I have been attending a men’s faith sharing group at my church the first and third Saturdays each month since 2003. There are six to twelve of us who get together these Saturdays to pray, read Sunday’s Gospel that will be read that weekend during the celebration of the Mass in every Catholic church on earth, discuss this Scripture passage, talk about Catholicism and Christianity, and converse about how we can live out our faith and preach the Gospel. Even though many people may call these get-togethers “meetings,” I like to call these get-togethers with my brothers in Christ “Holy Spirit Gatherings.” I feel that the Holy Spirit is present with us at each men’s faith-sharing group gathering and working through each one of us to help us with learning more about our faith, what we can do to be disciples of Jesus Christ, how we can reach out and help others to make this world a better place, and how we can help other people grow closer to Jesus Christ in order to develop a more personal relationship with Him. During and after these gatherings, I feel inspired to send e-mail messages to my brothers in order to help me and them in our faith journeys, and to help each of us grow closer to Jesus each day.

(Click on any picture below to read some of the messages I have sent to my brothers in Jesus Christ. It is
my hope and prayer that you are inspired by one or more of these messages so that you will take the time
to write a message to a church friend or family member to help that person with his or her spiritual journey in life.)

Hi Joe! How are you? It was nice meeting you and talking to you at the Discipleship Fair today. Before I mention anything about volunteer opportunities, I want to invite you to two things, which are just for men. First, the men’s faith sharing group meets the 1st and 3rd Saturdays each month from 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM in the Deacon James Meeting Room. We say a prayer, read Sunday’s Gospel, talk about and reflect on the Gospel, discuss how Jesus is working in our lives, talk about our faith, pray for anyone’s intentions, and we close with a prayer. Second, 15-20 men from St. John’s go on the Malvern Retreat in Malvern, PA. We are going on this retreat Nov. 4-6. It runs from dinner on Friday evening at 6:00 to 11:00 AM Mass on Sunday. Click on the following link to check out the Malvern Retreat House.


 In regard to volunteering, I have been coordinating volunteer activities for the middle school students for about 10 years now. Some of these events include the following:

 1)   Serving meals at the Loaves & Fishes Program at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Trenton, NJ

2)   Making sandwiches for the homeless in the Parish Office the 3rd Sunday each month. This month it is Oct. 16 after the 9:30 Mass.

3)   Delivering gifts to the residents in the Manor Care Nursing Home on Christmas Eve.

4)   Making a meal or serving meals at the Shared Meal the 4th Friday of each month in the school cafeteria.

5)   Making soups and/or meals for Aid for Friends.

6)   Visiting Cornerstone Christian Academy in Philadelphia to help them out with cleaning, painting, small maintenance projects on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend.

7)   Helping sort the Christmas presents for the Jesse Tree Sort in early December.

8)   Visiting residents in Manor Care Nursing Home to play BINGO, take residents to their rooms, and just sit and talk.

9)   Making food pick-ups and runs at various stores in lower Bucks County. This is part of the Bucks County Food Runners ministry.

10) Selling bottled water for Humankindwater.org.

 When your children get older, you can always go on a mission trip with them. I have been on several with my two older children. Last year, nine of us from St. John’s went on the El Salvador mission trip. We will be going again in July 2017. You can check out this trip at projectfiat.org and the blog that we kept on our trip: sjeprojectfiat.wordpress.com.

If you have time, I can come to your home or I can meet you at some place to have a coffee and talk about these and other opportunities at St. John’s. Just one more thing to offer you for now. When you have the opportunity, check out my web site at plannedactsofkindness.com. It is small for now and I am still working on it. You can learn about many, many volunteer opportunities at my web site. That’s it for now. If you have any questions, please let me know. Have a great week!




Good afternoon, Brothers! How are you? I hope that you are doing well during these times of uneasiness and uncertainty. My reason for being in touch is to send out a message to “pick you up” during these tumultuous times.

 I “attended” a Mass yesterday which was said by Father Mike Schmitz (https://bulldogcatholic.org/about-contact-us/about-fr-mike-schmitz/). He related the blind man’s life (John 9:1-41) with two other individuals. His message was that if you think things are not going well in life, take a look at two other people – Job from The Book of Job in the Old Testament and Nick Vujicic who was born with no arms and no legs.

