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

APRIL 6, 2020

EASTER BLESSINGS

Dear Parishioners,

We have now begun Holy Week and a sense of quiet marks this week. We will be livestreaming all the traditional Holy Week liturgies and will share thoughts with you for each day.

HOLY THURSDAY: 7:30 PM concelebrated Mass of the Lord’s Supper

GOOD FRIDAY: 3:00 PM Liturgy of the Passion & Death of the Lord

HOLY SATURDAY: 7:30 PM Easter Vigil

Again, to find the livestreaming:

  1. Go to www.stannesgc.org
  2. With the dark blue background scroll to “Join us for our Livestreaming Mass; click here.”
  3. About halfway down “Livestreaming Mass at St. Anne’s”, click on our “youtube.com channel”
  4. If you get a dark screen that says “offline” click on the circular icon picture to the left of the words “St. Anne’s Church” and # subscribers. Clicking that icon will bring you to our livestream and videos.

WE WOULD LIKE TO OFFER A FAMILY EASTER BLESSING during Easter week, the Monday to Friday after Easter. This week is called Holy Week. Next week is Easter week, the Easter Octave, each of the eight days from Easter Sunday to the following Second Sunday of Easter, each day being a celebration of Easter Day.

The priests of the parish will drive through the streets of the parish offering an Easter blessing during these special days from Monday to Friday.

It will be imperative that we follow all the “distancing rules” and “no gathering rules” that our parishioners are so well practicing these days. So here is how the blessing will work. A priest of the parish will arrive on your street in a car and come to the front of your home by car or on the sidewalk. He will offer your family the blessing and move to the next home of the parishioner who has requested a blessing. Please do not come together at one another’s home for this blessing nor invite non-household members such as relatives, friends, neighbors, or other parishioners. So we would ask you to comply fully with two requests:

  1. The priest cannot come into any house. Please do not ask us. Nor can you come to us to greet us. If your home includes a homebound parishioner who cannot come to the door to receive the blessing, you are requested to relay the prayer to the person.
  2. This blessing is for the members of your household. Please do not bring to your home other family, relatives, parishioners, next door neighbors, or friends. We will stop at any home requested. If two parish families live next door, we will bless each family at their home. In no way do we want to violate any of the restrictions that we are asked to follow by the medical experts.

So if you wish to share in the Family Easter Blessing, please contact Sr. Judy at srjudy@stannesgc.org to register. Please indicate to Sr. Judy

  1. Your family name and number of persons in your household.
  2. Your address
  3. Your email

Sr. Judy will organize the responses and draw a schedule for us to follow. The blessing will take place next week, Monday to Friday from 11 AM to 3 PM. As we are able, we will give you an approximate time. YOU NEED TO REGISTER BY THIS FRDIAY, GOOD FRIDAY, APRIL 10.

We hope that this experience of blessing will be a source of encouragement and joy for all who participate. So please respond to Sr. Judy at srjudy@stannesgc.org

Have a peaceful day.

Fr. Tom

aprIL 2, 2020

I want to communicate to you about access to the livestreaming of Masses, palm for Palm Sunday and the use of our parking lot.

 I need to ask the cooperation of  everyone regarding our schoolyard.  In a call from the Garden City Police, we are reminded that the social distancing restrictions apply to our schoolyard.  So I would please ask that there not be more ten persons in the schoolyard at one time. This restriction applies to persons of all ages.  Any child in the schoolyard should be accompanied by his/her parent or grandparent, not simply a friend or neighbor, or babysitter.  No one should be in the schoolyard after 7pm. Parents of older children should monitor the use of the schoolyard so that St. Anne's is in full compliance with the restrictions under which we currently live.  All during this time I have encouraged persons to live graciously with these policies.   It is imperative that we heed the reminder of the village police and that we are cooperative with our neighbors.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Online Access to St. Anne's Masses:  We are livestreaming both our weekend Masses and weekday Masses to all parishioners for whom we have an email address. On the weekend we have about 1700 viewers; weekday Masses have about 200 viewings. The Rosary is also available and parishioners have noted that these livestreamings are a source of comfort at this time.

