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Sunday: 7:30, 9:00, 11:00 & 5:00pm;
Saturday: 8:00am, 5:00pm Vigil

Weekdays: 8:00am; Adoration: First Friday 8:30am-9pm

Reconciliation: 4-4:30pm, Saturdays or by Appointment
Parish Office: 41 Oliver Street, Chatham NJ 07928

Church: 85 Washington Avenue, Chatham NJ 07928

Office Hours:
Monday-Friday: 8AM - 4:30 PM

Rev. Robert J. Mitchell, Pastor - Fr. Bob's Biosketch

Rev. Christopher Barkhausen, Parochial Vicar - Fr. Christopher's Biosketch

Upcoming Events

News and Updates

  • Adopt a Student
  • Works of Mercy- Pray for the Living and the Dead

  • Worship, Worship Aids and the Environment
    Worship, Worship Aids, and the Environment

    Worship at mass involves the great gift of many people receiving the Eucharist as one body in Christ. Everything in the mass that comes before this moment of communion is for the purpose of preparing our hearts and minds for this special moment, in order to better transform our ability to share God’s love in the world.

    In response to Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment, the need to preserve our natural resources, and preserve the beauty of the natural world, we need to make the most efficient use of natural resources, including paper. We must carefully plan the best way to communicate the necessary prayers, songs, and other information shared at mass with the least amount of waste. At the same time, it is important to have liturgies that are prayerful, inspiring, and foster the full, conscious, and active participation of our worshiping community.

    An environmentally-conscious liturgy that is also an effective and unifying liturgy involves consideration of many details. First, certain texts must be available to all worshippers. After that, there is a hierarchy of information that enables effective liturgy through communication. Decisions must be made regarding how much information will be made available to those who come to mass.

    Hierarchy of Information Needed by the Assembly For an Effective and Unifying Liturgy
    (Based on the requirements of individual participation as outlined in Vatican II)

    1.      Text of assembly mass parts for visitors, new members, and young people
    2.      Texts of songs
    3.      Texts of special prayers required by the Bishop or Pope

    Very Helpful:
    4.      Music for songs (the notes that show how the music goes)
    5.      Which songs for today, and which part of mass, and which verses
    6.      Translations for texts in another language
    7.      Composers, authors, sources (composers receive royalties when their music is printed with a license)
    8.      Clarification of who sings what (e.g., choir cantor congregation)
    9.      Instructions when needed (such as: “Please remain standing while the Bishop incenses the altar”, or “Please genuflect as the tabernacle processes past you”)

    10.   The celebration and the season
    11.   Names of people (Someone being received into the faith, names of First Communicants, names of graduates, name of a visiting missionary)
    12.   The choirs singing at each mass
    13.   The presiders at each mass
    14.   Names of cantors, names of special musicians
    15.   Special events (such as Catechist initiation, 7th grade class serving as ministers, visiting of our Partner Parish)
    16.   Symbols/colors/quotes communicating elements of celebration or season
    17.   Parish name, church address and names of liturgy leaders

    So, let’s consider our options.

    We can communicate three ways:
    a.      Verbally/aurally
    b.      Written word using paper medium
    c.       Written word using electronic medium

    The first choice is to use no form of communication at mass other than verbal. People would not be engaged in full, active participation because they wouldn’t be able to sing most of the songs, and they wouldn’t be able to recite special prayers (like the Prayer for World Peace) at all. There would not be a sense of unity or active engagement. The assembly mass parts (#1 above), can eventually be memorized through regular attendance at masses over the years. But visitors, catechumens, or children just learning the mass wouldn’t be able to participate. Making these prayers available to all shows our love and encourages those who might join our faith. None of the other items listed above could be communicated through a verbal-only method. Someone coming to St. Patrick Church for the first time would probably not feel comfortable, and people in the assembly would not be able to participate fully.

