Dear Family of St. Patrick’s and St. Thomas Aquinas,
While we are not allowed to provide our beautiful choir music at our parishes we thought it would be fun to do a virtual performance for your enjoyment in celebration of 4th of July. We miss getting together and we miss singing for our community. We pray for peace and blessings upon everyone and upon America!
Syracuse, New York— Most Reverend Douglas J. Lucia, Bishop of Syracuse, announced today his decision to authorize the Diocese of Syracuse to file for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The filing is before the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of New York.
The parishes within the Diocese, the Foundation including the HOPE Appeal, Catholic Charities, Catholic Schools and other entities associated with the Diocese are separate legal entities and are not part of the Chapter 11 filing.
As of today, the Diocese of Syracuse has over 100 lawsuits filed under the Child Victims Act. Bishop Lucia explained in a Letter to the Faithful, “Without a reorganization, the Diocese and claimants will face a slow, unpredictable and costly process that would require years of court involvement. Such a protracted process would delay justice for the victims and only prolong their pain and suffering. The challenge this situation presents our Diocese is simply that one jury award could so diminish our assets that we would have little or nothing with which to resolve the other claims or carry on the important ministries of the Diocese.” The Diocese believes Chapter 11 is the fairest course for all victims and the best course to ensure the Church carries out its mission to serve the people of this diocese.
As part of the Reorganization Plan, the Diocese intends to create a Victims Fund with a pool of funds from the Diocese and insurance carriers. The Diocese is working with insurance carriers to determine the extent of coverage.
Information on reorganization is available on the diocesan website: www.syrdio.org. This site will include up to date information and frequently asked questions about reorganization. It will soon contain a link to a webpage that will have links to all the court documents as they are filed.
“It is my hope that during this process of reorganization and following its completion, we will continue to pray for the healing of those who had been harmed during this very dark chapter of the Church”, stated Bishop Lucia. “As your Bishop, I must again, apologize for these heinous acts and ask you all to join me in our diocesan commitment that these acts will never take place again.”
Dear Parishioners of St. Patrick’s & St. Thomas Aquinas,
I am writing to inform you that we will begin offering public Masses here at St. Patrick’s & St. Thomas Aquinas this weekend, June 13th & 14th – now that we are able to accommodate up to 25% of the capacity of our churches. It is especially nice to welcome everyone back to celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi. Our parish staff and volunteers have been working very hard to establish a plan that does everything we reasonably can to make this a safe reopening.
The seriousness of this pandemic dictates that we follow the guidelines and safety measures given by State and Local authorities and health officials, and the Diocese of Syracuse. Please read the following carefully to facilitate a smooth reopening.
Mass Obligation Dispensed
The dispensation from the Sunday and Holy Day obligation remains in effect. Please refrain from attending mass, especially those with COVID-19 or exposed to it, as well as those with upper respiratory or flu like symptoms or underlying medical conditions, the sick, the elderly, those who are living with or in the presence of any individual at risk, or those that still do not feel comfortable being in a public setting. When in doubt, out of charity for others, please stay home.
Below, you will find the revised mass schedule for weekdays and weekends. This is necessary because of the need to sanitize the church before/after masses – and we need two hours after each mass. After consultation with some of the leadership at both parishes, I decided to make the changes as listed below. PLEASE NOTE: This revised schedule is temporary – and will be re-evaluated once the restrictions are lifted.
Beginning Monday, June 15th the weekday Masses will be offered:
Monday – Friday: 7:00 am at St. Patrick’s & 10:00 am at St. Thomas Aquinas.
Saturday: 10:00 am at St. Patrick’s. The 10:00 am Masses will be live-streamed.
Weekend Mass Schedule
Beginning June 13th and June 14th, the weekend Mass schedule will be as follows:
Saturday: 4:00 pm – St. Thomas Aquinas
5:15 pm – St. Patrick’s
Sunday: 9:00 am – St. Patrick’s
11:00 am – St. Thomas Aquinas (live-streamed)
4:00 pm – St. Patrick’s
Confessions will be heard on Saturday’s: 11:30 am at St. Patrick’s (front and side doors of rectory) and 3:00 pm at St. Thomas Aquinas (handicapped entrance). Follow the directions posted at each location.
We will continue Eucharistic Adoration at St. Patrick’s Monday – Friday from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm (Please note change); 10:30 am – 1:00 pm on Saturday (may change due to funerals.)
Face Masks Requirements
You are required to wear face masks for the entirety of Mass. If you choose to wear protective gloves, they must be removed prior to receiving Communion on the hand. We will also ask everyone to use hand sanitizer prior to entering the church. Hand sanitizer will be provided.
Liturgical Ministers will be contacted if needed.
Music will be kept to a minimum: Entrance song – Presentation – Holy, Holy – Communion – Closing. The cantor will sing, you are encouraged to listen prayerfully and hum but please refrain from singing as it is considered a heightened way to project germs.
Missalettes will not be available during pandemic.
Given the new occupancy restrictions, we are only able to accommodate approximately 180 persons at St. Patrick’s and 250 persons at St. Thomas Aquinas per Mass. Because we need to track all in attendance we ask that you complete the enclosed ‘Household Contact’ and place in a basket provided upon entry each week.
