Dear St. Charles Parish Family and All Friends in Christ,
The Archdiocese has posted important clarifications regarding the Governor’s mandatory mask order and the Governor’s new occupancy restrictions. The new restrictions announced by Governor Wolf on July 15 do not apply to churches. However, the Governor’s new 25/250 occupancy limits apply to non-religious services such as Bingo, Festivals, Wedding Receptions, Baby Showers, etc. that might be held on parish grounds. We will continue to follow the liturgical directives as outlined by the Archdiocese for the “Green” Phase. These recent restrictions announced by the Governor will not affect the way we have been celebrating the Mass and the guidelines we have put in place and are following to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for those who come to Mass. The Archdiocese has created a new section on the Arise website called “Announcements, Updates and Clarifications” in which updates will be posted in response to new restrictions or changes as they are announced on the State or Federal level. To view these clarifications, visit: http://archphila.org/arise/
During the “Green Phase”, the Archbishop has continued to dispense the faithful from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. Several weeks notice will be provided as to when the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation will be reinstated by the Archbishop. Those who are sick or at higher risk of severe illness with COVID-19 should not come to church. We will continue to live-stream the Masses each Sunday and post them on the website, Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/scbbensalem/ and YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSf0XIKmwgRsxkG80ItXrwg. The best place to watch the Mass live or on replay is right on the homepage of our parish website: http://stcharlesbensalem.org
A worship aid for Sunday Mass that includes the readings, hymns, and other music for the Mass is available on the website or right here: http://stcharlesbensalem.org/wp-content/uploads/July19Mass.pdf
The readings alone for the Mass can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/071920.cfm
This Sunday’s Bulletin is available here: https://www.e-churchbulletins.com/bulletins/511434.pdf
I ask all those who do intend to come to Mass to watch the instructional video and to review the guidelines for returning to Mass that are posted on the parish website http://stcharlesbensalem.org so you will know what to expect when you arrive at church. Printed copies of the guidelines are available in the church.
To make an on-line gift or to 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.
Parish Meetings and Facilities Use during the Green Phase
All indoor onsite meetings of ministry groups, prayer groups, committees, adult faith formation classes, parish organizations and similar gatherings including BINGO and other social and fundraising events remain suspended during the “green phase”. All groups should continue to conduct meetings through electronic means as their leaders see fit. The need for this restriction will be reevaluated on an ongoing basis.
The parish office will be open during the “green phase”, but all parish business will be conducted by phone or video conference and by appointment only. Parish registrations, baptismal registrations, and Letters of Eligibility can be arranged by a phone or video appointment with Fr. Forlano. Please call 215-638-3625 or email the office at email@example.com to arrange an appointment. In-person pick-up of Mass cards and other items must be scheduled in advance and will take place through the scrip office window. In keeping with current directives, all who do come to the office for essential business need to wear a face mask and practice social distancing inside the parish office.
Thank you for your understanding, patience, and active cooperation with these efforts to protect those who work at St. Charles as well as the vendors and visitors to our facilities.
Mass Cards are Available
Mass cards and/or Mass intentions can be arranged by contacting the parish office by phone or email or by mailing in your requests. Please allow a week for requests to be fulfilled. Walk-in service is not available. Mass card pick-up for pre-arranged requests is available Thursdays from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the scrip office window.
Eucharistic Adoration – Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. – SCB main church
If you are willing to spend an hour or even a half hour with the Lord before the Blessed Sacrament, please contact the parish office at 215-638-3625 or firstname.lastname@example.org to sign-up for a time on Wednesdays. Please leave your name, number, and email or use the sign-up sheet in the church. All are welcome just to make a visit with the Lord on Wednesdays. Those who have been regular adorers at the Our Lady of Fatima Adoration Chapel are encouraged to continue your hours of adoration at St. Charles. For more information or to start Adoration on Monday or Thursday, please call Patti Elinich at 215-639-5668. Thank you to all who have made Adoration possible at St. Charles!
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 email@example.com, and I will send you a link to join the on-line meeting through Zoom. The meeting for women is on Mondays at 1:30 p.m. The discussion for men is at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesdays.
The parables we hear this Sunday about the weeds sown among the wheat, the mustard seed, and the yeast mixed in with the dough warn us against rash judgment and acting with excessive confidence that we know what is best even when motivated by good intentions. God is in charge of the “growth” in our life and the “weeds” and the “bad actors” around us are not going to stop the growth if we are patient, turn to the Holy Spirit in our weakness, and trust in God’s care for us all. May God’s word help us to face the unexpected things and difficult people that pop up in our lives. His word and his method gives us hope, if we are patient enough to listen and to follow.
As always, I promise you my prayers and am grateful for your prayers and support!
Sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Philip M. Forlano, Pastor
St. Charles Borromeo Parish
1731 Hulmeville Road
Bensalem, PA 19020
(215) 638-3625, ext. 726