Peace Be With You

Dear Friends,

The news continues to cover the ongoing outbreak of the Coronavirus. This is a very serious illness as it is something novel and the medical world is trying to grapple with it. The Center for Disease Control continues to say that the most effective way to prevent its spread is to wash hands regularly with soap and water or a hand sanitizer and to avoid physical contact.

In accord with the Archdiocesan directives which were shared verbally last weekend, we will not offer Communion from the Chalice, nor invite the Sign of Peace at Mass. If the invitation happens to be given, rather than a handshake, please offer a bow of the head or a quiet “Peace be with you.” Please note that our holy water fonts are drained and cleaned weekly. Our Clergy and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion will be washing their hands before Mass and after distribution of Holy Communion.

It seems appropriate to remind ourselves that Jesus Christ is truly, fully, really, and completely present in either the Consecrated Host or the Consecrated Precious Blood. Receiving either the Consecrated Host or the Consecrated Precious Blood is to receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus fully and completely.

It is also helpful to remind ourselves that when receiving Holy Communion, whether on the tongue or in the hand, we do so with the utmost respect and reverence in the presence of Jesus Christ, our Eucharistic Lord. If receiving on the tongue, please tilt your head back and extend your tongue so the Host may be placed on it. If receiving in the hand, please have your one hand on top of the other with the palm fully extended. Take one step to the side and consume the Host while still in front of the Eucharistic Minister before returning to your place.

The medical professionals have said that those who are older or those with severe chronic conditions should take extra precautions as they are at higher risk. Also, anyone who begins to feel sick, should stay at home and call your health care professional. When you are sick, do not enter into crowds of people. Also, it is best not to rely on ordinary news outlets or social media for information on this health situation. Rather turn to the Center for Disease Control and local government websites for accurate information both locally and worldwide. Let us pray for all those who have become sick, those who have died, and for all health care professionals as well as for an end to its spread.

We are most grateful to Father Michael Shea, CM for his wonderful and insightful homilies during our Lenten Triduum ~ A Journey with Mary through Lent. I personally was not aware of the details and the three visions of our Blessed Mother to Saint Catherine Laboure and appreciated the opportunity to grow closer to our Lady through this Triduum. Thank you to so many people who participated each evening at Mass and for those who took advantage of the Sacrament of Confession.

Our youngsters and their families celebrated the Sacrament of First Penance last Saturday. We had many additional priest helping to hear confessions. It was a joyous and festive celebration of God’s mercy. The celebration was filled with grace and the peace which God offers to all who seek Him. Keep our youngsters and their families in your kind prayers as they prepare for First Holy Communion on May 2.

God bless you, God love you,

Monsignor McCulken

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