Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle   
Washington, D.C.

My dear parishioners and friends,

Pope Francis has written a prayer to Mary amid the coronavirus pandemic, which I share with you below.

As always, Mary points the way to her son, who has revealed himself as the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
"O Mary, you always shine on our path as a sign of salvation and of hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.

You, Salvation of Your People, know what we need, and we are sure you will provide so that, as in Cana of Galilee, we may return to joy and to feasting after this time of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform to the will of the Father and to do as we are told by Jesus, who has taken upon himself our sufferings and carried our sorrows to lead us, through the cross, to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.

Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen."

(Adapted from Vatican News)
To Jesus through Mary - Staying Close to Our Lord

On Friday I announced the suspension of public liturgies at the Cathedral - Masses, Confessions (including Wednesday evening Confessions), and Lenten Stations of the Cross - until further notice, citing Archbishop Gregory's March 12, 2020 statement for the Archdiocese of Washington. I also let you know that Archbishop Gregory had issued a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass during this time to all parishioners of the Archdiocese of Washington. Finally, I announced that all events, classes, and group meetings at St. Matthew's are cancelled until after Easter.

The Archdiocese in a letter issued Friday afternoon wrote that Archbishop Gregory's decision to cancel Masses was not an easy one, and continued:

"Our hope is that this restriction of the public celebration of the Mass will be for a very limited period. For the time being, it is necessary to keep in mind the common good of public health and the importance of doing our part in preventing the spread of the coronavirus by avoiding large gatherings."
As members of the Body of Christ, being in community and praying and worshipping in communion are part of our identity. The social distancing that is necessary in this pandemic will be difficult. Even more difficult will be going without the Eucharist.

When we are unable to receive the Eucharist, we can make a spiritual communion animated by our desire to receive and embrace Jesus in our hearts. In the list of resources provided by the Archdiocese below is a link that provides guidance and prayers for making a spiritual communion.
Praying with Archbishop Gregory
Spiritual Resources and Guidance

The Archdiocese will continue to make additional spiritual and informational resources available and provide regular updates on the ADW website. Archbishop Gregory affirms his prayers and love for you. 

Rectory Office Remains Open

As I wrote yesterday, you and your loved ones remain in my prayers. While the Cathedral will not be open during the time of suspended liturgies, our rectory office remains open as usual. We ask that you please exercise prevailing public health recommendations and precautions, including social distancing, remaining at home if you are sick or suspect that you are sick, and self-quarantining if warranted.

If you cannot come to the rectory but need to contact me or Fr. John Benson , please don't hesitate to call or email us. We are here for you.

Please check the Cathedral website and social media regularly for updates and suggestions on weathering this crisis in community.

May be the peace of Christ be with you and remain with you always, come what may.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. Msgr. W. Ronald Jameson
Rector, Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle
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