Welcome to the Parish of St. Teresa of Calcutta!
One Parish Family With Two Worship Sites
Ascension Worship Site Saint Elizabeth Worship Site
The Parish of St. Teresa of Calcutta is a Roman Catholic parish, under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Trenton, serving the Jersey Shore communities of Avon by the Sea, Bradley Beach, Neptune, Neptune City, and neighboring areas. Our Parish community was formed on July 1st, 2018 by uniting the Church of the Ascension, Bradley Beach, with St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church, Avon by the Sea. We hope to meet you at one of our community churches as we walk hand in hand, united in Christ, doing the Lord’s good work here along coastal New Jersey and beyond.
PLEASE REMEMBER THE GUIDELINES WHILE ATTENDING MASS
We are to KEEP SOCIAL DISTANCING (unless with family) and WEAR A MASK. While some do not like or believe in wearing a mask, it is still mandatory. It is also a tool of evangelization. Many people are anxious about coming out and it is important that they know that we are taking precautions so they feel welcome and safe! Thank you!
Bishop’s Extension of Dispensation from Sunday and Holy Day Mass Obligations
Bishop O’Connell issued the following announcement on October 7, 2020. After consultation with the Presbyteral Council (PC) yesterday, the dispensation from the Sunday obligation will continue through Christmas and until further notice. COVID continues to be a serious concern. Our Diocesan Directives and guidelines remain in force.
The Weekend Mass Schedule is as follows;
October 31st and November 1, 2020
Sat-4pm-Inside Church Avon*
Sun-9am-Inside Church Avon*
Sat-5:30pm-Inside Church Bradley*
Sun-10am-On Rectory Front Lawn Bradley
*Inside Mass Limit 100 Persons
Masks are mandatory. Please bring a chair for outside mass and be sure to socially distance.
Attention Ministry Leaders:
The Bishop has revised some of the liturgical and pastoral guidelines and directives due to COVID. Here is one important announcement: “Parish meetings held in a location other than church are permitted provided they are limited to 25 percent capacity, masks are worn, social distancing is observed and sanitation protocols are followed. Refreshments are not permitted.
Please remember that all meetings must be scheduled through the parish oﬃce by contacting Linda Gunther (732)774-0456 ext.101.
Catholics Vote!: ‘Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship’
Our Bishop, David M. O’Connell, C.M., has recently authored the following message about faithful citizenship in this election season. The Bishop writes that Catholic citizens are “called
to vote conscientiously because we are people of faith.”
Baptized Catholic citizens of the United States of America have a “dual citizenship,” one within the nation and one within the Catholic Church. Although distinct, they exist jointly in each baptized American Catholic citizen.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reminds American Catholics that, as citizens of this country, we vote and, as
Catholic American citizens, we vote conscientiously because we are people of faith.
The Church’s obligation to participate in shaping the moral character of society is a requirement of our faith (USCCB, “Forming
Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States,” 2020, no.
In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue and participation is a moral obligation … rooted in our baptismal commitment to follow Jesus Christ and to bear Christian witness in all we do (ibid., no. 13).
Earlier this year, Pope Francis spoke to a gathering of American bishops in Rome and advised them:
Teach your people discernment by you stepping back from the “sheer politics” of it. If you try to step back and say “but here are
the major moral issues that we face,” that is what is most important (Pope Francis to USCCB Region X, Ad Limina, Jan. 20, 2020).
That advice is certainly consistent with the Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law and with Church practice in the United
States.Bishops and ordained clergy clearly have a right to their own personal opinions in political matters and a right to express
them. They should not preach their opinions from the pulpit, however, or any other official forum and should refrain from taking an
active part in political parties which includes the public endorsement of particular candidates for political office.
So, what is the role of the ordained clergy as election time rolls around?
… bishops (and ordained clergy) do not intend to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote. Our purpose is to help Catholics
form their consciences in accordance with God’s truth. We recognize that the responsibility to make choices in political life rests
with each individual in light of a properly formed conscience, and that participation goes well beyond casting a vote in a particular
election (USCCB, “Forming Consciences . . .,” 2020, no.7).
