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Posted on: March 31, 2020

Forgiveness of Sins in Pandemic

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Posted on: March 26, 2020

Special Prayer of the Holy Father

All members of the faithful and other Christians are invited to participate in the special prayer of the Holy Father which is taking place in
Saint Peter’s Square, tomorrow, FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2020.  During the Statio orbis, which will be broadcast by Mondovision and streamed on the website of Vatican News (WWW.VATICANNEWS.VA) at 6:00 P.M. in Rome, 1:00 P.M. (EDT) and (10:00 A.M., PST), the Holy Father will grant to all participants the Plenary Indulgence before imparting the Urbi et Orbi blessing. 

Posted on: March 25, 2020

Pope Francis: As humanity trembles from pandemic, let us unite in prayer

Pope Francis looks out at an empty St. Peter's Square. Credit: Vatican Media.

Vatican City, Mar 22, 2020 / 07:05 am (CNA).- Pope Francis has asked Christians around the world to unite in praying the Our Father prayer at noon on March 25 in response to the corona virus pandemic.

“In these days of trial, while humanity trembles at the threat of the pandemic, I would like to propose to all Christians to unite their voices to heaven,” Pope Francis said March 22.

“I invite ... the leaders of all Christian communities, together with all Christians of various confessions, to invoke the Most High, Almighty God, while simultaneously reciting the prayer that Jesus Our Lord has taught us,” he said following the Angelus prayer.

March 25 is the Solemnity of the Annunciation, the date “when many Christians remember the Archangel Gabriel's announcement to the Virgin Mary of the Incarnation of the Word,” the pope said.

“May the Lord hear the unanimous prayer of all his disciples who are preparing to celebrate the victory of the Risen Christ,” he said.

More than 311,900 people have contracted COVID-19 as of March 22, according to Johns Hopkins University. The respiratory disease, which originated in Wuhan, China, has spread to 157 countries, and has led to the deaths of 13,407 people worldwide.

Pope Francis announced on Sunday that he will also preside over a moment of prayer with Eucharistic Adoration in an empty St. Peter’s Square on Friday, March 27 at 6pm in Rome in which he will give the Urbi et Orbi blessing, usually reserved for Christmas, Easter, or other special occasions.

He invited all Catholics to participate spiritually through the media and noted that all who join in this prayer will have the possibility of receiving a plenary indulgence if they meet the obligations laid out in the decree issued March 20.

The Vatican’s Apostolic Penitentiary has granted a plenary indulgence for people who pray for an end to the pandemic, healing for the sick, and the eternal repose of the dead. Plenary indulgences, which remit all temporal punishment due to sin, must be accompanied by full detachment from sin.

In this case, the person must also fulfill the ordinary conditions of an indulgence, which are sacramental confession, reception of the Eucharist, and prayer for the intentions of the pope, by having the will to satisfy the conditions as soon as possible for them.

To receive the indulgence, a person may offer at least a half hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament or a half hour of prayer with scripture, or the recitation of the rosary or chaplet of divine mercy “to implore from the Almighty God an end to the epidemic, relief for those who are suffering, and eternal salvation of those whom the Lord has called to himself.”

“We want to respond to the pandemic of the virus with the universality of prayer, compassion, tenderness. Let us stay united,” Pope Francis said in his Angelus broadcast on March 22.

Reminding people to pray for the lonely, the elderly, doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers, the pope said it is also important to pray for government authorities and the police, who are trying to maintain order.

Pope Francis said he would like all Catholics to take time today to meditate on Sunday's Gospel reading from chapter nine of the Gospel of John.

“At the heart of the liturgy of this fourth Sunday of Lent is the theme of light. The Gospel tells the episode of the blind man from birth, to whom Jesus gives the sight. This miraculous sign is the confirmation of Jesus’s claim about himself: 'I am the light of the world,' the light that illuminates our darkness,” Pope Francis said.

The beggar’s healing is a metaphor for the liberation from sin that Christ offers, he explained.

