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October 2020

Simulcast Gym Mass with Communion at 3:30 PM Christmas Eve Added

Simulcast Gym Mass 3:30 PM Christmas Eve

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.

Grandparents Tune In for Mass

Phoenix Arizona
Santa Clara California
Middletown Connecticut
Wimauma Florida
Chicago Illinois
Boston Massachusetts
Long Branch New Jersey
Bloomfield New Jersey
Cedar Glen West New Jersey
Jersey City New Jersey
Red Bank New Jersey
Manasquan New Jersey
Spring Lake New Jersey
Toms River New Jersey
Asbury Park New Jersey
Highlands New Jersey
Matawan New Jersey
Lakewood New Jersey
Rumson New Jersey
Mount Laurel New Jersey
Tinton Falls New Jersey
Leonardo New Jersey
Hackettstown New Jersey
Allenwood New Jersey
Basking Ridge New Jersey
Keansburg New Jersey
Cherry Hill New Jersey
Martinsville New Jersey
Ramtown New Jersey
Springfield New Jersey
Pennington New Jersey
Seaside Heights New Jersey
Medford Lakes New Jersey
Eatontown New Jersey
Newark New Jersey
Colts Neck New Jersey
New York City New York
Garden City New York
Pleasantville New York
Morehead City North Carolina
Birdsboro Pennsylvania
Horsham Pennsylvania
Ashburn Virginia
Washington Virginia
Reston Virginia

Thanks to grandparents from these cities for joining us for Mass this morning.

Message from Bishop O'Connell regarding COVID and Christmas 2020


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 in New Jersey

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

Perfect Weather for St. Francis Animal Blessing

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. 

Template 3 Pets2 Puppies3

St. Therese of Lisieux

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.

St. Therese the "Little Flower" from the Catholic Herald