GROW IN A VACUUM. As the bible makes clear, it was God’s intention – from Day One – that children be reared and raised in the solemnly bonded love of husband and wife. However, in these days, some seem to overlook a child’s inalienable, divinely bestowed right to have the security and support of loving parents, united in the sacred bond of Matrimony. And with that familial structure of the so-called ‘traditional’ family comes grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and other relatives. As the above oration reminds us, even God respected and used – and uses – human families to work out His plan for salvation. While family life is never easy … does not the lawlessness, recklessness and violence in places where the ‘traditional’ family no longer exists – like our cities – prove that God’s plan works best? Should that not prod us to do more to do all we can to make our families all they can be … with God’s help?


Prayer over the Offerings – Saints Joachim & Anne


Receive, we pray, O Lord, these offerings

of our homage, and grant that we may merit

a share in the same blessing which you promised to Abraham and his descendants.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


GOD WILLS TO SAVE EVERYONE. Even as the Church fervently prays that all will accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, the long-awaited Messiah and Redeemer, she respects how God keeps His word and His promises to our Jewish brothers and sisters. For as the Church teaches, God not only offers salvation to those faithful to what we call the Old Testament; God saves all who, following their conscience, faithfully follow their understanding of God’s will. This is especially true for all of Abraham’s descendants: Jews, Christians and Moslems. For as Saint Paul said, “The gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.” {Romans 11:29]


Prayer after Communion – Saints Joachim & Anne


O God, who willed that your Only Begotten Son

should be born from among humanity

so that by a wonderful mystery

humanity might be born again from you,

we pray that, in your kindness, you may sanctify by the spirit of adoption those you have fed with the Bread you give your children.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


GOD’S FAMILY BY ADOPTION. In what we call the ‘divine exchange’ we marvel at how in the plan for our salvation, God became human so we could become divine. To help us make this exchange, God also changes bread and wine into His Son’s Body and Blood in what this oration calls ‘a wonderful mystery.’
For by consuming ‘the Bread you give your children’
our adoption is sanctified, sealed and strengthened. Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us … and for all grandparents.


In His holy Name,




Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS

RF Leaders


We are excited to announce that our parish has subscribed to a dynamic new online platform called FORMED to help you deepen your knowledge and explain the immense treasure of our great Catholic Faith.  Every parishioner will have 24/7 access to the best Catholic content on any device with internet access, including your computer, smartphone and tablet.

With FORMED, you’ll find video programs that explain the Catholic faith such asSymbolon and Catholicism and Bible studies on a variety of topics including Mary and theSunday readings. You will have access to full-length Catholic movies such as Mother Teresa, The Story of the Nativity and John Paul II. You will be able to listen to inspiring audio talks and read inspirational Catholic books online.  You’ll find presenters such as Bishop Robert Barron, Dr. Tim Gray, Dr. Edward Sri, Dr. Mary Healey, Dr. Scott Hahn, Chris Stefanick and so much more. It’s all part of our parish subscription—and there is no cost to you!

Here’s how easy it is to get FORMED. Go to You should see the registration box for parishioners. Type in our parish code which is GK2J6P.  Now set up a username and a password. Now you are all set to use all the great programs on at anytime by simply logging in.

Once you start using FORMED, please let us know you are using it and what you think of it. Be sure to encourage others in your family and in our parish to use it as well!

To let us know you have signed up and for any questions or feedback, please contact Diane Luceri at 908-782-1475 x 14or


Thinking of Becoming a Catechist or a Children’s Liturgy of the Word (CLOW) Leader?

Pass on the Good News!

What good news? The Good News of Jesus Christ and our Catholic Faith! This fall, over 800 children and young people, kindergarten to grade 8 will sign up to learn more about Jesus and the Catholic faith. You can help them learn and grow in faith by becoming a Catechist for Faith Formation. Be a CLOW Leader for pre-school to 4th grade children. CLOW is offered Saturday evening and Sunday mornings at each Mass. Mon, Tues, and Weds classes are offered for the school year. You are almost sure to find a time that fits your schedule. As you nurture the faith of our young, you will learn and grow as well! We provide you with training, materials, and support. Classes begin Sept. 8th. If interested, please contact the RF office at 908-284-2929 x23 or email

Echoes of Faith Plus

Basic Catechist Certification Opportunity

Echoes of Faith Plus is a basic level, video-assisted resource for the formation, training and enrichment of catechists, aides and any adults in our parish.  Following is the current schedule for Echoes of Faith Plus at SEAS.  “Echoes of Faith” Sessions will include prayer, DVD presentations and group discussion. This study is open to all adults—bring a friend or family member!