When arriving at church, please keep socially distanced from other households as you enter. Please allow extra time to be seated and please understand that attendees will be directed by hospitality guides as they arrive. The guides will start seating 30 minutes before Mass begins. Please remain in your vehicles until the doors open to enter the church and please do not congregate by the entrance before or after Masses.
Communion – only those receiving communion should come forward.
When you approach for Communion, please follow the markings on the floor – keeping the distance of six feet. When it is your time to receive, keep your mask on while the Eucharistic Minister shows the Host and says, The Body of Christ. After you respond, Amen, approach the minister.
Receive the Host in your hand, then step six feet away from the minister. Then carefully loosen your facial covering, consume the Host, and replace the facial covering. Those who wish to receive Communion on the tongue are asked to go to celebrant priest at the end of the Communion line to help us accommodate this preference.
Collection baskets will not be passed but will be available for contributions at interior exit door of the church. Online Giving is another option available and can be found on our website at sta-sp.org or by clicking the ‘giving’ button on MyParishApp.
At the conclusion of Mass, the hospitality guides will dismiss rows beginning with those closest to the doors. As you go to your car, please keep socially distanced from other households as you leave. The church will be sanitized after each mass.
We look forward to seeing you! May I ask that you please be patient with us in implementing this plan and understand that we will make any changes deemed necessary to assure the safety of those attending, while also recognizing the importance of making the sacraments available.
May the peace of the Risen Christ be with you!
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Msgr. John P Putano, V.F.
Mass times can be found in a separate post.
The information below is what is asked of parishes / parishioners appropriately.
Health and governmental authorities:
* The time spent in public gatherings is to be kept to a minimum. Therefore, selections for the required ritual elements for the celebration of the sacraments should be made accordingly. For example, simple Mass setting should be sung, and brief homilies should be given. Required elements of the liturgy are never to be omitted.
* The number of individuals allowed to gather must be in compliance with current governmental restrictions. This applies to all sacramental gatherings mentioned below. A system of “registration” (online, by phone, etc.) should be devised by each parish so that individuals are not turned away at the door, to avoid any traffic issues, and as a safety measure to assist in reporting names in the event of any possible exposure to COVID-19. Volunteers should assist those who have registered as they enter and exit the church and parking lot.
* Social distancing (six feet of separation per household) is to be observed at all sacramental gatherings mentioned below. Consequently, parishes must mark one door for entry to direct the flow of traffic (attentive to fire safety codes), pews to indicate where people can sit, aisles to indicate the direction they may take, and stations to indicate where people can wait to receive Holy Communion or use the restroom. If additional spaces are used, social distancing requirements must be maintained and care taken to avoid clustering at exit doors.
* Churches are to be properly disinfected and ventilated before and after each individual use, not simply at the beginning or end of the period of time during which they are open. For example, the space used for confession must be appropriately disinfected after each penitent. Consult the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) recommended sanitization procedures: (1) Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces and (2) Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility
* All non-sacramental social gatherings, etc., particularly, congregating before or after Mass either in the church or in the parking lot, are prohibited.
Safety and hygiene is the duty of every individual:
* Anyone attending Mass does so on their own volition.
* Those who are sick or symptomatic must stay home.
* Those who are vulnerable (i.e., sixty-five years of age or older, with underlying health conditions, with immune system deficiencies) should remain at home and should not volunteer or be asked to volunteer to fulfill liturgical ministries during this time. However, a separate seating area may be designated for them if they choose to attend.
* All ministers and members of the assembly are to sanitize their hands at home and upon entering the church. Parishes are to provide sanitizing stations. The faithful are to bring their own hand sanitizer for the reception of Holy Communion.
* Members of the assembly over the age of two are to bring their own face masks and wear them while they are in church for all sacramental gatherings. Ministers are not to wear face masks during the celebration of the liturgy, except when social distancing cannot be maintained (i.e., when baptizing, confirming, distributing Holy Communion, hearing confessions, and anointing the sick).
* Members of the assembly can wear gloves, but not for the reception of Holy Communion. Ministers are not to wear gloves during the celebration of the sacraments, except to anoint the sick. Gloves are to be removed by turning them inside-out and disposing of them in the trash. Hands should be sanitized after removal.
* Hymnals, holy water, offertory baskets, etc. are not to be used. Disposable worship aids and bulletins may be used.
* Competent ushers, who are not vulnerable, are to be trained to assist such that they are knowledgeable, clam, and welcoming.
* When visiting the home of a penitent, sick person, etc., meetings should take place outside whenever possible, for example, through an exterior window, on a porch, or on the lawn. When this is not possible, the one entering the home is to maintain social distancing, wear a mask, bring only what is needed (e.g., confessional stole, Oil of the Sick, etc.), sanitize hands immediately before and after the visit, and avoid touching one’s face or other items (e.g., car keys, mobile phone, car door, etc.) until hands are sanitized. Full personal protective equipment (PPE) will not be available in the home setting. In certain cases, if time permitting, it may be preferable to ask for the assistance of a priest currently assigned to the care of COVID-19 positive patients in hospitals to limit further exposure of clergy. Please see the detailed description below for the administration of the sacraments.
