Pentecost Sunday

05-31-2020Gospel Meditation

You can feel so small standing by the seashore. The vastness of all that is before you expands much farther than your eye can see. What is happening on the other side? As tides continue to ebb and flow, what occurs as they come and go remains largely a mystery and the effects of their presence unknown in your sight. Yet, things are moving and changing as you gaze upon the water, as the thumbprint of their presence is left behind. The greater the wind and wave, the greater the effect. But even a gentle breeze leaves its humble mark upon the seashore on which you stand. The smallest pebble still makes a ripple in the great blue expanse of ocean waters. It doesn’t need to be big.


The Floodlight Illuminating what Jesus has Told Us

05-31-2020The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew

Dear Friend,

The Holy Spirit's distinctive role is to fulfill what we may call a floodlight ministry in relation to the Lord Jesus.

I remember walking to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris one winter evening to preach on the words, "He will glorify me" (John 16:14). Seeing the building floodlit as I turned a corner I realized that this was exactly the illustration my message needed.


Receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit

05-31-2020Everyday Stewardship - Recognize God in Your Ordinary Moments

“To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:7)

To receive the gift of the Holy Spirit you must open your heart and invite Him in! Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts, words, and actions every day! Be grateful for all the gifts God has given you!

Regardless of our individual circumstances, God has given all of us many blessings. What we do with those gifts is our gift back to God! By generously sharing everything we have and everything we are, we become more “God-centered” and less “self-centered” and our lives truly reflect God’s light, love, and mercy.

Everlasting Easter

05-24-2020Everyday Stewardship - Recognize God in Your Ordinary Moments

The Easter season is almost over. This season is always a tougher one for us Catholics. We get Advent and Lent: preparation. We are on board with Christmas, mainly because we like to keep up our decorations until someone tells us the exact day we must take them down. But Easter as a season is a bit more difficult to observe. The rest of the world has moved on. There are no Easter eggs left in store windows and all those religious movies on television have given way to reruns or season-ending episodes. It just feels like Easter anywhere ... except in the Church.


I Believe in the Love of all Mothers

05-24-2020The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew

Dear Friend,

I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of the loving God, who was born of the promise to a virgin named Mary.

I believe in the love Mary gave her son, that caused her to follow him in his ministry and stand by his cross as he died.

I believe in the love of all mothers, and its importance in the lives of the children, they bear.


Solemnity of the Ascension

05-24-2020Gospel Meditation

What does faith and religion do for us? Ultimately, they remind us of some truths we conveniently forget: we are created by a loving God, we have imperfections, we sin, we need to be forgiven, we have a mission and a purpose, it’s not just about us, and we hunger for the joy of salvation. These are human truths that are not dependent upon whether we like them. Ignoring them places us on the paths of comfort and satisfaction as we blindly pursue the busyness and superficiality of our empty lives. Instead of pursuing supernatural and lasting pleasure, we choose things that are easier and quicker to obtain: sex, drugs, travel, houses, cars, fame, popularity, self-achievement and satisfaction, physical enjoyment, and the like.


COVID-19 Mailing - June 2020

05-24-2020Coronavirus UpdatesFr. Matthew

Dear Parishioner and Friend of Our Lady of Peace in Fords,

Each beat of the human heart keeps us alive, pumping blood through our bodies, powering our organs. Without it, we simply could not do anything. That is the physical heart. There is also the symbolic heart, the one that is connected to the idea of love. This heart is the center of our moral and emotional being. It guides us through our days, our relationships, our lives. But what of the Sacred Heart? The Feast of the Sacred Heart is celebrated on June 19, and is dedicated to the memory of Christ’s compassion, love, and suffering.


Sixth Sunday of Easter

05-17-2020Gospel Meditation

We hope for many things: passing an exam, finding our true love, securing sustainable work, or surviving an illness. We often seek to have God be a part of what we hope for and desire, almost trying to convince Him that our agenda is what is ultimately important. While our particular hopes may appear to be what needs to be achieved in order for us to be happy, they really are not. Our lesser, more personal hopes can distract us from true hope.


Move from Horror to Hope

05-17-2020The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew

Dear Friend,

In Jerusalem there is a Holocaust Museum dedicated to the memory of the millions of Jews who were killed by the Nazis in World War II. Going through the museum is a very depressing experience because you see these horrible pictures and read the accounts of the ghettos and the concentration camps. But in the midst of all the dark tales of suffering, there is one amazing story of how God can transform horror into hope.


