Lenten Reconciliation Monday will be held on April 6, 2020 from 3:00 to 9:00 PM in all the parishes of the archdiocese and the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre. Promotional material will be available as we get closer to the date.
Talking Points for Pastors and Bulletins As you make your requests for Easter contributions and for the Cardinal’s Annual Stewardship Appeal, you may see a value in saying to your people that none of their donations to the appeal or to the parish will be used for settlements from sexual abuse complaints about our priests. As many families do when they are faced with large unexpected expenses, the archdiocese has borrowed for purposes of justice and healing up to $100 million, which we will pay back from non-parish originated funds. It may help your people to know that no funds received in collections or appeals will be used to settle complaints.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Reminders Salus Infirmorum, ora pro nobis.
- Practice good hygiene;
- Avoid close contact with others, especially if suffering from a cold or flu;
- Employ a verbal greeting with a smile and a nod rather than a handshake; the sign of peace should be exchanged without physical contact;
- Given the frequency of direct contact with saliva in the distribution of Holy Communion on the tongue, every consideration should be made by each individual to receive the host reverently in open hands for the protection of all;
- Suspend the distribution of the Precious Blood of Christ from the chalice to the faithful;
- Ministers are reminded to use anti-bacterial solution before and after distribution of Communion;
- Sickness is a valid reason not to attend Mass and other church gatherings. Anyone who is ill or has flu-like symptoms should be urged to stay home. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is broadcast on several television channels; the sick can make “spiritual communion” until they return to good health.
Tax Law Changes The latest change in the tax laws raises to 72 from 70½ the age at which individuals must begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from their retirement accounts, including their IRAs. This only applies to people who turn 70½ after December 31, 2019. The new law also allows people to contribute to their IRA after they are 70½ as long as they have earned income. You may want to share this information with your parishioners, as it gives them yet another way to make a gift.
Parish RCIA Coordinators Kindly send the total number of baptized RCIA candidates who will be completing their sacraments of initiation this Easter 2020 to Oscar Cruz, director of the catechumenate. Obviously, this information is important to us as we review the current process of initiation. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compensation for Religious Each year at this time we publish the new stipends for religious men and women working in the archdiocese. Effective September 1, there will be a 2% increase over the past fiscal year. Refer to the chart in this monthly mailing to assist you in calculating next year’s compensation for your budgets. Compensation for priests will be available later in the year.
Announcements Mailbox With the frequency of email messages related to the coronavirus, some priests have been calling our office because they are not getting notices. This is a good time for us to revisit the option of receiving official mail at a personal account. The main benefit is that it eliminates the need to log in to the clergy webmail system through the archdiocesan website. Email from the Announcements Mailbox will go directly to a priest’s personal address and kept on a private server which strictly monitors who has access to it. All email to priests is approved by the vicar general so that they are not deluged with unauthorized or unnecessary messages from various departments at the Catholic Center. If a priest chooses this option, he must be sure to keep the email address up-to-date. New information may be sent to Mr. Samuel Lazare at the data system center (email@example.com). [Data System Center; contact Mr. Sam Lazare at 646-794-3371]
Pilgrimage to Austria and Hungary Accompany His Eminence and other priests for the 52nd Eucharistic International Congress from September 12-21. Details are included in this mailing.
St. Joseph’s Seminary and College The seminary at Dunwoodie is open and in session. However, all evening and Saturday MA classes are being taught remotely using the new Zoom Video Communications. Out of an abundance of caution, all scheduled events and meetings have been postponed until further notice.
Revised Order for Baptism of Children is now available from ICS and must be used as of Easter Sunday 2020. Place your order today.
Sulpician Meditations for Lent Father David Thayer, PSS, a renowned expert on the French School of Spirituality, will present a daily podcast series of meditations on the readings of Lent according to the three-step method from the Sulpician tradition. They may be accessed at http://sulpicians.org/podcasts.
OCP Parish Grants Program For nearly 100 years, Oregon Catholic Press (OCP) has partnered with parishes across the country, helping them to rediscover the beauty of the liturgy. Since 2001, more than $3.3 million has been donated through the OCP Parish Grants program in support of parishes seeking to enhance their worship experience. To apply, complete the online application at www.ocp.org/parish-grants, providing information on the parish. Applications for 2020 grants are now open; recipients will be announced in August. For more information, you may call 1-800-548-8749.