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May 9, 2021: Sixth Sunday of Easter
I want to take a moment to wish all of the Mothers of our Parish a very Happy Mother’s Day! We especially pray for mothers today both living and deceased, thanking God for them and for all the blessings they have been for us. Hopefully it is a beautiful Mother’s Day for all and how appropriate that we celebrate Mother’s Day during May. This is the month of Mary, Our Blessed Mother, as she is both the model for all mothers, but also the model of the faithful Church. We ask for her to pray for us, our Mothers and the whole Church!
I pray that we are all still enjoying this beautiful Easter Season. This is still the season of rebirth and new life. As the trees and flowers continue to bloom, we recognize them as beautiful and living symbols of our new life in Christ as well as the “rebirth” that occurred with Our Lord’s resurrection. We still have a couple of weeks left in this Easter season, so we will continue to celebrate in a special way the resurrection of Our Lord and the promise of eternal life.
Historically the celebration of the Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord occurs 40 days after Easter Sunday. However this year, like last year, we will be celebrating the Ascension on a Sunday, instead of a Thursday. May 16th will be when we celebrate the Solemnity and because of the pandemic and our Archdiocesan directives, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, our Archbishop, along with the Bishops of New Jersey, have determined that celebrating the holy day is best on Sunday.
On a separate note, I want to remind everyone that we are getting closer to the end of our fiscal year. Recall that the Archdiocese is encouraging and rewarding all parishes that not only reach their Annual Appeal goal, but have the pledged money received by June 30th. Those parishes will receive a 2% reduction in our assessments paid to the Archdiocese. As of right now we are at about $69,300 (with $58,900 received) or 84% towards our goal of $82,300. If you have not made a pledge, or if you have not yet sent your pledge money in completely, I kindly ask you to do so in the next few weeks so that we can conclude this year’s Annual Appeal, as well as receive a fairly substantial discount in assessments for next fiscal year.
At the same time, we will use the weekend of June 5/6 to have our Pledge Sunday “catch-up” collection for those who have not yet pledged or completed their giving. It will be an opportunity to make a final push to reach our goal, and more importantly, to contribute to an Appeal that focuses on helping the neediest in Northern New Jersey.
Finally, many of you are probably aware that Governor Murphy has been reducing and eliminating some of the limitations on gatherings, including in churches. While the number of persons we can have in the church building is not limited, we are somewhat restricted by the social distancing of six feet that we must still maintain (and masks must still be worn). For the time being, please be aware of the distance between you and your neighbors while at Mass and, also, please be patient until the restrictions are completely lifted. Thank you!
Asking Mary’s intercession for all of you, especially our Mothers, during the month of May,
Fr. Marc A. Vicari,
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
— John 3:16