Welcome to St. Mary Parish

Bienvenido La Parroquia de St. Mary

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the St. Mary Parish website, which is continually under construction with new parish updates and exciting news. We welcome you to our parish!

If you are new in the area, we invite you to worship with us and participate in our parish activities.

We extend a special invitation to those who may have been away from the church for a while to rejoin us.

Through this website, we hope to provide opportunities to grow in faith through some of the links that are offered and to keep you up to date with parish activities. 

Good wishes to all.

Rev. Seán Bonner

Queridos amigos,

Bienvenido al sitio web de La Parroquia de St. Mary, que se encuentra actualmente en construcción. ¡Le damos la bienvenida a nuestra parroquia!

Si es nuevo en el área, lo invitamos a orar con nosotros y participar en nuestras actividades parroquiales.

Extendemos una invitación especial a aquellos que pueden haber estado lejos de la iglesia por un tiempo para reunirse con nosotros.

A través de este sitio web, esperamos brindar oportunidades para crecer en la fe a través de algunos de los enlaces que se ofrecen y para mantenerlo al día con las actividades de la parroquia.

Los buenos deseos para todos,

Rev. Seán Bonner

ministerio hispano - vea la pestaña de
vida parroquial arriba

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Parish Services:

Thinking About Becoming A Catholic?

In parishes throughout the country, men and women who are seeking to journey in faith, gather together for what has come to be known as the R.C.I.A. (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults). If you or someone you know are interested in the R.C.I.A. program, Click here for more information.

Vocation Awareness

Many priests and religious will tell you that before entering religious life, they felt unworthy of such a calling. Yet, St. Paul tells us that he boasts of his weaknesses because he knows that God’s grace is enough (2 Cor 12:7-10). Saint or sinner, you may be called to the priesthood. Click here for more information.

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April 5, 2020
11:30 AM Mass  (English)

For prior dates, go to YouTube.com
St. Mary & St. Richard

2:00 PM  (Misa en español)

Para fechas anteriores, vaya a YouTube.com
Santa María y San Ricardo

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Notes from 
Fr. Sean

April 5, 2020

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in Church

Sunday11:30am (English)
also via livestream:

2:00pm (Misa en español)
also via livestream:

Sacrament of Reconcilation
in Church

Monday & Wednesday
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3:00pm to 4:00pm

or call for an appointment
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Mon - Fri  8:30am - 4:00pm

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Pray the Rosary, daily. 

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Catholic News


Kansas limits Easter church services to 10 people or less

CNA Staff, Apr 9, 2020 / 11:30 am (CNA).- The state of Kansas is limiting religious services to no more than ten people for Easter as part of measures to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly issued an executive order on Tuesday requiring religious institutions to abide by the state’s current prohibition on public gatherings or 10 or more people during the public health emergency.

“As Holy Week gets underway – and with Kansas rapidly approaching its projected ‘peak’ infection rate in the coming weeks – the risk for a spike in COVID-19 cases through church gatherings is especially dangerous,” Kelly said April 7.

The governor’s previous executive order on mass gatherings exempted religious institutions, although it encouraged churches to broadcast their services online and over the radio “wherever possible” in order to not have “in-person” gatherings.  

Now, religious gatherings are still allowed as “essential services” but are limited to 10 people at a time where participants must maintain “social distancing” and proper hygiene.

The spread of the virus necessitated the requirement to curtail mass religious gatherings during Holy Week, Kelly said on Tuesday.

There have been 1,046 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kansas with 38 deaths, as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the state’s health department. Nationwide, there have been more than 395,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 12,754 deaths as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

All public Masses in Kansas have already been suspended during the COVID-19 crisis. The Archdiocese of Kansas City, along with the dioceses of Wichita, Salina, and Dodge City, will be livestreaming Masses and liturgies during the Easter Triduum.

Private family gatherings are not subject to the updated order’s prohibitions, and neither are establishments such as “shopping malls and other retail establishments where large numbers of people are present but are generally not within arm’s length of one another for more than 10 minutes.”

Libraries are also allowed to remain open, as are restaurants and bars with spaces of six feet or more between tables, booths, bar stools and ordering counters.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City wrote in an April 3 column that “Christian charity also requires that we exercise prudence. We need to observe Governor Kelly’s executive order.”

