September 12, 2021: Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time



Dear friends in Christ,

In today’s Second Reading from the Letter of James, we hear the famous discussion about faith and works. This passage has caused much confusion and controversy in Christianity. It can still be a source of division among Christian denominations. There are some that emphasize faith for our salvation so much so that they reject the idea that works are important at all. There are others that emphasize works so much as to negate the importance of faith. Catholicism as usual takes a “and/both” approach. We are not a faith of “either/or”. As Catholics, we firmly believe that faith is necessary for salvation, but as Saint James clearly points out, “a faith without works is dead.” Faith and works go hand in hand. We cannot be saved by works, no matter how many good deeds we do. At the same time, faith in Christ leads us to do good works, and by doing this, our faith is strengthened, and the Kingdom of God is made present. If you ever hear someone say Catholics believe that you can be saved by good works alone, you can correct them and say that we are saved by our faith in Jesus Christ. If you ever hear someone say Catholics believe that we are saved by “faith alone”, you can correct them by stating that our faith is put into practice and strengthened by our works.

A little bit more about the Letter of James. It is one of the seven letters in the Bible called the “Catholic Letters”. These letters are called Catholic because unlike the thirteen letters attributed to Paul, (in addition to the Letter to the Hebrews) they do not seem to be written to a specific Church. In this sense they are universal or Catholic (which is what Catholic means). These seven Catholic Letters are James 1 and 2; Peter 1, 2, and 3; John; and Jude. James is a great one to read. I think it is like a New Testament version of Proverbs; full of good, helpful, and practical advice in addition to sayings that help us live a faithful life full of good works.  God bless you!

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Fr. Matt








Mass Times for Our Community

From the beginning of the pandemic through the transition to a new pastor, our community has been through a lot.  Our faith and our unity have been our strength.  As we start to come back together to worship, we hope our new trial Mass schedule with help us grow in faith and unity.  We wanted a Mass schedule that makes it possible for Fr. Matt and Deacon Paul to be able to celebrate with us.  We also want to emphasize that we are one Pastorate, one community, with two beautiful worship sites where all are welcome!

Our new schedule is:

  • Saturday:  Confessions at 3 PM and Mass at 5 PM (Saint Matthew)
  • Sunday:  Mass at 9 AM (Saint Matthew) and 11 AM (Blessed Sacrament)

One Sunday Mass will still be livestreamed; the 1st and very last Sundays from Blessed Sacrament and the other Sundays from Saint Matthew.

We hope to continue this schedule for a while and then evaluate again how it is working as a Pastorate community going forward.  Hope to see you at our vigil Mass or the early or late Mass at either of our beautiful Parishes – all are welcome!


Pregnancy Center North, a licensed medical clinic, encourages a reverence for human life and sexuality to empower abortion-vulnerable women and their families to make healthy, life-affirming choices. Since 1982, we have provided help to over 27,000 women to enable them to thrive and provide for a better future. Our free services include pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, peer counseling, prenatal and parenting education, fertility awareness / natural family planning resources, material assistance, and referrals for post-abortion healing, as well as other community resources. At PCN, we are a crucial resource for women experiencing crisis pregnancies, giving them the support, encouragement, and tools they need to ultimately choose life.

To learn more about our ministry, please join us in person on September 23rd at Martin’s Valley Mansion in Cockeysville or virtually at  Registration is open at the same link.


Collection for Haiti

During the weekend of September 11th/12th, we will have a special collection for the people of Haiti.




On Saturday, September 25th, we will have a WELCOME Mass for Fr. Matt at 5 PM followed by an outdoor reception.  Let us officially welcome Fr. Matt to our community – come meet our new pastor!

