Letters from our Pastor

May 27, 2020

My Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Blessings to you! We have been eagerly waiting to re-open our parish church. Our Archbishop, in his letter on May 26, has informed us that the parish church could begin to re-open for Masses beginning June 3, 2020. But we need to come up with a safety plan and get it approved from the Regional Bishop in accordance with the guidelines issued from our Archdiocese of LA.  As I write this letter to you, we have already begun to work on a plan to put in place for our church. We hope to get it approved prior to Wednesday June 3, 2020 and thus reopen our parish for the public celebration of Mass.

Although we are allowed to re-open from June 3, I would like to inform you that we are instructed to have only 100 people or 25% of the capacity of our church whichever is less at a time for the Mass. Therefore, we are planning as to how we are going to implement this directive. Kindly look forward to receiving further information on this.

We are also allowed to celebrate other Sacraments such as confessions, baptisms, weddings, and quinceañeras with particular guidelines. We expect to finalize the procedures for these celebrations and make it available to you within a couple of days. Thank you for your patience. I look forward to seeing you all pretty soon. Continue to stay safe. May God bless you!

With Blessings,

Rev. Dr. Antony Gaspar – Pastor

May 13, 2020

My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Blessings to you! I pray and hope that you are safe and well. Please know that Fr. Bernard and I continue to pray for your well-being.

I wanted to give you an update regarding the re-opening of our Church which all of us are eagerly waiting to take place. Our Archbishop Jose Gomez had a zoom meeting with all the parishes and schools today, May 13th, and informed us that the Los Angeles county might not lift the lockdown completely until the end of July 2020. The current pandemic situation still continues to remain dangerous, and we are not sure if it will resurface again when the lock down is lifted, and to what magnitude. Therefore, the Los Angeles county is approaching cautiously to consider allowing Churches to re-open at this time. In light of this, our Archbishop stated that protecting God’s people is his first priority. Since it is not clear when and in what stages the Los Angeles county would allow the Churches to reopen, our Archbishop has said that the Churches will continue to be closed for the public until further notice. I will bring to your attention if there are changes to these guidelines as soon as they are available. But for now, the Church will continue to remain closed until further notice. And, all Baptisms, First Holy Communion, and Confirmations are postponed until further notice. Regarding the Weddings and Quinceañeras, we will have an update from the Archbishop this coming week and I will keep you informed when it is available. Regarding the anointing of the sick, Fr. Bernard and I will continue to respond to all of your requests. However, I would recommend that if it is not a life-threatening emergency, please hold on until it is safe to engage in pastoral visits.

I understand that this extended lockdown may aggravate your anxiety. But let us trust that our Archbishop is doing what is best to protect all of us. I can assure you that he does not arrive at this decision lightly. In the meantime, please continue to join me and Fr. Bernard in our daily Mass, Rosary, and Adoration via live stream on our social media platforms. And most importantly, let us continue to pray that our Blessed Mother Mary will implore our God to put an end soon to this terrible pandemic. Please stay safe. May God bless you and your loved ones!

With Prayers and Blessings,

Rev. Dr. Antony Gaspar  – Pastor

May 10, 2020

My Dear Beloved Mothers,

On this occasion of Mothers’ Day, we wanted to let you know how blessed we are to have you as our mother.  Someone said that if we wanted to experience God’s love and see his face, we should look at our mother.  This is so true because you channel God’s love for us, your children. You are the first one to love us and teach us how to love others. You sacrifice many things, including your own desires, careers, goals, and ambitions in order to care for our well-being. You nourish and nurture us in God’s word, Sacraments, and the faith life of the Church. You make sure that we grow up as wonderful children of God. You help and guide us to prepare for a meaningful career. Our hearts are filled with tremendous gratitude for you for being our wonderful mother.

As we celebrate mothers’ day, we truly wish to have you present in our parish church to honor you. But, since we could not do this, we offer our profound prayers for you. Our prayer is that the Lord will bless you with peace and good health; that, you will continue to be God’s instrument to guide our steps in the path of righteousness. And, most importantly, may the Lord keep you safe and protect you from the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic. We also entrust you to our Blessed Mother Mary, whom we specially honor in this month of May. May our beloved virgin Mary shelter you under the mantle of her protection. Please be safe and enjoy your special day!