Recently, some parishioners have had trouble accessing the Mass.  Maybe I can help you.  Some parishioners go to the website and hit the youtube.com channel connection.  Then a dark screen appears with the word "Offline" and you are unable to access the Mass.  To correct this go below to where it reads in smaller print "St. Anne's Church." To the left there is a small circular photo of the church's sanctuary.  Tap that small circular photo and "voila" you should have access to the Mass we are livesstreaming at 7:30, 9:00 am weekdays and Masses on the weekend.  Good luck. It worked for me and another parishioner I directed over the phone.  I hope it works for you.

PALM:  We will livestream Palm Sunday Masses.  There will be no procession, and palm will be blessed.  There will be no distribution of palm.  Following the directives of the President, Governor, and our own Bishop, in order to comply with distancing and best hygiene practices, people touching palm touched by others, there is no distribution of palm.  This is true of all Roman Catholic parishes in our diocese.  As pastor I will fully comply with this policy.  Palm will be distributed at a later date for those who wish to receive it when restrictions are lifted.  Please cooperate with this restriction and know that no parish in the diocese is to distribute palm.  There is to be no exception.  Sorry.

In a separate email in the near future, I will be addressing some financial issues of the parish.  Many thanks to those parishioners who have been sending their weekly envelopes and who contribute through the electronic service "We share."  We are meeting all our payroll and benefits commitment to all parish and school employees. We have not laid off or terminated any employees.  We are applying to participate in the Payroll Protection Program being managed through loans administered by the Small Business Administration.

Most importantly, know that I continue to pray for all our concerns during this unprecedented time.  We are all having experiences that we have not had before.  For some this is a time of great personal tragedy.  We pray for the deceased and the seriously ill.  For others it is a time of heroic service.  So many of our parishioners serve as emts, nurses, doctors and hospital staff personnel with tremendous courage, self-sacrifice, and generosity.  We are mindful of their expertise and years of study that have brought them to this life saving moment.  We are mindful of police and fire personnel and all who are in the many service professions, including the men and women of the U.S. military.  And to all who continue at their daily jobs in stores, delivery drivers ,and others we appreciate your continuing in these troubled times.  And we have marvelous parish volunteers, making calls to seniors, preparing and delivering food, picking up needed medications for homebound persons, and all sorts of other good things.  We pray for all of you and for those working in hospitals and other services, we pray for your colleagues.

Fear, sadness, apprehension, anxiety are all shared experiences.  You are not alone in what you feel.  Together the Lord welcomes us and accepts our faith, our hope and all our prayer.. Please pray for us as we pray for you.  We want to be of help to you if we can.  Contact us at frtom@stannesgc.org.

God bless you. God bless our parish. God bless America.

Fr. Tom

 

MARCH 30, 2020

 

Good afternoon everyone,

These are very difficult and unprecedented days for all.  Although, one of our parishioners Ed Palkot 106 years old did live through the devastating flu of 1917.  I enjoyed a nice conversation by phone with Ed yesterday and he assured me he is praying for all of St. Anne's these days.  God bless Ed.

Our leaders at all levels are calling us to pray and we have the holy example of Pope Francis whose marvelous words on Friday i found inspiring.  I am grateful so many of you join us for Mass via youtube and many are joining in with Fr. Cody and his recording of the Holy Rosary.  Many thanks to so many of you who send your prayers, concern, and offers to be of assistance.  As I reflected at this morning,s  Mass this lent has given me a whole new understanding of the story of the First Sunday of Lent when Jesus  spent his forty days of trial in the desert.  Strikingly the scriptures tell us the Spirit led him to the desert.  When he concluded these 40 days he went to the waters of the Jordan to be baptized by John.  We hope that although we will still be in this very restrictive environment on Easter Sunday, that at some point in the 50 Day Easter Season, that runs until Pentecost on May 31, we will emerge to celebrate the new life marked by Easter water.

Of immediate concern in the life of our eighth grade and second grade students in our school and faith formation is the celebration of Cofirmation and First Holy Communions. These are important days for these boys and girls, their parents, and families.  We want to make wise and prudent decisions for these celebrations.

Following the directives of government, civil ad church leaders, we will not celebrate Confirmation on Tuesday, April 28.  Many parishes throughout the diocese have to postpone Confirmation.  Along with these dozens of parishes and the Office of the Bishop a process will be established to re-schedule Confirmations as the pandemic hopefully begins to resolve in the coming weeks.  As soon as we have information for rescheduling we will pass it on to you.  Eighth graders, pray for the assistance of the Holy Spirit!!!

