Letter from Fr. Tom regarding Global Pandemic

Dear Members of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church,

    Please be assured that you and your loved ones are not only in my prayers, you are also in the prayers and concerns of our Bishop, who has asked us Pastors to assure you that we are doing all we can to keep everyone as safe as possible. While no one knows what the future holds, and as our Bishop said, we did not even imagine what disciplines and sacrifices this Lent would demand of us – we still look forward to a joy-filled Easter.

    The last publicly celebrated Mass was held Tuesday, March 17, Saint Patrick’s Day, at 9 AM until AT LEAST the Saturday Vigil Mass for Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, April 4. Funerals will be celebrated as needed. Friday Stations of the Cross and the Simple Soup Supper are cancelled. Please watch the Mass on TV, on the diocesan website [below] or at least spend some time in prayer on Sunday.

    The Sacrament of Reconciliation [Penance or Confession]. No Penance Services may be conducted until after Easter; Confessions WILL be heard IN THE CHAPEL, NOT IN THE SMALL RECONCILIATION ROOM, at the usual time of Saturday at 4:00 PM; please be a brief as possible.

    Eucharistic Adoration. During the regular WEEKEND Mass times: 4 PM – 6 PM Saturday and 8:00 AM – 12:30 PM Sundays – the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed on the Altar for private Prayer – IF ENOUGH EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS AND OTHERS ‘sign up’ so the Blessed Sacrament is not left unattended. [During most of these times, Confessions MAY be heard when a Priest is available; again, please be as brief as possible.]

    The Church is USUALLY open 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday – Thursday and 8:00 AM – 12:00 noon on Friday. Please keep a safe distance from each other during visits to the church as you pray before the Blessed Sacrament, Walk the Stations, etc.

    We will communicate any updates via our website [easeton.net], our bulletin and via blast emails. If you did not receive our blast email this week when these restrictions went into effect, we likely do not have your current email address. Please contact the Parish Office to have your email information updated.

    For those who have children in Sacrament Prep: ALL CHILD-BASED EVENTS [Classes, CLOW & Sacrament Prep sessions] are cancelled.

As of now, the dates and times for First Holy Communions and Confirmation remain unchanged, and the remaining preparation work for these special Sacraments will be completed by you – with the help of the Parish staff. We are looking into other ways to fulfill the Confirmation Retreat requirement, even on an individual basis, and will be in contact with you. ‘We Celebrate’ First Eucharist Book should be completed at home and dropped off at the Parish so it can be ‘graded;’ it will be returned to you on FHC day.

Our Bishop’s comforting words, may be found find – with updates – on the diocesan website: diometuchen.org/coronavirus; and on our diocesan social media pages: @diocesemetuchen.

In His holy Name,

Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KCHS