Dear Parish Family,
I would like to explain some changes that will take place in the month of July in the daily Mass schedule. Father Walter will be taking his vacation and will be gone the entire month of July. That being said it will only leave the parish with one priest, after much discussion and prayer, I have decided to not have the 7:00 am weekday Mass during July. We will only have the 9:00 am daily Mass. The weekend Masses will remain on the same schedule. This change will be effective July 1-July 31. The normal schedule resumes on August 1st. The Spanish 7:30 pm Mass on Wednesday nights will also be cancelled for the month of July.
Many factors were taken in consideration before the decision was made to ensure that the needs of the parish were met. The Carmelite Monastery located on Harmony School Road is a little over a mile away, they have a 7:15 am daily Mass. During the summer months Mass attendance has traditionally gone down. The 9:00 am daily Mass attendance has always been higher then the 7:00 am. With the summer months being slower for Mass attendance at many parishes, priests usually take vacation during this time which makes it difficult to find coverage from other parishes. According to Canon Law 904,905, only one Mass daily by any priest should be the norm. There are exceptions granted by the Church such as Holy Days, funerals, vacations and helping other parishes that are in need. Celebrating two Masses is called bination and trination when celebrating three Masses. Priests are asked to binate on Sundays and Days of Precept.
During July, I will be taking care of the parish needs by myself. There are over 3,200 families that are registered at St. Magdalen's. There are days that there will be funerals, weddings, Mass at the Convents, parish and outside commitments, nursing home calls and hospital emergency calls, that I will need to tend to. The priests are on call 24 hours a day. It is with this in mind that was also a factor in the decision to only have one daily Mass for the month of July.
In the past St. Magdalen's has always had 3 priests which allowed the priests to take vacation and still have all the Masses covered and we would only have to use outside priests on occasion. Now that we only have 2 priests it has become more challenging especially during vacation time. Taking on extra Masses for a week or two is a lot easier then an entire month. Please pray for vocations so that the Diocese of Metuchen will have an abundance of priests.
Yours in Jesus and Mary,