2nd Wave Adaptations
shows increases throughout the United States. In NJ, the ICU beds are nearly full. Please pray for hospital staff as the hospitals fill up.
In Ocean County, most towns are experiencing new cases. Here's the latest top ten towns ranked by percentage of residents who have tested positive:
1. Lakewood 6.29%
2. Toms River 3.30%
3. Jackson 3.12%
4. South Toms River 2.78%
5. Point Pleasant Borough 2.76%
6. Manchester 2.75%
7. Brick 2.71%
8. Berkeley 2.65%
9. Seaside Heights 2.52%
10. Lakehurst 2.37%
New Restrictions and Recommendations
Governor Murphy has issued new restrictions. Bishop O'Connell said they don't affect our parishes. However, our bishop did say to be more careful and to curb in-person activities. I have cancelled staff meetings and next month's Finance and Pastoral Council meetings. We'll probably go virtual in January. My priest group will meet virtually this Friday.
Our parish groups that are meeting can still do so - at least for now. I urge the vulnerable to seriously consider staying home. If any group would like to meet virtually, then we can do that with GoToMeeting. Those without computers, tablets, or mobile phones could join by old fashioned telephones.
My sister Kathleen tested negative for COVID-19. She's waiting for her son's results. Even though their quarantine ends before Thanksgiving, they still won't be going anywhere. It'll just be the three of them. I will visit my sister Theresa and brother Kevin. We might not have dinner together. All of us will meet virtually at some point on Thanksgiving. Please be extra careful at Thanksgiving.
I'm also cutting back on meetings so that I can focus more on Christmas preparations. I will be meeting with the Pastoral Council next Tuesday to discuss plans for Christmas. Currently, we plan to have Masses inside the church on 12/24 at 2 PM, 4 PM, and 6 PM and on 12/25 at 8 AM, 10 AM, and 12 Noon.
I will send a letter via the Postal Service to all households in early December with a Christmas update. We will begin taking reservations on 12/14. By then everyone should know if they caught COVID from Thanksgiving gatherings. We should also have a pretty good idea of what restrictions we'll have for Christmas. Based on all the numbers I'm seeing, we'll have plenty of room for people who would like to be inside the church for a Christmas Mass. However, you might not be able to go to the Mass you would like. That's why we're going to do reservations. But that should work out since we won't be able to visit as much family as usual. You can visit Jesus with our parish family either in-person, in the parking lot, or via YouTube.
I'd like to add times during Advent. And it's getting colder. So, we'll likely be inside more often. I need a greeter to be in the church when I'm in the parish hall hearing confessions. That works on Mondays from 2-4 and Fridays from 3:15 PM to 3:45 PM. We would need additional greeters to cover Mondays from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM and Saturdays from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM. Contact me or Joe Pittarelli to volunteer.
Outdoor Speakers, FM 91.5, & GoToMeeting
Our sound company finished the installation of outdoor speakers and an FM transmitter in one day, today. Starting with daily Mass tomorrow, 11/19, we will be broadcasting video and audio via our YouTube channel and audio via GoToMeeting, outdoor speakers, and FM 91.5.
We have four black speakers on the back of the church and two white speakers on the back of the rectory.
Our FM station is 91.5. It covers almost the entire parking lot. The signal starts fading near the Parish Center and the Myrtle St. exit.
We broadcast via GoToMeeting to mobile phones.
Dial: (646) 749-3112
Access Code: 334-041-517
I ask those who will be testing the new outdoor speakers and FM 91.5 to let us know about your experiences.
God love you,
Fr. Jim O'Neill
on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 6:13PM