Parish Handbook

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Father McLaughlin
Our Calendar & Handbook

All our parish ministries and activities cooperate in assembling our annual Parish Calendar and Handbook, and I thank all those who have been involved. In particular, I thank our perennial sponsor, The Joseph A. Fluehr, III Funeral Home, Inc. (www.fluehr.com), not only for underwriting the cost, but also for Joe's personal involvement in its publication.

All parish activities planned from September, 2016, through August, 2017, have been included. To save space, the location of regular activities is ordinarily not included.

The Parish Handbook section helps new parishioners come to know the parish, and provides all with a handy reference. A Directory of key telephone numbers is on the last page.

We are a living parish, so we expect additions and possibly some changes. Please read our weekly Parish Newsletter to keep up-to-date. Both the Calendar and the Handbook are on-line at www.svdp-richboro.org.

In May, 2018 St. Vincent de Paul Parish will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding, so throughout this coming year we will be preparing for our Jubilee celebration during 2017-2018. We envision this celebration as celebrating ministry as it has developed over the years, and how it might be enhanced going forward. Please join us in our planning and expansion of ministry.


 

Mission Statement
Our Parish Commitment

We, the members of the St. Vincent de Paul Parish Community, are a Roman Catholic congregation from many walks of life who share a common bond — our love for Christ, desire for growth in our personal relationships with Him, and subsequently, our obligations to Him and to one another. We therefore commit to:
  • Unite ourselves to God's will through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, drawing on the graces of the Sacramental life.

  • Teach others, through instruction and example, the saving Word of Christ.

  • Continue St. Vincent de Paul's legacy of charity and compassion to all we encounter by providing assistance for those with spiritual or corporal needs.

  • Invite members of our parish community to participate in spiritual and social activities, embracing without condition individuals whose burdens may be lightened through a healing touch with the Eucharistic Lord.

  • Recognize Jesus in all we meet, offering opportunities for all our members to share their talents and gifts with the broader community.

In pursuit of all our parish goals, we ask the intercession of Mary to help us remember the unique role of the Family in our devotions and good works. With her help we will seek to respond to Jesus' call, "Come, follow Me." We ask this through Christ Our Lord. AMEN

   

St. Vincent de Paul
St. Vincent
Parish Patron

Vincent de Paul was born near Pouy (now St-Vincent de Paul), in Gascony, France, on April 24, 1581. He attended the universities of Dax and Toulouse. Ordained to the priesthood at the age of twenty, for ten years he aimed no higher than a clerical life of ease. During 1609 in Paris he came under the spiritual influence of Father Pierre (later Cardinal) de Bérulle, the founder of the Oratory in Paris.

In 1612, Bérulle was influential in Vincent's being assigned as Pastor in Clichy, a rural parish just northwest of Paris; the poor people there touched Vincent's heart, and he experienced the priesthood in a way unknown to him before. However, in less than a year, Bérulle recalled Vincent to Paris to become tutor and chaplain to the Gondi family. In 1617, Madame de Gondi had Vincent give a parish mission for the peasants on the family estates, making Vincent aware of their poverty — spiritual and material. That same year, with Bérulle's help, Vincent left Paris to become Pastor in Châtillon-les-Dombes in southeast France; there he formed the first Confraternity of Charity, organizing ministry to parishioners in need. He soon returned to the Gondi family, but with the condition that he would be free to preach missions. A great change had came over Vincent, and he dedicated the rest of his life to the service of the poor.


Eventually Vincent and Bérulle's spirituality grew apart, but Bérulle was an important factor in Vincent's coming to see the poor as the center of his life, and to see priesthood, not as a career, but as a personal relationship with Jesus.

Back in Paris, Vincent organized the Ladies of Charity, made up of wealthy women who supplied food and other necessities for distribution to the poor and to the sick. In 1622 St. Francis de Sales appointed Vincent superior of the Parisian convents of the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary. In 1625 Vincent founded the Congregation of the Mission, the priests we know as Vincentians. With them he originated seminaries for clergy formation, inaugurated programs for continuing clergy education, and fostered formal catechetical instruction of youth. In 1633, with Louise de Marillac, he founded the Daughters of Charity, the first congregation of "unenclosed" women entirely devoted to the poor and the sick. They nursed the poor in hospitals and dispensaries, and in their homes; they cared for the mentally ill, and visited patients after hospital discharge. Vincent was also active in organizing relief work during the religious wars in France.

In his own lifetime Vincent was a legend. Clergy and laity, rich and poor, outcasts and convicts all felt the charisma and selfless devotion of a man entirely consumed by the love of God and his neighbor.

Vincent died at age 80 in Paris on September 27, 1660. He was canonized in 1737 and was named patron of works of charity in 1855. His feast day is September 27; however, our parish celebrates the feast on a Sunday, to help the community participate more fully.


   

St. Louise de Marillac
St. Louise
Chapel Patron

Louise de Marillac was born in Paris in 1581, out of wedlock. She was acknowledged by, and provided for, by her father, Louis de Marillac, but never knew who her mother was. At a very young age, she was placed in the Abbey of Poissy to be educated with other children of noble birth. When she was around 12, her father died and Louise was sent to a Paris pension operated by a poor lady. There, she performed daily housekeeping chores and organized the other girls in performing handiwork for sale to help with the upkeep of the pension.

Although Louise expressed interest in a cloistered life, the Religious superiors with whom she consulted did not feel she had that vocation. Early in 1613, she was married to Antoine le Gras, secretary to the Queen Mother, Marie de Medici. Louise and Antoine experienced happiness in their marriage, and before the end of the year were blessed with the birth of their son, Michel Antoine. Born prematurely, Michel was both delicate in health and somewhat slow in learning. In 1621 Antoine became ill with a disease from which he never recovered, and the family's financial circumstances worsened severely. Antoine died in December, 1625

Louise endeavored to cope with these trials through prayer, sacrifices, and the advice of wise directors. Her regular spiritual director was Bishop Camus. In 1619, Louise met Francis de Sales, whose books had become a staple of her spiritual reading. In 1623, Bishop Camus was moved to a diocese outside of Paris, and he recommended Vincent de Paul as Louise's spiritual director. It seems that both Vincent and Louise had initial reservations: Vincent because he had found difficulty directing other noblewomen, and Louise because of the difference in their social station.

While at prayer during one of her darkest periods, Louise had a vision in which she saw herself serving the poor and living the vows of a religious in community. She wrote this lumiere on parchment and carried it on her person as a reminder that, despite her difficulties, God was guiding her life. In that vision a priest appeared to her, whom she later identified as Vincent de Paul.

In 1629, Vincent, who had established the Congregation of the Mission (the Vincentians) in 1625, invited Louise to assist him with the Confraternities of Charity in the parishes of France. Through this work, she gained a deep knowledge of the needs of the poor, developed her own innate management skills, and identified effective structures for service. In 1633, in her own home, she began to train young women to address the needs of the poor and to gain support from their life together. From this humble beginning, the Daughters of Charity emerged. Louise provided leadership and expert management to the evolving network of services she and Vincent inspired.

At first the Daughters of Charity assisted the Conferences of Charity in the Paris area by preparing food and medicine which they would bring to the sick poor in their homes. As their reputation spread, they were asked to take over hospitals, the care of foundlings, ministry to the galley convicts, and nursing the wounded on battlefields . . . schools and institutions for elderly followed.

Actually, the Daughters of Charity functioned as a religious community for decades, before Vincent and Louise sought canonical approval from the Church. At that time religious communities of women were cloistered, but Vincent and Louise saw these women as working among the poor. Vincent told the Sisters: "You must have no other monasteries than the houses of the poor; no other cloisters than the streets of the cities and the wards of hospitals; no other veil than your modesty; you must treat the sick and the suffering with all the care and tenderness that a mother lavishes on her only son." However, Vincent knew that, not long before, Francis de Sales had envisioned the Visitation Sisters as working in the world, but they found themselves behind cloistered walls. Because the Daughters of Charity had worked in the world for decades when Vincent applied for their canonical recognition, they were permitted to continue and became the first non-cloistered community of religious women.

Louise, who died on March 15, 1660 just a few months before Vincent de Paul, was proclaimed a Saint of the Church in 1934. In 1960 Pope John XXIII proclaimed her the Patroness of all Social Workers. As a wife, mother, teacher, nurse, social worker and religious foundress, she stands as a model to all women.


