Letter from Fr Joseph:
The return to public sacramental life at St Antoninus
Dear brothers and sisters,
It is not just the governor or even the bishop, but the Lord Himself who has allowed us to begin opening up over a month ago for the public celebration of the Eucharist and confession. Praise His holy Name! By God's grace, little by little, we continue to safely expand our parish activities, most especially the public sacramental life of the parish. Although, by necessity, it has been very gradual and a little stressful for all of us at times, and each of our steps have been measured and cautious, yet, I am grateful to the One who has brought us this far, for surely He will carry us through until the day He comes in glory.
In the coming weeks I will be contacting some of the groups in the parish who I have otherwise not been directly in contact with, including the parents of our children in religious education. I hope to meet with you (on Zoom or Gotomeeting) to discuss our plans for this coming fall semester. Sr Mary John and I will be meeting first with those who are preparing for First Confession & First Holy Communion as well as those preparing for Confirmation.
For those who need to have their children baptized, please call the rectory office. Those who are wanting to celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony, or to inquire as an adult (or young adult) about becoming Catholic or completing the Sacraments of Initiation, please call the office - 973-623-0258 (Tuesday – Friday 9am-4pm) and leave a message for me if there is no answer.
With God’s help, I will return your call shortly to set up an appointment with you, either via video conference or in-person. Our Staff has once again been mostly furloughed due to our reduced income these days, so please be patient (& generous). We entrust all our plans and especially our lives and our families to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary. I am sure they will show us what we need to know, as we need to know it, and guide and protect us all along the way.
The devil wants us to be paralyzed by fear, fear of sickness and fear of death. But the Lord wants us to be wise and take the proper precautions, but then to hold up the shield of faith as the greatest protection, to put on the helmet of salvation, to take hold of the sword of the Word of God, to wear the breastplate of righteousness and to put on the shoes of readiness to proclaim the gospel, the Good News of Eternal Life in Christ Jesus.
Yes, our lives are fragile and short, therefore we don’t want to be caught trifling with mediocrity when we might have been walking with God. So, if we are home-bound due to circumstances, the work of the Kingdom still needs to continue. If we have gotten a little lazy through the prolonged dispensation of Sunday obligation (although the obligation of prayer and the study of God’s Word remains in full force), we can, and must, begin again by His grace.
Please stay connected and come in person to join us in Sunday Mass, if you are able, and if not, join us online.
Our daily Mass (Tues- 7 pm; Wed- Sat 12 Noon) may be a good way to begin coming again to Mass at St Antoninus.
Just remember to wear your mask and follow all the safety precautions. Of course do not come to Mass if you are not feeling well.
May the Lord grant each of us the grace and courage to make that offering of our lives that He is asking of us in this time, and leave the rest to Him.
God bless each and every one of you. I am praying for those who still don't have electricity since the storm. May the power be restored soon.
In Jesus thru Mary,