From the Pastor: On Daily Mass Cancellation & Christmas Eve Masses
22 December 2021
A word of explanation is needed concerning the cancellation of daily Masses for the remainder of this week and possibly the Masses of Christmas Eve.
The priests of the parish are a part of the Jesuit Community located on 83rd Street. We take our meals there and attend Mass and prayer services in the Community’s chapel. A member of the Community learned yesterday that he had a positive COVID test result. He is not on the parish staff nor does he have any involvement with the parish.
Upon the directive of our local Jesuit Superior, members of the Jesuit Community, including the priests of the parish, have been told to refrain from all public activities, including presiding at Mass. Out of an abundance of caution (and because we are Jesuits), we are complying with his directive.
Let me assure you that the priests of the parish are in good health and feeling fine. All of us are fully vaccinated and have received the booster shot. Following the advice of the Jesuit Community’s health care team, we will be tested on Saturday, December 25. Until that time we will limit our activities and refrain from presiding at Mass. God willing with negative test results we will be ready to have the 2 Masses scheduled for Christmas Day as well as our regular Sunday Masses on December 26. We also will be able to resume our regular daily schedule of Masses on December 28, keeping in mind that because of the holiday there is only the 8:30 AM Mass on December 27.
I have been in communication with the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of New York, Monsignor Joseph La Morte, and explained to him our circumstances. He is attempting to find coverage for Christmas Eve Masses. Let us pray that he is successful. If no priest of the Archdiocese is available, I will have no other recourse other than cancel all Christmas Eve Masses.
I will keep you informed as things develop.
Even though the joy of this blessed season of Christmas may be tempered by this news, let us find in the birth of Jesus Christ a reason to rejoice no matter what circumstances may confront us. Our faith in him is a bulwark in times of trial. May his name be praised forever!
God bless you, and Merry Christmas!
Sincerely in the Lord,