Religious Freedom Week
Religious Freedom Week
In past years, we used to have a Fortnight for Freedom. This year, we're focusing on religious freedom for one week starting today. To learn more about religious freedom, visit the USCCB's page on religious liberty:
Sunday Mass Capacity
More parishioners showed up this past weekend for Mass. We reached capacity at the 10 AM Mass and locked the doors. We're going to rearrange furniture to increase capacity by about five more spots. I'd also recommend considering one of the other Masses. The 6 PM Mass was about two-thirds full. The 8 AM Mass was about half full. And the 12 Noon Mass was less than half full.
We're going to lock the doors at 10 AM next Sunday. We expect to reach capacity again. And a few people were wandering in 15 to 30 minutes late. I suspect that they didn't know the new Mass schedule.
Sunday Mass Observations
A few people drove by to receive Holy Communion about 15 minutes after Mass ended which was too late. Immediately after Mass, I offer Holy Communion to those waiting in the parking lot. I'm done in about two minutes. You could watch the 6 PM Mass or 8 AM Mass and then make sure you're in the parking lot at 10:45 AM to receive Holy Communion.
Please don't bring any liquids into the church. One person spilled their drink all over the floor. Since we have to wear masks, drinking liquids is problematic. If you have to drink water, you're probably in a high risk category and should stay home.
When receiving Holy Communion, please keep your mask on. After the host is placed in your hand, step to the side and then place the host in your mouth. We're trying to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Wearing a mask is the best way to do that inside the church.
Tom has roped the pews to make it clearer where people can and cannot sit. We have one pew in each wing than can accommodate a large family. Most ends of pews can fit four adults. Some can only fit two.
As the number of people attending Mass increases, we will need to be more and more strategic. Please follow the direction of the ushers so that we can fit the most people possible inside the church and do so as safely as we can.
I've noticed a steady increase in the number of people reading these Flocknote messages. We're up to 622 people who receive these e-mails.
I don't plan to do another Sunday Sign-Up. We have enough information for being as ready as possible. The 10 AM Mass is the most popular. The other Masses have room.
COVID-19 Cases Update
A few weeks ago, I calculated that 13% of the Manchester residents who tested positive ended up dying. The percentage has increased to 16%. Manchester has 43,418 residents with 788 testing positive and 128 dying. Manchester has the third highest infection rate among Ocean County towns after Lakewood and South Toms River. Manchester has the highest death rate among positive COVID-19 cases. For more information on local statistics, visit this
. We need to continue to be careful even as more and more things open up.
God love you,
Fr. Jim O'Neill
on Monday, June 22 at 4:05PM