Saturday, March 14, 2020

#BreakingNews Pope Francis will Celebrate Holy Week and Easter in Vatican behind Closed Doors via LIVE Stream due to Coronavirus



Due to the Coronavirus, Easter celebrations will be behind closed doors in the Vatican. All Liturgical Celebrations of Holy Week will take place without the physical presence of the faithful. Easter will be celebrated behind closed doors in the Vatican: the website of the Prefecture of the Pontifical House explains that "because of the current international health emergency, all Liturgical Celebrations of Holy Week will take place without the physical presence of the faithful.
     Furthermore,  until April 12  all General Audiences of the Holy Father and the Angelus performances will be available only in live streaming on the official Vatican News website ".
Edited from Source: http://www.vatican.va/various/prefettura/index_en.html

(The Prefecture of the Pontifical Household announces that, because of the current global public health emergency, all the Liturgical Celebrations of Holy Week will take place without the physical presence of the faithful.

Furthermore, this Prefecture informs that until April 12 the General Audiences and the Angelus presided over by the Holy Father will be available only in live streaming on the official Vatican News website.)

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. March 15, 2020 - Readings + Video -#Eucharist on 3rd of Lent - A


Third Sunday of Lent


Lectionary: 28 Reading 1EX 17:3-7
In those days, in their thirst for water,
the people grumbled against Moses,
saying, “Why did you ever make us leave Egypt?
Was it just to have us die here of thirst
with our children and our livestock?”
So Moses cried out to the LORD,
“What shall I do with this people?
a little more and they will stone me!”
The LORD answered Moses,
“Go over there in front of the people,
along with some of the elders of Israel,
holding in your hand, as you go,
the staff with which you struck the river.
I will be standing there in front of you on the rock in Horeb.
Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it
for the people to drink.”
This Moses did, in the presence of the elders of Israel.
The place was called Massah and Meribah,
because the Israelites quarreled there
and tested the LORD, saying,
“Is the LORD in our midst or not?”

Responsorial PsalmPS 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9.

R. (8)  If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
“Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
    as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
    they tested me though they had seen my works.”
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Reading 2ROM 5:1-2, 5-8

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith
to this grace in which we stand,
and we boast in hope of the glory of God.
And hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For Christ, while we were still helpless,
died at the appointed time for the ungodly.
Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person,
though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die.
But God proves his love for us
in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

Verse Before The GospelJN 4:42, 15

Lord, you are truly the Savior of the world;
give me living water, that I may never thirst again.

GospelJN 4:5-42

Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar,
near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
Jacob’s well was there.
Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well.
It was about noon.
A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
Jesus said to her,
“Give me a drink.”
His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
The Samaritan woman said to him,
“How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?”
—For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.—
Jesus answered and said to her,
“If you knew the gift of God
and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink, ‘
you would have asked him
and he would have given you living water.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep;
where then can you get this living water?
Are you greater than our father Jacob,
who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself
with his children and his flocks?”
Jesus answered and said to her,
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;
but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst;
the water I shall give will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty
or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Jesus said to her,
“Go call your husband and come back.”
The woman answered and said to him,
“I do not have a husband.”
Jesus answered her,
“You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’
For you have had five husbands,
and the one you have now is not your husband.
What you have said is true.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, I can see that you are a prophet.
Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain;
but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jesus said to her,
“Believe me, woman, the hour is coming
when you will worship the Father
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You people worship what you do not understand;
we worship what we understand,
because salvation is from the Jews.
But the hour is coming, and is now here,
when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth;
and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.
God is Spirit, and those who worship him
must worship in Spirit and truth.”
The woman said to him,
“I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ;
when he comes, he will tell us everything.”
Jesus said to her,
“I am he, the one speaking with you.”
At that moment his disciples returned,
and were amazed that he was talking with a woman,
but still no one said, “What are you looking for?”
or “Why are you talking with her?”
The woman left her water jar
and went into the town and said to the people,
“Come see a man who told me everything I have done.
Could he possibly be the Christ?”
They went out of the town and came to him.
Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat.”
But he said to them,
“I have food to eat of which you do not know.”
So the disciples said to one another,
“Could someone have brought him something to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“My food is to do the will of the one who sent me
and to finish his work.
Do you not say, ‘In four months the harvest will be here’?
I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest.
The reaper is already receiving payment
and gathering crops for eternal life,
so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together.
For here the saying is verified that ‘One sows and another reaps.’
I sent you to reap what you have not worked for;
others have done the work,
and you are sharing the fruits of their work.”
Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him
because of the word of the woman who testified,
“He told me everything I have done.”
When the Samaritans came to him,
they invited him to stay with them;
and he stayed there two days.
Many more began to believe in him because of his word,
and they said to the woman,
“We no longer believe because of your word;
for we have heard for ourselves,
and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”
Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar,
near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
Jacob’s well was there.
Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well.
It was about noon.
A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
Jesus said to her,
“Give me a drink.”
His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
The Samaritan woman said to him,
“How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?”
—For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.—
Jesus answered and said to her,
“If you knew the gift of God
and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink, ‘
you would have asked him
and he would have given you living water.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep;
where then can you get this living water?
Are you greater than our father Jacob,
who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself
with his children and his flocks?”
Jesus answered and said to her,
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;
but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst;
the water I shall give will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty
or have to keep coming here to draw water.
“I can see that you are a prophet.
Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain;
but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jesus said to her,
“Believe me, woman, the hour is coming
when you will worship the Father
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You people worship what you do not understand;
we worship what we understand,
because salvation is from the Jews.
But the hour is coming, and is now here,
when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth;
and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.
God is Spirit, and those who worship him
must worship in Spirit and truth.”
The woman said to him,
“I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ;
when he comes, he will tell us everything.”
Jesus said to her,
“I am he, the one who is speaking with you.”
Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him.
When the Samaritans came to him,
they invited him to stay with them;
and he stayed there two days.
Many more began to believe in him because of his word,
and they said to the woman,
“We no longer believe because of your word;
for we have heard for ourselves,
and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”