   

Parish History
Father McBride
Father McBride, Founding Pastor

John Cardinal Krol established our parish on May 28, 1968 and named Father William T. McBride as its founding pastor. One of the archdiocesan consultors had commented that if there were to be a parish in Richboro, perhaps it should be named for the patron of the poor. Cardinal Krol immediately decided that the name would be St. Vincent de Paul Parish.

Initially, Father McBride accepted Father Martin's offer to take up residence in St. Bede Rectory. He then moved into the first "rectory," a rented house in "downtown" Richboro. Weekday Mass and Baptisms were celebrated in the rectory; Sunday Mass was celebrated in the Churchville Elementary School auditorium. The parish had about 450 families. On November 15, 1970, the first Sunday Masses were celebrated in our Church. On May 8, 1971, Cardinal Krol dedicated the Church and administered the Sacrament of Confirmation. Father McBride moved into the present rectory in 1975.

Religious Education classes were coordinated and taught by volunteers in the Church basement. In September, 1973, leadership for the program was assumed by two Missionary Franciscan Sisters, who lived in rented quarters in "downtown" Richboro until 1976 when the convent was ready. The Religious Education Building was completed in 1983. The Sisters left in 1984.


On May 18, 1993 Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua named Father McBride Pastor Emeritus, and appointed Father Joseph J. McLaughlin as our second Pastor. Following a long recovery from surgery, Father McBride moved into the Regina Coeli Residence for Priests in Warminster, and continued to participate in the life of the parish until his sudden death on October 21, 1998.

Initially, Father McBride was the only priest assigned to the parish. Religious priests teaching at Archbishop Wood High School assisted on Sundays. For a while, Father Francis Vanhee, CICM, was in residence at the old rectory. The first priest assigned to assist the pastor full-time arrived in June, 1975. The list of Parochial Vicar is:

Father James Wagner (6/75 - 6/78);
Father Joseph Dragon (6/78 - 7/82);
Father Michael Rzonca (7/82 - 6/87);
Father Thomas Furey (6/87 - 1/88);
Father John Gabin (1/88 - 6/01);
Father Hans Brouwers (6/01 - 6/03);
Father Richard Rudy (6/03 - 9/08);
Father James McCabe (9/08 - 6/09);
Father George Cadwallader (6/09 - 3/11);
Father Linus Nangwele (12/14 - ).

In September, 2011, Father Philip Agber, C.S.Sp. began ministry in the parish as a weekend assistant.

Since Father McLaughlin's arrival, Catholic Life 2000 funds enabled the air conditioning of the Church and the computerization of parish records. In November, 1996, our convent re-opened with a community formed by Sister Geraldine Dranginis, IHM, who was then our Director of Religious Education, and several Sisters of St. Joseph working in other apostolates. In 2009, Sister Alice Gallagher, SSJ, who succeeded Sister Geraldine as Director of Religious Education, moved into the convent with two other Sisters of St. Joseph.

Our walkway and prayer garden were first proposed in September, 1997, the original design donated by Russell Gardens in memory of Ed Adamow. The Father McBride Memorial Window was completed in time for the celebration of the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul in September, 2000.

"Concept Drawings for a Parish Center" were presented in the July 1, 2001 Parish Newsletter. This began a process of consultation with the parish, a Feasibility Study, engaging the architect Martin A. De Sapio, AIA, lunching the Living Stones capital campaign, and seeking approval from the Northampton Township Board of Supervisors and the Archdiocese.

Site work began in November, 2006. We received the Certificate of Occupancy for the building on February 26, 2008, and began celebrating weekday Masses in the Chapel of St. Louise de Marillac the next day. Bishop Daniel Thomas blessed the new facilities on April 27, 2008. Because of the generosity of our parishioners, no borrowing was necessary to complete the project.

The stained glass windows in the Chapel of St. Louise de Marillac were designed and executed by parishioner Patrice Schelkun. The Stations of the Cross in the Chapel were originally in our Church; the present Stations in Church came from St. Clement Church in Southwest Philadelphia which was closed by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 2004.

Our participation in the Archdiocese's Heritage of Faith ã Vision of Hope campaign began in early 2010 and continued for five years. A parish survey prioritized the parish projects to be funded by the campaign. First was the total renovation of the Church Hall bathrooms. The second project was the refurbishing of the Church sanctuary. In 2013, the campaign funded new lighting in the Church, Church Hall and Religious Education Building, replacing obsolete T12 fluorescents with energy-efficient lamps. In 2015, the campaign partially funded the purchase and installation of 20 stained glass windows in the Church; the windows were originally in St. Alphonsus Church in Glens Falls, NY, which was closed by the Diocese of Albany in 2010.

On June 10, 2001, Cardinal Bevilacqua ordained parishioner Jack Golaszewski to the permanent diaconate and appointed him to ministry in the parish. On June 6, 2004, Cardinal Rigali ordained parishioner Bill Iacobellis to the permanent diaconate and appointed him to ministry in the parish. On June 4, 2011, Cardinal Rigali ordained parishioner Rich Napoli to the permanent diaconate and appointed him to ministry at St. Andrew Church in Newtown.

In October, 2012 our parish began developing a relationship with the DePaul Catholic School, a regional elementary mission school in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. One of our parishioners serves on the school's board, representatives of the school visit yearly, and we take-up an annual collection for the school. We hope to develop increased interconnectivity.

Beginning in 2014, with the blessing of Archbishop Chaput, we begin hosting yearly the Global Leadership Summit at Archbishop Wood High School — the first Catholic parish in the country to do so.

The parish now has 1,958 families.

 

Sacramental Ministry

 

Baptism
Parents must have participated in the pre-baptismal program before a baptism takes place; godparents are encouraged to accompany the parents. These pre-baptismal programs are scheduled as needed. Parents are encouraged to contact Barbara Golaszewski at 215-355-0209 or gola1223@comcast.net, at least one month in advance, preferably during the pregnancy, to ensure that this program requirement is met.

Baptisms are scheduled during the 11:30 A.M. Mass on the first Sunday of the month and at 1:00 P.M. on other Sundays. Final arrangements must be made with a parish priest or deacon at least two weeks in advance.

Godparents must be practicing Catholics at least 16 years old with a letter of eligibility from their parish (see Sponsors and Godparents). The letters of eligibility are due at least one week before the baptism.

 

Confirmation
This year the Sacrament of Confirmation will be administered by Archbishop Chaput Sunday, December 18th, at the 11:30 A.M. Mass. A parish brunch for the newly-confirmed, their families, visiting priests and the Archbishop will follow the ceremony.

Students must be prepared in our Religious Education Program, in one of our neighboring parish schools, or in a Catholic academy. Our program prepares students to be confirmed when they are in sixth grade; spe- cial classes prepare older students. Sponsors must provide a letter of eligibility from their parish (see Sponsors and Godparents).

Ideally, all first Sacraments should be made in the individual's own parish, but the Archdiocese of Philadelphia permits the pastor to make exceptions for good reason at the request of the parents. Father McLaughlin will permit students of a neighboring parish school to receive Confirmation with their classmates in that parish, if their parents make the request.

   

Sponsors and Godparents

The following guidelines have been established by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to assess suitability for the role of sponsor at Baptism or at Confirmation. These guidelines are based on the requirements for sponsors as outlined in Canons 872-874 and 892-893 of the The Code of Canon Law.

 1.   A person who is to be baptized or confirmed is to have a sponsor. While it has become a tradition to have two sponsors at Baptism, having only one sponsor is acceptable. No more than two sponsors are permitted, and the two may not be of the same sex.

 2.   A sponsor must be sixteen years of age, unless the pastor or minister of the sacrament grants an exception for a lower age, provided there is a just cause.

 3.   A Catholic who has not already received the sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Eucharist may not be a sponsor. Such a Catholic should be encouraged to complete Christian Initiation at an appropriate time.

 4.   If married, a sponsor must be validly married in the Catholic Church.


 5.   A priest or deacon may be a sponsor, but is not encouraged to be sponsor and minister of Baptism in the same ceremony. A member of an institute of consecrated life or society of apostolic life may be a sponsor.

 6.   A Catholic who has left the Church by a formal act may not be a sponsor. A non-practicing Catholic may be admitted as a sponsor only if the pastor or minister of the sacrament can determine that the person is in the process of returning to the regular practice of the faith.

