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Special Edition #3
September 30, 2021
Below is a brief warm welcome to our Thanksgiving Harvest from Laureen Isekenegbe:
Our Thanksgiving Harvest at St Antoninus is an annual event, usually on one of the Sundays in November, when the whole parish joyfully comes together for a thanksgiving festival.

While this is our major fundraiser for the year, it is not just about raising funds. More than anything else, this is truly a grace-filled time for giving thanks to Jesus, the Lord of the Harvest, for all the blessings and provisions received for the year. It is also a time when the parish unites with one heart to serve the Lord and one another - and to have fun together!

Borrowed from a beautiful tradition in West Africa, this thanksgiving festival is a time when we present our "first fruits" to the Lord right at His altar during holy Mass.

Below, 2 recent Harvest Thanksgiving events in Nigeria:
Here at St Antoninus, we come before the altar (some dancing) during Offertory at Mass to present ourselves & our gifts to the Lord, in a form of tithing to support the Lord's mission for His Church. The offerers are then blessed by the priests at the altar, along with their gifts.
This is not a one day event. Our grand Thanksgiving Harvest day this year at St Antoninus is on Sunday, November 14.
We have 6 more Sundays of Family Harvest Offering leading to this main event. During these Sundays, families, groups or individuals invite their extended families & friends to join them (More on Family Harvest Offering in section below. )
Please invite all your families, friends, co-workers, your doctors, insurance agent, car mechanic, etc to come and support our harvest appeal. Pick up mini flyers and a donation card for this.
Let us know if you would also like a solicitation kit containing Fr Joseph's appeal letter, flyers, sponsor page and other materials for this fundraiser.
Please pray with your parish for a fruitful Thanksgiving Harvest 2021!
What is the fundraising goal for this year's Thanksgiving Harvest?
Our goal for this appeal is $150,000.
What will these funds be used for?
They will be mainly used for infrastructure repairs and improvements on our aging buildings. Please read Fr Joseph's letter below for an explanation.
How can we contribute to the Thanksgiving Harvest 2021 appeal?
Please go below for the online donation links and mailing address.
Thank you and God bless you!

Invitation letter from the Akinwuntun family:

A heartfelt appeal from Fr Joseph:
Thanksgiving Harvest 2021 & the Mission of St Antoninus Church

Dear St. Antoninus family & friends:

Jesus pleaded with his disciples “The Harvest is great but the laborers are few. Pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send out workers into the vineyard” (Luke 10:2). Here at St Antoninus Church we want to be all about bringing in that “harvest of souls.”

Would you join us in this mission through supporting our 2021 Thanksgiving Harvest celebration on Sunday, November 14th? 

Holy Mass begins at 10:00 am with a Parade of Nations. Following the Mass, we will have our Thanksgiving Harvest luncheon and festivities.  
(continued below )
(Fr Joseph's letter continues:)

This celebration is our primary annual fundraiser for vital Infrastructure repairs and improvements to continue the Lord’s mission here at St Antoninus.
Our Parish Mission
These times we live in are marked by so much fear and confusion, distrust and disunity in our families, our Church, our nation and in the entire world. People of all ages, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds are experiencing tremendous isolation, loneliness and insecurity. Yet, there is a remedy and a cure for everything that ails our deeply wounded and darkened humanity.

That remedy is Jesus! Only in a personal intimate encounter with the One who has conquered sin and all the misery it brings, including death itself, can our broken hearts and relationships be healed.

We don’t have all the answers, but we know our Lord does. Here at St A’s we have experienced
the love of God and new life in the Holy Spirit in a special way through the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Therefore, we seek to provide an environment in which that initial life-changing encounter can happen, and then deepen through opportunities to grow and mature in the faith.

Our primary mission at St A’s is evangelization – to
 make disciples who will make disciples. This involves 
 various ministries and opportunities for prayer, but 
 clearly our greatest treasure here is our Sunday 10am 
 Mass, in which we taste the reality of the Eucharist 
 when heaven comes to earth and time ceases
The legacy continues
St Antoninus Church has an amazing history. It was
founded in 1875 by the Dominican Friars who served here for 100 years. The Parish was devastated by the racial riots of the late 1960’s and left with only a handful of parishioners. Yet, in the 1970’s the parish was “born again” in the power of the Holy Spirit and through the care of the parish priest - Fr. Jim Ferry and a group of people whose common experience was a life-changing encounter with the Lord in the power of the Holy Spirit - a kind of “personal Pentecost”. They were willing to leave the comfort of the suburbs and come to Newark to celebrate & share this gift with others. 

Most of those re-founding members of the parish have gone home to the Lord, including Fr Jim, Fr Paul and so many holy priests, religious, and lay people, including our beloved matriarch, Eleanor “Momma” Carey, who passed on to the Lord last year. However, they left us a powerful legacy of faith, openness to the Holy Spirit and selfless service and sacrifice. In the midst of the messiness of the inner city, God has continued to raise up some great saints and pillars in the church.

These ordinary and extraordinary saints were a great inspiration for me, as I discerned my call to the priesthood while being a parishioner here at St A’s in the 80’s. Little did I know then that 30 years later, I would become the pastor of this very special parish.