Saint March 15 : St. Louise de Marillac : Patron of Disappointing children, Rejected by Religious orders, Social workers



Born:
12 August 1591 at Meux, France
15 March 1660 at Paris, France
Canonized:
11 March 1934 by Pope Pius XI
Major Shrine:
Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Rue du Bac, Paris, France
Patron of:
disappointing children, loss of parents, people rejected by religious orders, sick people, social workers, Vincentian Service Corps, widows
FOUNDRESS AND PATRONESS OF SOCIAL WORKERS
Foundress of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, born at Paris, 12 August, 1591, daughter of Louis de Marillac, Lord of Ferri res, and Marguerite Le Camus; died there, 15 March, 1660. Her mother having died soon after the birth of Louise, the education of the latter devolved upon her father, a man of blameless life. In her earlier years she was confided to the care of her aunt, a religious at Poissy. Afterwards she studied under a preceptress, devoting much time to the cultivation of the arts. Her father's serious disposition was reflected in the daughter's taste for philosophy and kindred subjects. When about sixteen years old, Louise developed a strong desire to enter the Capuchinesses (Daughter of the Passion). Her spiritual director dissuaded her, however, and her father having died, it became necessary to decide her vocation. Interpreting her director's advice, she accepted the hand of Antoine* Le Gras, a young secretary under Maria de' Medici. A son was born of this marriage on 13 October, 1613, and to his education Mlle Le Gras devoted herself during the years of his childhood. Of works of charity she never wearied. In 1619 she became acquainted with St. Francis de Sales, who was then in Paris, and Mgr. Le Campus, Bishop of Belley, became her spiritual adviser. Troubled by the thought that she had rejected a call to the religious state, she vowed in 1623 not remarry should her husband die before her.
M. Le Gras died on 21 December, 1625, after a long illness. In the meantime his wife had made the acquaintance of a priest known as M. Vincent (St. Vincent de Paul), who had been appointed superior of the Visitation Monastery by St. Francis of Sales. She placed herself under his direction, probably early in 1625. His influence led her to associate herself with his work among the poor of Paris, and especially in the extension of the Confrérie de la Charité, an association which he had founded for the relief of the sick poor. It was this labour which decided her life's work, the founding of the Sisters of Charity. The history of the evolution of this institute, which Mlle Le Gras plays so prominent a part, has been given elsewhere (see Charity, Sister of); it suffices here to say that, with formal ecclesiastical and state recognition, Mlle Le Gras' life-work received its assurance of success. Her death occurred in 1660, a few month before the death of St. Vincent, with whose labours she had been so closely united.

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)

All Public Masses in the Archdiocese of New York Canceled- March 14 but Churches remain open for Prayer


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 14, 2020


MASSES CANCELED IN ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK
(New York, NY) In light of the continued concern surrounding the coronavirus, and the advice of medical experts, all Masses in the Archdiocese of New York will be canceled beginning this weekend, March 14-15, 2020.
This development follows upon today’s decision of Dutchess County to prohibit gatherings of more than 20 people.  It is also intended to provide clarity and consistency throughout the ten counties that comprise the Archdiocese of New York (Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, Putnam, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Dutchess).  
Churches will, however, remain open for private prayer. 
Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, urged the faithful to remember in their prayers all those whose lives have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.  “Let us pray for all who are sick, as well as doctors, nurses, caregivers, and all those working hard to combat the disease.  We should also remember those whose lives have been otherwise disrupted, especially anyone who has lost income from a loss of work during this difficult time.”
A private Mass will be celebrated in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, and will be available on many cable systems via the Catholic Faith Network and its website at www.catholicfaithnetwork.org, livestreamed on the Saint Patrick’s Cathedral website at www.saintpatrickscathedral.org/live, and broadcast on radio on The Catholic Channel of Sirius XM (Channel 129).




