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Fr. Ron's Blog

Dear Friends,

Before I go into another explanation of the logistics of weekend liturgies, I thought I would offer a reflection, specifically on last Sunday’s Gospel.

One of the most famous lines of Scripture appeared in last Sunday’s Gospel.  “Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you.” (Matt. 11:28). And most often, it would be that line that would be the focus of preaching.  But last week, I preferred to preach on the opening line of the Gospel, “On one occasion Jesus spoke thus:   ‘Father, Lord of heaven and earth, to you  I offer praise; for what you have hidden from the learned and the clever you have revealed to the merest children.’” (Matt. 11:25).

What inspired me was a video I had seen with scenes from our Summer Religious Education program which we did in concert  with  St.  Catharine  and  Mother  of  the  Church parishes.  This year it had to be virtual because we could not bring  the  children  together.    In  the  video  children  were doing a variety of activities with their families, baking cookies to bring to someone, painting rocks in multi colors with different scripture quotes or a positive word on them to put around their neighborhoods, gathering clothes and toys that they didn’t use anymore to be given to people in need, writing thank you notes to the priests for celebrating on line, using sidewalk chalk to write a positive message about God etc.  What struck me was their faces, the joy that shone through all these activities.  Even after all those weeks of virtual learning, they could still be excited about these acts of goodness, sharing and  love, in these days of  pandemic. “What you have hidden from the learned and the clever you have revealed to the merest children.”   This  is  precisely what Jesus was telling the crowd.  Children have that natural predisposition and enthusiasm for God and God’s presence in their lives and for actions that image that  presence.  As we get older, we lose that; we become jaded or even cynical, influenced by a world that teaches  us  about getting ahead, self-interest, competition and  success.   If your spirits are down and you have 12 minutes to spare, go to the bottom of the homepage of the parish website and click on the video.  I guarantee you will feel better afterward.

Now, back to some logistics for the weekend.  I have said a couple of times in writing and on the video that we want to be able to move to a point when you can enter the church for weekend mass and be able to find a seat, observing correct directionality and social distancing, both in the movements and in the seating.  And to do this on your own.  To move to that end, I encourage you to look again at the chart that appears, and will continue to appear, on the homepage of the website   and   at   all  the  entrances   of   the   church.      It “visualizes” the various seating possibilities.   With that imbedded in your minds, when you enter the church, please look for a pew that meets those requirements for you and your whole party/family.

Please try to sit as close to the front as possible.  This also helps in the communion   procession.   Speaking of which, for  the  communion  procession  (notice,  procession, not  a line) you should be prepared to leave your pew, household by  household, waiting in the pew until the last member of the previous household has received communion, not when they leave the pew.  This prevents the build-up of a line in the aisle. I think everyone understands the method of receiving so I won’t repeat that here again.   I  also think everyone is pretty much getting the exiting, if you’re going out the front doors, you leave by way of the side aisles, if out the side doors, you leave by way of  the  center aisle. Until capacity is increased (and I don’t think that will be too soon), transept seating will remain closed.

We will continue to use the registration system, either on line on the website or through the dedicated extension at the rectory (201-444-2000,, ext. 218). This system also helps if, God forbid, we ever need it for contact tracing.

Again, thank you for your cooperation. Nobody likes to have to do this, but our aim is to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Be well, be safe and God Bless,
Fr. Ron

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One Passaic St., Ridgewood, NJ 07450
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