Just after 4:00 pm on Monday March 16, 2020, Archbishop Carlson issued a mandate suspending the public celebration of Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, and other group services, Bible studies, and activities, beginning immediately. When I was ordained a priest, I made a promise of respect and obedience to the archbishop. In that spirit of obedience and in accordance with this mandate, I will continue to offer Holy Mass daily, but in private, and will still hear Confessions on Saturday evening at 4:00 pm, but only from behind the screen. The church will remain open for your private prayer, but all communal celebrations will be stopped with the hope of resuming April 6th (pending future evaluation). In the meantime, I encourage you to take the opportunity for personal prayer, meditation on the daily scripture readings, and when possible watch the Holy Mass on the internet or television. I will continue to offer the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick for those who are seriously ill or near death and funeral Masses will be permitted, but we will do our best to limit the number of people in attendance.
I respectfully remind you that even though we cannot gather for Holy Mass on Sunday, we are still to keep Sunday as the Lord’s Day. I encourage you to spend time in prayer as a family on Sunday. This may include watching Mass, prayerfully praying with the readings for the day, and offering other devotionals. It is my prayer that this forced separation from receiving the Eucharist, will only deepen our love and appreciation for Our Lord who offers Himself to us in the Eucharist.
Our staff remains committed to serving you. Should you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to ask. In the midst of these sudden and unexpected changes, I ask you to consider continuing to support our parish financially. Even though we cannot gather for Holy Mass, our parish is still facing our usual expenses and we will need your continued support. As always, you can make your weekly contribution online, mail it to the parish, or drop it off at the parish office.
Please know of my daily prayers for your family. I will continue to work here at the parish and I am always available to minister to you should you need anything. I anxiously await the moment when we will gather together again as a parish family.
Fr. Peter Fonseca