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New Years Day

Mass Schedule

December 25, 2016

Nativity of the Lord

Saturday: 5PM
Sunday: 10AM

Served by:
Fr. Anthony R. Lipari, FCM

Franciscan Community of Mercy

Fr. Miguel Fernandez, N/FCM

Associate Pastor

Fr. Drew Miller

Associate Pastor

Sr. Donna Lombardi, N/FCM

Pastoral Associate
Family Faith Formation

Karen Suter

Parish Administrator

Wendy and Mike Melly

Parish Council Leaders

An All Inclusive Independent Catholic Community,

Dedicated to Making the World a Better Place

Saints of the Week

December 26:
St. Stephen, The First Martyr (+c. 34)
December 27:
St. John, Apostle & Evangelist
December 28:
The Holy Innocents, Martyrs
December 29:
St. Thomas Becket, Bishop & Martyr
December 30:
The Holy Family, Jesus, Mary, & Joseph

Franciscan Reflection :
The Miracle of the Hay!
At Grecchio, Italy where St
Francis created the first
creche there was hay that was placed
on the manger. Animals, beasts of
burden and others with various illnesses were cured when they ate this
hay. Women that were having difficulties with laboring were able to
deliver easily and when this hay was
placed on people that were suffering
from various illnesses obtained
health by the same way. When they
finished that first Creche in Grecchio,
many people left there to go home
with unspeakable joy. Today, may you
be filled with their same joy as you
celebrate the Mass of the Little Baby of
Bethlehem, and may you experience
the same faith of the
Miracle of the Hay!

A Shepherds View
In Grecchio, Italy St Francis of Assisi re-enacted
the Bethlehem Scene with live animals and created the first creche. He
wanted to show his great
joy in the birth of our Savior
to the people gathered
there. I always reflected
that Francis wanted "to
show off Jesus." Today, as
we gather in Churches and
around tables, sharing and
receiving gifts, celebrating Mass, or even quietly
reflecting at our homes, hospitals, or nursing
homes, let us, too, SHOW OFF THE LOVE OF
CHRIST AT CHRISTMAS! Let us make the Son of
God be born into our lives, our words, and our
actions. Like Mary, let the Word of God be
birthed into us and flow out in lives of faith, hope
and love. Like Joseph, may we always allow God
to trust in us. On this day, may we all be like the
penguin in the movie: Happy Feet. By our
celebrating this Christmas joy may we go out with
dancing feet to proclaim to the world that Jesus is
Born and the Light has Come! May we go to the
hilltops and valleys and declare that God is not
finished! He daily creates and redeems and
blesses! May our words and actions on this special
day and season bring light to those
who dwell in darkness.
Let us truly SHOW OFF JESUS!
Merry Christmas to all!!!

Live Jesus in our hearts,


December 24th
4PM For the people of the Parish
10PM For the deceased members of the
December 25th
10AM For the benefactors of the

Meet our Pastoral Staff

Fr. Anthony Lipari, FCM, Pastor

Raised in Jersey City and Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, Fr. Anthony Lipari was a High School
and College Educator before being ordained a Priest in 1989, and has served in many
Northern New Jersey Churches, Chaplain to Organizations and Clubs, and as Chaplain to
Police, Fire and EMS Departments for many years. He is a noted advocate for Spirituality
within the Health Care Environment, Youth Ministry, HIV/AIDS Ministry, and Religious Education, and also provides Spiritual Direction and Guidance for Bereavement concerns. In
addition Fr. Anthony has a Masters Degree in Pastoral Ministry in the subject area of adolescent suicide and prevention. His Doctorate Degree is in Pastoral Ministry.
He was incardinated into the American National Catholic Church and entered the
Franciscan Community of Mercy. I come to Good Shepherd ANCC not just with my
syllabus of achievements, but with my faith, heart and smile. He brings to the parish a
refreshing, spiritual and hopeful outlook.
Father Drew MillerAssociate Pastor
Born and raised in Essex County,
NJ, Father Drew had a positive
and wonderful childhood and
adolescence surrounded by a
loving family, nuns and
priests. He was inspired in his
High School years by the Search
Program and was educated at
Seton Hall University fulfilling
a yearning for studies of spirituality and psychology while continuing working for his family's printing company.
He entered the Seminary and thoroughly enjoyed
his studies, retreats, and encountering God through
prayer, silence, and in the vibrancy of life itself.
Ordained a Diocesan Priest, he served in Bayonne
and truly enjoyed being a priest while also struggling
with the Roman Church's requirement of celibacy.
Taking a Leave of Absence, Fr. Drew completed
studies to become a Marriage and Family Therapist
and has served in that capacity for over 23 years of
private practice.
He feels that God calls him to be an instrument in
building the Kingdom in the individual lives and
marriages of his clients. He is married to Lorna and
has a Daughter. He truly experiences the Divine in
the midst of people who are in crisis or in their frustration with organized religion. Priestly Ministry is a
great joy for him and he feels inspired by the welcoming atmosphere of the American National Catholic Church. Being an Associate Priest at Good Shepherd truly resonates with him and he has proven to
be a wonderful asset to all that he ministers to.

