Welcome to the Parish of Saint Michael the Archangel, Franklinville / Clayton, New Jersey, located in the Diocese of Camden, under the leadership of the Most Reverend Dennis Joseph Sullivan. Rev. Lawrence Polansky is our pastor. Saint Michael the Archangel Parish was established September 29, 2010 through the merger of Nativity Parish, Franklinville and Saint Catherine of Siena Parish, Clayton. The parish office is located at 49 W North Street, Clayton. We have two worship sites: Nativity Church located at 2677 Delsea Drive, Franklinville and Saint Catherine of Siena Church, 700 N. Delsea Drive, Clayton. We invite you to visit the pages of our Parish Site, to learn about who we are as a community of faith and the services our parish provides. If you are thinking about moving into our area, we cordially invite you to make Saint Michael's your parish home and join us in our mission:
From the Pastor's Desk
“I want the whole enchilada … for me, it’s all or nothing.” or how about “I want my cake and I want to be able to eat it, too.” These kinds of expressions say much about all too many individuals in our society today. Getting more, getting ahead, selfishly keeping what they have, taking but never giving, and sometimes even taking what is not rightly theirs does define some people. Thank God most people are not like this. But the tenants in the Gospel parable most definitely are. They go to great lengths to take more than the percentage of produce they deserve as tenants. They even resort to violence: they kill two different groups of servants … they even kill the landowner’s son. What kind of outcome do they expect? How unrealistic to think that they will come to own the vineyard! By wanting everything, they end up with nothing … not even their own lives. Such a price to pay for unrealistic expectations, unabated greed, and unmitigated cruelty!
As a metaphor for the Kingdom, the vineyard obviously belongs solely and exclusively to God. God owns it, builds it, and does all that is necessary to protect it. We are the laborers invited into the Kingdom to tend the divine vineyard, to produce an abundance of fruit. Ironically, the vineyard that the wicked tenants attempt to gain by violence is freely given to those of us who will work faithfully to produce its fruit. We are those new tenants who produce fruit because we surrender our self-will to God and accept Jesus as the One who shows us the way. By doing so, we gain everything. Apart from Jesus, we tenants can do nothing on our own.
Obviously, the landowner does all that is necessary so that the produce will be assured for both himself and his tenants. But the tenants want more than their rightful share … they want the whole heritage. Ironically, their actions lead to their losing everything … even their lives. In contrast, through the death of God’s Son, we gain everything. We are legitimate heirs to more than our rightful share. We receive an inconceivable heritage … the fruit of the “Kingdom of God,” abundant life that can never be pressed out.
Most of us throw our hearts into what we do. We want to get ahead. We do our best if for no other reason than to look good. We can readily identify with the two vineyard owners in both the First Reading and the Gospel. They put their whole hearts into their vineyard, doing everything they can to assure fruit. This describes God’s ways with us. God puts all the divine heart into coaxing us to be good and faithful tenants, cooperating with His divine will to produce an abundance of fruit.
After all of this talk, what is the fruit of the Kingdom? … What are we to produce? Here is the twist of the Gospel. The fruit of the Kingdom is the life God offers, but the only way to produce that fruit is to die to self! Just like the Gospel tenants and the landowner’s son (but for very different reasons), we get “killed” ourselves. That is, we must die to ourselves in order to do the work God asks of us and to inherit the abundance of life God offers. Finally, then, the kingdom does involve a kind of violence … our rooting out anything that keeps us from growing in relationship with God and hearing God’s Word, our dying to self so that we can do God’s will. This may sound like more than we bargain for, but all we need to do is remember that “by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our sight!”
May Saint Michael the Archangel defend, intercede, and guide us always!
Fr. Larry Polansky
Fr. Larry posts his Sunday homilies and bulletin reflections on a website. If you would like to read his homily, please visit https://www.reflections-lep.net.
Click here for Liturgical Ministry Schedules
Saturday at 4 PM - Nativity Church
Sunday at 8 AM - Saint Catherine of Siena Church
Sunday at 10:45 AM - Nativity Church
Confessions on Saturday at 3 PM - Nativity Church
(or by appointment)
Daily Mass Schedule:
Monday at 9 AM - Saint Catherine of Siena Church
Tuesday at 9 AM - Nativity Church
Wednesday at 9 AM - Nativity Church
Thursday at 7 PM - Saint Catherine of Siena Church
Friday at 9 AM - Nativity Church
Saturday at 9 AM - Saint Catherine of Siena Church
Holy Day Mass Schedule:
Vigil (night before) at 7 PM - Saint Catherine of Siena Church
Holy Day at 9 AM - Nativity Church
Holy Day at 7 PM - Nativity Church
Monday: 12 noon to 4 PM
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 9 AM to 4 PM
Friday: 9 AM to 12 noon