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UPDATES & PROCEDURES DURING COVID 19 THREAT


May 22, 2020

Dear Fellow St. Boniface Parishioners,

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)

The end of our long exile from public Mass finally has a date! Bishop Persico has permitted public Masses to resume in our diocese beginning Monday, June 1st. He has, however, placed several conditions on the celebration of public Masses. Please read the whole list, which is attached to this email, but I would like to stress a few points as we begin planning for the resumption of public Masses at St. Boniface.

The dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass will remain in effect after June 1st. That means that if, in your best judgment, you cannot safely attend Sunday Mass because of concerns over either contracting or spreading COVID 19, please stay home. No one should feel compelled to come to Sunday Mass until you feel ready to do so. We will continue to livestream and record Sunday Mass for home viewing. On that front, we have put in place a temporary fix for the audio issues we’ve had and are in the process of obtaining a permanent fix, so hopefully there will be no issues moving forward. Thank you to Tara, Mike, and Gene for their work on this and to all of you for your patience.

We are in the process of planning how to best implement the protocols listed by the bishop at St. Boniface. Regardless of the final plan, which will never be perfect, it will require sacrifices on everyone’s part. We may need to change the Mass schedule, for example, or you may not be able to sit in your preferred pew. We will need to maintain social distancing and wear face masks. These and other changes like them will feel awkward and test our patience. If you find yourself becoming angry or upset about the changes or because you notice someone else not following the protocols, I ask you remember who and what Mass is really about: it is about Christ and our coming together to celebrate and grow in our communion with him and one another. With that in mind, and with ample evidence of the flexibility you have already demonstrated throughout this whole ordeal, I know that we can make this work, whatever the changes may demand of us. Please stay tuned to your email, our website and Facebook pages, and our Sunday Mass videos for more updates as our parish plan comes together, and have a blessed Memorial Day weekend.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Marc

 


May 20, 2020

Dear Fellow St. Boniface Parishioners,

I hope that all of you and your families are doing well, or at least as well as can be expected in these strange days. Unfortunately, I have nothing new to report on the public Mass front yet. The Bishop is meeting with the Priest Council this week, so I hope he will release his plan for moving forward soon. I will keep you posted as soon as I know anything for sure. Until then, we continue to offer as many ways as we can to keep in contact with God, our church, and our neighbors.

SUNDAY MASS - Public Masses remain canceled at this time. We continue to livestream and record Sunday Masses at 9:00 AM. I apologize for the audio/video issues some have reported experiencing. Thank you for your patience as we continue to work the bugs out, and thank you to Tara, Mike, and Gene, who are working hard on the problem. To join us live, please use the link in your recent parish email.

ASCENSION THURSDAY – This Thursday, May 21, is the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, and a holy day of obligation (though the obligation to attend Mass remains suspended). We will livestream and record Mass at 6:15 PM. To join us live, please use the link in your recent parish email.

MASS HYMNS – The hymns for Masses will be as follows:

            ASCENSION THURSDAY

                        GATHERING – Hail the day that Sees Him Rise

                        OFFERTORY – We Walk by Faith

                        COMMUNION – Bread of Angels

                        RESCESSIONAL – Crown Him with Many Crowns

            SUNDAY

                        GATHERING – I Know that My Redeemer Lives

                        OFFERTORY – The Lord Is My Light

                        COMMUNION – Be Not Afraid

                        RESCESSIONAL – City of God

EUCHARISTIC HOLY HOUR – The Bishop has permitted public adoration of the Eucharist to resume. We will hold our monthly holy hour Thursday, May 28, from 6:00 – 7:00 PM. Come when you can, leave when you must. Hope to see you there!

CONFESSION – The Bishop has also permitted regularly scheduled confessions to resume. Confessions at St. Boniface are Saturdays at 4:15 PM or by personal appointment.

OFFICE HOURS – The parish office is open for walk-in business 9:00 – 11:00 AM, Monday – Friday, until further notice. Anyone entering the church or church office is required to wear a face mask and to maintain necessary social distancing. Other parish business can be conducted via phone (825-4439) or email (secretary@stbonifaceparisherie.org). Thank you again for your patience and cooperation.

MARIAN SHRINE – Thank you to Jeannie Wise and her crew for setting up a beautiful Marian shrine in the gathering space for the Marian month of May. If you stop in the church to pray, please include a prayer or two at the shrine. Also, if you raise flowers at home and would like to add to the shrine’s beauty by adding some flowers, please feel free to do so.