COVID-19 Mailing - Mother's Day

05-10-2020Coronavirus UpdatesFr. Matthew

Dear Family of Our Lady of Peace in Fords New Jersey,

You continue to be remembered in my Masses and prayers as we enter the month of May.  It is in May that we celebrate the Mother of Jesus, as well as bringing to mind our own mother.

For those whose mothers and grandmothers are still alive - cherish them today. Honor them. Thank them.

For those whose mothers have gone home to the Lord, remember them.


May 10, 2020 - Fifth Sunday of Easter

05-10-2020Gospel Meditation

When earthly lives end, especially when the person is younger, we tend to focus upon and consider what was lost. We think of lost opportunities - things they won’t be able to see, babies they won’t be able to cradle, and adventures that now must go undiscovered. Our minds create this chasm between earth and heaven that sees the losses of this life as permanent ones, never possible to achieve again. This perception causes many folks to remain stuck in their grief as they ponder all of the missed opportunities and regrets.


Allow God to Prune You

05-03-2020The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew

Dear Friend,

Every branch that bears fruit must be pruned to bear much more fruit. A friend of mine has a fruit tree that has been living for a number of years. Every winter the cold weather and heavy breeze kills more than half of the branches and leaves. If he does not prune the dead, it will spread and kill the whole tree. Therefore, he must prune what is wilted to save the rest of the tree. In turn, the tree grows bigger, stronger, and bears more fruit than before. The fruit doesn't only multiply, but they are much more pleasing in their flavor.


Mean What You Say

04-26-2020Everyday Stewardship - Recognize God in Your Ordinary Moments

Missouri is known as the "Show Me" state. There seems to be differing points of view as to how this motto came into existence, but today it is said to speak of a people who operate with common sense and are not easily fooled by slick-talking or show.

We would be prudent to adopt such a disposition ourselves. To be this way is not really like St. Thomas in the Gospel when he doubts what he clearly sees right in front of him. It is more about holding ourselves to a standard explained in another motto: "Say what you mean and mean what you say."


Tell God All that is on Your Heart

04-26-2020The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew

Dear Friend,

Francois Fenelon, a seventeenth century Roman Catholic writer said this about prayer:

"Tell God all that is on your heart, as one unloads one’s heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend.

Tell Him your troubles, that He may comfort you; tell Him your joys, that He may sober them; tell Him your longings, that He may purify them; tell Him your dislikes, that He may help you conquer them; talk to Him of your temptations, that He may shield you from them; show Him the wounds of your heart, that He may heal them; lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved tastes for evil, your instability.


He Cried for Me

04-19-2020The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew

Dear Friend,

Yvette, who is a young mother in Washington, D.C., recently told me her remarkable story, she wrote:

"It was the end. I knew it. I could no longer fight. I sat here emotionless. I was totally alone. Others had tried to help -- doctors, nurses, parents, husband, children. But they were gone. Hours earlier I had come into the hospital on an emergency basis. I had back pain so severe that at times, it dropped me to my knees. This was not my first hospital stay. I had been sick for a long time it seemed...


COVID-19 Mailing - April 2020

04-05-2020Coronavirus UpdatesFr. Matthew

Dear Friend and Parishioner of OLP in Fords,

This is Holy Week; these are profound and solemn days that call to mind the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus.

First and foremost, we need to continue and remind ourselves to pray, earnestly, and for one 
another. These are certainly difficult and polarizing times for us, individually and as a society.
 But remember, prayer is our one-on-one time with the Lord. In our prayer, we need to remind
 ourselves that Jesus Christ is with us and wants to be with us; remember all the blessings in our
 life! Then, we need to read this week's Scriptures. Finally, we need to reflect on what we read. Listen to what God wants to say to us. Perhaps, especially now in a time of anxiety.


COVID-19 Mailing - March 2020

03-15-2020Coronavirus UpdatesFr. Matthew

Dear Members and Friends of Our lady of Peace parish in Fords, New Jersey,

As a parish community, we are mindful that this is a stressful and anxious time for all, as the COVID-19 health crisis is causing so many disruptions and hardships to our daily lives, forcing many of us to stay home from work and school, practicing social distancing and self-quarantining and for some, perhaps threatening one's employment security.

As your pastor, I want our parishioners and the community we serve to remain connected to each other and to the Good Lord.