I am still trying to figure out what day it is after our long weekend in New Jersey. We spent four days in the lovely Garden State for the U.S. Club Soccer Region B Championship. My daughter’s team played great soccer and won the tournament. The prize is a no-expense paid trip to North Carolina for the National Championship so in a few weeks I will be reporting in from Greensboro. It should be fun!
Soccer has had us in New Jersey for the last two Sundays so we have discovered two very different but equally enjoyable churches. The first Sunday we attended Our Lady of Good Counsel in Moorestown, NJ. This is a beautiful old church that I am guessing has been renovated at some point since it looks freshly painted. However it retains its old church charm. Lots of beautiful stained glass windows and majestic archways. The tabernacle is front and center. More importantly, the newly ordained priest spoke boldly on the centrality of the Eucharist to our Catholic faith. He left no doubt that Christ is truly present, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, in the Eucharist. If he can hold on to this focus he will be a tremendous priest who leads many souls to Heaven.
This past weekend we found ourselves at St. Cecilia’s in Monmouth Junction, NJ. This was a much newer church. The architecture was decidedly more modern but fortunately it was not the “theater in the round” style. There was a definite altar not a “communion table”. A lovely tabernacle surrounded by two kneeling angel statues was prominently positioned behind the altar. The windows were decorated with a flower motif that used the flower stems to form notes on a musical staff. It was an interesting way to incorporate the identity of their patron saint. The liturgy was very reverent. The small congregation all bowed at the words of the Incarnation in the Creed. Our priest gave a very simple homily on putting our trust in God. His words were not eloquent but the message was profound.
I have written how our frequent traveling leads to some interesting Mass experiences. I am so grateful to have found two churches that offer faithful liturgies centered on the Eucharist. It does give one hope that the Catholic Church in the United States will continue to grow in faithfulness to the Magesterium.