Our Parish During COVID

The year 2020 brought hard times to our Parish and the word with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Near the onset of the crisis, Lent, Holy Week, and Easter at St. Boniface were celebrated in innovative and moving ways in order to keep our parish and community safe.

Onset of Crisis

The parish’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Party was, by chance, celebrated rather early in 2020, on March 1, a few days after Ash Wednesday. Few, of any, present that day foresaw that it would be the last social occasion they would be able celebrate in physical proximity to each other for a number of months.

Parishioner Belinda Basaca Zeitlin had already organized and conducted the first session of a Family Lenten Retreat series and a demonstration of Passover Seder, but by the time St. Patrick’s Day itself had arrived, the Diocese of Rockville Centre had announced that it was joining surrounding Dioceses in suspending the public celebration of liturgy and all other public gatherings. Within a week, most religious entities in the United States had taken the same step.

Safe Together at Home for Lent and Easter

The balance of Lent and Easter were celebrated by the parish from the safety of home by parishioners lucky enough to be able to shelter there, praying for the safety of friends and relatives who were members of groups especially endangered by the virus and others the world came to revere under the heroic title of “front-line” servants to their community.

These brave people included physicians, nurses, EMT’s and other medical personnel, first responders, sanitation and utility workers, restaurant and retail employees and all manner of public servant. With everyone else, parishioners were inspired to describe them what they always were, “essential” to society, or, as our church teaches: people using their God-gifted charisms to build up the Kingdom.

The Parish reminded the neighborhood about these special people by ringing the church bells every afternoon at 3 PM.

How St. Boniface Prayed and Stayed Together

St. Boniface had long had in place a “virtual” online infrastructure which parishioners, staff and clergy now pushed into high gear in order to celebrate Lent and Easter while unable to congregate physically together.

The parish had established a website soon after the dawn of he internet and had embraced other elements of social media, particularly Facebook, as they developed. These tools were invaluable in allowing the parish to gather as well as it could under the unprecedented circumstances thrust upon it by the COVID-19 health crisis.

The last three sessions of the Family Lenten Retreat series were held via “Zoom” conferences, allowing participants to see and share directly with each other online. Zoom also provided parishioners and friends to pray Lenten Stations of the Cross as if they were present in the church building.

Sunday Mass came to be celebrated online, streamed on Facebook Live and archived on the website and the parish YouTube channel. Parishioners who had not previously felt called to embrace social media, particularly senior citizens, now appreciated the semblance of community it provided, particularly for the observance of the Easter Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, Easter and related devotions.

The St. Boniface Youth Group also met by Zoom; young people were already familiar with it since all middle, high school and college classes had begun using such tools once school campuses were shut down because of the crisis.

Fathers Kevin Dillon, Chinthaka Perera and Azubuike Igwegbe, concelebrated Holy Week and Easter Masses, often in the of members of the Sisters of Jesus the Savior residing at St. Bonface in attendance and proclaiming the readings. Musical Director, Jeff Schneider, played the organ and Cantor, April Beisser, sang on Easter Sunday and on other Sundays providing a most welcome sense of “normalcy”.

The following videos are samples of some of the observances streamed during the crisis:

Community Easter Dawn Service 2020

A multi-lingual service, hosted by the eight-member churches of the Committee for the Community Easter Dawn Service, was streamed online on Easter Sunday 2020.

Community Easter Dawn Service 2020

The message of Easter was shared by local clergy, including Fr. Kevin and Fr. Perera. Robert Lynch opened and closed the service with the bagpipes.

Easter Dawn Service 2020 Program

Streamed Easter Vigil 2020

The Crisis Continues

Our parish was one of the first on Long Island to establish a presence on the internet, launching a website at www.saintboniface.org, on October 15, 1999.  With the rise of “social media”, the parish has also developed Facebook pages and uses such tools as Twitter, Instagram, and a YouTube channel.  The weekly parish bulletin and newsletters are distributed digitally on these platforms and are also sent by email to about 900 online subscribers.  The parish’s head-start in the world of digital communication was a blessing as the Covid-19 crisis stretched far longer than we would have thought, lasting a year or more, into 2021, and the continuing need to provide safe live-streamed Masses and virtual replacements for face to face meetings and the social activities curtailed by the crisis. 

VIRTUS Update

Child Protection at St. Boniface

The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People promulgated by the Bishops of the United States in 2002 outlines specific practices and guidelines providing standards of safety in parishes and diocese throughout the United States.

In an effort to remain in compliance with these directives we are updating our records.

The process has been streamlined and the volunteer application, code of conduct and background screening can be accomplished online at www.Virtus.org. You will need your user name and password to update your account. If you need assistance please contact Virtus at 1-888847-8870 or helpdesk@vitus.org.

Active Volunteers:
If you are an active volunteer you may receive an email from Sterling Volunteers who will be asking you to update your background screening application on-line.

