FROM OUR PASTOR 10/25/2020
“I love you Lord my strength.”
One of the great blessings of the Scriptures is that they give us words for the rough patches of life. This simple line from the 18th Psalm that we get to hear in this Sunday’s readings is one of those words. Merely to speak this line in a spirit of prayer is to be renewed in love for God and the confidence that His strength is always enough.
Next Sunday, November 1st is All Saints Day, when we remember that the Blessed who have gone before us are many in number, that they are known and unknown, and that they are our friends and intercessors. This particular All Saints Day, I want to offer a special invitation to those of you who have been away from Mass since the beginning of the pandemic. We will be offering an outdoor 11am Mass (in addition to the usual indoor one at that time) in our church parking lot that day and we are reserving the fifty spaces that NY State permits for outdoor religious gatherings for those of you who would only feel comfortable attending Mass in an open air setting. Please watch your inbox for the next parish email blast which will include information on how to reserve a seat. If you have been away from Mass for many months due to feeling unsafe in indoor public gatherings, don’t feel pressured to attend – but do know that the invitation is especially for you.
Many blessings to each of you. You are in my daily prayers. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do for you.
FROM OUR ADMINISTRATOR 9/20/2020
I hope you are all enjoying the very Autumnal weather of the last several days. Personally, I am always glad to get to wear my hoodie again.
We continue to receive nothing but good news regarding the test results of our parishioners in the last three weeks since our potential exposure. What a blessing and a comfort to find that the safety measures we have been asked to follow were effective.
We were able to resume daily Masses this past week and Sunday Masses yesterday and today. Remember that due to the pandemic the Archdiocese has continued to suspend the usual Sunday obligation to attend Mass, so do not feel any pressure to attend in person. Feel free to instead join in spirit or through our 9am Sunday live-stream. That said, for those of you who chose to return this week, it was so nice to see each of you. Every Mass is by definition a deeply communal reality and your presence is so valued.
Earlier this week Bishop Peter Byrne joined us for the Confirmation of our students whose special day had been postponed from the Spring. What a joy to see our young people receive this great Sacrament. There were 72 students in all, spread over four separate ceremonies to maintain social distance. I am reminded that the number 72 is very significant because that is the exact number of disciples that Jesus sent out to proclaim the Kingdom of God. May the Spirit indeed continue to fill our 72 confirmandi that they would be proclaimers of Christ’s Kingdom to the world.
Here is our liturgy schedule for this week, Sept. 21-27. Note that we will again only have daily Masses on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday:
Know of my continued prayers, thank you for yours, and stay in touch,
FROM OUR ADMINISTRATOR 9/13/2020
Sunday Greetings (just barely, getting this out a bit late today!),
My greeting today is primarily in video form, here is a link from the live-stream this morning.
A few additional details to note, however:
1) We will begin public Masses starting tomorrow. But we are going to start slow. Here is the liturgy schedule for this week:
7 am Mass on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (no Masses on Tuesday or Thursday)
5:15 pm Saturday Vigil
the usual Sunday Masses at 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 11:00 am & 5:15 pm
2) All high-school aged youth are invited to join in the activities of the Youth Group. All parents of participating youth, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so that you can receive email updates regarding events.
3) Please say a prayer for our youth who will be receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation this week! What a special moment for them, for their families, and for all of us.
4) Please also join the friars in praying for the following people who are fondly remembered in our Mass intentions for this week:
Anthony Pasquale, Thomas Treacy, Arthur Olivieri, Antoinette Gesualdi, Julia Brady, Rose Marie Prestopino
Rita Pozzio, Louis Sarro, Richard Zeoli, Roslund + McSweeney Family, Rafael Modesto Farina
Blessings to all. Continued thanks to all for your generosity and kindness. Stay in touch,
FROM OUR ADMINISTRATOR September 10, 2020
I hope you all continue to be well during this time. I have a few updates to share with you.
First, I am very glad to be able to say that so far I have received nothing but good news of negative test results from parishioners. From what we know thus far, it seems that all the safety measures we have in place are indeed working.
I have been in very close contact with the Westchester County Department of Health regarding all of the practical questions regarding our recent experience of COVID-19. I’m so grateful for all the counsel they have provided, and it’s in light of that counsel that we are now moving forward. Here are a few details:
In other matters, I have two updates to offer:
Once again, I would like to extend an enormous thank-you to all of you who have offered so many gestures of support and kindness during this last week and a half. It is so appreciated.
I will continue to keep you posted. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Many blessings,
FROM OUR ADMINISTRATOR September 6, 2020
Blessed Sunday to all.
This Sunday, like every Sunday, is “the Lord’s day” – a day in which the Lord invites us to remember that we are His and that He has made Himself ours. How good it is to remember that this great truth remains “in good times and in bad.”
Here is a link to a video greeting from myself on our Facebook page from this morning in case you missed it.