    The next most conservation-minded choice would be to use the hymnals we have, but nothing else. We could sing some of the songs that way. However, the cantor would need to announce every song, where to find it, and what verses to sing. The verbal announcement tends to disrupt prayer and the holiness of each moment. In addition, the mass settings (since the new translation in 2011) are not in the old hymnal. We can purchase a new hymnal (about $10,000), but the hymnals don’t include all the mass settings we like. In addition, our current hymnal, or even a new hymnal, doesn’t include all the songs our parish enjoys. In 2009 when Richard Barnett encouraged children to participate in music at St. Patrick, he also introduced worship aids so that he could incorporate more lively and youthful songs that are not in our hymnal. Since then, our parish has come to love these titles that are not in the hymnal, but downloadable with a license. Singing these hymns requires a communication medium other than our pew hymnal. Here are just a few of them:

    Abba Father
    All the Ends of the Earth
    As the Deer Longs
    Behold the Wood
    Center of My Life
    Child of the Poor
    Christ Be Our Light
    Come to the River
    Come to the Water
    Every Valley
    Flow River Flow
    Gather Your People
    Hail Mary: Gentle Woman
    Holy Darkness
    Holy Is His Name
    We Shall Draw Water Joyfully
    Let the Valleys Be Raised
    Like a Child Rests
    Like a Shepherd
    Lo, How a Rose
    My Soul Rejoices
    May the Choirs of Angels
    O Breathe On Me, O Breath
    One Spirit, One Church
    Only a Shadow
    Open My Eyes
    Peace Is Flowing Like a River
    Psalms (at least twenty psalms)
    Rain Down
    Ready the Way
    River of Glory
    Shall We Gather at the River
    Shelter Me, O God
    Sing of the Lord’s Goodness
    Table of Plenty
    Taste and See
    The King of Glory
    The Lord Is My Light
    Though the Mountains May Fall
    We Praise You
    You Are Near
    Your Words Are Spirit and Life

    In summary, using just the hymnal would not supply music for the mass parts, it would greatly limit our song choices (especially some of the more lively songs), it wouldn’t provide a way to communicate special prayers, and it would make impossible all the other considerations listed at numbers 5-17.

    Some churches supplement their hymnal with missalettes, which are paper publications with seasonal songs. This choice isn’t a logical one for St. Patrick. First, missalettes use paper, and include plenty of hymns we might not sing. Second, St. Patrick employs a music minister full-time to do many things, including making seasonal music choices. We don’t need to pay for this service twice. The missalettes won’t have the mass parts we know, and they won’t address #3 or numbers 5-17.

    Another option is using an electronic medium to communicate texts. A projector is useful for displaying text for all to see. Usually space doesn’t allow for both text and music. Projectors don’t work if the power is out. Many people don’t like the idea of hands-off worship, or the thought of disrupting the prayerful simplicity of the church with projected text. In any case, our church doesn’t have a convenient place to project, so it isn’t worth consideration at this time.

    In the future, advances in technology will surely allow parishes to communicate everything through a portable or secure interface for use in the pews. For now, I-pad or Kindle type technology is just too expensive.

    Another option is to collect the mass parts and songs that aren’t in our hymnal into books that stay in the pews, and then use no worship aid. This might not save paper, since the books cannot be commercially bound (legal copyright rules) and will therefore have a short lifespan, during which all of the songs printed might not be used. In addition, music will need to be looked up in two places rather than one. Plus, the advantages of items 5-17 above won’t be addressed.

    Yet another option used by some churches is to include the items required for worship in the weekly bulletin. This might save paper if the bulletin doesn’t use all of the space efficiently. However, the bulletin also includes advertisements and information unrelated to worship. It might be cumbersome and not so prayerful to use a bulletin during mass.

    That brings us to worship aids. Our current worship aid has some advantages. For one, it addresses all 17 items listed above. In short, it helps people to know what is going on, what to sing when, what choir is singing at what mass, who the presiders are, what the celebration is, the mass parts, any special prayers, any special activities at the mass. Visitors can participate in our masses equally with the rest of us. If someone likes a cantor, they can request that person by name for a wedding or funeral. If someone wants to speak to the Deacon, they know his name. If someone wants to know who is playing the harp, they know her name. If a child wants to join a choir, the parent knows which choir to inquire about. If someone likes a song, they have access to the source so they can look it up. If a choir sings something in Latin, a translation is available. Worship aids make sense for a parish of educated people and a music ministry with a wide reach of participants and a wide range of music. The mass and the people in ministry become more accessible and more familiar to everyone. Names help members of our parish get to know each other better. Worship aids are especially useful for masses with many visitors, like Confirmation and First Communion. They are essential for use at masses in the Parish Center or outdoors.