Kelly had issued a March 26 “stay home” order allowing residents to leave their homes only to get food and medicine, for work, medical care, care of family members or pets, or outdoor exercise, or other “essential” activities.

Naumann wrote that Catholics have an “obligation in charity” to help prevent the spread of the virus through “remaining at home except for essential tasks, social distancing, washing our hands, not gathering in large groups, etc.”

He praised the governor’s recognition of a constitutional right for religious services to still proceed, saying that some counties and municipalities had tried to ban religious activities outright including weddings and funerals.

“Government cannot permit liquor stores, pet stores and dry cleaners to continue to operate and not allow religious activities,” he wrote.

“At the same time, for the good of the public health of our communities, our churches are rightly obligated to observe the same limitations — e.g., the number of people who can assemble or the social distancing that is required of other organizations and enterprises.”

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Low-wage workers ‘first to suffer’ in economic collapse, Catholic labor advocates say 

Denver, Colo., Apr 9, 2020 / 11:30 am (CNA).- Amid the dramatic collapse of the American labor market, Catholic labor advocates have called for a collaborative response that protects the weakest and advances the common good.

“I would argue that in our job structure the person who would look lowest is the most important,” Father Sinclair Oubre, spiritual moderator of the Catholic Labor Network, told CNA.

“Think coronavirus in the hospital. It’s not the doctor who is most important, it is the custodian who kills the germs and kills the staph and kills all those things that gets people sick in the hospital,” he added. “If that person isn't there, I don't care how good the doctor is or how great the nurses are. That will be a death house because of the infectious diseases allowed to persist.”

The Catholic Labor Network helps advance Catholic social teaching on labor and work and aims to support workers.

As authorities across the country have ordered people to stay at home and placed other restrictions on businesses, millions have been laid off.

More than 16 million Americans have submitted initial unemployment claims in the last three weeks, and many economists predict that unemployment could eventually exceed the 25% peak of the Great Depression.

Many prospective applicants for unemployment benefits report they have been unsuccessful at filing claims, as state agencies face a surge in applicants, while dealing with the logistics and safety measures intended to help reduce the spread of the contagious disease.

Oubre reflected on the economic situation.

“We’ve based our economy on the service sector. The service sector is just being devastated,” he said.

Receptionists, waiters, busboys and dishwashers are all out of work. While some restaurants are still doing take-out food their customers are significantly less in number, as are the bills and the tips.

Industry has also been heavily hit by pandemic shutdown. Clayton Sinyai, executive director of the Catholic Labor Network, told CNA that even though work continues in areas like construction, construction workers rarely have employer-paid health insurance.

This means families are dependent for health coverage on a now-furloughed or out-of-work spouse who worked in a hotel or a store, Sinyai said.

Health care workers are “truly on the front lines” and risking disease and sometimes death, as some hospitals in the worst-hit areas face a surge in patients, Oubre said. At the same time, emergency orders to cancel elective surgeries to free up protective equipment and other resources for medical workers have caused medical workers involved in these surgeries to face layoffs.

Oubre who is also pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Orange, Texas, said labor unions are concerned about the economic health of their members, and also want to secure workers’ basic safety and protection from contagion.

Usually companies follow Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards requiring gloves, masks, goggles and hardhats, but with the pandemic needs have now shifted.

“All of a sudden it’s not just a respiratory mask to prevent inhaling dust as you’re grinding on metal or chipping away rust,” said Oubre. “Now it’s other types of masks, or more masks, just when you're interacting with the people you work with along the way.”

Some sectors have seen a need for workers, including pharmacy work, online delivery, and grocery delivery. Walmart and Amazon are seeking tens of thousands of people.

Oubre noted that workers like those at Amazon warehouses must ask themselves “How do I know that everyone here has not been exposed?”

Hundreds of employees interact with warehouse technology and stored products. They interact with each other, sometimes not being able to keep at the recommended physical distance. These warehouse and delivery systems need “an incredibly efficient progress” and are very vulnerable to any inefficiencies, in Oubre's analysis.

He voiced concerns that Amazon has a history of opposing labor rights, to the point of alleged violations of laws protecting labor organizers.

After workers at a Staten Island Amazon warehouse tested positive for COVID-19, about 100 workers walked off the job March 31 to demand better safety protections. One employee who helped organize the walkout was fired: Chris Smalls, a former assistant manager. According to Newsweek, Smalls claims the company is misrepresenting the number of workers known to have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The company rejects Smalls' claim and said that Smalls was fired for violating social distancing requirements needed because of his close contact with a person confirmed to have had coronavirus.