 For your reading pleasure, I have included the links below.

 The Book of Job


 Nick Vujicic


 The following have helped me. I hope that these help you “weather this storm” we are currently facing and to find peace and calm in your life right now. There are three Scripture passages and three contemporary Christian songs. Enjoy!

 Philippians 4:6-7

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be know to all. The Lord is near.”

 Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely; In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.”

 Psalm 46:2

“God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress.”

 Casting Crowns – “Great Are You Lord”


 Ryan Stevenson – “Eye of the Storm”


 Casting Crowns – “Praise You in This Storm”


 Brother Tom

 P.S.   I will be sending out something in the next day or so. It is an idea for a project that may interest you, one in which you can participate. Be well, be safe, and have a great and blessed day!


Hello Brothers! How are you? I hope that you are doing well. I wanted to share two items with you today.

 1)   Anyone interested in having a virtual men’s faith sharing group this Saturday during our normal time slot of 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM? If this is too long a period of time, we can try for a half hour and see how it goes. Some of you may want to be connected the entire day. You never know. I want to find out who is interested. I will let you know in advance what platform we will be using. There are several out there. Basically, I would send you a link and code and we would video conference. You have choices. a)  You can just sit in the luxury of your home and just listen. You can turn off your audio and video. b)  You can participate with just audio, but have your video turned off. c)  You can participate with just video of yourself and have your audio turned off. d)  You can have your video and audio turned on so everyone can see and hear you. I am not sure if this is a good idea with some of you. Just kidding! Let me know if you would like to try this or not. The following Scripture passage comes to mind:

 Matthew 18:19-20 – “Again, [amen,] I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.  For where two or three are (virtually) gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

 The new version of The New American Bible is going to have the word “virtual” in it. I first need to suggest this to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

 2)    If we did this and some people like it, we can do this any time over the next several weeks, or any time in the future. In terms of material, two ideas would be through FORMED.org. We could use their Daily Lenten Reflection or we could use any material at their web site. They currently have a 40-day free trial period. The links are below if you would to check them out.

 Lenten Daily Reflections – https://watch.formed.org/formed-daily-reflections

 FORMED.org (The Catholic Faith. On Demand. Get thousands of movies, programs, audio, and books instantly.) – https://formed.org/

 Let me know your thoughts when you have the opportunity. I appreciate it very much. Be safe. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a great and blessed day!

Brother Tom


Good morning, Brothers! How are you? I hope that all of you are doing well. One item we talked about yesterday in our virtual men’s faith sharing group was taking the time out of our daily schedule to focus on Jesus Christ. Below are some items to focus on if you feel the need to go on a retreat. You may feel The Holy Spirit working through you during this retreat. I hope you enjoy perusing these as much as I did. Have a great Sunday!

 1)   Arise is the name of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia plan to ease our way back into people returning back to church for Mass. Check it out at http://archphila.org/arise/

 2)   Rebuilt is the name of the book that was written by the pastor and a deacon at Church of the Nativity in Timonium, MD. They were a church close to being “dead,” but they were “brought back to life” by doing many things differently.

  • Their resource web site for any church is https://rebuiltparish.com/.
  • The book I was referring to is “Rebuilt – Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, and Making Church Matter.” You can check out this book at Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Rebuilt-Awakening-Faithful-Reaching-Making/dp/1594713863

3)   If you are interested in helping other people with getting food during this pandemic, let me know. You can do it through the ministry Bucks County Food Runners (BCFR). I coordinate pick-ups and deliveries in lower Bucks County for BCFR.

 4)   There is a free “Theology of the Body Virtual Conference” the weekend of May 8-10. It looks very cool! You can check it out at www.tobvirtualconference.com/.

 5)   If the above was not enough, below is the list I came up with for contemporary Christian songs that would work out well with celebrating a Mass. Tell the family you are going on a retreat when you listen to these songs. Find a place where no one will bother you, put in your favorite earbuds or headset, listen to the music and read the words that appear on the screen. You may just feel The Holy Spirit alive and well in your heart and soul. Enjoy!