Bishops and ordained clergy as their collaborators participate in the three-fold mission of the Catholic Church “to teach, to govern
and to sanctify” the People of God. Insofar as political matters or issues concern aspects of faith, morals and the common good,
bishops and ordained clergy have a proper responsibility to exercise their teaching office in their regard both in the Church and “in
the public square.” That is not the same as participating in political activity or endorsing particular candidates for political office “in
the name of the Church.”
Since, as noted above, American Catholic citizens — bishops, ordained clergy and lay faithful — are called to “vote conscientiously
because we are people of faith,” and since bishops and ordained clergy participate in the Church’s teaching mission, it is their proper
role to help Catholics develop their consciences and understand what the Church teaches in matters of faith, morals and the common
good so that they can make decisions consistent with their Catholic faith.
Clergy and lay people have complementary roles in public life. We bishops have the primary responsibility to hand on the Church’s
moral and social teaching. Together with priests and deacons, assisted by religious and lay leaders of the Church, we are to teach
fundamental moral principles that help Catholics form their consciences correctly, to provide guidance on the moral dimensions of
public decisions, and to encourage the faithful to carry out their responsibilities in political life. In fulfilling these responsibilities,
the Church’s leaders avoid endorsing or opposing candidates. As Pope Benedict XVI stated in Deus Caritas Est (no. 28):
“The Church wishes to help form consciences in political life and to stimulate greater insight into the authentic requirements of
justice as well as greater readiness to act accordingly, even when this might involve conflict with situations of personal interest.
“The Church cannot and must not take upon herself the political battle to bring about the most just society possible. She cannot and
must not replace the State. Yet at the same time she cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice.”
Our consciences do not simply appear when we are born. They need to develop, grow, mature and be formed as an individual goes
through life. For the Catholic, such formation is a lifelong process and the Church’s official teachers play a critical part in that process. It takes time, learning, prayer, experience and conversation so that Catholics can make well-reasoned judgments about real-life
situations and be prepared to make good decisions with well-formed consciences when opportunities present themselves.
For Catholics, such preparation begins with a desire to know the truth about what is right and wrong. “Do good and avoid evil” is a
fundamental human moral principle that should undergird decisions and actions for all human beings and not only Catholics. Combined with the revelation of Sacred Scripture and authoritative Catholic teaching, Catholics specifically form their consciences so that, while examining facts and information in life’s situations as they confront them, they can then prayerfully discern
the will of God “in the public square.”
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops offers guidance to American Catholics — again, including all the baptized
(ordained clergy as well as the lay faithful) — in its document “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political
Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States” (“FCFC”), which is updated and published regularly before every
national election. It is a “voters’ guide” only in the sense of presenting rational human and doctrinal principles inherent in Catholic
moral and social teaching while not in any way endorsing political parties, political platforms or agendas, or particular candidates
for political office.
While there are many human moral issues before us and that surface especially in every election cycle, it is important to note that
not every moral issue is of equal significance. Using “FCFC” as source material, here are some of the most important moral issues
that the Church believes and teaches and that, in accordance with a good and well-formed conscience, every Catholic should seriously consider and take into account in decisions they make:
1. Issues that directly affect human life. Every human life is sacred, from conception to natural death. That has been and
remains firm Catholic teaching based upon sound human reasoning and is, therefore, our most basic principle as Catholics.
“FCFC” asserts that “The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it
takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed. At the same time, we cannot
dismiss or ignore other serious threats to human life and dignity such as racism, the environmental crisis, poverty and the
death penalty. Our efforts to protect the unborn remain as important as ever, for just as the Supreme Court may allow greater
latitude for state laws restricting abortion, state legislators have passed statutes not only keeping abortion legal through all
nine months of pregnancy but opening the door to infanticide. Additionally, abortion contaminates many other important
issues by being inserted into legislation regarding euthanasia and assisted suicide, embryonic stem-cell research, immigration, care for the poor, and health care reform (Introductory Letter). The Catholic Church teaches that all these practices
have profound moral consequences.
2. Religious liberty. The United States Constitution protects religious liberty in its First Amendment. It includes not only
our freedom to worship but also our freedom to believe in and practice our faith as Americans … or not to believe! The
Church teaches that every effort should be made to preserve and support religious liberty. Individuals and communities of
faith should not be subject to religious persecution.
