My Dear Parishioners,
It was a very different and difficult experience celebrating Mass last Sunday, without a congregation. I know how painful it must have been for you to be away from the Mass and receiving the Eucharist. If nothing else, this coronavirus is giving us all a “wake-up” call to not take for granted what a gift God has given us in giving us the Mass. I wonder if this is what those who grew up with religious oppression or experienced life where they were not able to participate in Mass went through? I firmly believe that we cannot give up hope, we need to believe that God is with us even, at times, when it does not feel like it.
I am happy to tell you that St. Joseph was able to broadcast our Sunday Mass on three different venues. We were able to make an audio recording of the Saturday vigil Mass and it was broadcast over WRDV-FM 89.3, on Sunday at 9:00 a.m. as we have been doing for many years. The Saturday vigil was also being video recorded/live streamed on the Church’s Facebook page. I didn’t even know we could do this. Finally the video was put up on our parish website, www.saintjosephchurch.us. There is also a video archive to view previous Masses. I will continue to celebrate Mass privately and include you in my prayers. My plan is to continue with recording and broadcasting the Sunday Masses and Holy Days of Obligation as well. Things are changing so quickly, so I do not know what form these future recordings may take, but I will do my best to see that they continue.
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 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.
The US Bishops have published the following:
COVID 19; A Prayer of Solidarity
For all who have contracted coronavirus, we pray for care and healing.
For those who are particularly vulnerable, we pray for safety and protection.
For all who experience fear or anxiety, we pray for peace of mind and spirit.
For affected families who are facing difficult decisions between food on the table or public safety,
We pray for policies that recognize their plight.
For those who do not have adequate health insurance, we pray that no family will face financial burdens alone.
For those who are afraid to access care due to immigration status, we pray for recognition of the God-given dignity of all.
For our brothers and sisters around the world, we pray for shared solidarity.
For public officials and decisionmakers, we pray for wisdom and guidance.
Father, during this time may your Church be a sign of hope, comfort and love to all.
Grant peace. Grant comfort. Grant healing. Be with us, Lord.
God Bless You,