Churches will be open for private, personal prayer.
This will be our finest hour.
Dear St. Matthias Parishioners & Friends:
A walk in faith, hope, and love
Yesterday was strange! For the first time in my life, for the first time in my priesthood, there was no mass celebrated where I lived. I went online to see what was happening in Italy and to see how the Holy Father, Pope Francis, was spending his day as the churches in Rome are also closed. He was making a pilgrimage from St. Peter’s to the Basilica of St. Mary Major and to a cross that traversed Rome during the plague of 1522. He traveled alone except for a small detail of security following him.
I am the pastor of two churches, one named after St. Charles Borromeo, who ministered and served in Milan during this plague. Large processions following the Blessed Sacrament or this cross were common as the people were called to prayer to end the plague. St. Charles Borromeo is depicted in the large mosaic on the front doors of our church holding aloft the Blessed Sacrament before a throng of victims. His dedication and love for the Lord and the people entrusted to his care kept him in Milan while others fled in fear and panic.
Today, we have enhanced knowledge and a different understanding of how this virus spreads. Such large gatherings, our masses and other group forms of prayer are not possible or even prudent. But one thing has not changed, our need to pray. Pray alone, pray with our partners, pray with our family members, pray with those we live with.
As your pastor, that is presently all I can do for you…PRAY. I hope to live-stream mass soon if this can be set-up in our chapel. In the meantime, daily I will walk between St. Charles and St. Matthias to open the doors of our churches, to invite those who can and wish to stop by for quiet and prayer. We are not alone and this will be our finest hour I do believe.
In faith, hope, and love,
This situation is changing rapidly. We will do our best to keep you updated through these email blasts. These blasts are also linked to our website http://www.stmatthiasparish.org. If you know of other parishioners who do not regularly receive these updates, please forward them to the person or share the information via phone call.
Here is A Faith Response to the Coronavirus which may provide some much-needed perspective on this emerging health crisis.
Finally, please pray for health care workers, first responders, and those who work for a cure that they receive the support and resources that they need and that they remain safe during this health crisis.
If you have questions regarding this closure or cancelations, reply to this email for a timely response.
On March 4, Pope Francis offered this prayer for the protection fo the world in this moment of crisis and danger:
O Mary, you shine continuously along our journey as a sign of salvation and hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who at the Cross were near to the pain of Jesus, keeping your faith firm. You, Salvation of the Roman people, know what we need, and we trust that you will provide for those needs so that, as at Cana of Galilee, joy and celebration may return after this moment of trial. Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform ourselves to the will of the Father and to do what Jesus tells us, He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and took up our sorrows to bring us, through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. + Amen.