I know how frustrated we all must be with all the changes and adaptations necessary because of this coronavirus. Yet an on-going and very real concern is curbing the virus and safeguarding the health of us all. With that in mind we have a new development and that is that PUBLIC CELEBRATION OF THE EUCHARIST WILL BE SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. That means that we cannot have Masses at which the faithful are present in person. However, we will be streaming Masses which will be available on our website. We are allowed to have necessary ministers (4 or 5) to assist with the Masses that are celebrated, but no public gathering is allowed.
The Masses that will be streamed are 4:30pm on Saturday and 8:15am Sunday morning. These can be viewed here on our website at the time of streaming or throughout the weekend. It is hoped that all will take advantage of this opportunity to be joined in prayer with Christ and our parish community. For those accustomed to attending daily Mass, we will stream a Mass at 7:00 am Monday through Friday which can be watched at that time or anytime throughout the day.
We want to have the church open for perpetual adoration and personal prayer at all times other than during the Masses. The adoration chapel because it is somewhat confined will be closed; however, the church will be available 24 hours a day other than times when Mass is being celebrated for personal prayer and adoration with Christ present in the tabernacle. The front doors of the church will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Those signed up for adoration between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. can enter through the usual entrance and then have access to go upstairs into the church.
The Sacrament of Penance will be celebrated at the regular times. Penitents are asked to use the screen rather than sitting face to face; again, this is to minimize direct contact. Other sacraments such as baptisms, marriages, anointing of the sick, funerals can be arranged on an individual basis with one of the priests.
All gatherings for various programs, classes and activities at the parish are suspended until further notice. We will keep you updated with regular emails and on our website regarding developments. Please restrict your visiting of the parish offices. Many items such as Mass intentions, appointments can be handled with email or a phone call rather than with a personal visit. Obviously you are asked not to interact with others if you are ill or have been exposed to the virus. Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a time of adjustment for all of us and it is not easy. I am sure not coming together personally as a parish community to celebrate the Eucharist will be missed by many. Even more important, not being able to join personally in the Mass and to receive Jesus in Holy Communion is an even greater deprivation. Hopefully, this will cause us to yearn even more for the wonderful gift of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist.
I am reminded of the Catholics of Japan who were deprived of the Eucharist for over 200 years. Yet the faith survived because it was strongly alive within the hearts of the people and lived within the family. This is a special time of some special family prayer….watching the Mass together, making a spiritual Communion, praying the rosary as a family, reading and sharing on the Sunday scriptures, accessing FORMED on our website. This is not a time for discouragement, but of trying new ways to not give in to panic, but to deepen our faith with an awareness that Christ promised that He is always with us. (Matthew 28:20).