MID-WEEK FROM THE PASTOR’S CORNER by Father Jim Murphy
In the hopes of combating the separation we all feel from the people who are important to us – especially our parish, I am providing another “Mid-Week From the Pastor’s Corner” column. And so, to keep us connected with each other, here is edition #3 of “Mid-Week From the Pastor’s Corner.”
Thank you for all your very positive feedback to our live streamed Masses over the past few weeks. For two weeks now we have live streamed our Sunday 10:00am English and 11:30am Spanish Masses. The additional advantage is that these Masses were later posted on our parish website and were able to be opened at a time that was convenient for those who could not join with us “live.” We will continue with this practice until we can return to our parish for actual “live” Masses.
As I announced last week, we will also be celebrating the major liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, each available online. Bishop Pates has directed that we make some adjustments. On Holy Thursday, the traditional Washing of Feet and Procession with the Eucharist to an altar of repose have been eliminated. We have already provided a link to a Holy Hour in our Perpetual Adoration Chapel on both our Facebook page and the parish website and suggest that as an alternative to our quiet prayer time after the Holy Thursday Mass. As we are normally permitted to celebrate only one Mass on Holy Thursday night, our St. Isidore Mass will be bi-lingual with Father Juan José presiding. Please join us at 7:00pm for our live stream.
On Good Friday we will have a single celebration of the Lord’s Passion at 7:00pm in English. Again some adjustments will need to be made. The reading of the Passion according to St. John will be proclaimed by the deacon alone. Additional prayers will be added to the intentions during the formal Prayer the Faithful to include those suffering from the Coronavirus and for the well-being of our first responders, health care personnel and essential workers. We will provide adequate time during the service for us to honor the Cross from our homes. Father Rey will lead us in our Good Friday prayer. Please join us for our live stream at 7:00pm. If that hour is a bit late for you, Good Friday services from our cathedral with Bishop Pates officiating will be offered at 3:00pm, and can be found HERE. For your additional prayer, we have a link to the Stations of the Cross (English & Spanish) which we provided last Friday. We also received word that Pope Francis has determined that the traditional Good Friday collection for the Holy Land take place on Sunday, September 13, 2020 near the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
Our prayer on Holy Saturday will also see some adjustments. We are planning to live stream our traditional Blessing of Easter Foods at noon from our church. Please have your Easter baskets ready and with you as you tune in for this blessing. And our Easter Vigil will also be modified. The introductory rites will be simplified as the outdoor Easter Fire will be eliminated. We will begin our Easter Vigil with the blessing of the Easter Candle and the “Exsultet” – the Easter proclamation. We will have additional Scripture readings as in years past, but the Baptism of the Elect will be celebrated on a Sunday once we all return. We will conclude with the celebration of the first Mass of Easter. Since the Easter Vigil cannot begin until after sunset, please join us online at 8:00pm.
Easter Sunday Masses will be celebrated via a live stream at 10:00am in English and 11:30am in Spanish. Unfortunately, “social distancing” does not allow our choir to be with us in person. Our parish Director of Music, Dr. Anne Sinclair, will be providing music for each of our Easter Triduum and Easter Sunday celebrations, so please sing from home.
Additional opportunities for our personal prayer continue to be available. We have the daily Scripture readings HERE , Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours are available HERE (we are currently in Week 2 of the Psalms), and a guide for the Examen of St. Ignatius of Loyola can be found HERE.
Another suggestion is the traditional Rosary. For many of us, the familiar and repetitive prayers calm our heart and soul. If you have been part of the many groups that pray the Rosary at our parish, pray for those who were a part of your group. These are all offered in an attempt to help us keep connected to our parish and larger church community through our prayer.
An important way to step outside of ourselves is to pray for those who serve us in so many ways – first responders (EMT’s, police officers and fire fighters), health care workers (doctors, nurses, hospital staff, Immediate Care Centers staff), essential service workers, grocery store staff, restaurants who provide carry-out services, mail carriers, delivery drivers, gas station attendants and many more.
Finally, without our regular Sunday Masses and Sunday Offertory collections, we and other parishes are facing difficult times. Like you, household bills still need to paid. Parish and school staffs are counting on their pay checks to make ends meet at home. Thank you to all who have mailed in their Sunday Offering to the parish or have signed-up for on-line giving. With recent extensions of the “stay-at-home-order,” your generosity is deeply appreciated. Online Sunday Offertory gifts can be made HERE and Easter gifts HERE.
Let us continue to pray for each other. May God continue to bless us with everything that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy
Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, CA and the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops shares this prayer with the nation:
Prayer during a Pandemic
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas, we fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son, as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother, and gain for our nation and world, and for all our families and loved ones, the protection of your holy angels, that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted, we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing, teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind. Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence, knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother, health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection, keep us in the embrace of your arms, help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus.