Saint Matthew Masses at 5:30 pm on Saturday and 10:30 am on Sunday will continue for the faithful. Weather permitting Masses will be held at Oak Grove Cemetery where we are not limited to the number in attendance. We will use a ‘bring your own lawn chair’ policy.
If you are not sure if a Mass will be held at the church or Oak Grove Cemetery, a notice will be placed on the Saint Matthew Facebook page and the Saint Matthew webpage.
Communion will be distributed AFTER mass in the Gather Space on Saturdays at 7 pm and Sundays at 12 noon.
DIRECTIONS to Oak Grove Cemetery: Take Route 453 N, West 15th Street from Saint Matthew Church, after Feller Funeral Home take a left turn onto Green Dale Avenue and continue straight to Oak Grove Cemetery.
If traveling from Houtzdale area take Route 453 S, West 15th Street, and before Feller Funeral Home take a right onto Green Dale Avenue and continue straight to Oak Grove Cemetery.
If you are not sure if a Mass will be held at the church or Oak Grove Cemetery, a notice will be placed on the Saint Matthew Facebook page and the Saint Matthew webpage www.stmatthewtyrone.org at least one hour before the scheduled mass.
Communion will be distributed AFTER mass and if you are unable to be seated in the cemetery or parish church communion will be brought to you.
All are reminded that the Christian faithful are not obliged to participate at Mass on Sunday due to the circumstance of the Coronavirus pandemic. This remains in effect until further notice.
A Message from Father Jozef:
Below is a traditional prayer of SPIRITUAL COMMUNION that many saints have prayed over the years. It can be prayed if you cannot attend mass or you find yourself at Mass unable to receive the Eucharist, or even in the midst of your daily work, lifting up your thoughts to God. The ultimate goal of our lives should be communion with our good and gracious God and an act of spiritual communion can help a person draw closer to that goal.
I believe that You are truly
present in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally in Holy Communion,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
During these difficult times let us pray the following prayer:
Jesus traveled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.” At His command, the sick were made well. We humbly ask you to come to our aid now and stay by our side in this time of uncertainty, confusion and pain, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus. Please heal those who have contracted the virus. Be with the doctors, nurses, researchers and all medical professionals who seek to heal and help those affected and who put themselves at risk in the process. May they know your protection and peace and may we all experience your healing love. AMEN.
NOTE: Any parishioner who may be in need of assistance of any kind, please contact the parish office 814-632-3070.
DIOCESE ONLINE GIVING OPTION FOR SAINT MATTHEW PARISH
These are unprecedented times. The coronavirus has captured everyone’s attention but it has not taken away our faith. Our Church is alive and still carrying on its mission and Saint Matthew Parish will continue to bring you the light of Christ. But in order to continue our work, we need your support.
The Diocese of Altoona Johnstown has created a specific “Your Parish Offertory” giving site.
“Your Parish Offertory” is available on the diocese’ home page at www.dioceseaj.org/giving
At this link the Catholic Ministry page will appear
Click on Donate Online
Select Your Parish Offertory – Make a Donation
Select either a recurring donation “or” one time donation
Enter the amount of your donation
Select – Saint Matthew, Tyrone (126)
All funds donated will be credit to Saint Matthew Parish and we will be made aware of your continued generosity.
Thank you for your support and may our Lord continue to bless you, our community and our nation.
IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM BISHOP MARK:
Plenary Indulgence: Bishop Mark is also stressing that those impacted during this time are eligible to receive a Plenary Indulgence, which, according to the Catechism, removes the temporal punishment due to sin.
In the words of Pope John Paul II an indulgence is “the expression of the Church’s full confidence of being heard by the Father when – in view of Christ’s merits and by His gift, those of Our Lady and the saints – she asks Him to mitigate or cancel the painful aspect of punishment by fostering its medicinal aspect through other channels of grace.”
The conditions for the Plenary Indulgence include watching a televised Mass, praying the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross or other devotions, or at least receiving the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and a pious invocation to the Blessed Mother, offering this trial in a spirit of faith in God and Charity towards one’s brothers and sisters. There must be a true commitment to fulfilling the sacramental obligations of Reconciliation and Eucharist as soon as possible.
“People can be assured of the graces than can come from even these restricted opportunities for prayer,” Bishop Mark mentioned. “God’s grace goes past all of these boundaries. People should be comforted by that.”
Families and the Gospel Matthew 11:25-30
Just as Jesus received a mission today, parents accept the mission of raising a family. Parents are not alone in this exhausting and difficult mission. Today Jesus tells us “come to me and I will give you rest.”
† Pastor: Reverend Jozef Kovacik
Weekend Mass Schedule: Saturday at 5:30 PM and Sunday at 10:30 AM
Weekday Mass Schedule:
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday at 8:00 AM
Holy Day of Obligation Mass Schedule: 9:00 AM and 7:00 PM
Sacrament of Reconciliation is celebrated on Saturday at 6:30 PM or anytime upon request.
