While on vacation to see a friend from seminary, big unprecedented changes occurred at home. The new reality began the 2nd Sunday of Lent with no sign of peace and no holy water. The small restrictions in the parish gave way to larger restrictions in our state and nation as the virus continued to spread. It is with respect and obedience to Archbishop Gregory that, until further notice, there are no public Masses in the Archdiocese, except to include immediate family members for funerals and weddings. I understand how difficult this is considering the importance of gathering together as a community to worship God, to hear His Word, and receive Jesus in the Eucharist. We pray that the virus will soon run its course, and that over time, restrictions will be reduced. In the meantime, the Diocese does have many on-line resources listed in the bulletin to continue our Lenten journey, as well as Mass on TV. Although this cannot substitute for the public Mass, it can help us to continue to pray for the health and safety of people who are ill, our doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, our first responders Lenten journey, as well as Mass on TV and although this can’t substitute for the public Mass it can help us to continue to pray for the health and safety of people that are ill, our doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, our first responders, and many others who are selflessly giving in this time of great need.
I will continue to hear confessions on an individual basis. Please give me a call at (301) 459-4814 ext. 229 and leave a message. The adoration chapel is still open, and I will consider opening the Church during the day for prayer and reflection as we come toward Easter, if there is no resolution. Obviously, if you are sick or coughing, please in charity, DO NOT COME to the Church. If you are in the Church or chapel, please maintain a 6 feet minimum distance from others, consistent with safety guidelines.
Visits to the sick, to those in nursing care facilities or hospitals, have been suspended in order to protect our vulnerable adults from possible virus infection. I thank Deacon Davis and the many wonderful volunteers in this parish who bring communion and visits to the sick.
Our parish school will be deep cleaned over the next week. You can be assured that the chapel and church will be cleaned regularly. The parish office is open and will remain open unless we are directed otherwise. For those able to contribute, we thank you for using your envelopes or Faith Direct. Pray for Fr. Canice and me and be assured of our prayers for you during this most somber of Lents.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Jack Kennealy