Sunday, September 20, 2020

(full copy of our Bulletin is published below)


Phase Two - Effective June 15, 2020

Phase Two continues the dispensation from the Sunday obligation and Easter Duty, maintains all provisions of Phase One and permits weekday Masses, Funerals, Baptisms and Weddings (following directives of Phase Three for the celebration of Mass).

All of the directives issued on May 11, 2020 and the emendations of the Addendum issued on May 27, 2020 remain in force with the following additions or changes only:

  1. The Addendum issued on May 27, 2020 indicates that the maximum number of participants for public Mass, Funerals, Baptisms and Weddings is ten (10), inclusive of all ministers and participants. The number of participants is now set at 25% of the church’s capacity or 50 participants in total, whichever lower. All the directives on social distancing, wearing of masks and sanitizing remain in force.

  2. Phase Two should be used to test and fine tune the procedures for implementation, particularly the provisions you will need to have in place for communicating with your people and limiting capacity.

Phase Three - Effective June 21, 2020


This is the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time and includes the Vigil Mass on Saturday, June 20, 2020.  

Phase Three continues the dispensation from the Sunday obligation and Easter Duty, all celebrations permitted in Phase Two and extends the celebration of public Mass to Sundays with all directives in force.

All of the directives issued on May 11, 2020 and the emendations of the Addendum issued on May 27, 2020 remain in force with the following additions or changes only:


  1. The Directives for Re-Opening Churches indicates that “No more than 50% of the total seating capacity of the church can be permitted for a liturgy.”  The number of participants will actually be determined within the next week, depending upon compliance and numbers, and you will be notified as soon as that number is set.  All the directives on social distancing, wearing of masks and sanitizing remain in force.

  2. Outdoor Masses (not parking lot Masses) will be permitted.  All the directives on social distancing, wearing of masks and sanitizing remain in force.  Permission for outdoor Masses must be secured from your Episcopal Vicar.

Please note that these commencement dates for Phase Two and Three contingent upon any further developments in the potential spread of the coronavirus.  IF there is a spike, these dates may need to be adjusted.

The Directives for Re-Opening Churches and the two Addenda (the first issued on May 27, 2020 and this one) are not suggestions or even guidelines. They are, for now, particular law of the Archdiocese of Newark, established through the authority of the Archbishop. The Directives pertain to the appropriate and safe functioning of ordinary liturgical life in the local Church of Newark.  Therefore, these matters require adherence by all parishes and religious communities where the sacred liturgy is celebrated.



  1. Cardinal Tobin continues to dispense the faithful from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday as well as from “Easter duty” (the obligation to receive Holy Communion during the season of Easter).

  2. Churches may be opened solely for personal prayer during limited and designated hours. Individuals and families enter the church for quiet prayer only. During opening hours, a parish staff member must be physically present in the church to ensure social distancing and sanitizing. No gatherings are permitted.

  3. In accord with national, state and local health directives, those who show symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been exposed to an infected person are not permitted to enter the church for 14 days.

  4. Holy water fonts must remain empty until further notice.

  5. Hand sanitizer should be made available throughout the church.

  6. Public celebrations of liturgies, devotions, or other group prayer are not permitted at this time.

  7. Masks must be worn by all individuals while in the church.

  8. Individuals and families must maintain social distancing (six feet) between each person while in the church.

  9. The pastor will ensure that there is prominent notification within the church regarding the requirement of masks and social distancing.

  10. Pews, door handles and knobs, restrooms and high traffic areas of the church should be wiped down and sanitized at regular intervals with the removal of trash and other items from the pews.

  11. The Sacrament of Reconciliation can be offered at specified and limited times.

Confessionals are not to be used.

    • Social distancing must be maintained by those waiting for the sacrament and attention be given to maintaining the seal.

    • Masks must be worn by confessor and penitent.


  • On Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10, all archdiocesan cemeteries will be open for visitation from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and will be open for visitation every Sunday, thereafter.

  • Beginning on Monday, May 11, up to 10 family members will be permitted to attend a burial service.

  • Beginning on Monday, May 18, cemetery visitation will be permitted weekdays, Monday through Saturday, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., after all interments are completed.

  • Memorial Day Masses at our all archdiocesan cemeteries are postponed until further notice.  Announcements are forthcoming regarding a live-stream or video of Memorial Day Mass at Holy Cross Cemetery.

  • All persons entering archdiocesan cemetery and mausoleum premises must wear a face mask and practice social distancing as per the state’s mandate. Signs will be posted in cemeteries.


DIRECTIVES effective March 25, 2020:

  • All baptisms must be postponed until further notice with the exception of an extreme emergency.

  • All weddings are postponed until further notice.