Songs for Mass

Entrance Hymn

“Lord I Need You” by Matt Maher – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuvfMDhTyMA

Offertory Hymn

“Holy Spirit” by Francesca Battistelli – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zARVp3420I

Communion Hymn

“Come to the Altar” by Elevation Worship – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpfuKKH_SCE

Hymn after Communion

“How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBD18rsVJHk

Recessional Hymn

(The first one below is the traditional one we know which is sung during a Mass. The second one is more contemporary.)

“Amazing Grace” by Unknown Artist – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDdvReNKKuk

“This is Amazing Grace” by Phil Wickham – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjXjkbODrro


Good morning, Brothers! How are you? I just wanted to send out some faith items that came up at our men’s faith sharing group two Saturdays ago and some items that did not.


1)   Abbey Fest is this Saturday, September 16. It is an all-day family festival – food, ministries, fellowship, Confession, Mass, Adoration, etc. from 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM. Check it out at the link below. A group of parishioners attending will leave the St. John’s church parking lot around 10:00 AM.




2)   Chris Stefanick, founder of Real Life Catholic and a Catholic motivational speaker, will be at St. Philip Neri in Lafayette Hill, PA on Thursday, October 5 from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM. It is the best $20 you can spend! I will take my minivan if you need a ride. The first web site below is inspiring. The second link is to purchase tickets for this event.



 3)   I have been doing some research on a Catholic Church north of Maryland. It is named Church of the Nativity. Their church was “dead” not too long ago, but now they are “alive”. Sounds like Jesus and the Resurrection? It is a resurrection! This is pretty much what happened to this church after getting away from some traditions in the church, but still keeping to the main focus of Catholicism – celebrating Mass and The Eucharist. Check them out at the first link below. The second two items are two books related to this church revival. Anyone up for a book study? You can check out these books at Amazon.com.


 Rebuilt – Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, Making Church Matter

Tools for Rebuilding – 75 Really, Really Practical Ways to Make Your Parish Better

 4)   Have you ever heard someone say “Mass is boring”? Some of the following YouTube videos have helped me with this. Check them out!

Matthew Kelly – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SsZUsZ6by4

 Chris Stefanick – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASeGRlghLBM

  Mark Hart – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEGd0QYjrKI

 LiturgicalInstitute.org – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4oJvPeH6Vk

I hope that you enjoy some of what I sent you, maybe all of it. Look out for an e-mail message during the week about the Malvern Retreat, November 3-5, and what we can do to keep Don Hertkorn’s memory alive. Prosit!


Brother Tom


Good morning, Brothers in Christ! How are you? I just wanted to share some items from the men’s faith sharing group this past Saturday.

  1. Click on the following link to check out Dynamic Catholic and what Matthew Kelly is trying to do within the Catholic Church.


  1. Several St. John’s parishioners saw Chris Stefanick two weeks ago. Click on the link below to check out Chris and what he is doing at Real Life Catholic.


  1. At Abbey Fest two weekends ago, Jeff Cavins was the keynote speaker. A major part of his talk was on Discipleship. Click on the link below to listen to some of his thoughts about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.


  1. Check out the following songs. There is much power in words that are sung!
  • Hillary Scott – “They Will”


  • Casting Crowns – “Follow Me”


  • Matthew West – “Day One”


  1. I mentioned a web site where you can watch nothing but “clean” movies. It is called Pureflix. It costs $7.99 per month and it is just faith and family movies.


  1. One of the best Catholic prayer books around is The Essential Catholic Prayer Book. It is $14.99 at Liguori, but you can find it less expensive at other web sites. Check it out!


I hope that you enjoy some or all of the items that I sent out. Have a great day! 

Your Brother in Christ, 



Hey Brothers! Great men’s faith sharing today! Several items went through my mind during our Holy Spirit Gathering. Check them out below. Prosit!

