Updated In-Person Mass Schedule

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Revised Mass Schedule for Corpus Christi RC Church South River: Effective June 13-14, 2020
In light of the pandemic and the need to sanitize and make our worship gathering safe as possible, the Sunday Mass schedule will resume with the following minor adjustments:

  1. Confessions will be heard from 3:30pm to 4:30pm every Saturday outdoors by the Grotto in back, lower church weather permitting. If the weather is inclement then the lower church will be utilized, and a sign posted on the lower church door. As during the pandemic, I’m always available through an appointment if convenient or needed for any individual. At this time, we are not permittedto use the confessional in church.
  2. Mass Times for Sunday:
    • Saturday Vigil Mass: 5pm as customary. This Mass will be livestreamed for those who for health or other reasons cannot attend Sunday Mass at this time.
    • Brazilian/Portuguese Vigil Mass at 7pm at the Grotto weather permitting, lawn chairs permitted but social distancing required both for seating and communion line (six feet apart). If weather is not suitable, Mass is inside the church. Currently the church can have 110 people attend. Ushers will need count folks attending and entering at the front doors only.
      On the weekends, the side doors of the church are not be used for entering or exiting at anytime so we can control the crowd numbers.
    • Sunday Masses: 8am at the Grotto (Lawn chair Mass). If weather is not clement, we will have Mass inside the church. The 8:30am Mass is now officially changed to 8am throughout the year.
    • Sunday 10am (inside)
    • Sunday 11:45am – Portuguese Mass. This time was adjusted to allow for sanitizing the church after the 10am Mass.
    • Sunday 3pm Sung Traditional Latin Mass (inside)
    • Sunday 5pm (inside)

A few observations and practical suggestions:
Bishop Checchio has suspended the canonical obligation to attend Sunday Mass until further notice because of the pandemic. However, I must remind everyone that the precept to observe Sunday as “The Day of the Lord or the Christian Sabbath,” means that we are still required to make the day holy whether we attend Mass or not at this time. Some time-honored practices include: praying together as a family or with others as in the Holy Rosary, watch Mass live streamed together, read and prayerfully recollect upon the Sunday Mass readings, practice charity, engage in some spiritual reading, rest from servile labor, etc.

Weekday Mass schedule remains the same.
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
7:30 a.m.

Confessions prior to the Wednesday TLM Mass will be held at the Grotto weather permitting or the lower church starting at 5pm and ending at 5:45pm.
6:15 p.m. Low Mass

If an individual has serious health related issues, they might want to attend a weekday Mass versus a Sunday Mass.
Any questions, comments, please contact me at 732-254-1800, ext. 18.

In another letter I will explain the procedure for the distribution of Holy Communion. Look for that later today or by Wednesday.

In the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
Fr. Damian Breen

Message from Fr. Damian Breen

Good day to one and all,

I take this opportunity to salute all the mothers of our parish family (grandmothers, spiritual/godmothers) on this Mother’s Day, the 5th Sunday of Easter. We remember our deceased mothers as well and pray that they shall be with our Lord and our Lady in the happiness of heaven with all the angels and saints.

As we observe the month of May we are also aware of Mary, the Mother of God, whom our Lord entrusted to us on Mt. Calvary as His greatest gift to be our advocate and an unfailing source of consolation for us as we make our journey from this life to the next in and through her Son, our Savior. As promised in my homily this past weekend (livestreamed at the Vigil Mass on Saturday 5/9/20), I want to share with you a new prayer to our Lady I learned only recently as we invoke her motherly help and assistance to us during this challenging time.

As the old saying goes, no one who follows Mary will not fail to find her Son – another way of saying this spiritual maxim: To Jesus through Mary.

Anima Mariae

Soul of Mary, sanctify me.
Heart of Mary, inflame me.
Hands of Mary, support me.
Feet of Mary, direct me.
Immaculate eyes of Mary, look upon me.
Lips of Mary, speak for me.
Sorrows of Mary, strengthen me.
O Mary, hear me.
In the wound of of the Heart of Jesus, hide me.
Let me never be separated from you.
From my enemy defend me.
At the hour of my death, call me.
And bid me come to your Immaculate Heart.
That thus I may come to the Heart of Jesus.
And there with all the saints praise you
For all eternity. R/. Amen.

Wishing all a happy Mother’s day and praying for all of you in the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Fr. Damian Breen

A message from Father Damian

Good Sunday to one and all in the Risen Lord,

As many of you are aware our Holy Father Pope Francis has invited the Christian faithful to recite the Holy Rosary with greater devotion during this month of May imploring the salutary prayers and motherly intercession of the Holy Mother of God upon us, our nation, the world, and all victims and first responders to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Pope’s letter for the month of May and his appeal for families to take up this praiseworthy practice can be found on the Catholic News Service and zenit.org just name two Catholic news portals.

