Today is Holy Family Sunday, the day on which the Church celebrates family life and asks us to reflect on the family as
the basic unit of society. It is the family in which we are nurtured and nourished and which, throughout our lives,
offers the support that allows us to continue to grow and, at the same time, to be secure in the knowledge that there is a
place where we are loved. It is in the family that we experience the ties that bind, bringing us together into the
most intimate of all human relationships. We all know that families continue under a great deal of stress right now, not
only because so many households now have to have two “breadwinners,” but also because of the number of marriage
relationships that have failed and the stress of “blended families,” and the continued pressure to re-define marriage,
now also including the looming possibility that polygamy will be the next hot-button issue.
As our reflection, I once again offer this prayer, composed by the poet Robert Louis Stevenson, for all our families and
for the parish family of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It captures so many of the deepest wishes we hope for our
families and it is my hope, prayer and wish for all of you. Lord, behold our family here assembled. We thank you
for this place in which we dwell; for the love that unites us; for the peace accorded us this day; for the hope
with which we wait for tomorrow; for the health, the work, the food and the bright skies that make our lives
delightful; for our friends in all parts of the earth.
Let peace abound in our small community. Purge out of every heart the lurking grudge. Give us grace and
strength to forbear and persevere. Give us the grace to accept and forgive offenses. Forgetful ourselves, help
us to bear cheerfully the forgetfulness of others.
Give us courage and gaiety and a quiet mind. Spare us to our friends, soften us to our enemies. Bless us in all
our endeavors. Give us the strength to encounter that which is to come that we may be brave in peril,
constant in tribulation, temperate in wrath and in all changes in fortune, and down to the gates of death,
loyal and loving, one to another.
As the clay to the potter, as the windmill to the wind, as children to their father, we ask of You this help and
mercy for Christ’s sake. Amen.
God bless all our families and this parish family of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and a very large and warm thank
you for all of you who make this parish a real family.
All peace and joy in the New Year,
P.S. And here I go with another PS, which directly affects this parish family that I just wrote about. I have
briefly written previously on the proposed parking garage the Village is considering building on the site of
the present ground lot on Hudson Street. The Council had a first vote on the authorization of the bonds to pay
for the lot. I am not sure if the Council has officially approved the largest of the designs, for 400+ cars, but, I
believe the bond issue would be for an amount that is needed for that design.
As I wrote, I have concerns about the proposed size of that project, the traffic it could create around the church, and the
proposed re-orientation of Hudson and Passaic Streets, affecting the way funerals park at Mount Carmel and ingress and
egress into and from the driveways that surround the former convent. As I write this, we have engaged an
independent consultant to review the Traffic Impact Study prepared for the Village.
I invite all interested parishioners to one of two meetings to be held this week, one on Tuesday evening, December
29, 2015 at 7:30 PM or, for those who prefer not to come out at night, Wednesday afternoon, December 30, 2015
at 2:00 PM. Both meetings will be held in the Parish
Center and the purpose is to give you any information about our review of the Traffic Impact Study and to
offer you the opportunity to respond to the project proposed by the Village. In preparation, I encourage
everyone to go to the Village website www.ridgewoodnj.net . If you click on the Hudson
Street garage icon you will find some valuable information, including the simulations of the designed
garage as it fits into adjacent buildings and from different perspectives. It is very helpful in understanding the project.
It is important that we hear from you before January 6, 2016, when the Village Council will take up the Bond Issue again.