It is with obvious sadness that I announce the near suspension of parish life due to the outbreak of Covid-19. All public Masses are suspended through at least Easter Sunday, including Holy Week. All Catholics in the Archdiocese are dispensed from their Sunday obligation to attend Mass until then. Please check the webpage and parish calendar for when the Sacrament of Penance and when the Church open for personal prayer. Please observe all guidelines from the government and the CDC regarding social distancing. These are all subject to change as we see how things will work. If there is an emergency that requires Last Rites, we are responding, and exceptions have been made in hospitals and nursing homes for priests to allow for this.
Please note that the priests will continue to offer Mass privately and will remember each of you in our Masses. Mass will continue to be offered, but it must be done privately. While I share your disappointment and confusion, this is yet another opportunity that the Lord has sent to us to unite ourselves more closely to His cross. For it is only through suffering that we can be open to the graces that God wishes us to have. We can truly experience the desert during this time while growing in a greater appreciation for the Sacraments. This is a difficult way to go about that, but know that God always brings great good out of evil, and this will be no different. Christ has still risen from the dead, and in rising from the dead, He has conquered death and given life to all those in the tomb.
The ordination of Bro. Brent & Bro. Henry to the diaconate has also been postponed until a later date. Once we have a better idea as to what is happening, a new date will be set. I ask you to offer your suffering in not having the Sacraments as readily available as we are used to with their sacrifice in the delay of the ordination they have prepared for very much. There is sacrifice across the board, and hopefully we use this as a chance to grow in greater virtue. Look for the silver lining and the good, even in the midst of trial!
Please remember that we are here, and we will be here when the Masses resume again. Until then, we should listen to what the government is saying and prudently make the changes they are recommending. Whether this is as serious as the greatest warning or something being overblown, we will not regret being prudent at this time. We want to ensure that our hospitals and medical facilities continue operating as best that they can and that we prevent the spread of this to our elderly and sick. Whatever is happening, we do know that people are getting ill, and they are dying. We have an obligation out of the common good and justice to ensure we keep the most vulnerable safe and protected.
Know that we are praying for each of you and ask you to pray for us. If you would like to continue your contribution, Old St. Mary’s can accept online donations, and we are working on this for Sacred Heart. You can also mail in your contributions. Please be safe, and God Bless!