Official publication of The Diocese of Trenton
Vol. 1 • No. 7 • APRIL 2020
FAITH in the time of
In the face of a deadly pandemic that has disrupted their lives and kept them from their churches, the Catholic faithful are responding with prayer, compassion and solidarity. A SPECIAL EDITION on the Church and the coronavirus
OUR PARISHES AREN’T EXPECTING A BAIL-OUT. IT’S UP TO US TO PASS THE BASKET. The unavoidable cancellation of public Masses and other church services necessitated by COVID-19 restrictions have severely set back our parishes who need the weekly offertory to cover their expenses and fund their ministries. Diocesan work on behalf of the faithful in Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean Counties has also been impacted. In an effort to provide for the needs of the diocesan family, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., has taken the unprecedented step of authorizing the
COVID-19 Emergency Fund If you are able, please remember your family in faith by making a safe and convenient online offering to the Diocese’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
Go to dioceseoftrenton.org/covid-19-emergency-fund and direct your support to one or both of the following: PARISH OFFERTORY CONTINUITY Without emergency assistance, our parishes face an uncertain future. The parish you designate will receive 100 percent of each offertory gift; no administrative fees are collected. DIOCESAN OPERATIONS AND MINISTRY NEEDS In this time of emergency, the needs are expanding, while the financial resources available to the Diocese have decreased. Help us continue to help you and your parish.
We are all that we have. Please support the COVID-19 Emergency Fund as your situation allows. Thank you for your consideration. 2 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE April 2020
From The Associate Publisher
A word to our readers . . .
n light of the coronavirus pandemic, and the many ways it is impacting life as we all have known it, the standard content that would have been published in this April issue of The Monitor Magazine is being set aside. Instead, we have dedicated nearly all of this issue to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on our faith lives as we head into the most holy season of the Christian year. Please note that this SPECIAL EDITION has been produced by our editorial and graphics staff and freelance partners, all of whom have been working from home since March 16, when much of the Chancery building was shut down. Coordinating a publishing project like this is not easy when we are not together in the same office, and I would like to thank our team for their sense of professionalism and mission. We are also deeply grateful to the Diocese’s Computer Services Department for making sure we were all functional at home. We also thank the many good people of the Diocese who contacted us or responded to us with information and resources that helped us in our reporting. The understanding and accommodation that was shown to us by Evergreen Printing during these challenging days must also be mentioned. We are facing a very worrisome threat, but this is by no means a grim or mournful collection of stories. It has been our aim to inform you and give you practical resources, but also to lift you up, as you read about all the good things that are being done to stay close to God, to minister to others and to help those in need. The print edition of this magazine is being sent to all subscribers, but because of its special content, we are sending this digitally to all registered members of the Diocese for whom we have an email. If you are a new reader, we welcome you and invite you to find out more about this magazine. To all our readers, please know that our regular reporting – especially now as Holy Week and Easter have arrived – continues on our news site: TrentonMonitor.com. We are committed to bringing you these stories in real time and invite you to come back every day to see what has been updated or added. Stay safe and well, and let’s keep in touch! May God bless us all. Rayanne Bennett
April 2020 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE 3
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ON THE COVER This statue depicting a solemn and prayerful Blessed Virgin Mary stands on the grounds of St. Catharine Church, Spring Lake. As Pope Francis entrusts the world threatened by COVID-19 to the Blessed Mother, the Diocese of Trenton’s faithful cope with a new, but temporary, reality. Special coverage begins on page 8. Craig Pittelli photo
Contents 6-7 From the Bishop Easter faith changes lives forever, Bishop O’Connell says in message to Diocese’s faithful
22 ‘Pass the Basket’ COVID-19 Emergency Fund launched to support needs of parishes, Diocese in absence of offertory collections
28-31 El Anzuelo Celebrando la Pascua en estos tiempos; La evangelización digital; la preparación matrimonial
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Break up the monotony of the indoors by getting outside or spending quality time together as a family
40-41 Remote Pastoring Fulfilling duty to preach, parish priests make use of technology to reach their flocks
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April 2020 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE 5
From the Bishop
‘And they remembered his words’ A Message from
BISHOP DAVID M. O’CONNELL, C.M.
t often takes a moment or two for things to sink in. When we find ourselves in situations we did not expect, our minds rarely grasp what has happened right away. That first Easter Sunday morning at the tomb was just such an occasion. All four Gospel accounts describe the women coming to the tomb but finding it empty. They arrived to mourn and to anoint Jesus’ body, but it was not there. We can be sure a thousand thoughts raced through their confused and frightened minds in an instant as they peered into the burial space to see the funeral cloths lying there but no body. “They have taken the Lord from the tomb and we do not know where they put him (John 20: 2).” They had to be reminded by an angel or two of what Jesus himself had foretold before his death The truth and on Good Friday. “And they the power of his remembered his words (Luke word strengthens, 24: 8).” Each year at this time, as spring makes its presence sustains and felt in new life all around us, supports our faith we “remember his words.” In in every situation fact, for over two thousand years, the story of Jesus’ and circumstance Death and Resurrection has been remembered and of our lives ... retold, sung and proclaimed every day in every language by Christian believers everywhere. “He is not here. He has been raised up just as he said (Matthew 28: 6).” And we “remember his words.” Words are powerful. Once uttered or written or read, some words are never forgotten. It is not simply the author or the speaker who gives words the power to endure, although in Jesus’ case, no greater or more powerful source
6 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE April 2020
could be identified. It is, in the end, the power of truth that prevails, a power beyond any attempt on our part to give it expression in words. The truth of Jesus’ rising from the dead – indeed, the power of his Resurrection – is far greater and far more convincing than any words that we could speak about it. And, yet, something within us moves us at Easter to “remember his words” and to want to shout from them from the mountaintops: Jesus Christ is risen! “Christ, once raised from the dead, shall never die again; death has no more power over him. His death was death to sin, once for all and his life is life for God (Romans 6: 9-10)!” Jesus Christ, the Word made Flesh, risen from the dead, speaks his word to us once more this Easter: a word of triumph, a word of victory, a word of life. “And we remember his words.” His words have a particular poignance this Easter as we deal with COVID-19 and all the stress and turmoil this pandemic has introduced into our lives. This Lent and Holy
Faithful called to enter into
spiritual communion BY JENNIFER MAURO ď‚Ą Managing Editor
Week and Easter have been unlike any that we have experienced before. And yet the faith that the coronavirus demands of us is no different than the faith that the Lord Jesus asks of us in any difficult â€“ no, every â€“ situation. And it will bear fruit, of that I am sure! The truth and the power of his word strengthens, sustains and supports our faith in every situation and circumstance of our lives, shattering the darkness of death and giving rise to the bright promise of eternal life. That promise is offered to us. That offer is simply an invitation to believe. And that belief, that Easter faith changes our lives forever. â€œWhy do you seek the Living One among the dead? He is not here. He has been raised up just as he said. Remember what he told you (Luke 24: 5-6).â€? The stone has been rolled back. The tomb is empty. He has gone ahead of you. Follow him as you â€œremember his words.â€? Happy Easter!
hough public Holy Week and Easter celebrations look different this year in the Diocese of Trenton â€“ and across the world â€“ the faithful are being urged to remember â€œthat the underlying mysteries of our faith in the Lordâ€™s Passion, Death and Resurrection have not changed.â€? â€œThey continue to be the source and support of our faith, and we should celebrate them this year, even though in a different way,â€? Bishop David M. Oâ€™Connell, C.M., wrote in a pastoral letter to his flock. He encouraged all to follow Masses and liturgical celebrations online or on television and to pick up their Bibles or follow liturgical Readings in missals or on the internet. And of course to pray, through devotions such as the Rosary, Stations of the Cross or other traditional prayers.Â â€œMake a spiritual communion at home or wherever you may be,â€? Bishop Oâ€™Connell said. â€œThe great saints in our Churchâ€™s history followed that practice.Â Keep your faith and prayer life alive until things in our public practice of the faith is restored.â€? That message was also conveyed by priests across the Diocese, as they reminded their parishioners that they are being remembered in prayer â€“ and urged their flocks to continue to pray for others, too. â€œOur Bishop has asked that we make a spiritual communion often until we can once again worship as a community of faith,â€? Father Edward Blanchett, pastor in Visitation Parish, Brick, preached in his homily on the Fourth Sunday of Lent. â€œSo together â€Ś just as we heard about the man born blind, we might have an opportunity to have our spiritual eyes opened, maybe for the first time in our lives.â€? â€œA spiritual communion that is worthily made can actually open us up to more graces and bring us closer to Jesus and his father than a physical communion that is received casually,â€? he added.Â Msgr. Kenard Tuzeneu, pastor in St. Mary Parish, Barnegat, reminded his parishioners that when he celebrates his private Mass each day, â€œI am praying for you.â€? â€œWhen I elevate the host, I turn 360 degrees, asking God to bless and protect all those in the parish and beyond,â€? he said. â€œSo really, itâ€™s a sense of being with and praying for everybody.â€? Bishop Oâ€™Connell issued a call to prayer, saying an act of spiritual communion is proposed in this temporary time of being unable to receive the Eucharist: â€œMy Jesus,Â I believe that You areÂ present in the Most Holy Sacrament.Â I love You above all things,Â and I desire to receive You into my soul.Â â€œSince I cannot at this momentÂ receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.â€? RELATED ARTICLE: Longing for Eucharist can bring us closer to Christ, page 19
April 2020â€ƒ ď‚Ąâ€ƒ THE MONITOR MAGAZINEâ€ƒâ€ƒâ€ƒ7
BISHOP’S DECREE Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., issued the following decree March 20 in regard to Holy Week liturgies and other spiritual activities amid coronavirus restrictions currently in place.
In time of
COVID-19 THE DECREE
s Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, I promulgate the following decree regarding the liturgies of Palm Sunday and Holy Week throughout the territoria≠l Diocese of Trenton to assist the clergy and the faithful in the spiritual celebration of the Paschal Mysteries. **All Masses and Liturgies through Holy Week will be celebrated without a congregation, accessible via live-stream only. The faithful are encouraged to participate reverently as families from their homes. Holy Communion will only be available as Viaticum for those in danger of death.
PALM SUNDAY No public gatherings (inside or outside Churches, in cars, etc.). The Mass for Palm Sunday will be celebrated by the Bishop without a congregation and broadcast via live-stream internet on the Diocesan websites at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 5, 2020. Palms will not be blessed and distributed in any churches of the Diocese because of the risk of contagion. Palms will be blessed and made available at a later time yet to be determined. The Mass for Palm Sunday may be celebrated without a congregation by the pastor/parish priest in parish churches with live-stream capability; pastors should notify the parishioners of the time for the live-stream; pastors should also notify the Diocesan Office of Communications so that a Diocesan calendar/ schedule of events might be posted for access by the faithful. CHRISM MASS The Chrism Mass will be postponed and re-scheduled for another date/time with the renewal of priestly commitment and the blessing/consecration of oils occurring at that time. 8 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE April 2020
Oils/chrism from the current supplies (currently in use) may continue to be used until a new supply is blessed/consecrated and made available. If the parish is running low on oils/chrism, contact Fr. Michael Hall, Director of Worship, email@example.com. PASCHAL TRIDUUM: the following liturgical directives are to be observed in accordance with the “Decree in Time of COVID-19” issued on March 19, 2020 by the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments by mandate of the Supreme Pontiff for the year 2020 only. The Paschal Triduum cannot be transferred to another time. HOLY THURSDAY No public gatherings (inside or outside Churches, in cars, etc.). Televised or live-stream broadcasts should be live (not recorded). The Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be celebrated by the Bishop without a congregation and broadcast via the livestream internet on the Diocesan websites at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, 2020. The Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper may be celebrated without a congregation by the pastor/parish priest in parish churches with live-stream capability; pastors should notify the parishioners of the time for the live-stream; pastors should also notify the Diocesan Office of Communications so that a Diocesan calendar/schedule of events might be posted for access by the faithful of the Diocese. During the Evening Mass for the Lord’s Supper: T The Washing of the Feet, which is already optional, is to be omitted; T The usual procession with the Blessed Sacrament to a place of repose is to be omitted and the Blessed Sacrament
Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., washes the foot of a parishioner on Holy Thursday 2019 in St. David the King Church, Princeton Junction. John Blaine photo
UPDATED RESTRICTIONS ISSUED MARCH 26 At the present time and until further notice, the following restrictions are in place: No public weddings may be celebrated in church. Public baptisms in churches will be postponed. In emergencies, parishes should be contacted for instruction. Parishes will follow state guidelines for burials. Bereaved families should contact funeral homes for this information. If permitted, a single clergyman may perform Catholic burial rites. No public funeral Masses are to be celebrated in church but a Memorial Mass can be celebrated on a later date.
should be kept in the tabernacle, as usual. Priests who are unable to celebrate Mass should instead pray Vespers of the day from the Liturgy of Hours instead. GOOD FRIDAY No public gatherings (inside or outside Churches, in cars, etc.). The Commemoration/Celebration of the Lord’s Passion will be celebrated by the Bishop without a congregation and broadcast via the live-stream internet on the Diocesan websites at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 10, 2020. The Commemoration/Celebration of the Lord’s Passion may be celebrated without a congregation by the pastor/parish priest in parish churches with live-stream capability; pastors should notify the parishioners of the time for the live-stream; pastors should also notify the Diocesan Office of Communications so that a Diocesan calendar/schedule of events might be posted for access by the faithful of the Diocese. A special commemoration in the General Intercessions for the sick, the dead and for those who feel lost or dismayed will be developed by the Office of Worship and sent to the parishes for mandated use. Priests who are unable to celebrate this liturgy should instead pray Vespers of the day from the Liturgy of Hours instead. HOLY SATURDAY No public gatherings (inside or outside Churches, in cars, etc.). The Easter Vigil will be celebrated by the Bishop without a congregation and broadcast via the live-stream internet on the Diocesan websites at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 11, 2020. The Easter Vigil may be celebrated without a congregation by the pastor/parish priest in parish churches with live-stream capability; pastors should notify the parishioners of the time for the live-stream; pastors should also notify the Diocesan Office
of Communications so that a Diocesan calendar/schedule of events might be posted for access by the faithful of the Diocese. During the Easter Vigil: T The preparation and lighting of the fire is omitted T The paschal candle is lit without procession followed by the recited Easter Proclamation T The Liturgy of the Word takes place T The Baptismal Liturgy is only the renewal of Baptismal Promises; a symbolic (small) amount of Holy Water may be blessed but holy water fonts should remain T The Rite of Christian Initiation and/or Reception into Full Communion will be postponed and re-scheduled once restrictions are lifted Priests who are unable to celebrate the Easter Vigil should instead pray Vespers/Matins/Lauds of the day from the Liturgy of Hours instead. EASTER SUNDAY No public gatherings (inside or outside Churches, in cars, etc.). Mass for Easter Sunday may be celebrated without a congregation by the pastor/parish priest in parish churches with live-stream capability; pastors should notify the parishioners of the time for the live-steam; pastors should also notify the Diocesan Office of Communications so that a Diocesan calendar/ schedule of events might be posted for access by the faithful of the Diocese. Priests are otherwise asked to celebrate Easter Sunday without a congregation. Given by mandate of the Bishop, Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M., J.C.D., March 20, 2020, for the Diocese of Trenton.
