News, Pastor's Note

Pastor’s Note 6/21/20

This Sunday, June 21st, there will be another drive-in Mass at 9:00 am. There will be a lawn Mass in front of the Respect Life Garden near Father Cotter Hall at 11:00 am. There is no need to pre-register anymore for Masses, as the church is open to 25 percent capacity for the 4:00 pm and the 7:30 am Masses.  For the drive-in Mass at 9:00 am, ONLY enter from the Wendel Avenue blue building entrance side. Park every other space in a checkerboard fashion. If one has to get out of a car, remember to maintain social distancing at all times. If not possible, wear a face covering. It is OK to sit or stand next to your car on the driver’s side only. The altar will be located in the second-story window of the Father Cotter Hall building; please park facing south, toward the church.

For the lawn Mass at 11:00 am, bring chairs. There will be publicly accessible restrooms available in the church ONLY during and after the 11:00 am Mass.  Please plan accordingly.  Even though outdoor group church liturgies are relatively safe, people with compromised immune systems or active infections should carefully assess their health safety and prayerfully consider their risk of attending.

Our church remains open for individual prayers seven days a week from 8 am – 6 pm.  The  4:00 pm Mass will be celebrated and videotaped in the chapel; all those in the church may also participate in the Mass and receive Holy Communion.  Please follow the social distancing markers in the church aisles. During this Phase III of NYS re-opening, we have every third pew in the church open to worshipers to give 7.5 ft. of distance.  

Last Sunday, I walked the streets within our parish boundaries 5K (3 miles) in an individual Corpus Christi procession with Eucharist in the monstrance. 

Although this was not an organized group event, over 30 people prayerfully followed respecting proper physical distancing and face masks requirements. It is such a proof that God can draw good out of the Covid-19 evil. Perhaps this is the start of a new Corpus Christi parish custom!

We honor our fathers by celebrating special Father’s Day Masses for all the living and deceased fathers this weekend and throughout the rest of 2020.  Consider sending a prayer request, with the father’s name and a small offering, to the parish office by mail or drop-off.

Our parish has a very substantial unpaid diocesan parish assessments debt from the years 1995-2006, and a significant diocesan schools assessment debt from 2009-2013. All the current assessments have been paid in full since 2014.  As our diocese recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, our parish debt is considered an uncollected asset, which likely will be called. The former pastor negotiated and accepted a debt repayment agreement with the diocese, where the diocese forgives another one for every dollar repaid by the parish for the larger parish assessment portion. That agreement is still being honored, and we continue repayment of the old debts. I know how much you love this parish, and I ask to consider helping to lower or eliminate the deficit. This way, the congregation would not have to face some very unpleasant decisions in the future, including the likely possibility of the need to sell off a part of the campus. Please contact me with any questions and to discuss more details. Occasional significant gifts and donations dedicated in memory of loved ones are most helpful and much appreciated. 

The parish office is open for business as of Monday, June 22nd, with limited hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm in June. The open hours will increase later and will be announced in the future bulletins. Most visitors who enter Father Cotter Hall and the parish office MUST bring and wear a face covering. Small children and people with difficulties breathing are exempt. Commercial grade CDC approved hand sanitizer wall stations are located at each entrance to the building and the office door for people’s convenient use.  Generally, only one person may enter the office at a time. Others in line are kindly asked to wait in the main hall.  As it is with participating at other church gatherings, people with any chronic severe immune system issues should prayerfully consider their options before visiting any of the parish buildings.  More details of the parish re-opening procedures will be published and updated in the weeks to come. Thank you for understanding, and welcome back. 

Have a Blessed and a Healthy Week.

Happy Father’s Day!

Fr. Matt