For those who are interested, I crowned the statue of our Lady yesterday morning (First Saturday) with the reliable help of one of our dedicated altar servers for the Latin Mass who God-willing will be entering St. Andrew’s College Seminary at Seton Hall this fall to begin his studies for the priesthood, please keep Marco in your prayers and all who are discerning a call to the priesthood and consecrated life as we observe the World Day of Prayer for Vocations this Sunday.

If any of you wish to decorate the altar of Our Lady or the Grotto outdoors with flowers from your yards you are most cordially invited to do so as side door of the church remains open each day for private visitation.

Today, I would like to share with you the very powerful words of the Venerable Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, who preached this message about the Holy Rosary and its fruitful effects many times throughout his preaching ministry (Read about the Battle of Lepanto as well):

“Because the Hail Mary is said many times in the course of a Rosary, do not think of it as sterile repetition, because each time it is said in a different setting or scene, as you meditate, for example, on such mysteries as the Birth of Our Lord, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, and so forth. You never thought, as a child, when you told your mother you loved her, that it had the same meaning as it did the last time you told her. Because the background of the affection changed, its affirmation was new. It is the same sun that rises each morning, but it makes a new day. He continues:

1. If, every day of your life, you say the Rosary devoutly, and all it implies, you will never lose your soul.

2. If you wish for peace in your heart and your family and an abundance of heavenly gifts on your household, then assemble your family each night and pray the rosary.

3. If you are anxious to convert a soul to the fullness of God’s love and life, teach that person to pray the Rosary, That person will either stop saying the Rosary, or he/she will receive the gift of faith.

4. If a sufficient army of us said the Rosary every day, the Blessed Mother would now, as in the past, obtain from her Divine Son the stilling of present tempests, the defeat of the enemies of human (Christian) civilization, and a real peace in the hearts of tired and straying men and women.

5. If the cooling of your charity has made you unhappy on the inside and critical of others, then the Rosary, through your meditation on Our Lord’s great love for you on the Cross and your Mother’s affection for you on Calvary, will rekindle your love of God and of neighbor and restore you to a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Do not think that in honoring Our Lady with the Rosary you are neglecting Our Lord. Did you ever know anyone who ignored you by being kind to your mother? If our Lord said, “Behold thy Mother,” it well behooves us to respect her whom Our Lord chose above all the creatures of the earth (Sheen’s, The Cries of Jesus from the Cross: An Anthology, 160-161).

Sheen was fond of saying that if upon meeting Our Lord in Heaven one day, he hoped that Lord would say to him, “Oh, I know you, my Mother always told me about you.”

As I pray my rosary each day, I do so for all of you, your family members, and all your intentions.

In the Sacred Heart of Jesus and with Our Lady Queen of the Holy Rosary,

Fr. Damian Breen

A message from Fr. Damian – PART 2

One might find it surprising, but it is impossible to discover an image of the crucifix existing before the sixth century. Even then, the only one that can be found is carved on the massive bronze doors of the cathedral in Ravenna. It is a mere panel among a number of other panels. Tucked away in the upper left-hand corner, it is easily missed by the casual observer.
This seemingly strange circumstance is easily understood by putting ourselves in the mindset of the ancient Roman world, albeit drawing its last breath. Crucifixion was one of the most humiliating sentences devised by the Roman Imperium, imposed for the most shameful crimes, involving one of the most excruciating deaths.

Understandably, crucifixion was not a matter of boasting. One would want it kept hidden, like a relative who suffered execution by a firing squad. Even though suffered by a loved one, it would never be spoken of except in embarrassed whispers.

Seen that way, it is no wonder the early Church kept Our Lord’s crucifixion locked away in the silence of red-faced shame. If a cross did appear, it was encrusted with jewels as a boisterous reminder of Our Lord’s glorious resurrection. After all, who would not want to forget the hours of that awful Friday when the world turned dark, the earth shook, and temple curtains were mysteriously torn from top to bottom? And those grisly details of Roman soldiers pounding the plaited crown of thorns deep into the skull of Our Savior, the blows of the hammer that spiked His hands and feet to the cross, and the outsized, clumsy rusted nails that broiled Our Lord’s open nerves whenever he tried to lift His body even a little—to relieve the strain on His hands, or to take a small breath into His drowning lungs. This was an ordeal that anyone would want forever forgotten.