 7.   With the Archbishop's permission, obtained through the Chancery, a substitute sponsor may be added to the sacramental register when, for example, the original sponsor has died or has left the Catholic Church by a formal act; however, the name of the original sponsor may not be removed.

 8.   A suitable member of the Eastern Orthodox Church may be admitted as a sponsor for Baptism, but only together with a Catholic sponsor, for a just cause as long as there is provision for the Catholic education of the person to be baptized. Similarly, a Catholic is not forbidden to stand as sponsor in an Eastern Orthodox Church, if he or she is invited.

 9.   A baptized non-Catholic may be admitted as a Christian witness at Baptism, but only together with a Catholic sponsor. Similarly, a Catholic may act as a Christian witness for a person being baptized in another ecclesial community, but not as a sponsor.

10.   One who has left the Catholic Church by a formal act may not be a Christian witness, nor may an unbaptized person.

11.   A parent may not be a sponsor for his or her child. An adoptive parent is to be discouraged from exercising this function.


The priests of our parish follow these guidelines in issuing letters of eligibility for our parishioners. Parents should consider these guidelines in the selection of godparents for their children.

   

First Eucharist

First Eucharist is scheduled for 10:30 A.M. on Saturday, May 6th. Children also have the option of receiving their First Holy Communion with the family at a Sunday Mass.

Students must be prepared in our Religious Education Program, in one of our neighboring parish schools, or in a Catholic academy. Our two-year program prepares students to receive First Communion when they are in second grade; special classes prepare older students. These preparations include the reception of First Penance on Saturday, January 28th, and the First Eucharist Retreat.

Ideally, all first Sacraments should be made in the individual's own parish, but the Archdiocese of Philadelphia permits the pastor to make exceptions for good reason at the request of the parents. Father McLaughlin will permit students of a neighboring parish school or a Catholic academy to receive First Eucharist with their classmates, if their parents make the request.


   

Reception of Communion

The following guidelines, approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, seek to remind all those who may attend Catholic liturgies of the present discipline of the Church with regard to the sharing of Eucharistic communion.

For Catholics

As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. We are encouraged to receive Communion devoutly and frequently. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental confession except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for confession. In this case, the person is to be mindful of the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible (canon 916). A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance is encouraged for all.

For our fellow Christians

We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. We pray that our common baptism and the action of the Holy Spirit in this Eucharist will draw us closer to one another and begin to dispel the sad divisions which separate us. We pray that these will lessen and finally disappear, in keeping with Christ's prayer for us "that they may all be one" (John 17:21).

Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion. Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provision of canon law (cannon 844 § 4). Members of the Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to re- spect the discipline of their own Churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of communion by Christians of these Churches (canon 844 § 3).

For those not receiving Holy Communion

All who are not receiving Holy Communion are encouraged to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and with one another.

For non-Christians

We also welcome to this celebration those who do not share our faith in Jesus Christ. While we cannot admit them to Holy Communion, we ask them to offer prayers for the peace and the unity of the human family.

     

Weddings

Wedding dates are not scheduled until the couple has met with a parish priest or deacon. Archdiocesan policy requires that the couple present themselves to make arrangements at least six months before the wedding date; often more than six months is advisable since dates and times are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. The couple should also make early contact with our Director of Music Ministry.

At the initial interview, the priest or deacon will explain the certificates required and the questionnaires to be completed. Both parties must be free to marry. For anyone — even a non-Catholic — who has been married previously and has not been widowed, a Catholic Church annulment is required to show freedom to marry again. Normally at least one of the parties belongs to St. Vincent de Paul parish; however, if there is a pastoral need, others may marry here.


The couple must participate in a Marriage Preparation (Pre-Cana) Program approved by the Archdiocese. Our parish intends to re-initiate our own Marriage Preparation Program. However, couples may register for a program in another parish, or in an Archdiocesan program. The priest or deacon working with the couple can assist in identifying an approproate program.

Couples may have the nuptial ceremony with or without a Mass; those who choose to have the ceremony outside of Mass may request Deacon Golaszewski or Deacon Iacobellis as the celebrant. A nuptial Mass is highly recommended when both parties are Catholic. If one of the parties is not baptized, the wedding ritual is celebrated outside of Mass. Saturday weddings are scheduled at 11:00 A.M., 1:00 P.M. or 3:00 P.M.; if there is a 1:00 P.M. wedding, all attending the 11:00 A.M. wedding must leave the Church by 12:30 P.M.; all attending a 3:00 P.M. wedding must leave the Church by 4:30 P.M. in order to prepare for the 5:00 P.M. Mass. The earliest Saturday wedding is scheduled for 11:00 A.M. to allow for the possibility of a 9 A.M. Funeral Mass. Weddings may also be celebrated during the 11:30 A.M. Mass on Sunday.

See also Wedding Ministry.

 

Holy Orders

Catholic men discerning a call to the Priesthood should contact either the pastor, or the Vocation Director for Diocesan Priesthood, Father Stephen DeLacy, at 610-667-5778 or fr.sdelacy@archphila.org.

Men of faith, over 29 not older than 55 years of age, in good health and with financial security, who are discerning a call to the Perma- nent Diaconate, should contact a deacon or priest in the parish, or the School of Diaconal Formation at St. Charles Seminary, www.scs.edu, or Rev. Patrick J. Brady, Dean of Permanent Diaconate Division: 610-664-2213 or pbrady@scs.edu.

It is the responsibility of the whole faith community to affirm and nurture those called to Holy Orders. Pray that the Lord of the harvest will send more workers into his harvest.

 

Ministry to the Sick

The Pastoral Care of the Sick and Dying enables sick and homebound parishioners to receive Holy Communion, the Sacrament of Penance and/or the Sacrament of the Sick. Contact the Parish Office (215-357-5905) both to request the immediate presence of a priest and/or to arrange for ongoing ministry.


The priest and deacons take Holy Communion to the homebound monthly, usually on First Fridays. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are willing to visit those who wish to receive Communion more frequently.

Names are included in the Newsletter "Prayers for the Sick" at the request of a family member or care-giver. Drop a note in Father McLaughlin's Atrium mailbox, e-mail Jeanne Flowers (jeanne@nni.net) or call the Parish Office with the name of the sick person, and the name, relationship and telephone number of the contact person.

A chaplain or priest from the closest parish ministers to each hospital's Catholic patients. Confidentiality policies prohibit most hospitals from informing the parish when a parishioner is admitted. Notify the Parish Office when the patient returns home, should he or she desire to receive Communion at home.


Monthly Mass is celebrated at the Richboro Care Center and at Brookdale Northampton by a parish priest. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion bring the Eucharist to residents on most Sundays and the rosary is prayed at these facilities weekly.

In case of extreme illness or death, call the Parish Office (215-357-5905) for the services of the priests and the parish.

 

Funerals

The responsibility for the ministry of consolation rests with the believing community, which heeds the words and example of the Lord Jesus: "Blessed are they who morn; they shall be consoled" (Matthew 5:3). Each Christian shares in this ministry according to the various gifts and offices in the Church. The faith of the Christian community in the resurrection of the dead brings support and strength to those who suffer the loss of those whom they love.

At the time of death, please call the Parish Office for the prayers and support of the parish. The Funeral Director also assists in the preparations for the Funeral Mass, and works with the pastor. Funerals should normally be celebrated in the parish church of the deceased. However, any member of the faithful, or those in charge of the deceased person's funeral, may choose another church; this requires the consent of whoever is in charge of that church and a notification to the pastor of the deceased.

The Church permits cremation provided that it does not demonstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body, but prefers and urges that the body of the deceased be present for the funeral rites, since the presence of the human body better expresses the values which the Church affirms in those rites. However, when circumstances necessitate cremation before the funeral liturgy, the Mass may be celebrated in the presence of the cremated remains.

Since in baptism the body was marked with the seal of the Trinity and became the temple of the Holy Spirit, Christians respect and honor the bodies of the dead and the places where they rest. A Catholic cemetery is considered a sacred place, and supports our belief in the resurrection of the body and the communion of saints; however, a Catholic may be buried in a non-Catholic cemetery, in which case the priest blesses the grave. After a cremation, the ashes are to be buried in a cemetery, or placed in a columbarium. The practice of scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, or on the ground, or keeping cremated remains in the home of a relative or friend of the deceased is not the reverent disposition that the Church requires.

Whenever possible the family should be involved in planning the funeral rites: e.g. in the choice of readings and readers, and in the selection of music.