3. Traditional marriage and family life. There has been and continues to be a growing movement in our country to
“redefine marriage.” The Church teaches that the faithful union of one man and one woman is the foundation of the family
and, as an essential core element of a flourishing society and Church, traditional marriage and family life must be protected
4. The disparity between rich and poor. Most of the world’s resources are in the hands of a small percentage of its people. Federal budgets have moral implications and should prioritize the poorest and most vulnerable among
us. Unemployment, homelessness and inadequate housing are evident throughout our nation, especially in major population
centers, and need to be confronted and addressed to ensure economic justice for all.
5. Immigration reform. Undocumented persons in the United States deserve respect and human compassion. There has
been and remains an ongoing immigration problem in our country that requires a humane solution by our elected government
6. Racism and inequality. The Declaration of Independence affirms that “all men are created equal” and “are endowed by
their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The Church opposes
“all oppression and all injustice.” The elimination of racism, bigotry, discrimination and inequality is a goal to be achieved in
7. Violence, hatred and crime. Society has a duty to protect and defend its members against violence, hatred and
crime. “Violence cannot be overcome by violence. Violence is overcome by peace! By peace, by working with dignity to
help your homeland move forward (Pope Francis, “Remarks” at Phoenix Center, Bethlehem, May 26, 2014).”
8. Protection of the Environment. Pope Francis has declared stewardship of the earth, our “common home,” a contemporary moral imperative. “Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last 200 years. … We
are not God. The earth was here before us and was given to us. … The idea of unlimited growth, which proves so attractive
to economists, financiers and experts in technology … is based on the lie that there is an infinite supply of the earth’s goods
and leads to the planets being squeezed dry at every limit. … Yet all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst,
are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good and making a new start (Pope Francis, encyclical “Laudato Si’: Care for Our Common Home,” 2015, no. 53, 67, 106, 205).” Progress in protecting the environment
lies in our hands but especially in the hands of those who govern us.
The preceding headings do not represent an exhaustive list of moral issues of major concern to the Catholic Church in our country,
clergy and lay faithful alike. War and peace, international relations, educational choice, health care reform, use of print, broadcast
and electronic media and a host of other moral and social concerns warrant our attention as Catholics. Careful study, civil dialogue
and prayerful reflection should accompany our decision making as we consider our support for political parties and candidates for
As American Catholics, we look to the Church and its official teachers for clear, careful and consistent presentation and application
of principles that undergird, support and protect our Catholic moral and social teachings so that the common good, truth, justice and
peace are enhanced, preserved and advanced in American society. We should not expect bishops, ordained clergy or other Church
leaders to tell us for whom or against whom to vote.
May God in whom we trust bless the United States of America.
Both our churches are now set up for socially distant masses. Please do not sit in the pews that have caution tape on them while in the church. Only two people to a pew, one on each end. If you are from the same family, you are allowed to sit as a family. Thank you for your cooperation!
DIOCESAN ADVISORY ON A SAFE RETURN
TO IN-CHURCH MASSES
Limited in-church public Masses resumed June 8 for daily Mass and June 13-14 for weekend Mass. However, media reports have indicated significant spikes in coronavirus cases in 21 states that have re-opened or relaxed restrictions. As the Diocese approached the first public in-church Masses, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., reminded the faithful of several key points from the established directives:
- COVID-19 is still extremely contagious, especially indoors or in closed settings;
- The dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday/Holy Day Masses remains in effect so that all Catholic faithful, in good conscience, are not required to be physically present in church; live-streamed Masses will continue in most parishes;
- Anyone who is sick or at risk should not come to church; that is not punitive but, rather, common sense and an act of charity toward your neighbors;
- All parishes are expected to abide strictly by occupancy limits/restrictions and other regulations of the Diocese with care;
- Masks must be worn (no exceptions), physical contact of any kind must be avoided, social distancing must be practiced, proper sanitation must be observed at all public in-church Masses;
- Before attending public, in-church Masses, the Catholic faithful are asked to consider any possible health and safety risks involved.
