Dear Parishioners of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish,
I want you to know that we are taking the following precautionary measures this weekend, under the Bishop’s guidance, to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our community:
Mass will be celebrated this weekend as per the usual parish schedule, with the 11:00 am Mass being celebrated in the church instead of the school. At this point, the next celebration scheduled at the school will be April 10th, which is Good Friday. I will keep you posted if the venue changes. The next scheduled Sunday Mass at the school will be April 12th, which is Easter Sunday.
1) If you are ill or vulnerable (or a caregiver), please refrain from attending Mass. You are under no obligation.
2) No holy water in fonts.
3) Holy Communion distributed only in the hand.
Ministers of Communion
Until further notice, there will be no Ministers of Communion. This will mean that those ministers who aren’t able to attend Mass won’t need to find a replacement. Also, the Bishop is requiring that ministers to wash their hands with soap and water and dry them with paper towels before and after Mass in the sacristy. Our sacristy isn’t really setup for that. Also until further notice, we will not be taking Communion to Eden House.
Sign of Peace
In Canada, there are two liturgical forms for the sign of peace: a handshake or a simple bow of the head. Until further notice, let us exchange Christ’s peace with one another with a simple bow. Waving your hand or two fingers in the air is not a liturgical sign.
Hospitality will be suspended until further notice.
I will be available in the confessional before all Masses as indicated by the green light above the sacristy door. If you see me setting up for Mass, just go into the sacristy and I will meet you there. I was planning a Penance Service for Lent. However, that is now indefinitely postponed.
As we make an effort to restrict our travel and socializing, I recommend that you and/or your family spend some time at home watching a program on formed.org for Lent. If you haven’t registered already, just go to formed.org and register under Sacred Heart Rockwood Parish.
Finally, at the beginning of Lent I put ashes on your forehead while saying, “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” Jesus tells us not to be afraid. I encourage you not to panic. Please don’t lose sight of the fact that these measures are precautionary and intended to curb the spread of diseases. They don’t represent an immediate threat. As we work together, may this situation bring the best rather than the worst out of us. Our indispensable response to this health care crisis is prayer. To this end, please use the following Prayer to Our Lady composed by Pope Francis to pray for all those affected at this time:
O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick.
At the foot of the Cross, you participated in Jesus’ pain,
with steadfast faith.
You, Salvation of the Roman people, know what we need.
We are certain that you will provide, so that, as you did at Cana in Galilee,
joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial.
Help us Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the Father’s will
And to do what Jesus tells us:
He who took our sufferings upon Himself,
and bore our sorrows to bring us, through the Cross,
to the joy of the Resurrection.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me by phone at: 519-856-4711 or by e-mail at: pastor @sacredheartrockwood.ca
Fr. Mark Morley