Important Parish Information

Please note changes to Mass times below effective Oct 31st

A Reflection for the thth Sunday of Easter

May 30, 2020

A New Pentecost ?

A Pentecostal reflection by father brian

I watched the movie Contagion the other night. Released 9 years ago, it’s amazing how closely it resembles the pandemic we’re facing today. As a woman returns from a business trip to Hong Kong, she and her son die from some type of flu and the spread of a deadly infection begins spreading across the country. And we see the same type of response by government officials, healthcare professionals, and the CDC and WHO, and the effect on everyday people as the contagion spreads to millions of people worldwide.

By now, you may be aware that our Diocese has just provided us guidelines for the Restoration of Public Worship. We will begin being able to celebrate weekday Masses in our Parishes later this month. The obligation to attend Sunday Mass will remain dispensed until further notice.

We don’t know what will happen regarding the coronavirus. And Spiritually, there is the unknown regarding the impact the lockdown, or rather, the lockout, will have on the future of the practice of the Faith, and the Liturgies and activities of our Parishes.

Could we experience A New Pentecost ? Or will we see the continued decline of worship and belief that we’ve witnessed occurring dramatically over the last 50 years ?

Cardinal Raymond Burke has concern that Catholics could lose a sense of the Sacred. “The Sacred in the highest sense, in the sense that we see and we experience, the Sacred is Christ Himself in our midst acting to sanctify us.” Through the Sacraments, Christ acts “to forgive our sins, to fortify us with the gift of His Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist, and strengthen us in serious illness,” he said. Adding, that we can lose all sense of the fact that the Holy Communion we receive comes from The Sacrifice in which we are taking part, uniting ourselves to Christ.

Cardinal Burke says that he fears that the cancellation of public Masses has caused an erosion of Catholics’ belief in the centrality of the Eucharist and of our obligation to attend Mass on Sunday. Perhaps even good people might prefer taking part in Mass in the comforts of their home, with the TV. He pointed out that “this isn’t participating in Holy Mass. it’s a holy thing to watch the Mass and to be in awe of it, but it’s not participation. Christ isn’t present on the television screen. And He’s not in your home by that means,” he said.

Finally, his answer. “We're going to have to restore very much the catechesis with regard to the Eucharist, and the whole sense of the Sunday Mass obligation.”

Our Diocese has asked us Priests to remind our people about the proper disposition necessary for the reception of Holy Communion.

a. Our attendance is first and foremost for the worship of Almighty God. The faithful are not required to receive Holy Communion every time they attend Mass.

b. All who present themselves for Holy Communion should be properly prepared to receive.

c. This preparation involves a careful examination of conscience and should regularly involve the Sacrament of Penance.

We also plan on catechizing regarding the nature and importance of the Mass itself. In the meantime we encourage making a Spiritual Act of Communion, and offer the following prayer:

An Act of Spiritual Communion

St. Alphonsus Liguori

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.

I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.

I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.

Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

On a positive note, Bishop Athanasius Schneider believes that this lockdown can bring about ‘ Great Spiritual Benefit ! ’

Perhaps this is a “purifying Divine intervention that has the power to show all of us what is truly essential in the Church: the Eucharistic Sacrifice of Christ with His Body and Blood and the eternal salvation of immortal souls,” he said. “This time of deprivation of Holy Mass and the Sacraments may lead to a new hunger for the Eucharist after the coronavirus epidemic has passed, and inflame the hearts of people with a longing for it, those of course who really believe and love the Eucharist.

Perhaps we, that have become so accustomed to the Holy of Holies, maybe as ordinary and common, can experience a spiritual conversion and treat the Holy Eucharist henceforth as extraordinary and sublime,” he suggested.

And that our families, our Catholic families, use this time, to experience literally the meaning of a domestic church, sanctifying the Day of the Lord, uniting themselves spiritually with the Holy Masses they may need to watch together on TV, and praying together, urging all families develop the habit of praying the Rosary daily.

Yes - there can be a new Pentecost !

Come Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful
and enkindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And You shall renew the face of the earth.

As we begin our phased-in process of re-opening, we need to keep in mind that we have a moral responsibility to do everything we can - to help protect OTHERS !

We will be doing our best to keep everyone as protected as reasonably possible given the present circumstances.

We will be asking for your patience, and in a way, submission and obedience, to the upcoming guidelines that we will be implementing for those who choose to attend Mass in this unique situation that we face.

We understand that there are many schools of thought regarding the reopening of our country. Some that are very cautious and protective, and others that think this is no big deal, and many falling somewhere in between. As this is The Liturgy of the Church, we are all required, faithful and clergy, to strictly conform to the guidelines promulgated by the Diocese, the Parish plans currently being developed, and the limitations established by state and local authorities. We thank you ahead for your understanding and anticipated cooperation.

And it is reasonable at this time, particularly for those at high risk, the elderly and those with underlying health issues, to be unable or feel uncomfortable returning to Mass at this time. Keep in mind Bishop Cote has dispensed the obligation to attend Sunday Mass until further notice. Since Sunday is still the Lord’s Day, the faithful are encouraged to do one of the following if not attending Mass:

a. Read and reflect on the Sunday scriptures;

b. Pray the rosary reflecting on the Glorious Mysteries;

c. Watch the Sunday Mass on TV, or via the internet.

Your parish priests are offering private Masses for all the people of the parish every day. Please be assured of our prayers for you and your families. God bless you dearly.

fr. brian :)

Come, Holy Spirit, we need you.
Come, Sweet Spirit, we pray.
Come, in Thy Splendor, Thy Power.
Come, in Thy own Gentle Way

Additional information