As a postscript to the decree, Bishop O’Connell explained that no general absolution is to be given at this time and spoke about Plenary Indulgences. For the full message, visit the online version of this article at TrentonMonitor. com>Bishop’s Corner. April 2020 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE 9
Bishop David M. Oâ€™Connell, C.M., offered words of encouragement to the faithful through secular radio interviews and diocesan media, seen here. Photo courtesy of the diocesan Department of Multimedia Production
Bishop Oâ€™Connell a steady public presence during pandemic BY MARY STADNYK ď Ž Associate Editor
xtending his outreach through both diocesan and secular media outlets, Bishop David M. Oâ€™Connell, C.M., let readers and listeners know his thoughts and prayers are ever with them, â€œin this time of confusion, uncertainty and anxiety caused by the coronavirus.â€? Along with taking to diocesan media to regularly provide updated messages of concern, information on new procedures in parishes and schools, and writing an extensive decree on how the Diocese will observe Holy Week liturgies, the Bishop was also a guest on radio programs, including NJ 101.5 FM and Ocean Countyâ€™s 92.7 WOBM. During his March 19 conversation on WOBM, Bishop Oâ€™Connell stressed the importance of safety during the pandemic. Addressing the Dioceseâ€™s need to cancel Masses, he said, â€œWhat weâ€™re being told is that the largest danger is crowds, and so I had to respond quickly. Itâ€™s not something that I desire, but itâ€™s something that is necessary. Itâ€™s a huge sacrifice, but one that we have to make for the health and well-being of the people for the common good.â€? The Bishop noted that Masses were
being broadcast on social media and TV and that there is â€œa lot of religious programming thatâ€™s very good to watch as well. People have their own Bibles to read the Scripture, pray the Rosary and other personal prayers. There are many things that people can do to nurture their spiritual life.â€? He continued, â€œThere is hope for a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel â€“ we just donâ€™t know right now when and
ď‚ˆ â€œThere is hope for a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel.â€?Â ď‚‰ where itâ€™ll be, which can bring on a number of emotions for people and their faith. â€œFaith is confident assurance of what we hope for and a conviction about things we do not see,â€? he said, referencing Scriptureâ€™s Letter to the Hebrews. â€œOur faith has to remain strong,â€? he said. â€œDonâ€™t lose faith, donâ€™t lose heart, and keep calm.â€? Bishop Oâ€™Connell appeared on two radio broadcasts with NJ 101.5 FM, speaking about the suspension of Masses and the financial toll the parishes are experiencing due to the lack of weekly offertories.
10â€ƒâ€ƒâ€ƒTHE MONITOR MAGAZINEâ€ƒ ď‚Ąâ€ƒApril 2020â€ƒ
â€œWe are an organization ... that is supported by the generosity of the faithful. When the faithful donâ€™t gather, they donâ€™t have the same opportunities to contribute,â€? Bishop Oâ€™Connell. â€œAnd thatâ€™s going to have â€Ś a serious effect on us.â€? The Bishop later went on to establish a COVID-19 Emergency Fund to help parishes and the Diocese meet the spiritual needs of the faithful. In a video message, pastoral letter and podcast message posted on diocesan media in the past weeks, Bishop Oâ€™Connell continued to stress similar themes, especially the importance of having faith and patience because â€œwhen they come together, they bring about charity. â€Ś When we show charity toward others, our own worries diminish. Â Thatâ€™s what love does.â€? Acknowledging the sacrifices and crosses â€œthat bear down on us now,â€? he said, â€œWe must pick up that cross and carry it, if only for a short while. â€Ś We will rise from this adversity.â€? To read the Bishopâ€™s pastoral letter, and listen to his podcast and video messages, visit TrentonMonitor.com>Bishopâ€™s Corner RELATED ARTICLE: See how pastors are keeping in touch with their flocks, pages 40-41
Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., was a guest on Domestic Church Media with hosts Jim and Cheryl Manfredonia. To listen to a replay of the Bishop’s radio interview, visit domesticchurchmedia.org.
‘The New Now’
Bishop encourages faithful to remember current circumstances are not permanent BY MARY STADNYK Associate Editor
ishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., has some advice for those feeling anxiety during these turbulent
times. “The first thing I would say to everyone is to try your best and remain calm, be calm in this time of upheaval,” Bishop O’Connell said. “I think when we have that faith in God and [know] that he has not abandoned us – nor have we abandoned him – we can see through this. I often say to the people, ‘The Lord’s got our back, and he certainly does.’” The Bishop’s guidance came amid a number of secular and faith-based public interviews he has given over the past weeks, the latest of which was March 23 on Domestic Church Media’s radio segment “Come to Me,” with hosts Jim and Cheryl Manfredonia. During the hour-long segment, the Bishop offered spiritual insight on the COVID-19 situation and its impact on the Diocese, its faithful, parishes and schools. He also reviewed the decree he issued March 20 pertaining to the celebrations of Holy Week and Easter and discussed how faithful can participate in the liturgies via livestream and video. In addition, he fielded questions from
listeners. Acknowledging the range of emotions people are feeling, he said, “I think adversity, stress and anxiety, when it’s shared by everyone, does have the effect of bringing people together.” The Bishop went on to note the eeriness of the situation and how it reminded him of “the feelings I had and what was in the air” after the 9-11 terrorist attacks, during which time he was president of The Catholic University of America, Washington. It also reminded him of when he traveled with N.J. State Police around the Diocese in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
“All indications say that [the pandemic] is temporary, although it might be awhile.” “So much with this pandemic is unknown,” he said. “You hear so much in the media ... and honestly, sometimes, you don’t know what’s true, what to believe, so you have to presume that our public officials, especially our public health officials, are giving us good advice. So far, I think that’s true; they certainly have.” During the segment, the Manfredo-
nias spoke on how some are questioning if the pandemic is a sign that the world is coming to an end or whether it is a punishment from God. Said Bishop O’Connell, “I think extremes are always to be avoided … I think at times like these, people are having a sense of their own mortality, that they are not going to have life forever on this earth, certainly life as we know it. I think it’s a wake-up call for all of us.” Bishop O’Connell also spoke of how he finds it bothersome to hear the “new normal” way of life reference that reflects how society has been impacted by the pandemic. “It’s the ‘new normal’ if you add the word temporary,” he said, but really, “It’s not the new normal. To me, it’s just the new now, and that’s just the way I would look at it. All indications say that [the pandemic] is temporary, although it might be awhile before we can back to our normal way of life.” The Bishop also reminded listeners that faith and patience are good partners “because when they work together, they are going to reach into love and charity, and that is really the commandment of the Lord – ‘Love one another.’”
For the full version of this article, visit TrentonMonitor. com>News>Diocese
April 2020 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE 11
of social distancing far-reaching BY LOIS ROGERS Correspondent
hat can we do to minimize the effects of social isolation when that seems to be the best hope of keeping people safe from COVID-19? That question is foremost in the hearts and minds of those throughout the four counties of the Diocese who strive daily to insure the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of its vast and diverse population. “Pick up the phone,” Danica Rivello urges those who want to help. Rivello, director of outpatient services for Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton’s Early Intervention Support Services, said the key is to remain in contact with those who are struggling, which will help regulate their emotions. “Help them focus on maintaining a schedule, which assists in managing depression brought on by isolation.” “You need to stay in touch,” she said. “Encourage loved ones and friends who are already anxious and depressed by social distancing to take time out from media and social media because constant exposure will increase anxiety.”
“Take time out from media and social media.” “It’s like dominoes,” Rivello continued. “We want individuals to not catastrophize, but to focus on what they can do, what they can control, and accept what they can’t change.” STICKING TO ROUTINES Putting the emphasis on what can be controlled during an epidemic is something Dr. Valerie G. McLaughlin gained expertise in during the Ebola scare in 2013. Dr. McLaughlin, chair and medical
NEED OR WANT TO OFFER EMOTIONAL HELP? With a background as a clinical psychologist and the author of two books, “Healing Wounded Emotions” and “Healing Wounded Relationships,” Divine Word Father Martin Padovani welcomes anyone in need of counseling to call him at (609) 298-0549, ext. 4. In case of emergency, (609) 298-8457. To volunteer to help the diocesan Jail and Prison Ministry, email Peter Haas at firstname.lastname@example.org. C atholic Charities Early Intervention Support Services (EISS): 609-256-4200. The office is located at 1225/1255 Whitehorse Mercerville Road, Hamilton. director of emergency medicine in Trenton’s St. Francis Medical Center, recalls a lot of training on using screening equipment at that time. “The difference now is that the infection is much more pervasive, so it is much more challenging to do the screening. A lot of planning, preparing and organizing is going on [in St. Francis],” she said. The most important thing the community at-large can contribute to the effort is focusing on their own well-being and that of their loved ones. “Go on doing as many normal routines as you can,” Dr. McLaughlin said. “Healthy eating, exercising, drinking water, staying connected to family and friends all are musts. “If it can’t be done in person, do it with phone and video chats,” she advised. “Do the best you can with communication.” WORKS OF MERCY For Peter Haas, diocesan coordinator
12 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE April 2020
For those struggling with depression, anxiety or loneliness, the current rules to self-isolate can be especially difficult. Rawpixel.com photo
of jail and prison ministry, and Father Thomas Barry, prison chaplain, just getting the word out about spiritual support for the incarcerated has been a concerted effort. Jails and prisons are currently closed to visitors to reduce the spread of the virus. “I’ve asked all of our  volunteers to pray for the incarcerated,” said Haas, who encourages faithful throughout the Diocese to remember prisoners, corrections officers and staff in prayer. To their prison contacts, Haas and his team have sent a coronavirus Novena from the Knights of Columbus and a pamphlet on how to say the Rosary. They also sent an invitation to pray the Rosary with Pope Francis during his worldwide recitation March 19. “Everything we sent [to the prisons] was well-received,” Haas said. Father Barry said stay-at-home orders may lead to empathy for those who are incarcerated, especially with the whole world being told “now you can’t go here, now you can’t do this, now there’s a curfew.” “This might help us to understand what prison life is like. It might help us relate to them,” said Father Barry, parochial Continued on 47
a good time to get close to Lord, retreat leaders say
The Rosary is one of many ways to engage in prayer life. For a free digital download of Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., praying the Luminous Mysteries with students of St. Paul School, Princeton, visit https://soundcloud.com/diocese-of-trenton/bishop-david-m-oconnell-cm-the-luminous-mysteries.
BY CHRISTINA LESLIE Correspondent
hough everyone across the globe has been instructed to keep a healthy distance away from one another during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is one who can still be kept very close at hand. “Stay connected with God. Take a few minutes, maybe several times a day, to sit quietly before God, simply loving and trusting him with your life,” said Sister of St. Joseph Marcy Springer, director of Francis House of Prayer, Allentown.
“Keep your prayer simple, [and] God will keep you peaceful.” “We know that Lent is traditionally a desert time. Our current situation invites us into a desert unlike any other we have experienced,” she said. Redemptorist Father John Collins, rector and director of San Alfonso Re-
treat House, Long Branch, agrees. “This may not be the Lent we wanted, but it is the Lent we have been given,” he said. “We have the choice to view what is happening as an invitation, a summons or an opportunity, or as a burden, baggage or punishment. How we view it should be as an opportunity to remember God’s graces.” Recognizing that during the isolation of a quarantine “people can be overwhelmed with fear,” Father Collins said, “It is important to make conscious contact with God through prayer or music, to take care to foster inner peace. You can be of the mindset that this [pandemic] is powerful, but we have the choice as to how to view it.” One powerful point to remember is that “we are all in this together,” he noted,
and advised those suffering to take action and continue to pray. “God promised to be with us in all things,” Father Collins said. “We have all known painful times, but we have found our way through it with the grace of God. Look at this as an invitation to quiet down, to reach out to people, to get more deeply in touch with the state of your heart. There is grace.” Sister Marcy, too, stressed the importance of remembering that God is in all things and can use all things for good. “You are never alone,” she said. “God has a personal and unconditionally loving relationship with you and wants to share your life with you. Let [him] into all the nooks and crannies of your being and trust that God is present.” Prayer need not be adapted to the current circumstances, which may be filled with pandemic-related stress. Instead, let prayer simply flow PRAYER TIPS from the heart, she said. “The best way to pray is the Keep your prayer simple way you pray best,” she advised. Utilize your favorite ways to pray, i.e. jour“Use your favorite ways … Keep naling, reading the Psalms, online Apps your prayer simple, [and] God Set a prayer reminder, like an alarm or will keep you peaceful.” calendar She continued, “Remember that we are in solidarity with Designate a quiet place in your home, or all our brothers and sisters pray while you take a walk around the globe. We are all one Don’t get discouraged. It can be difficult in being human, and we are all to quiet the mind. Start with small time one in this suffering. This crisis allotments and increase as you go. helps us know experientially how one we are. Trust God to bring good out of all this chaos.” April 2020 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE 13
Tomorrow is Here Students, teachers quickly adapt to virtual way of learning BY RICH FISHER Contributing Editor
hough schools may have been forced to close doors at physical locations for the time being, Diocese of Trenton teachers, principals and students are continuing their studies through long-distance learning during the COVID-19 crisis.
â€œCreating community is part of the DNA of Catholic school administrators and teachers,â€? said JoAnn Tier, diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools. â€œOur Catholic school educators are providing wonderful support, compassion and understanding as students work in an alternative classroom setting.â€? Among those alternative settings â€“ school lessons being conveyed through online platforms such as Facebook Live, Smart TVs, Zoom calls and more, similar to their public school counterparts. â€œWith a short window to adjust to an RELATED ARTICLE: See how
schools are keeping their students fed, page 38
extended school closure, teachers have entered the classroom as learners,â€? Tier said. â€œTeachers are sensitive to pacing instruction and providing opportunities for student creativity and differentiation.â€? The diocesan Department of Catholic Schools has been providing as much help as possible, including conference calls, daily emails and online guidelines, some of which focus on assigning work; lists of digital tools; ways to support students with little or no internet access; ways to support students at various grade levels, and helpful articles. Diocesan staff have also shared tools on extranet channels, encouraging teachers to share lesson plans and best practices with their colleagues. Carla Chiarelli, principal in Our Lady of Good Counsel School, Moorestown, feels it has provided a strong template. â€œIt makes sure we are cooperating with parents and providing the amount of time students should be working a day; the Audrey Bruden, a ninth-grader in St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel, completes schoolwork from home. Courtesy photo
14â€ƒâ€ƒâ€ƒTHE MONITOR MAGAZINEâ€ƒ ď‚Ąâ€ƒ April 2020â€ƒ
ways we need to create using online academic websites for instruction and activities,â€? she said. â€œBut most importantly, that we continue a structure that is adaptable for each family without struggle.â€?