PRIESTLY ORDINATION – Despite the current crisis, we have some good news in that Bishop Persico will ordain two men to the priesthood for our diocese Friday, May 29, at 7:00 PM, one of whom is a local boy many of you know, Joe Petrone. While attendance of the Mass is limited to family and a few guests, you can watch the ordination live on the diocesan website www.eriercd.org. Please keep Joe and his classmate, Kevin Holland, in prayer as they begin their priestly ministry.

FAITH FORMATION – We continue to post new, original videos on our website, YouTube, and Facebook pages. Please keep checking for new videos and keep growing in your faith. A special note to the families of our First Holy Communion class to please check your email for updates and resources from Mrs. Yaple and Mrs. Srnka regarding the retreat, rehearsal, and First Communion celebration.

That’s it for now, folks. Again, I hope to have better news for you soon regarding public Masses. Meanwhile, let’s keep each other in prayer and please let me know if I can help you in any way.

Peace,

Fr. Marc





May 14, 2020

Dear Fellow St. Boniface Parishioners, 

The Yellow Phase has begun, but what exactly that means for us is still unclear, at least as far as public Mass goes. The Bishop is meeting with the deans and other diocesan leaders to formulate a plan, but, until that is released, we will continue as-is. I know that is frustrating for you, as it is for me, and I thank you for your patience and understanding. My plan for our parish is to begin public Mass as soon as the Bishop allows it. He has permitted public Eucharistic adoration, which we will resume Thursday, May 28, from 6:00 – 7:00 PM. Come when you can, leave when you must, but we hope to see you there!

  • SUNDAY MASS - Public Masses remain canceled at this time. We continue to livestream and record Sunday Masses at 9:00 AM. I apologize for the audio issues last weekend – again, it was a faulty microphone. We are attempting to correct the problem. Thank you for your patience as we continue to work the bugs out. To join us live, please check your parish email for the link.

  • MASS HYMNS – The hymns for this Sunday’s Mass will be as follows:
    • Gathering – Three Days
    • Offertory – Prayer of St. Francis
    • Communion – We Have Been Told
    • Recessional – Let There Be Peace on Earth

  • CONFESSIONS – Regularly scheduled confessions resume this Saturday, May 16, at 4:15 PM. As always, confessions also remain available by private appointment by calling 814-218-3249.

  • OFFICE HOURS – The parish office is open for walk-in business 9:00 – 11:00 AM, Monday – Friday, until further notice. Anyone entering the church or church office is required to wear a face mask and to maintain necessary social distancing. Other parish business can be conducted via phone (825-4439) or email (secretary@stbonifaceparisherie.org). Thank you again for your patience and cooperation.

  • MARIAN SHRINE – Thank you to Jeannie Wise and her crew for setting up a beautiful Marian shrine in the gathering space for the Marian month of May. If you stop in the church to pray, please include a prayer or two at the shrine. Also, if you raise flowers at home and would like to add to the shrine’s beauty by adding some flowers, please feel free to do so.

  • FAITH FORMATION – We continue to post new, original videos on our website, YouTube, and Facebook pages. Please keep checking for new videos and keep growing in your faith. A special note to the families of our First Holy Communion class to please check your email for updates and resources from Mrs. Yaple and Mrs. Srnka regarding the retreat, rehearsal, and First Communion celebration.

That’s it for now. I hope to have more information, particularly about the return of public Masses, soon. Until then, take care, God bless, and hang in there, and, as always, please let me know if there is any way we can help you through this ordeal.

Peace,

Fr. Marc





May 6, 2020

Dear Fellow St. Boniface Parishioners,

As we near the transition of our area from the “Red Phase” of COVID 19 precautions to the more relaxed “Yellow Phase”, many questions about what exactly that means for our parish life arise, most of which I unfortunately cannot answer at this time. But I can update you on some things below.

  • SUNDAY MASS - Public Masses remain canceled at this time. We continue to livestream and record Sunday Masses at 9:00 AM. I know some people experienced difficulties trying to watch the Mass live last Sunday. I apologize for any problems you may have had. Please do not attempt to join the Mass until about 8:45 AM as it will not allow you to join until we have begun the live feed. Also note that there will be several minutes of “dead air” before Mass begins; this does not mean your connection is malfunctioning – it simply means Mass has not yet started. Finally, you may have noticed the sound of static in last week’s Mass. This is probably not a problem with your audio; it is a faulty microphone on our end. We are attempting to correct the problem. Thank you for your patience as we continue to work the bugs out. To join us live, please use the link in your latest parish email update.

