PANDEMIC SAFETY OFFICERS Each parish in the diocese was asked to name a "pandemic safety officer" who will guide our re-introduction of Masses. Our officers are Regina Jendzeizyk from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, Viola Metz from St. Adalbert Parish, and Diana Busse from St. Paul the Apostle Parish. They have my blessing and permission to guide and correct us on our path to remain as healthy as possible while gathering as the Body of Christ.
In addition to Toni LaFond, our Pastoral Associate for Administration, and our fine ushers, the pandemic safety officers provided us with excellent guidance and direction for our first experience of the plan to receive holy communion outside, which was on Pentecost Sunday, the birthday of the Church. Thank you to all for making it flow very smoothly. Great energy was expended in short time to make this Pentecost experience possible: thank God for this gift that will continue for the time being.
HOLY COMMUNION OUTDOORS Even though we cannot gather for Mass as of this writing, there is a path by which we can receive holy communion. While the usual weekend Mass is taking place inside (but without an assembly right now) it is possible for you to drive into our parking lots, participating by streaming the Mass on your portable devices. But, it is important that you remain in your cars while in our parking lot until directed by an usher to come forward for communion.
The unconsecrated hosts are opened from a plastic sleeve and go right into the disinfected ciborium untouched by anyone. Then, the lid goes on top of the ciborium where it remains even during Mass and consecration. After Mass is over, I go to the sacristy and wash my hands in warm water while singing two verses of, "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name" (aren't you glad that there's no crowd inside the church to hear me attempt to sing?). Then, I put on a mask and walk back into the church, taking up the ciborium; lastly, I walk outside to serve you holy communion.
We all practice social distancing (six feet of distance at least) and wear masks. During the playing of the streamed Mass in our vehicles, we don't play other music or audio so as not to disrupt the experiences of others. We also do not leave our cars until instructed by an usher. Eight people at one time are invited to come forward to receive our Lord in holy communion. Then, we return to our cars and depart.
Please join us at 4:00 PM on Saturday or 8:00 AM on Sunday at St. Paul the Apostle Church, 9:30 AM on Sunday at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, or 11:00 AM on Sunday at the Church of St. Adalbert.
God's peace be with you, Fr. Frisoni
June 3, 2020
O Lord our God, Defender, protect us from the evils that assail us in this life's wilderness and bring us safely to dwell in your presence, through the power of Christ our Lord. Amen. St. Charles Lwanga and companions, pray for us.
May 29, 2020 Dear friends,
Greetings to you. For about the past two and one-half months, we have prayed and participated in the celebration of Mass virtually but without the benefit of being able to receive our Lord in holy communion due to the virus epidemic. I am pleased to now be able to share with you a path forward that is consistent with all civil regulations presently in force.
This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday: the birthday of the Church and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It is very appropriate that a new beginning commences this weekend, May 30-31 -- here is an outline of this gift of the Spirit.
-- Mass inside the church will now be celebrated by the priest alone at the usual weekend Mass times. In the Diocese of Albany right now, a crowd is not permitted in church for the Mass (hopefully, this will change very soon). The church doors are locked during this Mass.
-- However, you can come to our parking lots at the usual weekend Mass times and participate in the Mass by streaming our Mass on your portable electronic devices; you must remain in your vehicles so that there is no congregation of persons to comply with state regulations.
-- Then, the priest emerges after Mass to stand outside at the door of the church with a ciborium containing holy communion from Mass. Ushers and parking lot attendants then permit only eight persons at one time, wearing masks, to receive communion by walking over to the priest standing at the door, observing a minimum of six feet distance from the next person. Communicants remove the mask to receive communion, return the mask to their face, and then return to their cars to depart the lot. (In this sense, our congregation of those in line to receive communion is ten or fewer persons as permitted in New York.)
-- Our Bishop has continued to suspend the obligation to participate in Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation. Those who are ill, experiencing symptoms of illness, or those in a vulnerable situation -- the elderly, those with weakened immune systems, underlying health conditions, etc. -- are NOT obliged to attend Mass or receive holy communion, and out of concern for others, ought not to attend.
In sum, at least we now have a path to receive our Lord in communion as food for the journey. This is not perfect, or "like it was before," but it is a way forward for those who have been longing to receive the Lord sacramentally. Our streaming and television Masses continue as before.
Thank you for your prayers; in answer to our prayers, the Lord has provided for our needs and has given us wisdom and strength.
God's peace to you,
May 22, 2020
An update--the diocese has now permitted us to move to a planning stage to prepare a written plan to gather for Masses. The bad news for now is that even after the plan is approved, there are no more than ten persons permitted at any Mass (thus the need for a re-introduction plan for each church).
Before Masses can resume, we are preparing that design for review, which includes safety measures designed to keep you healthy. After approval, the plan must be shared with you publicly before any church is reopened for sacred liturgy (please visit us back here).
I am very pleased we can take these small steps to return physically to the altar of the Lord, although we know we have been united to Christ's sacrifice all along.
We'll keep praying together for an end to the virus and our gradual re-introduction of Masses in the churches that we love and cherish.
