Today we enter into the holiest week of the year, Holy Week. This is the week in which we commemorate the saving action of Our Lord on our behalf. During this week, we see the crowds go from proclaiming Christ king to calling for Him to be crucified. The Holy Eucharist and the priesthood were both instituted. And the Lord offered to His Father the ultimate sacrifice of His life for our sake and our salvation.
During this week, I again suggest that you read the Passion of the Lord from any of the Gospels. The Passion from the Gospel of St. Matthew is what we read at Mass. Meditate upon what it is that the Lord has done so that we could have life and have it more abundantly. Also be sure to pray the Stations of the Cross, especially on this coming Good Friday.
Many also remain nervous or frustrated with the current situation. Please know that the suspension of public Mass has been extended through May 3. I know this is difficult, and it is hard for us not to see each of you. However, we have no control over the situation. We can allow our fear or anger to consume us, or we can use this situation for some good. I strongly urge each of you to work on building up your domestic church. The family has long been and described as a domestic church, the church at home. What we do here at the parish complements, strengthens, and confirms what you do at home, but right now we need strong domestic churches. We can often overlook that, but the faith begins and is nurtured first and foremost in the home. Make sure that you are praying, praying as a family, and focusing on your spiritual lives during this time. Read the life of a saint, read the Mass texts at home, pray the rosary. Prayer is all the more important now! Focus also on your family by putting down the phones, turning off the technology, and actually spending quality time together. We can only work on what we can control ourselves, so seize that opportunity!
Without the ability to attend Mass, especially during this Holy Week, build up your homes and families. You can cover your statues if you haven’t already as we do at church. You can read the texts of Mass as part of your personal or family prayer. You can pray the Stations to be in union with the Passion. Strive to work on some virtue or issue that has been plaguing your home while you have the time. The Lord is calling us back to Himself, and away from all the distractions that we have allowed to pull us in this or that way. We have the choice, we can use this situation to our advantage to grow in holiness and as a family, or we can use it only to inflame our passions of fear and anger. But if we choose the latter, then we miss a golden opportunity to unite ourselves to the cross of Christ!
Please remember that you can find some suggestions in a former update here on prayers and where to watch Mass. We have resources in English, Latin, and German! Please also share this newsletter with other parishioners and make sure they know they can sign up to receive it as well!
Also, be sure to check the parish webpage calendar for the hours that Church will be open this week, and when confession will be offered. You can find the calendar at this link: Google Calendar. This will be the most accurate and updated list, but please be sure to check daily in case something has changed. Please enter only through the side door of Church. Please come and visit us! Our Lord is still in the tabernacle!
Please remember that there is Holy Water and other devotional materials available near the side door of Church. holy water bottles are available to be purchased for $1 which simply covers the cost. You can also bring your own holy water bottles. Please drop this in the donation box under the high pulpit which you can see in the picture below.
You can also drop your Sunday collection envelopes for either Old St. Mary’s or Sacred Heart and/or other donations in there as well. You can also set up online giving for Old St. Mary’s here. You can donate to the Oratory here. Online giving for Sacred Heart is coming soon and will hopefully be set up by next Sunday. The physical parish office is closed, but everyone is working remotely and responding to phone calls and emails during this time.
Finally, my sermon for this Palm Sunday can be found here. I address a little more some of the things I talked about here. I pray that each of you has a blessed Holy Week and I look forward to the day when we can all be together again. Please pray for us. Know that you are each remembered in our daily prayer and Masses and we pray for an end to this pandemic. The prayers against plague are said at each of our Masses, please pray for this at home as well. God bless!
Fr. Jon-Paul Bevak, C.O.