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Updated as of 4:45 p.m. on Monday, November 29, 2021

Holy Hour for Life on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. 

(with 8:00 a.m. “Mass for Giving Thanks to God for the Gift of Human Life” and 8:45 a.m. Rosary for Life on the day that the U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in the Mississippi Pro-Life Case Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization)

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument this coming Wednesday, December 1, 2021 in the case about the constitutionality of the recent Mississippi pro-life law.  The name of that case is Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.  Please pray for an end to abortion; for conversion, reconciliation, and healing; for wisdom, courage, and respect for life in Washington on Wednesday and everywhere at all times; and for compassionate, life-respecting support for all women during pregnancy.  For further information about the Dobbs case please visit https://www.prayfordobbs.com/ or

CLICK HERE

As a parish community we will gather this Wednesday morning (December 1;  please see the timetable below) to pray for respect for life and to pray that the Holy Spirit will assist the Supreme Court Justices with clarity, wisdom, and courage to judge the Dobbs case according to God’s Truth and right reason.  Please join us on Wednesday for the following:

  • 8:00 a.m…….Mass for Giving Thanks to God for the Gift of Human Life
  • 8:30 a.m.……Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Hour for Life until Benediction at 9:30 a.m.
  • 8:45 a.m.……Rosary for Life
  • 9:30 a.m…….Benediction

Newly Issued Teaching Document on the Eucharist from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued last week (Nov. 17) its anticipated teaching document on the Eucharist. It is highly recommended reading for all Catholics and it may be accessed at the Bishops' website by CLICKING HERE.

A similar teaching document on the Eucharist was also issued by the USCCB in 2006. An excerpt from that document was published in the parish bulletin on Sunday, November 21, 2021. The entire text of the 2006 USCCB document on the Eucharist is also highly recommended reading and it may be accessed at the Bishops’ website by CLICKING HERE.

The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Catholic faith. All are urged to be knowledgeable on what the Eucharist is (the True, Real Presence of Jesus) and on what the Eucharist is not ("a mere symbol") and everyone is urged to do a personal examination of his/her knowledgeable and well-formed conscience to assess one's own worthiness to receive the Blessed Sacrament each time one approaches the altar to say "Amen" to the Body of Christ and to all that it is and to all that it embodies.

Advent Parish Mission With Fr. Wade Menezes of EWTN And of the Fathers of Mercy; December 11-15, 2021 at St. Michael’s

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For further information about this Advent Parish Mission including the day-to-day schedule of Mass, Confessions, Eucharistic Adoration, and conference topics, please CLICK HERE.

Schedule of All Weekend Masses

Saturday Vigil Masses:
4:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m.

Sunday Masses:
7:00 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 12:00 Noon, 4:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m.

All of these Weekend Masses are celebrated indoors in the Upper Church. The Saturday 4:00 p.m. Vigil Mass is live-streamed and available at the links noted below.

ST. MICHAEL’S CHURCH RE-OPENED ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 13 FOR PRIVATE PRAYER ONLY, AND RE-OPENED FOR PUBLIC IN-CHURCH MASSES (LIMITED SEATING) ON JUNE 8

(please carefully review the following for relevant details and guidance)

St. Michael’s Church re-opened on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 for private prayer and worship.  The building hours for private prayer time are announced from week to week and are noted below.  The public health and safety guidelines and procedures that will be followed at all times for the protection of all are also listed below and posted in the church.    

The May 13 re-opening was part of Phase I of a gradual, phased-in re-opening of the church and restoration of Masses and Sacraments.  We are all extremely eager to return to a full schedule of public celebration of Masses and the Sacraments but in the meantime patience, prudence, and prayer as well as cooperation, thoughtfulness, and safety are the watchwords and the guiding stars.

It was with joy (and thus a twelve-hour “Day One” on May 13th) – tempered with sadness and prayers for the deceased, the ill, the unemployed and under-employed, and for all who are suffering from and under the burdens of the pandemic – that we re-opened the church for prayerful visits.  That day had been long awaited by all of us.  The church had been diligently and thoroughly cleaned regularly during the lock-down weeks and the parish staff and numerous volunteers had put in (and continue to put in) long hours and extra efforts to give the church an additional intensive sanitizing with professional virucide cleanser, bleach and water solutions, and old-fashioned elbow grease coupled with proper care and respect for the wood, fabrics, marble, and artwork of our beloved 134-year-old church.

Bishop O’Connell and a committee of priests of the Diocese have worked very carefully to provide all of the parishes of the four counties with appropriate guidelines to maximize the safety of those who visit the church and those who work in the church.  Those guidelines are based on the expert advice and experience of  public health officials who have cautioned not to rush into re-opening and advised on how best to proceed.  Cooperation of all who enter the church is requested.  The Bishop has written that  “the re-opening of our parish churches will not be easy.  There are many precautions that must be considered in order to ensure the health and safety of the faithful….[we] must continue to incorporate some of the restrictions that we have become used to by now: no more than 10 people in a given space at the same time, wearing of masks in public, social distancing, etc.”  The goal of the Bishop, the priests advisory committee, Fr. Mark and the parish staff, and myself is “to develop [and implement] a ‘phased approach’ for the re-opening of churches for private prayer and for the gradual restoration of our full Catholic and sacramental life.”  The timeline for resumption of  a more extensive schedule of public Masses and for public scheduled Sacraments remains to be determined.  As Dr. Fauci has advised many times “the focus is on the data and not on the date.”  Please pray for the wisdom and perseverance of the Diocesan leaders as they formulate Phase II and Phase III.