Pope Francis in LIVE Video Mass says "So let's pray for families, so that they don't lose peace..." and Prays for Sick amid Coronavirus - FULL Video



Pope’s Mass intention is for families
Pope Francis offers Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Saturday morning for families and especially for parents so that they might “manage this difficult situation well”.
By Vatican News

“We continue to pray for all who are ill due to this pandemic”, Pope Francis introduced the Saturday morning liturgy at the Casa Santa Marta. Then he specified his intention for the day:

"Today, I would like to ask a special prayer for families: families who from one day to the next find themselves at home with their children because the schools are closed for security reasons and they need to manage a difficult situation, and manage it well…with peace and joy as well. And in a special way, I think of those families who may have a disabled person among them. The welcome centers for people with disability are closed…. So let's pray for families, so that they don't lose peace in this moment and that they might succeed in bringing the entire family forward with strength and joy."

The Gospel of the day, the Parable of the Prodigal Son, so dear to the Pope’s heart, was the subject of his homily.

Words
Pope Francis reflected on the words and feelings of two groups of people presented in the Parable of the Prodigal Son: sinners and Pharisees. The Gospel says that the sinners drew near to Jesus to hear him. The sinners “surround Jesus in silence. They don’t know what to say”. But their presence, the Pope said, tells us that they wanted “to listen to Jesus”.

About the Pharisees, the Gospel says they complained and criticized Jesus for doing that. They want to take Jesus’ authority away. They accuse Jesus, “He eats with sinners. He’s impure”. The rest of the parable, the Pope said, explains this drama.

Feelings
The first group “feel the need for salvation…for a guide, a pastor. And so the people draw near to Jesus because they see that he is a pastor”, Pope Francis explained. The doctors of the law, on the other hand, feel animosity toward them.

“The doctors feel self-sufficient. ‘I've gone to university. I've got a doctorate, I have two doctorates. I know very well what the law says.  Actually, I know every single explanation of the law in detail….  They despise others…they despise sinners.”

The son in the parable feels the need to “eat the world, to get out of the house. Maybe he felt like he was in prison”, the Pope reflected. He has the “the audacity to ask his father to give him what he had coming to him”.

His father “doesn't say anything because he's a father… “A Father knows how to suffer in silence…waiting for the right moment”, Pope Francis noted. “The Father feels pain, tenderness and a lot of love”. At times, this behavior makes fathers look “foolish”. And when that right moment came, the Father was “waiting, he saw him at a distance”. This provokes the elder son to reprove his own father, “you were unjust”.

“The older son feels indignant.… Many times indignation is the only way these people feel deserving.”

The problem
Pope Francis explained that the problem is not realizing what living in the Father’s house truly means. The elder son fulfilled his duties and his work, but he never entered into a relationship of love with his Father. Instead, he is indignant with his Father, and says, “This sinner arrived and you throw a party! And me?”. He doesn’t even go into the house.

The Father names the problem. “Son you are with me always. And all I have is yours”.

"This is what the elder son had never realized. He lived at home as if it were a hotel, without feeling his father's paternal love…. It’s interesting that the father didn’t say one word about his sin when the younger son returned. He only embraces him and throws a feast.  He had to explain this to the elder son because his heart was hardened because of his conceptions of his Father, about his sonship, and about how he should live.”

The Pope’s Prayer
Pope Francis concluded with a prayer, asking the Lord that we might understand the problem.

“The problem is living in the house but not feeling ourselves at home because there's no paternal or fraternal relationship, but only that of colleagues who work.”
FULL TEXT + Image Source: VaticanNews.va

Stations of the Cross Explained a Powerful Prayer for Lent of Jesus' sufferings for Us - With Indulgences

The Stations of the Cross is a series of images showing the struggles of Jesus Christ from his condemnation to his crucifixion. They are especially prayed during Lent and Good Friday. There are usually 14 images that are hung in order around a church or along a path. People walk from image to image, and stop at each "station" saying prayers and possibly reading scripture passages. This prayer is often held by groups or individually. Other names for the Stations of the Cross are the Via Dolorosa or Way of Sorrows, or, The Way. In Jerusalem, the Via Dolorosa is the actual path that Jesus walked, and the stations are the actual places where the events occurred.  St. Francis of Assisi started the tradition of moving from station to station although it was practiced less formerly before. In Lent, and on Good Friday, this practice is very popular but it is also prayed during the year.The number of stations varied throughout history; Pope Clement XII extended to all churches the right to have the stations. Ultimately, the stations are an act of love towards Jesus to thank him for the great sacrifices he made for love of us and to atone for our sins.
Here is the most common list of Stations:
 1. Jesus is condemned to death
2. Jesus carries his cross
3. Jesus falls the first time
4. Jesus meets his mother
5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross
6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
7. Jesus falls the second time
8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
9. Jesus falls the third time
10. Jesus is stripped of his garments
11.Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
12. Jesus dies on the cross
13. Jesus is taken down from the cross
14. Jesus is laid in the tomb.
15. Resurrection of Jesus is sometimes included as a fifteenth station.
Common prayers at each Station:
(while genuflecting)

P/ We adore thee O Christ and we praise thee.