Second grade families, how excited we are about First Holy Communions I have told you at our meetings these are among my favorite days of the whole year.  I await this very special time with you and your moms and dads.  They remain on our calendar for May2, May9 and May16.  I realize we  my have to move these celebrations to late May or June but we will still hope that perhaps the Holy Spirit will allow us to have these marvelous celebrations on these days.  We will closely monitor the situation as we move towards April 30 and we will communicate any decision to postpone by April 25.  Along with Mrs Flood, Mrs. Huggard, Mrs. Brodersen, your teachers and catechists, we will make sure that these are very special days for you.  Jesus would not have it any other way.  As you cannot wait to receive Jesus for the first time, know that Jesus wants to come to you in this special sacrament.  Pray that Jesus helps us through these days.  We realize that this make planning First Communion parties difficult, but know for certain that receiving Jesus for the first time will be a special delight for you parents and your children. We will not disappoint them.

For all parishioners, please cooperate with everyone and oberve the social distancing regulations as promulgated by our president and our governor.  This is a grave decisions.  Already two of our parishioners,Louise Hughes and Joseph Lewinger have gone to God.  For me it is a matter of conscience that we do our best to ciopperate with one another.  It is a serious responsibility to monitor our children regarding this issue.  As a citizen of this great nation and as your pastor, I am grateful for all the efforts we make to support our leaders and their directives in this tragic time.

I know too that you join with me, not only in gratitude and admiration, but also in prayer for the men and women of our parish who use their skills, compassion, and love in assisting those who are ill with this virus.  As you go to work these days, you truly are living the gospel message, most particularly  the Beatitudes and Matthew 25 (when i was hungry, when iwas thirsty, when I was ill....) May you know that Jesus is with you in your healing work and know that the St. Anne's community prays for you.

God bless you.  God bless St. Anne's and God bless America.

Fr. Tom 

MARCH 28, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

We will again celebrate Mass without a congregation at 5pm , 7am,830am 10am and 1145 am this weekend.  Please know that these Masses are to be celebrated without a congregation according to the norms of civil and church authorities during this time of pandemic.  You are invited to join us in a prayerful way through the parish website and its, , you tube connection.  Even I am able to find and make the connection!!!  Part of the celebration will be the priest leading viewers in a Spiritual Act of Communion, a prayer provided by the Church in times such as these when persons are unable to receive holy communion.  Last weekend we had more than 1600 viewings of our Masses and many parishioners expressed that having Mass in the home via technology was helpful at this time.  This service is also provided for our weekday Masses.

In addition we will be streaming to you via the same you tube connection the recitation of the Holy Rosary.  Fr. Cody led the rosary this morning and it is now available to you in your home.  This rich tradition of prayer is most appropriate at this time to be prayed individually or as a family.  This will be available each day through the pastoral generosity of Fr. Cody.

I hope that many of you were able to view the special prayer and reflection on Pope Francis yesterday.  It was most reverent and one could see the compassion and love on the face of Pope Francis as he leads our church through this horrible ordeal.  His message "do not be afraid" from the words of Jesus is a timely and important one. I am confident that those who did not see it and would still like to can find it on the internet, perhaps at CFN.org.

We hear at the rectory how this contagion is effecting so many of our parishioners.  We know many are ill, have relatives who are ill.  As we do on Sunday we will pray for all the sick as we did last Sunday.  We are also aware of the dozens of parishioners who are working directly with the sick as emts, drivers, nurses, doctors and hospital staff.  This is a very difficult time for them and their families.  Be assured we will pray for all of these courageous and generous people and their colleagues at this time.  

My friends, this is a very difficult time.  One thing we can all do is pray. And we can all observe the social distancing regulations.  We are called to be one.  Let us be one in our prayer and vigilance. St. Anne's Parish is here to help you.  The parish office has no working staff here in the rectory at the present time.  Staff members are very willing to asist you with anything you may need.  Many parishioners have volunteered to be of assistance.  The best method to make your needs known is my email to tharold@drvc.org.  In the case of a medical emergency please call 743-5478.  We would ask you to reserve that number for medical emergencies only or if you have no access to email.

Please know you are in our prayers as we know you pray for us.  In fact, I am heading over to the church as you receive this message.

Peace be to you ad all those you love.  God bless you.  God bless St. Anne's and God bless America.

