Corona Update: No Public Masses
I received instructions today from the archbishop that two weeks ago would have seemed impossible. There will be no public Masses in the whole state of Ohio at least through Easter. I am saddened that it has come to this, but I understand the gravity of the situation and I ask you to prayerful support the bishops rather than protest.
While the Mass is certainly worth dying for, it is not worth killing for. While most of us will not become gravely ill because of this virus, even those with relatively minor (or no) symptoms can unwittingly transmit it to the most vulnerable. Our charity must be prudent.At the end of his 40 days in the desert, Matthew says that Jesus was hungry. After this extended Lent–with its unchosen penances–comes to an end, I hope it will have created an even deeper hunger for Eucharist in all the faithful. Unlike bodily hunger, this spiritual hunger is the result of and bringer of grace. The more we desire to be with the Lord, the more our soul becomes joined to his. Missing Mass under these circumstances is not the same as missing Mass for lack of effort.
- The friars at St. Gertrude will attempt to make our Mass available through Sacred Heart Radio as it usually is. We will be recording this earlier in the morning, in a closed Church.
- We will be praying for all of you, since you are all affected by the Coronavirus– whether or not you have COVID-19.
- The scheduled Mass intentions will be fulfilled at some point during the day by one of our priests. We will not announce the intention in the recording, because each day has three, but rest assured a different priest will satisfy each scheduled intention.
- The Church will be open from 12 N until 9 pm each day. The doors may be unlocked earlier than that.
- We are working on a plan to hear confessions while minimizing the opportunities for spreading the disease.
- Other meetings with priests and staff will be carried out online or over the phone. You still call the parish office, but please don’t walk-in.
- We would still like to be able to assist the dying. If you call us to let us know about loved one, please give us as much information about the circumstances as possible so we can be properly prepared.
- We are working on creating a studio in the priory in order to be able to record videos to keep Christian learning and praying alive.
Thank you for prayers and understanding. Know that the friars and staff (who have been wonderful in these preparations) love you and are actively praying for you.
Peace in Christ,
Fr. Clement Dickie, O.P.