Pastoral Letter to St. Mark Parishioners

My dear friends,

I hope you and your families are doing well! As the spread of Coronavirus continues taking many lives with it and more and more people getting infected, our stress on all levels also skyrockets. I had the opportunity to get in touch with some of you and I am glad to hear that you are doing well and are taken care of either by your family or neighbors with regard to essential needs. Many of you have reached out to us asking how Fr. Russ and I are doing and we greatly appreciate your prayers and concern for us. Those of you with young children, I can imagine your struggles with parks, beaches, and playgrounds being closed or partially open.

This Sunday is Palm Sunday and with this we enter into the Holiest Week of the Church. We will miss you at the solemn liturgies over the Holy Week and Easter Sunday. But please know that we will be together in spirit and will offer Mass for all of you.

As the COVID-19 continues to spread, President and our Governor have asked all people to continue to stay in their homes. Due to this Bishop Caggiano has extended the suspension of all Masses until April 30. This puts all of us in very dire situation, including our parish. Businesses are closed and many of you have lost your jobs due to which many poor families are struggling to put food on the table.  We hope and pray that this crisis ends soon so that we can get back to our normal life. 

The parish offertory is our principal means of income which provides for ongoing expenses related to our ministry, maintenance, staff salary and other expenses. It brings an income of between $8000-$9000 per week. With further suspension of Mass, it will have a significantly negative impact on our parish finance. I very much appreciate those of you who have been sending your donations either by mailing your envelops or using online giving. Hereby I request all St. Mark parishioners to please consider mailing in your donation to the parish office or use online giving. This will help to continue our essential services, provide cash flow for employee payroll and other maintenance. 

For those of you who are not familiar with online giving, following is the Step – by – step instructions:

  • Go to the Online Giving web site (HERE).
  • It will ask you to login.
    • The returning givers will be able to login by entering their User Name and Password.
    • Those who are new, click on “Create New Account”.
  • Then follow the step-by-step instructions. You will be able to give your contribution to the parish online safely via an encrypted website”. 

As we have no way of reaching out to all parishioners, sign up for Flocknote by texting “StMarkChurch to 84576, or visit our Flocknote page (and refer others to do the same) or ask them to read my message on the St. Mark website. Thank you for your continued support of St. Mark Church and may God bless and protect you. With our Lord on our side, this also shall pass!

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Birendra Soreng


  1. GERRI SZABO says:

    We are praying for an end for this crisis and sincerely miss being able to attend church.

    We are so happy to have been able to find your thoughtful comments on line. We are praying for an end to this terrible virus and all the deaths it has caused.
    Today Jim and I are celebrating our 61st anniversary of our wedding. We have been fortunate to have had two sons and a daughter and seven grandsons and two granddaughters. Unfortunately our daughter passed away three years ago.
    We understand the need to continue to support the church during this crisis and will send our donations on a regular basis.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with both of you. I’m sure that Gemma misses her Mondays with the money counters and the treats she looks forward to. I know I will look forward to our regular schedule again.