Note from the Finance Council


St. Elizabeth Ann Seton RC Church

105 Summer Road

Three Bridges, NJ 08887-2307

Phone: 908-782-1475 Fax: 908-782-6230


April 4, 2020



Dear Fellow Parishioner,


Let me begin by introducing myself. My name is James Letchford, and I serve as chair of SEAS’ Finance Council. I, and the other members of the Council, together with our Pastor, Father Tom, are praying for you and sincerely hope that you are well during these anxious and uncertain times. The Parish Finance Council includes Deacon Paul Santella, James McQuade, Lois Dornan and Father Tom.


This is an historic and unprecedented time for us as a nation and as a church. The steps we are taking to contain the spread of COVID-19 in our community have required many things of us thus far, and perhaps even more will come. For the present, we may not have access to our church for the celebration of Mass and other programs which help build us in faith, but we are not deprived of God’s presence and the grace which constantly upholds us.


Certainly, as we see the numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 growing exponentially almost daily, our thoughts and prayers turn to those suffering from this virus, for their families and loved ones, and for our healthcare workers who are trying to assist those infected and contain the spread of the disease. But we also know that the effects of the Coronavirus will be felt in other ways too. It will affect people’s livelihoods and their ability to support themselves and their families as some businesses close temporarily, or even permanently, because of containment efforts. It will also affect our Parish, which relies on us to provide the resources needed to sustain its life and ministry.


We have just passed our first weekends with only a partial Sunday offering, and more offerings will be reduced or eliminated in the weeks to come. This will create a financial hardship for us and threaten our ability to maintain parish life as we know it. However, you can help us support SEAS during the days ahead so that we can continue to be a beacon of Catholic faith and mission in our community.


First, we are asking you to pray for all our Parishes, Clergy and Pastoral Staffs, our Bishop and the Diocesan Staff, who give of themselves every day in witness to Christ and in service to our community. Our church is open for you to make a visit; so come and offer your prayers in our ‘parish home.’


Second, please join our online giving program, if and when our envelope company makes it operational. Many of us already use online methods to pay our bills and other obligations. Online parish giving should be easy to register for; it is safe, secure, and provides a reliable source of income to help us meet our obligations and fund our ministries. The details will be given via email [make sure we have your email address!] and/or our Parish website. In the meantime, you may electronically make a donation with no cost to either you or the Parish directly from your bank; at your request, they will mail a check directly to the Parish.


Third, if you continue to use the envelope system, please remember to mail in your envelopes on a weekly basis. We rely on your generosity to provide the support needed to maintain our parish’s life and ministries.


If you are among those whose circumstances prevent you from financially supporting the Parish or Diocese of Metuchen, you can support them through prayer and by your engagement in church life. Our Parish can only do what we, the parishioners, enable it to do. So please pray for SEAS and ask the Lord how you can give back to help us serve our mission.


Please pray for our Parish Staff members, most of whom have been furloughed until the regular schedule resumes. The Diocese directed Pastors, with their Finance Committee’s assistance, to determine how to address salaried employees. Of our 3 full time with benefits staff members, only Father Tom will NOT be furloughed; thank God! Of our 8 part time with no benefits staff members, only 3 will NOT be furloughed; they will only work the hours necessary to keep the Parish Office, Religious Formation Office and Parish Plant functional. We fully intend NOT to take the option of eliminating ANY positions as we already run a ‘very lean machine’ as Father Tom calls it.


We are also blessed in that many, MANY people offer their services without receiving any ‘earthly pay!’ Most of our ministries and events are ‘run’ by such people: our Catechists and Aides; the Coordinators of social events like Mardi Gras, Santa Breakfast, Easter Egg Extravaganza, etc.; our Altar Servers, Cantors, Children’s Liturgy of the Word leaders, Choirs, Collection Counters, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Readers, Ushers; our missalettes are even changed seasonally by the Daily Mass attendees. May God bless them for their service.


Lastly, our Pastor, Father Tom, and the members of the SEAS Finance Committee are here to answer your questions, or assist you in registering for automated giving in our Parish. Please call or email us at 908-782-1475 or


During these uncertain times, we place our trust in God and are resolved to stay faithful to all the Lord calls us to be as a Parish. Let’s do what we can to help our Parish fulfill its mission by not failing to provide the resources it needs to do this.



In Christ,





James Letchford

Pre-Lent Meeting This Sunday – 2 Page Handout

From: “Gina Perez” <>
To:”Gina Perez” <>
Cc:”Mariam Nawab” <>, “Confirmation” <>
Sent:Thu, 21 Feb 2019 18:36:04 +0000

Dear Catechists and Aides,

Attached is a handout (2 pages) that you will NOT receive at the meeting this Sunday, but a copy that you should have.

These two pages will be emailed to parents in the next few weeks.

The first page is a Lenten activity and the second page is all about Easter.

Thank you.

See you Sunday.


