3/24/2020, the clergy and staff members received a letter from Archbishop Listecki regarding the COVID-19. We'd like to share some of the highlights of that letter with you.
- The suspension of public daily and Sunday Mass throughout the archdiocese and at our parishes continues to be in place. Priests may continue to celebrate Mass without a congregation. We have been live-streaming our Masses at 8 a.m.
- The distribution of Holy Communion is permitted only as Viaticum (meaning the Eucharist as given to a person near or in danger of death). Other practices of "private" distribution may not take place.
- April 1 was designated as a day for 12 hours of the Sacrament of Reconciliation throughout the archdiocese. This is postponed. However, Confessions are offered Monday through Friday at St. Mary and St. Anthony Parishes. Noon at St. Mary and 5 p.m. at St. Anthony.
- Public celebrations for Holy Week, Holy Thursday and Good Friday are canceled in all archdiocesan parishes and our two parishes, as well. Those services will be live-streamed.
Palm Sunday April 5, 8 a.m.
Holy Thursday, April 9, 7 p.m.
Good Friday, April 10, 3 p.m.
Easter Vigil, April 11, 8 p.m.
Easter Sunday, April 12, 8 a.m.
- No blessing /distribution of palms.
- Postponement of Chrism Mass-blessing of oils.
- No washing of feet on Holy Thurs.
- No blessing of fire, but simple lighting of Easter Candle followed by Exsultet, Gloria,Liturgy of Word,Gospel & homily.
- No blessing of Baptismal water.
- The baptisms of the Elect (RCIA candidates) and the receptions into full communion across the archdiocese are postponed until a later diocesan-wide common date.
- The ViaCrucis at Holy Hill is cancelled.
- The suspension of public celebrations of the Eucharist will continue for Easter Sunday.
- Confirmations and First Communions are now postponed until the health crisis has passed.
- It is a challenge to celebrate funerals the way people might like. We will encourage families to delay the rituals if at all possible. If there is no way to delay, families of the deceased will need to be cautious about keeping the number of people to a minimum and maintaining the proper social distancing between people. Please keep in mind that when counting the number of people at a funeral, we need to include the presiding priest, musician, etc.
Please know that you all remain in our thoughts and prayers during these difficult times.
Msgr. Shecterle and Fr. Linn
We are now living in unbelievable and unprecedented times in our world and Church. This will probably be the most penitential Lent we’ve ever encountered as we are forced to fast from the Real Presence of our Lord in Holy Communion and abstain from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass itself. Please persevere and be steadfast in your faith. Our lives and our world are in the loving hands of our Creator, and as we heard this past weekend, “Hope does not disappoint”. We will get through this. Perhaps this experience will cause us to be drawn more intimately to Him in prayer that we so long to be nourished by His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity when this crisis is over. Let us pray for each other and our parishes as we make this spiritual journey to ever greater union with Christ crucified.
Based on current guidelines from local public health departments, Archbishop Listecki mandated the suspension of all public celebrations of Holy Mass effective Wednesday, March 18, until April 3. This will be reevaluated on April 1. The Parish Office will remain open for the foreseeable future and staff will keep appropriate social distance. We ask that parishioners who have business with the Parish Office take care of it via email or phone as much as possible. The mail drop will continue to be open for donation envelopes and mail. All activities on parish grounds are canceled.
Daily Mass will be celebrated at both St. Mary and St. Anthony for their Mass intentions. On Sunday we will only pray the Missa pro populo, Mass for the people of the parish. Those who have Mass intentions scheduled on these upcoming Sundays will be contacted to reschedule.
St. Mary Parish has the technical capabilities to livestream and record Holy Mass. In place of our regular liturgical services, beginning Wednesday, March 18, our daily and Sunday Mass will be livestreamed (broadcast in real time) at 8 a.m. every day, and be recorded. While the faithful are not permitted to attend these Masses, the recorded versions will be accessible on the parish YouTube channel and available for viewing at any time. You can subscribe to the YouTube channel or click on the link on the parish website to view the livestreamed and recorded Masses.
In addition to our livestreamed and recorded liturgies, please look to our website and Facebook page for additional resources, and visit usccb.org for daily readings. Although we are not celebrating the Holy Mass publically, please continue to support our parish and be generous as we experience our faith in a new way during this extraordinary time. Your parish gifts can be done either by mail or online.
Archbishop Listecki has encouraged us to keep churches open for personal prayer and adoration. Adoration will take place at St. Anthony in the main church on Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. and at St. Mary on Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. Please keep six feet between you and anyone else. The doors will not be open until 8:30 a.m. We are working out details on offering adoration other days of the week as well.
Archbishop Listecki has also encouraged parishes to make confession available. We will offer confession at noon at St. Mary and at 5 p.m. at St. Anthony, Monday through Friday. Please use the east wing door at St. Mary and the handicapped entrance at St. Anthony. However, on Wednesday, April 1 there will not be confession at St. Mary and St. Anthony, as it will be available at St. Dominic in Brookfield from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. for the Archdiocesan Lenten 12 Hours of Confession.
Your patience and understanding are greatly appreciated. We will continue to communicate with you in the days to come, as this situation is evolving rapidly. This Sunday, the 4th weekend of Lent is also known as Laetare Sunday, “Rejoice” taken from the Latin translation of the Introit, Isaiah 66:10-11. It sets the tone of joyful anticipation of the Easter mysteries. So despite the pandemic, we rejoice in the gift of our faith and our Lord’s death on the cross for the salvation of our souls.
Please frequently pray the Memorare, as we entrust ourselves to her great care. Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
St. Anthony the Hermit, pray for us.
Msgr. Ross A. Shecterle and Fr. Andrew Linn