Dear St. Charles Family and All Friends in Christ,
I’ve heard on many different occasions when working with engaged couples how the man proposed to his girlfriend at the place they first met, for example, on their college campus or at the shore. It is a common occurrence that a couple will go back to the restaurant or place where they had their first date when they celebrate their anniversary. It is not uncommon also for the couple to go back to the church they were married in to celebrate the baptism of their first child. Certain places have great significance in our lives. They are significant for the events that happened there or began there. They are fonts of memory. They are places where intimate connections were formed in our lives. They are places that remind us of the gifts and blessings we’ve received. They are places that remind us of God and open us up to his Presence each time we return. I must imagine that it was for this reason that the Apostles stayed in the Upper Room and returned there with Mary and the “brothers” of Jesus after the Ascension. It was in the Upper Room where Jesus celebrated the “Last Supper”, instituted the Eucharist, and called these men to be the priests of the New Covenant. It was in the Upper Room where they encountered the risen Lord the evening of Easter Sunday. There he gave them the gift of the Holy Spirit and the ability to forgive sins. They return to this place to pray together and to wait with open hearts for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. I know how much we all long to return to our parish church to gather together in prayer. The church is a place of great significance in our lives – where new life begins and is celebrated, where deep friendship are born, and major life events take place. The church is a place where the most important bonds of life are formed, sealed, and strengthened. I look forward to that time in the next several weeks when we can celebrate together what God has done in our lives and be open to the new life that the Holy Spirit will bring to us, our parish, and the Church.
Please see the statement from Archbishop Pérez that was issued Friday evening, May 22 about the projected resumption of public mass starting on June 5-6: http://archphila.org/statement-from-the-archdiocese-of-philadelphia-regarding-the-projected-resumption-of-the-public-celebration-of-mass-in-the-five-county-region/
Even when the church opens for public worship, there will still be restrictions in place regarding social distancing and the number of people who can gather. Details about the necessary precautions will be forthcoming. We will need a team of volunteers to facilitate the reopening process. If you are interested in helping, please contact the parish office at email@example.com with your name and phone number.
Follow the Sunday Mass Live at St. Charles right from our parish website. St. Charles has recently purchased video equipment and subscribed to a live steaming service that allows us to share a live video feed of the Sunday Mass right on our parish website: www.stcharlesbensalem.org One no longer needs to be on Facebook or wait for the video to be uploaded on YouTube to stay connected to the celebration of the Mass at St. Charles. You will also notice that the video and most especially the audio quality is much improved from previous weeks. The Mass will be celebrated in English at 10:00 a.m. and in Spanish at 12:00 noon on Sunday. The daily masses (8:30 a.m. M-F and 9:00 a.m. Saturday) will still be posted on Facebook and YouTube. Please follow our Parish Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/scbbensalem/ and share this link with family, friends, and other parishioners. Please also subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSf0XIKmwgRsxkG80ItXrwg
The readings for Mass this Sunday are available here in English: http://cms.usccb.org/bible/readings/052420-day.cfm or here in Spanish: http://cms.usccb.org/bible/lecturas/052420-day.cfm
This Sunday’s Bulletin is available here: https:https://www.e-churchbulletins.com/bulletins/511434.pdf
The new video equipment that was installed in church cost around $8,000. It is an investment that will serve our parish for years to come. I plan to continue to live-stream one Mass in English and Spanish each Sunday as a service to our homebound parishioners and to those who do not feel comfortable returning to public worship for health reasons even after the restrictions have been lifted. The ability to live-stream Mass and other events will also provide a way for extended family and friends who cannot travel to St. Charles to participate in parish celebrations and liturgical events like First Holy Communion, Confirmation, weddings, baptisms, and even funerals. A generous benefactor not from St. Charles contributed $4,000 toward the cost of the equipment. I ask that if you or your family have benefited from the live-streaming of Mass to consider a gift specifically toward the funding of the equipment and other technology improvements that will help us to stay connected as a parish and to evangelize in new ways. Please note “video equipment” on any donations you would like to designate toward this cause. If anyone has any skills in video production, please consider volunteering for our “tech team” that facilitates the live-streamed events.
To make an on-line gift or become a regular electronic donor, follow this link: https://scbbensalem.churchgiving.com Those who prefer not to give on-line, please mail your offering envelope to the rectory or drop it through the mail slot in the front door of the rectory office. No gift is too small. Every gift makes a difference. Your continued financial support during this time is crucial for the ongoing operations of the parish. I am very grateful for the generosity of the many people who have maintained their weekly offering or given even more at this time.
St. Charles Borromeo Church is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. for private prayer. Please do not enter the main church when I am celebrating Mass privately. The Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel will be open for private prayer at those times.
Weekly On-line Scripture Reflection Group: I invite everyone to join me in a weekly on-line reflection on the Sunday readings. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will send you a link to join the on-line meeting through Zoom. The discussion for men is at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays. The meeting time for women will be Monday afternoons.
Pray the Rosary for the End to the Coronavirus Pandemic: Every night at 8:00 p.m. the Archdiocese Office for Evangelization hosts an on-line Rosary for the end of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Rosary is prayed in Spanish at 6:00 p.m. Please join the Rosary in English or Spanish here: http://www.phillyevang.org/rosary/
As always, I am most grateful for your support, continued prayers, and love for our parish community.
Sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Philip M. Forlano, Pastor
St. Charles Borromeo Parish
1731 Hulmeville Road
Bensalem, PA 19020
(215) 638-3625, ext. 726