C/Becuase by thy Holy cross thou hast redeemed the world.

And, when moving from station to station:

All: Holy Mother, pierce me thorugh, in my heart each wound renew, of my saviour crucified.

Indulgences are: 
  • A plenary indulgence every time the devotion is completed.
  • An additional plenary indulgence if one receives Holy Communion on the day.
  • Also an additional plenary indulgence if one performs the devotion ten times and receives Holy Communion within a month after so doing.
  • A partial indulgence of ten years for every Station made if one was not able to finish the Stations.
    The conditions for gaining them are
    • Walking from Station to Station when making the Way of the Cross privately; when making it publicly, it suffices for the priest with the altar boys to do so. Meditate at each Station on the sufferings of our Lord.

    • These two conditions are essential. No oral prayers are prescribed; yet they are profitable.
    • A plenary indulgence* is granted to the faithful for making the Stations of the Cross under the normal conditions: one is free from all attachment from sin


  • one receives the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist (7 days before or after)
  • one prays for the intentions of the Pope (1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be) 
  • #BreakingNews Archdiocese of Ottawa and Alexandria-Cornwall has Cancelled all Masses at Churches this Weekend - Full Text




    OTTAWA -- The Archdiocese of Ottawa has cancelled all masses at churches this weekend. In a letter, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast explains his decision to cancel all public Vigil and Sunday Masses in the Archdiocese of Ottawa to follow the directive from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer to cancel any gatherings larger than 250 people to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Archdiocese release: "Archbishop Prendergast announced that public Masses in the Archdiocese of Ottawa and the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall this Saturday evening and Sunday are suspended."
    In his letter, which is found below, the Archbishop writes,  “Realizing that a number of parishes will have difficulty in keeping Mass attendance below 250 this weekend, I have regrettably decided to ask our Catholic parishes to cancel all public Lord’s Day Masses.”
    Full Text below from the Archdiocese: https://www.catholicottawa.ca/

    #BreakingNews US Bishops Issue Statement and Prayer for Coronavirus saying "God does not abandon us..." FULL TEXT



    USCCB Statements on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    March 13, 2020
    WASHINGTON – Earlier today, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued a reflection and prayer on Coronavirus (COVID-19). His statement is part of the USCCB’s ongoing engagement on the issue over the last several weeks.

    Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, issued a statement encouraging lawmakers to consider measures providing relief and aid to those suffering from COVID-19, those affected by workplace closures and other disruptions, and prayers for those suffering from the virus and for healthcare providers.

    In response to news of progression of COVID-19 outbreaks in other parts of the world, Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued a statement with Catholic Relief Services and the Catholic Health Association of the United States that addressed the Catholic response to the outbreak.

    The faithful are encouraged to consult their local (arch)diocese or (arch)eparchy as to local directives on the celebration of the sacraments. The USCCB’s Committee on Divine Worship has shared helpful considerations with the U.S. bishops regarding their role in regulating liturgical celebrations as they make decisions for their respective dioceses in the wake of growing public health concerns.

    The considerations include: reminding parishes to use common sense hygiene practices; reminding Catholics that they are not obligated to attend Mass if they are sick; reminding bishops that they may suspend the distribution of Holy Communion by the chalice (cup), and suspend physical contact at the sign of peace; and that in more serious circumstances, they may suspend public liturgical celebrations.

    The USCCB, as well as the Confraternity on Christian Doctrine (CCD) and the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), have waived permission requirements for prayers and readings in both English and Spanish to allow dioceses to livestream Masses during this time as social distancing measures are implemented.

    ---

    USCCB President’s Reflection and Prayer During Coronavirus

    March 13, 2020
    WASHINGTON- Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19):

    With the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus, we are confronted once more with the fragility of our lives, and again we are reminded of our common humanity — that the peoples of this world are our brothers and sisters, that we are all one family under God.

    God does not abandon us, he goes with us even now in this time of trial and testing. In this moment, it is important for us to anchor our hearts in the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. Now is the time to intensify our prayers and sacrifices for the love of God and the love of our neighbor. Let us draw closer to one another in our love for him, and rediscover the things that truly matter in our lives.

    United with our Holy Father Pope Francis, let us pray in solidarity for our brothers and sisters here and around the world who are sick. Let us pray for those who have lost loved ones to this virus. May God console them and grant them peace.