Words of remembrance — a eulogy — may be given after the Post Communion prayer during a Funeral Mass, in which case one person should speak for the family in well-prepared, written comments lasting no more than 5 minutes.

 

Liturgical Ministries      
Ministers of Communion

Selected by the pastor and appointed by the Archbishop, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion must have received the three sacraments of initiation, be validly married (if married), and have completed high school.

They are entrusted with distributing Communion at parish Masses, and with taking communion to the sick. After Sunday Mass, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion go to the Richboro Care Center and Brookdale Northampton to visit with the sick and to distribute Holy Communion; the celebrant sends them on their mission on behalf of the worshiping community.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion also take Holy Communion to homebound parishioners who desire to receive more frequently than once a month.

Alma Heflin (heflinae@gmail.com or 215-355-9080) coordinates the scheduling of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Through the generosity and patient research of a Core Group of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, our parish has a periodically updated handbook to provide our ministers with spiritual background, Church policy and practical instruction.

   

Ministers of Hospitality

In this ministry men and women 16 years of age and older welcome all to Church and assist in any way they can. They take up the collection, and distribute the Parish Newsletter as they say Goodbye. They also coordinate a response to any emergencies.

All are asked to consider giving one Sunday a month to this ministry during the Mass you normally attend. Some offer to serve more frequently; those unable to fulfill an assignment find a substitute from the phone list. New members receive written guidelines covering dress code and duties.


Contact our coordinator, Ron Mullowney, at Ron.mullowney@verizon.net or 215-322-4036 or feel free to speak with any of the Ministers of Hospitality before or after Mass to learn more about this ministry.

 

Lectors

Selected by the pastor, Lectors are called to proclaim the Word of God at liturgical celebrations. They must have received the three Sacraments of Initiation and be validly married (if married). They are to prepare for this important ministry by prayerfully previewing the readings prior to the celebration. They must be able to proclaim the reading loudly and clearly, so that all may hear the Living Word.

Kathy Dougherty (215-322-4903) schedules and arranges for the training of Lectors at both the Sunday and weekday Masses.

 

Music Ministry

All parish members who are musicians and singers are invited to join our choir and cantor programs. Instrumentalists are likewise invited to share their time and talent.

Hubert Rotkowski is our Director of Music Ministry: 215-357-5905, EXT 108 or hubr@hotmail.com

  Cantor Program

Cantors lead the congregation in song at the weekend liturgies, Liturgy of the Hours (Morning Prayer, Vespers and Night Prayer), special feasts, Friday nights in May and October, and on Holydays (including Christmas). Cantor and music schedules are prepared in 6 to 8 week intervals. Tapes or rehearsals are available for anyone needing help with learning the music. The ability to carry a tune and be able to stand in front of the congregation and lead them in song is all that is required. The ability to read music is helpful but not a requirement. Anyone interested can speak to a cantor or Hubert Rotkowski at 215-357-5905, EXT 108 or hubr@hotmail.com

    Adult Choir

The adult choir is composed of a group of individuals with a common bond — a love for music. Being a member offers those with this love for music the opportunity to join other singers to create beautiful melodic harmonies. The choir rehearses on Tuesday evenings, 7:30 to 9:00 pmm and sings at the 9:30 A.M. Mass on the first and third Sundays of the month October through May, Christmas Eve, Holy Week and the Easter Vigil. Anyone interested is invited to join us on Tuesday night. New members are always welcome.

See Youth_Choir and Teen Mass Music Group..

 

Wedding Ministry

Members of St. Vincent de Paul parish's Wedding Ministry provide assistance to wedding parties and their guests. Typically two members of the ministry attend the wedding rehearsal to learn all that will be required on the wedding day — ribbons, programs, structure of the ceremony, etc. They return the day of the wedding to ensure the Church is prepared for the ceremony, act as resources for the wedding party and their guests, line-up the wedding party for the entrance procession, and communicate with the celebrant.

This ministry has been appreciated by the families and helps avoid some problems on the big day. New members of this ministry are most welcome.

To join this important ministry, or learn more about it, please call Rose Michalski at 215-942-7440. Thank You!


 

Youth Ministries    
Altar Servers

Candidates for this ministry are Catholics who have received the sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist, and faithfully practice and live their Catholic faith. They should be mature enough to understand their responsibilities and to carry them out well and with appropriate reverence. Students in the 5th grade or above are invited to serve. Enrollment is announced in the Newsletter, and is followed by a period of instruction and training.

Adult men and women are also called to accept the invitation to become altar servers for funerals or other Liturgies when our school-age servers are not available. Training sessions will be scheduled.

Deacon Jack Golaszewski and Deacon Bill Iacobellis coordinate our altar servers. Contact Deacon Jack at djack@nni.net or 215-357-5905 EXT 105.

 

Childrens Liturgy of the Word

A group of volunteers offers the Children's Liturgy of the Word at the 9:30 A.M. Mass. Following the Collect, the opening prayer of the Mass, the children (from age 4 through 4th grade) are called forward, and they follow the children's minister to the Liturgy of the Word room below the Church. There they hear the readings from the Children's Lectionary, and interactively reflect on them. They have their own Creed and Prayer of the Faithful and return to Church during the offertory procession.


No pre-registration is necessary. All children are welcome and encouraged to attend.


 

High School Youth Group

Our High School Youth Group, designed for teens in grades 9 through 12, integrates ongoing faith formation with fun and personal growth through activities that are social, cultural, athletic, spiritual and service oriented. Their geographical base is the JP2 House, located next to the Convent and accessible by a walkway from the far end of the parking lot. Their communications base is Youth Night, every Sunday at 7 P.M. — well, not every Sunday. Their bulletin board is the column From the JP2 House in every issue of the Parish Newsletter.

All our high school youth are invited to participate in great discussions, fun activities, awesome service projects, fantastic social activities, a summer mission week, etc. Make great friends, grow personally, and make a difference in the parish!

A core group of youth and adults plan faith formation discussions, Bible Study, Teen Masses, social activities, and service opportunities. Teens and parents are welcome as members of the core group.

Email svdp.hsyouthgroup@comcast.net to contact the Youth Ministry leadership team.

 

Teen Mass Music Group

Sonata Stevenson directs the vocalists and instrumentalists of our Teen Mass Music Group. Throughout the year (except for Easter Sunday), our parish offers a 6 P.M. Mass, and most of the time the music is provided by the Teen Mass Music Group, while other teens minister as lectors and Ministers of Hospitality.

Join this group that enjoys being together, producing lively music, celebrating Mass, and making a difference! All who like to play an instrument or enjoy singing are encouraged to participate — you don't have to read music! Praise the Lord, minister in the parish community, and learn — all at the same time.

Practices are on Sundays before the Mass, beginning around 4:45 P.M.

For more information, contact Sonata Stevenson at sonata.svdp@comcast.net.

   

Youth Choir

The Youth Choir is open to all elementary school children of the parish. The choir sings at the 9:30 A.M. liturgy one Sunday a month (September through April) as well as Christmas eve, Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. Rehearsals are on Thursdays, 4:30 to 5:15 P.M. Any child who enjoys singing is encouraged to join us. To learn more, parents are welcome to call St. Alice Gallagher at 215-322-1932 or sralice@nni.net.

 

Service Ministry    
Angel Food

It is the mission of this ministry to prepare and deliver meals to deserving families in their time of need. This could be a happy time when a new mom comes home with her baby, or a sad time because of illness, death or other circumstances.


Participants are given ample notice when asked to prepare a meal, and may turn down an assignment if the timing is not convenient. Anyone who cooks but doesn't drive (or drives but doesn't cook) can be matched with someone who does what he or she cannot do.

If you or someone you know could use our services, don't hesitate to get in touch. We will provide meals for a day, a week — or as long as the need exists. Our dedicated Food Angels are ready to help when help is needed.

To join the Ministry or request for assistance, contact Diane Corby at 215-598-8288 or Mary Donnelly at 215-768-8671.

 

Baby's Corner

On the fourth Sunday of each month, parishioners are asked to donate new infant clothing to be distributed to needy parents in our own area and young pregnant women at the Mother Costello Home in Bensalem. Please place your donations of new 'onesies', sleepers, outfits etc. (sizes 3 months to 4T) in the hamper located at the back of the Church.

This joint ministry of our parish conference of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and our parish Pro-Life Ministry provides support to needy parents who have chosen Life.