Amazon’s founder, billionaire Jeff Bezos, has become one of the richest men in the world.

Workers at Whole Foods, the 95,000-employee grocery store chain owned by Amazon, held a sick-out on March 31, saying they should have more sick pay and more health protections during the pandemic, Bloomberg News reports.

Organizers  have said the store should shut down any store where a worker tests positive for the virus. They have sought paid leave for workers who choose to self-isolate, health care coverage for part-time employees, and funds for testing and treatment of sick co-workers. In January the company had dropped health care benefits for part-time employees who work under 30 hours a week.

The company has given temporary raises of $2 per hour through April and overtime compensation. It said employees put in quarantine or diagnosed with the new coronavirus are eligible for paid sick leave.

Workers for Instacart, a grocery delivery company, held a strike March 30, seeking better protections and hazard pay of $5 per order. About 200,000 contract workers run grocery deliveries for the startup, which has seen a 150% surge in order volume over last year.

Instacart’s response included an announcement of plans to distribute health and safety supplies to its full-service workers and a new default system for tipping on its app, claiming this would make tips higher and more consistent. The company said it already instituted retroactive sick pay for its in-store workers affected by the coronavirus. Hourly workers could receive bonuses between $25 and $200, NBC News reports.

For Sinyai, the labor network’s executive director, the coronavirus pandemic shows that low-income workers are “often the last to benefit in good times and the first to suffer in hard times.”

“Those who continue to work and draw a paycheck are disproportionately drawn from the ranks of white-collar workers who can often do their jobs online; firms lay off line workers before they lay off managers. In contrast, those who work with their hands are usually unable to work from home. This crisis has brought mass unemployment to retail workers, hotel workers, airline employees and restaurant servers and cooks.”

Pope Francis’ “Urbi et Orbi” of March 27 made a special mention of those working under the threat of the coronavirus, saying:

“It is the life in the Spirit that can redeem, value and demonstrate how our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people – often forgotten people – who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines nor on the grand catwalks of the latest show, but who without any doubt are in these very days writing the decisive events of our time: doctors, nurses, supermarket employees, cleaners, caregivers, providers of transport, law and order forces, volunteers, priests, religious men and women and so very many others who have understood that no one reaches salvation by themselves.”

Sinyai said that Pope Francis' words recall those who “soldier on during the crisis, enabling the rest of us to shelter in place.”

“These people remain at great risk of infection, illness and death so that we may live,” he said. “It’s shameful that OSHA has not yet issued an emergency workplace safety standard protecting workers from unnecessary risk during the pandemic.”

Obure appreciated that the Pope involved everyone, “from the doctors down to the cleaning people.”

“It’s all the people working and interacting together to get through this thing,” he said. “It’s when we divide ourselves up and not reach out that we really get in danger.”

“We really have two choices; we can either hunker down in our houses and hope that we survive this or we can, even in the physical distancing law that we are in, take action,” he added.

Oubre invoked the example of a Vietnamese-American woman who normally works as a crab distributor, buying 5,000 pounds of crabs per day from the crabbers. She has now pivoted to making masks and giving them away to Fr. Oubre and his staff.

“She’s thinking seriously: how can she help her brothers and sisters,” he said. “They’re not medical-grade quality, but they will give us something that we can then exercise greater precaution.”

Oubre mentioned a local manufacturer who normally makes industrial strength insulation, but now is working to retool to produce face protections and medical-grade masks. Besides helping the pandemic response, the retooling will help his employees return to work.

Even with the difficulties of physical distancing, Oubre said, building community is the way for workers and the unemployed to advocate for themselves.

In his view, labor has suffered in recent decades not only because of legislation, but because of “radical individualism.”

“I think because of our radical individual thinking as Americans, it’s hard for us to say ‘I will sacrifice for myself so that my brothers and sisters will have more’ even though that is a fundamental idea of solidarity within trade unionism and our Catholic social teaching,” Oubre told CNA.

Catholic social teaching's promotion of the common good, solidarity and subsidiarity all have roles to play, Oubre summarized.

