9/11, Sunday Mass, and Jesus
See an article at the
National Catholic Register
about JP2's response:
Sept. 11, 2001: When John Paul II Grieved With America
. Much of what he said can apply to 2020 in which we have experienced a pandemic, square dancing hurricanes, an earthquake in Freehold, tornados in Toms River & Barnegat, fires out West, social unrest, and political mayhem.
Strategizing Sunday Mass
I just received a phone call from a woman who would like to come back to Mass for the first time. After giving her the Mass schedule, she asked which Mass was the least attended. I told her the 2 PM. It is good for all of us to strategize about how best to participate in Mass. Strategies include what is best for us and what is best for our neighbors. What sacrifices can we make so that more people can worship God while reducing the risk of contagion?
Bishop O'Connell has extended the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass until further notice. He encourages all who are in high risk categories to stay home. If we are sick, we have to stay home. Yet, the Mass is vital. So, we strategize about how to make Mass accessible and how to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus.
Entering and Exiting the Church
Everyone knows that masks are required. Households are sitting six feet apart. Most people are maintaining a six foot distance while entering and exiting the church -- but not all. We need to do better -- especially at the 4 PM Mass. The ushers are going to be more diligent this coming weekend. We may even ask everyone to be seated at the end of the 4 PM Mass so that we can dismiss parishioners in an orderly way.
Do strategize about where you will sit. I invite those able to walk farther to sit farther from the canopy entrance so that those with walking difficulty can sit nearer. I remind everyone that we can use all the exits except the exit by the rectory. So, if you're sitting in the back of the parish hall, then exit via the doors in the back of the parish hall. If you're sitting closer to the main entrance, then exit via the main entrance.
Consider parking near the exit you will choose rather than near the canopy entrance.
Make a sacrifice for the good of others. If you are delayed, then take the extra time to pray.
The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. Allow Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to transform you into the person He is calling you to be.
God love you,
Fr. Jim O'Neill
on Friday, September 11 at 10:57AM