Exorcizing the Little Things

Let Go of the Little ThingsEver notice how one little thing someone said to you or did, or something you said or should have said, sticks with you?  All day, all night and into the next day. Other times, it rides along in your mind for years, or it comes back like a dark cloud scudding across the face of the sun when you see the person involved. That small incident, one that probably no one else even noticed, possesses you, dampening your joy.

Do you suppose that you are the only one who has these moments? That always happy “Betty” is able to let them go, or even better, never notices in the first place? What does it take to shrug them off? I don’t know, because I have never been very successful!

Recently though, I’ve considered the fact that I am spending way too much time worrying about mostly imagined slights.  The selfishness is overwhelming.  What right do I have to make myself so important? And why is it so impossible to forgive?

Maybe that’s the key – instead of spending the whole night churning through what I should have said or what my friend meant by her comment, I should focus on forgiving myself for whatever I imagine I did to instigate the comment. Or, on giving thanks to God for all the gifts of my life.

If you find yourself dwelling on the small incidents of your life that bother you, remember Jesus’ words to Martha, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful.” And that thing is to focus on Him!

Mike Dziomba, Artist – Interview

Published October 18, 2013 http://www.stmatthewsrandolph.org/interview-with-mike-dziomba-of-divine-delights/

Interview with Mike Dziomba, Artist

Mike Dziomba, parishioner and fine artist, grew up on Long Island.  He began his career in the corporate world of pharmaceuticals, eventually transferring to New Jersey from Connecticut.

Majoring in Biology in college, he had no idea as a young business person that he would end up painting richly detailed portraits of nature.

Mike is the lead artist at our Divine Delights – Art, Wine, Cheese & Chocolate event, November 2. In the following interview, you will learn a little more about this interesting member of our St/ Matthew’s family.

Mike Dziomba

Mike Dziomba

 

StM-How did you learn to paint?

Mike – I was living in Denmark and at that time, they still had “blue laws” so everything closed early on Saturday afternoon and was closed on Sunday, so I found myself with time to fill.  I am self-taught, was never a museum goer, didn’t study Art History.  Of course, I’m familiar with all the great painters just like everyone else, and since I began painting, I’ve taken courses that have significantly improved my technique, but mostly, I taught myself through painstaking practice!

StM – If you had to characterize your style, what would you call it?

Mike – I would say “realistic”, however, I don’t aim for photo-realism. I use a number of photos and steal the features I like from different shots.

StM – Do you take the photos?

Mike – Yes, I can take my camera and go to parks and reserves and rural areas and spend eight hours taking 600 photos or more.  Then I narrow down to the views and lighting I like best and compose my painting based on the photos.  I use them for reference and inspiration, versus direct copying.

StM – Your paintings are so realistic, I would have guessed you set up an easel and painted on site!

Mike – (chuckles) No, I use acrylic paint, which dries too quickly outside. And the lighting changes too much.  I prefer painting inside.

StM – What do you like best about your work?

Mike – I like the finite sense of accomplishment finishing a painting gives me. In business, there are always meetings and emails and opinions – it’s a long process before you see a result of your efforts, if ever.  When a painting is finished, it’s done!

StM – Tell me something interesting about you, besides your art.

Mike – I play the accordion!

StM – Really?

Mike – (laughing) Well, I’m Polish and I took lessons as a kid.  I could probably pick it up and produce a pretty decent Polka if I had a few minutes to warm up!

StM – Wow, that is interesting!

StM – What advice would you give to someone who wanted to become an artist?

Mike – It’s pretty hard to make a living selling art – I would say you need a back-up plan, for sure, and would recommend taking art classes.

StM – Do you have another job as well?

Mike – Nope!  I’m retired and I paint.  I love when I’m painting – I get into a zone and eight hours can fly by in a flash.

StM – What do you think God is calling you to do with your painting?

Mike – Hmmm… Capture images of things that may not be with us later…record and remember God’s beautiful creations.

StM – I think, judging from your paintings, that you certainly have achieved that!

Thanks to Mike for taking the time to share a little about his passion with us!

