Father Jakub teaches about the life and ministry of St. Catharine of Genoa, the patron saint of St. Catharine Parish, Holmdel. Video screenshot
Father Jakub teaches about the life and ministry of St. Catharine of Genoa, the patron saint of St. Catharine Parish, Holmdel. Video screenshot
In an effort to continue interaction among the parish community during the coronavirus pandemic, the priests and pastoral team in St. Catharine, Holmdel, have been leading faithful on a virtual tour of their church.

Each video focuses on one of the church’s many statues, stained glass windows, icons or paintings in St. Catharine Church.

With COVID-19 restrictions in place, Father Joseph Jakub, parochial vicar, credited Father Patrick McPartland, pastor, for making certain that the staff is communicating with parishioners in new and creative ways.

“It is my hope that these videos would give parishioners an opportunity to see some images they don’t typically see – or images they just pass by – so that when they are back in church, they may appreciate them more fully,” he said. “With people in their homes so much, they are looking for opportunities to connect, and this allows the parish to be a conduit of evangelization even during the stay-at-home order.”

Weeks ago, Father Jakub introduced the series with a presentation on the icon of the Transfiguration located in the parish chapel. After the presentation, votive candles were placed near the icon as “a constant prayer for all affected by the coronavirus.”

Among the presentations – a statue of St. Catharine of Genoa, the parish’s patron saint. Through his research, Father Jakub was interested to learn about the Italian saint, who died in 1510 and was canonized in 1737 by Pope Clement XII, and how she now “seems to be a powerful intercessor during this time since she lived through a plague and had ministered to the sick.”

Other tour highlights have included featuring the chapel’s stained glass windows, including St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary; St. Vincent de Paul; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton; St. Thomas More; St. Theresa of Lisieux, and St. Francis of Assisi, as well as some of the unique aspects about the images, such as the Blessed Mother standing next to St. Anne; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s holding a book and the birds in the St. Francis window.

Father Jakub also offered two meditations during Holy Week: one on Good Friday about the Crucifix located in the garden area, and one on Holy Saturday about the Pieta. There was a Divine Mercy presentation on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 19, too.

Future video teachings include the stained glass windows in the main church, two of which include a universal call to holiness, and of Jesus, who is holding the bread and wine and surrounded by the Apostles. The videos may be viewed on St. Catharine Parish's Youtube channel.