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New Summer Program Engages Youth in Service Around Archdiocese of Newark


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Newark NJ,  The Office for Youth & Young Adult Ministry of the Archdiocese of Newark recently launched its new “Days in the Diocese” program, which offers one-day service immersion experiences to archdiocesan teens throughout Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union counties.

Continue reading New Summer Program Engages Youth in Service Around Archdiocese of Newark

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Cardinal Tobin Invites Faithful to Join Livestream of Sunday Mass

Cardinal Tobin

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Newark NJ, The Archdiocese of Newark announced today it will live-stream Mass this Sunday, March 15, 2020 at Noon (EST). All faithful are invited to join virtually. The bilingual (English and Spanish) Mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, to provide the faithful with spiritual nourishment during this time of need.

To watch the livestream, visit the Archdiocese of Newark’s YouTube channel at Following the livestream, the video will be available on the Archdiocese’s Facebook page and website at Links also will be available on archdiocesan social media channels: @nwkarchdiocese.

Continued updates will be posted on the Archdiocese of Newark’ s website at

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NJ State Senator Rails Against ‘Bigoted’ Anti-Catholic Comments Made by Democrat U.S. Senators


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, State senator Joe Pennacchio today called on the United States Senate to condemn U.S. Senators Kamala Harris (D-California) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) in light of reports that the two Democratic Senators made what Pennacchio cited as anti-Catholic and bigoted comments during their review of Brian Buescher’s judicial nomination to the U.S. District Court in Nebraska.

During last years divisive Village Council Election the Harwin campaign funded by developers and Democrat special interest groups launched into a series of anti Catholic diatribes including circulating a letter attacking Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Ridgewood.

Pennacchio also questioned why New Jersey’s U.S. Senators, Cory Booker and Bob Menendez, who represent a large Catholic population, have yet to speak out. During the hearing, U.S. Sens. Harris and Hirono insinuated that Buescher would not be able to rule fairly and impartially because he is a longtime member of the Knights of Columbus.

“Religious intolerance and bigotry of any kind has no place in the halls of government,” said Pennacchio. “I have yet to hear either of our U.S. Senate representatives condemn these remarks. Their silence is deafening. No one should be excluded from serving in the judiciary because of their faith.

“Roman Catholicism is the second largest religion in the United States, and the Knights of Columbus is an honorable service organization that has given back to millions of people,” the Republican state senator from Morris County added. This is not a cause for concern and insinuating otherwise is irresponsible and misleading. Make no mistake – the attack on the Knights of Columbus was an attack on the Church itself. The U.S. Senate should formerly condemn Senators Harris and Hirono immediately and their colleagues in Congress should speak out against their conduct. As a Catholic and an American, I am absolutely appalled. It seems that being anti-Catholic or anti-Semitic has become politically-chic, and we should all be alarmed.”

Pennacchio noted that this is not the first time Catholic judicial nominees have been attacked by Democratic U.S. representatives. In 2017, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) levied similar anti-Catholic attacks against judicial nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. He noted that in 2011, Governor Christie and members of the Legislature on both sides of the aisle rallied to support a Muslim judicial nominee who was being attacked for his faith. Pennacchio emphasized that Catholic judicial nominees who are qualified and worthy of serving on the bench should be given the same support.

“We should all be concerned about the rise of bias in this country,” said the senator. “The hateful rhetoric must come to an end and we should shed light on anyone who is spewing hate, regardless of their party affiliation or the faith they are attacking. It is no more acceptable to attack someone for being Catholic, than it is to attack someone for any other religious belief.”

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N.J. teen admits terror plot to kill Pope Francis in Philly


By Thomas Moriarty | NJ Advance Media for
on April 03, 2017 at 5:31 PM, updated April 03, 2017 at 8:22 PM

CAMDEN — A Camden County teen admitted in federal court Monday to plotting to kill Pope Francis during his 2015 visit to Philadelphia.

Santos Colon, 17, of Lindenwold, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden to a charge of attempting to provide material support to terrorists, according to court records.

Colon, also known as Ahmad Shakoor, had tried to recruit a person he thought was a sniper to join him in his plot, which involved shooting the Pope during his Papal mass and setting off explosive devices, according to a statement from Acting U.S. Attorney William E Fitzgerald and Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary B. McCord.

Authorities say the “sniper” was actually an undercover operative for the FBI, which arrested Colon after he scoped out possible targets with an informant, who Colon also instructed to purchase bomb components.

