Message from Fr. Damian (4/8)
As a kid, I thought this had something to do with espionage, finally something exciting in the church!
Of course, it comes from the old English word
udas Iscariot sp
ied for an opportunity to betray Jesus.”
In other words, he
for an opportunity.
The other day I was thinking Judas betrayed Jesus on Wednesday, and then on Thursday evening, when Jesus is brought to the house of the high priest, Peter will betray him too! On reflection, however, I realized I was too harsh on Peter.
Judas betrayed Jesus; Peter denied him. For me, the difference is that out of weakness and fear, Peter, in the moment, didn’t do the right thing. He didn’t have the courage to stand up for Christ, to be loyal to Jesus.
Judas, however, actively sought to do something wrong! He
to betray Jesus. I think there’s a real difference in the degree of culpability. I believe there is a huge difference between a sin of weakness, of the moment, and a sin, a choice that is carefully planned.
The Gospel says
better for that man if he had never been born
, and some have gone through theological gymnastics trying to work out why God would create someone if it were better that he’d never been born!
I don’t think Judas was ever destined to betray Jesus, I think he had a free choice, he had free will, and he made the wrong choice. I don’t think any of us are slaves to fate, destined to be condemned.
I don’t think Judas was damned before he was created, indeed, if the
could be forgiven. If Peter his number one disciple could be forgiven, then surely even Judas could have been forgiven.
If only he would have accepted Christ forgiveness
, but he didn’t; he despaired of his sin and took his own life.
In my life as a priest, I’ve met some people who are so convinced that their sin is so serious, so awful that they’re incapable of receiving forgiveness.
God‘s forgiveness is always far greater than our sin. He came not to condemn us but to set us free.
This week let us acknowledge the times when we have failed to do the right thing out of weakness or lack of courage or loyalty to Christ, but let us also recognize that shamefully we have also deliberately chosen to do what is wrong. Let us acknowledge our guilt, and receive the forgiveness of the one who gives his life for us.
Please pray the prayer below with me.
Love and Blessings,
I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do; and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.
Message From The Bishop
On the advi
ce of public health officials, I am mandating the closing of all Churches and chapels in the Diocese of Trenton to the public, effective at noon, Wednesday, April 1, until further notice.
Out of an abundanc
e of caution and for your own health and safety and that of all the faithful, I ask your strict cooperation.
Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.
A recording of today's mass with Fr. Damian
We had a some technical difficulties with the live stream system.
Mass was recorded and also broadcast live on our Facebook page.
Please visit our YouTube channel for more mass recordings.
A recording of today's rosary with the
Sisters of St. Catharine Convent.
A Coronavirus Prayer
Please pray this prayer along with us daily
Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages "curing every disease and illness." At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.
Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care.
Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbors from helping one another.
Heal us from our pride, which can make us claim invulnerability to a disease that knows no borders.
Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages "curing every disease and illness." Come to our aid now, that we may experience your healing love.
Jesus Christ, healer of all, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.
Be with those who have died from the virus. May they be at rest with you in your eternal peace.
Be with the families of those who are sick or have died. As they worry and grieve, defend them from illness and despair. May they know your peace.
Be with the doctors, nurses, researchers and all medical professionals who seek to heal and help those affected and who put themselves at risk in the process. May they know your protection and peace.
Be with the leaders of all nations. Give them the foresight to act with charity and true concern for the well-being of the people they are meant to serve. Give them the wisdom to invest in long-term solutions that will help prepare for or prevent future outbreaks. May they know your peace, as they work together to achieve it on earth.
Whether we are home or abroad, surrounded by many people suffering from this illness or only a few, Jesus Christ, stay with us as we endure and mourn, persist and prepare. In place of our anxiety, give us your peace.
Jesus Christ, heal us.
Watch Father Damian and/or Fr. Will every weekday at 12 Noon, Saturdays at 5PM and Sundays at 10:30AM for mass in St. Catharine Church on live stream
These masses are not open to the public
It is with great sadness that we share with you the passing of Father John Morley who frequently celebrated mass at our parish for many years.
Condolences can be sent to:
St. Catharine Rectory
215 Essex Avenue
Spring Lake, NJ 07762
We will forward to the family.
Please join Sr. Carole and Sr. Margaret and Sr. Mary on live stream each Monday and Wednesday at 4PM to pray the rosary.
Stations of the Cross
Virtual Stations of the Cross will take place Fridays at 7PM.
215 Essex Avenue
Spring Lake, NJ 07762
This week's collection total was $21,850
Mail/drop off: $11,013
Parish Giving: $9,489
Although we are not currently hosting public masses, we are doing our very best to maintain a community for our parishioners and friends.
If you are able, please maintain your contributions to the parish. Donations can be mailed, given electronically, or dropped off in the free standing mailbox outside the rectory offices.
This will help us continue to pay our staff, who continue to work, and maintain vital programs and operations.
More information on electronic giving can be found
or by contacting Lisa Cole at
We're Updating Our Census
In the next few weeks all off our parishioners will be contacted by a member of staff to update their information on file.
We will be collecting the following information:
- Phone Number
- Email Address
- Names and Ages of Family Members
The last time we did a large update was in 2010.
If you have any questions please contact the rectory.
God's peace be with you during this difficult time. I know many of you are suffering from fear and anxiety amidst the Coronavirus pandemic and the economic repercussions it has caused. One of the great sadnesses for me personally is being separated from you - my flock - during this societal lockdown. Not being able to fully care for your spiritual needs leaves us, priests, feeling empty and anxious.
Thankfully, a small blessing has found its way to our parish. TAN Books, a Catholic publisher based in North Carolina and someone we have done business with in the past, has graciously offered to supply us with a host of books covering various spiritual topics, and perfect to keep your Faith strong and engaged during this difficult time, all at a
discounted rate of 30% off
30% of all sales from our parish will be sent back to us as a donation
Simply go to their website,
, and use the code
at checkout to receive the discount.
This is a great way to make a donation to our parish and receive something of great spiritual value in return.
Here are some of the books and topics recommended during this time:
For Spiritual Communion and the Eucharist
Books for a Holy Easter
Essentials to grow in Holiness
I know this is only a small gift, but we hope you will find these and all their other titles to be valuable resources that will deepen your faith and comfort you during a very difficult time.
If you have any questions, please contact Lisa at
or 732-449-5765 x169
Yours in Christ,
Send Us A Family Picture
As I'm sure you can imagine, saying mass in an empty church isn't that easy. We want all of you to be with our priests at mass.
Please send in a family picture (at least 8x10) and we'll put them on the pews for mass. Printing it on regular paper is perfect, we just want you with us.
Pictures can be mailed to the rectory at 215 Essex Avenue Spring Lake, NJ 07762 or dropped in the mailbox outside.
Get Social With Us
We are constantly posting updates while we are maintaining a virtual office.
Please visit us on our social media accounts
Thank you for reading our daily message.
We love hearing from you!
Feel free to message us back
on Wednesday, April 8 at 6:26PM