Letter from Father Asante
March 18th, 2020
When we were in the seminary, none of us could have dreamed that we would one day be faced with the situation we are in today with no public celebrations of the Liturgy, including Sunday Mass, and all our other gatherings being cancelled. This is compounded with trying to figure out how to assist the sick and dying spiritually, how to help those who are hungry receive food or shelter, trying to continue to educate children who are home from school or unable to gather at religious education, and so many other issues that are real in all of our lives.
The simple fact of the matter is that the parish is not closed or asleep even when we have to operate with no public gatherings.
First of all, we want you to know that you are constantly in our thoughts and prayers. You are not alone even if you find yourself facing this virus in a self-quarantined environment at home. We are all praying for you because you are part of our parish family. Please find hope and encouragement in that reality.
As Catholic priests we are here to pray for everyone, to sacramentally offer anointing in times of illness, to celebrate with you at joyous occasions such as weddings and baptisms, and, sadly, to grieve with you at the loss of loved ones whom we commend to God with our prayers for eternal life.
As Bishop McManus emailed by Flocknote to everyone on Tuesday, we are people of hope, a hope which is grounded in faith and does not fail us. As stewards of the bodies with which we have been entrusted, we must heed the sound advice of healthcare professionals and government officials to protect ourselves, our loved ones and the entire community.
Assisting the community includes your parish family. If your household is still stable right now, please help this parish stay solvent during this crisis by continuing your support of the Parish Offertory. Whether you use online giving or can drop a check in the mail, your regular support will make a huge difference at being sure we will still be here when the crisis is over. The reality is that we have staff, insurances, minimal heat, and other expenses which are still real for the parish and must be addressed. And if you can do more, then do not forget Partners in Charity which is the lifeline for 25 agencies that assist tens of thousands of people every day.
Citing from the prayer our diocese has shared in this time of pandemic, we ask that you repeat these words in particular through the days ahead: “O God, . . . give us the wisdom to do what is right and the faith to endure this hour, that we might gather once again to praise your name in the heart of your Church, delivered from all distress and confident in your mercy.” Amen.
As I join with my brother priests in sending this letter, we join in prayer for your safety. And trust in the Lord who is the source of true hope.
Sacred Heart- St. Catherine's
on Wednesday, March 18 at 11:41AM