* Pastors/administrators must report confirmed cases of COVID-19 of anyone who attended Mass, visited, worked /volunteered, etc. at parish. Such cases are to be reported to the local Department of Health and to the Chancellor of the Diocese.
The events of the past 24 hours in the City of Syracuse and across our nation are expressions of sorrow and frustration. Sadness at an unconscionable act that took the life of a young man in middle America despite the valiant attempt of other citizens to intervene. The scene now embedded in our consciousness cries out with the words of the Lord in Genesis 3:10 – “What have you done? Listen, your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!” At its heart is a central teaching of God’s law of love that all life is sacred from conception to natural death; and that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves (cf. Lv. 19:18, Mt. 22:39, Mk.12:31, Lk. 10:27).
Herein lies also the frustration experienced as well: Why doesn’t life matter? Whether it is the life of the unborn child in the womb, the life of a brother or sister who may have a different skin color than us, the life of someone who is elderly or terminally ill, the life of a shopkeeper or public safety officer, the life of someone whose beliefs are different than ours, and the list could go on. Unfortunately, frustration can cause us to strike out at one another like Cain did to Abel. Such behavior is often accompanied by words like: “I don’t care.”
During this time of pandemic, it has been shown repeatedly that what best defeats COVID-19 is our conscientious adherence to practices that are considerate of our neighbors. The same could be said today of the malaise in our country when it comes to truly caring for one another. I grant you that I wonder how many wake-up calls it will take to get our society back on track when it comes to the precious gift that is human life.
Nonetheless, the time to act is now! As we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost, let us pray that the Lord’s law of love will not be something we have just memorized. Rather, may it be written on our hearts and in our daily actions. I ask that out of respect for one another no more property or businesses in this city and in Onondaga County be damaged, but instead we work peacefully together to support one another and put an end to injustice and racism.
Come, Holy Spirit! Enkindle within us the fire of God’s love! Amen.
May 31, 2020
Bishop Douglas J Lucia, Diocese of Syracuse has released a second letter regarding the reopening of Churches for the diocese.
The link below will provide for you the letter in its entirety. Please know our parishes are working to plan appropriately the reopening for Mass in the near future. Our regular confession schedule will resume Saturday, May 30th with St. Patrick’s being at 11:30 am on Saturdays and St. Thomas Aquinas being at 3:00 pm on Saturdays. In order to accommodate the recommended social distancing protocols we are using the entryways. At St. Patrick’s we will use the rectory’s front and side entrances. The priest will remain on the inside of the screen door, which will also be fashioned with a curtain to provide anonymity, while the penitent will walk up to and remain on the outside of the screen door. At. St. Thomas Aquinas we will use the rear entrance of the church that faces the rectory, a/k/a the handicap entrance. We will be establishing a curtain there as well.
Taize prayer is a reflective style of Christian worship practiced by the ecumenical Taizé community in France, characterized by the repetitive singing of simple harmonized tunes, interspersed with readings, prayers, and periods of silence. The singing of distinctive and much-repeated prayer chants during candlelit prayer services is one of its trademarks. Taizé music highlights simple phrases, usually lines from the Psalms or other pieces of scripture, repeated or sung. Join us for this special form of prayer as we await and keep vigil of the celebration of the Feast of the the Ascension of our Lord, Jesus Christ. You can find the post of this special prayer services by going to Youtube.com and searching St. Thomas Aquinas Binghamton Taize for viewing and devotion.
The Holy Spirit Novena is the “original novena”. It is a powerful prayer that commemorates the days between Jesus’ Ascension and Pentecost, or the descent of the Holy Spirit. During these nine days, Jesus asked his disciples to pray. We continue that tradition today.
The novena traditionally begins on the Friday after the Ascension and continues for nine days, ending on the Saturday before Pentecost Sunday. When we pray the Holy Spirit Novena we are better able to open ourselves up to the Holy Spirit.
Commit to praying with us and receive an email each day of the novena. The email will contain prayers for the day and a short reflection on one Fruit of the Holy Spirit.
We look forward to praying with you!
You are coridally invited to pray the Rosary with Bishop Lucia. Pray with Bishop Lucia and all the faithful throughout the Diocese of Syracuse every Thursday evening of May at 7:00 pm. Service will be live streamed from the Diocesan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Go to www.youtube.com/syrdio.
On Wednesday May 13th for the Feast of our lady of Fatima Msgr. Putano lled a May Crowning and Rosary Mainian Devotion service. We are sorry for the technical difficulty experienced for the live stream. Fortunately it did record so it is now posted for your viewing and prayerful devotion.
To view the post please go to www.YouTube.com & search St. Thomas Aquinas Binghamton
In this beautiful month of May,
may we offer our hearts
to the Mother of Mercy and our Mother.
O Mary, Queen of Heaven and earth
pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Cover us in your mantle of protection and guide our hearts to your Son, Jesus. Thank you. Amen.