God's peace, Fr. Frisoni May 21, 2020 Dear friends,
Here is a bulletin received from the Chancery of the Diocese of Albany that I wish to share with you (in italics below).
Dear Parish and School Leaders,
We are very glad to hear that Gov. Cuomo supports the resumption of church gatherings of 10 or fewer people, as well as parking lot gatherings. That being said, we are proceeding with caution to ensure the safety of our parishioners.
We currently have guidelines for parishes in our 14-county diocese and are in the process of preparing a second document that will address liturgical and sacramental issues in light of social distancing and safety precautions.
Although we are not yet ready to open parishes for Sunday worship, we do believe this easing of restrictions will allow for baptisms, funerals and weddings to proceed, all while respecting social distancing requirements.
Our parishes will be submitting plans as to how they will be able to meet the diocesan guidelines we have issued for a safe reopening. Once we are confident we are in a position to do so in a responsible and safe manner, we will announce a reopening date.
Finally, the April 21 document entitled “A Compendium and Summary of the Liturgical Principles, Instructions & Guidelines” still remains in effect and thus retains its force. Therefore, there are to be no deviations from this compendium until official notice from the Chancery.
Please visit http://www.rcda.org/coronavirus for additional information.
So, friends, as of now, we are still under the same system, with no public celebrations for the time being. When I learn more, I will share this with you. Let us continue to pray for one another's strength and will.
God's peace, Fr. Frisoni
May 17, 2020 Dear friends,
Two weeks ago, I urged you to remain connected to God and to others, perhaps by reaching out to two or three people with whom you haven't communicated in a long time. How did that work out for you? You can try again now or soon -- stay close to the Lord and to each other.
God's blessings to you,
May 15, 2020 Dear friends,
Today, we learned that the Capital Region of our state is not yet allowed to emerge from the lockdown. But remember, we are not in a lockup! Don’t forget you can stop and pray before the Lord Jesus in our churches. Entrust your cares before the most blessed Sacrament, for Jesus’ heart sets us free.
Have a great weekend, Fr. Frisoni
May 12, 2020 Dear friends,
Perhaps we have spent great energies worrying about what we have recently lost, or what has changed in our world. Do not forget the graces God has given us throughout our whole lives. God has been very good to us.
Let our Blessed Mother show us how to express our praise to God. "'My soul magnifies the Lord'" (Lk 1:46). In these words, she [Mary] expresses her whole program of life: not setting herself at the center, but leaving space for God, who is encountered both in prayer and in service of neighbor -- only then does goodness enter the world. Mary's greatness consists in the fact that she wants to magnify God, not herself" (Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est , no. 41).
May 10, 2020 God's way is taught to us in the final chapter of Isaiah the prophet: "As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort" (Is 66:13). Christ Jesus, embrace us and guide us to the eternal Jerusalem.
Don't forget to thank God in prayer for your mother. Happy Mother's Day!
May 3, 2020 Dear friends,
Stay connected to God and to each other in these times. Why not try today to reach out to two or three people you haven’t communicated with in months or years? This can make a big difference in someone’s day — and yours.
God’s peace to you, Fr. Frisoni April 26, 2020 (Read by Father during his homily today) A Poem by Laura Fanucci
When this is over, may we never again take for granted A handshake with a stranger Full shelves at the store Conversations with neighbors A crowded theatre Friday night out The taste of communion A routine checkup The school rush each morning Coffee with a friend The stadium roaring Each deep breath A boring Tuesday Life itself.
When this ends, may we find that we have become more like the people we wanted to be we were called to be we hoped to be and may we stay that way -- better for each other because of the worst.
April 25, 2020
Friends, I hope you are enjoying our great day today here in upstate New York. St. Francis of Assisi urges us to see nature and all its creatures as a "magnificent book in which God speaks to us and grants us a glimpse of his infinite beauty and goodness" (Pope Francis, Laudato Si' , no. 12). Can we perceive the blessing of God's nature and creation in both the sunshine and in the rain of our lives? ~ Fr. Frisoni April 18, 2020
What can separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? Neither death nor life, nor present things, nor future things will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (cf. Romans 8:35,38-39). April 15, 2020 Dear friends,
I wish to share with you a prayer I offered during homily time at our Ash Wednesday Masses seven weeks ago. In our current difficulties, I hope this prayer is of great comfort for you as it has been for me. ~Fr. Frisoni
Prayer to Our Lady of Czestochowa
Holy Mother of Czestochowa, You are full of grace, goodness, and mercy.
I consecrate to you all my thoughts, words, and actions -- my soul and body.
I beseech your blessings and especially prayers for my salvation.
Today, I consecrate myself to you, Good Mother, totally -- with body and soul amid joy and sufferings to obtain for myself and others your blessings on this earth and eternal life in heaven. Amen.
April 12, 2020 "What we call the beginning is often the end And to make and end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from."
"And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time."
Today is a day for rejoicing and joy. Do not be afraid -- Christ has defeated death and is our Hope. Have a wonderful day and season.