The Rectory Office is currently closed to visitors but our staff will be happy to respond to your messages by phone or email. Our number is 732-774-0456. Our fax number is 732-775-9335. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org
There is still plenty of availability to have a mass said for your loved ones through year end. You can mail in your request to the rectory; 501 Brinley Ave, Bradley Beach, NJ 07720; please include the Worship Site, the mass day and time along with a phone number to reach you. Please also include who it should be for and also who it should be requested by. Please let me know if you need a card, I can place one in the mail to you. All masses are $10.00.
Diocese creates weekly resource to help families foster faith at home
The new resource, titled Faith At Home, is a collaboration between Contino; Josue Arriola, director of the Department of Evangelization and Family Life, and Dan Waddington, director of the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries.
Faith At Home, which is available online in English and Spanish, offers a weekly downloadable pdf that includes links from various Catholic websites, discussion questions related to each Sunday’s Gospel, a “Tip of the Week” that connects to the upcoming Sunday Liturgy, and activities for families.
The webpage, www.dioceseoftrenton.org/faith-at-home or www.dioceseoftrenton.org/fe-en-casa, also offers resources and prayers for individuals, adults, families with young children, teens and marriages.
“I think the Faith At Home initiative is important because it provides a way for parishes and the Diocese to make a connection to families and continue to support their faith growth even though we cannot come together,” Waddington said. “I hope it can be a simple way to help families intentionally live out their faith in their home.”
Faith At Home follows the success of the Department of Evangelization and Family Life’s online resource released at the end of Lent. That guide offered practical advice on how faithful could observe Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum at home. Pastors, parish catechetical leaders and others were appreciative for the guide and praised the ease of sharing it with their communities, Contino said.
The new resource “is meant as a supplement to the Sunday Liturgy,” Contino emphasized. “It serves the faithful by offering families a place to go each week to break open the Word of God as a family.”
She added that it can also help those who might not have a connection to a parish but are searching for ways to connect with their faith.
Arriola said it’s his hope that Faith At Home will help family members enjoy being together.
“Many families involve their children in many activities, and they are always rushing from place to place,” he said, “but the moment they are together with no place to go, it is strange for them. They usually don’t know what to do. Faith At Home will give them ideas on things to do together and start enjoying each other’s company.”
The three diocesan directors said they were pleased to work on a project together that helps the faithful during such difficult times.
“It is an honor to collaborate with other departments,” Waddington said. “I feel the result of sharing our individual gifts, talents and perspectives through prayer and guidance of the Holy Spirit will be a well-rounded resource that can support many.”
“Collaboration with the departments is key,” said Contino, as she cited the Scripture passage, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Mt. 18:20)
Arriola agreed. “We are one Diocese with one mission: ‘Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature,’” Arriola said, quoting from Mark 16:9-15. “This mission can only be accomplished by working together.”
Spiritual Communion During this Time of Pandemic
Making an Act of Spiritual Communion has a long history in the Christian Tradition. This practice reflects a deep desire to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament and lovingly embrace him at a time or in circumstances when one cannot receive Him in sacramental Communion. The most common reason for making an Act of Spiritual Communion is when a person cannot attend Mass. During this time of an international health crisis, we offer the following Act of Spiritual Communion by St. Alphonsus Liguori, the founder of the Redemptorists, and we pray that we may soon gather again around the table of the Eucharist to receive him sacramentally.
My Jesus, I believe you are really here in the Blessed Sacrament. I love you more than anything in the world, and I hunger to feed on your flesh. But since I cannot receive Communion at this moment, feed my soul at least spiritually. I unite myself to you now as I do when I actually receive you. Never let me drift away from you.
More families these days are paying their bills online and not writing checks. If you wish to go “green,” visit our Parish website at www.stocp.org and click the Parish Giving icon. You can set up weekly, monthly, or a one-time contribution to the Parish of St. Teresa of Calcutta. Any questions please call the rectory 732-774-0456.
Click the link below
If you have not signed up for Flocknote yet please go to our website and at the bottom of the page click on Flocknote and it will guide you on signing up. It is important that we get as many people as possible to sign up for this so that we can contact you in the event of a closure due to weather and other events that are going on in our parish.