Tomorrow/Today Sunday, June 21, 2020 will be our last “live-streamed” Mass for the foreseeable future.   When we began “live-streaming” our Masses back on March 16th, it was done primarily as a way to keep our student community connected during these incredibly unprecedented, unpredictable times.  Like every one else, seemingly overnight, we found our campus was being ordered to shut down and the students moving out with all classroom instruction being moved online.

As Catholics, Mass is more than just a “religious service” – it’s our participation in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is real and present in the consecration of the bread and wine into the Eucharist that we receive.  So live-streaming was never intended to become a substitute for being present and participating in Mass.  Our hope was in a time of anxiety and isolation to try to retain our connections and provide some sense of familiarity and normalcy by broadcasting Mass and holy hour Monday through Friday and on Sunday evenings.

We never imagined that this would continue on from days to weeks to months…  Normally public Masses and Sunday Masses on campus end with the conclusion of the semester – but in May with things still in “lock down/shut down” mode and in some cases, our students having even greater availability (with classes being completed) we decided to continue to air the daily Masses and Sunday’s until there was a greater clarity of when things would start to “re-open.”

Now that the Archdiocese of Newark, has moved into resumption of public Masses, hopefully people will once again have wider access to celebrating Mass in person and participating in the Sacramental life of the Church.  With that, my availability will shift as well as I’ll be resuming helping at the parishes that I normally assist on the weekends.

I want to just express my thanks to everyone who has tuned in over these days, weeks and months…

Thank you for praying with us and for us;

Thank you for all of your support and incredible kindness.

Thank you for sharing our Masses on your social media – (the statistics were beyond our wildest imaginations).  Hearing how students would view Mass together with their families or classmates on zoom was just wonderful… getting messages from people all around the world who would join us as well was an unexpected blessing for us and a needed encouragement during these challenging times and circumstances.

Despite some “critics” bizarre questioning of our motives, our only goal was to try to provide some spiritual and pastoral assistance during an incredibly difficult time for all of us.  I appreciate you welcoming us into your homes and your lives as you have.  Of course, I will continue to post my homilies online on my website and the audios of those homilies will also still be posted on iTunes and Soundcloud.

Once the semester resumes in late Summer for the New Academic Year, depending upon what sort of restrictions are place on “in person” events on campus, we will evaluate if its necessary again may resume live-streaming as well as in person.    I hope and pray that you and yours remain safe and healthy and that the summer will be refreshing and renewing.  Know that you and yours will remain in my prayers.

Sincerely in Christ –

Fr Jim