First Sunday of Lent –  February 18,  2018

Why do we always go to the desert? We see this example in Scripture time and time again. The Israelites wandered in the desert. King David and prophets were driven into the wilderness. And now Jesus is in the same place. Lent after Lent, we too are invited into a barren, desolate place. Why do we always go to the desert? Throughout Scripture, the desert is a place of testing. It’s also a place of hiding and withdrawal. In the Old Testament, David fled into the wilderness to hide from Saul, Elijah from Jezebel, and Jonah from God! In other words, the desert is a place of “retreat.” In Christian circles, we use the word to describe a spiritual weekend away. But its meaning comes from warfare, as we well know. To retreat means to draw back, to separate oneself from the fighting. Of course, a military retreat brings its own kind of “battle” – the internal assessment of why the fighting went so poorly. As we enter into this Lenten season, we are invited to retreat into the desert with Jesus. Attending a day or weekend of reflection is a wonderful spiritual practice. This “desert spirituality,” however, can fill all forty days. We can fulfill our Lenten resolutions with a purpose – writing daily notes to family and friends can inspire new gratitude, every time we pass up that specific food item can be cause for intercession for deeper sufferings and privations of others. The Gospel tells us that “the Spirit drove him out into the desert.” In other words, God wants us to be here. What feels uncomfortable is actually part of our spiritual journey. To be stretched, to be challenged, to confront our own areas of weakness – these things are essential in our walk with God. This Lent, will you go to the desert?
As many of you know, I recently took a trip with my parents to Disney World. My parents may not appreciate this next statement but they are not getting any younger. Thus, while there I pushed my dad in a wheelchair for the walking would be too much for him. My mom did walk the whole time with no complaints and little rest, keeping up with me for I walk as fast as I talk if that gives you a clue of the speed. Since it was just the three of us, my mom went on many a ride with me which I am very sure she would not have done if it were not for the fact that it would have left me to go on alone. While we were on the rides, my dad sat patiently waiting for our return which would often be over an hour due to the long lines for the rides. In other words, there were sacrifices being made by each one of us on this trip. I share this with you for we are in the season of Lent which is the season of sacrifice. Jesus Christ made, of course, the greatest sacrifice of all by giving His life on the cross out of love for us. You see that is what it is all about, it is what we are all called to do…make sacrifices out of Love. This is what my parents and I did for each other on this trip and do on a daily basis for each other…make sacrifices out of love for one another. To truly love someone is to put that someone’s needs and wants above our own as Christ did for us. We should never see sacrifice as a burden but rather as something we do willing and happily for the sake of Love.
God Bless you and have a wonderful week, Fr. Michael

“After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God…” MARK 1:14
Do you ever think how difficult it must have been for Jesus to come into Galilee, knowing that John had just been arrested for teaching the same message that Jesus was proclaiming. It must have taken great love and trust for Jesus to do what the Father had sent Him here on earth to do. In the same way, following a life of stewardship takes great love and trust from us. We must be willing to surrender completely to God, trusting that God will always give us all that we need to fulfill His plan for us.

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, Jessica Esopo, Christine. Janelle Dino, Maricel Fortus, Rachel Fortus and Efren Villanueva Sr.


8:30 James Turk by Jennifer O’Connor & Mary Turk


5:00PM Julian Silvino Abian
by Gerry & Myla Gregorio & Myrna Abian


8:00 For the People of the Parish
10:00 George Lattanzio by Rose Marie Vacirca
12:00 Edward & Nell Olsomer by the Family


8:30 Annv. Josephine DeGrosa by the Family


8:30 Annv. Robert Goodman by Marie Goodman


8:30 Annv. Vincenzo Pilla by the Asala Family


8:30 Robert Mauro by Mr. & Mrs. Philip Iacono


8:30 Annv. Florence & Nicholas Perone by the Family


8:30 John Dalessio by the Family
5:00 pm Margaret & Joseph Voorhis by the Vasak & Turk Families


8:00 Annv. Mary & Nicholas Allegretto & Family by the Petruzzelli Family
10:00 For the People of the Parish
12:00 Annv. Betty Panagia by Mr. & Mrs. William Panagia

The gift of Bread & Wine for the first two weeks of February has been given in memory of Leonard Falato by his family. The second two weeks have been given in memory of Carmela & John Uzzalino by Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Roman.
The Sanctuary Lamp for the month of February has been given in memory of John Jashembowski by Linda J. Sylvestri.



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.