COVID-19 Updates

  • All in-person masses are suspended until further notice.
    • The Sunday obligation to attend mass has been lifted.
    • Sunday mass will be live-streamed at 10:30am on our Facebook page.
    • Daily mass will be available each morning at 8:00am on our Facebook page.
  • Church is closed until further notice.
  • CFF classes, choirs, sporting events and all standing committees, organizations/societies and clubs are suspended until further notice.
  • Catholic Charities has sealed their donation bins until further notice.

As the National Emergency continues, please know your health and safety are of utmost importance, and that you and your loved ones remain in our prayers as we all seek to adapt to this changing reality.

Update Archive

Sunday April 4th

In a memo from Cardinal Tobin to Pastors in the Archdiocese of Newark:

"The Holy Week directives indicated that “Palms may be made available for distribution at a later date.” However, due to the guidelines on social distancing and the increased spread of the coronavirus, parishes should not distribute palm branches until the constraints of social distancing have been removed. If a parish chooses to bless palms this weekend, they can store them until normalcy returns."

Thursday April 2nd

Effective immediately: Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, Catholic Charities will be sealing off their clothing bins until further notice. Catholic Charities will alert us as to when they will be picking up clothing again.

Wednesday March 25th

Sadly, effective Thursday, March 26th, Cardinal Tobin has directed that all Catholic Churches remain closed, even for private prayer, until further notice.

We will continue to stream our daily and Sunday masses and pray for you all during this difficult time.

Fr Bill and Fr AJ

Tuesday March 17th

A word from Fr. Bill

“But Jesus overheard what they said and he said,’…Do not be afraid; only have faith.’” (Mark 5:36)

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St Agnes:

If your experience these past few days has been anything like mine, you have heard and ‘overheard’ many things concerning the present National Emergency. It may have been at the Supermarket while you were searching somewhat futilely the empty shelves for items for your family, or in conversations over the phone with fellow employees as you were listening to your ‘plan’ for your place of employment, maybe it was while you were beginning the new process of schooling your children at home and caught a sound byte from the television, and of course the internet is never short on ‘information.’ All of us have heard or ‘overheard’ quite a bit these past few days. I would also venture to say that most of what we have heard sounded ominous and a bit frightening. We are adrift on unknown and uncharted waters.

It is precisely at times like these that we are challenged by circumstance to ‘dig deep’ into our hearts and souls for what really matters most to us. Providentially, we are people of belief. We have the ‘rock foundation’ of a personal and communal relationship with Jesus Christ, we have the wisdom of the Scriptures, we have the examples of the Saints, we have the connectedness to the worldwide Body of Christ praying in unison, we have one another, we have God. As St Paul put it so beautifully, “…everything belongs to you, whether it is Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, the world, life or death, the present or the future—all belong to you; but you belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God.” (1 Corinthians 3: 21-23) It is wise for us, therefore, to draw upon this belonging. Particularly in times of crisis, it is good for us to remember who we belong to and garner strength from Him.

At St. Agnes, we are trying our best to help parishioners utilize their belonging to Christ and His Church in these troubled times. We are remaining in touch with one another via phone, email, Zoom and Facebook. (Special thanks to Fr AJ, Rob Kircher, Jeff Zannetti, and Chris Motsay for expanding our ‘Digital Footprint’ as a Parish!) We have had a Live Stream of Sunday Mass, shared information through emails and Facebook and planned outreach through a video conference on Zoom. In the days to come we will continue these practices so please consult these avenues of communication. ‘Social distancing,’ which is appropriate at this time should not slip into social isolation or worse, spiritual distancing. “No, the word is very near to you, it is in your mouth, and in your heart for you to put into practice.” (Deuteronomy 30: 14)

I encourage you to remain connected. Although public celebration of the Eucharist has been temporarily suspended we can still draw strength from the Eucharist witnessed online and through Spiritual Communion. While it is important for us to be attentive to news reports and Civil Government communications, spending every waking moment glued to the television is probably not psychologically or spiritually healthy. Since we’re somewhat ‘cloistered’ during this time why not use the time to pray together as a family? Or if alone, to reflect on Sacred Scripture? (We will post resources such as guidelines for Lectio Divina {praying the Scriptures} and the Examen Prayer {a daily reflection on God’s presence} shortly.) Given our recent foray into Social Media, Fr AJ and I also hope to provide some further spiritual resources in the days to come. We will also be launching an outreach to our more vulnerable parishioners and neighbors as well.

Following the latest mandate by Cardinal Tobin (March 17th), the PUBLIC CELEBRATION OF DAILY MASS IS SUSPENDED. Beginning tomorrow (March 18th) Daily Mass may be found on our Facebook page only. Our Church building will remain open, however, from 10:00am to 6:00pm for personal and familial quiet prayer and reflection. As unnerving as this National Emergency has been, and will likely continue to be, there is no reason to face it alone. We’re Catholic, therefore we’re CONNECTED!

In Christ’s Peace,

Fr Bill Sheridan

Pastor

Monday March 16th

Based on today’s decision by Gov. Murphy and the imposed curfew starting at 8pm, starting tonight, the rest of the St Joseph’s Novena will be available only on our Facebook page at 7:30pm.

Each of us is asked to play our part in reducing the spread of the virus, therefore we ask that you not come to the church for the Novena and instead join us on Facebook.

For the time being, daily mass will continue to be celebrated in the church at 8am unless the Cardinal suspends it and then it will be only available on our Facebook page.

As the National Emergency continues, please keep know that we love you and you all remain deeply in our prayers.

May St Joseph, Consolation of the Afflicted, pray for us.

Fr Bill and Fr AJ

Friday March 13th

Dear parishioners and friends of St. Agnes Church,

We know that there are growing concerns around the Coronavirus Disease, and your health and safety are of utmost importance. We want to assure you that we are taking precautions and feel our very best action is prevention.

As mandated by Cardinal Tobin, Saturday evening and Sunday masses are suspended until further notice. The Sunday obligation to attend mass has been lifted.

CFF classes, choirs, sporting events and all standing committees, organizations/societies and clubs will be suspended until further notice.

Lastly, our remaining Monday evening Lenten reflections will be postponed.

Additionally:

In the meantime, our spiritual health is more important than ever. Our church will be open every day at the usual hours. Weekday masses will continue at the normal times, the St Joseph Novena will continue at the scheduled times until March 19th.

We have created a St Agnes Facebook page and ask you to “like” it today. Fr Bill and Fr AJ will be live-streaming a Mass on Sunday at 10:30AM. We will also be posting spiritual messages and homilies as this pandemic continues. We also encourage you to make a “spiritual Communion”.

Please know that you and your loved ones remain in our prayers as we all seek to adapt to this changing reality.

See us at the Live Stream!

In Christ’s Peace,

Fr. Bill and Fr. AJ