I've been hearing about how the pandemic could be a "Great Reset" for us. I suspect that different people mean different things by it. I found Robert Royal's discussion of it quite helpful in
Another Sort of Reset
In the practice of our faith, we have many opportunities to "reset" our lives. Today is the first day of Ordinary Time. Today's
daily Mass readings
deal with the idea of a new beginning. In the beginning of Hebrews, we hear the answer to the question, "Who is Jesus?". In chapter 1 of Mark, Jesus invites us to "Repent and believe in the Gospel." I'll be hearing confessions from 2-4 PM and 6-7 PM today in the back of the parish hall. Enter via the canopy entrance to the church. After repenting and believing in the Gospel, Jesus then invites us to follow Him. He'll then form us so that we can invite others to follow Him. This is the kind of reset we need in our culture.
New Jersey is on the brink of going dark red at
. Besides numbers going up and hopefully peaking within a couple weeks, I've been hearing about people who have tested positive, are quarantining, or who have died from the coronavirus. I've also heard about people getting the first shot of the vaccine. My sister was among the early ones to get vaccinated because she draws blood from COVID patients at the hospital.
We increased by 12 people to 385 this past weekend. We're under 400 because of so many new coronavirus cases. I imagine more people will return to Mass once things begin to settle down - hopefully within a few weeks.
I'm not sure when we'll be able to sit close together without masks, but let's imagine what it will be like in church in September or October. I'll be talking with the Pastoral Council and Finance Council, but I thought I'd let you know what I've begun thinking about.
The current gift shop has become the primary location for managing the livestreaming camera. I think it would be a great place for a handicap accessible confessional room. But then the gift shop will need to go somewhere.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society would like to double the size of their food pantry. They're already using the coffee room for overflow.
Our foyers at the main and canopy entrances are much too small.
What if we built an addition along the back of the church from both sides of the canopy entrance to the back entrance of the parish hall? We could include a meeting room with storage closets there as well as a room for a gift shop on the far side of the canopy entrance. We could also have a much bigger foyer.
Are there other needs I'm missing? Are there other groups that have requests?
God love you,
Fr. Jim O'Neill
on Monday, January 11 at 1:05PM