Limited seating masses resume for Saturday 5pm, Sunday 7:30am, 9:15am, 11am - MUST CALL office to reserve seating Monday to Thursday 9am to 3pm, Friday 9am to 1:30pm. Weekday masses resume June 29.

LETTER TO PARISHIONERS DATED MAY 20, 2020

Christ the King Catholic Church

4700 Madison Avenue, Trumbull, Connecticut 06611

(203) 268 8695   ctkparish@aol.com 

https://christthekingtrumbull.org

 

May 20, 2020

  1. Procedures for the Gradual Reopening of the Parish

  2. Confirmation – Tentative Date

  3. Early Considerations regarding Religious Education 2020-2021

  4. Parish Financial Update

  1. Procedures for the Gradual Reopening of our Parish

Dear Friends,

   We are moving closer to a return to Holy Mass, but it will require some measure of patience and teamwork. I would like to share with you where we are heading over these next weeks and months.  As you know, Bishop Caggiano has been working behind the scenes with various Diocesan teams to prepare for a gradual – and safe – reopening of our parishes. He has held several Zoom conferences with the Pastors throughout the Diocese to discuss the implementation of taking gradual steps toward the day when we will be free of restrictions. 

   The Governor of Connecticut has set today as the date to begin Phase I of the reopening our State. Currently, his plan does not allow for the assembly of persons inside Church buildings. Our hope is that we will be able to reopen the Churches before the end of June. Looking ahead to that day, we are already making provisions for implementing the various guidelines and procedures necessary to maintain safety, which will include safe-distancing and wearing face masks. Additionally, new procedures have been initiated by the Diocese for sanitizing the pews between each Mass. This process will require a period of 45 minutes to complete. As a result, we may need to make slight adjustments to our Mass schedule to accommodate for the cleaning time.

   Keep in mind that the Indult issued by the Bishop in March, namely, that Catholics are dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days until further notice remains in place. When we reopen, we will be restricted to allowing only 50 persons per Mass. I will make every effort to accommodate all parishioners who would like to attend Mass each week (Sunday or Weekday). We will implement a Reservation System each week. Reservations will be made either by calling the office Monday morning or possibly online as well. Hopefully, the 50-person restriction will be lifted after a short time. In the meantime, reservations will be taken for all Sunday and Weekday Masses beginning each Monday morning once we are able to open the doors for Mass. 

   There will also be specific procedures concerning the distribution of Holy Communion to ensure the safety of all. For more information concerning these regulations, you may visit our website or the website for Bridgeport Diocese. These are a few of the guidelines we have been working on and I will keep you informed will all the specifics as we approach the day when we are able to open the doors. 

   Recently, the Bishop has given Parishes the option to offer Mass outdoors in the parking lot for the weeks leading up to the opening of the Churches, provided all the same procedures and guidelines concerning safety are followed. There are of course additional procedures concerning outdoor Mass. Over the course of these weeks, I have been in constant contact with our Parish Trustees, Finance Council, as well as the Parish Council in Conference Calls and Zoom Conferences concerning all these matters and shared with them the details of the various conferences the pastors have had with Bishop Caggiano. These have been very fruitful meetings and I would like to extend a word of thanks to all those who have worked behind the scenes for the good of our parish. There is an old saying coined by the Poor Clare’s, “God will reward you!” After thoughtful conversations and careful consideration, the overwhelming consensus has been to move forward slowly, being ever mindful of safety for our parishioners and of course the utmost reverence for the Mass. Therefore, we will not be having Mass in the parking lot in these early weeks. However, if it becomes clear that the opening of the Churches will not take place by the end of June, then we will reconsider the possibility of the outdoor Mass at our parish.

    In the meantime, I am happy to share with you some good news. We have begun “Live-Streaming” the Mass from our parish now. The Knights of Columbus have generously donated and installed the necessary equipment and we have tested it each of the last two Sundays. Beginning with the Vigil Mass this weekend (7th Sunday of Easter), you will be able to watch the Mass at the normally scheduled times – including all weekday Masses – by visiting our website and clicking on the Facebook Tab. You do NOT have to have a “Facebook Account” to access the Page and watch the Mass. The Mass will also be recorded so you can choose to watch it at a more convenient time if you prefer. Incidentally, we will continue to Live-Stream even after we return to Mass in our Church so that our parishioners who are not able to join us in the Church will be able to join us from home. The Live-Streaming opens up other wonderful possibilities for us regarding Religious Education and other Catechetical Events as we will have the flexibility of moving our camera so that we may Live-Stream from our Church Hall and the Classrooms as well.