 

 

 

 

Pawel Tomczyk, Seminarian – Interview

Published June 10, 2013 http://www.stmatthewsrandolph.org/paul-tomczyk/

ST. MATTHEW THE APOSTLE PARISH
335 Dover Chester Road
Randolph, NJ  07869
973-584-1101

Paweł (aka Paul) Tomczyk, Seminarian of the Diocese of Paterson

Looking very much like the priest he intends to become, with quick-smiling blue eyes and military-short blond hair, garbed neck to toe in black, Paweł (Paul) Tomczyk is everywhere at St. Matthew the Apostle Parish, Randolph.  On his brief visit to his “adopted” home for the Easter Holy Week, Paul seamlessly resumes his role as assistant…everything!  Even before he speaks with his slight Polish accent, Paul is easily distinguished from other young men by his vibrant interest in each parishioner who warmly welcomes him home for the holiday, his willingness to serve the people of St. Matthew’s and the aura of peaceful faith that he projects.

“It Wasn’t a Celestial Vision!”

Paul Tomczyk

Paul Tomczyk

A seminarian of the Diocese of Paterson and currently attending SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Michigan, Paul is eagerly looking forward to receiving his Masters in Theology in May. In the fall, he hopes to transfer to Theological College in Washington, DC, to begin the last phase of his training and study before fulfilling his goal of becoming an ordained priest.

“It wasn’t a celestial vision!”  Paul protests when asked what led him to pursue becoming a priest.  Rather, it was his experience with his parish priests growing up in his hometown of Szczecinek, in the north-west corner of Poland, about 60 miles from the Baltic Sea.  His mother, an accountant, and his father, a truck driver, are devout Catholics and Paul and his sister, Agnieszka, attended Mass regularly with them.  “My parents are strong Catholics and we met very good priests.  I always felt that God was very close.”

When he was a senior in high school, the idea of dedicating his life to God and the vocation of priesthood presented itself.  “The important thing is that I did not say ‘no!’ right away and push the thought out of my head.  Instead, I said to myself, ‘Okay, this is a possibility.  Let me think about it for a while and see where it takes me.’  And, I gave myself a year to see if, at the end, the idea still appealed to me.  During that time, of course, I prayed about it, but I was also busy with the preoccupations of every teenager, like school and sports, and so on.  But, at the end of the year, I felt even more strongly that the decision was the right one for me,” he explains.  “I just couldn’t find a good excuse not to do it!  I knew it was God who was calling me and so I could not refuse Him!”

Journey to the USA

That was just the beginning of his journey from Szczecinek, a city founded in 1310 in rural Poland, to the United States and his future, which is unfolding according the God’s plan.  On February 15, 2013, Paul was installed as a lector and acolyte (extraordinary minister of the Eucharist).  With the blessing and approval of our Bishop Arthur Seratelli the ceremony of installation was held at SS. Cyril and Methodius, conducted by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio from the Diocese of Brooklyn, who was visiting the seminary that week.

Who’s Your Favorite Saint?

Describing his favorite Saint, John Bosco, who is known for his joyful ministry and practice of rewarding children with praise and positive motivation vs. punishment, Paul’s voice softens while his gaze intensifies.  Already active with the youth ministry in Our Lady of Refuge parish in Michigan, Paul’s goal is to continue to cultivate faith formation in young people.  “The children are the future of the church and it is important to me to continue to nurture their faith, as the priests in my childhood inspired me.  I look forward to continuing my work with young people.”

Which is exactly what he did this past Easter, while “home” at St. Matthew’s.  Assisting Father Dan Murphy, Pastor at St. Matthew’s in directing the special Holy Week responsibilities of the altar servers, controlling the flow of traffic for the foot washing ceremony on Holy Thursday, and orchestrating the Good Friday “Teen Stations of the Cross” and veneration observance, his fresh voice and passionate dedication enriched the celebration for everyone.  As one parishioner remarked, “It’s lovely to be able to share our holy day with such an inspirational young man, and we miss him greatly when he’s gone.  He’s part of our family!”

Life in the Seminary

Adapting to the culture and fitting in is one of the primary goals of the seminary.  Although the seminary is just an hour from Detroit, the community in which it is located is similar to that of Morris County, with many opportunities for the seminarians to serve amongst the local parishes.  Most of the students are Polish-American; although the school accepts foreign-born students from Europe and Latin America, all of the classes are taught in English in an effort to help the students improve their understanding of the language and to obtain an academic degree

Study time is at a premium at the seminary, as most days are very busy, with morning prayers and Liturgy of the Hours beginning at 7:00am, followed by thirty minutes of quiet meditation and then Mass.  Breakfast precedes a full day of classes, studying and homework, evening prayer and adoration.  Saturday, after morning prayers, is when the students have most of their free time; however, much of it is spent in studying or doing other kinds of daily work (laundry, cleaning etc.).