ď‚ˆ â€œCreating community is part of the DNA of Catholic school administrators and teachers.â€?Â ď‚‰ ONLINE LEARNING When Chiarelli arrived at OLGC in 2016, she immediately began working on an online virtual learning plan with technology teacher Suzanne Casey. â€œThe students want to see their faces, and the teacher/technology preparation has allowed us the ability to jump start unchartered waters so rapidly,â€? she said. â€œAll credit is given to the staff at OLGC for their focus and determination to make this happen successfully.â€? Danielle Hilgetag and Stephanie Tobin are veteran teachers who teach Pre-K three-year-olds and first grade, respectively. They give their lessons live on Facebook each day and wait for feedback â€“ typed in by parents â€“ in the comment section. For Tobin, the waiting is the hardest part.
Teachers in Our Lady of Good Counsel School, Moorestown, are using video posts and Zoom calls to meet with students during the coronavirus school closures. Courtesy photo
Teachers offer advice on keeping students, parents on schedule FROM STAFF REPORTS
“The challenge for me is the actual interaction,” she said. “If I’m asking them a question as I’m reading a book, I’m not getting that direct response, so there’s some waiting time for their mom and dad to type in the comment section. That’s the biggest challenge; getting used to this new norm, how to communicate with each other.” Tobin was happy to report that she was getting feedback not only verbally, but in the form of photos. For example, she received photos of her students holding drawings of umbrellas in response to her reading lesson on adjectives. For Hilgetag, the challenge is to maintain the pupils’ focus throughout her lesson. “I have to keep it light, fun, interesting, engaging and short because they’re three and their attention span in the classroom doesn’t go very long,” she said. “If I move quickly and keep it funny, keep it happy, say things that interest them and keep the videos 20 to 25 minutes, that seems to be working pretty good.” READY FOR CHANGE In Donovan Catholic High School, Toms River, English teacher Donna Mulvaney is interacting live with her students thanks to Christine Mooney, the school’s director of instructional technology. Foreseeing a shutdown two weeks before it occurred, Mooney moved quickly to set up virtual teaching and then worked tirelessly to provide teachers in-person and online training. This has allowed Mulvaney to
Continued on 46
ith long-distance learning a new reality for families with school-age students, two Catholic school teachers in the Diocese of Trenton give their advice on how to keep students – and parents – on track for a successful school year. Teresa O’Neill is an eighth-grade religion teacher and seventh- and eighthgrade social studies teacher in St. Mary of the Lakes School, Medford. Catherine Sewing is the religion department chairwoman at Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville.
Q: What can parents do to assist their children with schoolwork?
O’Neill: Parents should set a daily schedule so that the children know what to expect. The schedule doesn’t necessarily have to duplicate the school’s schedule but should feel comfortable for the student. This daily schedule will be the students’ new normal, so we need to give them time to adjust and be flexible. Sewing: If there is an online grading platform, check each day on the student’s grades. We have been encouraged by our administration to quickly post work as a way of seeing if students are actually doing what we are assigning. If it does not feel as if the student is doing enough homework, ask him or her to show you how the teachers are posting assignments and check that your child has submitted them. Be patient and compassionate with your child. His or her world has been turned around overnight. Your child misses the social aspect of school as well as the class interaction he or she had with other students or teachers. Give your child and yourself time to adjust. This is new for all of us!
Q: How are teachers making themselves available to parents/students?
O’Neill: We answer parent emails and respond to Google classroom questions from the students throughout the day. Many teachers are also available for questions in the evening as well. If you teach middle and high school, you will find that many times the students are working later in the evening. So, again, flexibility is key. Our school will begin using Zoom video conferencing to conduct live, whole-class meetings. For students who need extra help, we will be using Google Hangouts to meet one-on-one or in small groups. Sewing: At Notre Dame, our administration set up “office hours” for teachers and students each day. A parent can email a teacher at any time.
Q: What advice would you give families that need help staying on
schedule? O’Neill: I would tell them that if their children procrastinate, they may end up frustrated when the assignments pile up. I try to post an assignment allowing a reasonable length of time for completion – plus a little padding. You never know what is going on in a student’s family life, or they may simply be experiencing technical difficulties. Hopefully, being organized and presenting clear instructions will reduce the tendency to procrastinate for both parent and child. Continued on 46
April 2020 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE 15
A mask-wearing patient is wheeled to an ambulance in New York City March 26, 2020, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. CNS photo/Carlo Allegri, Reuters
In midst of death, we must uphold value of every human life
e find ourselves in the strangest of times: a surreal mix of sadness, fear and, at times, desperation. We are worried about the health and well-being of our families and friends; we are anxious over financial uncertainty and pray that God will protect us and carry us through. Reports are issued regularly on the rising statistics of coronavirus infections and deaths from around the world and right here at home. Filling the airways and internet streams are images and videos of people doing battle in our hospitals against this invisible enemy. We learn of nursing homes being decimated by the disease; young, healthy hospital workers getting sick We can live up and dying, and patient fatalities to our calling, doubling overnight in some of the most beleaguered facilities. as Catholics, There is nothing in our lived experience that has prepared to always be a us for this. It seems like we are people of life. living through a sustained war being fought on our homeland, something we have not known in modern times. And as is so often the case in war-torn countries, the value of human life seems to go into freefall. Sadly, there are already far too many signs that this crisis is blunting the world’s appreciation of each person’s immeasurable worth. Each day, politicians and health officials discuss death rates and fatalities as if they did not represent human beings with families who will grieve, careers that will screech to a halt and dreams that will never be realized. It is an assault on the respect for human life when some in leadership seek to base 16 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE April 2020
RAYANNE BENNETT Associate Publisher
critical health policy on the rise and fall of the stock market, the financial troubles of corporations or political ideology. The cruel potency of this disease has stolen our ability to show the victims compassion and respect when it is most needed. Because of the highly infectious nature of COVID-19 and the overwhelming number of patients who have succumbed to it in some places, the dignified care and comfort that are usually provided to the gravely ill and the dying have not been possible. Patients are not surrounded by loved ones as they draw their last breath; the bodies of the deceased in some New York City hospitals are being stored in refrigerated trailers, and burials are dispatched quickly and unceremoniously, without a public funeral Mass. Some of these developments are necessary to keep the public safe. Other examples are unacceptable actions on the part of our leaders and should be called out for what they are – a move away from human dignity, a descent into the culture of death. In all cases, we can hold up the human stories of the sons and daughters, spouses and children, parents and grandparents who have fallen prey to this devastating illness. We can honor those in our parish communities who have died and pray for all those around the world who are suffering. We can live up to our calling, as Catholics, to always be a people of life, proclaiming the value of every person and patient and insisting that their immeasurable value be counted.
Issues & Advocacy
Bishop O’Connell decries mandated ‘destruction of life in the womb’
n efforts to lessen the impact of the coronavirus on the state’s citizens, Gov. Philip D. Murphy issued a shelter-in-place mandate for all New Jersey residents March 21. The governor listed a limited number of exemptions to the mandate, including businesses designated as “essential,” such as banks, grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations. Ministrare Non Ministrari Health care facilities also were allowed to remain open during this mandate, but their personnel were restricted to perform only necessary, non-elective surgeries. Much to the horror of pro-life advocates, and all people of faith, State Executive Order 109 declared abortion as an example of a necessary, non-elective surgery. In response, on March 24, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., issued a statement condemning Executive Order 109. The statement follows:
ABORTION AND COVID-19: A PERMISSIBLE ELECTIVE SURGERY? Crises bring out the best and worst in people and in their decisions. We have seen so much of “the best” in the courageous sacrifice of our health care workers, first responders and other essential personnel who are keeping us supplied with medicine, food and so many other needs. Sadly, however, in the midst of good efforts to address the COVID 19 pandemic, a glaring example of “the worst” judgment was demonstrated in the text of New Jersey Executive Order 109, where abortion was identified as a permissible elective surgery in the New Jersey. The order states:
4. Nothing in this Order shall be construed to limit access to the full range of family planning services and procedures, including terminations of pregnancies, whether in a hospital, ambulatory surgery center, physician office, or other location. At a time when we are doing everything possible in New Jersey to protect people from COVID-19 and to preserve the health, well-being and lives of people who have been exposed to coronavirus, to permit the simultaneous, continued destruction of life in the womb just doesn’t make any sense. It has never made sense even in good, pandemic free times. Why are “the full range of family planning services and procedure including terminations of pregnancies” placed in the protected category of permissible elective services available in our state? The pro-choice lobby and its politics are too hard to resist, I guess, even for some leaders and politicians who identify themselves as “Catholic.” For the Catholic, regardless of occupation or political party, abortion and the Catholic faith are irreconcilable. That has been the clear teaching of the Catholic Church for centuries, and Roe v. Wade (1973) has not altered that teaching, even slightly. Every Catholic knows that, including elected officials. The elective “termination of pregnancies” is a death sentence – the death penalty – for children in the womb, pandemic or not. New Jersey Executive Order 109 is another – and I emphasize, another – of the ongoing efforts in our state at the highest levels to ignore or dismiss the sound moral reasoning that is the foundation of our support for human life, from conception to natural death. In addition to the knowledge that children will be sacrificed in the womb in this time of COVID-19, the fact that Executive Order 109 bears Catholic fingerprints deeply saddens me as Bishop. I would not want that on my conscience when I face the Creator.
‘Gospel of life’ needed now more than ever, Pope says general audience. “Every human being is called by God to enjoy the fullness of life,” he said. And VATICAN CITY • Defending life is because all human beings are “entrusted not an abstract concept but a duty for all to the maternal care of the Church, every Christians, and it means protecting the threat to human dignity and life cannot unborn, the poor, the sick, the unemfail to be felt in her heart, in her maternal ployed and migrants, Pope Francis said. ‘womb. ’ ” Even though humanity is living in “the In his main talk, the Pope reflected age of universal human rights,” it continues on the feast of the Annunciation as well to face “new threats and new slaveries” as as the 25th anniversary of “Evangelium well as legislation that “is not always in Vitae” (“The Gospel of Life”), St. John place to protect the weakest and most vulPaul’s 1995 encyclical on the dignity and nerable human life,” the Pope said March sacredness of all human life. 25 during a live broadcast of his weekly BY CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
The Pope said the Annunciation, in which the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would become the mother of God, and “Evangelium Vitae” share a “close and profound” link, which is relevant now more than ever “in the context of a pandemic that threatens human life and the world economy.” St. John Paul’s encyclical on the dignity of human life, he added, is “timelier than ever” not only in its defense of life but also in its call to pass on “an attitude of solidarity, care and acceptance” to future generations.
April 2020 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE 17
Issues & Advocacy
Social service agencies, ministries feel impact of COVID-19 crisis BY MARY MORRELL
Staff and volunteers with Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton help at Ocean Community Services, Lakewood, to transport food items March 20 for those unable to buy food during the crisis.
“Love is inventive to infinity.”
hese words of St. Vincent de Paul embody a powerful truth about the creative approach that will be needed in the coming weeks as the novel coronavirus crisis rolls over the country, stressed Joan Olden, president of the Diocesan Council of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. The social service ministry serves all four counties of the Diocese through parish conferences. “This is a person-to-person ministry,” said Olden, referring to the practice of teams making home visitations when someone calls for help. Those visits have now been suspended. The St. Vincent de Paul Society is one of many social service ministries and agencies affected by new, and rapidly changing, federal, state and local protocols to deal with the spread of the pandemic known as COVID-19.
“We do expect a greater need for social services.” The impact on these agencies, which serve the most vulnerable populations, is significant. Offering a host of services, such as food pantries, after-school programs, financial assistance for rent and other emergencies, educational programs and nursing care, these agencies are a vital source of support and presence for those who are often isolated and struggling. “In a worst-case scenario, as this crisis continues, we do expect a greater need for social services like ours in our communities,” said Marlene Laó-Collins, executive director of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton. “We are doing short-range and long-range planning to address that anticipated need,” she said, noting that,
Photo courtesy of Amalie Hindash
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at this time, Catholic Charities remains “fully operational at a heightened state of universal precautions.” NEW PROTOCOLS Other Catholic social service agencies in the Diocese have had to close their doors to certain services and postpone others. Tom Mladenetz, executive director of the Mercer County Catholic Youth Organization, shared that all CYO programs are canceled for the time being. “We are re-evaluating our operational decisions on a weekly basis. This situation is changing so rapidly, we need to position ourselves to react appropriately.” The CYO is a full-service childcare, youth development program and social service agency that provides affordable, quality educational and recreational services, pre-school, before and after-school programs and sports programs. Mary Inkrot, executive director of Mount Carmel Guild, Trenton, stressed that the organization is closely following information about the COVID-19 outbreak. Among the Guild’s services
18 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE April 2020
C YO: www.cyomercer.org Catholic Charities DOT: www.catholiccharitiestrenton.org/ways-to-give/ monetary-support or mail checks and gift cards to 383 West State St., Trenton, N.J. 08607-1423 Mount Carmel Guild: mtcarmelguild. org/donate or mail to 73 North Clinton Ave., Trenton, N.J. 08609 Project Paul: www.projpaul.org/ howtohelp or mail to 211 Carr Ave., Keansburg, N.J. 07734 Saint Vincent de Paul Society: www. svdptrenton.org or mail to 19 Sheldon Ave., Brick, N.J. 08723. Write the name of your parish on the memo line. are home health nursing, a community support program and a joint food pantry with CCDOT. Inkrot said staff members are very concerned about the effects that new, but necessary, home health nursing procedures will have on patients who are often already isolated. New procedures in effect cut back on contact between the provider and the client. In many cases, nurses are reaching out to their patients’ doctors’ offices to have prescriptions filled for three months. This will allow the nurses to offer Continued on 25
Holy Week & Easter
‘Real Appreciation’ Longing for Eucharist during Lent, Easter season an invitation to trust BY JENNIFER MAURO Managing Editor
n the midst of isolation when we are suffering … let us once again listen to the proclamation that saves us: He is risen and is living by our side.”
Those words from Pope Francis – delivered worldwide March 27 during his extraordinary blessing, “Urbi et Orbi” – focused not only on hope in the Resurrection, but the Lord’s request for the faithful to embrace his Cross. “Embracing his Cross means “We can see finding the courage to embrace all the hardships of the present time,” Jesus even the Pope said. Among those hardships is jourif we can’t neying through Lent, Holy Week receive him and into the Easter season without physically receiving the Eucharist physically. during the coronavirus pandemic. “This is an invitation from God God gave us to turn to him. This is an opportumore senses.” nity to remind ourselves of what we have, or have taken for granted,” said Msgr. Kenard Tuzeneu, pastor in St. Mary Parish, Barnegat. “When the tabernacle is closed and we have the altar of repose [on Holy Thursday], that’s intended to represent what people are actually feeling right now – that the Lord is taken away from us,” he said. Father Edward Blanchett, pastor in Visitation Parish, Brick, agreed. “One thing God does so well is make good come out of bad situations,” he said. “Obviously, an example is his son on the Cross. As terrible as that was, what did it do? It brought about salvation. “In a lot of ways, there’s a parallel to that now,” he continued. “Yes, of course this [coronavirus] is a bad thing to go through. But maybe there can be good, too, to gain or regain that real appreciation for the gift that Jesus offers to us at the Eucharist – one that he’s always been offering to us ever since he died for us on the Cross, one that he will continue to extend to us until the day we meet him.”