  • The Sacrament of Reconciliation is suspended until further notice with the exception of an extreme emergency. 

  • All churches and adoration chapels must be closed and locked until further notice. Private prayer in any parish building must be discontinued until further notice.

  • Parish offices must be closed until further notice.  Employees who provide essential services should be limited and on staggered schedules.

  • Pastors should see that the Blessed Sacrament is renewed in tabernacles regularly from celebrations of private Masses.


The following directives REMAIN IN FORCE since March 18, 2020:

  • All public celebrations of daily and Sunday Mass suspended until further notice.

  • All public celebrations of the Sacraments and other public forms of worship suspended until further notice. This includes, but is not limited to, previously scheduled Confirmations, celebrations of First Communion, penitential services, Communion services, and Liturgies of the Word. 

  • Anointing of the Sick: A priest may use a cotton-tipped swab or cotton ball as an instrument to anoint the sick person. 

  • Holy Water should be removed from all fonts. 

  • Celebrations of Mass should continue via live-streaming. If you have not done so already, you are urged to enroll your parish in the archdiocesan Parish Support Initiative that provides one online platform for the faithful to support the critical needs of their parish communities and other parishes in need. Contributions also are gratefully accepted through usual channels including mailed envelopes, other online giving, Annual Appeal, etc.

  • The Archdiocesan Center remains closed with limited and staggering of hours.

  • Catholic Schools remain closed as directed by the State of New Jersey.

  • All Archdiocese of Newark Catechetical education and events sponsored by the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) are suspended.


Anyone who has had direct exposure or potential exposure to COVID-19 is advised to carefully follow the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding isolation and quarantine protocols. 


Archdiocesan employees will continue to work remotely, and should consult their supervisors for further guidance and to determine work assignments.

We encourage you to continue to visit for accurate and updated information available to the residents of New Jersey. Also, please monitor our website at and follow the Archdiocese of Newark’s social media channels @NwkArchdiocese for archdiocesan related announcements.

We continue to keep all affected individuals, families, first responders, and especially those on the front lines in our prayers throughout the coming days.

Thank you


  • We started in our parish the ‘’Shining the Light of Christ’’ 2020 Annual Appeal. This campaign provides the necessary resources to sustain Archdiocesan programs and ministries. Our parish goal this year is $ 26,501.00. Thank you for any help you can provide.

  • Our parish is now registered with The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible purchases.  Tens of millions of products are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages. Recurring Subscribe & Save purchases and subscription renewals are not currently eligible to gen- erate donations. Remember, only purchases made at, (not or the mobile app,) generate AmazonSmile donations. Select St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Parish as the supporting organization.


Monday          7:30pm-9:00pm (church)

Wednesday    7:30pm-9:00pm (church) 

Friday              8:00am-6:00pm (chapel)

                         7:30pm-9:00pm (church)


The parable in today’s Gospel is not a particularly popular one. There’s something unfair and irritating in the behavior of the vine- yard owner. He acts generously but does not take into account the merits, the efforts and accomplishments of the workers. 

If the vineyard owner had prorated the pay of those who had worked only one hour, it would not have attracted attention, there would be nothing to object to. However, the tempers of those, after twelve hours of work, weak with fatigue, they can’t think of anything except the work they have done. The workers from the very first hour, drained from the physicality of the day, are compelled to watch an irritating scene. 

Many of us, from a worldly point of view, give a wink and a nod to those laborers who felt some injustice in not being recognized in a different monetary way than those who spent only an hour. Reward- ing those who worked for one hour the same as those who worked 12 is very illogical. Contracts, even today, are based on certain principles and these are not observed in the parable.  It is in this surprising and disconcerting behavior of the master that the message of the parable is recognized. With the first hour workers, he had agreed on a silver coin, with others what would be just, with the last he had not agreed on anything. 

The absence of understanding this parable comes from the lack of clarity about what the master meant by that. The workers have understood him according to their worldly criteria of judgment. They were convinced that he would take account of their merits. The own- er instead follows his own justice and distributes the silver coins in a completely free and open way. He did not wrong anyone; he just decided not to consider merits. He gave everyone according to their needs and, of course, the most benefited were the last, the poorest (v. 16). That’s the surprise of God; that is His way of conceiving and exercising justice, not what this culture, this world thinks justice is. We simply can take a look around the entire country to see the way worldly entitlement is being played out. 

It is exactly in the provocative act of the master that the main teach- ing of the parable is made. Let’s look at the details of the parable. It’s harvest time. The mature grapes are collected and crushed, pay- ing attention to the time and the right moon. For owners of large vineyards, these are tense days. They need workers and laborers who do not have a steady job and who know how to take advantage of favorable contracts. The more willing place themselves well before dawn at strategic points. They expect that someone may pass to hire them. It is at this point that our parable begins. 