    We pray also for doctors, nurses, and caregivers, for public health officials and all civic leaders. May God grant them courage and prudence as they seek to respond to this emergency with compassion and in service to the common good.

    In this time of need, I invite all the faithful to seek together the maternal intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and I share this prayer with you:

    Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
    Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
    We fly to you today as your beloved children.
    We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
    as you did at the wedding in Cana.

    Pray for us, loving Mother,
    and gain for our nation and world,
    and for all our families and loved ones,
    the protection of your holy angels,
    that we may be spared the worst of this illness.

    For those already afflicted,
    we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
    Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
    wipe away their tears and help them to trust.

    In this time of trial and testing,
    teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
    Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.

    We come to you with confidence,
    knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
    health of the sick and cause of our joy.

    Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
    keep us in the embrace of your arms,
    help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
    Source: http://usccb.org/news/2020/20-44.cfm
    The USCCB also released this Video:

    Latest Precautions Issued by Bishops of Poland on Coronavirus - Recommendation for more Masses with less people and Dispensations




    The Permanent Council of the Polish Episcopate recommends precautions in churches regarding coronavirus
    According to the Code of Canon Law, until March 29, we recommend that diocesan bishops grant dispensation from participating in Sunday Mass to the elderly, the faithful who have symptoms of infection (e.g. coughing, rhinitis, increased body temperature), children and school youth and adults who take direct care of them, as well as those who feel afraid of being infected” – announces the Order issued after Thursday’s meeting of the Permanent Council of the Polish Bishops’ Conference.
    The Council underlines that precautionary measures have been taken in the interests of the life and health of the population. The bishops point out that taking advantage of the dispensation means that it is not a sin to miss Sunday Mass at the indicated time. At the same time, they ask that those who take advantage of the dispensation “continue in personal and family prayer”. “We also encourage spiritual connection with the Church community through radio, television or Internet transmission” – reads the Order.
    The Permanent Council of the Episcopate also introduces rules to be in force until 29 March during the liturgy in churches. Priests and ministers with signs of infection cannot distribute Holy Communion. Those who administer this sacrament should wash their hands thoroughly and follow the rules of hygiene. “We remind that the Church’s liturgical regulations also provide for receiving Holy Communion on hand. The sign of peace should be exchanged by nodding of the head, without shaking hands. The veneration of the Cross should be performed without direct contact, by kneeling or deep inclination. In addition, the veneration of relics must be avoided by kissing or touching. Protective films should be put on the confessional grill. During this time, we should refrain from filling the church’s fonts with holy water” – the bishops emphasize.
    It has also been decided that the liturgies with the sacrament of Confirmation will be postponed to later dates, which will be communicated by the diocesan curia. “During this time, the pilgrimages of high school graduates to Jasna Góra and school retreats organized by parishes are also suspended. At the same time, we ask the Catholic social media and the clergy to offer retreats on the Internet, which can be follow at home in this way. The matters of retreats for groups of adults and the organization of other meetings are left to the prudent discernment of parish priests” – the Order states. “The Church has served the sick and needy for two thousand years, even in times of epidemics, without abandoning the sacraments and preaching” – indicated the bishops. They also asked for solidarity with the elderly and those in need, for example, by assistance in shopping.
    They also wrote that “just as hospitals treat illnesses of the body, so churches treat illnesses of the spirit, so it is unthinkable that we do not pray in our churches”. “Therefore, we encourage all the faithful to visit the churches outside the liturgy for fervent personal prayer. We recommend to priests that churches should remain open during the day, that priests take care of additional occasions for confession and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, that priests and extraordinary ministers visit sick and elderly parishioners with sacramental ministry” – recommends the Permanent Council of the Episcopate.
    “We ask all believers to pray for protection from disease, as well as for peace of heart and the grace of deep conversion for each of us. Let us commend all those who died as a result of coronavirus to the good Lord. Let us pray for health for the sick, for those who care for them, for doctors and medical staff and for all sanitary services. Let us pray for the epidemic to end. According to the Tradition of the Church, we encourage to sing supplications in our churches +Holy God, Holy Mighty…+” – we read in the Order.
    FULL TEXT Release:
    https://episkopat.pl/the-permanent-council-of-the-episcopate-recommends-precautions-in-churches-regarding-coronavirus/
    Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference
    In a Previous Press release from the Bishops' Conference from March 10:
    In connection with the recommendations of the Chief Sanitary Inspector that there should be no large gatherings of people, I ask to increase – as far as possible – the number of Sunday Masses in churches  so that a number of believers can attend the liturgy at once, according to the guidelines of the sanitary services” – wrote the President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki.
    At the same time, Archbishop Gądecki stressed that hospitals cure diseases of the body and churches serve, among other things, to cure diseases of the spirit. “Therefore, it is unthinkable that we do not pray in our churches” – said the President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference.
    Archbishop Gądecki reminded that the elderly and the sick can stay at home and follow the Mass broadcasting on Sundays in the media. “I would like to remind that there is no requirement to exchange the sign of peace by shaking hands during Holy Mass” – he wrote.
    Archbishop Gądecki asked to pray for those who died as a result of the coronavirus. “Let us pray for the health of the sick and for the physicians, medical personnel and all services that work to stop the spread of the virus. Let us pray for the epidemic to end. In accordance with the tradition of the Church, I especially encourage to pray with the supplication +Holy God, Holy Mighty…+” – stressed the President of the Polish Episcopate.

