Good news! I ran a temporary Ethernet cable from the rectory and we are now able to stream from the church. The Newman Centre community Mass will be streamed from the church today at 4:30 pm. Click here to get the link:
Now that we have the capability, look for the following to be streamed from the church:
Tuesday: Rosary at 6:30 pm, Mass at 7:00 pm followed by the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Friday: Stations of the Cross at 7:00 pm
Sunday: Mass at 11:00 am (alternating between the church and the Newman Centre until exams end)
For the zoom links to these events, please visit our parish Facebook page:
When we are streaming a Mass, all the readings need to be read by someone on site because they are part of the Mass. However, I’m looking at doing something for Easter online where different parishioners can contribute in the same way as the Rosary, where different parishioners take turns praying a decade. Let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions.
Fr. Mark Morley
Our parish is following the directives of the Diocese of Hamilton through this hard time. Bishop Crosby has published a Decree regarding Holy Week, directives, as well as a letter encouraging us to lift up our hearts and spirits to the Lord in the face of COVID-19. You can find all of these communications here: https://hamiltondiocese.com/coronavirus-updates.
As most of you have no doubt heard by now, Bishop Crosby has decreed that we will not be able to celebrate Holy Week, including Palm Sunday and the Sacred Tridiuum, as a parish community. I had tears in my eyes as I read the decree. I understand that the Bishop is doing what needs to be done. However, it’s still hard to accept that we won’t be together for the most important liturgical events of the year. Instead, on Palm Sunday, the Bishop asked pastors to celebrate Mass and bless palms to be distributed at a later date. I’m currently working on providing a temporary Internet connection in the church so that this Mass and other parish celebrations can be live streamed. On Holy Thursday, pastors are to celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper privately without a procession of the Blessed Sacrament. On Good Friday, there will be no celebration of the Passion of the Lord. I plan to live stream the reading of the Gospel and the Universal Prayers from the Liturgy, as well as Stations of the Cross later in the evening. The Easter Vigil won’t be celebrated. Which means that those who were to be baptized and those who were to be received into the Catholic Church will have to wait until a later date. On Easter Sunday, pastors are to celebrate Mass privately with the Paschal Candle lit and bless water. This also will be live streamed. Sadly, I won’t be able to sprinkle the newly blessed water on you. At this point, I don’t know when the church will reopen. Pope Francis has suggested that parishes might designate the Feast of the Exultation of the Cross as a day to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection, the date of which this year is Monday, September 14th. Please pray that we don’t have to wait that long.
Sophie and I have been working on the parish Web site to make it easier to access the latest news and information: http://sacredheartrockwood.ca. We will also be using the parish’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sacredheartofjesusrockwood/
Details for live streaming Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, and Easter Sunday are forthcoming. In the meantime, Mass for the Fifth Sunday of Lent will be live streamed at 11:00 am on March 29th. Go to the parish Facebook page for more details.
Thank you to Stephen Roloson, our music director, for stepping up and hosting our parish and Newman Centre online events via Zoom as well as producing social media material. Please contact him if you are having technical issues with the live stream: music @sacredheartrockwood.ca
Sophie Debbané, my administrative assistant, will be working from home for the next two weeks. If you aren’t on the parish e-mail list and would like to receive updates, please e-mail her. If you need support, or want to volunteer to help others, please contact her: office @sacredheartrockwood.ca
Likewise, Sarah Gould, our bookkeeper, will also be working from home for the next two weeks. Which reminds me. Although the church and the office are closed, we still have expenses such as salaries and utility bills to pay. I realize that many of you are facing financial challenges. However, if at all possible, please continue to provide financial support to the parish. You can drop your offering envelopes off at the parish office mailbox, or you can go the parish Web site and use your credit card to make a one-time or recurring donation. Every little bit will help us keep going as we pray for one another and hope that this time of trial will soon pass.
I encourage you to continue to desire to receive the Eucharist. To download a copy of Pope Francis’ Prayer for Spiritual Communion, click here.