  • MASS HYMNS – The hymns for this Sunday’s Mass will be as follows:
    • Gathering – Morning Has Broken
    • Offertory – Where My Father Lives
    • Communion – As a Child Rests
    • Recessional – Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

  • OFFICE HOURS – Beginning Monday, May 11th, we will reopen the parish office for walk-in business on a limited basis. The office will be open from 9:00 – 11:00 AM, Monday – Friday, until further notice. Anyone entering the church or church office is required to wear a face mask and to maintain necessary social distancing. Other parish business can be conducted via phone (825-4439) or email (secretary@stbonifaceparisherie.org). Thank you again for your patience and cooperation.

  • FACE MASKS – With the requirement to wear masks while in the church or office continuing, we could always use more masks. If you make masks and have a few to spare, we would certainly appreciate it if you could drop them off in the mask box at the church entrance. Thank you for your help in making our church and office accessible!

  • MARIAN SHRINE – Thank you to Jeannie Wise and her crew for setting up a beautiful Marian shrine in the gathering space for the Marian month of May. If you stop in the church to pray, please include a prayer or two at the shrine. Also, if you raise flowers at home and would like to add to the shrine’s beauty by adding some flowers, please feel free to do so.

  • FAITH FORMATION – We continue to post new, original videos on our website, YouTube, and Facebook pages. Please keep checking for new videos and keep growing in your faith. A special note to the families of our First Holy Communion class to please check your email for updates and resources from Mrs. Yaple and Mrs. Srnka regarding the retreat, rehearsal, and First Communion celebration.

That’s it for now. I hope to have more information, particularly about the return of public Masses, next week. Until then, take care, God bless, and hang in there, and, as always, please let me know if there is any way we can help you through this ordeal.

Peace,

Fr. Marc






April 29, 2020

 

Dear Fellow St. Boniface Parishioners,

 

I write this latest parish update with some optimism that our COVID 19 exile nears its end. The governor has released his plan for reopening the state (See it here - https://www.governor.pa.gov/process-to-reopen-pennsylvania/ ), and, while no specific date has been set for when we can return to public Masses, there is at least some light at the end of the tunnel. Please pray that God guide our public and religious leaders with wisdom to get us back to Mass together quickly and safely. In the meantime, we continue to reach out with opportunities to stay connected to our faith.

  • SUNDAY MASS - We continue to livestream Mass every Sunday at 9:00 AM. We have now set it up as a recurring meeting on Zoom so that those who can join us live can simply use the same link each week. The Mass continues to be recorded as well for later viewing. Please check your parish email for details on how to join the Mass live.

                MASS HYMNS – The hymns for this Sunday’s Mass will be as follows:

    • Gathering - Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee
    • Offertory - Because the Lord is My Shepherd
    • Communion - Lord, You Have Come
    • Recessional - Go in Peace to Love and Serve the Lord

 

  • RE-CONSECRATION TO MARY – In union with Pope Francis, who has re-consecrated the universal Church to Mary in response to the global pandemic, the bishops of the United States will hold a prayer service renewing our nation’s consecration to Mary this Friday, May 1, at 3:00 PM. Bishop Persico will hold a prayer service to do the same for our diocese on the same day at 7:00 PM. Both services will be livestreamed. Please check the linked article on the diocesan website for more information on how to participate (https://www.eriercd.org/news/CATHOLIC-HIERARCHY-TO-RENEW-NATIONS-CONSECRATION-TO-MARY-MAY-1.html ).

 

  • PARISH CONSECRATION TO MARY/VIRTUAL HAPPY HOUR – In union with his own consecration of our diocese to Mary, Bishop Persico has asked parishes to hold similar prayer services consecrating themselves to her as well. We will livestream a short prayer service consecrating our parish to Mary this Saturday, May 2, at 6:15 PM. This will be followed immediately by a virtual “happy hour.” It has been several weeks since many of our parishioners were able to get together and chat as we would in the gathering space or at coffee and donuts, and some have contacted me asking for that opportunity. While we cannot do so physically, we can virtually via Zoom. So this Saturday, grab your favorite legal beverage, click the link provided in the email, and join your fellow parishioners in a virtual gathering space for some much-needed fellowship. 
  • FAITH FORMATION – We continue to post new, original videos on our website, YouTube, and Facebook pages. Please keep checking for new videos and keep growing in your faith. A special note to the families of our First Holy Communion class to please check your email for updates and resources from Mrs. Yaple and Mrs. Srnka regarding the retreat, rehearsal, and First Communion celebration.

That’s it for now. Hopefully next week I’ll be able to share more concrete information about when we can all be back together again - hopefully. Until then, God bless, hang in there, and keep being there for each other.

Peace,

Fr. Marc





April 24, 2020

Dear Fellow St. Boniface Parishioners,

Just your friendly neighborhood pastor dropping another note to update you about what’s happening at our parish and about some other resources that you might find helpful as we continue through the present shelter-in-place order.

  • LIVESTREAMED MASS – We continue to livestream Mass every Sunday at 9:00 AM. We have now set it up as a recurring meeting on Zoom so that those who can join us live can simply use the same link each week. The Mass continues to be recorded as well for later viewing. To join us live, please check your email from the parish for the link and password.

  • MASS HYMNS – We are grateful to have Mercita leading our music for our livestreamed Sunday Masses, and to facilitate participation for people at home, we will post the hymns for Mass each week. The hymns for this Sunday’s Mass are as follows:
    • Entrance: Alleluia! Alleluia! Let the Holy Anthem Rise
    • Preparation: Two Were Bound for Emmaus
    • Communion: Center of My Life
    • Sending Forth: How Can I Keep From Singing

 

  • DISCIPLESHIP IN DARK TIMES CONCLUSION – The last video of our three-part faith formation series on the meaning of discipleship in dark times will be posted to the website soon. Please check it out as well as our other videos under the “Our Church” banner, and keep checking back for new videos as they become available.

 

 

I truly hope these updates and resources help. If there is something more we could do from the parish or I could do as your pastor that we are not doing, please do not hesitate to let me know. Take care, hang in there, and, as in all things, keep God at the center of all you do, even sheltering in place.

 

Peace,

Fr. Marc




April 21, 2020

 

Dear Fellow St. Boniface Parishioners,

 

Just a few quick updates as we begin another week of exile under the shelter-in-place order, which I see the state has now extended until at least May 8th:

  • By order of the state and as a matter of diocesan policy, all people entering the church or church offices are now required to wear a face mask until further notice. If you do not have a face mask, some are available in a box by the main entrance of the church. Special thanks to the parishioners who generously made and donated the masks, and, if you have some unused masks to spare and would like to donate them, please feel free to leave them in the same box.
  • As mentioned previously, we will celebrate a special Mass for health and wellbeing and for the particular intentions of our parishioners this Thursday, April 23rd, at 6:30 PM. The Mass will be livestreamed on Zoom and recorded. If you would like to watch live, please use the following link:

 For those watching live, please make sure you join the meeting with audio off. You may also want to enter with video off. You will still be able to see and hear the Mass, but these steps can help avoid audio and video confusion. Please note too that we will not be checking the chat room feature during Mass, so there is no need to use it.

 

  • Thank you to the many volunteers who called our parishioners to check in on folks and to gather personal intentions, with a special thanks to Sue Whiteford for organizing this event.

 

  • Please remember that we are also now livestreaming Sunday Masses at 9:00 AM. Please check your parish emails, the parish website, and the parish Facebook page later this week for information on how to view this Sunday’s Mass live. We also continue to record Masses and post them later for those who can’t join us live. We also continue to post new videos in our faith formation series, so please keep checking our online platforms for those.

God bless you all for your perseverance through this ordeal. Let us continue to support one another, and please let us know at the church if there is anything we can do to support you.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Marc



4/15/20

Dear Fellow St. Boniface Parishioners,

Unfortunately, as I write you this week, our long separation due to the COVID 19 shelter-in-place order continues. That said, there has been some good news recently. The governor of Pennsylvania has joined several other governors in the Northeastern US in forming a task force to craft a regional plan for when and how best to lift the shelter-in-place order and reopen businesses, necessary first steps on the way to celebrating public Masses again. Until that day, we will continue to provide as many ways as we can to keep the faith of our parishioners strong and to keep you connected to God and our parish.