    Pope Francis permits Churches in Rome to be Open for Prayer reversing previous Decree




    Parish churches in Rome to remain open for private prayer
    In agreement with Pope Francis, the Cardinal Vicar of the Diocese of Rome has decided to amend an earlier decree closing Rome’s churches. Parish churches, as well as equivalent missionary centres, will now be allowed to remain open, while complying with measures to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.
    By Vatican News

    The Diocese of Rome acted quickly to allow some churches in the city to remain open, one day after an initial decision had been made to close places of worship to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Covid-19.

    On Friday morning, Pope Francis prayed “that the Holy Spirit might grant pastoral discernment to pastors so that they might perceive measures that might not leave the holy, faithful people of God alone, and so that the people of God might feel accompanied by their pastors”. With the Holy Father’s agreement, the Cardinal Vicar, Angelo De Donatis, exercising pastoral discernment and wishing to avoid disorientation or confusion to the faithful, issued a new decree allowing parish churches, and some other equivalent pastoral missions, to remain open for private prayer.

    In a letter to the faithful of the Diocese, Cardinal De Donatis explained that the decision to close the churches of Rome had not been made out of “irrational fear, or worse, a pragmatism devoid of hope”, but as a means of preventing contagion. However, he explained, there is also a need to ensure that people do not feel even more isolated, prompting the revised pastoral provisions.

    Cardinal De Donatis said the Church is relying on the “wise discernment” of priests. “Be very close to the people of God”, he urged them. “Make sure that every person feels loved and accompanied, help everyone to perceive that the Church does not close its doors to anyone, but is concerned that none of the ‘little ones’ should risk their lives or be forgotten”. He encouraged them to bring “the comfort of the sacraments” to those who are ill and to ensure the help necessary for the poor, while taking every possible precaution to avoid anything that could endanger the health of others.

    Cardinal De Donatis also encouraged prayer in the family, maintaining “the tradition of our parents and grandparents”.

    The Cardinal Vicar concluded his letter by calling on all the faithful of the diocese to entrust themselves once more to Our Lady of Divine Love, the Madonna del Divino Amore.

    FULL TEXT Source: VaticanNews.va

    Archbishop of Detroit Suspends All Public Masses until April 6th saying "...let us entrust ourselves to Our Lady of Lourdes, patron for those who suffer illness" Full Text




    March 13, 2020
    Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, As we continue to receive reports about the spread of the Coronavirus in our communities, I write to you today with some news that may be difficult to hear. After consultation with health care professionals and government officials, I am temporarily suspending all public Masses in the Archdiocese of Detroit until Monday, April 6.
    The celebration of Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of the Catholic faith, through which we encounter and enter into sacred Communion with the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. The decision to temporarily suspend this practice was not and must never be taken lightly. As Mass is a commemoration of Christ’s great act of love for us, we take this unprecedented measure with eyes fixed on him and his greatest commandment to love one another, which in this difficult time means that we ensure the health and safety of our community by following the wise counsel of local, state, and federal government and health officials.
    During this growing spread of COVID-19, we must redouble these efforts, particularly of prayer and fasting. We should pray and fast for God’s mercy on our local community and the whole world to end the Coronavirus pandemic. We should pray for medical professionals, researchers, and government leaders that the Lord would give them wisdom in their work and that we would heed their advice and directions for the good of society, especially for the least among us, those who are most susceptible of contracting this virus and other illnesses. You can find prayer resources here. More resources will be forthcoming.
    The decision to temporarily suspend public Masses has been communicated to your pastors in a separate correspondence with more details. Effective Saturday March 14, all Sunday and weekday public Masses, faith formation courses, communal Penance services, and all other parish events will be suspended in the Archdiocese of Detroit until Monday of Holy Week, April 6. Mass will be available to you each day via live-stream and other media channels. You can find these on our website aod.org/livemasses. Be assured that our priests will be offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass each day in private so as to harness and direct the great spiritual grace and power contained therein.
    As you temporarily participate at Mass in this different way, you and your families are encouraged to make a daily Spiritual Communion by praying:
    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 in 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.
    At the discretion of pastors, churches may be open for private prayer so that you can approach Our Lord who is fully present in the Tabernacle. Whenever the church remains open, it is the responsibility of the pastor (or the one who he designates) to ensure that no more than 100 people are present at one time. This directive is given by local government so that the number of cases of those infected with COVID-19 does not spike. Therefore, so as to refrain from large gatherings, there will be no posted times for collective prayers, recitation of the Rosary, or other set times for gathering.
    Funerals, weddings, and baptisms are at the discretion of the pastor but are not to exceed 100 people in attendance. Holy Communion, except as Viaticum, will not be distributed to the faithful at any liturgy during this time.
    Individual confessions, anointings, and other forms of pastoral care can be offered in a case-by-case basis. Consult your local parish for any of these needs during this time.
    As I mentioned in my letter yesterday, let us entrust ourselves to Our Lady of Lourdes, patron for those who suffer illness. Through her intercession, may God grant healing and protection to the people of southeast Michigan and beyond. And let us, by the courageous hope with which we face the challenge of the virus’ spread, give witness to our confidence in the good news of the Lord’s victory over suffering and death.
    Sincerely yours in Christ,