For the full text of the Pope’s address and a video, visit TrentonMonitor.com>From Pope Francis Pope Francis holds the monstrance as he gives his extraordinary blessing, “Urbi et Orbi” (To the City and the World), from the atrium of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. CNS photo/Yara Nardi, pool via Reuters Msgr. Edward J. Arnister, pastor of St. Rose Parish, Belmar, compared being without the public celebration of Mass to feeling “like the Israelites, wandering in the desert … hungering for food and drink that will sustain them on their journey. “God fed the chosen people with manna in the desert,” Msgr. Arnister said. “He feeds us, his chosen daughters and sons, with the gift of Jesus, his son, with his Body and Blood, soul and divinity. “While we cannot feed on the Eucharist publicly at Mass because of the health crisis worldwide, we know by faith that God never abandons his people. We know that with every cross and tribulation, there will come some grace,” he said. Father Blanchett was quick to point out that there is always hope, especially since the faithful are called to be an Easter people. “If we open ourselves in faith and trust during Lent – which in current circumstances has been a time of journeying in the desert far more than a spiritual sense – we might find a surprise waiting for us at the end of that journey. We might find that because of this time of deprivation, of need, we actually lose the spiritual blindness we may have had and come to see the truth.” Another important point to remember, he said, “We can see Jesus even if we can’t receive him physically. God gave us more senses than touch and taste. He gave us sight and sound. Jesus is available to us through those things as well.” April 2020 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE 19
Holy Week & Easter This screenshot shows the opening of the Stations of the Cross YouTube video produced by Donovan Catholic educators and students.
Local Way of the Cross video features timely meditations BY EMMALEE ITALIA Contributing Editor
ith devotional practices shifted to a home-based exercise, the Lenten tradition of praying the Stations of the Cross is no exception. But Catholics of the Diocese of Trenton have a unique opportunity to follow the prayers along with a familiar community. In a YouTube video produced by MaryBeth DeBlasio, cam-
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pus minister and head of the religion department in Donovan Catholic High School, Toms River, and her students, the Stations of the Cross are now available online – complete with prayer meditations read aloud by Father Scott Shaffer, pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Toms River. “I am so blessed to have the creative force [of] MaryBeth DeBlasio, who consistently comes up with new and unique ways to bring the Good News to her students, our parishioners and anyone who is open,” Father Shaffer said of the parishioner he has known for nearly 30 years. “Praying the Stations of the Cross is a devotional practice that has evolved over time,” Father Shaffer explained in the video introduction. “In the early Church, pilgrims journeyed to the holy places that marked Jesus’ way to the Cross. In the 16th century, this practice became officially known as the Via Dolorosa, or The Way of Sorrows. In this year of 2020, we pray The Way of the Cross as pilgrims who live in a time of global suffering.” Father Shaffer noted that Mary Holler – Donovan Catholic senior, campus ministry team member and religion department teaching assistant – compiled the slides for the video, and alumna Kate Uffer helped fuse together various layers of the project. “Father Scott and I worked on the script together,” DeBlasio said. “Mary Holler and I brainstormed who we would pray for at each slide. But really, the Holy Spirit is the origin of all creativity.” “Gina Corraro, our extremely talented parish music minister, laid the haunting underlying music throughout,” Father Schaffer continued. “Harold Frazee, our multi-talented band director, recorded both my voiceover in our recording studio and the music in our church.” The devotion lasts about 22 minutes total and includes reflections that respond directly to the COVID-19 pandemic. “At this time, over 17,000 people have died of this pandemic,” Father Shaffer notes in the prayer of the 12th Station. “For safety reasons, many have died without their loved ones by their side. To have one who is loved die alone is painful; it is heart-wrenching. Lord, be with all those who die without a family member present today. Help us all to remember that we are never alone.” To pray along with the video, visit: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=7mynBLSUad8&feature=youtu.be
Monte Bros., who provides quality sound systems for many of the parishes in the Diocese of Trenton, would like to wish the parishioners in the Diocese a very
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EPISCOPAL APPOINTMENTS Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., has announced the following appointments: Father John Large, current administrator of St. Theresa Parish, Little Egg Harbor, to pastor, effective Feb. 28. Father Joshy Abraham Mappilaparambil, O.SS.T., Catholic hospital chaplain, Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell and Capital Regional Medical Center, Trenton, effective March 1. Father Jarlath Quinn, current administrator of Our Lady of Perpetual Help-St. Agnes Parish, Atlantic Highlands, to pastor, effective Feb. 28. Ministrare Non Ministrari
Diocese launches COVID-19 Emergency Fund BY CHRISTINA LESLIE Correspondent
he COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the suspension of public Masses and other services throughout the Diocese and the world, which is putting a financial strain on parishes that depend on weekly offerings from the faithful. Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., realizes that parishes, and On March 13, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., announced the following the Diocese itself, are being challenged in an unprecedented way, appointments, effective immediately: impacting hundreds of thousands in Burlington, Mercer, MonFather Joseph G. Hlubik, from priest-in-residence, Sacred Heart mouth and Ocean Counties. In response, the Bishop announced Parish, Bay Head, to pastor, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, Lavallette, and Sacred March 23 that he has authorized the creation of the COVID-19 Heart Parish, Bay Head. Emergency Fund, a safe and convenient online way to “pass the Father Douglas Freer, from pastor, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, Lavallette, basket” during this time of crisis. and Sacred Heart Parish, Bay Head, to medical leave. Still in its opening weeks, the fund is showing positive signs of activity, said Christine Prete, diocesan associate director of development operations. “The next few weeks will tell the success of this needed endeavor put in place by Bishop O’Connell,” she said. “Our churches need our financial support during this time of uncertainty to be able to provide for our current and future spiritual needs.” The COVID-19 Emergency Fund enables faithful to make one-time or recurrent donations at dioceseoftrenton.org/covid19-emergency-fund. These donations may be earmarked for two major areas of need: Parish Offertory Continuity, and Diocesan Operations and Ministry Needs. The Parish Offertory Continuity portion of the fund will help cover expenses such as utilities, maintenance, staffing, community outreach programs, ministry needs and other necessities. Donors may make offerings either through the fund or through \ their parish’s existing e-giving program or by filling out the form \�\\' .,� on the COVID-19 Emergency Fund website. There will be no '' \�\\'J, .' . \�\\' administrative fees charged in either method; 100 percent of '' J, .' . '' J, .'\. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2020 8AM - 3:00 PM the funds donated go SATURDAY, OCTOBER OCTOBER 17, 17, 2020 2020 8AM -- 3:00 3:00 PM PM \�\\' .,� SATURDAY, 8AM directly to the parish or '' J, . ' . Christian Brothers Academy I 850 Newman Springs Road I Lincroft, NJ 07738 WHAT YOU CAN DO parishes designated. Christian Brothers Academy I 850 Newman Springs Road I Lincroft, NJ 07738 Christian Brothers Academy I 850 Newman Springs Road I Lincroft, NJ 07738 The Diocesan OpSATURDAY, 2020 8AM 3:00 PM To donate to the diocesan COVID-19 Save theOCTOBER DATE ... You 17, won’t want to miss- this event! Save the DATE ... Youwon't won't want want to miss this event! SaveCome theforthe DATE ... You tomiss miss this event! erations and Ministry Emergency Fund, visit dioceseoftrenton.org/ Save DATE ... You won't want to this event! a day of formation and renewal, designed to support all those who share Come for a day of formation and renewal, designed to support all those who share and teach the Catholic faith. Come for a day of formation and renewal, designed to support all those who share and teach the Catholic faith. Come a day of formation and renewal, to support all thoseCampus who share teach the Catholic faith. Are youfor a Catechist, Catholic School Teacher,designed Parish Catechetical Leader, or and Youth Minister? Needs portion will Christian Brothers Academy I Teacher, 850 Newman Springs Road I Lincroft, NJ 07738 Are you aand Catechist, Catholic School Teacher, Catechetical Leader, Campus or Youth Minister? covid-19-emergency-fund teach the Catholic faith. AreParish you aCatechetical Catechist, Catholic School Teacher, Parish Are you a Catechist, Catholic School Parish Leader, Campus or Youth Minister? Do you serve on an RCIA, Evangelization, Adult Faith Formation, Baptism, or Marriage Ministry team? There will be address the integral Catechetical Leader, Campus or Youth Minister? Do you serve on an RCIA, Evangelization, Adult Faith Formation, Baptism, or Marriage Ministry team? There will be Do you serve on an RCIA, Evangelization, Adult Faith Formation, Baptism, or Marriage Ministry team? There will be something for everyone. The day will offer sessions in both English and Spanish. A Keynote Address by Fr. Dave for everyone. Thewill day willand offer both English and Spanish. A Keynote Address by College Fr. Dave Dwyer, OP (founder of Busted Halo) Dr.sessions Hosffman Ospino, Associate Professor ofATheology Boston diocesan work, which somethingsomething for everyone. The day offer sessions ininboth English and Spanish. Keynote Address Fr. Dave SaveDwyer, theOPDo DATE ... You won't want to miss this event! youOP serve on an RCIA, Evangelization, Adult Faith Formation, Baptism, or by Marriage Dwyer, (founder of Busted Halo) Celebration Hosffman Ospino, Associate Professor Bostonworkshops College will deliver the inHalo) Spanish. of Mass with Bishop O'Connell, andofa Theology host practical (founder of Keynote Busted andand Dr. Dr. Hosffman Ospino, Associate Professor of of Theology Boston College deliver theand Keynote in Spanish. of Mass all withthose Bishop O'Connell, and hostcalendar, of the practical workshops Come for a day of will formation renewal, designed toencouragement support who shareMark andayour teach Catholic faith. in turn, supports parish life and the practice of faith among its where you will learn something newCelebration and find for your ministry. registration will deliver the Keynote in Spanish. Celebration of Mass for witheveryone. Bishop O'Connell, acalendar, host practical workshops Ministry team? There will be The dayand will offerofregistration sessions in both you learn something andsomething find encouragement for your ministry. your material willwill be available soon. new Are you a Catechist,where Catholic School Teacher, Parish Catechetical Leader, Campus orMark Youth Minister? where youmaterial will learn something new and find encouragement for your ministry. Mark your calendar, registration will be available soon. people. Though public Masses and programs have been suspendDIOCESE OF TRENTON English and Spanish. A Keynote Address by Fr. Dave Dwyer, OP (founder of Busted Halo) material will be available soon. DIOCESE OF TRENTON Do you serve on an RCIA, Evangelization, Adult Faith Formation, Baptism, or Marriage Ministry team? There will be and Dr. Hosffman Ospino, Associate Professor of Theology Boston College will deliver DIOCESE OF TRENTON ed, the message of Christian faith and charity continues in both REGISTRATION WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON! For more information contact: something for everyone. The day will offer sessions in both English and Spanish. A Keynote Address by Fr. Dave REGISTRATION WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON! For more information contact: Denise Contino, Director of Catechesis I email@example.com I 609-403-7179 I OpenOurHearts.org long-standing and novel ways. Bishop O’Connell reaches out to Keynote in Spanish. Celebration of Mass with Bishop O’Connell, and a host of pracDwyer, OP (founderthe of Busted Halo) and Dr. Hosffman Ospino, Associate Professor of Theology Boston College Denise Contino, Director of Catechesis I firstname.lastname@example.org I 609-403-7179 I OpenOurHearts.org WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON! Forand more contact: will deliverREGISTRATION the Keynote in Spanish. Celebration of Mass with Bishop O'Connell, a hostinformation of practical workshops tical workshops where you will learn something new and find encouragement for your Contino, Director of find Catechesis I email@example.com I 609-403-7179 I OpenOurHearts.org his flock via online messages, videos and livestreamed Masses. where youDenise will learn something new and encouragement for your ministry. Mark your calendar, registration ministry. material will be available soon.Mark your calendar, registration material In addition, Chancery operations are under careful manDIOCESE OF TRENTON will be available soon. agement to ensure uninterrupted health coverage for all parish, REGISTRATION WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON! For more information contact: Catholic school and diocesan employees, while staff continue REGISTRATION WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON! For more information contact: Denise Contino, Director of Catechesis I firstname.lastname@example.org I 609-403-7179 I OpenOurHearts.org to work on behalf of the community, offering resources and Denise Contino, Director of Catechesis I email@example.com I 609-403-7179 OpenOurHearts.org answers to the myriad of questions flooding into the Diocese. •
22 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE April 2020
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April 2020 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE 23
Pope Francis Pope Francis looks over an empty St. Peter’s Square after leading a livestream of the recitation of the Angelus from the library of the Apostolic Palace.
United humanity will rise from pandemic-stricken world BY JUNNO AROCHO ESTEVES Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY • As more countries continue to lockdown and isolate to stem the spread of the coronavirus, “we can only get out of this situation together as a whole humanity,” Pope Francis said. In an interview published in the Italian newspaper La Stampa March 20, the Pope said that although Christians must live this moment in history with “penance, compassion and hope,” both believers and nonbelievers “are all in the same boat” and must confront the challenge together. “What helps us is synergy, mutual collaboration, the sense of responsibility and the spirit of sacrifice that is generated in many places,” he said. “We do not have to make a distinction between believers and nonbelievers; let’s go to the root: humanity. Before God, we are all his children.” Reflecting on the Lenten season, the Pope said that acts of prayer and fasting are an exercise that “trains us to look at the others with solidarity, especially those who suffer.” The prayers being said throughout the world during this crisis, he added, were like the apostles in the boat crying out to Jesus amid the raging storm. Much like the disciples, there are many crying out today “who are drowning, who feel threatened, alone.” “And in a difficult, desperate, situation it is important to know that there is the Lord to hold on to,” the Pope said. “God
supports us in many ways. God gives us strength and closeness just as he did with the disciples who asked for help in the storm or when he gave his hand to Peter who was drowning.” The Pope was asked for his thoughts about reports that many patients infected with the virus, known as COVID-19, are dying alone in isolation without being able to say goodbye to their loved ones. Among the many heart wrenching anecdotes, the Pope said he was “struck and grieved” by the story of a nurse who lent her phone to an elderly woman so that she could say goodbye to her granddaughter. “This is the ultimate need to have a hand taking your hand, to have a last gesture of companionship,” he said. “The pain of those who died without saying goodbye becomes a wound in the heart of those who remain.” He also thanked the nurses, doctors and health care volunteers who, “despite the extraordinary fatigue, bend down with patience and with the kindness of their heart to make up for the obligatory absence of family members.” Pope Francis said the expressions of solidarity today amid the pandemic are a reminder that “humankind is one community,” and he hoped that when the crisis is over, much like a “postwar period, there will no longer be ‘the other,’ but rather ‘us.’” “We will have to look at the roots even more: the grandparents, the elderly, to build a real sense of fraternity among all of us,” the Pope said.