“Sin is like a dark veil that covers our face and prevents us from seeing ourselves and the world clearly. The forgiveness of the Lord removes this veil of shadow and darkness, and gives us new light. The Lent that we are living is an opportune and precious time to approach the Lord, asking for his mercy, in the different forms that Mother Church offers us,” Francis said.

“Most Holy Mary, help us to imitate the blind man of the Gospel, so that we can be flooded with the light of Christ and walk with him on the path of salvation,” Pope Francis prayed.

Posted on: March 25, 2020

The Power of Prayer

Posted on: March 22, 2020

A Letter from Fr. Wayne

Dear Friends,
 
I hope you are all keeping warm and safe, enjoying a hot bowl of soup and a good spiritual book. I will miss seeing you this weekend, but you are in my thoughts and prayers.

I was thinking that when this challenge of the corona virus is all over, how will we reflect on how this has changed our lives.
 
A few of my thoughts:
How we will appreciate a handshake …
How good a hug will feel…
How special it will be to hold the hand of a stranger during the prayer of Our Father …
The joy of giving the sign of peace to a loved one or a stranger …
The joy of praying together at Mass ….
The extraordinary sense and feeling of the sacred, at Mass ….
Sharing a cup of coffee with a friend ….
Inviting people to your home for a shared meal or social….
Receiving the Eucharist…..
 
My friends we will be more, on so many different levels of appreciation. During this time, I know that you must have come to the realization of how dependent we are on each other. We can often under appreciate, how much is added to our well-being through our connectedness with each other, and the primary source of this experience of wellness is our connection to God.

This experience of the corona Virus is changing us in more ways than we can imagine, or grasp.
The social distancing and the absence of gathering together for the various religious and social celebrations at our parish adds to this feeling of loneliness.

This Lenten journey is truly calling all of us to a deeper understanding of the value of being in relationship with each other and the recognition of what it means to be open to the Will of God.

I believe that there is something deeply rooted in what it means to be human, …this sense of Hope. Therefore, hopelessness is the antipathy of our faith, because our faith is embedded in God, who is LOVE ……and when there is love there is always hope, we have our source in Love.

And so, as we experience the unprecedented challenges of the Covid-19 virus that is causing us to change our way of doing things, we must remember that not all change is good. But change is necessary if we are going to grow and become more astute in the way we deal with natural disasters and other challenging experiences in our lives. Change can also help to create a more perfect experience for all, as we learn to adapt to a more open, reflective, just, caring, inclusive understanding of life. The dynamism that constantly transforms us for good cannot happen or exist without change. The value of change is experienced and known when we are deeply and profoundly moved in our reflections.

So, now let me give you an update concerning liturgical celebrations, that we have received from Bishop Daniel.  All Masses are to be suspended until after Easter. This is going to be difficult for me and I know for many of you to not be together at Sunday Masses, Holy week celebration, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Mass.

I am hoping to celebrate a private Mass for this Sunday and have it streamed on our webpage.

One of the things that I have included in my daily ritual, is to read the Gospel of the day slowly, meditatively and reflect on what is God is asking of me today. I am praying that this will make me more aware of the presence of others and their needs.

The other thing that I do every morning is to pray for a need in the world…and that need could be anything or anyone… I do this after my Gospel reading and Reflection. I am surprised at the different things and people I am praying for now.
 
I leave you with this beautiful prayer by an unknown author:

 
Thinking of You
This morning when I wakened
   And saw the sun above,
I softly said, “Good Morning, Lord,
   -Bless everyone I love!”
Right away I thought of you
     And said a loving prayer
That he would bless you specifically
   And keep you free from care!
I thought of all the happiness
   A day could hold in store;
I wished it all for you
   I felt so warm and good inside
My heart was all aglow
   I know God heard my prayers for you
He hears them all you know!
   Just to let you know
I’m thinking of you 

Author Unknown
 
God’s Richest Blessings,
Fr. Wayne Dawson, Pastor

 

Posted on: March 19, 2020

He Holds the Whole World in his Hands