Please remember if these times do not allow you to attend mass you can do so at Saint Joseph Church in Bellwood either on Saturday at 4:00 PM or Sunday at 8:00 AM and also on Monday at 8:00 AM & Tuesday at 6:00 PM and the Sacrament of Reconciliation is celebrated on Saturday at 3:30 PM
Message From Bishop Mark – July 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Someone recently told me that she could hear the sigh of relief recently as restrictions were lifted that allowed for our churches to reopen. Numerous people have remarked how grateful they are to attend Sunday Mass and receive the sacraments, especially the Body and Blood of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. And they have mentioned how good it is to pray and worship with others in person.
I have not heard any criticism about the need for distancing or the way in which the financial offerings of the people are collected in a manner that avoids unnecessary physical contact.
However, there is one concern that is increasingly being brought to my attention. It has to do with the use of face masks. A better way to describe it is the growing number of letters and email messages advising me that people are simply not wearing face masks inside church.
A number of reasons for not wearing face masks have been shared with me, including:
· It’s hard to breathe because it is too warm in church
· We are in the green zone, so masks are no longer necessary
· It’s too awkward for my kids who keep pulling them off
· Where I live we are strong people and we have that herd immunity
· As a young adult I have been out socializing with friends and no one has masks
I am well aware that no one wants to tell others to wear a mask. Pastors don’t want to be the bad guy. Ushers don’t want people giving them an earful if they mention anything about masks. Parents are frustrated when they try to get their children to cooperate.
As I listen to all of those comments, I am also mindful of the concerns of people who come to Mass with the reasonable expectation that everyone is doing their part in observing the directives that were announced as a necessary part of the reopening of churches.
I am also mindful of the expert advice I have received and continue to receive. The message remains the same. Masks are the most important means of protecting yourself and others when you find yourself in a group.
In places throughout the country where businesses have reopened and people are gathering without using face masks, there has been an alarming increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. News reports indicate that the number of confirmed cases in the past month have doubled in many of those places. As a result, the restrictions and closures are being reinstated.
The people of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown have been known as being pro-life. That value and commitment of being pro-life is not limited to being against abortion of children. It extends from conception to natural death. It extends to every human person because we are all made in the image and likeness of God.
The care we have for ourselves and for the well-being and safety of others is found in Sacred Scripture. Just think of the story of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:1-15), when the Lord asked Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” And Cain replied, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
We know the answer is yes. We are responsible for each other. Our Lord Jesus Christ affirmed that when he reminded us that we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves (Luke 10:27). And Jesus went on to describe in the story of the Good Samaritan that we must literally go out of our way to help someone in need (Luke 10:29-37).
In that famous Gospel story, Jesus reminds us that there are times when caring for others involves an inconvenience and even a sacrifice on their part. That care for others is to be generous and done with compassion for the other person.
So how does this apply to all of us when it comes to COVID-19, face masks, and being in the parish church for Mass?
Wearing a face mask is a way in which we can love ourselves, since it is for our individual protection. Wearing a face mask is a way in which we can love our neighbors, so that an invisible virus is not spread from one to another. And remember, there are lots of people who have COVID-19, but they don’t have any symptoms; they don’t know that they have it.
I AM REPEATING MY PERSONAL APPEAL TO ALL OF YOU TO USE A FACE MASK WHEN YOU ATTEND MASS AND OTHER PARISH GATHERINGS.
In previously announced guidelines, I advised that the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days remains in effect, but if you cannot or should not attend due to medical conditions, you are encouraged to watch Mass on TV or via the internet.
Some people have chronic health conditions that make it extremely difficult to use a mask. If you are in that category, you are not obliged to attend Mass. At the same time, if you wish to receive Holy Communion, you should make that known so that Holy Communion may be brought to you as long as that is necessary. This can be done by a priest, deacon, or extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.
If it’s just too warm to wear a mask during Mass, you can remain outside, and wait to receive Holy Communion without entering the church according to the plan that each parish should have in place.
ALTAR SERVERS, EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS, READERS (except for when they are actually reading), AND ANYONE ELSE WHO ENTERS INTO THE SANCTUARY (including deacons/priests) ARE TO WEAR A MASK.
MASKS ARE TO BE WORN BY USHERS, ORGANISTS, SONG LEADERS (except when they are engaged in singing).
When you are in church for Mass, THE MASK SHOULD ONLY BE REMOVED FOR A BRIEF MOMENT WHEN YOU ARE ABOUT TO RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION, AND THEN IT SHOULD BE PUT BACK IN PLACE UNTIL MASS IS FINISHED AND YOU HAVE EXITED THE CHURCH.
The use of face masks is the number one means of protecting yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19.
I received a number of compliments from public health officials and government leaders for the implementation of the measures that were in place in our churches, schools, and other parish buildings.
I take this opportunity to thank all of you again for your cooperation in this effort. However, I need to be clear that unless the proper precaution of utilizing face masks is observed by everyone, it may result in the closures once again. No one wants to return to that experience.
So here is the bottom line: FACE MASKS ARE NOT OPTIONAL WHEN WE COME TO CHURCH.
As the slogan goes, “We are all in this together.” And that includes the presence of the Lord Jesus among us and with us.
Don’t let yourself even think about a slogan once suggested by Cain in the very first book of the Bible: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Apparently Cain did not know the answer. But you do. “We are all in this together.”
Enjoy the July 4 Independence Day celebrations; but be safe. And enjoy the rest of the summer by taking good care of each other.