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Mafia godfathers can’t be church godfathers, bishop rules


A bishop in Sicily has banned known mafia criminals from acting as godfathers at baptisms in churches in his diocese.

Michele Pennisi, bishop of Monreale, near Palermo, said Friday he had issued a decree to that effect in a bid to challenge any notion that the bosses of organized crime have a paternalistic side to them.

“The mafia has always taken the term Godfather from the Church to give its bosses an air of religious respectability, whereas in fact the two worlds are completely incompatible,” the bishop told AFP.

Pennisi’s diocese includes Corleone, a vendetta-haunted village inland from Palermo which was the birthplace of Don Corleone, the fictional Godfather in Mario Puzo’s novel and Francis Coppola’s films.

In February the bishop made headlines by criticizing a priest who had allowed the son of one of Sicily’s most notorious mobsters, Toto Riina, to act as godfather at a baptism.

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Why conservative Catholics think Pope Francis is a fraud


Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

It’s been five years since Pope Francis kicked off one of the most striking papacies in memory. Within the Catholic world, sadly divided into warring political camps, he is seen as a hero by progressive Catholics and a scourge of conservatives.

Why do so many conservatives dislike Pope Francis? In many cases, because he makes noises they dislike.

Francis has had harsh words against globalized capitalism, has written a major encyclical on the environment, and has been a major supporter of migrants in the crisis seizing Europe. In all these controversies, he actually hasn’t strayed too far from Catholic orthodoxy. But the most charitable version of the conservative critique, which is not unjustified, is that his tone and emphasis make him sound like a straightforward progressive, and risks identifying the Magisterium of the Church with the progressive left.

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US Exorcists: Demonic Activity on the Rise

priests exorcist

A look at the growing need to battle the devil.
Patti Armstrong

INDIANAPOLIS — There is an alarming increase in demonic activity being reported by those who work in exorcism ministry, said the exorcist for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Although steps are being taken to increase the number of exorcists, demand is still outpacing supply.

Father Vincent Lampert has been an exorcist for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis since 2005 and is the pastor at St. Malachy’s in Indianapolis. He trained at the North American College in Rome and assisted with more than 40 exorcisms with longtime Italian exorcist Father Carmine De Filippi. Although the identities of most exorcists are hidden, Father Lampert often gives talks to warn against evil and turn people toward the power of God.

In an interview with the Register, he said that he sees an increasing number of people involved in Satanic rituals and opening themselves up to evil.

“The problem isn’t that the devil has upped his game, but more people are willing to play it,” Father Lampert said. He pointed to rampant pornography, illegal drugs use and the occult. “Where there is demonic activity, there is always an entry point,” he said.

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March 12,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  NJ TRANSIT will operate extra bus service on selected routes to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) on Friday, March 17, to accommodate customers traveling to the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City.  Trains will operate on a regular weekday schedule.  Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, Newark Light Rail and River Line will also operate regular weekday schedules.

Please note: liquid containers of any kind, open or closed, will not be permitted on any train to and from New York/Hoboken on March 17.  Beverages of any kind are prohibited at all times on board buses.

NJ TRANSIT will have Ambassadors will be on hand at Secaucus Junction, Aberdeen/Matawan, Middletown, N.J., and Penn Station New York to assist customers.

Extra trips to and from New York will be offered on the following bus routes:

To New York – PABT:

No. 163 (Ridgewood – New York) additional local trips from Hackensack (Summit Ave. and Essex St.) to PABT from 8:46 a.m. until 10:42 a.m. operating via the Boulevard in Hasbrouck Heights, Wood-Ridge, Carlstadt, and East Rutherford. Additional Turnpike Express (T) trips from Paramus (Paramus Rd. and Ridgewood Ave.) to NY/PABT at 8:57 a.m. and 9:17 a.m.From New York – PABT:

No. 163 (New York – Ridgewood) additional local service from PABT to Hackensack (Summit Ave. and Essex St.) operating via East Rutherford, Carlstadt, Wood Ridge, and Hasbrouck Heights at 4:25 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.  Additional Turnpike Express (T) service from PABT to Ridgewood Terminal operating via Hackensack, Maywood, Rochelle Park, Paramus and Ridgewood at 3:20 p.m. and 4:58 p.m.

No. 321 (Vince Lombardi Park & Ride – New York) frequent express service from the PABT to Vince Lombardi Park & Ride every 30 minutes beginning at 12:45 p.m. through the late afternoon, then every 10-15 minutes during the afternoon peak hours.