Even us. Even today. It is understandable why the world turns away from the Crucifixion. It sees only senseless death. Nothing else. It is exactly how they look at their lives in this world—senseless. And then they die. When John Maynard Keynes was asked about deficit spending, and the numbing legacy of debt left to our children, he quipped insouciantly, “In the long run we’re all dead.” Spoken as a true man of the modern world. Even worse, a certain slice of modernity sees faith in Christ as a failure to grow up, like a bad case of thumb-sucking into adulthood. The late Elizabeth Fox Genovese expressed the attitude perfectly. This preeminent professor of history and women’s studies at Emory University converted from the chic atheism of the university to the Catholic Faith. She later wrote of the price she paid:

Thus when, in December 1995, I was received into the Catholic Church, my non-believing colleagues tactfully refrained from comment, primarily, I suspect, because they literally did not know what to say. More likely than not, many assumed that, having lived through some difficult years, I was turning to faith for some form of irrational consolation, consequently from their perspective, to acknowledge my conversion would, implicitly, have been to acknowledge my vulnerability… From their perspective, I had exiled myself from acceptable conversation of any kind.

But why do Catholics look away? Why has it become a seeming commandment in many Catholic churches to depose the crucifix from its sanctuary? Why have even more replaced the crucified Savior with an epicene resurrected One? Differing theological emphases? Oh, no. Perhaps changing artistic tastes? Most definitely not. Something graver is afoot here. Displacement of the crucifix is always a demand for an easy Catholicism—Catholicism lite—and a protest in favor of cheap grace. Hiding the crucifix is a march for a religion of short cuts rather than the steep road; the reward of heaven without exertion; a religion without cost and redemption without sacrifice. A stretch, you say. But the evidence abounds.

Where are the millions of Catholics boldly protesting the incursions of a crusading secularism against our holy religion? Most prefer the easier path of keeping quiet. Where are the large Catholic families that were the shining jewels of Christ’s holy Church? Catholics now prefer to hide from the cross and its sacrifices, electing to mimic modern man with his carefully planned boutique family of one and a half children, never realizing that such chicly modern families are the very nooses from which society will hang in its unwitting suicide.

The holy Gospel tells us that Peter kept a distance when Christ was taken in Gethsemane to face Pilate. Like Peter, we, too, keep our distance from Christ. We dread not fitting in. We fear the sacrifices of fidelity. We don’t want to commit the faux pas of appearing too closely associated with a Church so clearly out of step with the times. In our desperation to go along with the rest, we forget Chesterton’s warning that only dead things go along with the current while living things swim against it. In keeping our distance from Christ, our souls become mummified. We think we’re alive, but we are the walking dead—a heavy price to pay for getting on with the world. Can’t you hear the haunting words of the Savior, “For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?” (Mk 8:36)
When the fifth-century chieftain Clovis, pagan king of the Franks, first heard the story of Our Lord’s crucifixion, he shouted, “If only I had been there with my Franks!” Charming. But charmingly naïve.

We must realize that the Jews did not perpetrate this atrocity against God. The Romans cannot be blamed. This crucifixion is our doing. Each time we find excuses to hide from the cross, Good Friday is put on hold. And Easter never comes.

Fr. John A. Perricone
By Fr. John A. Perricone
Fr. John A. Perricone, Ph.D., is an adjunct professor of philosophy at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. His articles have appeared in St. John’s Law Review, The Latin Mass, New Oxford Review and The Journal of Catholic Legal Studies.

A message from Fr. Damian – PART 1

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,

I hope this note finds you well as we continue our Easter season. As you are aware the 2nd Sunday of Easter has a special designation as ” Divine Mercy Sunday” which St. John Paul II added to the Roman Missal to celebrate and call attention to the mercy and atonement that we are privileged to receive from our Savior, especially as we avail ourselves to the Sacrament of Penance.

I know that Deacon Kevin O’Brien has invited parishioners to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3pm tomorrow through zoom.com.

Should anyone wish to avail themselves to the Sacrament of Penance please note that I am happy to meet with you.

Please call my extension (18) at the rectory (732-254-1800) and I can plan to meet you on the parish grounds while observing safe-social distancing for our mutual safety.

In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that the Lord said, “I desire that there be a Feast of Mercy. I want this image, which you will paint with a brush, to be solemnly blessed on the First Sunday After Easter, that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy, I desire that priests proclaim this great mercy of mine towards souls of sinners. The flames of mercy are burning me – clamoring to be spent; I want to pour them out upon these souls.”