  • LIVESTREAMING IS HERE! Thanks to the efforts of Tara Schupp and Gene Conn, we now have the ability to livestream Sunday Mass from our church. You will be able to participate in Mass in real time from your home on your favorite electronic device. We will also continue recording Sunday Mass and posting it on our website and YouTube page for those who can’t join us live. Livestreamed Sunday Masses will be celebrated at 9:00 AM while the prohibition against public Masses remains in effect. More information on how to view our Masses live will be available shortly.
    • Please note that this arrangement will require a change in the schedule as to when the church will be open for private prayer. The church will be open on Sundays from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM until further notice. It remains open from 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM all other days.
  • MASS FOR HEALTH AND WELLBEING: We know that these past weeks have taken their toll on people in many ways. In response, a group of parishioners will be calling people in our parish directory to reconnect and to offer personal, prayerful support. They will also be accepting prayer intentions, which we will gather together and pray for at a special Mass for health and wellbeing on Thursday, April 23rd, at 6:30 PM. The Mass will be livestreamed and recorded. The intentions will also remain on the altar throughout the Easter season as a sign of our unity in prayer. If you are not listed in the directory, or if inadvertently you do not receive a phone call from us but would like to have your intentions included, please call (825-4439) or email (secretary@stbonifaceparisherie.org) the parish office.
  • FAITH FORMATION VIDEOS: We also continue to produce new faith formation content online, including new short videos in the “Our Church” series and longer videos in our series “Discipleship in Dark Times.” The final Zoom video conferencing session of that groundbreaking series will be Thursday, April 16th, at 2:00. Mary Good will bring it all home with a lay faith perspective in her presentation on Mother Teresa. You can participate live by using the below link:

Thank you for your patience and your own efforts to keep the light of faith burning brightly here at St. Boniface. Please keep regularly checking our website, Facebook page, and YouTube page for more updates, and please let me know if there is any other way that I or the parish can help.

 

Peace,

Fr. Marc









April 8, 2020

Dear Fellow Parishioners,

Just another quick update about our parish’s ongoing efforts to help our parishioners stay connected and active in the faith while we are separated by the shelter-in-place order:

 

  • All our Holy Week services are being recorded and will be available on our website (stbonifaceparisherie.org) and YouTube page (link at the bottom of the parish website) as soon as possible afterwards. Links can also be found on our Facebook page, which we encourage everyone who is on Facebook to follow for timely updates. Thank you to Tara Schupp for her work on the website and YouTube page and to Jeanne Yaple for her work on the Facebook page, especially during these unprecedented times.
  • The Knights of Columbus have recorded the Rosary as a zoom video, which is also posted on our website and YouTube page. Please feel free to pray along with the Knights, especially on Good Friday, as we recorded the Sorrowful Mysteries.
  • Speaking of videos on our website and YouTube page, we continue to record and post new episodes of the “Our Church” series, including videos by Deacon Tim and me about the symbols in our church. Additionally, our adult faith formation series “Discipleship in Dark Times” continues live via the zoom online conferencing app every Thursday at 2:00. A recording of the first session, which aired last week, is now available on the YouTube page, so check it out! To view this week’s session live, please click on the “Join Zoom Meeting” link below.
  • Finally, I have attached to this email two items:

 

Thank you all again for keeping the faith, even while miles apart, and please let me know if there is ever anything I can do to help. Have a Blessed Triduum and Easter!

 

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Marc




April 3, 2020

 

Dear Fellow St. Boniface Parishioners,

Holy Week is upon us, but unfortunately so are the restrictions placed on us in response to the threat from COVID 19. That means that the prohibition against gathering in groups, including at public Mass, remains in place. This will mean some significant changes to how we celebrate this most sacred time of year.

