Several parishes in the Diocese have scheduled livestreamed Masses on May 25 in commemoration of Memorial Day. Photo from Freepik.com
Several parishes in the Diocese have scheduled livestreamed Masses on May 25 in commemoration of Memorial Day. Photo from Freepik.com
In the midst of what will be a very different experience of Memorial Day weekend because of the impact and changes that have been brought about  by the COVID-19 global pandemic, several parishes around the Diocese have turned to technology to help parishioners to prayerfully commemorate the American federal holiday and give thanks to the many women and men who have selflessly sacrificed their lives in service to their country.

In Toms River, a livestreamed Mass will be celebrated May 25 at 9 a.m. in the Risen Christ Chapel of St. Joseph Cemetery and Mausoleum. The Mass may be viewed on the parish’s Facebook page.

St. Katharine Drexel Parish, Burlington, will livestream an 8 a.m. Mass from the rectory chapel, May 25 on the parish’s Facebook page.

St. Mary Parish, Middletown, will hold an in-car, parking lot Mass at noon May 25.

St. Barnabas Parish, Bayville, will livestream a 9 a.m. Mass on the parish website and Facebook page.

St. Rose Parish, Belmar, will livestream a Mass at 9 a.m. on the parish’s Youtube channel. The Mass may also be viewed on the homepage of the parish website. Celebrant will be Father Dave Baratelli, who is from St. George Byazantine Catholic Church, Newark, and a retired Air Force chaplain.

In a recorded videotaped message inviting faithful to watch the Mass, Msgr. Edward Arnister, pastor of St. Rose Parish, noted how although the recent weeks have focused on the many media stories about the “heroes who have been shining lights in the darkness of the pandemic,” those men and women who are on the frontlines such as hospital workers, first responders and ordinary citizens who go out of their way in helping a neighbor in need,” Memorial Day is an occasion in which “we pause to remember those heroes who gave their life for our freedom and for love of our country, the day we remember with gratitude those who have died in military service.

“Freedom is a gift,” he said, “and although we may agree on that truth, it’s often easy to take for granted the greatest gift that God has given us in our lives. But those most precious gifts are never free; they come with a price, with sacrifice. They were worth fighting for and are still worth fighting for today.

“Many brave men and women were willing to face hard battles for us to enjoy that gift of freedom today,” said Msgr. Arnister, as he went on to offer a prayer.

“May God bless you and may God bless America,” he said.