Fr. Martin’s Messages:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I hope you all had a wonderful July 4 celebration and that you had the opportunity to celebrate it with family and friends.  Big congrats to all who organized the Fireworks displays in Florence/Roebling and Bordentown.  I had the pleasure of witnessing the Bordentown Fireworks and have to say they were spectacular.

It has been such a whirlwind since I arrived here.  So much so that I feel I never really got the chance to introduce myself to you.  As you all realize at this stage I am Irish and joined the Diocese of Trenton 2 years ago.  I served in St Elizabeth of Hungary Parish, Avon-by-the-Sea for 3 months and then joined the team in St Catharine-St Margaret Parish, Spring Lake for the following 21 months.

I was ordained June 26 1994 and appointed Religious Ed teacher in a High School for 8 years.  Following school I was appointed Youth Director in my home diocese and worked in youth ministry till 2015.

I bring with me my two trusted friends, Fanchea (meaning free spirit) and Scouser (meaning a supporter of Liverpool football club).  They are 15 years old this year, which in dog years are about 76.  They have traveled to all the parishes I have been appointed to, and that includes the long journey on Aer Lingus from Dublin to JFK.  They are now officially the welcoming committee at Mary, Mother of the Church Parish Office.  Please don’t give them any treats; the good people in the office spoil them rotten.

At my first Masses in the parish I extended the offer to bless your homes and I have to say I have received a number of invites.  I would like to make that offer again and extend it to house Masses.  In Ireland it was a wonderful tradition of a family hosting a house Mass and invite their family members or Catholic neighbors to their home for Mass and a house blessing.  It was also a way of explaining to younger family members the origins of the Mass and allowing them lead parts of the Mass and blessing of their home.

One of the great traditions of Jesus was to go to people’s homes and sit with them and allowing them to experience his love and presence.  I believe Jesus still wishes to do the same today and if you would like for that to happen and I would love to oblige.

A wee thought for the week: “You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new one.” – C.S. Lewis

—Fr Martin