  • Because the Holy Week liturgies will be celebrated without a congregation, they will be greatly simplified, missing some of the most treasured traditions of this time of year, such as the blessing and procession of the palms on Palm Sunday, the washing of the feet on Holy Thursday, and the service of light at the Easter Vigil. Though these external rituals will be missing, I urge you to intensify your internal participation in these spiritually rich services, reflecting more deeply than ever before on the saving mystery of Christ's suffering, death, and resurrection that this week celebrates.
  • To promote that reflection, the Diocese of Erie has provided some helpful resources under the banner of "Holy Week at Home." You can find them by clicking this link https://www.eriercd.org/holyweekathome.html or visiting the diocesan website at eriercd.org.
  • Holy Week services with the Bishop will be livestreamed on the diocesan website and Facebook page as follows: Sunday, April 5, 11 a.m.: Palm Sunday Mass; Monday, April 6, 1 p.m.: Chrism Mass (holy oils for all parishes to use throughout the  year will be blessed by Bishop Persico); Wednesday, April 8, noon: Stations of the Cross devotion; Thursday, April 9, 7 p.m.: Holy Thursday Mass; Friday, April 10,  3 p.m.: Good Friday Service; Sat, April 11, 8:30 p.m.: The Easter Vigil Mass
  • Though we are unable to be together for the Holy Week services personally, we can still be together spiritually and virtually online. All our parish’s Holy Week services will be recorded and posted on our website and YouTube page, so please check our online platforms to view those services once they are posted.
  • There will be no public blessing and distribution of palms on Palm Sunday. At the advice of the Erie County authority on COVID 19, the Diocese of Erie has strongly advised parishes not to distribute blessed palms this year out of concern for the potential spread of the virus. While respecting the advice of the Erie health authority and the Diocese, the Bishop has not prohibited the distribution of palms, and, after careful and prayerful consideration, I believe we can make them available in a way that still prevents the gathering of groups and minimizes potential exposure to COVID 19. Blessed palms will be spread throughout the gathering space, together with a prayer service for receiving blessed palms into your home, until 6:00 PM Wednesday, April 8. If, after your own prayerful consideration, you choose to pick up some palms, please be sure to wash your hands with the hand sanitizer in the gathering space beforehand, and, once you’ve gotten them home and placed them where you will keep them, please be sure to wash your hands again. These steps should enable the necessary social distancing while helping to prevent the spread of the virus.
  • There will also be no public blessing of Easter baskets on Holy Saturday. A blessing that families can use in the home will be posted on our website and Facebook page and will also be available in the gathering space. For those who still wish to have your basket blessed by a priest, I am open to scheduling private appointments to do so throughout Holy Week. Please call (218-3249) or email me (mstockton@eriercd.org) to schedule an appointment. I ask that only one person bring the basket, and the blessing will take place in the church, with appropriate social distance.

 

Thank you a thousand times over for your great patience and faith as we weather this storm together. While this pandemic certainly poses a serious threat to our physical health, it also threatens our spiritual health. The Devil must be smiling like the Cheshire Cat at all the harm that is being done now to people, families, communities, and parishes. But Holy Week reminds us who wins in the end. By staying close to Christ, in every way we can, and supporting one another, we know that we will rise together with Christ out of the present darkness to new life. Take care, God bless, and have a prayerful and fruitful Holy Week.

 

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Marc

 


March 31, 2020

Dear Fellow St. Boniface Parishioners,

Another week, another development in the state’s response to the COVID 19 crisis. Most recently, the governor has extended the shelter-in-place order until at least April 30, 2020. Let’s take a look at what that means in practical terms for our parish:

  • The church office will remain closed to walk-in traffic until further notice. Parish staff will continue to conduct essential parish business (check the mail, answer voicemail, etc.) but will predominantly work from home. If you have an emergency or your business is urgent and cannot wait, please call 814-218-3249 and leave a voicemail. I will return your call ASAP.
  • Public Masses and all forms of public prayer remain suspended. Sunday Masses and the Holy Week services of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil will be recorded and posted on our website http://www.stbonifaceparisherie.org/index.php so please check them out, and thank you to Tara and Mike Schupp for their generous work in making that possible.
    • The church will remain open every day from 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM for private prayer with the exception of Good Friday (April 10), when it will be open from 7:30 AM – 2:30 PM and again from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM.
    • We received word from the vendor that, due to disruptions caused by COVID 19 and business shutdowns, we may not receive the palm branches we ordered in time for Palm Sunday (April 5). As soon as we do receive them, we will bless them and make them available in the gathering space for those who wish to take some for their home.
    • PLEASE NOTE: The public blessing of Easter baskets on Holy Saturday has been canceled. A form of the blessing that families can do at home will be made available.
  • By order of the bishop, all normally scheduled times for confession are suspended until further notice. Confession will still be available, but by private appointment only. Please call 218-3249 for an appointment.
  • Our first, self-produced online faith formation series, “Our Church,” continues to grow as new videos are posted twice weekly. This series of short videos explains the various images and symbols we find at St. Boniface church. Please keep checking the parish website under the “Our Church” icon, our parish Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/bonifaceparish/, or our parish YouTube page https://www.youtube.com/user/StBonifaceParishErie for regular updates and join us for this groundbreaking series.
  • Another new online adventure we have embarked upon is the Zoom conferencing app. This enables live, online interaction in real time for parish events, right from the comfort of your own home. We will also record these events so that people can access them later, similar to our Mass recordings.
    • Our first Zoom event will be a three-week adult faith formation series. As chosen by you, the parishioners, the topic will be “Disciples as the Light of the World in Dark Times” and will discuss different saints who throughout the history of the Church have answered God’s call to serve others in difficult times. It will air live for the next three Thursdays (April 2, 9, and 16) at 2:00 PM.
      • To participate live, please use the “Join Zoom Meeting” link below and follow the simple instructions. You will be prompted to install the Zoom app, which is easy and quick to do. When prompted to join the meeting, click “join with video” or “join without video” as you prefer. Please make sure your video (if desired) and audio are both on, and we advise that you wear headphones or earbuds to avoid feedback.
      • Marc Stockton is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
        • Topic: Discipleship in Dark Times: Part 1
        • Time: Apr 2, 2020 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
        • Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/990526759
        • Meeting ID: 990 526 759
  • As the current crisis drags on, we know that many may be experiencing financial struggles. Our food pantry remains open and ready to help with groceries. If you need assistance, please call 825-1041 for information and to register.
  • Our parish also continues to have financial needs. We thank all our parishioners who continue to support the parish in this difficult time by dropping your offertory in the secure brown box outside the church’s main entrance or by mailing it in.
    • ONLINE GIVING: We have also launched a third option, online giving. Without ever needing to leave your home, you can continue to financially support the parish with just a few clicks of a button on your computer. If interested, please click the online giving icon on the parish website and follow the simple instructions listed there to sign up. Please email Sandee, our financial secretary, at finance@stbonifaceparisherie.org if you have any questions.