24 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE April 2020
CNS photo/Vatican Media
MORE FROM POPE FRANCIS ONLINE: C omplaining, inertia are seeds of the devil, Pope says Pandemic can be time to rediscover love, kindness, pontiff says Pope entrusts world threatened by coronavirus pandemic to Mary
This YouTube screenshot shows Pope Francis as he prays The Lord’s Prayer March 25 with faithful around the world. View video at TrentonMonitor.com>Pope Francis
“We reiterate the teaching of Evangelium Vitae to transmit the culture of life to future generations: an attitude of solidarity, care, and welcome.” @PONTIFEX MARCH 25, 2020
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medication management for longer than the usual two weeks. Project Paul shared that the Keansburg agency had to close its thrift shop and client services. Considering the services are designed to offer rental assistance in relation to evictions, security deposits and, sometimes, back rent, Kathy West, director of client services, said, “We are anticipating that the need for assistance will be The Monitor
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USCCB website offering resources for Catholics amid COVID-19 BY CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE WASHINGTON The website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has created a special link on its website to a page offering various resources for the nation’s Catholics as they weather the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Among the many resources on the USCCB page (usccb.org/coronavirus) are lists of websites for Mass being livestreamed by various outlets, such as Catholic TV and EWTN, on various internet platforms; links to prayers for an end to COVID-19, including from the Pope and Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, USCCB president; and daily reflections “to help us all during this trying time.” There are Eastern Catholic Church resources, including links to the Romanian Catholic Eparchy of St. George in Canton, Ohio; the Eparchy of St. Maron of Brooklyn, New York, and Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral in Brooklyn. Several Catholic publishers have made their resources available “to support prayer during these difficult days,” the site says. “We thank them for their generosity and pastoral concern.” The publishers include: Liturgical Press, Magnificat, Bayard, The Word Among Us, GIA Publications, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Renew International and Loyola Press. Besides daily readings in English and Spanish and on audio, the USCCB section also includes links to video reflections, tips on livestreaming the Mass, “Faith of Facebook Toolkit,” resources from V Encuentro and the Catholic Charities USA COVID-19 Resource Center. “With the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus, we are confronted once more with the fragility of our lives, and again
Catholic Calendar April April 5 Palm Sunday Passion of the Lord, World Youth Day April 9 Holy Thursday, Passover begins April 10 Good Friday, Passion of the Lord; Holy Land Collection April 11 Holy Saturday April 12 Easter Sunday, Resurrection of the Lord April 19 Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday April 26 Catholic Home Missions Appeal April 26 Third Sunday of Easter, Catholic Home Missions Appeal 26 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE April 2020
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops now offers resources on its website for Catholics during the coronavirus pandemic. CNS illustration/Shelly Connor
we are reminded of our common humanity; that the peoples of this world are our brothers and sisters, that we are all one family under God,” Archbishop Gomez said. “God does not abandon us, he goes with us even now in this time of trial and testing. In this moment, it is important for us to anchor our hearts in the hope that we have in Jesus Christ.” he continued. “Now is the time to intensify our prayers and sacrifices for the love of God and the love of our neighbor. Let us draw closer to one another in our love for him, and rediscover the things that truly matter in our lives.” He made the comments in a recent statement that included a prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe for her intercession. His statement and the prayer is posted on the page, with links to prayer cards in English and Spanish.
Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk, former USCCB president, dies at 85 CLEVELAND (CNS) • Retired Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk of Cincinnati, an educator and author whose work focused on explaining the Catholic faith to wider audiences, died March 22 at age 85. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Archbishop Archbishop Pilarczyk, had been in declining health in rePilarczyk cent years. He led the Cincinnati Archdiocese for 27 years until his retirement Dec. 21, 2009, the day after the 50th anniversary of his ordination as a priest. Prior to his appointment as archbishop in 1982, he was auxiliary bishop of Cincinnati for eight years, also serving as director of educational services for the archdiocese. Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called the late archbishop a “shepherd close to his flock.” “The archbishop led during challenging times but sought reconciliation and reform with humility,” Archbishop Gomez said. “Archbishop Pilarczyk was generous also in service to his brother bishops. We benefited greatly from his pastoral leadership.”
World & Nation
Some Catholic entities expect to receive aid under emergency relief bill BY DENNIS SADOWSKI Catholic News Service
CLEVELAND • Catholic hospitals, parish schools and charitable agencies are among the entities hoping to receive partial relief under a massive $2.2 trillion emergency aid package unanimously approved by the Senate in response to the crippling new coronavirus. They are just not sure when the aid will begin to flow, however. “At this point everyone is trying to figure out what got in and how it’s going to help out,” said Lisa Smith, vice president of advocacy and public policy at the Catholic Health Association of the United States. Senators approved the 880-page Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, during a late-night vote March 25. Despite such a large expenditure, about half of the federal fiscal year 2020 budget, leaders of Catholic organizations said they expect another package will be needed before the coronavirus runs its course. Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives were seeking a quick vote on the measure March 27 through a voice vote, which would not require elected
Staff and volunteers with Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton help at Ocean Community Services, Lakewood, March 20. Catholic charitable agencies are among those hoping to receive financial relief from a federal emergency aid package. Photo courtesy of Amalie Hindash officials to reconvene in Washington. The bill includes $180 billion in health care spending, designating $100 billion for hospitals and care providers that are the hardest hit in responding to the coronavirus since the first U.S. case of the illness was confirmed Jan. 20. Another key provision finds aid in the form of loans that would become grants to small businesses and nonprofit organizations if staffing levels are maintained. In addition, unemployment insurance would be expanded for people who have suddenly found themselves out of work as companies – sometimes under government ordered shutdowns – have reduced hours or closed altogether in an effort to stem the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. The Catholic health care system has
taken a large financial hit, Smith told Catholic News Service March 26. Some hospital systems are seeing losses from $100 million to $600 million a month in the first weeks of the outbreak of the illness as they shift from normal operations to focus on the public health crisis, Smith said. “The problem is that the margins are not high, being not-for-profit hospitals, so it’s creating a huge toll,” she explained. “We need a sustained cash flow. “ Support for private and public schools is included in the bill, with $30.7 billion set aside in an Education Stabilization Fund. Of the total, elementary and high schools will receive $13.2 billion and higher education $13.9 billion.
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April 2020 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE 27
“Y se acordaron de sus palabras”. Mensaje Pascual del obispo David M. O’Connell, C.M.
Craig Pittelli photo
ace falta un momento para captar lo que está pasando normalmente. Cuando nos encontramos en medio de situaciones que no esperamos, es raro que nuestras mentes captan lo que ha pasado de inmediato. Aquella primera Pascua en la tumba era una ocasión así. Los cuatro Evangelios describen a las mujeres que fueron al sepulcro y que la encontraron vacía. Fueron para lamentar y ungir el cuerpo de Jesús, pero no estaba allá. Podemos estar seguros de que miles de posibilidades habrán pasado por sus mentes confusas y asustadas en un solo instante mientras miraron por el espacio funerario y vieron las telas, pero ningún cuerpo. “¡Se han llevado del sepulcro al Señor, y no sabemos dónde lo han puesto” (Juan 20:2)! Les hacía falta que uno o dos ángeles las recordaran de lo Jesús mismo les había dicho antes de su Muerte el Viernes Santo. “Entonces ellas se acordaron de las palabras de Jesús” (Lucas 24:8)
Cada año durante este tiempo, mientras la primavera empieza mostrarse por la nueva vida a nuestro alrededor, nosotros “nos acordamos de sus palabras”. De hecho, durante más de dos mil años, se ha acordado, contado, cantado y proclamado la historia de la Muerte y la Resurrección de Jesús en cada idioma por creyentes cristianos por todo el mundo. “No está aquí, pues ha resucitado, tal como dijo” (Mateo 28:6). Y nosotros “nos acordamos sus palabras”. Las palabras son poderosas. Al decirlas o escribirlas o leerlas, algunas palabras nunca se las olvida. No trata simplemente del autor o predicador que da el poder de que endurezcan, aunque en el caso de Jesús, no se podría identificar una fuente mayor ni más poderosa. Es, en fin, el poder de la verdad que prevalece, un poder más allá que cualquier intento de nuestra parte de poder invertir en palabras. La verdad de la resurrección de Jesús de la muerte – en sí el poder de su resurrección- es mayor y más convincente que cualquieras palabras que podríamos decir sobre él. Aun así, algo nos conmueve en la Pascua para que “nos acordemos de sus palabras” y que queramos gritarlas por encima de los montes: ¡ Jesucristo se ha resucitado! “Pues sabemos que Cristo, por haber sido levantado de entre los muertos, ya no puede volver a morir; la muerte ya no tiene dominio sobre él. En cuanto a su muerte, murió al pecado una vez y para siempre; en cuanto a su vida, vive para Dios” (Romanos 6:9-10). Jesucristo, la Palabra hecha en Carne, levantado de la muerte, nos da su Palabra una vez más esta Pascua:
28 REVISTA EL MONITOR Abril 2020
una palabra de triunfo, una palabra de victoria, una palabra de vida. Y nosotros “nos acordamos de sus palabras”. Sus palabras tienen un significado particular esta Pascua mientras afrontamos la situación del COVID-19 y todo el estrés y caos que esta pandemia ha traído a nuestras vidas. Esta Cuaresma y Semana Santa y Pascua han sido diferentes que cualquier otras que hemos vivido. Y, aun así, la fe que el coronavirus manda de nosotros no es nada diferente que la fe que el Señor Jesús nos pide tener en cualquier situación – no… en cada – situación. Y brindará frutos. ¡De eso estoy seguro! La verdad y el poder de su Palabra fortalece, sostiene y apoya nuestra fe en cada situación y circunstancias de
“Las palabras son poderosas. Al decirlas o escribirlas o leerlas, algunas palabras nunca se las olvida” nuestras vidas, aplastando la oscuridad de la muerte y abriendo paso a la promesa brillante de la vida eterna. Es la promesa que se nos ofrece. Esa oferta es simplemente una invitación a creer. Y esa creencia, esa fe Pascual cambia nuestras vidas por siempre. ¿Por qué buscan ustedes entre los muertos al que vive? No está aquí; ¡ha resucitado! Recuerden lo que les dijo cuando todavía estaba con ustedes” (Lucas 24:5-6). Han quitado la piedra. El sepulcro está vacío. Se ha adelantado. Que lo sigamos mientras “nos acordamos de sus palabras”. ¡Felices Pascuas!
Nuevo proceso de preparación fortalecerá matrimonios POR MARY CLIFFORD MORRELL Corresponsal
a Diócesis de Trenton ha lanzado un nuevo proceso para la preparación matrimonial desarrollado para responder al plan del 2015 para fortalecer los matrimonios. El cambio, según, Peg Hensler, directora asociada de ministerios matrimoniales, afectará los programas que se lleva a cabo actualmente de Pre-Caná tanto en la comunidad hispana como en la comunidad americana. La Diócesis de Trenton ha lanzado un nuevo proceso para la preparación matrimonial desarrollado para responder al plan del 2015 para fortalecer los matrimonios. El cambio, según, Peg Hensler, directora asociada de ministerios matrimoniales, afectará los programas que se lleva a cabo actualmente de Pre-Caná tanto en la comunidad hispana como en la comunidad americana. El programa “está diseñado no solamente para preparar a las parejas para el sacramento del matrimonio”, explicó Josue Arriola, director diocesano de la evangelización y la vida familiar, “sino que las inspira a ser católicos de por vida, ser activos en su fe y en la parroquia. Usa un lenguaje simple e incluye historias relacionables”. También el programa intenta acompañar a las parejas desde sus propias experiencias y realidades. “Muchas parejas hispanas han convivido muchos años y la mayoría ya tienen hijos. El programa
El grupo diocesano de Pre-Caná del izquierdo al derecho: María Olvidó y Celestino Santos, Enrique y Amalia Cortés, Alejandro y Rocío Osorio, Fidencio e Isabel Racine, Sergio y Beraliz Guzmán Foto de cortesía ‘Mejor Es Juntos’ entiende esa realidad”, dijo Arriola, y facilita que las parejas se profundicen más en su relación y camino de la fe. Arriola siguió “Estamos tan felices que, por primera vez, las comunidades hispanas y de habla-inglés usarán el mismo programa”. “El programa tiene una riqueza de contenido”, compartió el padre Jim Grogan, párroco de la Parroquia de la Natividad en Fair Haven, y co-facilitador del primer taller sobre el programa. “Primero, puede ser un recurso poderoso para los sacerdotes parroquiales y los ministros laicos de la preparación matrimonial para ayudar a las parejas recibir una base de comprensión sobre lo que la Iglesia realmente enseña sobre el Matrimonio”. El padre continuó “Segundo, los recursos se convierten materiales poderosos disponibles a los equipos de Pre-Caná, y, tercero, el programa fue identificado independientemente como una herramienta poderosa por los equipos que están trabajando para
desarrollar programas del enriquecimiento matrimonial, un componente importante del ministerio parroquial a las parejas”. La Diócesis escogió el programa por parte, dijo Hensler, porque está totalmente cubierto económicamente y gratis para todas las parejas casadas o de noviazgo. El programa incluye 12 sesiones que tratan todos los temas cubiertos en la preparación matrimonial. “Sentimos que este programa ofrece a las parejas lo que necesitan. También, las parejas pueden trabajar independientemente entonces no hace falta más trabajo para el sacerdote o diácono quien está preparando a la pareja para el matrimonio”, dijo Hensler. “Este enero llevamos a cabo nuestra primera preparación matrimonial usando ‘Mejores en Juntos’ para la comunidad hispana en la Parroquia Madre de la Misericordia, Asbury Park, y tuvo mucho éxito”, compartió Arriola. Para información, incluyendo horarios, presentaciones y enlaces, visiten al dioceseoftrenton.org/pre-cana.
NOTICIERO DIGITAL EN ESPAÑOL DE LA DIÓCESIS DE TRENTON
Abril 2020 REVISTA EL MONITOR 29
La Pascua ofrece momento para
‘Reiniciar el equipo’ Así que entonces, fui a la oficina y marqué el número de otro amigo que sabe de teléfonos. Una vez le comenté lo que me estaba pasando con el viejo teléfono, mi amigo se echó a reír y me dijo, Padre Carlos, ¡Reinicia tu equipo! Yo me reí también y le dije que si me estaba tomando del pelo; mi amigo me dijo entonces, “No, padre, solo haga lo que le digo y verá que todo se arregla. Así fue entonces que apagué el celular y lo volví a encender. Un par de segundos más tarde y para mi sorpresa, el teléfono volvió a funcionar como antes. Todas las aplicaciones empezaron a trabajar de nuevo y los GIF que mi amigo y yo estábamos intercambiando aparecieron en la pantalla. ¡Todo esto sucedió simplemente porque el teléfono necesitaba reiniciarse! Amigos míos, en estos días en que celebramos la Pascua quizá a veces nos hemos sentido como mi viejo teléfono celular. Cansados y sin ganas de funcionar; quizá el mucho trabajo, la rutina de nuestras vidas y las preocupaciones del diario vivir lentamente afectan nuestro estado anímico y nos empiezan a paralizar el cuerpo, la mente y también nuestro espíritu. Esto es especialmente cierto ahora que por lo del peligroso virus COVID-19, la gran mayoría de nosotros quizá nos toca quedarnos en casa. El no poder asistir a la Santa Misa y el congregarnos los domingos, como es nuestra costumbre, puede que genere caos e incertidumbre en nuestras vidas. Peor aún, el pánico y la ansiedad que genera esta nueva enfermedad han llevado a muchos a
perder sus trabajos y ha confinado a otros a permanecer encerrados en casa. Y como si fuera poco, el sentirnos aislados y con miedo es quizá el más grande de todos los temores que no ser humano desea experimentar. Así lo expresa el libro del Génesis cuando dice, “No es bueno que el hombre esté solo.” Gn 2,18. Sin embargo, como cristianos estamos llamados a celebrar la Pascua de Nuestro Señor Jesucristo. Ella nos recuerda que el miedo es inservible ante los desafíos de la vida y que lo que necesitamos es reiniciar nuestro espíritu cada día a través de la oración, la meditación y la entrega
“Estos son los días en que más que nunca debemos reiniciar nuestra
30 REVISTA EL MONITOR Abril 2020
Fe en Cristo quien camina con nosotros”.
