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Fr. Ron's Blog

Dear Friends,

It's always been my practice, well-sometimes anyway, to cease and desist writing a column for the summer months, and spare you the ramblings of an idle mind. I hope to practice that strategy again this year. And so this will be, hopefully, my last column until September.

We have been through an extraordinary time these last sixteen months. The world has been through an extraordinary time these last sixteen months. I would bet that each of us has lost someone we personally knew, or, at least, the family of someone who succumbed to the corona virus. Our hearts still go out to all those who mourn. Besides the loss, they were deprived of the usual rituals of mourning and comfort, the gathering of friends to show respect and offer support, the spiritual rituals that remind us of the gift of eternal life.

And I'm equally sure we know of people, if not ourselves, who are now struggling because of the devastating economic impact the virus has had on life in general. For many, that struggle continues. Add to this, the impact of the virus on the educational life and progress of our children. While the heroic efforts of so many, and sometimes the ingenious creations of those in education, virtual and hybrid instruction can never take the place of in-person learning and interaction. In addition, the lockdown of our churches denied us of the support, as Catholics, of the very presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, to strengthen us and give us hope as we walked through these difficult times.

But now there is light, uncertain and uneven as it may be. We see and experience the signs of it every day. But along with that, we continue to hear reports of variants and the slow-down of vaccinations and troubling, if not dire, predictions about the fall. We continue to be hopeful that even at a slower rate, vaccinations will continue as, I think, it has been proven that they decrease the presence of the virus in our community and our nation and our world. Personally, I received my first shot in January and the second in February, and I feel completely safe in all my encounters with other people, whether they are vaccinated or not.

A final note on the virus and its relation to the parish and the worshipping community. We will continue to celebrate daily mass in the church and not return to the chapel until after Labor Day. The transepts will continue to be roped for those who prefer to keep social distancing. The priests, deacons and Eucharistic Ministers will continue to be masked while distributing Holy Communion, but unmasked congregants need not put on a mask at that time. We continue to ask you to receive in the hand, although, I know, this is a sacrifice for some, until such time as the Archdiocese directs us otherwise. Directionality and registration have now been dropped. And as I mentioned last week, everyone will need, at some time, to decide what benchmark to use in order to return to in-person worship.

Lastly, on the giving front, please remember to continue support for the parish, especially through electronic giving. As you may have noticed with the monthly reports, support for the parish is down, as you might expect with only 113 of pre-pandemic attendance. I'm sure this will go down further as summer progresses. Electronic giving helps steady our income. Simply go to the WE SHARE icon on the homepage of the website. Also on the homepage, you will find the link to the ANNUAL APPEAL of the Archdiocese. This appeal not only funds so many important works of the Church, including Catholic Charities, but the parish gets a rebate on funds over our goal and so helps support the parish in these days of the shortfall. Please make a pledge and help support two struggling works of the Gospel.

And finally, as opposed to lastly, I wish all our families a happy, joyful, relaxed summer. It will certainly be better than last summer and let's hope and pray that when we return, the fall will be better as well.

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

PS. Below you will find a picture of, and message from, Fr. Felix who will be with us for a few months. Please make him feel welcome.

Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Welcomes Fr. Felix Ugwuozor


Rev. Felix Ugwuozor was ordained a priest August 12, 1995 for the Catholic Diocese of Enugu, Nigeria. Felix has Masters & Doctorate Degrees in Education from Montclair State University (USA). He is currently a Lecturer at University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria, and a Vicar at Blessed Sacrament parish, Independence Layout, Enugu, Nigeria.


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One Passaic St., Ridgewood, NJ 07450
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