Fr. Frisoni April 10, 2020 As a symbolic and spiritual means to connect us despite social distancing, I invite and encourage you to take part in our diocesan-wide moment of solidarity on the Easter Vigil (Saturday, April 11) by placing a light in your front window at 8:00 PM as we prepare to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Savior and the Light over darkness. April 8, 2020 We wash our hands for at least twenty seconds to prevent the spread of germs. Next time we wash our hands, try praying the "Our Father" and the "Hail Mary" prayers for someone who struggles to breathe at this moment.
April 5, 2020 You humbled yourself, Lord, by being obedient even to accepting death, death on a cross. Give all who serve you the gifts of obedience and patient endurance. Watch over all health care workers.
April 3, 2020 Pope Francis: "The Church is all of us, everyone. Each person has their role in the Church, but we are all the Church” (June 6, 2018). April 2, 2020 Dear friends,
It is with great regret to inform you that due to the pernicious effects of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, our annual Festa in honor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is cancelled. Preparing for our Festa at Mt. Carmel is not possible due to the current restrictions on gathering. Instead, we will be concentrating our efforts on Festa 2021.
When the dust settles from this pandemic, our parish family will be holding a great celebration to mark our reunion. I take this opportunity to thank all of our Festa volunteers who have worked very hard to prepare for the Festa -- and we need you in 2021! God's peace to you,
April 2, 2020 Dear friends,
Today, we pray for those in our neighborhoods and across our world who have lost their jobs due to the effects of the virus. Join me in pausing for a few moments to pray to our Lord, through the intercession of St. Joseph the Worker, that all unemployed and underemployed persons remain close to the Lord, and that we may assist them in meeting their immediate needs with charity and kindness. God's peace to you,
Fr. Frisoni March 31, 2020 NEW E-MAIL ADDRESS FOR ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE PARISH
Due to a security breach, St. Paul the Apostle Parish has moved away from the Yahoo general e-mail account, which has been deleted. The new e-mail address for the parish is SPASchen@rcda.org . Here is a list of all our linked parish e-mail addresses on the RCDA diocesan platform (you'll notice all prefixes are limited to eight letters) -- feel free to contact us anytime. Thank you for your understanding.
Here's a printable prayer to help us remain strong in faith during these times. Let us pray for each other.
Take good care,
Fr. Frisoni March 29, 2020 IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT THE DISTRIBUTION OF PALMS In adherence to the action of Governor Andrew Cuomo executed on March 20, 2020, the Diocese of Albany on March 25 (after the deadline for preparing our March 29 bulletins) prohibited the distribution of palms during or after any Palm Sunday Masses. Regrettably, we cannot make palms available to you as we had planned. I know this is a serious inconvenience for you, but I also want everyone to keep healthy too. I am very sorry for this -- still, I hope we can welcome the Lord into our hearts as we mark his triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
March 28, 2020 Dear friends,
Please check out this weekend's Mass here on St. Paul's webpage. Many thanks to David Rossi our musician and Diane Bouchard our videographer for making this Mass possible.
We may not be able to physically gather for Mass, but we are always close in communion through the Spirit. Please pray for me whenever you may have a spare moment; I'm grateful for this gift. Know that I pray for peace in your life now. I'll see you soon, and be well.
March 27, 2020 Dear friends,
Did you know that most who are in 12-step recovery programs cannot meet in person now for weekly group gatherings? At St. Paul the Apostle in Schenectady, Alcoholics Anonymous gathered faithfully every Wednesday evening for meetings until it was no longer possible. The meetings will be back soon!
Please pray with me today for all in recovery from any addictions -- to maintain sobriety through connection and support from God, family, and friends. As we progress through the stations of our crosses in life, remember that if we ever stumble or fall, Christ Jesus will help us get up again, day by day.
The best to you today,
March 25, 2020 Dear friends,
Please join me today in prayer for all who suffer from anxiety or depression, and especially those who feel more lonely or isolated in our current situation. May the Spirit of Christ's love fill us with great hope. He is near. Fr. Frisoni
March 24, 2020 Please note, on March 19, Fr. Frisoni announced drive-up confessions in his letter to parishioners. Unfortunately, on March 20, the new orders from the state government forbade any scheduling of gatherings. Thus, we regret to inform you there cannot be any drive-up confessions on Saturdays at St. Paul the Apostle Parish. We are sorry for any inconvenience. Thank you for understanding. March 22, 2020 Dear friends, Happy Laetare Sunday, everyone. At private Mass a few moments ago, I prayed that you may have a joyful Lord's day in spite of our challenging situation. Lately, we have seen or heard many reports about essential and non-essential entities that either can remain open or must soon cease functioning. Remember, with what things did we enter this world? It is Christ the Lord who is essential in our lives.
Lord, remove any blindness or fear, and let us be able to see the joy you have given us.
The very best today, Fr. Frisoni
March 21, 2020 Dear friends, I just completed Mass in private for your prayer intentions, especially for the strength of Christ in your hearts during this time public Masses are suspended. Soon, we will be back together at the altar of the Lord. Until then, know that we are all together in Christ Jesus as his Church, no matter where we are. Be not afraid. Take good care everyone.
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