Travel Tips

Ticketing:  To speed your return, purchase round-trip tickets at the start of your trip from bus operators inbound to New York or at ticket vending machines where available.  Bus customers departing Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) are reminded that tickets must be purchased before boarding the bus.
Allow Extra Travel Time:  Traffic congestion during the morning period and early to mid-afternoon hours before and after the parade may affect bus travel times to New York City.  Customers should plan accordingly.
Plan Ahead:  Extra bus service will operate a few minutes ahead of regularly scheduled trips on the routes listed above.  Customers should arrive at their bus boarding location 10 minutes earlier than the departure time.
Parking:  Customers traveling from Park/Rides at Allwood Road, North Bergen, Willowbrook Mall, Mothers and Wayne/Route 23 Transit Center are advised that parking fees still apply.
IMPORTANT NOTE:  No liquids of any kind, in any type of container, open or closed, will be permitted on any train to and from New York/Hoboken.  This policy will be strictly enforced.  Beverages of any kind are prohibited at all times on board buses.

For schedules and fares, visit or call 973-275-5555.

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Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin: Corned beef a Go on St. Patrick’s Day

Corned beef

Corned beef Dispensation

Statement of Cardinal Tobin on St. Patrick’s Day Dispensation

February 23, 2017

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This year, the celebration of the Feast of St. Patrick — March 17, 2017 — falls on the Friday of the Second Week of Lent.

After due consideration of a number of requests, I dispense the people of the Archdiocese of Newark from the obligation to abstain from meat on Friday, March 17, 2017.

I remind Catholics who avail themselves of this dispensation that the Church highly encourages you to substitute some other act of penance, such as special prayer, acts of piety or works of charity on March 17th.

Please share this information with all in your parish and school communities. I also encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to remind your communities of the Lenten Regulations, a copy of which is attached.

Sincerely in Christ the Redeemer,

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R.

Archbishop of Newark

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Bashing liberals, Muslims and millennials: Has this pro-Trump priest gone too far?

The Rev

By Mark Mueller | NJ Advance Media for
on February 08, 2017 at 8:38 AM, updated February 08, 2017 at 10:18 AM

Peter West, an avowed supporter of President Donald Trump, doesn’t shrink from calling it as he sees it.

Posting on Facebook and Twitter up to a dozen times a day, he has repeatedly railed against Muslims, calling moderate Islam “a myth” and voicing strong support for the president’s travel ban, which temporarily barred immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries before a judge issued a stay last week.

West has assailed millennials as “snowflakes” who attend “cry-ins” and described liberals as “smug and arrogant” people who find solace in puppies and Play-Doh.

He has called Hillary Clinton an “evil witch” and former President Barack Obama a “bum,” at one point sharing a post that challenged Obama’s authenticity as an African-American because he wasn’t raised by a poor single mother in the inner city.

Were West some random internet flamethrower, his posts might garner a shrug in an age of intense political division and social media rancor.

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Conservative criticism of Pope Francis intensified Saturday after his intervention in the Knights of Malta order, with posters appearing around Rome citing his actions against conservative Catholics and asking: “Where’s your mercy?”

The posters appeared on the same day that Francis cemented his authority over the Knights by naming a top Vatican archbishop, Angelo Becciu, to be his special delegate to the ancient aristocratic order.

Francis gave Becciu, the No. 2 in the Vatican secretariat of state, “all necessary powers” to help lay the groundwork for a new constitution for the order, lead the spiritual renewal of its professed knights and prepare for the election of a new grand master, expected in three months.

The Vatican’s intervention with the sovereign group had provided fuel for Francis’ conservative critics, who until Saturday had largely confined their concern with his mercy-over-morals papacy to blogs, interviews and conferences.

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Pope Francis decries the loss of Priests and Nuns going into the Catholic Church

Mount Carmel
January 29,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, in recent comments, Pope Francis said he is concerned about what he calls a “hemorrhage” of priests and nuns from the Catholic church. For decades, the Catholic church in many developed countries has seen the number of priests and nuns on the decline.

The pope on Saturday told participants at a Vatican gathering on religious life that the loss of clergy is weakening the church.

Pope Francis said that first among the factors causing nuns and priests to quit their vocations is a society that discourages lifelong commitments. Francis later lamented that many conduct their lives based on “a la carte” choices.

