We received the following directives from the Diocese of Rockville Centre We share it with you in a great sense of personal anguish, but also in our responsibilities as your parish priests:
As of Sunday, March 22, no further liturgies will be permitted until further notice. This includes funerals, weddings, baptisms, and any other cause for gathering people together in the Church, other than private prayer. Emergency sacraments are permitted, as always, but while exercising the proper health precautions. Wake services should no longer be conducted. Wakes and funeral (memorial) Masses can be postponed.
We have been posting daily and weekend Masses on our website, www.stjosephchurchgc.org.
We will fulfill all Mass intention obligations by offering private Masses. Unfortunately, these Masses cannot be open to family or public, as per Diocesan health directives. St. Joseph Church will remain open for private prayer. Parishioners should use the handicapped door on Fifth Street.
Anointing of the Sick and Last Rites may continue in urgent cases. If a person is designated as “quarantined or at risk”, even at home, we cannot put the health of our ministers or the health of others at risk by visiting. The priests are available to offer pastoral counselling over the phone in needed.
Reconciliation Monday of Holy Week, April 6, 2020, is cancelled. Confessions can be conducted when urgently needed and when requested on a case-by-case basis.
The Catholic Faith Network (CFN) will provide televised and online daily Masses, including Holy Week and Easter Liturgies, as well as other devotional and spiritual programs. (Optimum channel 29/137, Verizon FiOS TV channel 296, and Spectrum channel 162/471.) CFN is also available on selected cable and satellite systems and through 24/7 live stream at CFNtv.org. Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android, or by downloading the CFN iOS mobile app at the app store by searching “Catholic Faith Network” or “CFN”.
Currently, St. Joseph School is closed through April 20, 2020, following the measures taken by Nassau and Suffolk public schools. The Diocese will continue to monitor the situation and will adapt and update as needed. St. Joseph Religious Education Program will remain suspended until Tuesday, April 14, 2020. Again, the Diocese will continue to monitor the situation and will adapt and update as needed.
Rectory Office will be closed during these weeks. Parish business should be conducted on-line (www.stjosephchurchgc.org) or by phone (516-747-3535.)
These are painfully challenging and unsettling times that call us to unite ourselves to the Lord, our Most Blessed Mother, and St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church and of our parish. Be assured of our prayers for all our parishioners and your loved ones.
“O Christ Jesus,
When all is darkness
And we feel our weakness and helplessness,
Give us the sense of Your Presence,
Your Love and Your Strength.
Help us to have perfect trust
In Your protecting love
and strengthening power,
So that nothing may frighten or worry us,
For, living close to You,
We shall see Your Hand,
Your Purpose, Your Will through all things.”
- St. Ignatius of Loyola
Faithfully yours in Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd and Eternal High Priest,
Fr. Prasanna, Fr. Shibi, Msgr. Swiader