Fr. Tom 

 

MARCH 26, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

We have a beautiful day today that we hope is a harbinger of days to come. 

These days of quiet remind me of the silence I experience on the retreats I take each year up in Gloucester, Massachusetts.  On these retreats everyone agrees to kepp the silence, even at meals.  The only speaking for the day is at Mass and a private 30 minute conversation with a spiritual director, usually in the morning.  The silence allows the retreatant to pray more peacefully, especially to listen to what God has to say.  Additionally, through the eight days of retreat, despite the not talking, the not knowing the names of the other retreatants, there is still a strong sense of community that is built up among the retreatants.  I have felt it over the years.

So what does this retreat experience have to do with us today?  Well, we are living in a time of much quiet and many are staying in their homes all day.  Notice all the cars not moving in the driveways.  Eventually conversation topics are hard to come by.  We tire of speaking about the virus.  There are no sports.  Puzzles are done quietly.  Politics usually stirs strong feelings so we stay away from that topic. The weather is rather predictable, rain one day, sun the next.  We turn off the news.  Many are getting a lot of sleep. Days are becoming increasingly quiet.

But the quiet of the days has a power.  We are sharing the same concerns.  We are sharing the same questions.  We are sharing the same hopes and desires.  We are sharing the same precautions. We are sharing the same fears and anxieties.  And we are sharing all of these in a quiet way, without much interaction, following as best we can "social distancing" regulations.

And yet, don't we feel a sense of community, a sense that we are sharing this experience together.  When this virus is under control, we will share a great sense of healing, freedom, and gratitude; and at the same time we will support those who mourn and offer their deceased love one a proper funeral.  We will be a community of joy and one of great compassion for those who mourn.  That's what we do at St. Anne's.  We come together for all kinds of human experiences to love and support one another, both in times of joy and sadness.  I am confident that the sense of St. Anne's community  is one that guides us all.

Life is filled with irony and irony is often a great teacher and source of wisdom.  Ironically, the sense of community, the sense of being in this togther will guide us to support one another with the social distancing, the hygeine practices, the special care for the vulnerable population, the courtesy we offer when we need to go out , drive and shop, allowing others to go first.

Our praying in our homes, or praying watching Mass from St. Anne's on YouTube, our praying quietly in the Church at 3 in the afternoon all fosters this sense of community, that we are in this together and that we care and support  one another.  Perhaps this is the grace that may emerge from this time of trial that we have never before known.  St. Ignatius of Loyola challenges us to find God in all things.  Perhaps this sense of shared experience and community despite the distancing and restrictions is where we can find God In these troubling days.  I believe this and I trust that at St. Anne's we will have an even greater sense of community than we have had in the past and that we will sustain it moving forward.  How I long to pray with you again at Sunday Mass and share the Body of Christ with you.

Many of us know very well by personal experience how strong a community we have at St. Anne's.  May the shared experience of this illness strengthen even more our community spirit that reflects the divine Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

God bless you and your family.

God bless St. Anne's.

God Bless America.!

Sincerely in  Christ,

Fr. Tom

MARCH 24, 2020

Dear Parishioners,
 
As I write to you on this bright Tuesday morning, how happy we are that the gloominess of yesterday has passed. There are a few items I can communicate to the parish.
 
1. First and foremost, continue your prayers. I have received calls from some parish families asking for our prayers for family members who have contracted the virus. Two concern elderly family members who are critically ill. Please pray for them. Even though we do not release names for very good reasons, the Lord receives your prayers and knows for whom you pray.
2. Let’s also pray for the dozens of parishioners who serve in the health care world. We have a large number of doctors, nurses, and health care workers at St. Anne’s. How these good, courageous, and self-sacrificing persons need our prayers and deserve our gratitude. We have parishioners working in hospitals and medical facilities throughout New York City and Long Island. Remember them in prayer.
3. Please remember our most vulnerable parishioners, our senior citizens. Some live alone; some have other health issues. Maybe you know a few. Give them a call and offer to pray with them on the phone.
4. Pray for our younger families as they look for healthy ways to engage their children during these long days inside the house. Pray for parents as they make good decisions to monitor their children’s activities outside in the backyard.
5. Let’s all pray for one another.
 