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Cardinal Tobin Installed as Sixth Archbishop of Newark

Cardinal Tobin

January 6, 2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Newark NJ,His Eminence, Joseph William Cardinal Tobin, C.Ss.R., was installed as the Sixth Archbishop of Newark this afternoon before an overflow crowd at Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, at a Mass attended by six Roman Catholic cardinals and some 60 archbishops and bishops from throughout the country. Some 500 priests and deacons from the Archdiocese, neighboring New Jersey and New York dioceses, and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, as well as civic leaders and representatives of New Jersey’s Jewish, Protestant and Orthodox communities, were in attendance. Some 2,000 people attended the standing-room-only service.

Also in attendance at the Installation were members of Cardinal Tobin’s family and guests from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, where he had served previously as Archbishop.

The Most Reverend John J. Myers, Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Newark, welcomed all guests to the liturgy on behalf of the priests, religious and laity of the Archdiocese. Immediately following the welcome, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, The Most Reverend Christophe Pierre, read the mandate of His Holiness, Pope Francis, authorizing Cardinal Tobin to take canonical possession of the Archdiocese of Newark, a faith community of some 1.5 million Catholics in Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Union counties.

Reverend Monsignor Michael A. Andreano, KCHS, Chancellor of the Archdiocese, presented the mandate to the College of Consultors of the Archdiocese of Newark, who examined it and affixed the archdiocesan seal. Cardinal Tobin then was led to the cathedra, the throne of the bishop of the diocese, and presented with the staff, the sign of his pastoral office.

Those in attendance greeted him with thunderous applause after the formal seating, and representatives of diocesan groups, leaders of religious communities, and government officials extended personal greetings to Archbishop Myers.

Those not able to be present at the installation were able to view the ceremony via a live broadcast of the entire liturgy provided by NetTV, the media arm of the Diocese of Brooklyn, and aired on EWTN and other Catholic television networks, as well as streamed live by

Pope Francis named Cardinal Tobin to lead the Archdiocese of Newark, one of the largest archdioceses in terms of population in the United States, on November 7, 2016. The Archdiocese extends over 511 square miles, and is geographically the smallest archdiocese in the United States. Some 877 priests serve in the various parishes and other ministries in this local Church of Newark. Permanent deacons, religious Sisters and Brothers total 1035. The Archdiocese of Newark encompasses 214 parishes, 96 private Catholic and parochial schools, four Catholic universities colleges, three Catholic hospitals, and almost 40 health care, ancillary care and medical centers, sanatoriums and hospices, homes for the invalid and aged, and centers for other human services. Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese is considered the largest non-governmental social service agency in the state of New Jersey.

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Conservative cardinals challenge Pope over teachings on family


By Philip PullellaNovember 14, 2016

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Four conservative Roman Catholic cardinals on Monday made a rare public challenge to Pope Francis over some of his teachings in a major document on the family, accusing him of sowing confusion on important moral issues.

The cardinals – two Germans, an Italian, and an American – said they had gone public with their letter to the pope because he had not responded.

The pope has clashed before with conservatives who worry he is weakening Roman Catholic rules on moral issues such as homosexuality and divorce while focusing on social problems such as climate change and economic inequality.

At issue are some of the teachings in a 260-page treatise called “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love), a cornerstone document of Francis’ attempt to make the 1.2 billion-member Church more inclusive and less condemning.

In the document, issued in April, he called for a Church that was less strict and more compassionate towards any “imperfect” members, such as those who divorced and remarried, saying “no one can be condemned forever”.

Most critics have focused on what the pope’s letter said about the full re-integration into the Church of members who divorce and remarry in civil ceremonies.

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Rev. James Martin speaks in Ridgewood

Father James Martin

NOVEMBER 20, 2015    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2015, 12:31 AM

The Rev. James Martin, a renowned writer and former businessman, made an appearance at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church on Nov. 10, speaking about his new novel and other contemporary issues.

With approximately 200 listeners sitting at attention, the Wharton School of Business graduate offered background for his new work, “The Abbey,” before commencing one of the few parts of public speaking with which he has little experience: a book reading.

“We’re going to do a book reading tonight, which I’m new at,” Martin confided to the crowd. “It’s a little bit of a different presentation for me.”

The novel, which was written as a result of a dream that Martin had, explores the lives of various individuals and their experiences regarding a nearby abbey. Though he does not normally keep track of his dreams, Martin admitted that this one resonated with him.

“This particular dream that I had was a fully-formed story … so I forced myself up at 2 a.m. and wrote it down in a journal,” he said. “In the dream, the names of the characters were there, the name of the monastery was there, and the whole story was there.”

Not wanting to waste such an opportunity to share his dream and aware that any work he does raises funds for his Jesuit community, Martin decided to turn his work into a short story, and eventually into a full-fledged novel.