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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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Parish Live Stream Archive

Click a Link Below to View Our Previous Live Stream Broadcasts

11/22/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
11/21/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
11/15/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
11/14/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
11/8/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
11/7/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
11/1/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
10/31/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
10/25/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
10/24/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
10/18/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
10/17/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
10/11/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
10/10/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
10/4/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
10/3/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
9/27/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
9/26/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
9/20/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
9/19/2020 | Mass of the Holy Spirit
9/19/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
9/13/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
9/12/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
9/6/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
9/5/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
8/30/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
8/29/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
8/23/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
8/22/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
8/16/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
8/15/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
8/9/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
8/8/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
8/7/2020 | First Friday Mass in Latin 12:15 p.m.
8/2/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
8/1/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
7/26/2020 | Sunday Mass (Homilist: Deacon RJ Ballacillo) | 7:00 p.m.
7/26/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
7/25/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
7/19/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
7/18/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
7/12/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
7/11/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
7/5/2020 | Sunday Mass | 10:00 a.m.
7/4/2020 | Saturday Vigil Mass | 4:00 p.m.
7/4/2020 | 4th of July Parking Lot Mass & Prayer Service | 9:00 a.m.
7/3/2020 | First Friday Mass in Latin | 12:15 p.m.
7/2/2020 | Funeral Mass for Paolo Panduri | 11:30 a.m.
6/28/2020 10:00 a.m. Sunday Mass
6/27/2020 4:00 p.m. Vigil Mass
6/21/2020 10:00 a.m. Sunday Mass
6/20/2020 4:00 p.m. Vigil Mass
6/14/2020 Feast of Corpus Christi | Eucharistic Procession & Holy Hour | 12:00 Noon
6/14/2020 Sunday Mass for Corpus Christi | 10:00 a.m.
6/13/2020 Vigil Mass for Corpus Christi Sunday | 4:00 p.m.
6/13/2020 First Holy Communion Mass | 10:00 a.m.
• 6/7/2020 10:00 a.m. Mass (Unavailable due to technical issues)
• 6/6/2020 4:00 p.m. Vigil Mass (Unavailable due to technical issues)
6/5/2020 5:30 p.m. Mass & Eucharistic Adoration
6/5/2020 First Friday 12:15 p.m. Mass in Latin
6/1/2020 5:30 p.m. Mass
5/31/2020 Pentecost Sunday 10:00 a.m. Mass
5/29/2020 5:30 p.m. Mass
5/25/2020 Memorial Day, 8:00 a.m. Mass
5/24/2020 Sunday, 10:00 a.m. Mass
5/23/2020 Saturday, 4:00 p.m. Vigil Mass
5/22/2020 Friday, 5:30 p.m. Mass
5/18/2020 5:30 p.m. Mass and Eucharistic Adoration concluding with Benediction and Grace
5/17/2020 Sunday, 12:00 Noon Mass (and Eucharistic Adoration and Rosary)
5/16/2020 Saturday, 4:00 p.m. Vigil Mass
5/13/2020 6:00 p.m. Eucharistic Adoration and Rosary
5/13/2020 3:00 p.m. Eucharistic Adoration and Rosary
5/13/2020 12:00 Noon Eucharistic Adoration and Rosary
5/13/2020 9:00 a.m. Eucharistic Adoration and Rosary
5/11/2020 5:30 p.m. Mass & Holy Half Hour with Eucharistic Adoration
5/10/2020 12:00 p.m. Mass & Holy Half Hour with Eucharistic Adoration and Rosary
5/9/2020 4:00 p.m. Vigil Mass
5/4/2020 5:30 p.m. Mass & Holy Half Hour with Eucharistic Adoration
5/3/2020 12:00 p.m. Mass, May Crowning, Eucharistic Adoration & Rosary
5/2/2020 4:00 p.m. Vigil Mass
5/1/2020 5:30 p.m. Mass & Holy Half Hour with Eucharistic Adoration
5/1/2020 12:45 p.m. Eucharistic Adoration and Rosary
5/1/2020 12:15 p.m. Mass in Latin
4/27/2020 5:30 p.m. Mass and Eucharistic Adoration
4/26/2020 Sunday, Eucharistic Adoration and Rosary
4/26/2020 12:00 p.m. Mass
4/26/2020 10:00 a.m. Mass
4/25/2020 4:00 p.m. Mass
4/20/2020 5:30 p.m. Daily Mass
• 4/19/2020 12:00 Noon Sunday Mass
• 4/18/2020 Saturday 4:00 p.m. Vigil Mass
• 4/12/2020 12:00 Noon Easter Sunday Mass
• 4/12/2020 7:00 a.m. Easter Sunday Mass
• 4/11/2020 Great Easter Vigil
• 4/10/2020 Good Friday 5:30 Stations of the Cross
• 4/10/2020 Good Friday Passion of the Lord
• 4/9/2020 Mass of Lord's Supper (Holy Thursday)
• 4/8/2020 Parish Day of Prayer 
• 4/6/2020 Family Holy Hour
• 4/5/2020 12:00 Noon Mass
• 4/3/2020 Stations of the Cross
• 4/3/2020 12:15 PM Latin Mass
• 3/29/2020 12:00 Noon Mass
• 3/22/2020 12:00 Noon Mass