Parish guidelines regarding the liturgies of Palm Sunday and Holy Week

Click here for Livestream masses from the Diocese of Trenton

No public gatherings (inside or outside Churches, in cars, etc.).

The Mass for Palm Sunday will be celebrated by the Bishop without a congregation, with palms blessed, and broadcast via the live-stream internet on the Diocesan websites at 11 am on Sunday, April 5, 2020. Parishioners are encouraged to watch the live-stream of the Bishop.

Fr. Gene and Fr. Ed will celebrate the Mass for Palm Sunday without a congregation and with no live streaming.

Blessed palms can be made available for distribution at a later date.

Will be postponed and re-scheduled for another date/time.

With the renewal of priestly commitment and the blessing/consecration of oils occurring at that time.

Oils/chrism from the current supplies (currently in use) may continue to be used until a new supply is blessed/consecrated and made available.

If the parish is running low on oils/chrism, contact Fr. Michael Hall, Director of Worship,


The following liturgical directives are to be observed in accordance with the “Decree in Time of COVID-19” issued on March 19, 2020 by the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments by mandate of the Supreme Pontiff for the year 2020 only.

The Paschal Triduum cannot be transferred to another time.

No public gatherings (inside or outside Churches, in cars, etc.).

Televised or live-stream broadcasts should be live (not recorded).

The Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be celebrated by the Bishop without a congregation and broadcast via the live-stream internet on the Diocesan websites at 7 pm on Thursday, April 9, 2020. You are encouraged to watch the live streaming.

Fr. Gene and Fr. Ed will celebrate the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper without a congregation and with no live streaming.

During the Evening Mass for the Lord’s Supper:

  • The Washing of the Feet, which is already optional, is to be omitted;
  • The usual procession with the Blessed Sacrament to a place of repose is to be omitted and the Blessed Sacrament should be kept in the tabernacle, as usual.

No public gatherings (inside or outside Churches, in cars, etc.).

The Commemoration/Celebration of the Lord’s Passion will be celebrated by the Bishop without a congregation and broadcast via the live-stream internet on the Diocesan websites at 3 pm on Friday, April 10, 2020. Parishioners are encouraged to watch the live streaming.

Fr. Gene and Fr. Ed will celebrate the Commemoration/Celebration of the Lord’s Passion without a congregation and with no live streaming.

A special commemoration in the General Intercessions for the sick, the dead and for those who feel lost or dismayed, developed by the Office of Worship will be used.

No public gatherings (inside or outside Churches, in cars, etc.).

The Easter Vigil will be celebrated by the Bishop without a congregation and broadcast via the live-stream internet on the Diocesan websites at 7 pm on Saturday, April 11, 2020. Parishioners are encouraged to watch the live streaming.

Fr. Gene and Fr. Ed will celebrate the Easter Vigil without a congregation and with no live streaming.

During the Easter Vigil:

  • The preparation and lighting of the fire is omitted
  • The paschal candle is lit without procession followed by the recited Easter Proclamation
  • The Liturgy of the Word takes place
  • The Baptismal Liturgy is only the renewal of Baptismal Promises; a symbolic (small) of Holy Water may be blessed but holy water fonts should remain empty
  • The Rite of Christian Initiation and/or Reception into Full Communion will be postponed and re-scheduled once restrictions are lifted.

No public gatherings (inside or outside Churches, in cars, etc.).

Mass for Easter Sunday will be celebrated by the Bishop without a congregation and broadcast via the live-stream internet on the Diocesan websites at 10 am on Sunday, April 12, 2020. Parishioners are encouraged to watch the live streaming.

Mass for Easter Sunday may be celebrated without a congregation by the pastor/parish priest in parish churches with live-stream capability; pastors should notify the parishioners of the time for the live-steam; pastors should also notify the Diocesan Office of Communications so that a Diocesan calendar/schedule of events might be posted for access by the faithful of the Diocese.

Priests are otherwise asked to celebrate Easter Sunday without a congregation.

Given in accordance with the mandate of the Bishop, Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M., J.C.D., made on March 20, 2020, for the Diocese of Trenton.

Please be guided accordingly,
Gene Daguplo


Keeping a Holy Lent: Jesus Raised Lazarus from the dead

Fifth Sunday of Lent: The context for the story of the raising of Lazarus is the Jewish leaders’ growing animosity toward Jesus. Jesus has been in Jerusalem, taking part in the feast of the Dedication, which we have come to know as Hanukkah. The people have been pressing him to declare plainly whether he is the Messiah. Jesus tells them to look to his works, which testify to his coming from God. Many do not believe Jesus, however, and some try to stone him for blasphemy.

