Monthly Archives: September 2019


SEPTEMBER 30 Mon Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church


Zec 8:1-8/Lk 9:46-50 

OCTOBER 1 Tue Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Zec 8:20-23/Lk 9:51-56 

2 Wed The Holy Guardian Angels Memorial

Neh 2:1-8 (457)/Mt 18:1-5,

3 Thu Weekday

Neh 8:1-4a, 5-6, 7b-12/Lk 10:1-12 

4 Fri Saint Francis of Assisi Memorial

Bar 1:15-22/Lk 10:13-16 

5 Sat Weekday

[USA: Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, Priest;]

Bar 4:5-12, 27-29/Lk 10:17-24 


 Hb 1:2-3; 2:2-4/2 Tm 1:6-8, 13-14/Lk 17:5-10 (141)

St. Therese, the Little Flower, follows St.Jerome, the great scripture scholar, in the church calendar. Both are doctors of the church. One entered the scriptures mostly through the mind, the other through the heart. 

The Book of Nehemiah read this week is an important source for understanding the Restoration that took place after the Babylonian exile, when the Jews returned to Judah to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. Nehemiah was the leader who rebuilt the walls and structures of the city; Esra was the scribe who read out the Torah, the Jewish scriptures, to the people. He also encouraged them the celebrate the Jewish feasts.

Good reading for a church rebuilding, like ours.

Ecological Conversion

The other day I was looking through our Passionist liturgical calendar for the feasts ahead and came to a section at the end that I never paid much attention to before. “Notices.”  It’s a list from the Vatican and the United Nations of important issues facing our world today,  issues to keep before us in our liturgy. Liturgy is not just feasts and readings of the day; we need to bring current issues into our prayer and reflection lest liturgy becomes an “archeological dig.”

Each month the pope asks that we reflect and pray about some important issue.  For example, all of September and until the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, we’re asked to pray and reflect on the care of creation. It’s a “Season of Creation”; the Orthodox Church began it, I believe, and Roman Catholics and other religious groups have joined in.  

A timely issue. 

All this week there were demonstrations and conferences throughout the world on climate change. About 4 million young people demonstrated in cities globally to pressure world leaders meeting at the UN to decrease the world’s dependence on fossil fuel. The UN meeting was disappointing. My own country, the United States, along with China and Russia, did nothing. 

A reporter asked leaders of the youth demonstrations why did young people  demonstrate. They said that young people are terrified of the future. Terrified. And if the young Swedish girl who has been speaking at the UN and throughout the US is any indication, the younger generation is angry at an older generation, particularly politicians,  that doesn’t want to do anything. 

My own church here in the US hasn’t responded well to the issue of climate change, which leads me to wonder if that may be a factor for so many young people finding church irrelevant. 

Pope Francis is aware of the crisis the world is facing. Besides urging action by the United Nations, (see previous blog), he’s invited leaders from the religious and educational worlds to meet at the Vatican to see how we can change our educational systems worldwide, so that we can look at the world differently. In Laudato si he speaks of an “ecological conversion”. It’s not a matter of changing technology; it’s changing our mentality.  

I’ve been reading recently an article by the Jesuit historian, John W. O Malley, “How We Were: Life in a Jesuit Novitiate, 1946-48” That’s around the time I made my own novitiate with the Passionists. O’Malley describes the day by day novitiate experience thoroughly, but he also indicates new influences affecting Jesuit formation then– a new historical sense about the past and the scriptures. a greater attention to human sciences like psychology. They were making their way slowly into religious formation structures. They were making their way into the formation structure of my community as well.

It seems to me a new cosmology is making its way into our society now. Yes, the historical sciences are important and we have to know as much as we can know about ourselves. But we have to go beyond humanity now.

We have to reflect on creation and keep it in our prayers. It’s there every day as we bring bread and wine and water to the altar in the Eucharist. It’s our home. It’s endangered. We need to care for it.

Pope Francis to UN Climate Change Conference

It was a disappointing meeting. Major countries like the USA, China, Russia presented no new initiatives.

