ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS - A Unity Mass and Breakfast gathering at the Shore Casino is being planned by the parish council of Our Lady of Perpetual Help-St. Agnes Church, an enthusiastic pastor, the Rev. Fernando Lopez, announced this week.

     Members of the Council addressed churchgoers at last weekend's masses to announce the idea of a mass at the Atlantic Highlands Yacht Harbor on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 10:15.am. There would be no 7:30 mass at St. Agnes that day, and the 10:15 at the Yacht Harbor would replace the 10:45 mass usually held at St. Agnes.

     "This will be a wonderful end to the summer season, and give our parishioners an opportunity to get together like the family we are," the pastor said, "the Council came to me with the idea and I give it my full support."  Father also noted he realizes parishioners are facing a lot of changes within the parish, given the construction and demolitions projects scheduled over the next couple of months, "and this will give everyone a chance to relax and take some time to simply enjoy each other's company." 

       Tom Gaffey has been named chairman of the Unity Mass and Breakfast committee, assisted by Muriel J. Smith, with all members of the Parish Council and other organizations within the parish assisting. 

    The 10:15 mass would be held at the open air Gazebo at the entrance to the Harbor, and the Breakfast, by reservation only, would follow immediately at the Shore Casino. Should the weather be inclement, the Mass would be at the Shore Casino. Bleachers are in place at the Gazebo, however, guests are invited to bring their own beach chairs as well.

    "I believe this is the first time a mass will be offered at the Yacht Harbor," Gaffey said, "and we are all appreciative of the Mayor and Council, the police department and the Harbor Commission for enabling us to make this a reality, and possibly the start of a new tradition."

    The Council is also inviting parishioners to e-mail photos of past events or happenings at both churches over the past decades, in order to provide a pictorial and entertaining history of the parish during the Breakfast. Photos can be e-mailed to  media@olphstagnes.org

      All are invited to the mass, Gaffey stressed, but tickets are necessary for the Breakfast. Tickets, at $25, will be available beginning after all the masses on the August 4 weekend, as well as at the church rectory on Center Avenue, Atlantic Highlands. They will be available after all masses in both our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. Agnes churches through Sept. 22.

    For further information, call the parish office at 732-291-0272.