From my friend Father Dan Pacholec in Westfield, Massachusetts:
Thank you for stopping by the church today – your effort to be here is a beautiful sacrificial gift to God!
I’m sure you feel as I do, the great sadness of this time. Many of us have never experienced such a situation before in our lives. We are reminded during times like this that we are brothers and sisters with one another, and as the world faces the corona virus, we come to understand that the world cannot be separated from our doorstep. If we are able to make this sacrifice of gathering for Mass at this critical time, we can know that through our sacrifice, we are helping to save lives – perhaps not down the street – but in the neighboring city or state or country. We are brothers and sisters!
I would ask your kindness in thought, word and prayer for our Bishop. This decision has been the most difficult of his life, and he does not take it lightly. He is our Shepherd given to us by Christ, and we are called to follow his voice as we would that of Jesus – the Good Shepherd. His role as Shepherd is to protect us as Christ would, or as a parent would – even when their child does not understand or is resistant.
This time, like no other, can be a beautiful time of prayer and appreciation for the Eucharist which we sacrifice experiencing and receiving during this time. A kind of “spiritual fast” we undertake like we do on Good Friday – except extended in time.
Please spend some time in the church whenever it will be open (Sat 1-5, and Sun 8-12). Pray before the Blessed Sacrament in the Chapel; consider praying a Rosary in the main body of the church before our beautiful stained glass windows depicting the mysteries – some sorrowful – of Mary’s life (free rosaries are in the baskets on the round table in the gathering space); light a candle; pray the Stations of the Cross (books on round table); pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet before the Divine Mercy image in the main church; sit in the pews and read and meditate on the Readings for this Sunday, letting the Word of God feed your soul.
And what a glorious celebration it will be when we celebrate Mass again together and receive the Eucharist – renewed in our appreciation and understanding of the gift that the Eucharist is for us!
Please take a bulletin, and if you wish, place your envelope or offering in the basket here for the financial needs of the parish during this time.
May God bless and keep you in His Care!