The Pope sent a message. Take a look at it. You can get it at the Vatican site;

Readings for the 25th Week

SEPTEMBER 23 Mon Saint Pius of Pietrelcina Memorial

Ezr 1:1-6/Lk 8:16-18 

24 Tue St. Vincent Strambi, CP, bishop

Ezr 6:7-8, 12b, 14-20/Lk 8:19-21 

25 Wed weekday

Ezr 9:5-9/Lk 9:1-6 

26 Thu Weekday

[Saints Cosmas and Damian, Martyrs]

Hg 1:1-8/Lk 9:7-9 

27 Fri Saint Vincent de Paul,  Memorial

Hg 2:1-9/Lk 9:18-22 

28 Sat Weekday

[Saint Wenceslaus, Martyr; Saint Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, Martyrs;)

Zec 2:5-9, 14-15a/Lk 9:43b-45 


Am 6:1a, 4-7/1 Tm 6:11-16/Lk 16:19-31 

This week will see worldwide demonstrations leading to the Climate Action Summit on 23 September at the United Nations in New York City, where representatives of the nations of the world will gather to consider plans to address the global climate emergency.

September 21th saw Youth Climate Summit, an historic event that brought together young activists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and change-makers who are committed to addressing the global climate emergency.

Pope Francis has encouraged Catholics throughout the world to join in this effort: “In this ecological crisis affecting everyone, we should also feel close to all other men and women of good will, called to promote stewardship of the network of life of which we are part.”

See his message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, September 1.

Luke’s 7th Chapter

Our readings from Luke this week are from his 7th chapter where Luke sums up Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. He wants to make sure we know that Jesus reached out to the gentiles even then, so the evangelist tells about the cure of the centurion’s slave -Monday’s reading. “I have not found faith like this in Israel,” Jesus says, in praise of the gentile centurion.

Luke then tells us about Jesus raising the widow’s son to life-Tuesday’s reading. Jesus takes care of the poor. Another theme of Luke’s gospel.

Wednesday’s reading offers the final part of Jesus’ answer to John’s disciples, who ask if he is the one who is to come. The blind, the lame, the deaf are healed and the poor have the gospel preached to them, Jesus tells them. 

Our reading today is Jesus’ short description of the reception he’s received from his generation. It’s a generation of children playing in the marketplace, so intent on their own games that they pay little attention to him.

Does that also describe our generation today too? In the western world it seems Jesus himself, not just his church, is given scant attention. 

Still, Jesus goes up to Jerusalem. He still calls men and women to follow him. He still calls the whole world, especially the  poor to follow him. 

Numbers aren’t his main concern, Calling out to the world and to the poor is, Luke’s gospel insists.

24th Sunday c: Mercy

The technology team would like you to join us in
Congratulating Father Victor Hoagland on 60 Years of Priestly Ministry!
A Celebratory Mass will be held at 10 am on Sunday September 15th
at the Parish of Sainty Mary in Colts Neck with refreshments to follow.
Thank You Father Victor! Much Love from us all!

For this week’s homily please play the video below.

Readings for the 23rd Week of the Year c

SEPTEMBER 9 Mon USA: Saint Peter Claver, Priest Memorial

Col 1:24—2:3/Lk 6:6-11 

10 Tue Weekday

Col 2:6-15/Lk 6:12-19 (438)

11 Wed Weekday

Col 3:1-11/Lk 6:20-26 (439)

12 Thu Weekday

[The Most Holy Name of Mary]

Col 3:12-17/Lk 6:27-38 (440)


13 Fri Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church


1 Tm 1:1-2, 12-14/Lk 6:39-42 (441)

14 Sat The Exaltation of the Holy Cross


Nm 21:4b-9/Phil 2:6-11/Jn 3:13-17 (638) Pss Prop


Ex 32:7-11, 13-14/1 Tm 1:12-17/Lk 15:1-32 or 15:1-10 (132) Pss IV

If you look at our church calendar this week, St. Peter Claver, the Jesuit who ministered to African slaves in Columbia, South America, in the 17th century, is listed as a saint who is to be remembered in all the churches of the United States on September 9.  His feast is an obligatory memorial in our country. We have to remember him. 

When the Roman calendar was revised in 1975 there were 95 optional memorials–saints and feasts that can be celebrated at the discretion of the local church or community and 

63 obligatory memorials, saints and feasts that are more important for the universal church and should be celebrated by the universal church. 

This week, for example, the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary, September 12,  is an optional memorial. The Feast of John Chrysostom, September 13, is an obligatory memorial.  

In the church in the United States, Peter Claver is to be remembered. The reason, of course, is that he dealt with an issue that not only affected the world he lived in, but also still affects the world we live in, the issue of racism.