My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
I write to you on behalf of not only myself but the staff of our Religious Education program. It is astonishing to think that a mere four months have passed since our state locked down, and that COVID-19 has and continues to impact the world already for nine months. Many of us have seen loved ones suffer from the coronavirus, and some of us may have had it ourselves. Yet, we must constantly remind ourselves that if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who also raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you (Rm 8:11). Our incoming third graders truly experienced this Spirit in their First Penance which they received during the month of July!
Inspired by this exhortation of the Apostle, we must continue full steam ahead in educating our children on the faith. The Church, as the Bride of Christ and our Mother, is truly the means by which Jesus Christ gives us eternal life. For this, it is of utmost importance that we continue to hand our children the teachings of the Church even if our world has become one of fear and uncertainty. On the contrary, the teachings of the Church that our children can receive are the antidote to this fear, and at the same time the “vitamins” that bolster their faith and peace.
With the current state of society in mind, I, along with my three brother priests and the Religious Education coordinators at Holy Family, will go ahead with in person learning come September. In the case that civil law might expressly prohibit this, please be assured that the Religious Education Coordinators have been working to ensure an online learning platform, similar to what you children might have already used in school, will be in place. Again, distance learning is our contingency plan. In the favorable case that we can continue in person, please be assured that state and ecclesiastical guidelines and directives will facilitate a safe learning environment for your children. Detailed information will follow regarding procedures and contingency plans early next week. Our coordinators will be meeting with Archdiocesan leadership this week which will help us to better inform you of directives by next week.
On an extremely exciting and joyful note, I am happy to announce the dates for First Communion, which fall on 10:30 AM of the Saturdays of October 10, October 17, and October 24. Specific dates for each class in the calendar is linked at the end of this letter. Please reach out to Mrs. Jone Gesumaria or Ms. Marta Cirilli-Kuebler for any questions.
I am also happy to announce that our Confirmandi will be sealed with the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation at 7:00 PM, Thursday, November 6 by the hands of Most. Rev. Michael A. Saporito, Auxiliary Bishop of Newark. Each family will be contacted individually by Mr. Matthew Manlangit regarding details which will be accompanied by a page of dates and information.
Our children have been waiting patiently to receive Jesus, truly present in these Sacraments. For this, we must give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ, and for all blessings he continually gives to us, expecting nothing but our “yes” in return.
Fr. Joe Ferraro