Fr. Miguel Fernandez, NFCMAssociate Pastor

Father Miguel was born in Lima
Peru and was raised on a military
base there, along with his 12 sisters and brothers.
He entered the Immaculate
Conception Seminary at Seton
Hall in 1978, obtained a Masters
Degree in Pastoral Ministry and
was ordained a priest in 1986.
Father Miguel served as a priest in a number of
North Jersey parishes before relocating to Ocean
County and has been ministering to the faithful in
the areas of Youth Ministry, HIV/AIDS ministry, Marriage Counseling and continues to work with the
New Jersey Department of Child Protective Services.
Father Miguel also serves as the Auxiliary Chaplain
for the Toms River Police Department.
He was incardinated into the American National
Catholic Church in October of 2015, and he is presently admitted into the Franciscan Community of
Father Miguel is married to his beautiful wife and
has two grown children. He is family oriented and
has lot to offer in spiritual direction.
He is devoted to the Heart of Mary, love for St
John of the Cross, St Teresa of Avila and St. Francis
of Assisi. Father Miguel is fluent in four languages;
English, Spanish Portuguese and Italian.

Continued on next page

Pastoral Staff continued .

Sr. Donna Lombardi, NFCM
Pastoral Associate
Sr Donna Lombardi brings to Good
Shepherd ANCC a lengthy experience
in parish work. She is certified as a
Catechist and Coordinator of
Religious Education; and certified as a
Coordinator of the Rite of Christian
Initiation (RCIA). She has a Wall Street
background in Corporate Finance.
She grew up in Brooklyn as well as Staten Island and
came to Toms River with her spouse, Joe, where they
raised two wonderful children who are now Teachers.
She and Joe love to
travel and dine. She coordinates the Family Faith
Formation for our Parish. She also helps with the
Sacramental life within the parish.
Sr. Donna is a Novice with the Franciscan Community
of Mercy within the American National Catholic
Church. She is a valuable and wonderful asset to our
Parish where she is considered irreplaceable!
Her joy, faith and love truly are gifts to all that she

Justice Challenge
Christmas Week

Justice Challenge: The Gospel for the

celebration of the Christmas Mass at Dawn has the
shepherds arriving first to meet and pay homage to
the Infant Jesus. Shepherds werent the wealthy or
the powerful of their time. They would have been
considered among the poor and lowly. Yet God
chose them to encounter
His Son!
Your challenge this week is to reflect on how much
Jesus valued the poor and the vulnerable. Find a
Gospel passage that has Jesus giving
dignity to someone whom society didnt value
(e.g., a tax collector, a prostitute, a leper, or a
Samaritan). Then think of a person who is denied human dignity in your community today. Reach out to
that personwith a note, a small gift, an invitation
to a conversation, or something else that expresses
your understanding that this person has as much to
give you as you have to give him/her.

When Was Jesus Born?

We dont have a birth certificate for Jesus. In fact, the gospels
are silent as to the date of Christs birth. The two gospels that
do speak about the year contradict each other. Matthew 2:1
states that Jesus was born in the days of King Herod, who
died in March or April of the year that we would call 4 bc. Luke
2:2 states that Jesus was born when Quirinius was governor of
Syria, that is, not until the year that we would call 6 ad. So we
dont know scientifically the year of the Saviors birth.
What about the dateDecember 25? Its possible that this is
Jesus birthday. We know that some churches kept December
25 as the solemn feast of the nativity very early on. Maybe they
knew something that we dont. Some think that there are other
reasons why December 25 has been kept as Jesus birthday at
least since the year 336.
Some scholars think that Christians began celebrating the birth
of Christ on December 25 because it was the pagan feast of
the Unconquered Sun, proclaimed by the Roman emperor in
the year 274. According to the calendar at the time, December
25 would have been the winter solstice, the shortest day of the
year, when hours of sunlight stop shrinking. (December 21 is
the solstice on modern calendars.) Since Christians knew that
Jesus was truly the Unconquered Sun of Justice, what better
day to feast his birth in the flesh?
Another group of scholars think that the early Christians
thought: The gospels say nothing of Christs birthday, but John
the Baptist, as usual, points to the truth. He says Christ must
increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30) Now we can figure
out Jesus birthday! John the Baptist was hinting that his birthday was the summer solsticethe longest and brightest day of
the yearJune 25 on the old calendar. (In fact, we still celebrate the birth of the Baptist on June 24!) After all, John is the
brightest and strongest of the prophets to foretell Christs coming. So this means that John would have been conceived on
September 25. Being a holy saint, he would have been in Elizabeths womb for exactly nine months. Luke 1:26 tells us that
John was conceived six months prior to Jesus. So Jesus was
conceived on March 25. Being the Son of God, Christ is the
perfect human being, so of course he was in Marys womb exactly nine months, and thus born on December 25.
Sadly, there are still those today who wont believe that Jesus
even existed until they see some kind of birth certificate. But we
who are baptized are open to other ways of knowing truths
bigger than official documents and laboratoryevidence can tell.
We learn in our liturgy to sense divine action in human history.
We know that we can trust our church calendar, waiting in Advent, rejoicing at Christmas, joyfully celebrating God in the
fleshour fleshborn into our world, redeeming even our calendars, giving us holidays to cherish. Today is born our Savior,
Christ the Lord!
Copyright 2001 Archdiocese of Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1800 North
Hermitage Avenue, Chicago IL 606221101; 18009331800; Text by
David Philippart and Gabe Huck. Art by Luba Lukova. All rights reserved. Used with