Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In my forty plus years as a priest, I never thought the day would come when, as a Church, we would need to cancel all Masses, public prayers/liturgies, events and gatherings of more than ten people.
The faith we share is a communal faith. Like a “good” virus, it spreads from people to people. Now, however, we need to protect ourselves and those who are most vulnerable from this new (novel), dangerous, life-threatening Covid 19 Coronavirus. This means that we must hunker down, keep ourselves physically distant from one another and take the necessary precautions to prevent ourselves from getting this virus and/or spreading it to others.
How can we keep our faith strong during times like this? Do not be afraid!! We must remember that throughout history, God never abandoned His people:
God is with us! Do not be afraid. We are all in this together!
During these days of uncertainty, St. Paul the Apostle Parish will remain very much alive and we will do our best, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to minister to your needs. Attached is a Q&A of items that you will want to consider. The parish will record a daily Mass and other prayers, and reflections will be recorded and available.
Fr. Scott and I are here to assist you. We will do our best to meet your individual needs during this time. Holy Communion to the Sick and dying who request it will be available; as well as the Sacrament of the Anointing of the sick; and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. My phone works if you need to call me, do not hesitate. We are not allowed to share communion outside of Mass (other than to those who are sick)… if we could do this, we would be celebrating Mass.
Please use this time to draw close to Jesus in prayer, silence, reflection and meditation. If you have children, please pray with them and exercise patience. All this isolation and social distancing will pass … and we can become better, stronger and more faithful if we use this time to grow closer to God. We are never alone – the Saints and Angels accompany us! God will never abandon us. Do not be afraid.
Fr. Tony Herold