Catholic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land



Join Father Tom and Father Michael Kreder on the

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Three Bridges & Saint Mary, Rutherford Parishes

PILGRIMAGE to the Holy Land

November 6 through November 16, 2018

Find this trip online at

Tour = HL18 Date = 110618 Code = P ID = 58061


Space is limited!

After 50 have registered, a wait-list will be created until we have enough for an additional bus. (As of 11/15/2017, 14 have registered.)

An information session will not be held until after Christmas. Do not delay registration!

Questions not covered in the brochure and/or website?

Contact EO directly at 800-247-0017 or email Mary Frain at

Full Pilgrimage Brochure

Parish Phone System is Down

We are currently experiencing a problem with the phone system at the Parish Offices. Calls are being received, however the automated attendant is not engaging so pre-recorded information cannot be accessed and voicemail is not working. At this time it is not possible to leave any messages. In addition, any messages left for any staff member in the last few days cannot be retrieved.

To reach the Parish Office staff, please call 908-782-1475 during normal business hours: Monday-Thursday 9:00 AM-4:00 PM; Friday 9:00 AM-Noon.

To reach the Religious Formation Office staff, please call 908-284-2929 during their normal business hours: Monday-Thursday 9:00 AM-2:00 PM.

Email would be the best way to reach any staff member. All email addresses are: 1st initial, last (eg., You can also send to and we will forward to the correct person.

Thank you for your patience!

Jackie Ferrari
SEAS Parish Office

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults


This past March we welcomed three new members into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil at SEAS.: Peter Russell, Steven Castella, and Louis Zwaan. Following are the reflections of Peter Russell and Steven Castella.


Reflection by Peter Russell

When I was told that I needed, as a part of the RCIA process, to state before the congregation why I wanted to become a member of the Catholic Church, the reason was immediately clear to me – I had been attending Mass with my wife for over 40 years, and I thought it was time to participate fully. That – to me – explained everything. But, I came to find as I went through the RCIA program, that what I had thought was the “reason” for everything, was actually nothing more than the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

Once I decided to start the RCIA program, the question I posed to myself (which question was also posed to me by others) was – why now- why after all these years? And the simple answer is – I don’t know. I can point exactly to the date on which I decided to participate in the RCIA program, but why I never thought before of doing that is a complete mystery to me. I think, as Diane suggested to me, that I heard God calling to me, and I am grateful (more so than I ever thought possible) that He did, and that I heard Him.

Well, old habits die hard, and I was not at all sure that after 40 years I would be receptive to the teachings of the Catholic Church, let alone being able to master them. But, I need not have worried. Until I started the RCIA program, I truly had no idea as to how much I had been missing out on. I was amazed. In my mind, it was similar to the sensation I had had as a child when I suddenly realized that I had learned how to read – I realized then that all of the characters on the page formed words, and that I was able to understand those words, and most importantly, I was able to comprehend what the author was trying to say. The same sensation came over me as we started to RCIA lessons – all of a sudden, with the guidance of the RCIA team, the pieces came together, and things that had never made any sense to me now became perfectly clear. What a gift! It changed my life, and I can’t think of a single situation that I have ever encountered in my life where “Better late than never” would be more true.

God called to me to become a member of the Church, and now that I am a member, He has continued to speak to me, and to guide me, in ways too numerous to count. From life decisions, down to the most mundane of daily activities, I feel His presence like I never did before. The peace and the clarity I experience now are gifts beyond description – far beyond anything I had a right to even hope for. I pray that I can be a good person and a good Catholic – to fulfill the promise of what has been offered to me by joining the Church. I thank God for this blessing, and the many other blessings that have been bestowed upon me, especially my wife, whose patience with me is obviously infinite. God works in mysterious ways.


Reflection by Steven Castella

I was baptized Catholic as a baby. However, other than celebrating Christmas and Easter, I was essentially raised in a home empty of religion. It wasn’t until I met my wife, Amy, that faith started to become a part of my life. It was at this time that I began to attend Mass regularly. We would later marry in the Church and continue to attend Mass when our children were born. And although I was not a full member, I was fortunate enough to become exposed to the beauty of the Catholic Church.

However, as the years passed by and my daughters began attending Religious Formation, I realized that when it came to my faith, there was a void in my life that I needed to fill. And it was last fall, when my youngest daughter began her preparation to receive her First Communion, that I realized that I needed to do more than just simply attend Mass. This realization was important not only so that I could be an example for my daughters, but also for my own growth as a person. It was at this point, with Amy as my sponsor, that I committed to joining the RCIA program.

The RCIA program provided the knowledge I was looking for about the teachings of Christ and the Catholic faith. But I think even more importantly, it provided the spiritual growth I was looking for to fill the void in my life. And because I was fortunate enough to have my wife as my sponsor, it has strengthened my marriage. And now that I am a full member of the Catholic Church and can receive Eucharist with my daughters, I believe it will strengthen our family for years to come.

The way adults become

members of the Catholic Church!


Breaking Open the Word

The Rites of the RCIA ~ at the cathedral


…and at SEAS

The Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil


















First Eucharist









The Newly Received and their Sponsors

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