 

Bereavement Ministry

Our bereavement support group meets once a week for eight weeks, twice a year. This group is peer ministry, not therapy. We learn about the grief process, we support one another and share thoughts and feelings.

There is no right way or time line for healing. We are each uniquely created by God, and we each cope with our loss and find healing in our own unique ways and times.


The fall session extends from Tuesday, September 8th, through October 27th; the spring session from March 29th through May 17th.

Contact Barbara Arnold at 215-396-9929 or Dan Conden at 215-322-7481.

 

Bloodmobile
The American Red Cross Bloodmobile regularly comes to our Church Hall twice a year: in the fall and early in the new year. The blood drives are announced in the Parish Newsletter.

Parishioners are urged to donate blood, since many lives depend on this work of charity. You must be healthy, at least 17 years old, and weigh at least 110 pounds. Persons who are older than 65 and in good health may usually donate with the approval of the blood bank physician. Federal regulations require that donors wait 56 days between donations. Please bring some form of ID.

We also need volunteers to make phone calls to blood donors, serve food and drinks during the drive, take registrations or help donors from the table to the kitchen for some goodies and a drink.

For information call 1-800-GIVE LIFE or visit www.pleasegiveblood.org. Our parish coordinator is Mary Ellen Butch (215-322-7399).

 

Christmas Food Baskets

Each Advent, parishioners prepare food baskets for the poor in one or two inner-city Philadelphia parishes. Participants are given the family name, and the names and ages of children and parents. They then make up baskets filled with non-perishable food, clothes and toys to be delivered to the Religious Ed Building the Saturday before Christ- mas. These baskets are then transported to the parishes for distribution. Contact Debbie Wenclawiak at 215-322-3222.

 

Martha Ministry

We know from the Scriptures the lengths to which Martha went to prepare for Jesus' visits. No doubt cleaning the house was a major part in welcoming Jesus there. In the spirit of St. Martha, this ministry cleans the Church in honor of the Lord's continued presence in the Blessed Sacrament, and His presence in the congregation, the Mystical Body of Christ.


The Marthas meet once a week in Church, usually on Thursdays after the 9 A.M. Mass, to dust, sweep and clean. Volunteers give of themselves for only one or two hours a week. Please join them — the more helping hands, the easier and faster the job.

 

The Giving Garden

The Giving Garden in an opportunity to provide local people in need with fresh produce. This ministry maintains a garden on the side of the school building and the vegetables are available to those collecting food from People to People Sunday, or it is delivered to the Jesus Focus Ministry pantry.

The garden is supported by the preschoolers who start seedlings in early spring, and many retired and volunteer parishioners who are available to water, weed, harvest or deliver.

The Katie's Krops organization provides the parish with grant funding to assist with the cost of plants and supplies, yet donations of plants, produce or supplies are appreciated. The garden is planted with a spring and fall crop for a continual harvest. Volunteers to assist in any capacity are welcome, a schedule commitment is not necessary!

For more information, or to volunteer, please contact Jacquelyn Sherman at imjacq@comcast.net or the parish office.

   

Meals for the Homeless

Casseroles prepared by our parishioners feed the homeless at St. John's Hospice in Philadelphia: www.saintjohnshospice.org. St. John's provides the pans, lids, and easy-to-prepare, nutritious recipes. Casserole recipes are available at

www.saintjohnshospice.org/Casserole%20Recipes.htm

Each casserole feeds approximately 6 hungry men; the Hospice uses about 80 per day.

The frozen casseroles are collected at 20 Worthington Mill Road on the Sunday and Monday before the third Tuesday of the month. Please mark the casserole with the date using a black permanent marker — month/day/year.

Our freezers have room for 100 pans. Please consider joining this ministry. It's an easy project you do at home at your convenience and the cost for ingredients is under $10. Those who do not cook may donate toiletries, band-aids, aspirin, towels, washcloths, new socks, and tablespoons.

Contact Jeanne Flowers: 215-322-8924 (home); 215-357-5905 EXT 101 (work); or jeanne@nni.net.

 

People to People Sunday

Nonperishable food items and canned goods brought to Church the first and third Sundays of the month are delivered to the food cupboard at Jesus Focus Ministry, 1030 2nd Street Pike in Southampton (at Bethanna), where they are available for the Society and other agencies to help area families. This food bank, open Monday through Friday, 9:00 to 11:30 A.M., helps over 24,000 annually — area families affected by unemployment, house fires, death of the wage earner, hospitalization, etc. Clients of our parish conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul are among those who are helped.

In recent years, demands on area food banks have increased, while government support has remained constant, or even cut back. People to People Sunday can make a difference.

 

Respect Life Ministry

We care about our brothers and sisters from the womb to the tomb. Our group's activities include distributing baby clothes and furniture to needy families, providing temporary housing for pregnant girls, giving financial support to needy and deserving organizations, praying the rosary with nursing home residents, picketing where and when possible, and attending Masses and prayer vigils. All are welcome to join in any of these activities to enhance respect for all human life.

Use of Acme, GIANT (all nearby locations) and, Murray's Richboro Market. scrip helps the pro-life cause financially. Scrip is accepted as cash, and on average the stores contribute $5 of every $100 to our ministry. Scrip costs you nothing extra, but helps us help others. Contact Barbara Andrews at 215-598-3826 to purchase scrip.

Our ministry provides maternity clothes, infant clothes, blankets, cribs, playpens, etc. for those less fortunate than ourselves. We will pick up. Contact Michelle Mathas at 215-322-1887 or miknjamr@hotmail.com.

     

Society of St. Vincent de Paul

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international Catholic organization of lay persons who seek, in a spirit of justice and charity and by a person-to-person involvement, to help those who are suffering. It was founded in 1833 by Frederic Ozanam, a 20-year-old student of the Sorbonne University in Paris, in answer to a taunt for Christians to "practice what they preach." The first U.S. Conference was established in 1846.

To provide this personal and neighborly help, Vincentians organize themselves into small working groups known as Conferences. Vincentian activity consists in any form of person-to-person service which relieves human suffering, furthers self-help efforts, and promotes the individual's dignity.

Our parish Conference began in June, 1997, meets on the third Tuesday of the month, and welcomes new members. Members act as case workers who visit homes, as administrators who coordinate volunteers and support services, and as occasional helpers who visit shut-ins, help a widow, etc.

Poor Box donations in Church are used by our parish Conference to meet needs in our area: e.g. help provide food to the needy, shelter to the homeless, and heating oil, electric bills, mortgage payments, and health insurance premiums for the unemployed.

To request help or refer a hardship case in the area, leave voice-mail at 215-357-3517, EXT 501. Confidentiality is observed in all cases.

The Society's Main Council in Philadelphia had to suspend all clothing drives and close the doors of its thrift store several years ago, and has contracted with GreenDrop to handle clothing drives and distribution. This returns the focus of the Society to helping the poor, rather than renting a facility and maintaining a fleet of trucks. Several clothing drives are scheduled throughout the year, but to be successful in helping the poor, we need successful clothing drives! Please help.

With the help of GreenDrop, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul's Central Council of Philadelphia is also able to resume its bulk pick-up service. To arrange for a pick-up, call 1-888-944-DROP, or visit www.GoGreenDrop.com.

 

Women's Club

This organization is open to all women of the parish and meets the third Tuesday of September, October, April and May at 8 P.M. in the Church Hall. The Women's Club sponsors social functions as well as Church activities, including the Attic Sale. New members of the parish are especially welcome. Please join us for our meetings, refreshments and good conversation. Watch for announcements in the Parish Newsletter.

Contact Cathy Neubauer at 215-355-4347.

 

Religious Education  
Adult Faith Formation Ministry

As baptized Catholics, we are all called by God to know and live our faith. This gift is a journey of ongoing conversion that continues to unfold throughout our lives.

The Adult Faith Formation Ministry strives to provide opportunities for study, discussion, prayer and reflection on the Gospel message. Our goal is to assist parishioners in their spiritual journey, and help them to reach a deeper maturity and promote the Gospel in every facet of daily life.


Our ministry sponsors Parish Missions, Days of Recollection and coordinates small faith sharing groups. We are continuously seeking programs and methods to appeal to our parish family. We welcome new members and new ideas to assist in this important parish function.

