On July 18, 2019, The Most Reverend James F. Checchio, Bishop of the Dioceses of Metuchen, New Jersey honored us here at SAINT JOSEPH’S SENIOR HOME by con-celebrating the Holy Mass in our Chapel. Bishop James, the principal celebrant was assisted by The Most Reverend Bishop Artur Mizinski, (from Poland and a Longtime friend of Sisters here), Revered Father Walter Latkowski, (Pastor of Saint John Paul II Parish in Perth Amboy), Reverend Father Rafal, (visiting Chaplain here from Poland for vacationing Chaplain Father Paul Dziatkiewicz), Reverend Father Maciej Melaniuk, Reverend Jan Bernas, resident of Saint Joseph’s Assisted Living, Seminarian and presently studying in Rome, Greg Zannetti, (Grandson to Assisted Living resident Joan Zannetti), It was indeed a wonderful event.

Our Chapel was adorned with beautiful flowers for this special event and that day’s religious services were attended by many people. Residents from the assisted living quarters as well as residents from the skilled nursing part, some of the residents had family members join them. Our regular Sunday choir, (Chato & Raymond & Filipino Choir Group), were in excellent voice. There was professional photographer Mr. John Batkowski who took many, many pictures. There were about nineteen Sisters who operate SAINT JOSEPH’S SENIOR HOME along with the Mother Superior, Mother Dorota Baranowska from the Mother House in Cherry Hill, NJ. There was even three Sister from far-away from India, (Sister’s Jinni Chakkalakkal, Mercy Jonny and Sherine Jose) from THE CONGREGATION OF SISTERS OF SAINT MARTHA.

The Homily spoken by our Bishop James was inspiring. It was based on the Gospel reading for Thursday, July 18 th, (Matthew 11:28-30). This is a very short reading and our Bishop’s Homily was quite to the point. The reading points out the Jesus is always with us no matter how heavy our burden. He went on to relate a story about a friend he encountered while in the Seminary in Rome. This fellow student was from North Dakota. When he visited his friend there, he found himself on a large farm. His friend’s dad brought him into a barn where he stowed some old yokes used years ago. The farmer told him that a yoke is never built for an Ox but always for Oxen. Tying that fact together with the Bible reading, the Bishop taught by his Homily that no matter how difficult our life may seem, we are never alone in anything we do. God is always with us. He will always be on the other side of our “yoke”. If we accept God’s discipleship, we thereby pray and work to reconcile the world to the Father who has promised us that we will never be alone no matter how heavy the load. (“TAKE MY YOKE UPON YOU AND LEARN FROM ME …… FOR MY YOKE IS EASY AND MY BURDEN IS LIGHT”).

There were many happy photographs taken as seen in this Blog. Also seen are views of our Bishop James personally greeting, shaking hands and chatting with almost everyone in attendance. This friendly gesture was offered and received with much warmth especially from our residents who are bound to wheelchairs, as was our Bishop James personally carrying the Holy Eucharist to many Communicants even walking the aisles to reach those unable to walk.

Worthy of note: On March 8, 2016, Bishop James F. Checchio became the fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen. The banner on His personal coat of arms is “Reconciliamini Deo” which translates to “Reconciled to God” The Diocese of Metuchen serves about 637,000 Catholics in 90 Parishes with 233 Priests. The Diocese operates 25 elementary schools and 5 High Schools, with a combined enrollment of 10,600 students. The Diocese also runs one hospital, 4 health care clinics, and 9 social service centers.

We are privileged indeed that our Bishop honored SAINT JOSEPH’S SENIOR HOME with his visit.

Author: Edward Sita