“Solidarity is being concerned for our brothers and sisters. It’s not just pulling up the draw bridge and hunkering down for ourselves,” he said. “Promoting the common good is constantly a concern, because (the coronavirus) threatens the whole common good, not a class of people or a type of people.”

While some people are demanding federal government action, Oubre said, “fundamentally it comes down to how we handle this at the lowest level. Although the government is going to have a very important role to play... it's going to be how we act in Orange, Texas, or some other place that determines how long this thing is actually going to last.”

At the same time, Oubre was worried that restrictions might be lifted too soon.

“The dangers are clear: we could just have a second wave. We'll be right back into it,” he said.

Sinyai said people with some abundance and without fear of hunger, eviction or foreclosure must be prepared to sacrifice, adding “America’s low-income workers deserve both our prayers and our financial support as they rebuild their lives, careers and savings in the aftermath of the epidemic.”

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‘It’s a trauma for our children’: How the pandemic is impacting foster kids 

Denver, Colo., Apr 9, 2020 / 04:30 am (CNA).- Foster care is a difficult business in the best of times.

Social workers must ensure that children in need are given loving and safe homes, while trying to help them maintain contact and a relationship with their biological family. Kids have to adjust to new families and new routines while keeping up with schoolwork. Families accepting foster children are routinely monitored and must make adjustments to accommodate the new member of their family, who will be with them for an often unknown period of time.

Now, adding a pandemic - and all of its isolating and social distancing requirements - into the mix has made matters even more difficult.

“It's a trauma for our children who've had a life built and now it's gone,” Martha Holben, who works as the child welfare assistant director for St. Vincent Catholic Charities in Lansing, Michigan, told CNA.

Holben told CNA that for foster children, whose lives are already marked with so much disruption, the routine of school, and seeing friends and teachers they can count on, as well as regularly scheduled meetings with their families, are a big deal.

“And one day that was just all gone,” Holben said. “So we're definitely seeing an increase in some outbursts with kiddos because their schedule is gone, and the people that they've built into their life that they could trust - their principal, their guidance counselor - all of that is gone, and some of them are too young to really understand why.”

Michigan has been one of the harder-hit states in the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., with 20,346 confirmed cases and 959 deaths as of April 8. Holben said that while none of her program’s children and families have yet been diagnosed with coronavirus, concerns about spreading the disease have made it very difficult to find new foster families for children in recent weeks.

“We've had a child that we've been searching for placement for a couple of weeks,” she said.

“Luckily right now he's in a place that's willing to keep placement until another placement is able to be located, but because of the risk of COVID-19, prospective foster parents for this child are not willing to take a new placement right now,” Holben added.

While none of the children have tested positive for coronavirus, Holben said that families worry about accepting new children because experts believe that many people are carriers of the virus without ever showing symptoms, and prospective foster families are hesitant to put the rest of their family at risk.

Jennifer Hartwig is the senior program manager of foster care services for Catholic Charities Community Services in Phoenix, Arizona. So far, the state of Arizona has not been as hard hit by coronavirus as states like Louisiana, Illinois, California or New York. As of April 8, there were 2,726 cases in Arizona and 80 deaths.

Hartwig told CNA that their foster care program has changed the way it offers services - basically everything is online for now - “but we are going above and beyond trying to meet the needs of all of our families at this time. So we haven't slowed down,” she said.

Families in the area are also still offering to take children in, even though the threat of coronavirus remains, Hartwig added.

“The response has been wonderful. Families are still stepping up,” she said. “The director of DCS (Department of Child Safety) does weekly updates for all of the providers in the area, and we're still seeing about 20 children a day coming into the system needing homes. So children are still being placed at this time, and the families are stepping up.”

Hartwig compared social workers working with foster children to first responders, and added that while they are doing basically everything virtually, they do have permission from the governor and the DCS to step in and do home visits if there is a suspected crisis.

“As needed, if there's a crisis, we will go in person and if everybody's healthy and asymptomatic, we will do home visits,” Hartwig said.

“The directive from our governor and from the director of the DCS here in Arizona has stated that all visits have to be virtual…(but) safety's number one. That's been the message from everyone, child safety is number one,” she said. “We are, I'd say, right under doctors and nurses, we are still first responders.”

Other support being offered to families at this time include help finding diapers or formula or anything else they might need that could be in short supply in stores at this time Hartwig added.