Even before sunrise, the master has been on his feet for more than two hours. He has scheduled the day’s work, put the tubs, baskets, and barrels in place, baked the bread and prepared the olives to be distributed to the workers at midday. A few words to agree on the pay and the first group, the early risers, are already in the vineyard. 

The eagerness of the master to conclude the work as soon as possible is really great. In fact, he comes out four more times searching for workers: at mid-morning, midday, at three in the afternoon and when he calls the last group it was already the seventeenth hour, an hour before the end of the workday. So far nothing strange, everything is normal and logical to those listening to the parable. 

Let us identify the characters: the master is God or Christ, the workers are the disciples who, at different times their ives, respond to the call; the vineyard is the Christian communi- ty, where work is not lacking and must be done with extreme urgency. The day is the image of everyone’s life and the even- ing is the time of the righteous judgment of God. 

Now we come to the crux of the parable. The law states: “Do not exploit the lowly and the poor daily-wage earner, whether he be one of your brothers or a foreigner whom you find in your land and in any of your cities. Pay him daily before the sun goes down because he is poor and he depends on his earnings. Then he will not cry to Yahweh against you, and you will have no sin” (Dt 24:14-15) and, in fact, the master ordered to put workers in line and to hand to all a silver coin ... beginning from the last. 

The parable clearly denounces the conviction that merits count toward obtaining heaven as taught by the spiritual guides of Israel (and supported by many even today). The people had forgotten the ways of God as preached by the prophets. They were convinced that the Lord was a legislator and a judge, so the relationship with Him could only be one of the servants before the master.  The rabbis taught: " All God's judgements are based on measure for measure" They talked about books kept in heaven on which the meritorious deeds and transgressions were carefully noted.

According to this logic, God could not give anything for free. To get his blessing one had to earn it. With his parable, Je- sus destroyed, forever, this self-righteous way of relating to God. The love of the Lord is never bought, conquered or assessed based on good works. It is received freely. 

God never gets tired of going out to meet the person, even when he misses all the appointments. God does not pay according to merits. No one can feel in credit with God (Lk 18:9-14). Before God, we are all children: we turn our eyes to the Father and expect from him all the best. 

It is natural to ask: how is it possible that one who scrupulously practices the law of God be benefited as one who has neglected it? Why is one who was called by God only at the last hour, have the heavenly inheritance like the servants who remained faithful throughout their life? 

Blessed are the servants who came first in the “vineyard of the Lord.” They surely have struggled. But they have en- joyed “since morning” the presence of the Lord. The workers of the first hour are those who have spent every day of their lives in the intimacy with God and in listening to His Word. The others who presented themselves late at the appointment, who did not let themselves be found when the Lord came to call them, have lost many opportunities that were offered to them. 

Those who defer the entrance into the Kingdom of God does not make God angry. He does not punish for this. These indecisions, hesitations in abandoning themselves to God are moments of lost joy. Every moment the bride spends without the groom is a moment of missed loved. 

With this parable, the evangelist who was address- ing Christians instilled with the self-righteous mentality also wanted to put the disciples on guard of the danger of competition within the community. No one can think of oneself being superior to others because no one can consider oneself superior because he practices the Gospel more faithfully. No one is master of the “vineyard”; all are workers. 

The parable has no ending. After the words of the master, how did those who murmur react? The reaction that we attribute to the workers in the parable reflects our reaction to the goodness and generosity of God. In his vineyard one commits oneself freely. One does not do good to another to get a prize. 

Why is it difficult to rejoice in the great fortune of another? People get jealous when they think someone has something that belongs to them, or even when they simply want what another has. Jealousy destroys relationships. Pray to avoid it at all costs; and remember that life can be unfair. Pray for a heart that delights in the well-being of the other. 

Have a blessed and peaceful day!

Fr. Ireneusz

Almighty and eternal God, you have so exalted the unbreakable bond of marriage that it has become a sacramental sign of your Son’s union with the Church as his spouse. Look with favor on these couples who you have united in marriage, as they ask for your help and the protection of the Virgin Mary.  We pray that in good times and in bad they will grow in love for each other; that they will resolve to be of one heart in the bond of peace. Lord, in their struggles let them rejoice that you are near to help them; in their needs let them know that you are there to rescue them; in their joys let them see that you are the source and completion of every happiness. We ask this through Christ our Lord,




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St. Theresa of Child Jesus

Roman Catholic Church

Archdiocesan Shrine of St. John Paul II


131 E. Edgar Road

Linden NJ 07036

908 862-1116


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