Fifth Sunday of Lent –  March 18,  2018

“Now there were some Greeks among those who had come to worship at the feast. They came to Philip…and asked him, ‘Sir, we would like to see Jesus.’” It has begun. News of Jesus has spread beyond native-born, Aramaic-speaking Jews. We don’t know if the Greeks mentioned here heard of Jesus from fellow travelers or if news of this intriguing rabbi had reached all the way to their home. What we do know is that this interaction spurred an interesting comment from Jesus: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” In other words, it has begun. The time has come for the message to move beyond the geographic bounds of Israel. But what does this message require? The Gospel is clear: “He said this indicating the kind of death He would die.” A grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies to its life as only a seed. A caterpillar takes on the appearance of temporary death in order to transform into a butterfly. In the Gospels, sacrifice and death are a way of becoming something more than you were before. This Lent, new life can come from our sacrifices. When we enter into the season with Jesus, our difficulties can transform our perspective. “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” As we abstain from meat and fast from eating between meals, we can grow in compassion for the hungry. We can give alms of our time, sacrificially spending time with the lonely, the sick, and the marginalized. Our little Lenten “deaths” – death to unnecessary preferences, death to selfish living, death to ignorance of other’s pain – can bring new life to the world long after the season is over. This is the invitation this Sunday and every Lenten season, to begin anew from death to life.
We are entering our last full week of Lent. I know many people are rejoicing; for example a relative of mine who gave up chocolate for Lent cannot wait to be able to eat it again as of Holy Thursday evening. On the surface there is nothing wrong with that and it is even very understandable as long as the big picture of Lent has not been lost. What I mean by this is that if the person who gave up the chocolate was giving the money they would have spent on chocolate to feed the hungry homeless, do they now stop doing that? After all the hungry are still going to be hungry even though Lent has ended. We, during Lent, are called to give up bad habits, give to charity, be kinder to the people around us, etc. But this is not something that is meant to happen just during Lent. As noted the hungry are still hungry outside of Lent, bad habits are still bad habits outside of Lent, the homeless are still homeless outside of Lent. People should still be treated with kindness outside of Lent. You see Lent is suppose to instill good habits in us that last the rest of our lives, not just for the 40 days of Lent. God has called us to be Holy like He is Holy and if each Lent we improve ourselves a little bit more eventually we will be Holy!
God Bless you and have a wonderful week, Fr. Michael

“I will be their God and they shall be my people.”
What does it mean to be God’s people? It means we recognize that everything we have and everything we are belongs to God. We aren’t “owners” of anything, we are merely “stewards” of the gifts God has given us. It means we are willing to use our gifts and our lives to care for our neighbors and the world, just as God cares for us.


Please pray for: Please pray for: Kellie Salata, Kelly Chinchar, Jessica, Carol Mangino, Gloria, Daniel Breslin, Stanley, Marie, Bonnie, Helen Traina, Joseph Marrone, Bill Marshall, Anthony, Michael, Denise Gautier, Joseph, Christine Morrison, Jessica Esopo, Janelle Dino, Maricel Fortus, Rachel Fortus and Efren Villanueva Sr.

MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018
        8:30   Robert Goodman  by the Family
 TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2018
          8:30   Veronica Smolenski by Joseph Zaremba
          8:30   Deceased Members of the Witkowski Family by Trudy Witkowski
          8:30   Incoronata Competiello  by Giovannine & DeSananto & Family
 FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2018
          8:30   Annv. James, Nicola, Gemma & Michael Visci by the Family
          8:30   William F. Schroeder  by Marie & Mike Nasta
    5:00 pm   Paul Stendardi  by the Family
 SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2018
          8:00   For the People of the Parish
         10:00   Annv. John Warga by the Goodman Family
         12:00   Nell Olsomer  by Diana McGuckin
MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018
​8:30​In Honor of St. Joseph
​​by the Barricella Family
​8:30​Incoronata Competiello
​by Antino DiSanto
​8:30​Koliwe Moyo Stephens
​by Christina Cooper
​8:30​Rosemarie Giotis
​by Maria Giotis
FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 2018
​8:30​Annv. Pat Maglio
​by Bobbie Pizza
​8:30​For the People of the Parish
5:00 pm​Suzanne England
​by Gloria Palazzi
​8:00​Jean Dalessio
​by the Family
10:00​Gertrude Grabowski
​by the Family
12:00​Annv. Virginia & Sebastian Ruta
​by the Family


2018 Sharing God’s Blessings Annual Appeal
 Thanks to the parishioners who have made their gift to the 2018 Sharing God’s Blessings Annual Appeal. The Archdiocese sets our goal which this year is $11,333. Our pledges to date are $1,725. The Archdiocese looks at our participation in this appeal as evidence that we are a vibrant, thriving parish. There are brochures and pledge cards in the pews. Your pledge can be paid off over the next year in monthly installments. Please consider participating in this appeal for the benefit of the needy and the benefit of our own parish.

It is the best way to ensure our parish receives the support needed for our operating expenses and ministries? eGiving through Parish Giving! We are excited to introduce “Enhanced Stewardship through Electronic Funds Transfer” for your weekly offertory. No more envelopes or last-minute check writing! Electronic giving is safe and easy for you and good stewardship for the parish. Please enroll today by visiting www.icchackensack.com. and click on the logo that is on top of the website. Increased enrollment with Parish Giving will help stabilize our parish finances. There are brochures in the pews or visit Parish Giving at www.parishgiving.org


 Our parish benefits greatly from the ads you see on the back of our bulletin. The revenue pays for its printing, which is an important means of communication for the parish. We thank the local businesses that have renewed their ads, as well as the new advertisers who have recently signed on. Please look on the last page of our bulletin each week during the coming months where we highlight a different advertiser with a special ad space as a ‘thank you’ for their support all year long. When you visit a business that advertises in our Faith Formation Program Registration Form[397] bulletin, please let them know that this is where you saw their ad.