Advent 2020 Program

Advent is a time for hopeful preparation, to seek the unexpected, and to joyfully await the coming of something new!
As a parish family, we are encouraged to journey through this Advent season together — even though we are apart due to necessary COVID safety measures, we can still build community during this special season.
Below is a menu of options — perhaps this menu will help us grow in our mission as a parish family to be more “courageous, compassionate, and Catholic.”
O come all ye faithful, let us pray and celebrate together!
   Week 1: Sun, Nov 29th
   Prophet’s Candle – HOPE
   Week 2: Sun, Dec 6th
   Bethlehem’s Candle – FAITH
   Week 3: Sun, Dec 13th
   Shepard’s Candle – JOY
   Week 4: Sun, Dec 20th
   Angel’s Candle – PEACE
Dynamic Catholic: BEST ADVENT EVER
READ: “Tattoos on the Heart,” 
        by Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ
  • Advent celebrates Jesus’ birth in a manger, an unexpected place, thus challenging us to see the face of God everywhere – especially where we least expect
  • The book is about Fr. Greg Boyle’s gang intervention program, Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, and how he sees God in the homies and homegirls
  • Read 9 pages per day to complete the book during the Advent season
  • Commitment: read 9 pages per day
Sunday Mass: HOMILIES 
  • Fr. Grogan and Fr. Emmons will read “Tattoos on the Heart” with the parish
  • Within each Sunday homily both priests will connect the Advent Scripture readings from long ago to the current stories of “Tattoos on the Heart”
  • A way for us to have a shared narrative as a parish family during this season
  • Commitment: read “Tattoos on the Heart” (reading schedule provided)
WEDNESDAY Advent Testimony Series
  • Every Wednesday, 7:00 – 7:30 pm
  • Zoom and Dial-In details provided below
  • Join either by phone or computer
  • Opening carol, short prayer, testimony, closing carol
  • A way to gather during these socially distanced times
  • See below for weekly themes, cantors, and speakers
  • Commitment: 30 minutes per week
Advent 2020 
WEDNESDAY Advent Testimony Series
Time: Wednesdays @ 7PM (reoccurring)
Join Zoom Meeting (by Video):
Meeting ID: 890 0313 6367
Dial-In (by Phone): (929) 205-6099
5 minutes – opening carol
5 minutes – prayer
10 minutes – testimony
5 minutes – closing carol
WEEK 1: Wed, Dec 2nd [Prophet’s candle: HOPE]
  • Theme: Who is a prophet in your life that calls you closer to God?
  • Cantor, Barbara Purnell
  • Prayer Leader, David Scheid
  • Speaker, Deacon Ed Purnell
WEEK 2: Wed, Dec 9th [Bethlehem’s candle: FAITH]
  • Theme: Where is your Bethlehem, the place where you have encountered God and thus changing your perspective?
  • Cantor, Tom Johnson
  • Prayer Leader, Alicia Wells
  • Speaker, Special Guest
WEEK 3: Wed, Dec 16th [Shepherd’s candle: JOY]
  • Theme: What brings you joy and how do see the face of God in that?
  • Cantor, Darin Williams
  • Prayer Leader, Thomas Heverin
  • Speaker, Nina Heverin-Alvarado
WEEK 4, Wed, Dec 23rd [Angel’s candle: PEACE]
  • Theme: How do you speak peace into the world in your everyday life?
  • Cantor, Larry Moy
  • Prayer Leader, Bill Faust
  • Speaker, Mary McKenna
BIBLE STUDY (Changes during Advent)
Bible Study Meets Thursdays @ 7pm via Zoom
Kid’s Bible Study Meets Tuesdays @ 4pm via Zoom
Both are led by Deacon Ed & Mrs. Barbara
For details, contact: Veronica Alvarado, call/text at 267-825-2580 or email
Follow us on facebook
How to Subscribe: Text ‘HolyCrossParish5‘ to 84576

Stewards of Our Earth

A Resource brought to you by the Social Justice Committee of Holy Cross Parish
10.16.2020  [printable version]

All of God’s Creation

October is Respect Life Month, a time for Catholics to reflect more deeply on the sacred dignity of human life.


 Every human being is a child of God! He or she bears the image of Christ! We ourselves need to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants and refugees do not only represent a problem to be solved, but are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected, and loved.

~ Pope Francis, message for The World Day of Migrants and Refugees, 2014

In his new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti (Brothers All), Pope Francis describes steps he says countries should take to integrate migrants more adeptly. He says businesses should direct themselves to eliminate poverty, “especially through the creation of diversified work opportunities.” He says people born into privilege must remember that others — the poor, the disabled — need a “proactive state” more than they do. “Other cultures are not ‘enemies’ from which we need to protect ourselves, but differing reflections of the inexhaustible richness of human life.”