 Even though we are apart at this time, we will get through this by staying together. The glue that binds us as a parish is Christ and the power of his Spirit that we all share. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit strengthen us all to endure these trying times with faith and hope, and may his gift of charity pervade all we do as we strive to stay connected and to be there for one another as a parish. As always, if I can help in any way, please just call (814-218-3249) or email (mstockton@eriercd.org).

 

Peace in Christ,

 Fr. Marc







March 26, 2020

Dear Fellow St. Boniface Parishioners,

I hope this message finds you and yours well and enduring the ever-growing list of restrictions in response to COVID 19 with faith, patience, and above all, charity. Most recently Erie County has been placed under the state’s shelter-in-place mandate, raising questions about what that means for the life of our parish. I am writing to address that new development and to inform you of some helpful new ways we are reaching out to our parishioners and staying connected even as we are unable to be together in person.

  • Public Masses and all forms of public prayer remain suspended. Sunday Masses are being recorded and posted on our website http://www.stbonifaceparisherie.org/index.php  so please check them out, and thank you to Tara and Mike Schupp for their generous work in making that possible. Last weekend’s Mass had nearly 400 views as of the time I am writing this message, so let’s keep that up! We are also exploring the possibility of livestreaming Sunday Mass, so stay tuned for more information.

 

  • I am grateful to both the governor and the bishop for allowing our church to remain open. The church will be open every day from 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM for private prayer, so please take advantage of that opportunity to come and spend some time with the Lord, according to your health and best judgment. Prayer resources are available in the gathering space.

 

  • I will continue to hear confessions on Saturdays at 4:15 PM and by private appointment. If there are multiple people in line for confession on Saturday, please maintain social distancing.

 

  • Due to the shelter-in-place mandate, we are closing the parish office to walk-in business until further notice. Preschool families can still pick up packets in the main church office entrance. Parish staff will continue to conduct essential parish business (check the mail, answer voicemail, etc.) but will predominantly work from home. If you have an emergency or your business is urgent and cannot wait, please call 814-218-3249.

 

  • While the current crisis has prohibited us from being together personally, it has given us the push we needed to explore other ways of communicating and growing in faith together as a parish. I am pleased to announce our first, self-produced online faith formation series, “Our Church.” Deacon Tim and Mary Good and I are producing a series of short videos explaining the various images and symbols we find at St. Boniface church. We see them every time we come here, but how often do we even notice them or think about what they mean? Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and this series hopes to help us understand and appreciate the beautiful, faith-filled church we enjoy all the more. While we can’t be here together physically, we can be here together virtually, so please keep checking the parish website under the “Our Church” icon, our parish Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/bonifaceparish/, or our parish YouTube page https://www.youtube.com/user/StBonifaceParishErie for regular updates and join us for this groundbreaking series.

 

  • Another new online adventure we have embarked upon is the Zoom conferencing app. This will enable live, online interaction in real time for events ranging from faith formation to communal prayer, such as the Rosary or Stations of the Cross. We can also record these events so that people can access them later, similar to our Mass recordings. An initial schedule of Zoom events will be sent out via email, the website, and Facebook shortly, so please stay tuned for more details.  

