Previously I announced that the Bishop had suspended all Masses but that he allowed me to keep the church open for Adoration. Then the Ontario Government declared a state of emergency and the Bishop directed me to close the church until further notice. This greatly saddens me. As of yet, he hadn’t made any decisions about Holy Week. So we’ll see. In the meantime, I ask you to pray for me and for one another. I ask Adorers to maintain their scheduled hour of prayer by praying in their homes. Today, on this Solemnity of St. Joseph, Pope Francis has asked Catholics around the world to pray the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary at 4:00 pm.
Bishop Crosby has dispensed all of you from your obligation to attend the Sunday Mass. Based on his experience of his previous diocese, where Mass was celebrated in remote communities only a few times a year, the Bishop has asked us to enter into a time of fasting from the Eucharist. See his encouraging letter Lift Up Your Hearts here along with other diocesan updates:
Parish YouTube Channel
Stephen Roloson, our music director, has created a parish YouTube channel and posted my homily from last Sunday:
Not knowing that our churches would soon be closed, I encouraged you to evangelize and bring people to worship at Mass. I pray that this will soon be an opportunity once again. In the meantime, I encourage you to evangelize by having faith and bearing witness to the faith by trusting in God. I will be periodically adding parish content to this channel.
Bishop Crosby has asked, and I encourage you, to watch Mass on television, the Internet or listen on the radio (if you have an assistant device, you can ask it when Mass is being broadcast from a particular station). In doing so you can practice spiritual communion, which isn’t a substitute for the Eucharist but rather a desire for the Eucharist that brings its own blessings. For example, here is a prayer for spiritual communion:
An Act of Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
Here are some media resources you may choose from:
Word on Fire – Bishop Robert Barron (Daily Mass under Uploads)
Stations of the Cross
It is our custom in our parish to pray the Stations of the Cross on Fridays at 7:00 pm during Lent. Since we won’t be able to gather in the church, I encourage you to pray the Station on your own, perhaps even doing so at 7:00 pm in order to be in solidarity with other parishioners. Here are a couple of resources:
Stations of the Cross by St. Alphonsus Liguori – PDF
Stations of the Cross by Saint Alphonsus Liguori – Formed
The Stations of the Cross with Bishop Barron
For any pastoral care needs, please contact me by phone: 519-856-4711 or by e-mail: email@example.com
Be assured that I am offering my private Mass for you daily.
On this Solemnity of St. Joseph, let us pray for one another under his patronage.
St. Joseph, pray for us!
Fr. Mark Morley