2020 World Hunger Drive

The Monsignor McSweeney World Hunger Drive is kicking off. To learn how the drive is adjusting to meet the demands of the current Covid-19 restrictions and how you and your family can help this very important cause, click here to visit the  World Hunger Drive page of our website.

We are one human family, moved by the Spirit. St. Matthew parishioners have already helped to contribute $250,000 for local families in need, now, let’s take care of our family in Haiti.

Thank you for your gift of love to help the poorest of the poor.

RCIA

Are you, or is someone you know, considering joining the Catholic Church? Are you, or is someone you know, hoping to receive the sacrament of Confirmation or recommit to the Catholic Church after a long time away?

We have two RCIA inquiry nights coming up:

Option 1:
August 10, 2020, 7 pm
Zoom – join us via zoom to hear more about the RCIA program and ask any questions you might have.
Zoom meeting link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81882474195

Option 2:
August 20, 2020, 7 pm
Banquet Room, St. Matthew Catholic Church
Please note, a mask covering the nose and mouth are required at all times when on our campus.

See the RCIA page on the website, available via this link, for an interest form, schedule, and more.

Questions? Contact Rachel Willoughby at rachelw@stmatthewcatholic.org.

Statement on Combatting Racism

A letter from our priests
Dear St. Matthew Family,
The brutal death of George Floyd and other African Americans in police custody has again brought national attention to the issue of racial injustice in our country. We, the priests of St. Matthew Catholic Church, stand in full solidarity with the recent statements of Pope Francis, Archbishop José Gomez, and the chairmen of the US bishops committees condemning these actions and calling on all Catholics to respond to the issue of racism in our time.
Racism is a sin against the truth that we are all created in the image of God, equal in dignity as part of one human family (Gen 1:27). Racism is a sin against the truth that we are united in Christ, such that in the Church “there is neither Jew nor Greek… for you are all one in Christ” (Gal 3:28). Racism is a sin against the truth that we are all called to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, a place for “every nation… all tribes and peoples and tongues” (Rev 7:9). Racism is a sin against the truth that God has given human beings differences of race and culture in order to enrich society and the Church by the diversity of the human family.
Racism is a sin against justice and charity because it is a failure to recognize the human dignity of our brothers and sisters. As St. John teaches us, “he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20); indeed, “anyone who hates his brother is a murderer” (1 John 3:15).
As the US bishops reminded us in their 2018 pastoral letter, Open Wide Our Hearts, racism is a sin that can take different forms. It can be a personal sin arising from an attitude of the heart, leading to exclusion, mistreatment, ridicule, or unjust discrimination against other persons on the basis of their race or ethnicity. Racism can be a sin of omission, when we fail to act against racially unjust actions perpetrated by others. Racism can also be institutional, when personal sins of racism accumulate over time to create institutions, practices, or traditions that treat certain groups of people unjustly.
The US bishops have continually called attention to the lasting social effects of slavery, segregation, lynching, and other injustices perpetrated against African Americans in our nation’s history. We must resolve to contend with this tragic legacy and right the wrongs that remain. As the US bishops have stated: “Racism can only end if we contend with the policies and institutional barriers that perpetuate and preserve the inequality—economic and social—that we still see all around us. With renewed vigor, we call on the members of the Body of Christ to join others in advocating and promoting policies at all levels that will combat racism and its effects in our civic and social institutions.”
In the voices of so many who are crying out in the streets of our nation we hear a powerful testimony to the fact that we still live in a society where many feel excluded and unheard. As Catholics we must be attentive and willing to listen to the voices of our brothers and sisters during this time, knowing that “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Cor 12:26). We must seek real change through deeper conversion in our hearts and our lives, our homes, and our churches. We must act to correct any unjust policies and practices in our country.
We must contend with racism wherever it is found, always keeping in mind the words of St. Paul in the twelfth chapter of the Letter to the Romans: “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection… Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Please know that your priests are united with you in prayer as we all seek deeper conversion to the fullness of justice and charity to which God calls us in Christ Jesus.
In Christ,
Father John Allen – Parochial Administrator
Father Peter Ascik – Parochial Vicar
Father Binoy Daivs – Parochial Vicar
St. Matthew Catholic Church

Major Gift From St. Matthew Catholic Church Will Assist Those Most Affected By Pandemic

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, June 13, 2020 – Five major gifts totaling $250,000 are going to five Charlotte-area charities serving on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, from the largest Roman Catholic parish in the United States.

St. Matthew Catholic Church is giving $50,000 each to Crisis Assistance Ministry of Charlotte, Loaves & Fishes, Roof Above (formerly known as Urban Ministry and Men’s Shelter of Charlotte), Union County Crisis Assistance and Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Charlotte.

Charities that provide relief to individuals and families in need in our community have seen a decline in donations due to the economic impacts of the pandemic, while at the same time facing a dramatic increase in people coming to them for help.

That makes charitable giving even more critically needed at this moment, said the Rev. John Allen, parochial administrator of St. Matthew Catholic Church, “when the need for God and for the virtues of charity, humility and civility have never been greater.”

“Such a gift is only possible because of the faithful stewardship and sacrificial giving of our parish family,” Allen said of his south Charlotte parish, which has a membership of nearly 12,000 families.

The gift will enable Catholic Charities to continue serving people “living on the peripheries,” providing food aid, mental health counseling and other vital social services, said Dr. Gerard Carter, executive director and CEO.

“This funding is especially indispensable at this point in time as we actively provide direct services to those impacted by COVID-19,” Carter said. “As we unofficially say, ‘the world may have been on pause’ but the work of Catholic Charities has continued every single day since the arrival of coronavirus in our state.”

“What a wonderful gift St. Matthew has provided at a time when we are seeing unprecedented needs across this city, not only for shelter but for food, health care and emergency financial assistance to help people stay in their homes,” said Roof Above CEO Liz Clasen-Kelly. “At Roof Above we remain committed to ending homelessness in our community, and generosity like that of St. Matthew will put us one step closer to realizing that aspiration.”

Click here for a WSOC piece that mentions our parish’s gift. (mention of St. Matthew is in the video, not the article)

Mass Resumes at St. Matthew

We are so happy and grateful to announce that Masses will resume at St. Matthew the weekend of June 6 and 7. Masses will be held on Saturdays at 5:30 pm and Sundays at 9 am and 12:30 pm, with very limited seating capacity. While we are filled with joy, we are also anticipating some time of adjustment as we get used to our new procedures and limited capacity. During this time, we ask for our parish family to treat each other and our clergy and staff with kindness, approach the new Mass procedures with patience and understand that while we are thrilled to be back in our Church and worshipping with you, it’s going to feel “different” and will take a bit of getting used to. We ask that you please take the time to carefully read the new procedures document, attached here, in order to avoid any surprises and to make sure you feel as comfortable as possible attending Mass.

Please remember there is still a dispensation granted from Bishop Jugis if you are not comfortable attending Mass, and we will still be streaming Mass online. We will also continue to offer Communion services Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The sign-ups for Communion services can be accessed here.

Please continue to pray for our parish as we navigate these new procedures and are able to begin celebrating Masses as a parish family. We are thankful for you and are blessed to have such a vibrant and engaged parish community!

 

Looking forward to our church opening back up for Masses? Please take the time to watch this very informative video that explains all procedures and processes that will be in place as we return. We look forward to celebrating Mass with you!

Sidewalk Advocates for Life Online Training Available

Would you like to learn how to help mothers in crisis pregnancies choose life at the abortion center? Sidewalk Advocates for Life offers a comprehensive training course in peaceful, prayerful, law-abiding sidewalk advocacy (sidewalk counseling) methods that seek to reach the woman’s heart and supply her needs so she can confidently choose life. Now, for a limited time, this training course can be completed online! Get trained and become part of our local team of dedicated pro-life advocates working to help women and end abortion in our community. To get started, please fill out a brief application at www.sidewalkadvocates.org/trainingapp. Then we will be in touch with the next steps for accessing the online training.
There is a $15 dollar donation for this training to help cover program costs.
For questions, contact our Charlotte chapter at:
prolifesignup@gmail.com
Program Director: Father Peter Ascik
Find more information at www.sidewalkadvocates.org

Elements of the Catholic Mass Video Series

The Liturgical institute has produced a series called “Elements of the Catholic Mass.” In this series each individual part of the Mass is explained in its larger meaning. While we are apart from being physically present at the Mass for a time, how beautiful it would be for our community to return to our Eucharistic Celebration with a new and deeper understanding of the unifying and healing mystery that is the Mass!

You can access the entire series here to view at your own pace: https://www.elementsofthecatholicmass.com/episodes . A preview of the series is below. We hope you enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions About Current Procedures for Reception of Holy Communion

We know that the desire to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist is deep in the heart of every parishioner. As we carefully work through the process of sharing the sacraments and reopening the parish in the safest way possible, we thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. Please continue to pray for our parish family, for a true sense of peace and grace that comes only from Our Lord.
For frequently asked questions about current procedures for reception of Holy Communion, click here.

Family Prayer Service

Family Prayer Service

Until we are able to once again gather for the celebration of Mass, please join us on MATTtv for the daily and Sunday Masses. 

 As an additional resource, the following prayer service is perfect for sharing prayer and the Mass readings with your family.

Begin in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Pray

I confess to Almighty God
and to you my brothers and sisters
that I have greatly sinned
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault;
therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.

Read the readings of the day, which can be found at http:/usccb.org/bible/readings/, or in books like Our Daily Bread, Magnificat.

Pray the Apostle’s Creed

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.

Prayers of Petition

Spend a moment offering prayers of petition for the Church and the Holy Father, the world and your family, for those you love and for those you know are in need.

Pray the Our Father

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Pray

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us. (two times) Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Pray

Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

Make a Spiritual Communion

Close your eyes, picture Jesus standing next to you and pray: My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things, and I long for you in my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come now spiritually into my soul. As I await the next opportunity to attend Holy Mass and receive You sacramentally in Holy Communion, I wish for your indwelling in my soul. Amen.

Close by praying the Hail Mary and Saint Michael the Archangel prayers.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do you, o Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.