35 Dartmouth Street, Garden City, New York 11530 - (516) 352-5904
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Parish Update

DECEMBER 9, 2020

RESPONDING TO PANDEMIC AT CHRISTMAS

December 9, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Among all the news of the pandemic, we share great concern about the alarming increase of illness and death since Thanksgiving. Those increases are very real and concerning to me and to you. We hope that Christmas will not bring the same as we begin the new year of 2021.  In fact, the news of a vaccine is one of the more helpful pieces of information we have received regarding the Covid 19 pandemic.

As well as a global tragedy, the pandemic has been a source of great grief and pain for so many of our parish families. Dozens of our families have experienced the death of family members, relatives, and friends. Scores of our parishioners have served heroically and selflessly during these months to ensure safety and bring healing. Many of our government leaders and all the medical and science community have encouraged us to take safety precautions, most especially wearing masks and keeping social distance. This is especially true as we approach Christmas.

At all our Masses for the past six months, we have cooperated with these calls to safe practices. We will continue to do so at our Christmas Mass celebrations and will communicate to you soon about our Christmas Mass schedule.

We follow Covid 19 directives and protocols in our school. We redirect our children when at their young age, they move closer to one another than guidelines dictate. Fortunately, as is the desire of our parish school families, we have been able to keep our school open. Many of our parish families have expressed appreciation for the extensive efforts we have been taking in our church and school and I thank you for that support.

Please know that other than Christmas Mass, St. Anne’s Parish is not sponsoring any gatherings for Christmas. Planned parish and school activities have been canceled. This includes concerts, lunches, dinners, tree and crèche blessings, etc. These will be done virtually, if at all. The sole purpose of this policy is the health and safety of all our parishioners. That is of the highest importance to us. Any statement about any social gathering that is said to be sponsored or co-sponsored by St. Anne’s is a false statement. Any previously understood statement that we are sponsoring or co-sponsoring is now reversed and withdrawn. We are sorry for any inconvenience but we realize that in recent weeks this pandemic is bringing more illness and death into our parish community. Just Monday, we had two Covid 19 related Masses for the deceased.

St. Anne’s has a leadership role in this community of Garden City, Stewart Manor, and surrounding communities. We greatly appreciate and support the wonderful and generous service other service organizations provide in our communities. We support these community minded men and women with our prayer, financial, and fraternal support.

We invite these other community organizations to join St. Anne’s in supporting the policies and encouragement of the medical and scientific community. Join us in celebrating the Birth of Christ with your family in small intimate gatherings. This helps in preventing the spread of the virus and is the responsibility of all. Every one of us is called to take seriously the call to cooperate and support the health and safety of all the community. This is more than an individual call to responsibility; it is a call to our entire community to act together.

Please, in the Christian spirit, prayerfully consider joining St. Anne’s in this effort to keep our gatherings this wonderful season to the intimacy of our homes.

We have many intentions to pray for these closing days of Advent. Pray for the healing of the sick. Pray for those families in mourning. Pray for a Blessed and healthy Christmas.

Peace be to you and those you love.

Fr. Tom