PADRE CARLOS FLOREZ vicario
parroquial, Parroquia San Bernabé, Bayville, e intermediario diocesano para ministerios hispanos y portugueses
generosa de nuestras vidas al que tenemos cerca de nosotros. Quizá en estos días deberíamos traer de regreso aquellas hermosas tradiciones religiosas que muchos solíamos tener como, por ejemplo; rezar el Santo Rosario juntos, sentarnos a la mesa juntos, jugar en la sala juegos didácticos o simplemente leer las Sagradas Escrituras, La Biblia. Nos pueden ayudar tremendamente a lidiar con el estrés y reafirmar nuestra unión familiar y nuestra fe en Dios que no se olvida de sus creaturas. Amigos míos, estos son los días para no acobardarnos. Estos son los días para no dejarnos vencer por el miedo y la desolación. Estos son los días en que más que nunca debemos reiniciar nuestra Fe en Cristo quien camina con nosotros. Quizá, deberíamos y encender una vela y en silencio hacer una oración. Esa es una de las tradiciones religiosas más hermosas que, como católicos, hemos heredado y que no deberíamos dejar morir sino por el contrario revivirla pues como diría el monje Benedictino David Steindl-Rast “El acto mismo de encender una vela es en sí, una oración”. Tomemos pues la iniciativa de reiniciarnos a diario, pues eso es la Pascua; nuevos principios, nuevas oportunidades, nuevas metas que cumplir. Abajo el miedo… Arriba la Fe. Encendamos una vela para disipar las tinieblas y nuestros miedos. Y que la luz de Cristo Resucitado nos recuerde hoy, mañana y siempre que el miedo ciertamente es inservible!
Criag Pittelli photo
ace un par de días mientras hablaba con un amigo sacerdote en Alaska a través de mensajes de texto, noté que el teléfono celular se paralizó por completo. No pude seguir enviando textos ni tampoco recibirlos. No sabía qué hacer, pues la tecnología muy a menudo me atropella.
Situación actual presenta
nuevas oportunidades para evangelizar
El estacionamiento de la Parroquia San Antonio Claret, Lakewood, se ve totalmente vacío, algo que no se suele ver los días domingo.
PADRE GUILLERMO ANDRINO Vicario parroquial, Parroquia San Antonio Claret, Lakewood
on los cambios ocurridos en los últimos días en relación al coronavirus, yo he notado como los medios virtuales son importantes en nuestra evangelización. Muchos estamos transmitiendo la celebracion de la Misa por las redes sociales. En nuestra Iglesia aquí en Lakewood, N.J., la Parroquia San Antonio M. Claret, las Misas siempre solemos celebrar con Iglesia llena. Los feligreses que llegaban tarde en las 5 misas en español de fin de semana ya no encontraban lugar para sentar. El estacionamiento también siempre estuvo lleno por las Misas, algunas veces las personas tenían que estacionar por la carretera o en el parqueo de la ciudad que está en frente de nuestra Iglesia. Pero este fin de semana (VI domingo de la Cuaresma),
todo se vio diferente. El estacionamiento parecía fantasma. Aquí en la parroquia, somos tres sacerdotes trabajando juntos y decidimos hacer las Misa disponibles por la internet. Como yo estoy conectado “Yo tengo con muchos de nuestros feligreses en mi cuenta de certeza que Facebook decidí usar mi seguimos fuertes cuenta personal para empezar a compartir las Misa diarias. en nuestra fe.” La primera transmisión sucedió el viernes 20 de marzo. Para nuestra sorpresa hubo una buena recepción de la comunidad. Acompañaron la transmisión como unas 1,100 personas y muchos más participaron enviando comentarios durante a transmisión. Hoy celebramos juntos los tres sacerdotes. Padre Pedro Bou, el párroco, dijo en su homilía que era la primera vez que hacía esto (celebrar la Misa por la internet). Es una realidad diferente, pero yo tengo certeza que seguimos fuertes en nuestra fe. Espero que cuando todo esto termine nosotros daremos mucho más valor a nuestras comunidades y vamos a salir de esta crisis mucho más unidos como hermanos y hermanas.
El equipo sacerdotal de la Parroquia San Antonio Claret, Lakewood , celebra la Santa Misa y la transmite digitalmente para sus feligreses. Del izquierdo al derecho, el padre Pedro Bou, párroco, el padre Guillermo Andrino y el padre Pelagio Pateño. Fotos cortesía del padre Guillermo Andrino
Abril 2020 LA REVISTA MONITOR 31
Entering the Easter journey with Jesus THE WORD
Father Garry Koch
APRIL 5 WE ALL SHARE IN THE PASSION OF JESUS CHRIST
Readings for Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord: Mt. 21:111; IS 50:4-7; Phil. 2:6-11; Mt. 26: 14-27
alm Sunday, known also as Passion Sunday, is a time to reflect on the momentous events of Holy Week, the Paschal Mystery. What is most jarring about Holy Week is the abruptness with which we shift from the triumph of Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem on Sunday to his absolute abandonment, arrest and Death on Friday. Although we live it liturgically each year, we cannot really imagine the emotional toll it took on his disciples and his family, as it actually happened. Although he was fully aware that it would occur, we sense through his agony in the Garden at Gethsemane, that this As we shook Jesus to his very core. We enter Holy Week this year in a approach the deep sense of uncertainty. The events Passion of of the past month have been unsetand disruptive, throwing all of Jesus Christ, tling us into one state of panic or another. All of our usual routines are gone. we should Some of our most significant support do so with a systems and familiar places are closed. We are uncertain about how all of this new sense will play out in real life. It wasn’t that way just two months of our own ago. We began 2020 on a high note. suffering. The market was good, unemployment at record lows; life seemed easy enough for most of us. And then it hit. The strike was sudden and mysterious. A single virus, emerging from a city which most of us never heard of, so small as to be visible only under a microscope, changed everything. As we approach the Passion of Jesus Christ, we should do so with a new sense of our own suffering. While we do not want to confuse or conflate inconvenience with suffering, we know that individuals, families, communities, parishes and entire countries
32 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE April 2020
are awash with the coronavirus, bring untold suffering and death to tens of thousands. We take this week – as we hope that we have been taking each week of this crisis – as an opportunity for a deepened prayer, and a renewed experience of the Way of the Cross.
APRIL 12 JESUS MAKES HIMSELF KNOWN IN THE EMPTINESS TO THOSE WHO CAN SEE HIM Readings for Easter Sunday: Acts 10:34A, 37-43; Col 3:1-4; Jn 20:1-9
or many people it can be very difficult to find hope. We can get so caught up in our own darkness, suffering, challenges and difficulties that a light at the end of the tunnel feels more like an ocoming train than a hope to chase after. While we all anxiously await the “all-clear” when we can get back to our normal lives, we all know in our hearts that we are looking at a new normal. This is the journey of life. We have been through this before. We will recover. The celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ reminds us of this in a very meaningful and clear way. The apostles, and probably no one more sure than Mary Magdalene, expected that everything would be as before. At first, all they know is that the tomb was empty. This stark truth set them in all sorts of directions. They heard the teaching of Jesus that the Son of Man would rise from the dead. They were present for the raising of Lazarus from the tomb just a short time earlier. They had come to recognize that Jesus is the Messiah, even going so far as to ponder whether or not he was somehow divine – as in the true Son of God. Yet, when the time came to face the reality, they were unsure. Staring into the abyss of an empty tomb, the so-called “disciple Jesus loved” is the one, the only one, who “saw and believed.” Peter, impetuous and determined, seems emotionless and pondering. Mary Magdalene still believed that someone stole Jesus’ body. Such is the way of belief. We must keep our eyes open and our hearts attuned to the many and varied ways that God desires to speak with us in our lives. Too many people like Mary Magdalene can’t see it, or like Peter don’t know what to make of it all. We need to be more like the beloved who can see the Lord in the emptiness, darkness, and chaos of the world.
T O READ expanded versions of Father Koch’s columns or TO LISTEN to Podcast messages on Catching The Word, visit TrentonMonitor.com
APRIL 19 THE BODY OF
CHRIST BEARS THE WOUNDS OF THE CRUCIFIXION
Readings for the Second Sunday of Easter: Acts 2: 42-47; 1Pt 1:3-9; Jn 20: 19-31
hy does the resurrected Jesus, triumphant in all his glory, still bear in his body the marks of the wounds of the Crucifixion? Do we not believe when we share in the Resurrection that our own glorified bodies will be free from the infirmities that we bore in this life? The Gospel for the Second Sunday of Easter always presents the time of the appearance of Jesus to his disciples in the Upper Room both on the day of Resurrection and the following Sunday. One of them, Thomas, was not present on Easter day and boldly objects to the testimony of the others with the objection that: “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” A week later, when Jesus again appears to them, he invites Thomas to: “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” The resurrected body of Christ is still wounded. As the Church is perhaps best understood as the Body of Christ, of which each of us is a member, then the reality of those wounds being present makes perfect sense. The Church, from the very beginning, was wounded and filled with wounded people. All of us are sinners. All of us have been hurt, to one degree or another, and even by the very Church which loves us and leads us along the path to salvation. We come to the Church with our own personal weakness and sinfulness. While we share in the Sacraments and actively participate in the life of the Church, we do so with those wounds intact, and often still impacting us along the way. This same wounded Jesus stood before his disciples the week before and proclaimed: “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” The wounded Church, too, forgives those who sin, and those who are wounded are called to share in the very life of that same Church. The Church carries those wounds, in the hope that the wounds will be healed completely at the coming of the kingdom.
APRIL 26 WE
MUST WALK WITH JESUS TO EMMAUS IF WE EXPECT TO ENCOUNTER HIM IN THE EUCHARIST
Readings for the Third Sunday of Easter: Acts 2: 14, 22-33; 1Pt 1: 17-21; Lk 24: 13-35
e can wonder how it is that two of Jesus’ disciples managed to walk with him for several miles from Jerusalem to Jericho and not recognize him. It is interesting how often after the Resurrection the different Gospel writers note that the disciples – even those closest to Jesus – were uncertain The Church, that it was him. from the very On one hand there is the experience of expectations. I am sure that beginning, all of us have had that moment when we see someone completely out of the was wounded usual environment and are uncertain as to who it is. The disciples headed to and filled with Jerusalem were not looking for Jesus; wounded they were busy going about their busipeople. ness. Even as he spoke to them along the way and opened the Scriptures to them, they were not paying sufficient attention to realize that it was he. It took the moment of breaking bread – the sharing of the Eucharist – before their eyes were sufficiently opened to recognize who was in their midst. In the hectic pace of life, it is easy to miss opportunities for encounter. We are often not present to the people we are with. We are distracted by technology, preoccupied with other things on our minds, or just so disengaged that we miss the opportunity for presence right in front of us. We treat God even worse than that. Unless we “need” something we are prone to walk along the path of life and miss the presence of God who walks with us. We are called to recognize Jesus as he walks with us, as we encounter him along the journey of life, in our encounters with each other, as we read the Bible and, most certainly, as we share in the Eucharist. Father Garry Koch is pastor of St. Benedict Parish, Holmdel.
April 2020 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE 33
Is funeral Mass mandated?; reconciling Gospel accounts Is a Catholic required to have a Catholic burial ceremony – in a Church with a Mass? I am thinking of having just a graveside service instead – with a priest, of course, but just a private ceremony. (I mean no disrespect to the Church, but I think this might be easier for the family.) (Indianapolis)
Technically, a funeral Mass is not mandated by the Church when a Catholic dies. But it is certainly strongly encouraged. In fact, the Order of Christian Funerals says: “The Mass, the memorial of Christ’s death and resurrection, is the principal celebration of the Christian funeral” (No. 5). It pleases me that you do want a priest involved in your burial service – but the Mass is the most powerful prayer that the Church has, so why deprive yourself of that benefit? The celebration of the Eucharist commends the deceased to the mercy and compassion of the Lord, and it reminds those in attendance that death has been overcome by the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross.
The COVID-19 crisis has required restrictions on public funeral Masses in the Diocese of Trenton at this time. See page 9 for more information.
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QUESTION CORNER Father Kenneth Doyle Catholic News Service
So it is also educational and can thus serve to bring comfort and peace to those in attendance. It bothers me that sometimes, these days, certain funeral homes seem to discourage the family of the bereaved from celebrating a funeral Mass, citing the extra cost of transporting the body to a Church. But for me, I would surely want the strongest help that the Church can offer at the time of my passing – and that is the Eucharist. It needn’t, though, be a public event. You can have as many – or as few – people at the Mass as you like; that all depends on whether you decide to publish in advance the details of the ceremony. At the very least, if you decide to mark your burial without a Eucharist, you would want to arrange a Mass at a later date. In the Gospel for the feast of the Epiphany, Matthew indicates that the Magi visited with King Herod in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ Birth and that apparently very soon after their visit, the Holy Family fled to Egypt to avoid the wrath of Herod and stayed there until Herod had died. But on Feb. 2, we heard Luke’s account of the Christ Child’s presentation in the Temple in Jerusalem just a few weeks after his birth, and Luke indicates that the Holy Family returned then to Nazareth in Galilee. How are we to reconcile these different accounts? (Circleville, Ohio)
Some Scripture scholars have pointed out what you see as a conflict between the Infancy Narratives of Matthew and Luke. (The late renowned New Testament expert Father Raymond Brown once declared that the two accounts “are contrary to each other.”) Other biblical authorities, however, have no problem with reconciling the two narratives. The key, they explain, is to understand that the four Gospel authors wrote for different audiences, and thus each of them did not feel compelled to detail every aspect of the life of Jesus. Luke, for example, says nothing about the flight into Egypt while Matthew doesn’t mention the Temple observance of the presentation. In addition, the Gospel writers sometimes used the word “then” to introduce a particular passage as though the events happened in quick succession, while that may not have been true. Luke does not say that the Holy Family returned to Nazareth “immediately” after the presentation in the Temple; he simply indicates that Mary and Joseph settled afterward in Nazareth, without specifying how much time had elapsed. So it is quite possible that Luke’s narrative allows for a period of time for a flight into Egypt to escape the wrath of Herod, followed by an eventual return to Nazareth. Questions may be sent to Father Kenneth Doyle at askfatherdoyle@ gmail.com and 30 Columbia Circle Dr., Albany, New York 12203.
