Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,
I am sending this letter early this week so that I can offer you a special Greeting for our Thanksgiving Holiday. On behalf of all Ministerial, Pastoral and Support Staff I wish you and your loved ones a day of peace and thanksgiving in these most turbulent of times.
Just a very important reminder: to gain access to our live-stream Masses and Services: always go to our website and then click on Livestream Masses – this is for a Mass in real time or to view a past Mass that is recorded. It appears that our YouTube connection for Masses has trouble with the electronic widgets at the moment and does not work for us.
I do have many thoughts and items to share with you this week. There is a lot to read because even though COVID has hampered many activities, our Parish is still very busy with its Mission and Holy Work.
In consultation with the Staff, the Parish Pastoral Council and many, many Parishioners, we have planned a Christmas Schedule which should allow many of us to connect spiritually for Christmas. We must also remember the special permission (Dispensation) of Cardinal Sean of no Obligation to attend Mass is still in effect and applies all throughout this Christmas and New’ Year’s Season to end of the Pandemic. We have developed a Christmas plan which has three major options which allow for the spirituality, safety and health of all Parishioners. All of this is weather permitting and that our Town also a Green or Yellow Zone.
In essence, you can choose:
The second choice allows people to come to see the Infant in the Outside Crib and receive Christmas Communion without having to enter the building space (except for very bad weather, then come only into the Lobby and then leave immediately). More details of time etc. will be coming out in the following weeks, but I want to reassure Parishioners that we will be carefully observing the COVID Mandates and also more importantly be supporting our spiritual sense of Christmas as best as possible. As is the usual Parish custom, you may offer a gift for our Christmas flowers in the church and chapel via on-line, your donation envelope or a dropped in or mailed note to the Rectory Office. All names in memory of a Loved One written on the envelope will be recorded and placed in a Special Book in the church during the Christmas Season for prayerful remembrance.
Bear in mind that during this Christmas Season of almost two weeks length, Masses are often celebrated on a different schedule. Your memory may not help you! Each year is always different because Christmas changes each year. Please use our Parish Website to check to make sure you know what is what and when it is.
I wish to remind you that our Saint Vincent de Paul is inviting you to participate in the Annual Christmas Caring Tree by going to our website and clicking on the Tree information and assisting them. The response so far has been wonderful. Thank you for making the adjustment to this electronic way of being charitable. Our wonderful Sacred Heart Knights of Columbus had a most successful Pie Sale Event and has moved ahead to assisting the St. Vincent’s by their Annual Stop and Shop Gift Card Drive. Please click on our website to find out how you can assist them with this needed charitable giving.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (“Penance” aka “Confession”) will be offered Saturday mornings during Advent on December 5th, 12th and 9th from 8:00-9:00am on the lower level of the church building in the Chapel in the Penance Room. To gain entry to the chapel, you must enter the building via the two glass door side entrances.
As you aware, we launch the NOON time Mass this weekend (October 28-29). Also, I remind you that you may now make arrangements for an “Intention Mass”. To do so, it is best to email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for the day/date and time for the weekend Mass you would like to arrange. You will receive an email back if it is possible, or you will be asked to pick another day/date and time. These emails will be answered as soon as possible in light of COVID time work restrictions.
Your faithful support of the Saint Vincent de Paul and also of our ongoing Parish Work has been impressive. I personally thank all of you who constantly support us via in church, online giving, by mail in or drop through the Rectory Office mail slot. Your thoughtful and generous giving is helping us to continue the work of Christ and His church. Our needy and fragile Parishioners and Townspeople are being cared for so faithfully by our Saint Vincent’s because of you.
Sometimes when we are in a middle of great difficulties for a long time, we start to forget at some point things will end and get better. It is our faith which supports us during this long time. The Pandemic rises and falls all the time, however we can stay positive and constant if we keep the image of our Lord and Savior in our minds and upon our hearts. We can lean into this wild wind and keep going because we have the Lord to warm and motivate our hearts. St. Mary, Mother of God, protect us. Saint Rocco, Healer, intercede for us.