Ongoing programs are scheduled in the fall and in the spring; special presentations and reflections are offered throughout the year. Follow the Parish Newsletter for dates and times,

The ministry meets on the second Tuesday of the month beginning in September and ending in May. For further information contact the Adult Faith Formation Ministry at 267-225-4AFF (4233); email us at svdp.faithshare@gmail.com or visit us at https://sites.google.com/site/svdpfaithshare.

 

Catholic Schools

Although we do not have our own parochial school, our children are provided the opportunity of a Catholic school education (grades K-8) in three neighboring parish schools:

At these schools, parents pay the same tuition as members of the neighboring parish and St. Vincent de Paul Parish pays a per-pupil subsidy. At other parish schools or regional Catholic schools, parents are required to pay full out-of parish tuition; as of the 2014-2015 school year, this applies also to St. Andrew School in Newtown — St. Vincent's families with children in St. Andrew School prior to that school year have been "grandfathered," but our parish families registering their first child in St. Andrew School will be charged full out-of-parish tuition.

Parishioners may enroll in any of the nineteen high schools (grades 9-12) of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia; the closest is: Archbishop Wood High School, 655 York Road, Warminster, PA; telephone 215-672-5050; fax 215-672-5451; WEB site www.archwood.org.

Parish families with students in grades K through 12 in any of the above schools, not exceeding certain household maximum income guidelines, may apply for tuition assistance. BLOCS (Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools, awards scholarships based on need to children who attend grade school, high school, or the schools of special education within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. BLOCS reaches more children in more communities than almost any other private education charity in our region. Visit www.BLOCS.org.

 

Catholic School Subsidy

Effective for the 2016-17 school year, the Pastoral Council, the Finance Committee and Father McLaughlin are in agreement that only children whose families are supporting the child's religious upbringing by engaging in practicing their faith and participating in parish activities to a meaningful degree will be eligible for a parish tuition subsidy.

The spirit of this policy is that practicing Catholics are committed to offer their "time, talent and treasure" to the parish as well as to the larger Church.


The parish is looking for meaningful contributions of time and effort to parish activities. Consistent participation in the life of the parish connects us with the Lord and his people amidst the challenges and triumphs of everyday life.

Activities that demonstrate the family's commitment to their children's Catholic religious education would include, but not be necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. For children, attendance at Mass on a regular basis, receiving the Sacraments, and participation in age-appropriate parish activities. Parish activities include being an altar server, participation in the children's choir, attending Vacation Bible School as a student or an aide, etc, and making age-appropriate contributions in the child's collection envelopes.

    Whatever, the activity, it must be engaged in on a regular basis. Simply participating in CYO sports is not sufficient.

  2. Activities that demonstrate the child's parents' commitment to their faith and their desire to teach their children to be good Catholics include, but are not limited to, the following: regular attendance at Mass with their children, involvement in one of our parish ministries or activities on a regular basis, and participation as a teacher, aide or leader in various parish youth activities, as well as supporting the parish financially according to the family's means.

It is recognized that there may be extraordinary individual circumstances that might prevent a child or their parents from being able to participate as fully as they might like in parish activities. Those circumstances should be made known to one of the priests so that the parish, if possible, can provide support.

Failure to work with St. Vincent de Paul Parish in conforming to this policy would lead to a lack of the parish subsidy from the parish; i.e. the student(s) from the family could continue in the Catholic school, but the family would be responsible for paying the school full out-of-parish tuition.

 

Pre-School Program

The St. Vincent de Paul Pre-K/Pre-School Program is foremost a Catholic school where 3, 4 and 5 year olds are given the opportunities to develop spiritually, socially, physically and intellectually. We seek to provide faith-filled qualified teachers to prepare the children for a smooth transition to Kindergarten and elementary education.

The program begins in September and extends to the first or second week of June; classes meet from 9:30 A.M. to noon. Classes for the 3-day program, open to 3, 4 and 5 year olds, are held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; tuition is $1,500 for 1 child. The 5-day Pre-K Program is for 4 and 5 year olds; tuition for this program is $2,500 for 1 child. A second child gets a 50% discount. Tuition is paid in ten monthly installments. The minimum age requirements must be met by September 1, 2016. All students must be toilet trained.

The non-refundable $80 Registration Fee assures the child a place in the program.

Additional Pre-School programs include "Discovery Days," sessions of nine Friday morning classes for students in the 3-day pro- ram; and "Lunch Bunch," an extended program offered on many Thursdays. These programs require additional fees.

Our Pre-School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, its admission policies, or in any school-administered program.

The director of St. Vincent's Pre-School Program is Susan Hesketh 215-322-8423; the secretary is Gina Yarnall.

We follow the decision of the Council Rock School District for snow or emergency closings. The code number announced on KYW Radio (1060 AM) is 756; Council Rock's emergency closing hot line is 215-957-4078; its web site is www.crsd.org.

 

RCIA

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a program that prepares adults who are interested in joining the Catholic Church as well as baptized Catholics who have never been catechized, that is, have never received the Sacraments of Eucharist and/or Confirmation. Anyone, Catholic or not, who is interested in learning more about the Catholic faith is welcome as well.

The RCIA meets in the Parish Center Community Room, on Wednesdays from 7 to 8 P.M., from early September through just after Easter, led by Father Linus, Deacon Jack, and Kathleen McIntire.

Contact Father Linus at 215-357-5905.

     

Religious Education Program

The rite of Baptism instructs parents:

You have asked to have your children baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training them in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring them up to keep God's commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor.

Our Religious Education Program assists parents in meeting this responsibility with a strong program for grades 1 through 8 exhorting our youth to make their faith rooted, living and active. Working with parents, we strive to teach the fundamental truths of our Catholic Religion, enabling the students to become strong, responsible and practicing Catholics.

Classes for grades 1-8 meet once each week from the second week of September to the second week of May. The sessions being offered for 2016-2017 are:



DAY

TIME

AGE/GRADE

Tuesday

 4:45 - 6:15 P.M.

Grades 1-5

Wednesday  5:00 - 6:30 P.M. Grades 1-5
 6:45 - 8:15 P.M. Grades 6, 7, 8

Days when classes meet are noted on the Parish Calendar. Holidays are announced in class and in the Parish Newsletter. For snow or emergency closings: if Council Rock schools are closed for the day, Religious Education Classes are canceled; if Council Rock schools have been in session for the day, but afternoon weather conditions are poor, look at www.svdp-richboro.org, the parish web site for an announcement.

The Book and Materials Fee is $75 for the first child; $140 for two children; and $195 for three or more children.

Our program is constantly expanding and changing, and we welcome co-workers in this vital ministry. Anyone interested in teaching Religious Education should contact Sister Alice. Teacher training and babysitting will be provided.

The office (215-322-1932) is open 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Tuesday through Thursday, staffed by Sister Alice Gallagher, SSJ, Director of Religious Education (EXT 302), and her assistant, Teresa Marcella, (EXT 301).

   

Vacation Bible Camp

Each year our Director of Religious Education, with the help of a number of adult and youth volunteers, offers a two-week Vacation Bible Camp. This year's program will be from Monday, July 10th, to Friday, July 21st. The program is for children from 4 years old to children entering sixth grade in September. It is an opportunity for learning in a relaxed atmosphere. The program includes instruction in the faith, arts and crafts, music and outdoor activities. Consult the Parish Newsletter in early spring for registration information.

Adult and youth volunteers — as well as children — tend to return year after year, but new volunteers are always welcome.

 

Devotions    
First Friday Devotions

Each First Friday, Eucharistic Adoration extends from 9:30 A.M. to 4 P.M., and from 7:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. in the Chapel of St. Louise de Marillac. Parishioners are encouraged to visit throughout the day to develop a closer relationship with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The evening period of exposition includes the regular Friday Holy Hour — see below.

The clergy take Holy Communion to the homebound monthly, often on First Fridays. Extraordinary Ministers of Communion are most willing to bring the Eucharist to those who wish to receive more frequently. To request a visit, please call the Parish Office (215-357-5905).

   

Friday Holy Hour

Each Friday a Holy Hour is celebrated in the Chapel of St. Louise de Marillac. Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament begins at 7:30 P.M. Benediction begins at 8:15 P.M. All are invited to spend this hour with the Lord in personal and public prayer for one another, for our parish and for our Church.

During Lent, the Holy Hour includes the Stations of the Cross.

During the months of May and October, Mary's months, the Holy Hour includes the celebration of Night Prayer. Also called Compline, this final daily prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours consists of a hymn, a psalm, a reading, a meditation and the singing of the Gospel Canticle, and the Salve Regina.