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34 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE April 2020
In life or death, we are safe in the hands of God
or me, April has always been the herald of newness, recalling memories of childhood Easters when there was still a visual litany of delight present in the “Easter parade” at church where young girls wore crisp white gloves, patent leather shoes and the traditional flowered bonnet, and young boys squirmed under restrictive suit jackets with collars buttoned tight at the neck. Always there was the tie, a sign of maturity for some and a convenient source of distraction for others. Buds just beginning on forsythia bushes, Easter lilies near the altar and tulips on the kitchen table were a sign of the season of life, and a reminder that we would soon be visiting the local nursery to buy our annuals for planting in flower beds and boxes, bringing color and butterflies to our family backyard. Dressed in my Easter finery, I always felt a little like the butterfly just emerging from my cocoon, In life, as in transformed from the ordinary into extraordinary. Even after a long death after the the day of family visits and lengthy meals, soul goes to I hated to change out of my new and return to my pre-Easter meet God, we clothes self. Little did I know the experience are raised would become a lesson of faith as I matured. up by God’s It seems that Christ’s Resurrecmercy. tion could not have taken place at any other time of the year but spring, this time of new growth and promise, of miracles and transformations. During my life, this season of beginnings has often offered consolation and peace in those moments when, especially as a young woman, I was haunted by a great fear of death. To watch the mystery of spring unfold, to experience the beauty of life’s emergence from the cold ground of winter was to hear God’s assurance that ‘there is nothing to fear – all is life, all has its purpose, even death.” Our Catholic faith reaffirms that death is not the end, teaching that “just
as Christ is truly risen from the dead THINGS MY FATHER and lives forever, TAUGHT ME so after death the Mary Clifford Morrell righteous will live forever with the risen Christ and he will raise them up on the last day” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 989). But what does it mean to be raised up? In today’s troubled times, we may recall the song, “You Raise Me Up,” and the verse, “When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary; When troubles come and my heart burdened be; Then, I am still and wait here in the silence until you come and sit awhile with me.” In life, as in death after the soul goes to meet God, we are raised up by God’s mercy and love. We may not understand fully the resurrection of the “last day,” but God gives us glimpses of this mystery in the little resurrections of daily life – the crocus pushing up through the snow, the early morning light which follows the dark of night, someone who has fallen under life’s burdens but has found the strength to get up again. At the beginning of the 21st century, St. John Paul II wrote in Novo Millennio Ineunte, “The truth of Christ’s Resurrection is the original fact upon which Christian faith is based … We do not know what the new millennium has in store for us, but we are certain that it is safe in the hands of Christ, the ‘King of kings and Lord of lords’.” Safe in the hands of Christ – can any thought be more comforting as we face our uncertain futures, and ultimately, our deaths? Certainly, this is reason enough to celebrate Christ’s Passover, not only on Easter, but on every Sunday, with gratitude and the reassurance of what it means to emerge from the cocoon of human existence to the freedom of resurrected life. Mary Clifford Morrell is the author of “Things My Father Taught Me About Love,” and “Let Go and Live: Reclaiming your life by releasing your emotional clutter,” both available as ebooks on Amazon.com.
April 2020 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE 35
Home with family for near future –
now what BY EMMALEE ITALIA Contributing Editor
he necessary seclusion brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic presents both a challenge and an opportunity for families. It’s one thing to choose a week or two on vacation as a family. It’s quite another to suddenly have 24 hours together for weeks on end, with many customary distractions no longer an option. Before long, most of us will be ready for a return to the routine, and possibly at our wits’ end over all that togetherness. So it’s important to seek activities that break up the monotony and perhaps give us some positive alternatives to the daily virus update or movie rentals. GET OUTSIDE – A LOT. Not only is it good for our physical health, we can take time as a family to observe what we might not have noticed before in our hectic lives – a goldfinch returning from winter in warmer climes, new buds and blossoms on neighborhood trees, a freshness in the air. Also look on your community’s Facebook page – many are starting neighborhood “hunts,” with a particular item viewable in a window. BAKE … AND BAKE SOME MORE. What better time to try a new recipe than when you are stuck at home? Dust off those old cookbooks and treasure hunt for something from years past. I was always amazed what my mother could cobble together from pantry staples. BRING BACK THE BOARD GAME. My son has been angling for a regular family game night for a long time. Now that our schedules have been completely upended, it has been easier to find that opportunity to gather around a table with a deck of cards, things like Clue
and Monopoly, and even one modeled after the 80s computer game “The Oregon Trail” – to which I am partial, since, being a native Oregonian and thus the “one born closest to the Willamette Valley,” I always get to go first.
The silver lining ... is that our forced closeness becomes a chance to work on family. DON’T FORGET TO CHECK ON FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS. We know that COVID-19 is particularly hard on the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Many communities are encouraging people to check in on their neighbors and offer to go on grocery runs or pick up prescriptions. How about asking your kids to write or draw letters or pictures to brighten their day? “READ” AN AUDIO BOOK TOGETHER. The way current families congregate around their favorite television series is not unlike what pre-television families did with the radio. Recently a good friend told me she subscribed to Audible.com and began listening to “Crime and Punishment” on the way to and from work. Now that she and her
36 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE April 2020
Posting signs in your windows as a way to check up on at-risk neighbors is one way families can spend positive time together. Staff photo kids are working and schooling from home, she and her high school daughter have bonded over listening to the familiar nightly chapter together, giving them something poignant to discuss. And really, who couldn’t use more Dostoyevsky in their lives? “ATTEND” MASS TOGETHER REMOTELY. We are blessed to have virtual opportunities to reconnect with the Church from our living rooms, simply by viewing a livestream or prerecorded Mass. It can be a great spiritual comfort to go through the readings as a family, to listen to the homily and witness the Consecration of the Holy Eucharist. It shows our children that we are not on “vacation” from our faith – rather, that we value the spiritual Communion we are able to make, and how important it is to rely on our Catholic universal prayer and faith community, even virtually. Perhaps the silver lining in this pandemic is that our forced physical closeness becomes a chance to work on our family relationships – and hopefully, build strength and faith as a unit, so that when our families re-emerge in community life, we will be kinder and more appreciative of all we have.
Young Catholics Samantha Mistretta of St. Robert Bellarmine CoCathedral, Freehold, was attending college courses in Rome when her studies were cut short due to the coronavirus. Photo courtesy of Samantha Mistretta
Change in Plans
Freehold student’s dreams of semester abroad, Easter in Rome cut short by coronavirus BY LOIS ROGERS Correspondent
amantha Mistretta’s semester abroad in Rome during Lent and Easter was supposed to be the very best college experience, one that combined studies with an unparalleled opportunity to engage in her deeply held Catholic faith.
“I was really so excited at being in Rome during Lent,” said Mistretta, 20, a sophomore in Ramapo College and a member of St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold. “I had dreams of being in St. Peter’s Square on Easter.” Mistretta was the lone student from Ramapo College traveling with a group of 44 Americans when she touched down Jan. 21 in Rome to study at Roma Tre University. Among them were 15 students from Philadelphia’s Villanova University. She had no idea that the arrival of the coronavirus would quickly put an end to her dreams of Easter in the Holy City. With an apartment in Rome’s up-andcoming Garbatella area and the Roma Tre University and the Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls – where the Pope is known to spontaneously celebrate Mass
– nearby, the scenario seemed as good as it gets, Mistretta said. And for a time it was. IT WAS A FILM COURSE that brought the communication art major to the famed Cinecittà Studios, where filmmakers such as Federico Fellini, Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese had worked. A food studies course in sustainability introduced Mistretta to the zesty tastes of real Neapolitan cuisine. Her history course was taught by a professor who used Rome as the classroom, taking his students to historical sites including the Colosseum and Pantheon. The city also brought to life dimensions of the Catholic faith, she said. “I’m pretty religious and being near the Vatican, the spiritual hub of the Catholic faith,” was
very meaningful. Mistretta attended Mass in different churches throughout the city, even serving as a reader in one, and on side trips to cities such as Florence, where the beauty of Mass in the Florence Cathedral left her in tears.
“People started getting very nervous, and parents were contacting their children, wanting them to come home.” While early warnings about the virus had started to filter in, it wasn’t until Valentine’s Day weekend, she said, that everything started to change. “People started getting very nervous, and parents were contacting their children, wanting them to come home.” For her group, the atmosphere changed drastically at the end of February, when Villanova University pulled Continued on 47
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April 2020 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE 37
School staff feed students from afar BY JENNIFER MAURO Managing Editor
hile Catholic schools in the Diocese are attending to students’ learning through virtual platforms, teachers and staff are also continuing to make sure another need is met, too: food. Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, Asbury Park, and Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton, have been providing breakfast and lunch to children in their communities who are food insecure during building closure orders due to coronavirus concerns. “It took us all morning to do the deliveries with two church vans, but it was great to get the job done,” Theresa Craig, Our Lady of Mount Carmel School principal, said after meal dropoffs March 25. She was accompanied on the trip by Mother of Mercy Parish pastor Divine Word Father Miguel Virella. School staff, including cook Wanda Hart and cafeteria manager Loretta Gluckstein, were prepared with meals the first week of the mandatory school closures. “Over 90 percent of our students receive free or reduced lunch, so we knew we would have an issue with kids who were food insure,” Craig said. Trenton Catholic Academy was at the ready, too. “Almost 65 percent of our students receive free and reduced lunch, so we wanted to be sure the food they received for breakfast and lunch at school would be available to them while they are home,” said Mike Knowles, TCA president. Both schools emphasized the breadth of the meals.
THE DIOCESE OF TRENTON is committed to the initiatives outlined in the U.S. Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and to its own policies and guidelines in regard to the reporting and investigation of sexual abuse allegations involving minors. If you have been sexually abused as a minor by a member of the clergy or anyone representing the Catholic Church, or if you know of someone who was, you can report that abuse through the diocesan
In Asbury Park, the breakfasts and lunches are for any child younger than 18 who is in the household. At TCA, any students – not just those eligible for free and reduced lunches – are able to receive the food. Parents pick up food for the week on Mondays, which includes a breakfast bag with cereal, yogurt and fruit. Lunch Sandwiches are prepped for distribuis also provided for the tion to students of Trenton Catholic week and consists of Academy. Courtesy photo sandwiches, juices, fruit and snacks. The school also plans to introduce hot lunches. All social distancing protocols and rules are being followed at all times, Knowles stressed. Craig explained that teachers and staff are continuing to evaluate the best way to reach their communities. For now, they continue to build a spreadsheet of families requesting food deliveries and encourage parents to contact teachers. Serving a diverse community that includes Chinese, Haitian and Hispanic families, staff use the online app ClassDojo to help with translation. She went on to stress that many parents in the Asbury Park area are temporarily out of work with the statewide stay-athome orders. “I can’t help them pay their rent, but I can certainly make sure they have more money for their rent and tuition if we help feed their kids,” Craig said. Theresa Craig, principal in Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, Asbury Park, and cafeteria manager Loretta Gluckstein get ready to distribute meals to students who are learning from home the week of March 15. Gluckstein is the mayor of Atlantic Highlands. Courtesy photo
ABUSE HOTLINE: 1-888-296-2965
or via e-mail at email@example.com. The Diocese of Trenton reports any allegations of sexual abuse to the appropriate law enforcement agencies. Anyone with an allegation is also encouraged to provide that information to local law enforcement authorities. The Diocese of Trenton and The Monitor would like to thank GALLAGHER INSURANCE for their support and sponsorship of this page. 38 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE April 2020
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In The Parishes
‘You Are Using various forms of technology, priests bring messages of hope, assurance to their people
Father Daniel Kirk, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Cinnaminson, is learning day by day new technological ways to keep in touch with his parishioners. YouTube screenshot BY MARY STADNYK Associate Editor
“I still have a duty to
n the days leading up to the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Conventual Franciscan Father James Scullion had a pressing concern. Knowing that he would not be seeing his parishioners and celebrating Mass with them in person, he was figuring out ways in which he could communicate and pray with his parishioners. His solution was to post messages on the parish’s Facebook page.
