Return to Public Masses - June 13/14

06-03-2020NewsFr. John Barbella

My dearest parishioners,

By now you may have heard that we can finally begin returning to Church for Holy Mass. I know that the absence of public Masses has been very hard for you, and that some of you have been waiting very anxiously for this moment. That being said, we should remember that it is very important for us to use good judgment and every ounce of common sense with which we have been blessed as we begin gathering for Mass once more. The Holy Spirit’s gift of counsel (right judgment) will be most helpful to us in this!

These guidelines are intended to help you do this – and to know what to expect at Mass in St. Philip and St. James Church at this time.
Those who are considered high risk for infection should not come to Church just yet. Rather, you should continue to follow the guidelines of your doctor and the public health authorities. Those who are or feel sick must not come to Church at this time, for the good of everyone – including themselves.

Public health regulations require that our Church be filled to no more than 30% of it’s overall capacity for public Masses at this time.  This will change as conditions continue to improve in our area.  This means that we can only accommodate 200 people at any given Mass.  Given that many vulnerable people should stay home at this time and that only half of our weekend Masses regularly draw more people than that – namely the 4:30 Saturday, and 9 and 11 AM Sunday – this should not be a problem.  But we still have to be sure we stay below that number to ensure proper social distancing while at Holy Mass. 

For this reason, we are asking people to call the Parish Office at 908-454-0112 ext. 3 and make a reservation (for lack of a better word) for the Mass they wish to attend.   Please call no later than 12:00pm Friday with your name and the number of people sitting with you. This is especially important for those wishing to attend the busier Masses at 4:30 Saturday and 9 and 11 on Sunday.  Those who come to Mass without a ‘reservation’ will be admitted only if space permits!  Please plan ahead – and know that I am sorry for this inconvenience and will do away with it as soon as possible!

Those coming to Church must wash their hands thoroughly before coming, and sanitize their hands upon arrival.  It would be a good idea to bring your own hand sanitizer, although we have installed dispensers at the Church.

All but the youngest children should wear a mask while at Church, removing it only to place the Host in your mouth at Communion.  Our bishop believes that parents are in the best position to decide whether young children can and should wear a mask. 

Everyone is encouraged to receive Holy Communion in the hand at this time – at least until the danger of infection subsides more completely.  However, we will respect the right of each person to receive Holy Communion on the tongue if they so choose. Out of concern for everyone’s health, a single special Communion station will be established solely for those who wish to receive Holy Communion on the tongue.  This line will be pointed out before Communion, and will obviously move a bit slower due to the need for the priest/deacon/Extraordinary Minister to sanitize their hands thoroughly after each Communicant.  Please be patient!

When lining up for Holy Communion, please have your family stand at least six feet behind the family or persons in front of you.  It is important that we not ‘crowd’ people. 

Holy Communion will be given at the conclusion of Holy Mass, after the final blessing.  This will allow people to exit the Church directly after receiving, without the usual gathering of a crowd at the doors and in the narthex.  While I know we would all love to linger and visit after Mass, let’s wait until things are a bit more settled before we do that!

While the Cry Rooms will be cleaned and ready for Mass, they really should be limited to one family each at this time.  If your young children get fidgety and the Cry Room is occupied, you can always bring them into the narthex (lobby) for a few minutes to calm them down.  Then you can return to your pew.  I know people who do this all the time.

Our Daily Mass schedule will return to the Church on Monday, June 15.   Starting that day, we will celebrate the 6:45am, 8:00am, and 12:10pm Mass in our Church, Monday - Friday.  We will also celebrate the Mass Association Mass and pray the Novena in the Church at 7:00pm every Monday.  Our Saturday evening and Sunday Mass schedule will return to the Church the weekend of June 13/14.

Confessions will continue to be heard at the usual times – respecting social distancing until further notice.  Please follow the directions of the priest.

Please see the Parish Website for more information, and to read our Bishop’s beautiful and informative letter about the restoration of public Masses in our diocese.  Feel free to call our parish office not only to reserve a space at Holy Mass, but with any questions you may have.  We will be happy to help you as best as we can.

I know we can do this if we all do our best and work together.  The willingness and ability of the good people of this parish to work together on any number of projects has impressed me since the day I arrived in this wonderful parish.  Indeed, it is one of our greatest blessings – one I am happy to know I can count on at this time!