Into this scene of confrontation, Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, send word to Jesus that his friend is ill. Jesus is said to love Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, but he delays his journey for two days. The delay heightens the drama and shows Jesus’ obedience to God, who is to be glorified through Lazarus’s resurrection. When Jesus finally declares that he will journey to Bethany, his disciples fear for his life. Thomas declares that he and the other disciples should prepare to die with Jesus.

The scene described at Bethany is a sad one. Martha meets Jesus weeping and saying that if Jesus had been there, Lazarus would not have died. Yet she remains confident that God will do whatever Jesus asks. Martha affirms her belief that there will be a resurrection of the dead in the last days. Then Martha’s sister, Mary, comes to Jesus with the same confidence, saying that Jesus could have cured Lazarus. Jesus asks to be brought to Lazarus’s tomb where he prays and calls Lazarus out from the tomb. At this sign, many come to believe in Jesus, but others take word of the miracle to the Jewish authorities, who begin their plans for Jesus’ death.

Set against the backdrop of Jesus’ impending death, many elements of the raising of Lazarus foreshadow the good news of Jesus’ own Resurrection. Jesus, facing the conflict with the Jewish authorities, acts in complete obedience to God. In raising Lazarus, Jesus shows his power over death so that when Jesus dies, those who believe in him might remember that and take hope. Just as Jesus calls for the stone to be rolled away from Lazarus’s tomb, so too will the disciples find the stone rolled away from Jesus’ tomb.

Excerpted from LoyolaPress click here to read more.

March 20, 2020

To All the Faithful of the Diocese of Trenton,

The Holy See has issued a decree regarding the celebrations of the upcoming Palm Sunday and Holy Week/Easter for implementation by Diocesan Bishops throughout the world.  I have issued a decree for the Diocese of Trenton, implementing the directives of the Holy See.

These unprecedented measures have been deemed necessary, given the best information we have received from federal, state and local public heath authorities.

Although COVID-19 has dramatically affected all of us in so many ways, I want to reach out to you with pastoral care and affection.  Our public Holy Week and Easter celebrations will be quite different this year but the underlying mysteries of our faith in the Lord’s passion, death and resurrection have not changed.  They continue to be the source and support of our faith and we should celebrate them this year, even though in a different way.

Permit me please, as your Bishop, to encourage you to use all the means available, to sustain and nurture your faith.  Follow Masses and other liturgical celebrations reverently on-line or via televised broadcast.  Read the liturgical readings in your missals, other publications or on the internet.  Pray your devotions privately or as families, especially the rosary, Stations of the Cross, and other beloved traditional devotions.  Where it is possible and permitted, stop in church to visit and adore the Blessed Sacrament.  If this is not possible, make a spiritual communion at home or wherever you may be.  The great saints in our Church’s history followed that practice.  Keep your faith and prayer life alive until things in our public practice of the faith is restored.

Please stay as calm as possible.  Faith and patience are good companions in the spiritual life.  They become the source of charity in our genuine witness to the Lord Jesus and his Good News.  Be kind and attentive to others —- your own families, neighbors, friends and those who are elderly and alone.  Reach out in the best ways possible.  Be grateful to/for those who are working to address COVID-19 in so many different venues.  Be generous.  The pandemic is and will continue take its toll on families and on our parishes.  Keep the needs of others in mind.

Above all, please remember that the Lord Jesus is in our midst, now and always.  As he touched lives, healed the sick and ministered with love and merciful compassion throughout the Gospels, know that he will continue to do so for us.  Have no doubt about that.  “Be joyful in hope, persevere in hardship, keep praying regularly (Romans 12:12).”

God bless us all and protect us.  O Mary, Mother of Divine Love, protect and lead us to the heart of your Son.

Sincerely yours in the Lord,
Bishop O’Connell

From the Bishop:

The Governor of New Jersey is recommending —- not mandating —- that events anticipating
crowds of 250 plus people be cancelled due to the potential spread of the corona virus.
As Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton I am NOT instructing that parish churches be closed or
weekend Masses be cancelled in the Diocese of Trenton. All weekend Masses should be
celebrated as regularly scheduled.  The Sacrament of Penance should also remain available.
Previous instructions issued regarding liturgical practices at Mass remain in effect.
Those who are feeling sick or in high risk groups should not celebrate or attend Mass and
should stay home.

At the same time, I am granting a DISPENSATION from the OBLIGATION to attend
weekend/Sunday Mass to all the Catholic faithful until further notice.  I recommend that the
faithful pray and take advantage of / participate in Holy Mass as broadcast on television.
To mitigate the further spread of the virus, all schools and religious education classes in the
Diocese of Trenton will be closed from March 16, 2020 through March 27, 2020.
Extracurricular activities and community gatherings are cancelled or postponed until further
notice. This includes athletic practices and competitions. Events scheduled for later this year will
be evaluated based on the most current information available. >> Click here for more information.

