My friends, in this post I’m going to try to lay out our shared situation simply and then we can review it and adapt as needed. As you know, because of the severity of this current virus, all public masses and public events have been suspended throughout our diocese. It is heartbreaking, but our obedience and fidelity to our Bishop is necessary and good in its own right. It is that obedience to God and His Holy Church that will get us through this difficult time when we cannot celebrate the Eucharist together as a parish family.
To help stay close to the Eucharist we will be offering a period of adoration each day from 4-5pm. Here is the schedule as of Saturday March 21st.
St. Charles Adoration 4-5pm: Sunday/Monday/Wednesday/Friday
St. Rose Adoration 4-5pm Tuesday/Thursday/ Saturday
After the first week we can evaluate if there is a better time or if more time would be needed, if you have suggestions please talk to me. Please practice social distancing and protective hygiene if you attend.
Additionally, I will put up a small “note” each week on Facebook and on our website: stcharlesandstrose.com and offer a recorded “mini-message” addressing the Gospel. I will be saying a private Mass for the Church (and each of you) every day, but I do not plan on live-streaming it. My reason for that hits on something many of us have talked about before, the Mass and its parts are incredibly sacred both in a spiritual sense and a physical sense. They are sacred individually but they are sacred primarily as they comprise the whole-integral body that is the Sacrifice of the Mass. I want to do everything I can to help you through this, but I do not for a second want to normalize it. We should feel that something is broken and missing because quite frankly... it is. The second reason is that I think those sacred elements of the Mass should be shared online only when they can be done well and in a reverential manner. EWTN or Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire can do a much better job than I can with my iphone and I do not want to cheapen the Sacraments through poor media. The medium may not be the message, but it can certainly affect it in this case.
So, here’s where I recommend we begin as some practical ways to faithfully and fruitfully get through this difficult time together as a parish. Choose as many as you can do well.
-Pray the rosary daily.
-Read scripture or some spiritual writing.
-Visit adoration if you feel comfortable and if you can do so safely.
-Listen to the Faith Series classes and messages on our website.
-Watch daily mass, or Sunday mass online with Bishop Barron or watch on EWTN.
-Make a spiritual communion before, during, or after your viewing of the mass.
-Pray for those who are sick and for the health of the Church.
-Pray the Liturgy of the Hours (You can find it on ibreviary.org or the ibreviary app)
-Continue to give generously, do penance, fast when you can.
My friends, we all have used the excuse that we would do these things each day and work on our spiritual lives if only we had more time. Well... now we all have a lot of time on our hands. Instead, of wasting it on social media or binge-watching TV you could use this Lent to become a saint. We can come out of this a healthier, holier, and hungrier parish if we put in the work starting today. Perhaps God got tired of waiting on us to come around to saintliness so He gave us the conditions of this struggle to require our choice once and for all.
Lastly, while I am restricted in many ways in what I can do, I will do ALL THAT I CAN to help you through this. Confession is available by request, you can call, text, or email if you need something or need a bit of help through this time. If you need resources or materials let me know and I will do what I can to share those with you. If there’s something you need please ask and we will try our best to work it out.
There is no moment in our lives that is closed off to holiness. We can always choose to serve, love, and worship God even in the most difficult or isolated circumstances. Take responsibility for your faith and know that you still have a parish full of people and a priest to help you as you do. Let’s pray well for each other during this time and please know that I am always praying for you and yours.
In Christ, Fr. Boelscher