Mass Times

Weekdays
Monday thru Friday,
8:00am, 12:10pm (Chapel)
(12:10pm suspended in July & Aug.)

Saturday
9:00am (Chapel)
5:15pm (vigil)

Sunday
7:30am, 9:00am, 10:30am, and 12:00 noon.

Holy Days
8:00am, 12:10pm,
7:30pm

Confessions
Saturday 4 to 5pm,
or by appointment

Served By

Rev. Msgr. Randall J. Vashon, Pastor
Rev. Edmund A. Luciano III, K.H.S., Parochial Vicar
Rev. Andrew Smith, O.S.B., Weekend Assistant
Deacon Patrick J. Cline
Deacon Gerard Sims
Mrs. Christina Blalock, Director of Sacred Music
Mrs. Karen Dill, Director, Office of Catechetical Formation
Mr. Sean O’Brien, Youth Ministry Leader
Mr. Mark LaFleur, Director of St. Bernard Cemetery and Mausoleums
Ms. Ginny Hayden, Parish Office Manager and Assistant to the Pastor
Mr. William Chmielewski, Director of Maintenance

Contact Us

St Bernard of Clairvaux Church
500 U.S. HWY. 22
Bridgewater, NJ 08807

Phone: (908) 725-0552
Fax: (908) 725-4524
office@stbernardbridgewater.org

Appalachian Mission

HOMES for APPALACHIA Mission

Building Hope in Appalachia

Matthew 25:35-40 – For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.

This past June (2017), we completed our 18th summer of a cooperative effort among the parishes of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Immaculate Conception Somerville, the Presbyterian churches of Huntington (WV) and Baltimore (MD) and students and chaperones from Notre Dame Cathedral School (Ohio).  We have embarked on missions that have changed lives in the Wayne County area of West Virginia.  Over 100 individuals in total participated this year in the Wayne County Work Camp, located in the poverty stricken Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia.  With the economic challenges of high unemployment, declining population and low tax revenues, the communities and residents are faced with many problems.  Despite these hardships, the people of Appalachia are rich in faith, love and generosity.

The Wayne County Work Camp is one of the programs of the Cabwaylingo Appalachian Mission, a 501C (3) charity operated from the Huntington Presbyterian Chapel.  The Camp provides a service experience for youth (16yo and older) and adults who desire a “hands-on” opportunity to put their faith to work, by serving those who are in need.  The mission is to glorify God; to share the love of Christ by addressing the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the people; to work together to make homes warm, safe and dry; and to experience Christian community by living, working, and worshiping together.

With Pope Francis declaring November 19th to be the “World Day of the Poor”, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell the parishioners of St Bernard how in one way, we as a parish have collectively aided, cared and comforted those in greatest need.  I can’t imagine a better way to experience a ‘culture of encounter’ and the bringing together of different people with tenderness and solidarity.  This past June, we did just that!

This summer, 15 members of our St Bernard parish participated in “Mission 2017”, by traveling to West Virginia to build and repair homes and share our talents with those most desperately in need.  This parish provides half of the talent to manage the many work teams for the weeklong event!

A question most frequently asked by those interested in this mission effort is: “Who funds the Camp?”  Simply stated, it is the generosity of the members of our parish, and the participants themselves.  We realize that while only 15 people will make the 600-mile journey down to Wayne County, there are a far greater number of participants, through your generosity and donations that have helped to make this mission possible, year after year.  Each participant in the Camp is expected to contribute a percentage of the cost of building supplies and materials that will be used throughout the course of the week, as well as a small portion going towards lodging and transportation. This year, we far surpassed our goal for donations, and that leaves us with an incredible opportunity to do even more next year and in years to come.

There were, this year, at least 12 different projects undertaken at the camp.  We repaired trailers, cabins or shacks, built decks for access, replaced floors and roofs.  One team built an access ramp for 5 year old ‘Ivy’ who suffers from Chromosome 23 disease.  In another location, we replaced a living room and kitchen floor in a trailer where the floor had fallen through, and the resident had to walk on the supporting beams to move around his home.  We left him with new floors installed, the leaking windows replaced and new structure to insure that at least for the near future, the home was secure.

As I mentioned in June, this year we embarked on an even more ambitious project than in the past – the largest undertaken by the Appalachian Mission Program.  The St Bernard team has previously built two homes (500sq ft and 900sq ft) for 2 person families.  This year we purchased a distressed property for a family of 4!  A huge undertaking, we had well over 75 participants work on the project over the course of two weeks.  (Yes, some of us signed on for an extra week and we were pleased to get assistance from personnel from the Center for Faith Justice based out of Lawrenceville, NJ)  We rebuilt porches, replaced windows, new siding, new metal roof, shored up structure, rewired, insulated, sheet rocked, and so on.  The family destined for the home – Brady and wife ‘Charley’, and two sons Andrew and Conner participated in the work effort, and visited with us over the two weeks.  Work has continued since the summer and the family is expected to move in by the end of the year.

Somehow, we are managing to accomplish what seems to be impossible.  We are now building homes, well beyond the simple repairs of the past.  The jobs are difficult, and more help is always needed.  And Wayne County, being 600 miles from NJ presents a time and travel expense challenge – van rental and fuel cost us thousands of dollars each summer.  We need your help more than ever to continue the valuable program.  We need your prayers and your support.  Thank you for your continued interest in the program.  Next year’s event will be the week of June 10-16, 2018.   Mark your calendars, and think about how you can participate.  We’ll be reminding you as the week draws near.  Thank you.

 

 

If you want information about this ministry,

please feel free to contact:

Phil Guastella:  guastph@gmail.com

or Ted Bell:  tbell2@optonline.net