There are some seats opening up on Christmas Eve in the church. Please check the church before you make a reservation in the Gym.
It was sad to have Grandparents' Day without any grandparents present at Mass in person, but we celebrated virtually. The children were reverent and prayerful. We prayed for our grandparents, living and deceased.
Additional seats have been added for the 3:30 PM Christmas Eve Mass, seemingly the most popular choice. Be aware that this is NOT an additional mass, but rather a live streamed event to the gym of the In Church 3:30 PM Mass. Holy Communion will be distributed in the gym and attendance in the gym counts as mass attendance. The bleachers will be closed; there can be no standing and the seats will be the usual folding chairs arranged in groups by ticketed reservations. The rest rooms will not be open.
Tickets for the gym and the church are not interchangeable. Each location is subject to its own seating arrangements and attendance limits.
If there looks like sufficient demand, we can consider adding additional simulcast Christmas Eve masses in the gym for the 2:00 PM or 5:30 PM, pending our capacity to sanitize the seats in the gym before each mass.
To reserve seats in the gym, click on either the headline link above or here.
|Long Branch||New Jersey|
|Cedar Glen West||New Jersey|
|Jersey City||New Jersey|
|Red Bank||New Jersey|
|Spring Lake||New Jersey|
|Toms River||New Jersey|
|Asbury Park||New Jersey|
|Mount Laurel||New Jersey|
|Tinton Falls||New Jersey|
|Basking Ridge||New Jersey|
|Cherry Hill||New Jersey|
|Seaside Heights||New Jersey|
|Medford Lakes||New Jersey|
|Colts Neck||New Jersey|
|New York City||New York|
|Garden City||New York|
|Morehead City||North Carolina|
Thanks to grandparents from these cities for joining us for Mass this morning.
CHRISTMAS 2020 COVID PREPARATIONS
The COVID pandemic will not take away Christmas 2020! It will, however, change the way we celebrate it, especially in our churches and parishes, if current circumstances continue as they are or worsen. Because COVID is a highly contagious airborne virus, the prospect of large (or larger than usual) crowds gathering indoors this winter for long periods of time without ample ventilation and proper social distancing, as well as the necessity to sanitize churches between Masses, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Mass schedules will be affected, especially in parishes where there is only a single pastor or priest assigned. The COVID pandemic’s maximum one-third occupancy restrictions in churches coupled with the need for social distancing will limit the space available for parishioners to attend Christmas Mass as usual. Church schedules will also have to accommodate required cleaning.
Parishioners in the Diocese of Trenton have been dispensed from the holy day obligation because of the COVID pandemic this year. In addition to the restricted “in church” occupancy with required social distancing at Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses, parishes will also offer live-streamed Christmas Masses along with those broadcast on television to support the faith of those who cannot attend church this year. Those who are not feeling well or who are in a high-risk category should remain at home and take advantage of the on-line or televised celebrations of Christmas Mass.
Parishes will determine the number and times of Christmas Masses they will be able to offer this year. Please listen for announcements or check parish websites for schedules.
None of us want the restrictions or adjustments we have had to make because of the COVID pandemic. Please God, it will end soon. Although different from past Christmases, parishes will do their very best to assist the faithful in celebrating the Lord’s birth with faith and joy.
Thank you for your understanding and patience.
REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM ACT: On Thursday, October 8, the NJ legislature will propose a “Reproductive Freedom Act” “to protect reproductive freedom” and to ”help protect and expand New Jerseyans’ ability to receive reproductive health care, such as birth control, and pregnancy-related care, including abortion.” I have addressed this matter directly and personally with the Governor. The New Jersey Catholic Conference has issued the following joint statement of NJ Bishops:
October 5 Statement of the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey on
the Reproductive Freedom Act
The Catholic Church believes and teaches that all human life is sacred from conception to natural death. For that reason, we, the Bishops of each of the dioceses in New Jersey, join in voicing the strongest possible opposition to the “Reproductive Freedom Act.” Without minimizing other serious threats to human life and dignity evident in contemporary American society, the Catholic Church consistently maintains that “the threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed.” (USCCB, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, “Introductory Letter,” 2020).
When informed of the text of the USCCB document early in 2020, Pope Francis observed that the right to life of the unborn “is the most fundamental right. This is not first a religious issue; it is a human rights issue.” (Pope Francis to American Catholic Bishops, USCCB Region IX, January 16, 2020).”
As the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey, we urge all Catholics and people of good will to reject this proposed legislative initiative in our state and to contact your State legislators to vigorously express opposition to its passage.
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R. Archbishop, Archdiocese of Newark
Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M. Bishop, Diocese of Trenton
Most Reverend Dennis J. Sullivan Bishop, Diocese of Camden
Most Reverend Kevin J. Sweeney Bishop, Diocese of Paterson
Most Reverend James F. Checchio Bishop, Diocese of Metuchen
Most Reverend Kurt Burnette Bishop, Eparchy of Passaic
Most Reverend Yousif Habash Bishop of Syriac Catholic Diocese
This year for the first time I can remember, we had an all canine animal blessing. The weather was near perfect for both our furry friends and us and though we couldn't hand out doggie biscuits or blessing ribbons this year, our prayers and the blessing with holy water more than compensated. Both dogs and owners seemed to enjoy the opportunity to gather outside in the beautiful weather. It was wonderful to see several COVID rescue dogs on hand for their first-time blessing. Most of them were rescued from southern states.
St. Therese challenges us to become a saint right now, in the events of our life as they are. Not when we grow up, not when we marry or have children, not when we retire - now! She had tremendous spiritual impact on the world despite living in a cloister and dying at 24 years of age.