   

Forty Hours Devotions

Our parish celebrates Forty Hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 10-11-12, 2017, anticipating the March 15th Feast of St. Louise de Marillac. All are encouraged to visit the Church for personal adoration throughout the day and evening. Parish organizations are encouraged to participate by choosing half hour segments for group adoration.

Each day exposition of the Blessed Sacrament begins after the last Mass. Exposition concludes: on Friday at 7:30 P.M. with Stations of the Cross and Benediction; on Saturday at 7:30 P.M. with Evening Prayer and Benediction; and on Sunday with the 6 P.M. Mass, followed by the procession and Benediction. See the Calendar for detailed schedules.

   

Lenten Devotions
This season of lent is dedicated to acts of penance. The Bishops of the United States prescribe, as a minimal obligation:

  • all who are fourteen years of age and older are bound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent and Good Friday;

  • all eighteen years of age and older, up to and including their fifty-ninth birthday, are bound to fast by limiting themselves to a single full meal on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, while the other two meals are to be light.

All are encouraged to participate in Mass and to receive the Eucharist daily, to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance frequently, to undertake spiritual reading, especially the study of Sacred Scripture, and to participate in parish Lenten devotions and educational programs — adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is especially recommended.

Also recommended is participation in Operation Rice Bowl, which has aided countless hungry persons here in the archdiocese and throughout our nation and our world.

Stations of the Cross and Benediction are celebrated in the Chapel of St. Louise de Marillac on Friday evenings at 7:30 P.M.

 

Marian Devotions

Join your parish family in honoring Mary by participating in special devotions throughout the year. The rosary is prayed daily after the 9 A.M. Mass.


During May and October, Night Prayer (Compline) concludes the 7:30 to 8:30 P.M. Holy Hour each Friday at 8:15 P.M. in the Chapel of St. Louise de Marillac. This final daily prayer of the Liturgy of Hours consists of a hymn, a psalm, a reading, a meditation, and the singing of the Gospel Canticle. For the Salve Regina sung in honor of Mary, the Church is darkened so that only the Blessed Virgin's stained glass window is illuminated. The celebrant then moves to the head of the main aisle, and, in imitation of ancient Benedictine practice, all participants proceed toward the celebrant single-file to receive a blessing with holy water before leaving Church. All who have shared this devotion have been moved by it.

May processions are conducted by both the Pre-School and the Religious Education Program, and the entire parish is invited to each ceremony. See the May calendar and the Parish Newsletter for the dates and times.

 

Miraculous Medal Novena

The Medal of the Immaculate Conception, popularly known as the Miraculous Medal, was manifested to St. Catherine Laboure' by our Lady on November 27, 1830 in the motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac, in Paris. Mary told Catherine: "Have a medal struck upon this model. Those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around the neck."

Our parish joins the Daughters of Charity, the Vincentians, and many other parishes throughout the world in the Perpetual Novena in honor of Our Lady of The Miraculous Medal. The novena prayers are recited in the Chapel of St. Louise de Marillac immediately after the 8 A.M. Mass each Saturday.

 

Pilgrim Virgin Statue

One of the greatest benefits the Legion of Mary has to offer is the Pilgrim Virgin, a statue of the Blessed Mother, which travels around our parish all twelve months of the year. Members of Saint Vincent's parish may request to have the statue in their house for a period of one week, provided that they promise to have their family and friends say the rosary and other prayers in front of the statue. Parishioners who have welcomed the statue into their homes have expressed that their spirituality has been wonderfully enhanced by this experience.

If you are interested, please call Barbara Golaszewski at 215-355-0209.

 

St. Monica Prayer Group

St. Monica pleaded with God through prayers and tears for the conversion for her son, St. Augustine, for 17 years. A priest once told her, "it is impossible that the son of so many tears should perish." Inspired by her example we invite all parents to join our prayer group in the Chapel of St. Louise de Marillac on Wednesday afternoons at 4:30 P.M.

Our mission is to pray for our children and support one another in prayer. We meet for just 20 minutes. If you cannot be with us physically, please join us spiritually as we pray for our children and grandchildren.

 

Youth Activities    
Boy Scouts

St. Vincent de Paul's Boy Scout Troop 240, chartered in 1973, in its time produced over 85 Eagle Scouts. At the end of 2013, the number of scouts had diminished to the extent that our Troop merged with Troop 280 at St. Bede the Venerable Parish in Holland.

All boys from 11 through 18 years of age are invited to join Boy Scout Troop 280. They hold monthly troop meetings from September through May. Activities include skill games, sports, crafts, special outings, camp outs, and service projects.

Contact Dan Hibbs, Scoutmaster at troop280hollandpa@gmail.com.

   

CYO Sports

Our Athletic Director is Brian Hensel (215-364-1834), and he is interested in working with parents and volunteer coaches to expand our program.

CYO players must be registered in the parish and attend either a Catholic school or the parish Religious Education Program in order to be eligible.

  Basketball: Sign-ups for girls and boys in grades 5 through 12 are in October.

  Football: The Saints football team is made up of 5th and 6th graders (Junior Varsity) and 7th and 8th graders (Varsity). The team is hosted by St. Cyril's in Jamison. Team members must be from one of the following parishes: St. Cyril, Jamison; St. Joseph/St. Robert, Warrington; Nativity of Our Lord, Warminster; Our Lady of Good Counsel, Southampton; St. Vincent de Paul, Richboro. An Archdiocesan rule prohibits athletes from participating for their public school and CYO in the same sport.

The Saints play 9 league games against other CYO teams in the archdiocese. Home games are played either at Log College or at Archbishop Wood High School. Team equipment is provided.

The Saints also have non-competition cheerleading.

The registration fee is $140 for football and $80 for cheerleading. Late fees occur after August 1st.

Contacts for more information, or to join the coaching staff: www.saintscyo.com; Joe Meehan at 267-250-3492; Dave Armstrong at 215-783-3587; or saintscyo@gmail.com. Completion of all Archdiocesan Child Abuse Awareness Program requirements is mandatory.

 

Parish Oversight  
Finance Committee

"In each parish there is to be a Finance Committee to help the parish priest in the administration of the goods of the parish" (Code of Canon Law, Canon 537). Our committee meets monthly in the Bérulle Conference Room on the fourth Tuesday of the month, September through June.

Members are appointed to the committee by the Pastor for three year terms, renewable once. Their names are listed in the Parish Newsletter in the minutes of each meeting.

Parishioners are encouraged to read the minutes and share any comments or recommendations with any Committee member.


 

Pastoral Council

The Parish Pastoral Council fosters participation of the entire parish in the life and mission of the Church. Council advises and assists the pastor in areas of pastoral concern, developing and recommending parish pastoral plans through consensus and prayerful reflection. Meetings are in the Bérulle Conference Room on the first Tuesday of the month, September through June.

Members are elected for three year terms, and may be re-elected for one additional term. Their names and the year their terms expire are published in the Parish Newsletter as part of the minutes of each meeting.

Parishioners are encouraged to read the minutes and share any comments or recommendations with any Council member.

 

Safe Environment Program

The Safe Environment Program is a comprehensive child safety and child sexual abuse prevention program, which creates a network of prevention and protection for the children entrusted into the Archdiocese's care.

Background checks are required, not just of clergy, but also of Religious and lay staff, and all volunteers who may have any possible contact with children. That includes Religious Ed volunteers, Pre-School volunteers, CYO adult moderators and coaches, the High School Youth Group core team, etc. These background checks must be renewed every five years, and include:

  1. Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check

  2. Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Child Abuse History Clearance

  3. Federal Criminal Background Check (for all employees, and volunteers who have not been living in Pennsylvania continuously for 10 years).


Diana Sherman, our Business Manager, assists employees and volunteers with these background checks; the parish pays all fees.

All staff, and volunteers who have regular contact with children (at least one time per week) are required to complete parts one and two of the Safe Environment training within 90 days of beginning their volunteer work.

This training does not have to be repeated.

  1. Protecting God's Children (instructor-led), is offered regularly at our parish and sites throughout the Archdiocese. The training provides basic facts about child sexual abuse and adults' roles in prevention.

  2. The Mandatory Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse (online), is available online at our Training Institute in English and Spanish. This training provides an overview of Archdiocesan reporting procedures for suspected child abuse and Pennsylvania Child Welfare Laws. The training takes approximately one hour to complete.