  • Is anyone headed to see Chris Stefanick at Archbishop John Carroll High School (Radnor, PA) on

Thursday, October 10 from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM? Use the link below to find out more details.      https://reallifecatholic.com/reboot-live-participants

  • org is a fantastic forum to learn much about our faith. Check out their website or sign up using the information below
  1. Copy this link into you browser and go to the web site


  1. At the initial screen, type in your name and e-mail address.
  2. Select “Queen of the Universe” as your parish.
  • I mentioned that Jesus talks about heaven in the four Gospels. The attached word document is an organized list of many times that Jesus mentions what we need to do to achieve heaven. This list could be its own small-group study. Anyone interested?
  • At one point today, the idea of “the gift of one’s time” to other people came up. The passage below is from Rick Warren’s book “The Purpose Driven Life – What on Earth Am I Here For?” I hope that you enjoy Rick’s thoughts on this topic.

                                                                               Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time. It is not enough to just say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them. Words alone are worthless. Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is T-I-M-E.”

  • The idea of Forgiveness seems to come up often at our men’s group. When you have the time, take 10 minutes to watch and listen to a story of forgiveness – a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, and the mother forgave this person. Matthew West, a contemporary Christian song writer, wrote the song “Forgiveness.


I hope that one or more of these brings you closer to Jesus Christ. Have a great rest of the weekend! 

Brother Tom


Hello gentlemen! How are you? I just wanted to send out a few items that came out of our men’s faith sharing group this past Saturday.

  • Barb and I attended the Worship Night in America this past summer at Madison Square Garden in New York. The taping of this event will be shown in theaters across America on Tuesday, October 25. The Neshaminy Mall movie theater will be the closest theater to St. John’s showing this event. I am checking to see if anyone would like to go. Click on the link below to learn more about this event.


  • Our Malvern Retreat (Nov. 18-20) will include a music performance by Tony Melendez. Tony was born without any arms. Check out some of his performances at the following link: 


  • Let me know if anyone interested in doing a study on the book of Revelations? The small group study would meet on the following Saturdays from 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM in the Deacon James Hartmann Meeting Room: Oct. 8, 22, 29; Nov. 12, 26; Dec. 10.


  • Below is a list of condensed notes that I took during the Matthew Kelly event at St. John’s this past Friday night. These are ones that made sense to me and I am going to try them. Any of these can be a topic for discussion at our men’s faith sharing group. One or more of these can be life-changing!


  • Goal #1: Read the Gospels for 15 minutes each day for one full year. After 1 year, think about if your life has changed or not.
  • Goal #2: Go to Confession once a month for a full year. After 1 year, think about if your life has changed or not.
  • Goal #3: Write down one item from the sermon, the Gospel, or something else during the Mass on a given Sunday for one full year. Live out these ideas. After 1 year, think about if your life has changed or not.
  • Jesus once said, “Who do you say that I am?” We need to ask ourselves, “Who do I say that Jesus is?”
  • Pray for your enemies. That is what Jesus taught us to do.
  • Jesus is in the business of transforming lives. Listen to Jesus and figure out how your life can be transformed for the better.
  • Say to yourself, “I want to be an excellent Catholic!” Then, go out in this world and do it.
  • Talk to God and say, “God, show me one thing in Mass that can be a game-changer in my life.”
  • Every relationship improves when you listen.
  • Our lives change when our habits change.
  • There’s nothing more attractive than holiness.
  • A “holy moment” is when you open yourself up to God and do what He is asking you to do.
  • Human beings are capable of unbelievable things. What are you capable of?
  • Make yourself available to God and He will provide everything else.
  • Tell God, “Lord, I am 100% available.”

Hi Mason and Brinley! How are you? I met you on the plane ride from El Salvador to Houston, Texas a few weeks ago. I hope you are doing well. I just wanted to send you a few items that may interest you. I mentioned on the plane that I enjoy contemporary Christian music and Matthew West is one of the artists who relays a powerful message in his songs. Check out a few of his songs by clicking the links below.


Hello My Name Is


 Do Something


 Grace Wins


 If you have the opportunity, click on the link below to take the K-Love 30-Day Challenge (listening to contemporary music for 30 straight days; It may change your and other’s lives!). I’ve been hooked for 20 years! Also, try to get others to take the 30-Day Challenge. Write back if you have the opportunity. Have a great day!