    Archdiocese of Washington Closes Catholic Schools and Public Masses and Encourages Spiritual Communion Prayers


    Archdiocese of Washington Catholic Schools Closed and Masses Cancelled Beginning Saturday, March 14, 2020 
    WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the interest of public health and safety, Governor Larry Hogan and state superintendent, Dr. Karen Salmon, announced today, March 12, that all Maryland schools must close (also cancelling ALL school-related activities) from March 16 through March 27 in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) in our area. As a result of this order, Archbishop Gregory has indicated that all Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Washington will be closed from March 16 through March 27.
    Additionally, the State of Maryland has ordered that no public gatherings in excess of 250 people may be held until further notice. As a result of this order, Archbishop Gregory has indicated Masses open to the public, in ALL archdiocesan parishes, missions, and campus ministries will not be celebrated starting this Saturday, March 14 until further notice. Weddings and funerals may proceed but attendance should be limited to immediate family.
    Archbishop Gregory has also issued a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass during this time to all parishioners of the Archdiocese of Washington.
    “We are aware of the rapidly developing district and state guidelines regarding the coronavirus.  My number one priority as your Archbishop is to ensure the safety and health of all who attend our Masses, the children in our schools, and those we welcome through our outreach and services. Please know that this decision does not come lightly to close our schools or cancel Masses,” Archbishop Gregory said. “We are profoundly saddened that we are not able to celebrate our sacraments as a community for the time being but we know Christ remains with us at all times – specifically in times of worry like this.”
    “I have made available pastoral and spiritual resources as well as TV Mass on our website that I encourage you to use. I also invite you to join us for Mass and prayer via livestream in our social media.” Archbishop Gregory continued. “May the peace of Christ settle any anxieties and fear we may have. Let us continue to pray for the people whose lives have been impacted by the coronavirus as well as those who continue to care for them.”
    Please visit adw.org/coronavirus for the latest updates.

    Coronavirus dispensation and prayers
    Many people feel powerless in the face of this pandemic. We see in a devastating way how widely a virus spreads person to person. We have confidence that God allows the good that we do, our prayer and our actions, to make a positive impact on brothers and sisters. As Pope Francis encourages us, “Let us call upon him today, firmly rooted in prayer, for without prayer all our activity risks being fruitless and our message empty.” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 259)
    This page is intended to provide helpful guidance to Catholics in the Archdiocese of Washington regarding participation in Sunday Mass during the Coronavirus pandemic. A PDF containing this information is available to download here to help parishes communicate this information to parishioners.
    What is a Dispensation from Mass?
    A dispensation from the diocesan Bishop releases Catholics from fulfilling their Sunday obligation (Mass). Since public Masses are cancelled in the Archdiocese of Washington until further notice, this means that if you live in the Archdiocese of Washington, the right thing to do is to stay home for your safety and the safety of others. Though there is a sadness for not being able to participate at Mass, one should not feel guilty for not going to Mass. You have a free conscience to stay home. Catholics are encouraged to offer up their sickness or pastoral care for the sake of those who are seriously ill and for those who have died.

    What Should I do if I Can’t go to Mass?

    Catholics are encouraged to make a ‘spiritual communion’. St. John Paul II writes that “it is good to cultivate in our hearts a constant desire for the sacrament of the Eucharist. This was the origin of the practice of ‘spiritual communion’, which has happily been established in the Church for centuries and recommended by saints who were masters of the spiritual life. Saint Teresa of Jesus wrote: ‘When you do not receive communion and you do not attend Mass, you can make a spiritual communion, which is a most beneficial practice; by it the love of God will be greatly impressed on you.’” (Ecclesia Eucharistia, no. 34) Catholics in the archdiocese are also encouraged to watch our local TV Sunday Mass. The Mass airs every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. on WDCW-50 and through free online streaming at adw.org/tvmass.

    How Do I Make a Spiritual Communion?