    While we implement the many safety procedures for the next several months and begin to move slowly back to our normal custom of attending Sunday Mass, we will need to patiently work together so that all may be accommodated. In the meantime, it is important to remember that you are able to receive the graces of the Eucharist by making a Spiritual Communion. Our Lord always provides the necessary graces. There is an old saying that “God writes straight with crooked lines” – in other words, He can draw good out of every circumstance in our lives inviting us to new spiritual growth. Saints throughout the ages have encouraged the faithful in circumstances such as these to thirst for Christ through an ardent spiritual desire - to be united to Him. Once again, I recall St. Alphonsus de Liguori, (1696-1787) Bishop and Doctor of the Church and Founder of the Religious Order known as the Redemptorists. He was an extraordinary Catholic Theologian and deeply prayerful priest. Many are familiar with His heartfelt prayers concerning our Lord’s Passion that we pray as we walk beside our Lord in the Stations of the Cross. These compel us to reflect on the depth of His love as we meditate on the sacrifice our Lord endured for us. Recognizing our need for healing that can only come from our Lord, Liguori composed a beautiful prayer that I encourage you to pray when you enter into the Mass at home on your TV or Computer. The prayer seeks spiritual communion with Jesus – especially in circumstances which deprive us of receiving Him substantially in Holy Eucharist: “My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now 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.” Indeed, Jesus encourages us in the very same way that he encouraged the Apostles in the Upper Room: “Ask for whatever you want in My Name and it will be done for you…” Ask – and our Lord will provide.

  1. Confirmation – Tentative Date

The Diocese is in the process of rescheduling dates and times for the Sacrament of Confirmation. We have been given a tentative date of Sunday, September 20, 2020 in the afternoon for our current 9th graders whose Confirmation was postponed due to the closure of the Churches in March. It will take place here in our Parish with Bishop Caggiano. As soon as the Diocese confirms the date, we will notify all the families.

  1. Religious Education 2020 – 2021

As we look ahead to September and the beginning of a new Religious Education year, we are in the process of considering the possibility of expanding horizons for teaching the faith. At present, we are planning on having our traditional model of classroom study here at the parish, but of course implementing the new guidelines for social distancing and other recommended environmental safeguards. At the same time, we would like to expand our homeschooling option already in place. Finally, we are examining an option of “online” learning that would be conducted through the teachers in our program. Again, these are possibilities under review at the moment. 

  1. Parish Financial Update

Once again, thank you for maintaining your weekly offertory contributions. It is integral to the long-term health of our parish and of course it enables us to meet our present needs and obligations. At the same time, I am happy to report that we qualified for the PPP (Forgivable) Loan program covering salaried employees and a portion of our utility expense for 8 weeks. In addition, Christ the King Parish was one of only five parishes that received a generous grant given by the Foundations in Faith ($20,000). These great blessings helped offset the financial stress of the early weeks of the closure and at the same time have afforded us a measure of financial “breathing room”. Our parish finance council was instrumental in securing the PPP and I am grateful for their counsel throughout this entire process on behalf of our parish community. While the blessings of the PPP and the Foundations in Faith Grant have been great blessings for our parish, it is your weekly contributions that are necessary to keep our parish strong and remain fiscally healthy. Thank you for your thoughtful attention to this important matter.

I look forward to seeing you here at the parish in the near future, In the meantime, I hope you will tune in to Christ the King for the Live-Streaming of the Mass. I will be giving updates in the announcements just before Mass begins and I would also remind you that our weekly bulletin is accessible online on our webpage. If you have any thoughts or concerns you would like to share, please feel free to call the office anytime or send an email. Be assured of my prayers for you and all your family.

In the peace of our Risen Lord,

Happy Pentecost!!!

Fr. Terry Walsh