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Updated as of 10:45 a.m. on Sunday, July 25, 2021

DIOCESE OF TRENTON ANNOUNCES COVID PROTOCOL CHANGES

On May 26, 2021 the Diocese of Trenton announced a set of protocol changes as the faithful are encouraged to return to in-church Masses. To review the revised protocols


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The revised protocols will be put into effect at St. Michael's in accordance with the Diocese guidelines and in an orderly and careful manner as mandated. The parish's parking lot Masses will continue on the weekends of May 29-30 and June 5-6 and a timetable will be announced for the phasing-out and discontinuation of the parking lot Masses at St. Michael's. Let us be grateful that the end of the pandemic is in sight. May God bless us all.
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: http://www..NoTaxpayerAbortion.com. Please access the New Jersey Catholic Conference website: https://njcatholic.org/protecting-the-hyde-amendment 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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Schedule of All Weekend Masses

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TODAY'S FR. ALPHONSE CONCERT POSTPONED

Today's performance by Fr. Alphonse Stephenson and His 1940s Big Band has been postponed due to the current weather forecast calling for thunderstorms this afternoon in the St. Michael's area. The concert has been re-scheduled to Sunday, August 8 at 5:00 p.m. on the front lawn of the church. Thank you for your interest in this concert. Please pray for good weather on the rain date. Prayers and best wishes to all for a blessed first-ever World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. St. Anne and St. Joachim (grandparents of Jesus) and St. Michael, pray for us.

Regarding Outdoor Parking Lot In-Car Masses at St. Michael’s

A Message from Fr. John and Fr. Mark

As we gradually emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown, Bishop O'Connell has granted permission for parishes to celebrate outdoor parking lot "in-car" Masses as part of the phased re-opening of our churches.  Masses have been celebrated in the parking lot here at St. Michael’s beginning with the May 23-24, 2020 weekend and will continue to be celebrated in our parking lot through at least the last weekend in October (and perhaps beyond that date depending on the weather, volunteer manpower and womanpower, and other factors).  A decision regarding the continuation or termination of the parking lot Masses past the end of October will be made and announced in late October and will also depend on the status of the coronavirus, on Diocese and State public health guidelines at that point in time, and on the level of cooperation with those guidelines in the parish and in the community.  Two Masses will be celebrated this coming weekend outdoors in our parking lot as follows (with Holy Communion distributed to Mass-goers in their cars at the conclusion of each such Mass; please wear face masks when receiving Communion during the parking lot Masses; please see the details below):

  • Saturday, July 17th at 4:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 18th at 10:00 a.m.

The temporary outdoor altar (on an elevated stage) will be located in front of the garage in the parish’s “North Parking Lot” – immediately to the north of the rectory.  The parking lot between the church and the rectory will be closed to all vehicles for the outdoor Masses.  Cars are to enter the North Parking Lot from Ocean Avenue.  Ushers will direct you to your parking space.  Please follow their instructions. 

Cars will be parked in alternating rows (all rows to be six feet apart from left-to-right laterally) facing in a westerly direction toward the altar/stage and garage.  If the North Parking Lot reaches its capacity (approximately 120 cars), then you may also park in our overflow “West Parking Lot” on North Lake Drive behind the blue house and the gray house behind the church.  You will be able to listen to the two outdoor Masses on your car radio at the FM 92.1 frequency (which is strong and clear within a one-mile radius of St. Michael’s).  The two outdoor Masses may be viewed via live-stream on your smart phone or tablet by going to the parish website (www.stmichaelnj.com) or the parish YouTube Channel.  We will also be offering free Wi-Fi access for your mobile devices so that you may access the two parking lot Masses by connecting to the PARKINGLOTGUEST network account that will be broadcast to your device.  No password is required for this free Wi-Fi access during the Mass.

Holy Communion will be distributed at the conclusion of the two outdoor in-car Masses on Saturday and Sunday (rain or shine) – it will be brought to you in your car while your car remains parked and while you and your passengers remain in the car with the windows opened to receive the Blessed Sacrament. After you and your passengers have received Communion and the priests or Eucharistic Ministers have moved on to the cars behind you, the ushers will direct you as to exiting the parking lot.  Additional instructions will be provided by the priest-celebrant during the Mass for the appropriate reception of Holy Communion safely and reverently at this type of Mass. Communion will also be brought to cars parked in the West Parking Lot (if any) after all the communicants in the North Parking Lot have received Communion.   

In accordance with the State and City and Diocese guidelines, the public restrooms will be locked at all times and will not be available during these Masses as a health/safety preventive measure.  Please do not leave your car at any time during these Masses unless there is an emergency.   

  The offertory collection of envelopes and cash or checks will be taken up by the ushers at the usual time during the Saturday Mass and the Sunday Mass (after the Creed and the Prayer of the Faithful).  The ushers will come to each car with a plastic bucket that we will be using temporarily for this purpose.  Please roll down your window and place your offertory donation in the bucket.   The ushers will pass through the parking lot only once to collect all envelopes, cash, and checks in one visit to each car.  Your financial support to the extent possible and prayerful support are greatly appreciated as always and especially during these unique times. 

This parking lot Mass endeavor will undoubtedly have a few wrinkles and flaws the first few times out that we will need to improve upon and correct.  We will be climbing the learning curve together on both sides of the altar.  We ask please for everyone’s kind cooperation, patience, and prayers as we all do our best to make gradual progress back to normalcy with the help of the Holy Spirit and with the help of each other. 

Additional directions will be announced at the parking lot Masses. Even though you are in your car, please wear a protective mask at Communion time.  The priests and Eucharistic Ministers will be wearing their protective masks.  Gloves are not required at this time but are encouraged.  It is very strongly encouraged that everyone receive Communion on the hand at these outdoor Masses and other outdoor liturgies. For those with a COVID-19 diagnosis or symptoms, those not feeling well, or those in a  high risk category, please remain at home and participate in the Mass via the internet, TV, or radio.  Under those circumstances you should NOT visit church or attend public Mass whether indoors or outdoors.

We are eager to provide the outdoor in-car Masses (with our primary concerns being safety and health, the dignity of the Mass, and the sacredness of the Blessed Sacrament) and we are hopeful of being able to do so in the coming weeks on a schedule that will be announced each week.  Our parish is working within its means to provide what we can while keeping in mind that per the Bishop’s directive the parishes are not required to conduct these outdoor Masses but have been given the option to do so. We ask please for everyone’s kind cooperation, patience, and prayers as we all do our best to make gradual progress back to normalcy.  Please continue to pray for each other, for the parish, and for a swift end to the pandemic and a return to normalcy. 

Thank you and God bless.  Come, Holy Spirit!  St. Michael, pray for us.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.

With prayers and all good wishes,

Father John Butler, Pastor                              
Father Mark Nillo, Parochial Vicar

June 1, 2020 (and updated July 25, 2020)

 

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FAITHDIRECT


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


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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."


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