Please be aware that this is not a scam nor has your e-mail been hacked. It is merely a way for the parish to make sure its files are accurate and up to date.

Once you have accessed your account, review the information for accuracy and make any changes necessary by hitting the TOOLBOX tab at the top of the screen and choose Update My Account.

Any further questions please contact Christine Whited, our VIRTUS coordinator at stbonvirtus@gmail.com.

How the Diocese of Rockville Centre Has Been
Addressing Child Protection and
the Clergy Abuse Scandal

Streamed Christmas Masses

Christmas Schedule 2020

CHRISTMAS MASS SCHEDULE

Christmas Eve Masses:
Thursday, December 24, 2020
2:30, 4:00*, 5:30 and 10* pm

Christmas Day Masses
Friday, December 25, 2020
9 am, 10:30 am and 12 noon*

NOTE: Saturday, December 26: No 8 am Mass and no 4 pm Confession.

Mary, the Mother of God, New Years Mass Schedule

New Year’s Eve, Thursday, December 31, 2020
4:00 pm Vigil Mass
New Year’s Day, Friday, January 1, 2021
10:30 am Mass

Severe Weather Alert

On Thursday, December 17, 2020, all Parish Offices will be closed because of severe winter storm conditions. No 8 AM daily Mass and 10 AM Funeral Mass for Karen Schenck postponed until Friday, December 18 at 10 AM.

Christmas Around the World

The virtual Christmas Around the World on December 5, 2020 was a success.  Here is the link to the video that we aired on the livestream.  You can watch it by clicking this link or catching the replay on our Facebook page.  You will see a couple of guest appearances!!!
Click Here To View: Christmas Around The World 2020 ~ 5th Anniversary Virtual Event

The Christmas Around the World 5th Anniversary was a Virtual Facebook live-stream compilation of acts and representations from around the globe. 

The Giving Tree

Our Giving Tree will benefit our St. Boniface Martyr Parish St. Vincent de Paul Society. You can help your neighbors in need feel special during this Christmas season by participating in this annual event.

The Giving Tree will be adorned with tags designating gift cards that can be purchased. Gift card suggestions are also listed below. If you prefer using a check, please make it out to St. Vincent de Paul Society with “Giving Tree” in the memo area.

Giving Tree Gift Card Suggestions

  • Amazon
  • American Express, Visa, Mastercard
  • Best Buy
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Kohl’s
  • McDonald’s
  • Macy’s
  • Old Navy
  • Starbucks
  • Stop and Shop
  • TJ Maxx
  • Walmart

You may deposit your gift card or check in the box under the tree, in the St. Vincent dePaul donation box, deliver it to the parish center (through the mail slot in the front door), or mail it to:

St. Boniface SVDP Giving Tree
145 Glen Avenue
Sea Cliff, NY 11579

We welcome your gift card donations. In order to deliver gifts to our neighbors in time for Christmas, we are requesting them by or before Sunday, December 6.

Your gift will go a long way in helping those served by our parish Vincentians.

If you have any questions, please call Susan Winslow at 516-671-7058.

Thank you for your generosity!

Charity is the cement which binds Communities to God and persons to one another.  – St. Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent dePaul

Thanksgiving

HappyThanksgiving

Thanksgiving Mass 9:30 AM

The St. Boniface Martyr Thanksgiving Day Mass, Thursday, November 26, will be at 9:30am. There will be no 8am mass that morning. The Mass intention will be thanksgiving for all the living and deceased parishioners of St. Boniface Martyr Church.

Thanksgiving Day Collection

The entire Thanksgiving Day Collection will be donated to the St. Boniface Martyr Society of St. Vincent de Paul. When you make a donation to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, you give hope to your neighbors in need.

To make a donation, you may use the special St. Vincent de Paul envelopes available in the vestibule of the church or any envelope marked “St. Boniface SVDP.”

You may deposit your donations in the St. Vincent de Paul donation box in the church vestibule, drop it off at the parish center (through the mail slot in the door), or mail it to:

St. Boniface SVDP
145 Glen Avenue
Sea Cliff, NY 11579

“Charity is the cement which bind communities to God and persons to one another.”

St. vincent de paul

You may bring Thanksgiving food to be blessed to your pew
for 9:30 am Mass on Thanksgiving.
You and your food will be blessed from the altar
while you remain at your seat.
Food is not to be placed before the altar.

All Souls Day

Special All Souls Day Mass

There will be an All Souls Day Mass at 4pm on Sunday, November 1,  to remember all those who have died during this past year. The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day) is Monday, November 2. Mass will be celebrated at 8am.

Streamed Masses

Sunday Mass at 10:30 am and some other selected liturgies may be viewed live online or recorded in the following ways:

  1. On Facebook Live: Click here.
  2. At the following link, for viewers who do not use Facebook: https://st-boniface-martyr-church.freeonlinechurch.com/live.
  3. Recordings of each streamed liturgy may also be viewed later :using Facebook: Click here.