    Below are recommendations for how to make a ‘spiritual communion’ when unable to participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The recommendations can be adapted based upon personal and family needs.
    • Gather with others in your household and begin a time of prayer with the sign of the cross.
    • Take time to read and reflect upon the readings from Sunday Mass. You can find the readings at usccb.org and a Sunday Gospel reflection on our YouTube channel. Additionally, a weekly televised Sunday Mass is available to watch at adw.org/tvmass.
    • Share prayer intentions quietly or aloud.
    • Pray the Lord’s Prayer.
    • Pray one of the following prayers of spiritual communion (see below).
    • Close with the sign of the cross.

    Prayer to the Most Holy Redeemer (Anima Christi)

    Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
    Body of Christ, save me.
    Blood of Christ, embolden me.
    Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
    Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
    O good Jesus, hear me.
    Within thy wounds hide me.
    Never permit me to be parted from you.
    From the evil Enemy defend me.
    In the hour of my death call me.
    and bid me come to thee,
    that with your saints I may praise thee
    for age upon age.
    Amen.


    Prayer to our Lord Jesus Christ Crucified
    Behold, O good and loving Jesus, that I cast myself on my knees before you and, with the greatest fervor of spirit, I pray and beseech you to instill into my heart ardent sentiments of faith, hope and charity, with true repentance for my sins and a most firm purpose of amendment. With deep affection and sorrow I ponder intimately and contemplate in my mind your five wounds, having before my eyes what the prophet David had already put in your mouth about yourself, O good Jesus: They have pierced my hands and my feet; they have numbered all my bones (Ps. 21: 17-18). The above prayers can be found in the Manual of Indulgences for those who make “an act of spiritual communion” and are prayers of thanksgiving in the Roman Missal. The Manual of Indulgences indicates that a partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite one of these prayers.

    Today's Mass Readings and Video : Saturday, March 14, 2020 - #Eucharist in Lent


    Saturday of the Second Week of Lent
    Lectionary: 235
    Reading 1MI 7:14-15, 18-20
    Shepherd your people with your staff,
    the flock of your inheritance,
    That dwells apart in a woodland,
    in the midst of Carmel.
    Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead,
    as in the days of old;
    As in the days when you came from the land of Egypt,
    show us wonderful signs.

    Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt
    and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance;
    Who does not persist in anger forever,
    but delights rather in clemency,
    And will again have compassion on us,
    treading underfoot our guilt?
    You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins;
    You will show faithfulness to Jacob,
    and grace to Abraham,
    As you have sworn to our fathers
    from days of old.

    Responsorial Psalm103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12
    R.    (8a)  The Lord is kind and merciful.
    Bless the LORD, O my soul;
    and all my being, bless his holy name.
    Bless the LORD, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits.
    R.    The Lord is kind and merciful.
    He pardons all your iniquities,
    he heals all your ills.
    He redeems your life from destruction,
    he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
    R.    The Lord is kind and merciful.
    He will not always chide,
    nor does he keep his wrath forever.
    Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
    nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
    R.    The Lord is kind and merciful.
    For as the heavens are high above the earth,
    so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
    As far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he put our transgressions from us.
    R.    The Lord is kind and merciful.

    Verse Before The GospelLK 15:18
    I will get up and go to my father and shall say to him,
    Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.


    Gospel LK 15:1-3, 11-32
    Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
    but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
    “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
    So to them Jesus addressed this parable.
    “A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father,
    ‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’
    So the father divided the property between them.
    After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings
    and set off to a distant country
    where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
    When he had freely spent everything,
    a severe famine struck that country,
    and he found himself in dire need.
    So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens
    who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
    And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed,
    but nobody gave him any.
    Coming to his senses he thought,
    ‘How many of my father’s hired workers
    have more than enough food to eat,
    but here am I, dying from hunger.
    I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him,
    “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
    I no longer deserve to be called your son;
    treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’
    So he got up and went back to his father.
    While he was still a long way off,
    his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.
    He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
    His son said to him,
    ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;
    I no longer deserve to be called your son.’
    But his father ordered his servants,
    ‘Quickly, bring the finest robe and put it on him;
    put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
    Take the fattened calf and slaughter it.
    Then let us celebrate with a feast,
    because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;
    he was lost, and has been found.’
    Then the celebration began.
    Now the older son had been out in the field
    and, on his way back, as he neared the house,
    he heard the sound of music and dancing.
    He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
    The servant said to him,
    ‘Your brother has returned
    and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf
    because he has him back safe and sound.’
    He became angry,
    and when he refused to enter the house,
    his father came out and pleaded with him.
    He said to his father in reply,
    ‘Look, all these years I served you
    and not once did I disobey your orders;
    yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends.
    But when your son returns
    who swallowed up your property with prostitutes,
    for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’
    He said to him,
    ‘My son, you are here with me always;
    everything I have is yours.
    But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
    because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
    he was lost and has been found.’”