The schedule for the church’s building hours for private prayer is as follows:

Saturday, June 20................................................12:00 Noon to 2:00 p.m.

Sunday, June 21..................................................4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.   

Monday, June 22 to Friday, June 26……….......10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 27................................................10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (closing early for afternoon wedding) 

Thereafter………...................................................As announced on the parish website and in the parish bulletin which is available on the parish website. that you will find on signs in the church and the ushers’ directions.  


The public health and safety guidelines to be followed while visiting the church include:

  • Faithful from at risk groups as identified by the CDC/New Jersey Department of Health should remain at home.
  • The number of visitors at any one time will be no more than ten according to New Jersey State guidelines.
  • Social distancing (minimum of six (6) feet between visitors) to be observed at all times.
  • The number of visitors at any one time will be no more than 48 in the Upper Church and 50 in the Upper Church according to New Jersey State and Diocese guidelines.
  • Wearing of face masks is required for all those making visits to the church.
  • Only one door is to be used to enter and exit the church:  the door on the north side of the church at the top of the ramp. In case of an emergency all doors of the church are unlocked and available for exiting the building.   
  • The public restroom facilities in the Lower Church will be closed to allas a preventive health measure.
  • Please do not leave in the church any devotional prayer cards or pamphlets or similar items.
  • All visitors are encouraged to bring their own disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers.
  • No gatherings for conversation please at the church entrance, steps, courtyard, and parking lots.
  • Specific areas and pews for seating will be designated to maximize cooperation with guidelines and to facilitate cleaning afterward. Please follow the instructions that you will find on signs in the church and the ushers’ directions.  
  • Prior to in-church Masses and other liturgies and events the church will close one hour in advance to enable cleaning and preparation of the building. 

Fr. Mark and I share with everyone the fervent desire for the celebration of the Mass together as a parish community and for the resumption of a full schedule of all the public celebrations of the Sacraments.  In good time – and with the help of God – those days will return.  Saint Augustine writes in his Confessions, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”  Perhaps Augustine’s most often quoted phrase, it captures something that resides deep within the human person.  Our hearts are “restless” to be with God at our church and in our church…to experience the personal and tangible sensation and grace of the Sacraments…to be with each other in a familiar and holy and beautiful place (our parish church) that we call our own.  Until then, the parking lot Masses with live-streaming of those Masses and the in-church, limited seating Masses will continue as announced from time to time on the parish website.    

And thank you again for all the thoughtful phone calls and phone messages, texts, cards, letters, and emails with words of encouragement and gratitude during these recents weeks and for all the meals and snacks that have been brought and delivered to the rectory.  We are very grateful.  And of course thank you to all who have continued their financial support of the parish during the lock-down or indicated their intention to catch-up on their March-through-May Sunday collection envelopes.  It goes without saying (but it’s helpful to remember) that most of the parish’s expenses (as in many of our families’ households and community’s businesses) have continued without reduction and those bills need to be paid on a regular basis.

Everyone is in our daily prayers.  Please continue to pray for us and for each other.  We look forward to seeing everyone, to safely sharing the grace and the spiritual sustenance of the Sacraments, and to exuberantly resuming near-normal and then normal parish life with parishioners, families, and friends.  May God bless you and all your loved ones.

With prayers and warm regards,

Fr. John and Fr. Mark

(Updated June 11, 2020)  

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FAITHDIRECT


A PRO-LIFE MESSAGE AND REQUEST FROM OUR BISHOP DAVID M. O’CONNELL

As Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, I encourage all our Catholic clergy, religious and lay faithful to sign a petition to protect congressional legislative provisions in support of life: Click Here. Please access the New Jersey Catholic Conference website and also read the Action Alerts posted on the NJCC website: https://njcatholic.org.

Please consider writing letters in strong support of pro-life protections to our New Jersey senators and congressmen and congresswomen. Thank you and may God bless and protect you all, born and unborn.

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Healing After Abortion: 

Do you know someone who is carrying the grief of a past abortion?  There is always hope.  The pain and sorrow of abortion does not need to endure for a lifetime. A “Day of Prayer and  Healing” offers the opportunity to experience the love and mercy of God and to respond to His invitation to begin the journey of healing the wound of abortion. For upcoming dates, locations, and confidential registration, or just to talk to a Sister, please call the Sisters of Life at (866)-575-0075 (toll free) orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


 

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Know someone needing assistance with food, housing, drug addiction, mental health, domestic violence or immigration? Contact Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton.

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Bishop O'Connell's Pastoral
Letter On the Presence of God


CLICK HERE



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 U.S. Bishops' Statement on Moral Concerns with
Using the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Vaccine


The U.S. Conference of Catholice Bishops (USCCB) issued a Statement on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 regarding moral concerns with using the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine. The Statement may be accessed by clicking below. The Statement says in part, "if one has the ability to choose a vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines should be chosen over Johnson & Johnson’s." The moral concern arises because the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was developed and tested and is produced with abortion-derived cell lines. The USCCB Statement also quotes the judgment of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican that "when ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available... it is morally acceptable to receive Covid19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process."


CLICK HERE

St. Michael's Church Presents  Handel's Messiah  A Virtual Sing-Along with an Encore Medley of Christmas Carols