For your meditation these days, I am delighted to share with you a reflection called ” Don’t Look Away,” from my former teacher and good friend. Fr. John Perricone.(PLEASE FIND THIS ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE AS PART 2 OF THIS MESSAGE) His reflection was published in Crisis Magazine and he has granted me permission to share it with you as we reflect upon the Cross of Good Friday & the Glory of Easter which brings us true peace, lasting salvation, and the fullness of hope in every way.

Be assured of my prayers for you and your families. Please remember me in yours and don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of any help or assistance to you . Also the members of the welcoming team are looking to reach out to our elderly parishioners, so if you are aware of any one in need or someone who is in distress, please let us know.

In the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Damian Breen

A message from Fr. Damian Breen

Dear Parishioners of Corpus Christi Church,

As we begin the Sacred Triduum of Holy Week of 2020: Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil/Sunday, albeit virtually at home and through various means, we can take great consolation that the Mystical Body of Christ is still very present in one and in all who are baptized into Christ.

As we have heard the phrase now more than once: by our efforts at social isolation “we are flattening the curve,” and that “we are in this together,” we can be reminded that this time of ours and our world’s trial does not mean that our souls should flatten or bottom out, for now is still an acceptable time for our response to God’s grace to heal, touch, save, and be renewed in Christ. Our present isolation from others can be a graced time, a pilgrimage of earnest responsibility, to deepen our faith, to strengthen our conversion and our union with Christ our Redeemer, and one another through prayer and love (charity).

Caryll Houselander, a British author, poet, and spiritual teacher, whom I enthusiastically recommend for your own spiritual reading wrote something very inspiring as taken from the excerpt of a meditation as found in the Magnifcat’s Holy Week 2020, Vol. 22, No.1, p.43:

“Already in this mysterious moment of time, at the beginning of the Via Crucis (the Way of the Cross), Christ has given Himself to all those whom He will indwell through all the centuries to come. Already He has taken them to Himself, made them one with Himself. All manner of men and women and children – the rich and the poor, the famous and the infamous, saints and sinners – all who will be redeemed by His Passion are in Christ, and His heavenly Father sees them all as Christ, His Son in whom He is well pleased.”

As we celebrate our Christ, our Passover, these holy days, may we welcome the on-going work of His redemption in each of us as the strong, yet gentle, humble Lamb of God, whose death is not a cause of shame for us – as St. Augustine reminds us, but o ur Lord’s death on the Cross is our greatest hope, our greatest glory…in taking upon Himself the death that He found in us (original sin), He has most faithfully promised to give us life in Him, such as we cannot have of ourselves.

May you and yours be renewed in the joy of the Risen Savior this year and always. Let us continue to pray for each other and for all who have been adversely affected by the pandemic in our country and the world. Let us support and pray for our first-responders, our health care folks, and all who share in the present battle to bring comfort to the afflicted, health to the sick, hope and salvation to the dying.

Christ is risen! Indeed, He is risen, let us glorify Him!
Christ is with us – He is and always shall be!
Fr. Damian B. Breen, Pastor

Corpus Christi and Livestream Masses

Please join Fr. Damian as he celebrates the following masses Live on Corpus Christi Church’s Facebook Page. Please share the information with your friends and family who may not already be following our page. The videos will also be available afterwards if you are unable to view during the live stream.

Palm Sunday Mass – Saturday 4/4 at 4pm
Holy Thursday Mass – Thursday 4/9 at 4pm
Easter Sunday Mass – Sunday 4/12 at 11:30am

A message from Fr. Damian Breen

Dear parishioners, during these unprecedented times please know that I am very much with you in prayer each day. I will be offering a private daily Mass for your intentions and for those for whom Masses are to be applied.

The bishop has requests all churches to remain open for prayer and spiritual nourishment. We will have resources and materials in church, on a table for you to use, on your own . Normally we lock the doors of the church at 6pm opening at 6am each day. I will extend the closing time until 730 pm to accommodate those who are coming from work and might wish to visit to the Blessed Sacrament.

It is my advice and hope that people remain close to our Lord these days of Lent and our lovely church is a wonderful house of prayer for all people to visit and be with our Lord.

The side door is unlocked and ready for you to enter through on all week days. If anyone is in need of pastoral assistance please don’t hesitate to contact me or the parish staff. Please leave a voice message if your call is not answered and someone will return your call.

Two pithy points to consider and mull over these days:

“Worry looks back, despair looks down but faith looks up!” And, “Man’s adversity is always God’s opportunity.”

In the Sacred Heart of Jesus always, Fr. Damian