As I write this, our staff is beginning to ready our parish for the re-starting of public Masses that can again be attended by people. As I have noted a number of times already, we will surely all have to adopt a new mindset - our world, our community, our Church, our parish - even our very selves have been forever changed by the pandemic and things will not be the same. As your pastor, with your assistance and cooperation, I will have to exercise adaptive leadership so that we can continue to fulfill our mission of making disciples for Christ in these coming days.
Given the "new normal" of face masks, social distancing, as well as greater awareness and exercise of hand-washing, sanitizing and disinfecting, as a Church we will have to adapt what we do in order to continue to advance our mission with hope.
Before moving forward, however, it's always important to look back and first measure how one has done. I hope that you have had the chance to participate in the parish survey - the results of which are printed in the June 7, 2020 bulletin. What follows below is a sampling of the 66 comments that were offered by some of our parishioners. We take them all seriously. We are grateful for the positive comments and assure those who offered constructive suggestions, that we will consider and study them.
Here are some of the comments offered:
Thank you for your creative commitment.
I didn't realize there were youth ministry zooms so more communication on that would have been helpful.
Thank you for helping us stay connected to our faith during this time!
Would like to the Church to be open for Mass.
I especially love Kristen's music and Father Bob's family Masses. Thank you for helping my family and providing us with the gift of faith and connection to the community and the Church during this challenging time.
Thanks for your great support.
I've found the 9AM Mass wonderful (despite my having grown children!) - they've been so full of life and joy they've made my week - thinking about each homily and hearing "Sing Alleluia Sing" in my head has been such a help in these trying times.
I'm grateful you continued the Loaves & Fishes ministry, but wish volunteers had been allowed to continue helping...
I was blown away when I received a phone call from St Teresa's looking to see how my family was doing and if we needed any help. I was sincerely and deeply touched to tears, and it deepened my commitment to my faith. Thank you!
The website isn't as intuitive as I thought it would be. A little challenging to update my weekly donation.
When it was possible, having the Church open for prayers with mask and social distancing with a monitor - has been so important for my elder parents. Thx so much!
I think the parish and staff have done an exceptional job during the pandemic keeping the community together.
At the beginning, especially, when there was panic and I felt alone, I found the online Mass to be of great comfort ...especially when I knew there were a number of others watching at the same time. The personal calls you made (I received one from Angela) did NOT feel like it was something the caller had to do...it felt genuine and I felt that I DID have somewhere to call if I needed. Thank you to you all for being there.
Enjoyed Angela's article so very much. Wanted her to know! Thanks!
Missed being present IN Church...look forward to returning!
I initiated online giving prior to the crisis and I'm glad I did. I appreciate the emails and ability to participate in a livestream Mass. Thank you!
I think you all have done a fabulous job at this difficult time. My heartfelt thanks for your outstanding work.
I am very disappointed with the change in the Mass schedule before the pandemic. I prefer the 5:30 in the main Church with music. I am still a parish member however I have been attending St Rose of Lima in Short Hills.
Keep up the strong faith work during these challenging times. Thank you.
Recommend Sunday Mass streaming be permanent so people can attend Mass when they are unable to leave their homes.
I was extremely pleased with the way the parish had a plan in place and communicated that plan with us. Once Mass started up again, I feel confident and safe to go into the Church because of how serious you have reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic! Thank you!
Can we learn how many parishioners died during shutdown period and have a special Mass for them and for those who are ill and have hardship as a result of this time.
Let's reopen for Mass!
You have been excellent!
Fr Bob, you and your staff have been wonderful. Once we had someone shop for us. Thank you.
Homilies are too long on Sun (too verbose - be short and to the point), and I'd rather the Gloria not be sung.
We need socially distant baptism services for babies born right before and during this pandemic.
I think the parish has been doing a great job.
Great job under trying conditions! Thanks to Father Bob for his leadership and the staff dedication!
Next week we will outline the new guidelines for worship mandated by the Archdiocese. In addition to promoting the protection and safety of all, they will also allow us to identify the essentials so that together we can re-open and re-build our parish to practice our Catholic faith.