Update on our Faith Formation program

Please read the following message from Dorris, our director of Faith Formation:
Dear families,
In the course of the Summer, I have been offered and accepted a position as a religion teacher at Calvert Hall College High School in Towson.  This means that in the near future I will say farewell to my role as director of Faith Formation.  I will stay on as interim director to make sure the faith formation programs will continue and to support our Parishes during yet another period of transition ahead of us.
It has been a blessing to work for and with you all.  I am very grateful for all that we have achieved together and for the opportunity to serve our communities in Baltimore city.  Our wonderful collaboration makes each of our Parishes stronger.  I look forward to see this continue as a Parishioner of Saint Matthew.

Registration for Faith Formation and Youth Ministry is open!

As Summer is slowly moving into fall, we are also getting ready for the start of this year’s Faith Formation. We will continue our at home faith formation program. A survey at the beginning of the summer pointed out that many families enjoyed the weekly family faith activities. This year, however, our Family Faith Fridays will return and (if all goes well with covid) they will be in person. Mark your calendars for the first one on October 1, 6 – 8 PM at Saint Matthew. This first Family Faith Friday will be the kick-off this year’s program.


You are invited to attend one of the following information sessions, if you would like to hear more about the program:


Information session on Zoom on Wednesday, September 15 at 7:30 PM

To receive the zoom-link email Dorris van Gaal at


Information session and registration opportunity on Saturday, September 18 at the faith formation center

  • Info-sessions will start at 11 AM and at 1 PM
  • In-person registration opportunity between 12 and 1 PM and between 2 and 3 PM


Register for the faith formation and youth ministry programs by clicking this link:


This link will bring you to an electronic form. You will be asked to enter general family information and information regarding church of registration and sacraments received (it would be great for us if you know, but don’t worry if you do not have all the dates at hand), and to check which bible you wish to receive (or both). Returning Families can check NONE for bible.


Once you filled out the form the next step will ask you to confirm the items for your invoice:

  • Family Faith Formation Registration: $75 (1 Bible included)
  • Family Faith Formation Registration: $60 (without Bible – for high school registration and returning families only)
  • Extra Bible: $25 (if selected both for children’s and breakthrough Bible)
  • High School Registration: $20 (for each student – mark number in dropdown)


Once you submit the form, you will receive a confirmation email and an invoice for your own files. Please pay by check. Make check payable to “necc faith formation” and put the invoice number on the subject line.




  • A Catholic Response to an Epidemic Please note that some of this information was published before all Parishes were closed.
  • Magnificat online – free resources for prayer including each day’s Readings for Mass (weekdays and weekends), Liturgy of the Hours, and more.  To access the Readings for Mass, scroll down to Magnificat online edition, U.S. edition.
  • My Parish App This the Readings and prayers for the Sunday Celebration of the Mass and much more!
  • Find more resources here!




Online Rosary – Saturdays at 10 AM:

As covid-19 and other challenges to our society continue to be with us, our prayers and our actions are still needed!  Therefore, you are invited to join us for a chat, share what you are experiencing, and share what you would like to pray for as we pray the Rosary together.

For this meeting we ask you to register, just for an added layer of security. To register click this link and follow the directions:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the meeting.  You can register up until Saturday morning at 9:30 AM.




Weekly Bible Study with Deacon Paul from Blessed Sacrament – Thursdays from 8 to 9 PM:

This Bible Study is conducted by phone conference and the conversation concerns the Readings for the coming Sunday.  Anyone is welcome to call in and participate or simply listen.

The number to call is:  425-436-6356 

When asked for the code dial:  698937


You can also join the call by ZOOM!

Join Zoom meeting:

Meeting ID:  868 9378 6919
By phone with no video:  1-301-715-8592


The Readings for each week’s Bible Study can be found on the USCCB website at the following link:


You can watch one weekend Mass LIVE on Facebook and on YouTube every Sunday!  See the schedule above for Mass online.  Visit our Facebook page or YouTube channel to watch recorded Masses from previous weeks.

PLEASE call or check our website for ALL schedule changes.

The Parish office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 4 PM.  Please continue to send in your Offertory envelopes and consider signing up for GiveCentral online giving!

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