Parish Announcements

Fr. Matthias' Reflection

All of the Gospels relate Jesus’ solemn entrance to Jerusalem. Each of the Evangelists emphasizes their own specific details, but the very fact of this description recorded in all the written Gospels may indicate a wide echo of this event in the tradition of the early Church. Jesus, just as he entered Jerusalem in a solemn way, wants to enter our hearts and transform them. He wants that the Holy Week we begin today will make us great and holy. Each of us, without exception, is invited by Jesus to join Him on a journey through suffering and the cross to the glory of the resurrection. He wants us to open our hearts so much to the power of the Holy Spirit, who reminds and teaches about the most important things in human life. The Lord Jesus completely surrendered to the will of the Father and in this way,  he also showed us what attitude we should take towards everything that happens in life. Whether we have influence over it or not. At the same time, if we have no influence over particular situation, then we should all the more submit to God’s will believing that what God desires for us or what only allows to happen – this is what can be used for our spiritual development and growth of our trust and confidence to God.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Matthias Galle – your Pastor

Liturgy and Sacramental Guidelines

Updated in light of the governor’s stay-at-home order.

Sacrament of Reconciliation

Given that our churches are closed and a stay-at-home order is in effect:

  • individual confessions are currently not possible; this includes virtual or phone confessions, which are never permissible, nor drive-thru confessions. Despite the good intentions around such novelty, we must attend to our underlying theological tradition of the sacrament, as well as support the stay-at-home order and its intended purpose – to keep people safe in their homes at this time.
  •  in keeping with longstanding pastoral practice when penitents’ access to the sacrament is restricted, they can be assured that their sins are forgiven if they make an act of contrition with a firm resolve to approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation after the stay-at-home order is lifted.
  • the faithful should be encouraged to pray particular prayers or meditate on passages of the bible that you recommend to assist them in seeking the mercy and forgiveness of God and the grace of reconciliation.
  • the Holy See has made clear with a recent decree concerning the Sacrament of Reconciliation from the Apostolic Penitentiary that the conditions for general Absolution have not been met. The decree states that the primary place it would be permitted is in a hospital ward. However, our hospitals are not currently set up for this possibility. At the same time, any thought of using general absolution in a parish is moot given that gatherings of people in our churches are not permitted.

We can serve our people well with pastoral tenderness if we recall for them that our Lord knows their hearts and desires to reconcile their lives to Him and He awaits their presence in the Sacrament once the stay-at-home order is lifted and our churches are re-opened. 

Holy Communion to the Sick and Homebound

Communion to the sick and homebound is suspended to be consistent with the governor’s current stay-at-home order.

Christian Burials

Burials at Catholic Cemeteries may continue and are not suspended at this time; however, attendance limit and social distancing requirements apply per below.

Please note that our churches are still closed; therefore, funeral Masses are not possible.

However, if a family requests a funeral, there are two options:

  1. A funeral service, not a Mass, may take place at the funeral home
    1. the limit for attendees remains 10 people at this time (inclusive of the funeral director, priest, mourners, etc.)
    2. all attendees must practice social distancing
  2. A funeral service may take place graveside at the cemetery before committal/burial.
    1. the limit for attendees remains 10 people at this time (inclusive of the funeral director, priest, mourners, etc.)
    2. all attendees must practice social distancing

Plenary Indulgence

The Apostolic Penitentiary also issued a decree granting a Plenary Indulgence during this extraordinary time. In light of this, please consider sharing the following with your people:

  • As many people are unfamiliar with indulgences it is helpful to review in a simple way the Church’s true teaching on this grace:
    • Fundamentally, indulgences (plenary/full or partial) refer to a repairing and healing of the damage inflicted by sin.
    • In the English language, the word “indulgence” carries the connotation of “permission” or “license to do something.” In the Church and with regard to sin, this certainly is not the case.
    • In traditional language, this is the “remission of temporal punishment due to sin.” That we, through prayer and action recommended by the Church, can engage in this healing and repair is not because of our own efforts, merit, or power.
    • The Church, drawing on the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ and the Communion of Saints speaks of drawing grace from the “treasury of the Church.”
    • In this moment of isolation and disconnection, the proposal to seek an indulgence re-affirms our connection in the Body of Christ and with the saints.
  • The Plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful suffering from Coronavirus, who are subject to quarantine by order of the health authority in hospitals or in their own homes if, with a spirit detached from any sin, they:
    • unite 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 fulfill the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the Holy Father’s intentions), as soon as possible, when the suspensions are lifted.
  • In addition, health care workers, first responders, family members and all those who, following the example of the Good Samaritan, exposing themselves to the risk of contagion, care for the sick of Coronavirus according to the words of the divine Redeemer: ‘Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends’ (Jn 15: 13), will obtain the same gift of the Plenary Indulgence under the same conditions.

Especially in this challenging moment, seeking an indulgence is a way of doing something spiritually and a way of praying for ourselves and for others.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Spiritual Communion via Televised/Livestreamed Masses

Televised or live-streamed, online Mass viewing is an opportunity for the faithful to remain connected to the Sacrifice of the Mass during this difficult time.