Letter from Fr. Carson
Praised be Jesus Christ! As you have all no doubt seen, Archbishop Coakley has made the difficult decision to suspend the public celebration of all Masses until further notice. This decision was not made lightly, and if you haven’t, please read the letter that he sent out to all the faithful, which can be found on our Facebook page, website and Flocknote. This is an unprecedented time in our history as a Church, since this is the first time that Masses have been suspended in our history. As such, things are rather uncertain at the moment and Fr. Zak and I are trying to be creative to make sure that you all have time to come and pray and still receive the sacrament of reconciliation. But before I get in to the details of that, just note that EVERYTHING has been cancelled at St. Mary’s and St. Francis. So if you find yourself thinking, “Hmm…I wonder if ____________ is cancelled?” the answer is yes. I find no joy in cancelling these things, but the archbishop, governor and president all want us to not spread this virus, and this is the only way we can do that. So, effective immediately:
-the big church will be open
from 8 am to 8 pm
for personal prayer. Please feel free to come in during those times and spend time with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Belem will be wiping down the pews periodically, but it still wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring your own sanitation wipes.
-funerals will not have a funeral meal, and all funerals should be kept to 10 people or under. I know that this is difficult, but the archbishop has asked us to do this.
-we currently have no weddings or baptisms on the books, however, if you want to have your child baptized, there needs to be no more than 10 people present.
-Fr. Zak and I will be recording the daily Masses that we offer and posting it in our website and Facebook page. There will be a link that will take you to YouTube. The intentions that are in the bulletin and that are scheduled for the future will be the ones we offer.
-our penance rite is cancelled, so, in lieu of that, Fr. Zak and I will be offering confessions outdoors (weather permitting)
from 6-7 pm
on Wednesdays and Thursdays and
on Fridays and
on Saturdays. We can be found at the bottom of the church steps, so that anyone can get there. If you can’t get out of your car, just park on the street and we will come to you. As the archbishop said, this is the time to get creative! (Note: confessions are still available at St. Francis on Thursdays
from 5:30 – 6:30
. The Blessed Sacrament will remain in the tabernacle.)
-office hours will remain the same, however, there should be no loitering in the office. Maria has been told that there is to be no casual conversation at this time, and everyone is encouraged to stay six feet from each other. So please, if you need to come to the office, do what you need to do and then head on out.
-Fr. Zak and I are, of course, available for sacramental emergencies, however, in the effort to not spread the virus, especially to our elderly at risk population, pastoral visits will be cancelled until public Masses are re-instated. Again, this is a difficult decision, but we feel that in order to not put people unnecessarily at risk this is the right thing to do. But don’t hesitate to call us if you or a loved one are dying or gravely ill and are in need of the sacraments. We don’t want ANYONE to feel like they’ve been abandoned during this pandemic…we, your priests want to be there for you.
-last but not least, pray. Use this time as a time to draw closer to Our Lord. During times of pandemic, Our Lord is especially close to those who are suffering and are scared. Use this time of quarantine and self-isolation as a time to deepen your faith, your families faith and our faith as a community. Especially on Sundays, I would encourage you to read the readings (found at
) pray a Rosary and spend quiet time in prayer with Our Lord. Work on making a spiritual communion, which is accomplished through the prayer:
“My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Blessed 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.”
This is an unprecedented and anxious time, however Our Lord is always faithful and comes to us when we are the most vulnerable. Know that Fr. Zak and I are lifting you up in our prayers, and please pray for us as we try to minister to our flock under these very restrictive circumstances. God bless you all, and have a blessed Lenten season!
Fr. Carson Krittenbrink
on Tuesday, March 17 at 6:04PM