    Worship aids themselves have options. They can be slim and efficient, including the bare essentials with small type, or they can be bigger with more information and music included and larger print. The nicer the worship aid, the more readily all can participate with ease. For example, elderly people, those who are sight-impaired, and very young children are able to sing when they can hold something light-weight and see large print. It is easier to sing and pray when you have your own copy to use. An all-inclusive worship aid can have everything in it—even the hymns that are already in the hymnal. Some people, especially the elderly, have commented on how nice it is to worship at St. Patrick when they don’t have to handle a hymnal. A slim and efficient worship aid uses less paper, but it requires use of the hymnal for some of the songs, and it allows some, but not all, of the information that can be conveyed from items 4-17 above.

    What is the cost to our finances and environment?
    1.  It takes 1-2 hours to make a worship aid.
    2.  Just 200 worship aids are needed every weekend:  they are shared and reused for each of our five masses.
    3.  200 copies of a slim worship aid cost the parish a total of $2.30 per week (cost of paper for all of them). That means that the overall for all worship aids all year long costs only $120 in paper, total. All of the worship aids are saved and recycled.
    4.  200 copies of a larger, more complete worship aid costs a total of $4.60 per week (cost of paper for all of them). That means that the overall cost for larger worship aids all year long costs only $240 in paper, total. The worship aids are reused for all five masses and then recycled.
    5.  Using a combination of small and larger worship aids, depending on the needs of the weekend or season, would cost a grand total of between $120 and $240 a year in paper costs.
    6.  The recycled worship aids are made into other paper products.

    We have chosen to use worship aids at St. Patrick because they conserve as much or more paper and money than buying more hymnals, printing our mass settings and supplemental hymns in a booklet, or buying missalettes. In addition, worship aids help people to know what is going on in the liturgy; identify congregational responses; allow more diverse music than that included in our hymnal alone; enable newcomers and children still learning the mass to participate easily; provide special prayers when required by the diocese; acknowledge participants in the mass; identify titles, composers and sources for music; provide translations when necessary; and include names and contacts of our priests and liturgical leaders.

    Thank you for being a part of the St. Patrick family. Your thoughts and feedback about worship are appreciated. Masses are more beautiful thanks to your presence.

    Yours in Christ,

    Maggie Hanson
    Music Minister
    St. Patrick Church
  • Letter from Bishop Serratelli on the Year of Mercy
  • Spiritual Adoption: Adopt an Unborn Child- Months 1-4


    Month 1:  My heart is beating today!

    During this first amazing month of life, the baby grows to 10,000 times his size at conception. He is totally dependent upon his mother. By the third week, the baby’s tiny heart begins to beat!

    Month 2:  “I’m Dancing”

    Our baby is making progress developing all external and internal organs. During this month, baby teeth form and fingers and toes are developing. Ears, nose lips, and tongue can now be clearly seen. The skeleton changes from cartilage to bone and brain waves can be recorded. The central nervous system is now functioning, and 40 muscle sets are beginning their first exercises. By eight weeks, all body systems are present and now the baby is called a “fetus”, a Latin word meaning “little one”. Ultrasound reveals that this little one can now spring and jump– the first dance steps! 

    Month 3:  “I can suck my thumb now”

    Our baby now sleeps and awakens. Fingernails and toenails form and he already has his own unique set of fingerprints. Sensitive to touch, he will lightly grasp an object placed in the palm of his hand. He can squint, swallow, and move his tongue!

    Month 4: “I had a dream!” 

    Our baby’s brain has begun maturing. Taste buds are working. Facial expressions similar to the baby’s parents can be seen. REM’s have been recorded-a sign of dreaming. Please continue to pray for our Spiritual Adoption baby.
  • 2014- 2015 Annual Parish Report
Visit our school page to learn about our National Blue Ribbon school with grades pre-school to 8. Saint Patrick School has also been named a STAR SCHOOL by the Paterson Diocese because of its "cutting edge" teaching, collaboration with parents, and measured student results. If you are considering Catholic school education for your child, call 973-635-4623 or e-mail to set up an appointment for a private tour.
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Week at a Glance

  • February 8
    4 p.m.- Faith Formation:
    7 p.m.- Meditation Group:
  • February 9
    1 p.m.- Shawl Ministry:
    South Room
    7:30 p.m.- First Communion Parent's Meeting:
    East/West Room
  • February 10
    7 p.m.- Parish Nurses Meeting:
    North Room
  • February 11
    10 a.m.- Marian Prayer Group:
    North Room
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Year of Mercy



Diocese Links: