My Dear Parishioners,
As of the publishing of this column the restriction on celebrating public Mass was continued until further notice. The Archdiocese has also notified churches that this will continue through Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Sunday is Palm Sunday and palm will be blessed and made available for pick up in the church. As long as we are able to record the Sunday Mass and make it available on WRDV-FM 89.3, we will continue to do so. The same is true for the video on our website. Please stay tuned to the parish website for updates and future broadcasts, www.saintjosephchurch.us.
St. Joseph Church will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, and from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon for personal prayer. Please be mindful of others and maintain at least 6 feet between you and others. Make use of the antibacterial gel at the exits. We will continue with confessions on Saturday from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and also on this Wednesday, April 8th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Please note that this is the final Wednesday in Lent and also the last opportunity for confession. The Archdiocese has asked us to change the place for confession, to one that is better ventilated and allows for great distance. So for now, confessions will be heard in the church sacristy, which is off the same hallway as our present confessionals. Also it will only be available behind a screen, face to face is not an option.
For those who cannot get to or are prohibited from coming to confession because of the coronarvirus, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has issued the following instruction:
The faithful, who desire to celebrate the Sacrament but are inhibited for one reason or another should be catechized about the benefit of perfect contrition for sins and the gift of special indulgences at this time. Catechesis for publication on both of these practices will be on the website of the Office for Divine Worship. For convenience sake, here is a description of perfect contrition:
Where the individual faithful find themselves in the painful impossibility of receiving sacramental absolution, it should be remembered that perfect contrition, coming from the love of God, beloved above all things, expressed by a sincere request for forgiveness (that which the penitent is at present able to express) and accompanied by votum confessionis, that is, by the firm resolution to have recourse, as soon as possible, to sacramental confession, obtains forgiveness of sins, even mortal ones (cf. CCC, no. 1452).
Thus, perfect contrition requires • the love of God • the sincere desire for forgiveness • the ardent commitment to receive the sacrament of reconciliation when available.
I am sure that many people are suffering now, and if St. Joseph can do anything to help you, please let me know, but I need to appeal once again to all parishioners that you continue supporting the Church. The weekly Sunday collection is our main source of income. As you can imagine, our weekly income has dropped precipitously. I beg you to please drop off your envelope at the rectory, or put it in the lock box in the back hallway, next to the large crucifix, or you can mail it in. Now is actually the perfect time to sign up for on-line giving. You can do this on our parish website. Thank you to those who have already made or dropped off a donation.
God Bless You,