Fr. John J. Barbella


Queridos miembros de nuestra parroquia,Quizá hayan escuchado que finalmente podremos empezar nuevamente a ir de Vuelta a

nuestras Iglesias. Ciertamente que ha sido duro para todos el no poder participar en Misa, y hemos estado esperando con ansias que este dia llegue. Recordemos sin embargo que aún hay que ser muy precavidos cuando vengamos. ¡El don de Sabiduría que nos dá el Espíritu Santo nos será de mucha utilidad!
He aquí una pequeña lista mostrando de lo que vá a pasar en nuestra Iglesia, cosa que estemos preparados cuando vengamos a la misma:

Quienes estén o se sientan enfermos, y aquellos propensos a enfermarse debido a su avanzada edad u otras razones médicas, no debieran todavía asistir a Misa. Continúen en sus casas siguiendo las recomendaciones del Ministerio de Salúd Pública

El Ministerio de Salud exige que en nuestra Iglesia, como máximo, se admita a 200 personas. Para cumplir con este requerimiento del gobierno, haremos todo lo que sea necesario para asegurarnos que no entren a la Iglesia más personas de las permitidas. Por esta razón solicitamos que quienes piensen asistir a Misa llamen a nuestra oficina para hacer reservaciones. (908) 454-0112, extension-3. Esta llamada debe hacerse a más tardar el Viernes previo al Domingo cuando usted quiere asistir. NO SE ADMITIRÁ a quienes ho hayan hecho reservaciones, a menos que hayan espacios disponibles el dia mismo de la Misa. Pedimos mil disculpas por este incoveniente, y haremos lo posible por eliminarlo tan pronto sea posible.

Para quienes vengan a Misa, rogamos encarecidamente lavarse profusamente sus manos al salir de casa, y además desinfectarlas nuevamente al momento de llegar a la Iglesia. Recomendamos que tengan a la mano su marca preferida de desinfectante de manos, aún cuando tendremos disponibles estaciones portátiles dentro de la Iglesia.

Por orden del gobierno, y por consideración a vuestros hermanos feligreses, TODOS quienes vengan a Misa deberán ponerse máscaras que cubran completamente la nariz y la boca, y solo se la podrán quitar al momento de recibir la Sagrada Eucaristía. Solamente niños pequeños están exemptos de este requerimiento, y nuestro Obispo nos ha informado que la decisión es de los papás de las criaturas si sus hijitos se ponen máscaras o nó.

Encarecidamente pedimos que por ahora se reciba la Comunión en la mano, y nó en la boca, hasta cuando el riesgo de contraer el virus haya disminuido; sin embargo, respetaremos el derecho a recibir la Sagrada Hostia en la boca para quienes así lo deséen.
Para tranquilidad de todos, habrá una cola especial solo para aquellos que vayan a recibir la Comunión en la boca, y de antemano rogamos tener paciencia en esa cola pues el Ministro Eucarístico tendrá que desinfectarse las manos luego de cada persona a la cual el entrega la Sagrada Hostia.

En la cola para recibir la Comunión, hay que mantener una distancia de 2 metros (6 pies) entre la persona frente a usted y la persona detrás de usted. Una familia puede caminar junta sin necesidad que sus miembros se distancien entre sí.

La Misa termina apenas usted haya recibido la Eucaristía, no hay que regresar a las bancas. Tan pronto comulgue por favor salga de la Iglesia. No se recomienda por ahora el encontrase a conversar a la salida del templo.

Los dos cuartitos a la entrada de la Iglesia serán desinfectados antes de cada Misa, y recomendamos encarecidamente que no haya más de una familia en cada uno de ellos. Sería preferible por ahora, el sentarse en las bancas en la Iglesia.Empezando el Sábado

13 de Junio, regresaremos a nuestro horario habitual de Misa de los Sábados y Domingos; y empezando el Lunes 15 de Junio, habrán Misas diarias (de Lunes a Viernes) a las 6:45 y 8 am, así como también una Misa adicional a las 12:10pm.
Confesiones se escucharán en su horario regular.

Le recomendamos leer la carta abierta escrita por nuestro Obispo con relación a la restauración de Misas en nuestra parroquia. Favor ir a:

Llame con confianza durante horas de trabajo a nuestra oficina parroquial para hacer su reservación para venir a Misa y con cualquier otra pregunta que tuviese. Estamos para servirle.
Trabajando juntos continuaremos sacando adelante a esta parroquia nuestra. Estoy firmemente convencido que con vuestra ayuda todo seguirá saliendo bien como hasta ahora.

Con mucha fe,
Padre John Barbella.