From the Desk of the Pastor
Welcome to new normal. I think that’s what we are coming to terms with. With ever growing concern, worldwide and at home regarding coronavirus, I want reach out to you again and let you know that you are not forgotten but always in my thoughts and prayers. First let us remember the words of Apostle Paul (2 Timothy 1:7), “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but power and love and of a sound mind.”
As soon as Bishop Estévez permitted the churches to gather around the Eucharistic table, we started implementing all the precautionary measures at the recommendation of the state and the diocese to reduce the chances of anyone contracting the coronavirus here at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church. To mention a few, we placed hand sanitizers at all doors of the church. Dispensation granted by the Bishop continues to reduce any risk for the vulnerable and seasoned population of the parish. Physical contacts in any form are discouraged before the mass, during the mass, and after mass. Social distancing and wearing masks are mandatory and implemented to avoid transfer of germs. I am thankful to all of the ushers who take extra time to sanitize the pews after each mass. Streaming continues so that people may have the opportunity to participate in the Eucharist and have Communion in the Padre Pio Garden. We are all aware that these steps will not safeguard us one hundred percent against this virus, but we are committed to reducing the risk.
With gratitude we remember Matthew Kelly and the Dynamic Parish team for their initiatives to keep us close to each other and to Christ through book distribution, small groups, and 40 Days of email presentations. In the middle of all the uncertainty and anxiety it was daring and a blessing to welcome the faculty and students back to school. We will never take anything for granted that will risk the health and safety of our children. RCIA and CCD will be started next month. I encourage all of you to invite people to RCIA and parents to register their children for CCD.
My heartfelt gratitude goes to all the families who are committed to St. Matthew’s, and are generous and supporting in these tough times through Faith Direct, Venmo, PayPal, offertory envelopes, cash and in many other ways, especially through prayers. I also want all of you to be aware that we collect $14,500.00 on a regular Sunday. That is $2,500.00 less than our budget. I ask for your continued support. Never, ever forget that we are Christmas people, and that Jesus is incarnated in every act of love and kindness we extend to one another.
The last thing any of us want is to let the virus damage our spiritual growth or distance us from God. This is an important time for all of us to walk closely with God. Don’t let panic keep you from praying. Don’t let worry keep you from reading the Word. Don’t let the fear of this virus keep you from loving your neighbor. Jesus will never leave or forsake us. Be prudent and wise. Have faith and choose Hope.
I love you and I am praying for you.
During these times of uncertainty, our parish continues to spread the Word of God and help those in need in our community. We appreciate your faithful support of our parish efforts. Several of our parishioners have asked how they can continue to support our church since Masses have been suspended. Please consider the options offered here, or our PayPal account linked to the left:
Faith Direct: Visit www.faithdirect.net or call (866) 507-8757
Add us on Venmo: @StMatthewsJax
You can also still send your offertory envelopes by mail to our church office at 1773 Blanding Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32210.
If you have any Prayer Intentions you wish to share, please submit them using the button below.
Mass Broadcast Live Daily @ 8:30am EST
Eucharistic Adoration Broadcast Wednesdays @ 5:00pm EST
Does God really laugh? Have others heard him? How can I hear him too? Or maybe you have this feeling that something is missing in your life. We all feel dissatisfied at one point or another.
God is speaking to you through that dissatisfaction.
This is the invitation of a lifetime. For you to flourish and thrive like never before. Through prayer. And this study guide will help you do just that: encounter God in a powerful way and to help you start a habit of daily prayer. Our hope is that, by reading this book and going deeper with this guide, you truly learn how to pray.
If you already formed a small study group for the book "Rediscover Jesus," feel free to continue with this book in that group. If you didn't have a chance to start or join a study group, now is the time! With family and close friends (presumably ones in your social bubble), you can start a study group. Copies of "I Heard God Laugh" are available at all the doors inside the church, and the study guide is posted on the church website and Facebook page. If you have any questions, just let us know.
In the meantime, stay safe and enjoy the book!
If you signed up to join an online "Rediscover Jesus" study group, but were not matched with one, please resubmit your form for "I Heard God Laugh", and we will try to help coordinate with an online facilitator. Very few of our original online sign ups were available the same day/time, so including more than one option may help to increase your odds of being matched with a group.
Daily Mass readings can be found at this link:
Monday - Saturday: 8:30 am
Saturday Vigil: 5:30 pm
Sunday Morning: 8:30 am & 10:30 am
Sunday Evening: 5:30 pm
Saturday 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm or by appointment
EXPOSITION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT
Wednesday 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm