Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Dear Friends in Christ:
Earlier this afternoon we received word from Bishop Malloy that, regrettably, we will need to suspend the public celebration of Mass at least until Saturday, April 4th. As Bishop writes: “First and foremost, we are people of faith. Our lives of prayer, the sacraments and the practice of our faith come together as our witness to the gift of faith. In that context, the Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’ At the same time, as citizen we are participants in our society and so we bear our responsibility to contribute to the common good.” Hence, the temporary suspension of the public celebration of Mass.
We priests will continue to celebrate each Mass every day so that the intention of the Mass is being offered as scheduled, and in order to seek God’s grace for all of us during these challenging times. We will be looking for ways for you to be able to watch those Masses via technology as soon as we can. We will also publish for you a listing of other on-line and televised Mass options.
In the meantime, our parish confession times will be able to continue as regularly scheduled, our parish adoration chapel will remain open as always, and we will be opening up the church itself each day for private prayer. The Bishop has also asked that all parish offices be open only on a very minimal schedule, and only for essential business. As soon as we have those office hours worked out we will let you know. Of course, as always, we priests are available for sick calls and the need for Last Rites. In addition, we will be able to continue with funeral Masses when necessary, and baptisms as scheduled.
We will have much more information for you tomorrow, but wanted to get this initial information to you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your prayers, your patience, and your understanding as these steps have been taken. Please also continue to look out for one another (in particular your neighbors who may be vulnerable to the virus) and to trust in God. Jesus is victorious over all things, and that will certainly be the case in this situation, too! Count on the prayers of your priests and deacons and staff for all of you, and watch your email and the parish website for more information on an on-going basis.