From Father Joe, September 13, 2015

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St. Christopher and St. Margaret Mary
Staten Island, New York   10306
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St. Christopher

Our Story:                   
St. Christopher
St. Margaret Mary
Our Patron Saints:       
St. Christopher
St. Margaret Mary

Community News
One of the more difficult aspects of forming one parish where there was two is consolidating the Mass schedule.  I have written before
about the current Mass schedule and the need to reduce that number.  Currently, we have 10 Sunday Masses for both churches, and
I have decided that six is a more appropriate number.  We will continue to have two weekday Masses, but one for each church.  

Why have fewer Masses?  I think there are two practical reasons and one spiritual reason.  Practically, there are not enough priests to
celebrate Mass.  You may not experience this because every time you have come to Mass a priest has been there (with one exception,
at a 10am Mass).  However, there are only two assigned priests to St. Christopher – St. Margaret Mary: Fr. Tomy and myself.   We
have been helped greatly by the other priests over the years.  However, they have their own commitments, responsibilities and schedules
to fulfill which sometimes means they cannot be with us on a Sunday.  As a result, scheduling becomes more difficult, especially when we
have two Masses going on at the same time.  Many of you have joked with me that I cannot be in two places at one time!  This is why the
new Sunday schedule will have no overlap of Masses with the two churches.  So, if need be, one priest could still celebrate all the Masses.  
The other practical reason concerns the fewer number of people coming to Mass.  It is very, very rare for either church to have at least half
of its seating capacity at a Sunday Mass (Christmas and Easter excluded).  This leads to a spiritual reason.  

Having a congregation of less than half capacity of the church can hamper evangelization efforts to reach out to others who are looking to
join or re-join the Church.  Having a fuller church highlights the communal aspect of our worship as there are more members of the
community there.  Having more people is an encouraging sign of evangelization.  When people come and see more people, they are more
likely to participate.

We have to try to think of this new schedule not as “there are only x amount of Masses in my church” and rather as “we have six Masses
to choose from.”  I understand the difficulty in this mindset, but we cannot continue with the number of Sunday Masses and half empty
churches.  The Archdiocese is mandating that the parishes affected from the Making All Things New process reduce the number of
Masses.  Although I had consultation about the new schedule from a team of parishioners, the decisions here are mine.

To take effect on Saturday, January 2, 2016:
                                                          St. Christopher Church                                  St. Margaret Mary Church
WEEKDAYS                                        9:00am (Monday-Saturday)                               8:00am (Monday-Friday)

FOR SUNDAY OBLIGATION           Saturday - 4:30pm
                                                          9:15am                                                                8:00am               
                                                          12:00Noon                                                        10:30am
                                                          7:00pm (note time change)