 

  • In addition to our parish efforts, please check out the following online resources to help you and your family grow in the faith during this difficult time:

 

    • http://www.usccb.org/ - The official site of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It has a wealth of resources available, both on its Coronavirus pages and under its regular Prayer and Worship page.
    •  https://www.eriercd.org/ - While not as well-stocked as the USCCB site, our diocesan site has increased its offerings in response to COVID 19 and is better suited for up-to-date local information.
    • https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/ - The Catholic News Agency contains current news articles as well as helpful editorial pieces about keeping the faith during this time of crisis.

As the period of social distancing and disruption of our daily and communal lives drags on, it can be easy to become frustrated and despair, especially when these things hit closest to home, such as in the separation of loved ones or the loss of a job or other major personal crises. In these dark moments, the temptation to abandon our faith is always the strongest, and yet it is in precisely these moments that we need our faith the most. Don’t give in to despair; live in the hope that comes from faith, the faith we share at St. Boniface. Remember that faith by staying connected to our parish, and know that, if I can help in any way, please just call (814-218-3249) or email (mstockton@eriercd.org).

 

Peace in Christ,

 Fr. Marc







March 19, 2020

Dear Fellow St. Boniface Parishioners,

The ongoing developments in the COVID 19 coronavirus threat change almost daily. With
constantly revised government and diocesan directives, the situation can be very confusing,
which only increases the anxiety many people already feel. In an effort to clear up some of that
confusion here at St. Boniface, I am writing this letter to let you know what we are doing about
this threat moving forward. Our primary concern is to continue to serve the mission of our parish
and the needs of our parishioners in these trying times. Our plan is based on the latest
government and diocesan directives as of the date of this letter and can change if and when
additional directives come down.

• Most importantly, know that we are here for you. Fr. Marc will be available for pastoral
care by request. Please call 814-218-3249 if you or a loved one need a pastoral visit.

• In compliance with Bishop Persico’s directive, all public Masses at St. Boniface are
canceled until further notice. Sunday Masses will continue to be recorded and made
available for viewing on our parish website, stbonifaceparisherie.org.

• The church will be open every day from 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM for private prayer.

• Please observe government and diocesan guidelines regarding social distancing if you
visit the church for private prayer.
• Public Stations of the Cross and public Eucharistic adoration are canceled until further
notice.
• Private confessions will continue to be offered on Saturday from 4:15 – 4:45 PM and by
private appointment.

• The parish office will remain open with the following, modified hours:
o Tuesday & Thursday 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM
o Wednesday & Friday 9:30 – 11:30 AM

• Parish office staff, including the Preschool, will work from home as much as able. They
will return phone messages and emails as soon as possible, but there may be a delay. We
appreciate your patience.

• All Preschool business will be done through the main church office.

• The weekly parish bulletin will continue to be published on the parish website.

• All non-essential activities at the parish, including outside groups using our facility, are
canceled through the end of March. We will re-evaluate the situation at that time.

o Coffee & Donuts scheduled for March 22 is canceled.
o The Parish Alive retreat scheduled for April 3-4 is canceled.
o The Knights of Columbus Communion Breakfast scheduled for March 29 is
canceled, as is the sale of Bonnie Buns. Checks already made will be canceled
and cash returned when we return to normal business.

• We understand during these difficult times that many people are hurting financially. Our
food pantry is ready to assist those who may need extra help with groceries. Please
contact the food pantry at 825-1041 to sign up for assistance. We also encourage those
who can to continue to donate non-perishable food items to the Knights of Columbus
food drive to help those in need by dropping food off at the church.

• We also know that these same financial struggles may require some to reduce their
financial support of the parish. That said, our parish also continues to have financial
needs, and, as you can imagine, canceling public Sunday Masses will impact our income
significantly. We ask all who are able to continue to support the parish and our mission to
drop your offertory off at the office during office hours or in the secure, black box at the
church entrance outside of office hours, or to send it in by mail. We are also looking into
online giving. Please check the parish website for more information on this option.
• Please check the parish website and Facebook page for future updates.

Finally, regardless of the limits this crisis has imposed on us, we do not stop being St. Boniface
Parish, nor do we lose hope in our Lord, Jesus Christ, who triumphs even over death. While the
above steps are necessary at this time, they do not define us. At St. Boniface, we take care of
each other. Let us continue to do that even more, and know that, if there is any way I can help
you as your pastor, please call.

Peace in Christ,
Rev. Marc Stockton
Pastor