UPDATE ON COVID-19
From Father Dan:
Dear Members of our Church and School Family,
Please be assured that Father Derek and I are continuing to keep all of you and your intentions in our daily prayers and private Masses. We pray you are keeping well physically and spiritually during this difficult time. We are especially mindful of the sacrifices of our healthcare workers, first responders, and National Guard men and women; of those who are sick or who have died; and of those who are hurting financially. You may have heard that Archbishop Aymond has tested positive for the coronavirus. Please pray for his recovery.
The Archbishop has called for a day of prayer and fasting this Friday, March 27 in order to ask God’s blessings on all of us. Please note that the Archbishop has also asked that we cease holding confession in the church for the time being because of the Governor’s “stay home” mandate and that groups not exceed 10 people. You may still call one of the priests for an appointment for confession and come to the church office. We can also come to your home or to your door to hear your confession. The church will continue to be open for prayer on Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM and on Friday from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM for Eucharistic Adoration. Please remember to keep distance from one another during Adoration.
Regular church hours are scheduled to resume on Monday, April 13.
In addition to our daily livestream Masses, we are going to livestream a school Mass on Friday at 9:00 AM. Please be advised that there the church will be closed to Adoration this Friday, March 27 from 9:00 to 10:00 AM so that the Mass may take place.
The Archbishop reminds us that we can embrace the sacrifice of not receiving Holy Communion during this time as a sacrifice for the good of others, and to be in solidarity with those in mission countries, who often must go weeks or months between opportunities to receive the Eucharist.
The Lord invites us to remain strong in faith, hope and love during this time.
UPDATE ON COVID-19 AS IT PERTAINS TO THE CHURCH:
On Monday, March 16, 2020, Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Apostolic Administrator of our diocese, directed that public Masses cannot be celebrated in the Alexandria Diocese. Stations of the Cross and other gatherings for prayer must also be canceled in light of the announcements by our President and our Governor regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Bishop Aymond said that our Friday Adoration CAN take place. We will still have Adoration on Fridays from 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM. The church will be unlocked on Monday through Thursday from 8:00 AM through 3:00 PM for private prayer. We can also offer confession in the church at regular times. We will be announcing those times soon.
The circumstances surrounding Holy Week will be discussed later, and we will update you.
Please be assured that Father Derek and I will be celebrating private Masses (i.e., without a congregation) daily for you and your intentions; and we will be fulfilling the Mass intentions which have been scheduled. We will be available in the church office for prayer, confession, and other spiritual needs. We are continuing to pray for you, your loved ones, and all affected by the coronavirus.
Earlier on Monday, OLPS Church and School had canceled or postponed virtually all activities other than Mass through April 13, 2020.
The cancellations include Wednesday parish suppers, CCD classes, junior and senior high youth groups, and parish-wide meetings. The Knights of Columbus, Young Adult Ministry and Catholics in Recovery meetings scheduled for this week have been canceled. The St. Padre Pio/Casa USA event set for Thursday has been postponed and will be rescheduled.
“Let us pray for those who have died because of the virus, and for the healing of those who have been affected,” Archbishop Aymond wrote. “Let us turn to our loving God and implore his protection. This is a time to lean on our faith and to act responsibly as has been requested by our government officials.”
Please remain calm and use common sense. The current times call for greater faith, not fear. “I command you: be strong and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to our help!
– Father Dan