Sundays, of course, are particularly busy.  Paul assists in serving at Mass in the Seminary Chapel or the Shrine Campus and indulges his passion of working with the youth ministry he supports on one of the nearby parishes.  Typical of his practical approach to the spirit of sacrifice, this Lent, Paul set his alarm clock 15 minutes earlier than usual, dedicating it as a form of sacrifice.  Of course, he often found himself arriving at the chapel for morning prayers early and using the few minutes to meditate.  However, sometimes he simply used the extra time to get things done, like cleaning his room or studying.  Paul decided also to remember about the souls in the purgatory by every day prayer in their intention.

Well Prepared for His Future

Clear in his direction, Paul feels that to be a sincere minister and leader, one must know and love God and His People.  Equally comfortable chatting about every-day social events and discussing pivotal tenets of the Church catechism, he successfully balances humble reverence with fierce intelligence and firmly founded beliefs, not hesitating for a moment to expresses his profound reverence for the divine leadership of our new Pope.  When one parishioner asked him what he’d like to tell Pope Francis if he could, Paul demurred – “Nothing!  I would not dare to suggest anything to our Holy Father!  I firmly believe that the Holy Spirit has appointed him through the voice of the cardinals and that He will also guide our new Pope in every decision he makes.”

Paul, earnest, inspiring, and persuasive, is an asset to our church and a future leader!  If you have not encountered anyone truly extraordinary lately, spend some time with Paul, St. Matt’s “adopted” seminarian.

 

25th Church Anniversary Picnic

ST. MATTHEW THE APOSTLE PARISH
335 Dover Chester Road
Randolph, NJ  07869
973-584-1101

St. Matthew the Apostle Parish 25th Anniversary Mass and Picnic Celebration

What started out as a humble congregation of 65 families in a school cafeteria has, over the last 25 years, blossomed into a vibrant and welcoming parish of over one-thousand families.  On Sunday, June 23, 2013, St. Matthew the Apostle Parish in Randolph, commemorated the  25th Anniversary of its founding with a mass celebrated jointly by Reverend Daniel Murphy, current pastor of St. Matthew’s, and Reverend David McDonnell, founding pastor, now of Our Lady of the Lake, Sparta.  Retired Assistant Pastor Msgr. Peter McHugh and Father John Andrew Connell (recently retired from Resurrection Parish), and full-time Deacon Ed Keegan, joined them on the altar.  Following the 11:00 mass, Parishioners continued the festivities with a picnic on the church grounds.

Father Dave and parishioners at the Picnic.

Father Dave and parishioners at the Picnic.

Founding Pastor Father Dave McDonnell reminisced during his Homily, recalling how in 1988, Msgr. Martin Rauscher of Resurrection Parish in Randolph had such faith in the expanding Roman Catholic population that he gifted $20,000 of that church’s 50/50 profits to its daughter parish, which had not yet been given a name.

For six years, the fledgling church met in Ironia School.  Each weekend, parishioners created a sacred space in the cafeteria, stowing everything back in the school closet after mass.  It was a “no frills” church, but those early members got used to it and loved it.  When the new building was finally ready, parishioners gathered the chairs, songbooks, vestments, candles, etc. and processed down Dover-Chester Road, from “Our Lady of the Cafeteria” as it was lovingly called, to the sparkling new St. Matthew the Apostle Church building.

As the opening hymn proclaimed, “All are Welcome!” at St. Matthew’s, establishing the theme for the day.  Father Dave pointed out that if Christ had asked the early members of St. Matthew’s, “Who do you say that I am?” the answer would have been, “You are the one who unites us and gives meaning to what we do.”  He read a note from an early parishioner who described a church in which “the language of love, faith, and care transcends all barriers.”  And that, Father Dave said, is what makes St. Matthew the Apostle Parish so unique and enduring.