Detention Centers

“On April 6, 2018, the administration announced a “zero tolerance” immigration policy that requires every undocumented adult immigrant and asylum seeker in the U.S. to be criminally prosecuted under federal law. As a result, over 2,000 children were forcibly separated from their families, labeled ‘unaccompanied,’ and transported to remote shelters around the country. After intense political backlash, on June 20, 2018, an executive order ended family separation by requiring that children be detained with their parents in family detention centers instead. The reunification plan for families already separated remains unclear.” (Worth Rises, a non-profit advocacy organization)

More than 100 ICE detention centers are operated by for-profit corporations. Nationwide, an estimated 72% of people held in ICE custody are in some kind of privatized detention facility. (Southern Policy Law Center)

Proposed Regulation Violates Immigrants’ Privacy

“In September 2020, the Department of Homeland Security published a proposed ruling that would vastly expand collection of biometric data, including iris scans, palm- and voice-prints, facial recognition images, and DNA, from immigrants. Currently, most immigrants are only required to submit fingerprints, signatures, and photos. The new ruling would also extend these biometric data requirements to U.S. citizens who sponsor immigrants.

The Department of Homeland Security claims that it needs this information to ascertain identity, avoid fraud and confirm family relationships. However, this move raises serious privacy issues including the use and long-term retention of this very personal data. The American Civil Liberties Union notes that Department of Homeland Security has not indicated if and how these changes are related to any specific security need. The new ruling would also apply to persons under fourteen years of age.” (Sisters of Mercy Justice Team)

Join the movement of thousands of people of faith pledging to: “Vote with love in action in mind so as to protect life, respect human dignity, and promote the common good, including God’s gift of creation.

Pledge to “Vote with Love in Action”

“As people of faith, we do not seek to elect only those who believe as we do. We believe that our faith calls us to advocate for the common good for all. For that reason, we will elect leaders who commit to an ethic of love in their public and political lives.” (2020 Vote Common Good)

For more information on Social Justice Committee of Holy Cross Parish, contact Mary Nolan:

Holy Cross Parish Re-Opening on Weekend of June 6th & 7th

I know that you have heard by now that this is the last weekend of our exile. We’re moving forward with plans to re-open on the weekend of June 6 & 7. We anticipate that our part of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania will enter the “Yellow” stage at midnight on June 5, and we will be back — with restrictions described here (you’ll need to scroll about halfway down the page).

In this in-between moment, we’re trying to discern all the practical needs we’ll experience at that point. Meanwhile, have a look at pew restrictions that we’ll need for the time being. (This is also the last look you’ll have at missalettes for some time.)

Clearly, everyone coming to church will need to be wearing a face covering of some sort. We will have disposable masks on hand, but I must recommend that, if you haven’t done so already, please secure a face covering for yourself quickly.

We have a strategy in hand for disinfecting the church, with special attention to most-commonly-touched surfaces, after each gathering.

Still trying to construe the most effective and least hurtful way to limit the congregation size to 25 people. Conversations are ongoing; and I know that we’ll arrive at a solution we can all live with.

You’ll need to keep watching this space for the next couple of days as more specific plans develop around as many of the concerns we can anticipate; and you’ll need to tell us when we’re missing pieces that are important to you.

We’re caught, aren’t we, between the longing to return to church (among other things that we sorely miss), and the fear that the risk to personal health and safety is still too great. I share with you the longing as well as the fear; and I have been convinced, as you are, that now is the time more than ever to act as if we really are “our brothers’ keepers” — which of course means that all the concerns for our own safety must be concerns for the safety of each other. No one stands alone.

FlockNote: Sent by Rev. William E. Grogan



Archbishop Pérez announces Masses to resume weekend of June 6th.

Statement from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Regarding the Projected Resumption of the Public Celebration of Mass in the Five-County Region:

In mid-March, the celebration of public Mass was suspended in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the obligation for the faithful to attend Mass was dispensed. Those decisions were not made lightly and were always intended to be temporary measures.

They were made out of necessity for the common good and in recognition of the fact that all of us share a responsibility for the preservation of public health, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this unprecedented time, the Archdiocese has made every effort to provide for the spiritual needs of the faithful as well as the temporal needs of those who benefit from its many charitable works.

It is important to note that Catholic churches in the Archdiocese have never been closed. Local parish churches have remained open for private prayer as well as the celebration of the Sacraments Baptism, Penance, Matrimony, and funeral Masses at the discretion of the local pastor and with respect for guidelines from public health officials as they have evolved over time.

Based on recent statements from government officials at the state level, it is anticipated that the five-county region comprising the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will move into the “yellow” phase of the statewide re-opening plan by Friday, June 5th. As such, it is projected that the celebration of daily and Sunday Masses will resume beginning on Saturday, June 6th.

The administration of the Archdiocese has been working in consultation with public health officials to ensure that such a resumption takes place within the context of state approved guidelines and is actively working to provide appropriate guidance to its clergy so that all will be as prepared as possible when the public celebration of Mass begins again. All of us are eager to open the doors of Church wide for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.


Editor’s Note: The period immediately following the lifting of the COVID-19 restrictions requires us to be ready to assist people to reintegrate into an active, in person engagement with parish life. As a result, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia previously launched an initiative aimed at achieving this goal, “Arise!: Restoring Catholic Life After the Pandemic.” Further information about this program can be found at

Contact: Kenneth A. Gavin
Chief Communications Officer
215-587-3747 (office)