She said when families have had concerns about possible cases of coronavirus, they’ve asked them screening questions and directed them to medical care. But so far, as of last Friday, none of the children in foster care in the state had tested positive for the virus.

“We have about 14-15,000 children in care in the state and (it has been) reported that there's no child that's been tested positive,” Hartwig said.

Unlike Arizona, New York has been the worst-hit state by coronavirus in the U.S. so far, accounting for 149,316 cases, with 6,268 deaths.

Good Shepherd Services, a foster care agency affiliated with the Archdiocese of New York, told CNA it has been scrambling to keep up with new federal, state and local guidelines as the coronavirus pandemic has come full force to the city. Good Shepherd Services oversees children in homes with foster families, as well as children in residential programs.

“I mean it certainly has turned our world upside down,” Denise Hinds, the associate executive director of foster care, juvenile justice and supportive housing at Good Shepherd Services, told CNA.

“It just creates a whole new level of stress and anxiety for everyone. From our own staff, to the birth parents who want to see their kids - they're used to seeing their kids every week- so foster parents have to bring the kids in, or they must have phones, and birth parents have to have cell phones, so it's just become quite an issue,” Hinds said.

Like Holben, Hinds also said she was concerned about the effect that closed schools were having on children in foster care. Not only were the closures disruptive to their routines, but the children are also losing access to additional learning and behavioral supports that are available to them at school.

A higher number of children in foster care “have many learning challenges and oftentimes more than the general population...many of our kids who come into residential care are several grade levels behind their peers, because they've moved around so many times before they get to us. So, we're looking at the most vulnerable of the children in New York City, in terms of education, not having all the services they would normally have on a day to day basis,” she said.

The impact of the pandemic on foster care social workers has also been “tremendous”, Hinds said, because they have had to adapt to every-changing guidelines while still trying to meet the needs of children, foster families and biological families.

Initially, she said, they were still allowing family visits on-site at their facilities, but as time has gone on, the program has had to adapt to virtual visits and meetings, unless safety issues are a concern. 

“This is all very new to us and to the families,” Hinds said.

Michelle Yanche, executive director of Good Shepherd Services, told CNA that the program had a “wake-up call” early on in the stages of coronavirus restrictions and shutdowns when, on a Friday night, a foster parent called, looking for a different placement for the child under their care, because the parent was showing symptoms of what was feared to be coronavirus.

The parent’s test for the virus was ultimately negative, and the child was able to be returned to the home, but Yanche said it made her realize that they would immediately need to implement new coronavirus protocols.

“It quickly was a wake up call for us that we need some new systems to be in place...to be able to manage these kinds of potential disruptions in the middle of the night,” she said. Fortunately, she said, those kind of late-night interventions have “not been as needed as we worried that it would be.”

Still, Hinds said they have had to move children around who have been exposed to the virus, but they have been lucky in finding foster homes to send them too. While they’re not onboarding a lot of new families at this time, she said families on their list have stepped up to take in these children despite the risk of the virus.

“So, those are some of the complexities, but we have been very fortunate to be able to continue our intake and support children when needed with our existing vacant foster homes,” she said. “We're continuing to do that as we have been all along. I don't think that has slowed down at all.”

Like leaders at a lot of organizations, Hinds and Yanche are also worried about the long-term financial impacts that a prolonged economic downturn will have on their programs.

Another concern has been providing PPE (personal protective equipment) to staff who either need to do in-home visits to homes that have known cases of or exposure to coronavirus, as well as staff in residential programs with children who may have been exposed and are in quarantine under their care, Hinds added.

“We're doing our best to get a hold of equipment, and we've had some support from Catholic Charities and other organizations, but it is a daily concern because we have 24/7 programming,” she said. “So, we're guarding our N95's (facemasks) like it's gold right now...we want to make sure we can keep our staff safe.”

Holben told CNA that people who want to help foster children, but are unable to open their homes to them, can be helpful through prayer.

“All of our foster parents, regardless of what we're going through or regardless of what they've gone through in any cases, they always need prayers. All of our kiddos need prayers, our biological families need prayers,” she said.

“So I just always like to put a little plug out there when people don't know what they can do for foster kiddos or parents. Just send some positive energy our way so that we can all get through it. Because it's stressful enough without the added COVID-19 stuff.”


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Archdiocese of Detroit suspends all public Masses until April 13 to combat spread of COVID-19

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