Melding the past, present and future was Father Daniel Murphy’s goal in arranging the events of the Anniversary Mass.  Following the Homily, four children who celebrated their First Eucharist this spring lit candles placed in the four corners of the church, echoing Bishop Rodimer’s consecration with holy oil during his original dedication ceremony in 1994.  Then, Trudy Dancsecs, Barbara Jablonski and Loretta Dougherty, three founding members of the church, read the petitions.  Former Deacons Tom Raymond, Bill Peters and Jack Dugger, along with St. Matthew’s full-time Deacons Jim Hackett, Larry D’Amico, and Rich Brady were also in attendance, as was Seminarian student Paul Tomczyk, who is on his way to Catholic University in September.

As always, St. Matthew’s choir complimented Mass, along with the Bell Choir and the children’s choir, who sang “All God’s Children” by S.K. Albrecht.  After communion, the full church choir performed a glorious rendition of “Let Everything That Hath Breath” by J. Ames, to a long round of enthusiastic applause.

Randolph Township Town Council Member and St. Matthew’s parishioner Al Napoliello, concluded the ceremony by reading a Proclamation from Mayor Tom MacArthur.

After Mass, parishioners and guests gathered on St. Matthew’s grand lawn to enjoy burgers and dogs and many delicious salads and desserts.  Children marveled at a magic show and hopped enthusiastically in sack races and other games, while adults ate and mingled in the delightful weather God provided for the day.

A formal observance of St. Matthew’s anniversary is planned for September 15, 2013, when Bishop Seratelli will join Father Daniel Murphy to celebrate mass.  The festivities will conclude with a Gala Dinner that evening.

# # #

St. Matthew the Apostle Parish Church, Randolph, guided by Reverend Daniel W. Murphy is a vibrant and active Roman Catholic community that warmly welcomes all believers in a spirit of hospitality and serves over one-thousand families in the Randolph area.  The Parish community supports a number of local, national and international outreach programs including the Missionary of the Poor Mission in Cap Haitian, Haiti; Holy Trinity Parish in Passaic, NJ; and an annual Hope Builders mission trip to Appalachia in Kentucky.  St. Matthew’s is located at 335 Dover Chester Road, Randolph, NJ.  Please contact our parish office for more information, 973-584-1101.

Contact: Janeen Sharp, Public Relations St. Matthew the Apostle Parish, janeen325@gmail.com or janeen.sharp@stmatthewsrandolph.org, cell 973-219-1346.

 

25th Church Anniversary Press Release

Published in The Beacon, September 19, 2013 http://editions.us.com/thebeacon_091913/#/8-9/

ST. MATTHEW THE APOSTLE PARISH
335 Dover Chester Road
Randolph, NJ  07869
973-584-1101

 

Bishop Serratelli Celebrates 25th Anniversary with
St. Matthew the Apostle Parish in Randolph

 Marking the culminating event of St. Matthew the Apostle Parish’s 25th Anniversary celebrations, Bishop Serratelli officiated noon mass on September 15 at the vibrant and close-knit Randolph Church.

Bishop Serratelli opened his Homily with a famous quote from Benjamin Franklin, who said, “The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness.  You have to catch it yourself.”  Bishop Serratelli pointed out that the invitation from God is no different – Jesus says that God’s love is so strong that despite our weakness and sins, God guarantees his love for us.  However, it is not automatic – we need to enter His house, penitent.  St. Matthew the Apostle Church has been God’s house for 25 years, a source of works of charity, community involvement, and warm compassion, offering a ready welcome and comfort in God’s embrace.  The Bishop reminded us that only when we forgive and welcome others generously do we exercise our right to take our place at our Father’s table, where there is always dancing and much rejoicing!   His closing words a meaningful, yet humorous reminder of the rest of the day’s festivities.

Bishop Arthur Seratelli

Bishop Arthur Seratelli

After mass, there was a short reception in held at the church where families enjoyed light refreshments with a slideshow of photographs taken over the last 25 years.  As former Bishop Frank Rodimer predicted, when he delivered the then-new church’s building dedication homily in 1994, “United now in this beautiful place of worship, this parish is meant to give life, to be a life-giving Spirit of God.  In this Church, you are as close as possible to the altar.  You are close to each other.  God is in your midst.”  The parish family of St. Matthew’s has embraced his words and has striven to carry out his mission.

Serenely reposing in the midst of arguably one of the most beautiful lawns in Morris County, St. Matthew’s the Apostle Church is architecturally modeled on the design of Our Lady of the Lake, Church, Sparta.  It’s Southwestern style, open floor plan, warm beiges and spectacular wood-paneled vaulted ceiling creates a calm and uncluttered backdrop for the warm and welcoming attitude of the parishioners.

