igil of the Solemnity of St. Joseph
Dear Parishioners of St. John the Baptist:
For some time now, we have anticipated that Archbishop Hebda would join the majority of his fellow bishops in the United States and suspend the public celebration of the Mass across our Archdiocese. As of tonight, he has made this decision.
Effective immediately, the celebration of all public Masses will cease
, in an effort to conform to the guidelines of public health officials amidst the continuing social danger of coronavirus/COVID-19.
I encourage you to read carefully the Archbishop’s
announcing this decision.
Even though I have only been with you a short time, it is still my profound joy to stand at God’s altar and offer the Mass with you and for you. In that short time, I have experienced so much kindness and welcome from you.
It is an unspeakable sorrow to not be able to be with you at Mass as your priest.
Still, I am grateful for the Archbishop’s decision and I support it. We are all bound in Christian charity to our brothers and sisters, and we must do everything we can to preserve each other’s health, especially those most vulnerable to this virus and its effects. As a priest, I have been acutely aware of the fact that if I were to be infected, I could unknowingly spread the illness to many people.
The Mass itself will not cease, and the Mass is a spiritual reality that draws all the faithful, wherever they may be, into the Sacrifice of Jesus as His Mystical Body. Therefore, we are still united. Do not forget this! Fr. Michael and I will continue to remember you, and whatever you do to unite yourself and your family to the Mass will be a channel of God’s grace to strengthen you.
Please know that the staff, trustees, councils, and I have been in regular communication and will continue to be throughout this distressing time. As the Archbishop’s letter asks of us, we are working on creative ways to ensure that the Eucharist will continue to be available to those in particular situations: the dying, the grieving, those engaged to be married, our RCIA candidates, and especially our young children who are longing for their First Holy Communion with their families. We will continue to keep you updated via email and the parish
A situation like the one we are experiencing is totally unique in the Church of our day. If we stay together in lively faith, hope, love, and prayer--I am convinced God will be able to use us in a beautiful way to renew His Church--both here at St. John’s and throughout the world. Let us continue to be “All In” while we are “All In(side)”!
St. John the Baptist, pray for us!
St. Joseph, Protector of the Church, pray for us!
Our Lady, Health of the Sick, pray for us!
In the Heart of Jesus,
Fr. Ben Little