Homily – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Good morning, everyone. Can you hear me okay with this microphone? Does it sound all right or no? How about in the back? Yes. Now. Okay, I’m getting mostly thumbs up, so I’ll go with that. All right, great. So it’s great to be back in Brooklyn Heights. I’m Father John, for those who might forgot who I was or meet me for the first time, I teach out in San Francisco.

Continue reading “Homily – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time”

Changes to Mass Protocols Starting Next Week

Last week, the diocese issued updated guidance to churches throughout Brooklyn and Queens that lifts most of the remaining COVID restrictions introduced when churches were first re-opened in Summer of 2020.

We have reviewed the guidance and will be making the following changes at St. Charles Borromeo starting next Sunday, November 6:

  • Masks will no longer be required at the 9 AM Mass – A main reason that we kept this restriction when we last updated our guidance this spring was that many young children who were not yet eligible to be vaccinated attend this Mass. Since then, a COVID vaccine was made available for children six months and older. We will now join others, including the New York City schools, in lifting the mask mandate. While masks will not longer be obligatory, some people may choose to wear masks and that is to be respected. The coronavirus pandemic is not over even if the threat is better understood and there are more vaccines and treatments available. 
  • Masks will no longer be required for Communion – Masks will still be available at the back of the church, but we will not have ushers stationed near the front of the communion line handing out masks.
  • We will resume the offertory procession of gifts – We will resume having parishioners bring the bread and wine to the altar when the offertory gifts are presented. At the 9 AM Mass, this, like the offertory collection, has been traditionally handled by the children of the parish. At our other Masses, we invite the family requesting the Mass intention or other parishioners to bring up the gifts. If you are able to assist, please mention it to an usher before Mass.
  • Holy Water fonts – We plan to resume filling the Holy Water fonts at the church entrances. The timing of this is not yet set since it depends on having sufficient volunteers to regularly clean and refill the fonts. In the interim, we remind you that the font in front of the altar dispenses Holy Water.

The diocese guidance does not allow for Holy Communion under both species, so we will continue our current practice of only offering the Precious Body (and not the Precious Blood) at communion.

Novena to St. Charles Starts Today

The Memorial of St. Charles Borromeo is next Friday, November 4. We will observe it as a parish next Sunday, November 6.

In preparation, we are hosting a novena, which begins today and ends on November 6. The novena will be held on Zoom, not in the Church, and will take just a few minutes each day, starting at 5 PM, during the 9-day time period. On the days when we have Rosary, Vespers or Bible Study, the Novena prayers will be said first and will be followed by the regularly-scheduled prayers.

The prayers for the novena are available here. There will be no Zoom meeting next Saturday (Day 8). You should pray that day’s short prayer on your own.

Don’t worry if you can’t make all nine days. Join in whenever you wish to pray to St. Charles Borromeo, the patron saint of learning, the arts, and of catechists.

Food Pantry Featured in Bishop’s Dinner Video

The food pantry that our parish runs in conjunction with Catholic Charities was featured in a video shown to guests at the Bishop’s Humanitarian Award Dinner.

Please check out the segment, which appears about 1:30 into the video and includes interviews with Joe Genova and John O’Malley and footage of our pantry volunteers working hard and doing God’s work.

If you would like to get involved in our food pantry work, we’d love to have you. Please contact Joe Genova ([email protected]).

Thank You re: Migrant Information Session

On Monday, August 29, Catholic Migration Services and Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens hosted information sessions at our church for migrants who had been bused from the border. Volunteers from St. Charles Borromeo helped serve food and welcome the migrants. Channel 12 News covered the event, a clip can be watched here.

Below is a message of thanks from our pastor, Fr. Bill Smith:

I would like to thank everyone who helped with the workshop for people seeking asylum this past Monday. Whether you helped to set up or serve the food or chatted in Spanish with the families, you helped make a difficult moment a pleasant experience. Indeed, several young men who have been in New York for months told a parishioner, “This is the first meat I have had since coming to New York.”

We at St. Charles are not usually asked to host events for the Diocese because of our limited parking. We, as the Church in Brooklyn and Queens, will be needed to help the poor and disadvantaged in the coming months. Our easy accessibility by public transportation will give us the opportunity to host many more such events. As St. Luke recently reminded us, we are most Christian when we hold a banquet for the poor and marginalized. 

Mission Sunday Appeal

This Sunday is Mission Sunday. Bishop Sualsingh of Sambalpur, India will speak at our Masses. Sambalpur is in one of the poorest states in India. The 64,000 Catholics there face much persecution as well as pandemic-induced hardships.

We appreciate your prayerful and financial support of the Mission to educate children in the Catholic faith and keep the flame of our faith burning. Donations can be made through our online giving site (once there, click on the Second Collections button in the Home tab) or in next Sunday’s second collection.