St. Matthew’s congregation is comprised of many ethnicities and encompasses a growing number of young families, in addition to a strong established core.  Offering many opportunities for spiritual growth and outreach, parishioners have established programs to reach out to God’s people on an international, national and local level.  On the international level, St. Matthew’s supports the Missionary of the Poor Mission in Cap Haitian, Haiti, and recently has established funding to help educate children in the mission.  Nationally, in addition to helping the recovery efforts for natural disasters, the parish conducts an annual Hope Builders mission trip to Appalachia in Kentucky, where youth and adults complete desperately needed home repairs for economically challenged residents.  Locally, in addition to providing food and clothing to those in need within the area, they have adopted Holy Trinity Parish in Passaic, offering them ongoing support.

At home, there are many ways for church members to stay active and connect: women’s, men’s and teen’s faith sharing through annual retreats; Faith Formation classes for over 600 youngsters; extended Bible Studies; Music Ministries; a bi-annual Art Show with Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Tasting; as well as numerous care-ministries.

“We are proud of our continued expansion of members and the services we offer the community and the world.  And we honor our humble beginnings at the same time,” Father Daniel Murphy, Pastor said, referring to the 1988 creation of the parish as a spin-off of Resurrection Church, also located in Randolph.

St. Matthew the Apostle Parish was established in 1988, after Bishop Frank J. Rodimer invited the members of Resurrection Parish, close to 2000 families at that time, to form another parish in Randolph Township.  A small group of 65 families from the Ironia area quickly developed a pilgrim community, working under the guidance of Father David McDonnell, founding pastor.  The new parish of St. Matthew’s celebrated its first Mass on June 24, 1988, in the cafeteria at Ironia School, the date of the fiftieth anniversary of the Diocese of Paterson.

For six years, the fledgling church met in Ironia School.  Each weekend, parishioners created a sacred space in the cafeteria, stowing everything back in the school closet after mass.  It was a “no frills” church, but those early members got used to it and loved it.  When the new building was finally ready, parishioners gathered the chairs, songbooks, vestments, candles, etc. and processed down Dover-Chester Road, from “Our Lady of the Cafeteria” as it was lovingly called, to the sparkling new St. Matthew the Apostle Church building.

Plans to construct the church began in 1990.  By March of 1992, committees formed to oversee the first phase of the building.  Phase 1 was to include the worship space, one meeting room, office space, a vesting sacristy and the Pastor’s office.  Finally, having grown to 260 families by then, parishioners gathered at the property on Dover-Chester Road on Sunday, November 21, 1993, to bless and break ground for the building.  In August of 1994, the parish family spent the weekend raking topsoil in preparation for planting what is now a spectacular lawn.  Two more weekends in the fall were devoted to installing trees and shrubs.  The glorious grounds parishioners enjoy today were a labor of love completed by the founding families!  On October 9, 1994, Bishop Rodimer dedicated St. Matthew’s Church in a sacred and joy-filled ceremony.

Now, the church, so lovingly nurtured by its parishioners, is joyously celebrating its 25th Anniversary with nostalgia for the past and anticipation of an exciting future.  Father Dan Murphy noted that, “As we just take a moment to review the accomplishments listed above and so many more too numerous to mention, it is a testimony to our commitment to Christ’s call to be as His Body on Earth, the Church.  May the future only challenge us to be even more in response to the call of Christ to be His Body.”

# # #

St. Matthew the Apostle Parish Church, Randolph, guided by Reverend Daniel W. Murphy is a vibrant and active Roman Catholic community that warmly welcomes all believers in a spirit of hospitality and serves over one-thousand families in the Randolph area.  The Parish community supports a number of local, national and international outreach programs including the Missionary of the Poor Mission in Cap Haitian, Haiti; Holy Trinity Parish in Passaic, NJ; and an annual Hope Builders mission trip to Appalachia in Kentucky.  St. Matthew’s is located at 335 Dover Chester Road, Randolph, NJ.  Please contact our parish office for more information, 973-584-1101.

Contact: Janeen Sharp, Public Relations St. Matthew the Apostle Parish, janeen325@gmail.com or janeen.sharp@stmatthewsrandolph.org, cell 973-219-1346.