From the Pastor:

As Pastor of St. Raphael-Holy Angels, in the light of the Bishop’s directives to cancel large
gatherings of the faithful, I am cancelling the following parish activities until further notice:
1. Lenten Retreat
2. March 25th Mission Event
3. Journey to Calvary on March 29th
4. Golden Ticket on April 4th
5. Living Stations on April 5th
6. Parish Mission on May  3-5th
7. BINGO, Monday and Friday from March 16 TO April 10th
8. LifeTeen Night on March 22nd
9. Santacruzan
10. Office hours starting Monday, March 23, the Rectory will be open from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.
Food Pantry  is cancelled for Saturday, March 21

Bringing Holy Communion to hospitals, nursing homes and homes is suspended until further notice. This This includes Holy Mass at the Care One Nursing Home. Clergy and Ministers are asked to refrain from making pastoral visits to patients in the hospital at this time. If there is a pastoral

need, requests must be made directly from the Hospital Chaplain.
In light of the endurance of the virus on frequently touched surfaces – doors, pews, holy water
fonts, etc. – we are doing proper cleaning of these surfaces in our church.


St. Raphael-Holy Angels Parish warmly welcomes you to our parish community. We want you to know you can find a spiritual home with us. We invite you to enjoy our website and find information about our worship services, school, Faith Formation programs and parish organizations.

St. Raphael-Holy Angels Parish is a place of hope and healing, the place people turn to in times of need. We are a community of caring, faithful Catholics dedicated to service, worship and prayer, religious education, and works of charity. We offer ministries for adults, elderly, youth and children where you can form new friendships to support and encourage you to a deeper relationship with Christ.

Welcome home! We look forward to meeting you and worshiping our Lord together. Contact us with any questions. Discover a purposeful and meaningful life, take an active part in our parish community. Click on the Ministries tab and see the many ways to get involved. By becoming the answer to someone’s prayer, we often find the answers to our own.

>>Click here to watch the slideshow of music from the St. Raphael-Holy Angels Music Ministry.

Building Our Future Together
Three-Year Pastoral Plan 2019 – 2021

>>Click here to view full brochure

Summary Report
Building On Our Past Securing Our Future

Our results from the Building on Our Past, Securing Our Future Program were encouraging. Almost 28% of the parishioners who gave to the Sunday offertory in the last year made a commitment for the next year.

Good and faithful stewards of God’s creation, thank you! God bless you and your family! In the service of the Lord, Fr. Gene P Daguplo

>Click here to view report.


Featured Ministry: Extraordinary Ministers Of Holy Communion

The reception of Holy Eucharist is the most intimate act a faithful Catholic can enter into with Our Lord. Truly it is Christ Himself who is received when one receives Holy Communion. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are graced with the privilege of sharing Christ’s Body and Blood with others. This ministry must, therefore, be regarded with the utmost dignity and reverence. Ministers should possess sufficient maturity and make sure to not call attention to themselves or to distract from the flow of the celebration.  All ministers of Holy Communion should show the greatest reverence for the Most Holy Eucharist by their demeanor, their attire, and the manner in which they handle the consecrated bread or wine. Extraordinary ministers connect the Church to the home or hospital, when needed.  When we return to our pews after receiving Communion, we see those that gather at the altar to be handed the Eucharist by the priest for distribution to those that are unable to attend Mass because of health issues or other circumstances. After Mass, when we leave the church and begin our Sunday activities, these individuals carry the most Holy Eucharist out into the community – to homes, nursing homes and hospitals.
They are indeed extraordinary – both in terms of their roles in the distribution of the Eucharist at Mass, as well as outside of the Church – however, that is not why they are called as such. The Extraordinary Minister is called extraordinary in order to distinguish him or her from the ordinary minister of Holy Communion, who is a bishop, priest, or deacon (Code of Canon Law, c. 910)
Many have witnessed the blessing of their services to the Church. For those who are sick or home bound,  it is heartwarming and comforting to see a familiar face walk into the room. The visit, the prayers and the Eucharist are truly gifts for them.  Will you answer God’s call to be Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHCs)? To sign-up and serve the ministry, please contact the Rectory (609) 585-7049 or Lou Monticchio.

Click here to join and learn more of Extra Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.

Know someone needing assistance with food, housing, drug addiction, mental health, domestic violence or immigration? Contact Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton


Due to the Coronavirus there will not be bingo on March 20, March 27, April 3 and April 10. Bingo will RESUME on April 17.

In addition to traditional bingo we host a progressive currently: $413.25.
Next week will be 51 numbers and the amount will go up each week.


Please take a few minutes to enjoy the three videos below.

From left to right: Fr. Gene’s 60TH Birthday and Installation, Pilgrimage to the Shrines of Ireland 2018 and Did you know, about St. Raphael – Holy Angels.

Saintly Stories

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:14-15

St. Raphael School Open Registration

St Raphael School 2019 STREAM CAMP

  • Weekly school mass