A message from the Pastor . . .

Thanks to the observance of public safety protocols and the increase in the availability of vaccines, tremendous progress has been made in the fight against the corona virus. Therefore, as was announced last week, the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey have lifted the dispensation of the Sunday and Holy Days Mass obligation.

This obligation does not apply to those who are ill, those who have reason to believe that they were recently exposed to the coronavirus or another serious or contagious illness, those who are confined to their home, a hospital, or nursing facility, or those with serious underlying health conditions. We understand the apprehension many may feel as we try to return to some sense of normalcy especially since many of the protocols associated with Covid-19 will also be lifted.

Following the instructions we have received from the Archdiocese, you will no longer have to register in advance to attend Sunday mass as we are allowed to return to 100% capacity . For those who are fully vaccinated, masks are no longer required and there is no longer any need for social distancing. Those who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear a mask and those who would feel more comfortable wearing a mask are most welcome to do so. Certainly, those with underlying health concerns and those who live with someone with health issues are encouraged to continue wearing a mask.

Ministers will continue to wear masks when distributing Holy Communion. I am happy to state that all the clergy at St. Mary’s are fully vaccinated. The instructions we have received remind us that Communion must still be received in the hand. We are still not allowed to give Communion on the tongue.

Greetings and the sign of peace should continue to be no-contact and we will continue to live-stream the 10 o’clock Mass for those who still unable to join us.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will gradually take additional steps such returning hymnals to the pews and the taking up of a collection. Until then, I ask that you continue to use the collection boxes at the doors of the church or make donations electronically.

We ask for your patience as we take tentative steps forward praying that everyone will stay safe as we work towards getting back to normal.

Fr. Carey