A little parish that packs a big punch
We are blessed to have many ministries and devotions here besides our Sunday Mass: daily Mass & outdoor benediction, daily online Rosary, Eucharistic Adoration all day, 5 days a week, two weekly prayer meetings, two weekly scripture studies, monthly Healing Masses, Life in the Spirit Seminars twice a year, prayer conferences twice a year, and numerous activities involving our youth, young adults and family ministries, not to mention various outreach missions in the neighborhood and beyond. 
We do all this on a shoe-string budget. I dare to say that due to the generous service of God’s people here, there is likely no active parish in this entire Archdiocese that runs on a tighter budget than does St Antoninus Church.

I thank the Lord that for the past year and a half, our office staff sacrificially gave up their salaries and worked as volunteers during most of this pandemic. Yet, throughout this time, we did not skip a beat in our ministries, both in person and online. We have been so blessed! And in the spirit of gratitude for all the blessings which the Lord continues to pour out upon us, and trusting that with the Lord there is always more, we believe that with God’s help we will continue to expand our outreach in the coming months and years.
Our appeal
We enjoy the blessing of having beautiful lower and upper church structures. The foundation stones of each were respectively laid in 1911 and 1940 (in the midst of the great depression).

It is understandable that they now need some TLC, particularly in terms of electrical and HVAC repairs and upgrades. The same inefficient and dilapidated heating system functions for the upper and lower church, and other than two recently installed and very temporary and inadequate window units in the hall, we do not have and never had AC in either location.

Funds raised from the last 3 Thanksgiving Harvest appeals ($ 172,391) have been reserved for the upgrade of our church electrical supply and the gradual replacement of our HVAC system in church. We have been forced to move slowly on these projects due in part to the pandemic. However, by God’s grace, we were still able to accomplish the following:

We built a catwalk and platform for the new electric panels 30 feet above the floor of the boiler room (to prevent damage from humidity and potential flooding); we rebuilt the entire stairs (25 steps) leading down to that boiler room, we installed the electric panels for the 800 Amp electric upgrade (awaiting the final hook up by the city) and we completed the architectural plans for a new HVAC system in the lower church / parish hall area.

Below, photos of the catwalk & 2 new electrical panels
There is still so much to be done and this year’s Thanksgiving Harvest is vital to that work. We ask you the parishioners and friends of St Antoninus Church to help us to exceed all previous years in fundraising. Our goal this year is $150,000. That is a significant amount but if everyone does what they can, this will be possible.

We are reserving 70% of all funds raised through Thanksgiving Harvest 2021 exclusively for
infrastructure work on the church. Some of this will be spent immediately on roof repairs and some will be put aside for on-going and future electrical and HVAC work. 20% will be used for the general running of the parish and 10% will be for charity.

Please consider being a Major Sponsor or Benefactor in anticipation of this year’s Thanksgiving Harvest on November 14, 2021 or simply give as generously as your means allow. Please extend this invitation to your family and friends, your business associates and any organizations you represent or belong to.

Through your prayers and financial support you share in our mission of building a future for generations yet to come. May our good God, the Lord of the Harvest, abundantly reward your generosity and hard work in Christ Jesus Our Lord.

In Jesus thru Mary (and Joseph),

Fr Joseph
To download, click here.
With love & thanksgiving,
from our families....
Last Sunday, September 26, the Family Harvest Offering was presented by Lys Victor and her family, as she gave thanks to the Lord for her birthday on that day and all the many blessings her family has received throughout the year.
How to participate in the Family Harvest Offering
Choose your offering day among the remaining 6 Sundays Note availability as of today. We can have up to 4 offerers per Sunday. However, If there is a large group offering, it may be best to keep it at 3 offerers.

(1) Cassilda Boyd Family 
(2) French community 
(3) All women of the parish

(1) Chief Dike & Maureen Ogbuehi
(2) Chief Valentine & Jacinta Aniebue

(1) Lawrence & Joy Anyanwu

(1) Modupe Ojo  
(2) Divine Adoration Prayer Community 

(1) Brendan & Elizabeth Igwe
(2) Real Love Ministries

SUN, Nov 7
(1) Filipino Harvest Offering

Please call the office 973-623-0258 if you would like to schedule your Family Harvest.
In support of our Thanksgiving Harvest 2021~
The Filipino Harvest Offering

You are invited to a Filipino lunch & line dancing fundraiser on November 7, right after our Sunday Mass. Ticket cost is only $10 for this event.

This year 2021 marks 500 years of Catholicism in the Philippines and the Filipino community would like to celebrate their thanksgiving for this momentous event. They will be greatly honored by your support.
Tickets will be on sale after each Mass, starting next week. All proceeds will go to the parish Thanksgiving Harvest 2021.
More photos from our previous Thanksgiving Harvest celebrations- click below to view.
Click below to donate to our St Antoninus Thanksgiving Harvest 2021.

Choose among convenient online options.
You can also use Zelle.
To open a Zelle account if you don't have one:

Put St Antoninus as a recipient and enter the following info:
Name: St. Antoninus Catholic Church
Email: saintantoninuschurch@gmai
When you sign up, please include your email or phone number. Thank you and God bless you!

Schedule of our regular Liturgies & Events. Click on image below to view:
337 South Orange Ave, Newark NJ 07103 
Rev. Joseph A. Meagher (Pastor)