Some of you were confused about exactly which Masses were to be included in the “quarantine list” issued by the Health Department. The Department’s advisory on our website has been updated and is hopefully more clear now.
I know many questions remain about the near future and I will certainly be in touch as I learn more and as decisions are made. Thanks again to everyone for your support and prayers. Be assured of mine for you. I also invite you to join the friars in praying for all those who are included in our private Mass intentions for this week. I have listed their names below.
Blessings to all,
Mass intentions for the week of September 6th, 2020:
FROM OUR ADMINISTRATOR September 4, 2020
I would like to share with you the latest information we have received regarding the recent Coronavirus exposure. First, I’m sorry to say that Fr. Frank Sutman has now also had a positive test result from a test taken on September 2nd.
Secondly, please take a moment to read this statement from the Westchester Dept. of Health:
(White Plains, NY) – The Westchester County Department of Health has been notified that a second priest has tested positive for COVID-19 at Holy Innocents Catholic Church, located at 431 Bedford Road in Pleasantville. To date 2 priests and one church staffer have tested positive.
Anyone who attended the following services must quarantine, as required by the New York State Department of Health, for 14 days (regardless of a negative COVID-19 test) from that last visit to the Church during these days:
• August 24 – Morning Mass
• August 26 – Morning Mass
• August 29 – First Communion Ceremonies and ALL MASSES
• August 30 – ALL MASSES
701 North Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591
Open Saturday, Sunday, Monday from 9am to 4:30pm. Patient will drive to Phelps Hospital and go towards the Emergency Department, then they will see signs for the testing tent. Stay in car and drive in that direction until you reach the site. Patient will identify themselves as part of the Church cluster for testing. No appointment necessary.
Contacts of contacts, meaning secondary exposed people, are currently not at risk and do not have to quarantine.
The County is currently working closely with the Church, the Archdiocese of New York, the Pleasantville School District and the Village and will continue to update the public as information becomes available.
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) New York State Hotline
The New York State Department of Health has set up a hotline at (888) 364-3065 where Department of Health experts will be available to answer questions regarding COVID-19.
COVID-19 Hotline numbers for the public:
People under self-quarantine and medical providers seeking information: (866) 588-0195
People inquiring about testing: (888) 364-3065
General Information: call 211
I want to express my personal gratitude to everyone who has been able to come forward and help with this situation. We look forward to continuing to work with the Health Department and the Village to maintain everyone’s safety. Please know that ever since the beginning of the pandemic we have been following every safety protocol that has been required of us and we will continue to do so. We will continue to keep everyone informed as we continue to receive new information. Please do not hesitate to let us know if there’s anything we can offer during this challenging time.
Know of my continued prayers,
FROM OUR ADMINISTRATOR September 2, 2020
I wanted to share an update to my previous communication about the COVID-19 exposure of the Dominican community at Holy Innocents. As you know, the friars began a self-imposed quarantine on August 30 upon learning of the potential exposure. Unfortunately, I just received a positive result from my own COVID-19 test taken on August 28th, 2020. This was a routine test which all clergy in the Archdiocese are asked to take on a regular basis; it was taken before we knew of our potential exposure.
Ever since public Masses have resumed we have been continuing our ongoing safety precautions including wearing masks, maintaining social distance and sanitizing our hands before distributing communion. Despite these precautions, I know this will be concerning news for those of you who have been in the church recently. So I wanted to share with you the following recommendations from the Archdiocesan health advisers whom I contacted today.
If you have questions about your or your family’s safety, please contact your health care provider. The CDC and New York State Department of Health advises anyone who is concerned about a potential exposure to self-monitor for symptoms. You may also decide to obtain a COVID-19 test.
If you develop or have developed COVID-19 symptoms, you should call your medical professional or you can call the ArchCare COVID-19 Hotline at 1-877-239-1998. Archcare has allocated staff to handle inquiries and provide guidance to members of the Archdiocesan community, including clergy, religious, volunteers, lay personnel, students, and their families. The Archcare Intake Specialists will answer all questions or route you to someone who can address your concerns. Archcare can also provide you with information about obtaining a COVID-19 test to determine if you have been infected by the virus.
In addition, you can obtain additional information by visiting New York State Department of Health website at Westchester County Department of Public Health website at https://health.westchestergov.com/2019-novel-coronavirus.
Following the NYS and Archdiocese guidelines the parish will suspend public Masses and office hours until September 11th following safety and quarantine requirements. We will also have all affected parish facilities deep cleaned and disinfected. The Archdiocese has arranged to provide such services to the parish as soon as possible. I will be sure to keep you posted with any other information I receive regarding these guidelines and resuming activities at Holy Innocents.
Do know of my continued prayers for you all during this time. And please be in touch if there’s anything we can do for you while we are in quarantine. We continue to walk forward in Jesus’ care and company. In His name,