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Fr. Ron's Blog

Dear Friends,

I know I told you only two weeks ago that it would be my last column for the rest of the summer. Well, I guess I lied, but not deliberately. Maybe better that I say I misjudged, misjudged that I should share more with you about several things. So

Varia - a number of unrelated actions/events:

Confirmations. Hopefully, by the time you read this we will have celebrated the first two of the many confirmation celebrations that have been on hold since May. There are 170, or so, teenagers who went through our confirmation program, or at least part of it (I think the only part they did not get to was the service project), and have been waiting for us to schedule their reception of this wonderful Sacrament. I thank them for their commitment and patience. You know that I have been celebrating confirmations around the Archdiocese for about five years, during the time of the shortage of Auxiliary Bishops. But I had decided to celebrate here even if there were no pandemic. But since the pandemic, all pastors have been delegated by the Cardinal to celebrate in their own parish. So we are beginning to celebrate with smaller numbers at each ceremony. The first two were to have been the Saturday of this weekend, 8/1. If it sounds a little tentative that's because there was a little hiccup. You may have been reading that some teenagers/ young adults have recently tested positive for Covid 19. Because of this, as of this writing, we are waiting for word from the Health Department as to those numbers. If they are too high, we will have to make the decision to wait a little further with these ceremonies. In the meantime, please keep all our candidates in your prayers, that they stay committed in their desire to receive the Spirit and the gifts and fruits of that Spirit to be powerful witnesses to Christ in our world.

1ST Holy Communion. As with Confirmation, the celebrations for 1stHoly Communion have been on hold since April/May. A schedule will be coming out shortly. Because of social distancing and capacity issues with the church building, we will have to have smaller numbers than usual and, therefore, increased numbers of celebrations. Please be patient with us as we try to alternate between these two sacraments in our scheduling efforts. At the same time we're doing this, we also have to accommodate families who had to postpone the baptisms of their children. All of these will take time.

RCIA. This is the program/process by which adults either enter the Church through baptism, or a profession of faith and receive Eucharist and are confirmed, along with baptized Catholics who never completed their Sacraments of Initiation, Eucharist and Confirmation. The conferral of these sacraments should have taken place at the Easter Vigil and on the first Sunday after Easter. These sacraments will be conferred next Sunday, August 9 at the 12:30pm Mass. I invite you to read Deacon Bob Liwanag's longer article in today's bulletin.

Covid 19 reminders. Just a quick reminder about the efforts we are taking to ensure your safety. Please be sure to wear a mask when you come to church. You've been very good with this. And please be sure it covers your nose and mouth. Some are not so good with this last condition. Also please be aware of the arrows on the floor and follow the directionality indicated by these arrows. Some are also not so good with this. Please be sure to register, either through the website or the dedicated extension (218) of the rectory's main phone number, and to bring the confirmation email with you to mass. The main purpose of this is to assist in contact tracing if the need ever arises. Please try to find a seat, according to the diagram on the board as you enter the church. Preferably as up-front as you can get. If and when the numbers allowed in the church ever increase, this will be an important consideration for reaching maximum capacity. The communion procession seems to be working pretty well. Thank you. And the general rule for exiting the church is to exit up the main aisle if you're parked on either Passaic or Hudson Streets and down the side aisles if you're exiting out the front doors.

We hope to move to a time when all of this becomes second nature.

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

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