We continue to broadcast our daily and Sunday Masses. This past weekend we had 1450 viewings and our two weekday Masses combined have about 160 viewings. Parishioners report that both video and audio are of good quality. All County, our computer service, Fr. Cody, and Deacon Michael have become experts whose technology skill brings you the Mass at home.
 
St. Anne’s is here to help you as we can. We have parish volunteers who have contacted us to assist parishioners in need. You can call the rectory at 352-5904 or email tharold@drvc.org  and we will try to respond. We have very generous parishioners.
 
The Church is open from 9:30-4:30, Monday through Saturday, for private, personal prayer. We only open at 9:30 so we can complete the recording of daily Mass. On Sundays, the Church is open from 1:00-4:30 PM, again so that all the Masses may be broadcast. These Masses cannot be open to the public as mandated by the diocese, and the restriction of numbers of people for any gathering.
 
Families ask about Confirmation and First Holy Communion celebrations. They remain on the calendar for April 28, May 2, May 9, and May 16. We remain hopeful that we can have these important celebrations. Much will depend on the restrictions that are placed upon us at those times.
 
The parish office is very quiet. Parish staff are not working in the rectory. They do what they can from home. The priests remain healthy and we all look for the day when you can be in the Church with us for Mass. What a wonderful day that will be.
 
Of course, we cooperate with the directives of our government officials, the President, the Governor, and the County Executive. We pray for them and their wise leadership.
 
We have a great gospel story today. A paralyzed man waited 38 years for this day. He had no one to help him get into the healing waters. He was too slow! But Jesus came one day. It was that day the man walked! What a great day for the man!
 
Those kinds of days will return for us. Keep the faith! God bless you and your family! God bless St. Anne’s Parish! God bless America!
 
Fr. Tom
 

MARCH 20, 2020

Dear Parishioners,
 
We had our first livestream Mass this morning and it went well. You can access that video by going to the parish website, stannesgc.org.I found it helpful to be in contact with our parishioners by this method, but yearn for the day when we can be in regular contact.  We will continue to livestream thet Mass on weekdays and Sundays, except for the 10:30 and 5:30 Sunday Masses.  At any time, you can go to the parish website and click on the Mass for the day.
 
As you probably know, Governor Cuomo has mandated that our office staff remain home.  This obviously limits our pastoral outreach to you at this time.  I am taking a "crash course" this afternoon on how to send these e-mails to you.  Hopefully, all will work well at this time.  Our ability to answer the phone is limited without office staff.  The priests will cover the phone as we can between 10 a.m and 4 p.m..  You can emaile directly at tharold@drvc.org.  Most rectory "business" will be delayed until a better time comes.
 
During this time, I have often thought of the gospel scene of the Storm at Sea when Jesus calms the stormy waters.  Jesus says to Peter "Be not Afraid!"   We need to be prayerfully aware of these words from our Lord.
 
Peace be with you.
 
Fr. Tom
 
 

MARCH 19, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Happy St. Joseph’s Day!
 
We are pleased to announce that we will be able to livestream to you the celebrations of the daily and Sunday Masses at St. Anne’s beginning tomorrow morning (Friday). We intend to do this for as long as public Masses are suspended and as long as the technology cooperates. If you would like to join us, please click on the following link at the normally scheduled Mass times and you will be brought to our parish Youtube channel to view the Masses:
 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWMhnLY8OjUqzot0IRKfqQw/live  http://track.spe.schoolmessenger.com/f/a/PKHivftB0POMGO9Jrp1hbg~~/AAAAAQA~/RgRgVN3AP0Q9aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cueW91dHViZS5jb20vY2hhbm5lbC9VQ1dNaG5MWThPalVxem90MElSS2ZxUXcvbGl2ZVcHc2Nob29sbUIKAABAqnNeGmQT_1IQdGhhcm9sZEBkcnZjLm9yZ1gEAAAAAQ~~  .
If you are unable to join us at those times, please know that the Masses will be recorded and available for you to watch later by clicking on the same link.
 
While this certainly does not take place of being present at Mass in the Church, we hope that being able to bring the Masses to you will allow you to stay spiritually connected to the parish during this difficult time.
 
Since this is also a time when we are unable to receive Holy Communion at Mass, please consider making an act of spiritual communion as an expression of desire to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. Below is a prayer you might consider:
 
My Jesus,
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
 
There are also a number of online resources you may consult to have access to the Mass readings, as well as other prayers and reflections.
 
* On the website for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the<