With Blessings,

Rev. Dr. Antony Gaspar  – Pastor

April 20, 2020

Dear Beloved Parishioners,

Easter Blessings to you! I pray that you are safe, healthy, and happy. As we continue to be home bound due to the Corona virus pandemic, let us keep our faith and trust in our Risen Lord, and pray for His intervention, protection, and an end to this crisis. Please continue to join me and Fr. Bernard in our daily Mass, Rosary, and Adoration via live stream in our social media platforms.

I would like to update you with the revised guidelines we have received from our Archbishop Jose Gomez on April 19, 2020. The following are the updates from our Archbishop until further notice. 1. Parish Churches, chapels, centers, and missions are to remain closed to the public until May 15, 2020, or until further notice.

2. Church Offices are to be closed to the public until May 15, 2020. So, our Parish Office, and Religious Education offices will continue to operate remotely. Our office staff will be more than happy to assist you via phone, email, and postal mails. If you prefer, you could also drop off your requests, envelops, and letters at the parish office mail slot.

3. MASS: The suspension of public celebration of Mass in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has been extended until May 15, 2020 (inclusive), or until further notice. So, we will continue to livestream our parish Mass and other activities. The following are the schedule:

schedule 0422

Although you could not come to our parish church, I strongly encourage you to spiritually unite with your priests and the parish community by participating in the virtual Mass, particularly on Sundays in order to keep the Lord’s Day holy. In case you couldn’t participate in the virtual Mass, may I encourage you to read the readings and spend some time in prayer and reflection with your family. To make it easy for you, we have published a prayer format in our website, that would be helpful to use in the absence of attending the Mass. I hope you would avail of this opportunity to enrich your faith life.

4. CONFESSIONS: The regular schedule for confessions remain suspended until May 15, 2020, or until further notice. Unfortunately, the confessions could not be offered by telephone, electronic means, or by drive through options. The priests will respond to hear confessions only for someone in danger of death or extremely extraordinary situations. Since you could not confess your sins to a priest and get absolution at this time, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has reminded us the Church’s teaching in his Mass on March 20, 2020: “If you don’t find a priest to go to confession, speak to God. He’s your Father. Tell Him the truth: ‘Lord, I did this and this and this. Pardon me.’ Ask His forgiveness with all your heart with an act of contrition and, promise Him that your will go to confession as soon as possible when available. You will return to God’s grace immediately.” In an extra ordinary situation, a perfect act of contrition obtains the forgiveness of sins, both venial and mortal. (Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 1452).

5. ANOINTING OF THE SICK: Fr. Bernard and I will continue to respond to your requests for anointing of the sick. However, if it is not a life-threatening situation, we recommend that you consider waiting until it is safe to engage in pastoral visits.

6. BAPTISMS, WEDDINGS, and QUINCEAÑERA are postponed until further notice.

7. FIRST COMMUNION and CONFIRMATION: The scheduled First Communion and Confirmation (May 9 & 16) will be postponed for a future date. Kindly expect a new date to be announced in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, let us continue to strengthen our spiritual bond by praying for one another, particularly by participating in the virtual Mass and prayers.

Although we are in lockdown, please know that our parish continues to operate. Some of our parish staff work from our parish office, others work from home. The religious education office continues to operate as well. Our utilities and other operating expenses continue to take place. But our revenue has diminished almost 70 percent. This is understandable given the current situation. May I request you to consider donating on-line, or dropping off, or mailing in your offertory envelopes. To sign up for online giving visit:
1. membership.faithdirect.net/CA794 (OR) call 1-866-507-8757

2. You could also TEXT to donate: Open the text messaging option from your phone and text the word “ENROLL” to this number: 562-330-1646. You will receive a response and follow the very simple instruction.

Your generosity will help us to take care of our parish operations. We appreciate your support.

Fr. Bernard and I will continue to pray for your safety and protection. And, kindly keep us in your prayers as well.

With Easter Blessings,

Rev. Dr. Antony Gaspar  – Pastor

Live-stream: Facebook.com/stbarnabaslb or Youtube.com/c/stbarnabaschurchlongbeach Instagram: @stbarnabaslb Website: www.stbarnabaslb.org (online bulletins are also available)