preach and teach, and
“We are still a parish, we are still a community of faith,” Father Scullion, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Brant Beach, said as he introduced a prayer service March 21. To add to the reverence, he noted that Michele Beck, parish music minister, had been diligently working on recording hymns and songs that were also posted on Facebook. “I would encourage you not only to listen to them, but as our music minister leads you in prayer, let those hymns and songs allow you to raise up your voices to praise and give thanks to God, and also allow God to speak to all of us and to all of our hearts,” he said. STAYING CONNECTED There is a growing list of parishes around the Diocese that are using technology to bring the Mass and other forms of prayer to the faithful during
the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of priests like Father Scullion are turning to technology and using their cell phones, YouTube channels, Facebook pages and parish websites to reach their flocks. What priests present ranges from messages of concern to updates on what’s going on in the Diocese and parishes and simply letting people know they are not alone. “I still have a duty to preach and teach, and we live in a time where the tools to do that are very convenient to use,” said Father Todd Carter, pastor of Holy Innocents Parish, Neptune, who has been posting to Facebook. “This whole period of social distancing can go in two different ways. We could completely lose all structure and just give into despair or lazy hedonism. Or, we can really dedicate ourselves to prayer and focus on the Lord. I want to encourage people to take
40 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE April 2020
we live in a time where the tools to do that are very convenient to use.” the second option as much as possible. Eventually, the pandemic will be over, and I want the Church to be stronger for it.” Father Carter’s plan is to maintain the parish’s Facebook page and post items including occasional video updates, his bulletin letter and weekly homilies. He is also compiling a parish email list so parishioners can stay in touch and is considering hosting an online Bible study. “As always, my goal is to proclaim the Gospel and how it connects to life,” said Father Carter, adding that he wants to present topics that talk about hope, deal with death and illness, how to pray, and show charity to others, among others. “I think it is very useful, and we are seeing the fruits of it now,” said Father Carter, remarking on how modern-day
Not Alone’ media and technology can assist priests in reaching their parishioners. “People have a natural need to socialize – that’s why it is so hard to keep them quarantined. They want to be around people and to feel loved. Even though it is not the same as being in the presence of someone, we can provide some of that with social media. It works because it connects people together who otherwise would not be able to see each other.” SPIRITUAL CONNECTIONS Before Father Scott Shaffer talked about social media undertakings in St. Joseph Parish, Toms River, where he serves as pastor, he wanted to give a shout-out to the faculties and staff of St. Joseph Grammar School and Donovan Catholic High School for their work and collaboration in making sure the various means of technology needed were in place as they continued to remotely educate the students. “I’m very proud and grateful for that,” he said. In the parish, Father Shaffer said it’s been a blessing to have the ability to livestream Mass on Facebook from the parish’s Adoration Chapel, then noted that as people watched the Sunday Mass on March 22, he delighted in reading the comments that were posted by parishioners. Many said they responded to the prayers and Mass and assumed the appropriate postures – they stood when it was time to stand, sat when it was time to sit, knelt when it was time to kneel and offered each other the Sign of Peace. Even though the people are not in physical proximity with one another, technology is “allowing us to make a spiritual connection,” Father Shaffer said. “What a blessing it is to have the various platforms to reach people,” Father Shaffer said, then added that along with the livestream of Mass, he also recorded it so that it could be seen on
Instagram and Twitter. Through such communication, Father Shaffer said, it’s his prayer that he could let people know that the current pandemic is a trying time. “It’s not the end of the world,” he said. “We are all in this together, and we have to deal with life as it is.” TRY AND TRY AGAIN Father Daniel Kirk, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Cinnaminson, smiled when he said a failed attempt at livestreaming Sunday Masses March 21-22 prompted him to post a greeting on Facebook. “I knew it was important to connect with my community in some fashion, and my first instinct was through our most vital prayer, the Mass,” he said. But when the livestream attempt didn’t pan out, he recorded a reflection on YouTube. “Ultimately, the communal aspect of our faith is being challenged at the moment, and I think any attempt to bridge the physical gaps between is helpful to many of our people,” said Father Kirk, noting that efforts to livestream Masses are underway and he appreciates the help of generous parishioners who are providing their time, expertise and materials. Until then, he said, he will continue posting messages to YouTube and then distribute it via Facebook and the parish website. “There are so many messages that people need to hear in this time, but I think most of them center around the reality that while we might be displaced from our normal routine, especially in the liturgical realm, that God’s goodness, grace, and love remain an active and an abundant part of our lives,” Father Kirk said. “People are craving something of comfort and normalcy. If we as priests, pastors, people of faith, can reach out and say, in a digital presence or otherwise, “Take a deep breath and trust in the Lord,” that goes a very long way in helping others see the wider picture and be reminded of their faith. “The things that people use to entertain themselves, many of them have been suspended, canceled or postponed,” Father Kirk said. We all need something other than the nightly news to occupy our thoughts. Many of us are grateful to have good reminders of the power of God right now.” Father Scott Shaffer of St. Joseph Parish, Toms River, livestreamed Mass on Facebook, which was appreciated by his faithful, as noted in the comment section at right. YouTube screenshot
We would like to thank WILLIS TOWERS WATSON, Property/Casualty broker for the Diocese of Trenton, for their sponsorship of this page.
April 2020 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE 41
Front and Center
SLV’s Dean Peterson prays before wrestling in the NJSIAA State Wrestling Championships held in Atlantic City. Peterson, a member of Catholic Athletes for Christ, won his second straight state title. Andrew
SJV state wrestling champ talks about big win, living his faith
Mills, NJ Advance Media
BY RICH FISHER Contributing Editor
ean Peterson was about to wrestle for his second straight state championship and 77th consecutive high school victory in front of thousands of spectators at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Convention Hall. For a moment, however, his thoughts were not on the crowd, not on his record, not on his opponent. They were on God. As he has done before every match in his life since age 4, Peterson knelt and prayed. The St. John Vianney junior then went out and took a 1-0 decision over Brick Memorial’s Vincent Santaniello March 7 in the 120-pound finals of the NJSIAA State Wrestling Championships. That capped a 42-0 season for Peterson.
More Wrestling Highlights SJV’s Blake Clayton also earned a medal in the NJSIAA State Wrestling Championships with a third-place finish at 182 pounds after being seeded eighth. After being pinned in the round of 16, Clayton recorded two pins in the consolation round before defeating Wall’s Jacob Whitworth by injury default in the third-place final.
Coupled with last year’s 35-0 mark, he is 77-0 in the past two years, with his last loss coming as a freshman in the 2018 state finals. He has used that loss to fuel him ever since. “It’s almost like refocusing my goals,” Peterson said, explaining that as a freshman, he had his sights on being a fourtime champion. After that loss, “I was like, ‘OK, now you can only be a threetime champ.’ You just have to reset your goals and get back there.” Throughout that journey, before each of the next 77 matches, he publicly displayed his love of God. “That’s a tradition I’ve had since I started wrestling,” said Peterson, who attends St. Mary Parish in his hometown of Barnegat. “I say a prayer before I go out and wrestle every match. I thank him, and he gives me strength.” Once the prayer is finished, a calm comes over the wrestler that suddenly makes everything manageable. “It’s almost like it takes the nerves away,” Peterson said. “You have all this pressure, and then you say a prayer and it’s all gone.” Peterson said he has no reservations about his public display of faith, particu-
42 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE April 2020
larly around large crowds. “I’ve never even thought about it like that,” he said. “I’ve never been embarrassed to show my religion.” Peterson shows more than that on the mat, as indicated by his remarkable record that includes just two losses over three years. He was utterly dominant at the state meet, not allowing a point to any of his five opponents. He won by scores of 15-0, 8-0, 7-0, 3-0 and 1-0. Peterson wrestled with a broken hand in the 2019 finals, but he had no such problems this year. “I had some injuries during the season that I had to recover from, but nothing during the state tournament,” he said. “No drama, no injuries.” After states, Peterson took a week off before getting back into training. He is now focusing on Freestyle and Greco in order to tryout for the Cadet World Team, which will represent the United States in Europe this summer. Between his studies and his grappling, Peterson enjoys taking time out to read the Bible. “I like reading it,” he said. “I feel like the more I read it, the better life is. If you can follow what’s in the Bible, you’ll live a better life.”
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April 2020 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE 43
In Memoriam SISTER MARY MARTHA HARCAR, EDUCATOR, PARISH VISITOR Mercy Sister Mary Martha Harcar died March 20 in McAuley Hall Health Care Center, Watchung. She was 97. Sister Mary Martha was one of 12 children born to George and Mary Harcar in Trenton. She attended Immaculate Conception School, Trenton, and Cathedral High School, Trenton, where she met the Sisters of Mercy. She en-
tered the community following her high school graduation. Throughout her ministry in education, she taught in a number of schools staffed by the Sisters of Mercy including St. Mary School in Bordentown, in the Trenton Diocese. Sister Mary Martha earned a bachelor arts degree in elementary education from Georgian Court College (now University), Lakewood, and a master of arts degree from Seton Hall University, South Orange. Sister Mary Martha transferred to St. Paul Parish, Princeton, where she assumed the role of parish visitor in 1993 and served there
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ENDOWMENT MONIES AVAILABLE Requests are now being accepted for grants from the Bishop George W. Ahr Endowment Fund. These grants are available to any church, office, apostolate or ministry within the Diocese of Trenton attempting to provide services for needy and vulnerable families. Approximately $10,000 is available for distribution. Applications may be obtained by contacting Grace Magee at the Pastoral Center of the Diocese of Trenton: GMagee@ dioceseoftrenton.org or by mail: Diocese of Trenton, Attn: Grace Magee, P.O. Box 5147, Trenton, NJ 08638. All completed applications must be postmarked no later than May 15, 2020.
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44 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE April 2020
N REMEMBRANCE, a listing of priests and deacons of Ithe Diocese of Trenton who have died, can be found on
for 23 years. In 2016, Sister Mary Martha moved to McAuley Hall. She is survived by her sister, many nieces and nephews and members of the Sisters of Mercy community. DEACON JOHN JOSEPH O’DONNELL, SERVED IN HAINESPORT PARISH Deacon John Joseph O’Donnell, who served in Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Hainesport, died March 2 at age 90. Deacon O’Donnell was born and raised in Brooklyn and lived in New York until his retirement in 1988 at which time he moved to New Jersey. He received an honorable discharge in 1950 from the U.S. Army following a tour of duty in Germany. He went on to graduate from St. John’s University in New York with a bachelor of science degree in management and finance. He was employed at Bache & Co. and Clark-Dodge Co.,
in New York as an internal auditor and tax consultant, then worked with the Chaote family until he retired. Deacon O’Donnell was ordained a deacon in 1996 by Bishop John C. Reiss in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton, and assigned to Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish. He is survived by his longtime friend, Frances Vernon; three nieces, a nephew and close friends. Burial arrangements were private. Memorial donations may be made to Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish.
OBITUARY INFORMATION Additional obituaries will be posted to TrentonMonitor.com as information becomes available.
Emergency relief bill helps some Continued from 27
The funds are part of $377 billion allocated for small business assistance. Presentation Sister Dale McDonald, director of public policy and education research at the National Catholic Educational Association, said funds can be used for cleaning supplies, disinfecting schools and widening the use of technology to enable at-home learning. While welcoming the monies, she said, “For many of our schools, the funds are not going to be enough.” Catholic colleges and universities also will see some relief, but not nearly as much as necessary, said Vincentian Father Dennis Holtschneider, president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. Many ACCU members are facing tight cash flows, especially because they at least partially refunded room and board costs to students who had to vacate dormitories. Brian Corbin, executive vice president of member services at Catholic Charities USA, welcomed allocations in the CARES Act for a variety of social services. Among the specific items being funded are an additional $15 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP; $8.8 billion for child nutrition assistance; and $4 billion for emergency solutions grants to address homelessness. Another provision includes a $300 charitable deduction for all tax filers, even if they do not itemize deductions. The deduction may encourage people to donate to charitable agencies in a time of great need, Corbin said.
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April 2020 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE 45
Teachers, students embrace online learning Continued from 15
interactively share a screen of her plan online for the class to discuss major topics. “I then send the students to [virtual] breakout rooms, where they engage in a critical Kindergarten teacher Marcella Chen uses Facebook Live to read to her Our Lady of Good thinking Socratic circle,” she explained. “I stop Counsel School, Moorestown, students. Facebook photo in each breakout room to check on participation and add my two cents. It is here that my student teacher is particularly helpful in that he actually The teacher feels her students have been outstanding during works in a breakout room, monitoring participation and helping the crisis, but added, that “They are lonely, sad and praying to students. I bring the groups back to the main session to debrief. get back to those uniforms they thought they hated, those hard The best part of this is our interaction, as it does provide a close desks they complained about, and the physical presence of evsimulation to the normal classroom.” eryone in the Donovan Catholic community.” When it comes to giving tests, Mulvaney said, “I ask STUDENT PERSPECTIVE open-ended, critical thinking questions that defy cheating; St. John Vianney High School ninth-grader Audrey Bruden I also plan to give more project-based assessments and oral knows exactly how that feels, saying, “I honestly didn’t realize assessments.” how much I would miss school.” Bruden is missing out on her spring track & field season and, like countless others, unable to partake in other extracurricular activities but is continuing to focus on her schoolwork. “It’s just really different,” Bruden said, admitting that it’s lonely not to be with other classmates. She added, “You don’t know how this [the pandemic] could happen, why God let this happen. So Continued from 15 “The best this is really confusing.” Sewing: I would suggest that they talk to their The Holmdel high School was part of this is child and ask them how they intend to complete among Catholic schools in the the work. Then hold them to that. If that does not our interaction, Diocese prepared to go to an atwork, make a new plan together. We all need to be home learning platform. In early flexible and compassionate as we negotiate these as it does March, the school was featured on uncharted waters! CBS New York for being ready for a provide a close possible closure. The news report exQ: Any additional advice? simulation to plained how teachers would be able O’Neill: A suggestion for teachers would be to to upload lessons and “record their try to grade all assignments in a timely fashion. Stuvoice at home over video instruction the normal dents will respond more quickly to us if we give and PowerPoint presentations.” them feedback as quickly as possible. If we wait too classroom.” For Bruden, her teachers post long to give the students feedback, they won’t be as 20-minute lesson videos at the start interested in completing the next assignment. of the day, and students can log on at their leisure, as long as Sewing: Recently, I created a teaching video for they get their work in by 4 p.m. If students have questions, they my class, and many of the students wrote to me email the teachers. that it was so nice to see my face and hear my voice Bruden, an honor student in the school’s Advancement Placeagain because it made them feel that they were ment Academy, laughs as she admits sleeping in later than usual back in the classroom. St. Paul says that when we go is one benefit of learning at home. She is quick to admit, however, through times of trial, God will also provide “a way that she would trade the later rise to get life back to normal. out so that you can endure it.” I strongly believe that “We’ve only been doing this for about a week,” she said in cyber learning and the support of our community is mid-March, “but it feels so much longer. It’s weird.” helping us all to endure this challenging time.
Keeping to schedule is key, teachers advise parents
46 THE MONITOR MAGAZINE April 2020
Young Catholic leaves Italy over COVID threat Continued from 37
its students out of Rome. In an article Mistretta wrote for her college newspaper, she recalled that “everyone in the program was upset. We did not want our friends to leave … everyone began to fear they would get pulled by their schools.” But when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel warning was raised to a Level 3, “I emailed back home that I would definitely be coming home.” Soon after, Mistretta was notified that the program was requiring the remaining students to leave Rome. “I was crying,” she said. “It wasn’t my choice. It became scarier. I was being told that ‘for your safety, you need to come home.’ It was very frightening. I did speak to my parents. They booked a flight home.” She spent her last day in Rome with friends, “getting up at the crack of dawn
Emotional needs Continued from 12
to do everything we could before we left. We went to the Trevi Fountain and made wishes. We climbed the Spanish Steps and went to the church at the top. We had a nice dinner.” MISTRETTA FLEW OUT OF ROME the next day at 9 a.m. When she landed in the United States, she was told that she would have to self-quarantine for 14 days. The circumstances of her departure, Mistretta said, “didn’t hit me until I landed home. It was so quick. I didn’t really register what had happened until then.” Nervous and worried soon after
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vicar in St. James Parish, Pennington, St. George Parish, Titusville, and St. Alphonsus Parish, Hopewell. KEEPING FAITH For Sandra Mullarkey, a registered nurse and pastoral associate in St. Anselm Parish, Wayside, this period of social isolation has been a busy time. While assisting the pastor, Father Eugene Vavrick, in keeping parishioners up to date with diocesan and parish news and information, she makes it a point to learn how they are doing as well. That involves sending out emails and telephoning those without access to the internet. She follows up with a letter to those she can’t reach in a timely fashion. Mullarkey urges parishioners to join her in this effort by reaching out to others to “make sure they have everything they need” in the way of medication, shopping or contacting family and friends. “This virus is unbelievable. But we are doing the best we can,” she said. She advises drawing strength from reflecting on how past difficulties were overcome.
arriving home that the stuffiness and congestion she was experiencing was more than allergies, she and her parents went to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune. “There were multiple tests, a mouth swab, blood tests, swabs up my nose … a chest X-Ray,” Mistretta said. The tests, which took several days to process, came back negative. Mistretta said she is grateful to be home with her family, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow. They pray constantly for the safety of all. Another thing for which Mistretta is grateful: that her memories of Italy – including Mass with Pope Francis in St. Paul Outside the Walls – will stay with her forever.
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A SPECIAL EDITION on the Church and the coronavirus. From The Diocese of Trenton