DRAW CLOSE TO GOD,
AND HE WILL DRAW CLOSE TO YOU
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
In last week's gospel we encountered the Lord having a "heart to heart" conversation with the woman at the well. The woman ultimately realized that she, as well as ourselves, have a "thirsting" for life-giving water that will sustain us throughout our journey of faith. We know, as a people of faith that this life giving water is Jesus, the Well-Spring of all goodness and love.
In our gospel this weekend we once again encounter Jesus having a conversation with a multitude of people - that focuses upon a blindman who has his sight restored. As with the woman at the well and the blind man, Jesus draws close to those, like us, respond in faith.
During this time in our journey of faith we are urged to keep our eyes upon Jesus who, through the storms of life and various disturbances that we, as individuals and families are experiencing, says to us, "do not be afraid."
My friends, in the words of Cardinal Tobin, this has been a most unforeseen season of Lent. We, as a people, experiencing a deep hunger for the Eucharist and the celebration of the Mass , need now, more than ever, to keep our eyes on Jesus.
Cardinal Tobin will be celebrating Mass, live-streamed on youtube each Sunday at 12oon. Please join your sisters and brothers in the "virtual world". In the absence of the daily and weekend Mass, may I also encourage you to attune yourselves for the celebration of the Mass and on EWTN. Mass is celebrated at 8 AM, 12 noon and 7:00 PM. In between these hours there are a variety of shows that can enkindle us to have our thirst quenched and keep our eyes on Jesus.
As a Marian parish under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception, I would also encourage you as a family or individual to pray the Rosary seeking the Blessed Mother's intercession, and submit our worries and anxieties to her, that she, as with a mother's love, will embrace and hold us close unto herself.
On March 18 all pastors were informed by Cardinal Tobin that the weekly and daily celebration of the Eucharist is suspended until further notice. Also, funerals, burial services, and previously scheduled weddings are to continue as scheduled, however participation is limited to a maximum of 10 participants.
I want you to know that as I celebrate a daily private Mass each day, the intention of each Mass will be for our parish family, that the Peace and the Breath of the Holy Spirit may dwell within each household and in the hearts of all, as well as for the intentions that were previously scheduled.
As of 12 noon (March 18, 2020), the rectory offices will be closed until further notice. All emails and phone calls will be monitored remotely by our dedicated staff. For any emergencies please follow the prompts on our answering service.
I look forward to the day when we are united once again as the Body of Christ for the celebration of the Eucharist when we as a parish family will give thanks to God for seeing us through this "storm," and to pray for those who mourn, for those who have died, and for recovery of the sick.
To the families of our young people who are preparing for the Sacraments of 1st Penance, 1st Holy Communion, and Confirmation, these sacraments are postponed to a future date. When we are able to reschedule, we will give you advance notice of the date and time. Thank you for your understanding.
Please refer to our parish website for any and all communications and updates. As the Body of Christ, let us unite our prayers for those affected by the Coronavirus, for our world leaders, for medical scientists who are working around the clock to eradicate this virus, for all those in the medical profession, in our health care facilities, and for our dedicated first responders. May the Lord protect them from all harm as they serve the needs of others before themselves.
Recently each Pastor received a communication from Cardinal Tobin inviting all the parishes to participate in an Archdiocesan-wide initiative that he has launched to support our parish family, outreach to those in need, and parishes in response to the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on everyday life. We are partnering with the team at GoFundMe, a leading online giving organization, to provide one online platform for the faithful to support outreach to those most in need as well as cover the critical needs of their own and other parish communities during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This is a coordinated and unified effort. The first place people often go in time of need is the local parish. Under the current conditions brought on by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, parishes are limited in the services they can offer to the faithful. Cardinal Tobin has temporarily waived the usual archdiocesan assessment in support of this initiative. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to our parish. The funding flow for this initiative offers both simplicity and transparency for our parish community and others who choose to contribute.
All money raised through our individual parish GoFundMe pages will flow into a central archdiocesan fund, and the Parish Business Services team will aim to release all funds to parishes in the amount raised for the parish within the week. Pastors, parishioners, and the public can track how much each parish has raised in total on their individual parish GoFundMe pages.
All money raised through the Parishes in Need fund will be distributed to conduct outreach to those in need and to those parish communities unable to meet their critical needs alone. Contributions are tax-deductible, and contributors will receive tax receipts automatically You may also continue to give through your typical methods if you prefer.
For those who would like to continue to give through envelopes or cash during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please: mail or drop off at the rectory or continue with your electronic online payments. Please also remember the Annual Appeal among your options for contributing.
As always I thank you for your generosity to our parish and to those parish communities unable to meet their critical needs alone.
For a message from Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., the Parishes in Need fund, and more on how this initiative will support the critical needs of our parish communities, please visit: https://www.rcan.org/parishsupport.
For more information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the Archdiocese of Newark’s response, please visit: https://www.rcan.org/COVID19
Please be attentive to our parish website (CLICK HERE)so that you may remain up to date on all liturgical events and partake of the daily Mass through Word on Fire with Bishop Barron. May I also encourage you to view EWTN during this Lenten Season. Please know that you and your families are remembered in my daily Rosary and private Mass.
Peace and Blessings, Fr. Leo J Butler, Pastor
The Archdiocese of Newark
Welcome. The Archdiocese of Newark is coordinating with the team at GoFundMe to provide one online location for the faithful to support the critical needs of their own parish (through this page) or other parish communities (through the Parishes in Need fund). The faithful may also contribute through their usual channels (e.g., envelopes, other online giving, the Annual Appeal). Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to your parish on the parish’s GoFundMe page, or to the Parishes in Need fund, which will be used to conduct outreach to those in need and support those communities struggling to continue to pay their employees and church utility bills through this crisis. Contributions raised through the parish GoFundMe page will benefit that parish.
Cardinal Tobin has waived the usual archdiocesan assessment for contributions raised through this initiative. GoFundMe does not charge a platform fee (0%). There is a 0% platform fee and only an industry-standard payment processing fee of 1.9% + $0.30 per donation. If a charity receives a donation of $100, they will net $97.80. Donors will also have the option to tip GoFundMe Charity to support their continued business.
Thank you for your generosity to your parish and to those parish communities unable to meet their critical needs alone.