The Catechist Set

For catechists, these sessions count towards basic catechist certification.

Sessions on Sundays will be in the Holy Family Room – 10:30am

Sessions on Tuesdays will be in the Holy Family Room – 9:30-11:30am.

Topic & Dates

The Catechetical Set:      Getting Started –  May 22, 2016

Roles of the Catechist – June 5, 2016

The Person of the Catechist – June 12, 2016

Each topic must be attended for catechist accreditation. There is no cost and no homework is required.


Contact Information:

Religious Formation Office at 908-284-2929 or

Please RSVP with the dates and times of the sessions you will attend.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email Mariam Nawab PCL at



For all Catechists and AIDES – please plan to attend to receive updates and forms: 

NOV 15


MAY 31

Coordinator’s Meetings 2015-2016

Nov. 1, 2015 10:30am/Conference Room – Pre-Advent

Jan. 31, 2016 10:30am /Conference Room – Pre-Lent


1-January 1, 2016: Mary Mother of God

2-Ascension Day: 40 days after Easter

3-Nov. 1, 2015: All Saints day

4-Dec. 8, 2015: Immaculate Conception

5-Dec. 25, 2015: Christmas


Oct. 5, 6, 7, 2015:

Rosary DVD Grades 1&2

Oct. 12, 13, 14, 2015:

Eucharistic Adoration During Class

Oct. 19, 20, 21, 2015:

Rosary Grades 3-7;

Church Tour Grades 1&3

Oct. 25, 2015: Eucharistic Adoration


Nov. 22, 2015:

First Penance at 4pm (FHC)

Dec. 14, 15, 16, 2015:

Christmas skits and carols in the Church

Jan. 11, 12, 13, 2016:

Vocation Talk – All Grades

Feb. 16, 17, 2016:

Stations of the Cross DVD (Grades 1&2)

Feb. 22, 2016:

Stations of the Cross DVD (Grades 1&2)

Feb. 22, 23, 24, 2016:

Stations of the Cross (Grades 3-7)

May 8, 2016:

May Crowning and FHC pictures – 10:30- 11:30 am

Confessions and Mass for Saturday, January 23 have been cancelled!

Please Note:

Confessions and Mass for Saturday, January 23 have been cancelled!

Please do not try to come to parish property. The driveway is extremely dangerous. We are not able to unblock the emergency doors, so it is not possible to use the buildings safely.

Call the parish office – 908-782-1475 later tonight or tomorrow morning to find out what the Sunday Mass schedule will be.

Stay safe, and happy shoveling!

Fr. Tom

1st Quarter 2016 Envelopes

The 1st quarter 2016 envelopes are out in the mail. If you have not already received your packet, you will receive it in the next day or so.

Unfortunately, due to a communication error with the envelope company, the packet you are receiving is incorrect. The errors have been fixed and a second mailing has been sent out. It should be received by all parishioners before December 31. Please use this 2nd packet for the 1st quarter of 2016.

The errors were with the schedule of 2nd collections. The correct schedule is as follows:

January 10, 2016 Together in Charity
January 24, 2016 Foundation for Catholic Education
February 7, 2016 The Catholic Spirit
February 21, 2016 Diocesan Winter Collection
February 28, 2016 Easter Flower Collection
March 6, 2016 Catholic Relief Services
March 20, 2016 Fruit of our Lenten Fast
March 27, 2016 Easter Gift

We are very sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you for your understanding.

Advent Calendar 2015

‘United in Prayer for the Family’ through Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church – Three Bridges, NJ’s Advent/Christmastime Calendar – 2015 – 2016

To help you become ‘United in Prayer for the Family’ in a different way each day, follow these spiritual exercises – and then color in each day as it passes!

pdficonB-ADV-calendar – 2015 – SEAS – The Family wordB-ADV-calendar – 2015 – SEAS – The Family