Visit http://childyouthprotection.org/, and click on "Staff & Volunteers."

We are extremely grateful to our staff and volunteers for complying with these requirements in the interest of our children's safety.


 

Communication  
New Parishioners

New families, please register with a priest or deacon in the sacristy after Sunday Mass or by appointment in the Parish Office. We want to know and serve you. We hope you will support your parish by your prayers, your presence, and your talent. Our registration form in "pdf" format is available at our parish WEB site: www.svdp-richboro.org/forms.htm; those who wish may download the form, complete it, and present it to the priest or deacon.

Parishioners leaving the parish are also asked to notify the Parish Office.

 

Friends of St. Vincent

The Archdiocese has established well defined parish boundaries, asking all Catholics to register in their proper territorial parish, while allowing them to worship where they choose.

In response to requests from those outside our territory who worship with us and support the parish, we register them as "Friends of St. Vincent." This enables them to participate fully in the life of St. Vincent de Paul Parish, and helps us fulfill our obligation to document their living the faith (e.g. for eligibility certificates), and verify contributions.

Those who wish to become "Friends of St. Vincent" should ask the Pastor of the parish in which they reside for a letter giving permission for the family to register here.

   

Parish Map
Parish Boundaries

St. Vincent de Paul Parish Boundaries

Our boundaries begin at the intersection of Bustleton Pike and Bristol Rd in Churchville (the lowest boundary point on the above map), and continue west on Bristol Rd to Newtown Rd; then the boundary follows an air line north, as if Newtown Rd were extended; this air line meets Almshouse Rd approximately at Solly's stand; the boundary continues west on Alms-

house Rd to Spencer Rd; then north on Spencer Rd (extended) to Neshaminy Creek; it follows the creek east to the air line extension of Holland Rd, and follows that air line to Newtown-Richboro Rd, proceeds west to 2nd Street Pike in downtown Richboro, and follows 2nd Street Pike, then Bustleton Pike, south to Bristol Rd.


 

Parish Newsletter

Our normal means of communication is the Parish Newsletter distributed by the Ministers of Hospitality at the end of all weekend Masses, and available during the week in the Atrium. Earlier Newsletters (for several weeks) are in a mailbox in the Atrium.

Items for the following Sunday's edition are due in Jeanne Flowers' mailbox in the Atrium or in the Parish Office by 9:30 A.M. Tuesday.

The Newsletter in ".pdf" format can be e-mailed to parishioners; make a request to Father McLaughlin: revjjmcl@nni.net.


Advertising revenue covers the entire cost of printing the Newsletter, and provides the parish with some additional funds. The parish is grateful for the support of our advertisers and encourages parishioners to patronize them. To advertise in our Newsletter, contact John Patrick Publishing Company at 800-333-3166 or www.jppc.net.

   

Calendar and Handbook

The Parish Calendar and Handbook, mailed to all parishioners in August, includes parish activities scheduled from September through the following August.

Beginning in mid-April, parish ministries and activities submit Calendar entries and Handbook updates to the parish office. Data entry and final formatting continue into the summer when the Calendar goes to press.

St. Vincent de Paul Parish is grateful to our calendar's sponsor: The Joseph A. Fluehr, III Funeral Home, Inc. ( www.fluehr.com).

The Calendar and Handbook are updated throughout the year on the parish web site, www.svdp-richboro.org.

   

Parish Records

Certificates of Baptism, Confirmation, First Communion, and Marriage are available through the Parish Office. For requirements for a Letter of Eligibility to be a godparent or Confirmation sponsor see Sponsors and Godparents). Letters of Freedom for Marriage must be arranged with the pastor.

Statements of donations for the previous calendar year are mailed in January to all families who have contributed $250 or more, the amount above which I.R.S. requires documentation. They are also available by request when announced in the Parish Newsletter.


Parishioners involved in the various parish ministries and activities may be given addresses and telephone numbers necessary for their roles in the parish. All parish data is considered confidential and is not released without the expressed permission of the registered individual.

 

www.svdp-richboro.org

At www.svdp-richboro.org, the parish's web site, the Parish Calendar is updated regularly. Our Handbook is also available on-line, and updated when necessary.

Current news, such as a Funeral or a weather-related cancellation of Pre-School or Religious Education classes, is posted on the home page.

The on-line Calendar includes intentions for announced Masses and scheduled weddings, as well as any additions or corrections to the printed calendar. Many Calendar entries are linked to the Handbook to provide further information about the event or organization. Links to the daily readings (both text and audio) are also included.

The "Links" page includes sites in the universal Church and our local community.

Directions to Church are given, and may help families preparing for a wedding, etc.

Suggestions to improve communication through our WEB site are welcome.

 

Email

Periodically the Pastor sends email announcements to all parish families for whom the parish has email addresses. These messages announce special programs, as well as Mass times for Christmas, Easter, etc. Contact jeanne@nni.net to add or correct your email address for these messages.

 

Archdiocesan Resources    
Marriage Annulments

Divorce is a reality for many. The Catholic Church respects the validity of all marriages, not just Catholic marriages. When divorced persons seek to remarry in the Catholic Church, the Tribunal, a group of specially qualified priests, Sisters and lay persons, will consider the divorced marriage to see if it met all the criteria in the Church's teaching on marriage. Should this process lead to a Declaration of Nullity, both parties may marry in the Catholic Church and Catholics can participate fully in the sacramental life of the Church.

A Decree of Nullity has no effect on the legitimacy of children. Before anyone can initiate a Process for a Declaration of Nullity, civil divorce for the marriage in question must be obtained and finalized.

The Petitioner (the one who is beginning the process) is asked to complete a questionnaire about basic facts of the marriage in question. Documents such as recent baptismal certificates for Roman Catholics and certified marriage and divorce decrees are required for everyone at this time.

The questionnaire is available on line: visit http://archphila.org/, click on "How do I . . .", and scroll down to "Start the annulment process." The Tribunal can also be reached by telephone 215-587-3750; FAX 215-587-0508. If you could be helped, or have a friend or acquaintance who might be helped, please suggest that the person contact the Tribunal. All interviews are private. There are no confrontations.

       

Student and Volunteer Insurance

Students in our Pre-School, our Religious Education Program, the High School Youth Group, and our CYO sports program are covered by the archdiocesan Student/Athletic Accident Insurance Program. Those performing volunteer services for the parish without any remuneration or payment in cash or in kind are covered by the archdiocesan Volunteers Accident Insurance Program.

These programs provides primary coverage for the first $300 of covered medical expenses; benefits above $300 (to $1,000,000) are payable, but only in excess of any other available medical coverage or hospitalization plan. Brochures describing coverage, conditions, limitations and exclusions are available in the Parish Office, as are claim forms. All claims should be reported promptly.

 

Victim Assistance

All suspected child abuse of anyone under the age of 18 years old should be reported immediately to ChildLine, operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, at 1-800-932-0313, and to your local police department.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse by a priest, deacon, employee, or volunteer of the Archdiocese, you can contact the Office of Investigations at 1-888-930-9010.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia provides comprehensive assistance to anyone who as a minor was sexually abused by any representative of the Archdiocese. Parents, guardians, children and survivors of sexual abuse are invited and encouraged to contact a Victim Assistance Coordinator at 215-587-3880.

 

Outside Organizations  
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

AA is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; it is self-supporting through individual contributions. AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

AA meets weekly in the Church Hall. For more information call 215-962-0510 or visit www.sobrietyonline.org.

 

Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

NA is a nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. Recovering addicts meet weekly in the Church Hall to help each other stay clean. This is a program of complete abstinence from all drugs. There is only one requirement for membership, the desire to stop using. The program is a set of principles written so simply that we can follow them in our daily lives. There are no initiation fees or dues, no pledges to sign. Anyone may join, regardless of age, race, sexual identity, creed, religion, or lack of religion.

For more information call 267-884-9290 for information or visit www.nar-anon.org.



       

Other Resources

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) 215-357-9821
www.sobrietyonline.org
Al-Anon (If you love an addict) 215-222-5244
888-425-2666
www.al-anon-alateen.org
Gamblers Anonymous (GA) 888-442-7085
www.gamblersanonymous.org
Overeaters Anonymous (OA) 215-674-4418
www.oa.org
Narcotics Anonymous (NA) 880-477-6291
www.nar-anon.org

Society of St. Vincent de Paul

   Parish Conference 215-357-3517
   Pick-ups & Inquiries Suspended

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