Finally, tomorrow is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, the patronal feast of our diocese. To mark the occasion in prayer, Pope Francis has asked all of us to pray the Our Father at noon. On Friday, he has asked us to join him by means of communication media to pray at 1:00 pm. Details can be found at the parish Web site under News: http://sacredheartrockwood.ca/2020/03/23/bishops-office-invitation-to-pray-march-23-2020/.
Fr. Mark Morley
INVITATION TO PRAY
During these Lenten days, and mindful of all who are affected by the COVID-19 Virus, we are called to be more fervent in prayer. Since we are not able to gather publicly for prayer at this time, we are encouraged to pray with our families in our homes, our “domestic” churches, and to draw on the many spiritual resources which are part of our Catholic tradition.
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has called for all Christians throughout the world to join in praying the Our Father on Wednesday 25 March 2020 at noon: The Solemnity of the Annunciation. It is most fitting that all the faithful in the Diocese of Hamilton respond to this initiative of the Holy Father, since The Solemnity of the Annunciation is the patronal feast of our Diocese. We pray for the health and safety of all in our Diocese, and in particular for the sick and those who care for them, and families facing financial difficulty during the pandemic.
On Friday, March 27, 2020, Pope Francis will preside over a moment of prayer at the entrance of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. He invites everyone to participate in this prayer by means of communication. The celebration will consist of readings from the Scriptures, prayers of supplication, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. At the conclusion of the prayer Pope Francis will give the Urbi et orbi Blessing, with the possibility of gaining a plenary indulgence for all those who listen to it live through the various forms of communication. This service of prayer will take place at 6:00 p.m. Rome time (1:00 p.m. Daylight Saving Time in Ontario).
The Plenary Indulgence is granted to all who, with a spirit detached from any sin, unite themselves spiritually through the media to the celebration of Holy Mass, the recitation of the Holy Rosary, to the pious practice of the Way of the Cross or other forms of devotion, or if at least they will recite the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and a pious invocation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, offering this trial in a spirit of faith in God and charity towards their brothers and sisters, with the will to fulfil the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the Holy Father’s intentions), as soon as possible.
The Prayer of the Holy Rosary is especially recommended during this time of crisis. Families and individuals are encouraged to pray the Rosary daily. Pope Francis offers us these encouraging and insightful words:
“The Rosary is the prayer of the humble and of the saints. In its mysteries, they contemplate, along with Mary, the life of Jesus, the merciful face of the Father. O, how much we all need to be truly comforted, to be wrapped in loving presence! We measure the truth of this experience through our relationship with others. At this moment, they are our closest relatives. Let us be close to one another, being the first to be charitable, understanding, patient and forgiving. Though you may be confined to your own homes, allow your hearts to expand so they may be available and welcoming to all.”
May we unite ourselves with all Canadians and Catholics throughout the world in offering this prayer, relying on the powerful intercession of Mary, our Mother, the Mother of Church.
Memo To: All Pastors and All Parishes
Memo From: Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, OMI
Date: Monday, March 23, 2020
Re: Church Bells for Healthcare Workers
The bells of the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King in Hamilton will ring out each day at 9:00 a.m.; 12 Noon; 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to invite parishioners … and all who hear the bells … to pray (an “Our Father”) for our healthcare workers dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parishes with bells, across the Diocese, are invited to join in this effort and to share the invitation to prayer through social media. Let us pray for doctors, nurses, hospital staff, and first-responders during this difficult time.
Dear Parishioners of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish,
The CWL and the Knights of Columbus are organizing support for any parishioners who have spiritual, emotional, or physical needs during this hard time. If you would appreciate your groceries or medications to be delivered, someone to talk to over the phone for fellowship and support, or anything else, please email me at office @sacredheartrockwood.ca. In particular let us know if you are in self-isolation. I will coordinate with the CWL and Knights of Columbus to reach out to you.
As a reminder, if anyone has pastoral care needs including Confession or Anointing of the Sick, please contact Fr. Mark directly at mmorley @hamiltondiocese.com or 519-856-4711.
If you are willing to help by donating groceries or giving your time to support other parishioners in need, please let me know.
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.Continue reading “Pastor’s Letter – March 19, 2020”
Bishop Crosby has cancelled weekday and Sunday Masses throughout the diocese until further notice.