Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ at Immac,
What a wonderful thing it is to finally be able to celebrate Mass with you all in the Church once again! I’m equally delighted that so many people continue to keep safe and healthy by worshiping at the Mass from home through Facebook! The fact that the technology is so readily available for us to continue to spiritually connect in this way is one of the great blessings of the 21st Century. I think we rival the illustrious St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the quality of our streaming Masses!
I would like to take a moment to speak about the financial status of our Parish. Even throughout the shutdown of our city way back in March, so many of you have been extremely generous in your financial support of Immac. Despite the constant good news from Wall Street, it’s still very difficult to manage our budget. We’ve done our best to alter our procedures and ways so as to reduce any extra financial burden on the Parish. However, moving forward into the 2021 fiscal year, one more change will be needed to help us keep financially healthy.
As you all know, we canceled the weekday 12:00PM Mass throughout the summer for various reasons. The overall reduction in Mass attendance, most especially at weekday Masses, coupled with the cost of air conditioning and general electrical use, made this a very prudent decision. However, it was not made lightly; a Mass is a sacred and solemn event, made even more so when someone takes an intention for that Mass. The Mass is the highest form of prayer one can offer, and to offer it for a loved one’s soul; in honor of our Saints; or in thanksgiving for the graces God has given us in our lives, is such an amazing sign of the faith we have in the Eucharistic Celebration. That is why we maintained the intentions for the 12:00PM Masses by combining them into the 9:00AM Masses. Just remember, God’s grace and blessings don’t get divided among the intentions; His grace is sufficient for all!
It was our hope that we would be able to bring the 12:00PM Mass back at the beginning of the Fall, or at least in 2021, but this no longer seems feasible. Having only two weekday Masses would allow greater flexibility of our staff and reduce the overall financial burden of the Parish. Therefore, we have decided to cancel the weekday 12:00PM Mass indefinitely, and that all remaining 12:00PM Mass intentions will be moved and combined with those for the 9:00AM Mass those weekdays.
As for the intentions for 2021 Masses, we are still discussing ways in which we can safely and fairly open the Mass Book before the end of the year. We know how dedicated and faithful many of you are to this devotion, but we have to consider your safety first and foremost before doing anything. Additional guidance will be given regarding the 2021 Mass Book opening in the near future, so please make sure to monitor our website (immacastoria.org
), our Facebook page (@immaculateconceptionastoria
), and our weekly Bulletin for the most up-to-date information.
Before concluding, I want to make it clear that no changes will be made to the Sunday Mass schedule, or how the intentions work for those Masses. I speak only regarding the weekday Mass schedule.
I hope and pray that things will change soon, and that we can return to some semblance of the normal we had before this pandemic. That being said, we must be prudent and practical if we are to survive these terrible times.
I remain, as always,
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Msgr. Fernando Ferrarese, Pastor
Immaculate Conception Church, Astoria