5/8/20 Letter from Fr. Max

Dear Friends in Christ:

On behalf of the entire staff of the parish, Blessed Easter season to all of you!  You are constantly in our daily prayers and thoughts.  And just as you miss being able to gather with us for Mass and other events, we deeply miss seeing all of you.  We love you, and we anxiously look forward to that day when the faces and hearts of our beautiful Parish Family will once again fill the pews of St. Mary!  As you know, the Governor not only recently extended the “stay at home” mandate until the end of May, but also released the State’s “five-phase” re-opening plan for businesses and other institutions.  From that plan, it is clear that we will not be able to have public Masses with larger crowds until the fifth and final phase, for which there is no date that has yet been set.

With that in mind, for the time being at least, we will simply need to maintain what we have been doing over the last several weeks.  In that regard, the church remains open for your private prayer every day from 8:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.  And you will continue to find prayer resources and the latest bulletin on a table in the narthex for your use.  Please feel free to come by at any time to pray, to walk the stations of the cross, to light candles, and to spend time with our Eucharistic Lord Jesus in the tabernacle!  He is truly present there, and you can share with Him whatever is in your heart.  And just as you do when participating in Mass on-line, you can pray the “act of spiritual communion” and be confident that Christ will bless you with His merciful love and peaceful presence in a beautiful way!

We are still able to hear confessions at our regularly scheduled times, and to celebrate Funeral Masses and baptisms for immediate families.  And if you have a loved one who is seriously ill and needs the Anointing of the Sick, please call the parish office and we will be honored to bring that sacrament to them.  Finally, please know that Fr. Pluth, Fr. Jerome and I are privately saying Mass every day in order to ensure that all the scheduled Mass intentions are being offered to the Lord.

I would also like to encourage you to sign up for “Formed,” if you haven’t already done so.  It’s a free, on-line service which the parish offers to you, and it contains a wealth of prayer and catechetical resources for everyone in the family!  You can find information about how to register for “Formed” both on our parish website and in the weekly bulletin.  In particular, I would highly recommend the resources regarding both the Eucharist and our Mother, Mary for your consideration.

As you know, May is a month during which we traditionally honor Mary in a special way.  Attached here you will find a ritual you can use at home for simple “May crowning” ceremony, as well as a beautiful blessing for Mother’s Day. The May crowning can be as simple as placing a statue or image of the Blessed Mother in a special place within your home…maybe on your mantle or prayer altar.  If you have a larger statue, it could be an enjoyable family activity to pick some flowers from your yard to fashion the crown for Mary, or perhaps your children could make one from some art materials you have on hand.  Another creative idea I’ve heard about recently is using tissue paper or washable paints to fashion a “stained glass” window for the front of your home.  This month would be a wonderful time to include an image of Mary in that activity, as a beautiful way of proclaiming to your neighborhood your love for Our Lady and our Catholic faith.

It goes without saying that the Rosary is especially appropriate this month, as well.  It’s a great way to honor Mary, and to ask for her protection and presence within our homes and over our families. During any time of crisis, Mary’s intercession is more important than ever!  Of course, as we look for ways to honor our Blessed Mother this month, our thoughts and prayers also turn to our own mothers. Whether they are still with us or have passed over to the other side of life, let’s make sure to keep them in prayer, and to express our love and gratitude…not only on “Mother’s Day,” but all year long!  Holy Mary, Mother of the Church and our mother, pray for us!  And may Her Risen Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, watch over each of you and surround you with His love every day.

In Christ,

Fr. Max       

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May Crowning at Home

All gather around the statue to be crowned.

Prayer Leader:

“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Blessed are you, Lord, God of Heaven and earth,
for in your mercy and justice you cast down the mighty and exalt the lowly.
Your marvelous wisdom is shown above all in the Word made flesh and in his Virgin Mother.
For he, your Son, who freely humbled himself even unto death on the cross,
now sits at your right hand and is radiant with unending glory,
the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
and she, the Virgin who wished to be called your servant, was singled out to be Mother of the Redeemer and true Mother of all the living:
now she is exalted above the choir of angels and reigns in glory with her Son,
praying for all of us, the Queen of mercy, pleading for grace.
Merciful Lord, look upon us your servants, who by crowning this image of the Mother of your Son, proclaim him as King of all creation and approach her as our Queen.
Give us the grace to follow them in serving you; to do what love demands for the sake of our
brothers and sisters;
to deny ourselves and spend ourselves, so as to win our neighbors for you;
to be lowly on earth, so as to be exalted in heaven, where you reward your faithful servants
with a crown of life.
We make our prayer always through Mary’s child, Jesus, who is Lord forever and ever. Amen.”

If you have some available, sprinkle the crown with holy water, then crown Mary.

End by praying a “Hail Mary” together, and/or by singing an appropriate Marian hymn. 

A Household Prayer for Mother’s Day

This prayer may be used separately, or as a part of the Grace before a meal.

All present may stretch out their hands over the mother in a gesture of blessing.

 And all pray together:

 “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Loving God, as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children, so you watch over your Church.  Bless our mother.
Let the example of her faith and love shine forth.
Grant that we, her family, may honor her always with a spirit of profound respect.
Grant this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.”


Bishop Malloy’s Letter (Updated 4/9/20)