This weekend we celebrate the Fifth Sunday of Lent, formerly known as Passion Sunday. This Lenten season invites us to explore the meaning of life — our lives here and now and life after death. In a world where many have so little while a few have so much, we are called to embrace life as well as to ensure that precious resources are available for the most vulnerable. Mindful of the fragile balance in our earthly life, we place our faith in Christ’s resurrection and the promise of life everlasting upon death.
Next weekend we will celebrate Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. As we bless and (ordinarily!) hold palm branches next weekend, we recall Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the Holy City. It is a bittersweet remembrance because we know that no sooner that He celebrated the Passover meal with His disciples than He was arrested, “tried,” convicted, and put to death.
BUT Jerusalem is more than the site of Jesus’s Crucifixion. It is also the site of His Resurrection. Through Jesus’s sacrifice we all hope to one day reach the eternal Jerusalem.
This week and the next couple of weeks will be very different, to say the least. While I ordinarily look forward with anticipation to Holy Week this year I’m just saying that “we will get through it.” Please read on.
The Penance Service for Wednesday, April 1 is cancelled. However, I will be in the confessional from 7:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. in case any of you want to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I hope to have another priest here too. As you know we also have Confessions Wednesday afternoons from 3:30 until 4:30 and on Saturday afternoons (NOT HOLY SATURDAY) also from 3:30 until 4:30. Since these have already been announced, I will keep the schedule for confessions: on Saturday, April 4, next Saturday, I will be available for Confessions from 11:00 A.M. until 1:00 P.M. and from 3:30 P.M. until 4:30 P.M..; on Wednesday, April 8, again from 3:30 until 4:30 P.M.; and, finally, on Good Friday, April 10, from 9:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. After that, Confessions only by appointment. Father Stephen Schumacher, our “summer Associate,” has returned from Rome because of the closure of all the universities in Italy. He MIGHT be available for confessions during the last days of Holy Week.
Please see next week’s bulletin for further information.
Masses are continuing to be celebrated. We weren’t sure last week what the status would be, so here are the Mass intentions, many scheduled long ago, which were celebrated last week: Monday: Bernadine Gimenez; Tuesday: John Lang; Wednesday: John Geekie; Thursday: Gene Grieco; Friday: Donald Katt; Saturday: Dr Syl Flotte and daughter Mary. On Sunday, as all pastors are required (and very happy) to celebrate Mass for the People of the Parish. This coming week the Mass intentions are: Monday: John Lang; Tuesday: Robert F. Peterson; Wednesday: Terrene Boyle; Thursday:
Joe Stehle; Friday: Don Schneeberger; Saturday: Mary Ellen Sronce.
Holy Week: All the priests received a letter from the Archbishop last week. With some additions for us here at Saint Monica, here is the sum and substance for this letter:
All public liturgies for Holy Week are suspended.
The liturgies of Holy Week are permitted to be celebrated with the priest and at least one other minister, totaling no more than 10. It is possible that an organist, and a cantor can be present to provide music for these most sacred liturgies. The total number in attendance, including celebrant, should number 10 or less in accord with President Trump’s and County Executive Page’s recommendation and the current CDC guidelines.
HOLY WEEK/TRIDUUM LITURGIES
Palm Sunday, the Chrism Mass, and all Triduum Liturgies will be live-streamed with Archbishop Carlson from the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. The times for these services follow. We will also stream the Liturgies of Holy Week on our Parish Webpage and YouTube. See the times below.
I: Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord: Private Mass Only.
The Simple Entrance will be utilized. The blessed palm branches will be available in the main lobby of the church, as well as the “choir” entrance and the “cry room / sacristy” entrance throughout Holy Week.
The Archbishop’s Palm Sunday Mass will be live-streamed from Cathedral Basilica at 8:00 A.M. As we have been doing during these days, the Holy Mass celebrated here will be streamed on our webpage and YouTube at 9:30 A.M.
II: Chrism Mass
This very important Mass, celebrating the institution of the priesthood, will be celebrated privately by Archbishop Carlson, on Tuesday, April 7th. It will be streamed from the Cathedral at 10:00 A.M. on Holy Thursday, April 9.
III: Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Holy Thursday): Private Mass Only.
The Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be live-streamed from the Cathedral Basilica at 7:30 P.M.; we will also stream the Mass celebrated here on our website and YouTube at 7:00 P.M.
In parish churches the priest(s) of the parish can celebrate the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The faculty to celebrate Mass on this day in a suitable place, without the people, is granted in an exceptional manner to all priests.
The Office of Worship instructs that the Washing of the Feet, which is already optional, is to be omitted. Also, at the end of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper the procession with the Blessed Sacrament to the place of repose is to be omitted and the Blessed Sacrament is to be kept in the tabernacle.
Archbishop Carlson is asking all priests to spend an extended period of time in prayer and Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament praying especially for the unity of the whole Church and for the safety and health of all people. Our Church will remain open for private prayer until 9:00 P.M.
IV: Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday): Private Liturgy Only.
The Good Friday Liturgy will be live-streamed from Cathedral Basilica at 3:00 P.M.; we will also stream the Liturgy celebrated in our Church on our website and YouTube at 7:00 P.M.
In parish churches, the Parish Priest will celebrate the Passion of the Lord at a suitable time. In the Universal Prayer, the celebrant will see to it that there is a special intention for the sick, the dead, and for those who feel lost or dismayed (c.f. Missale Romanum, n. 13).
During the time appointed for The Adoration of the Holy Cross, Archbishop Carlson is asking all priests to spend an extended period of time in prayer praying especially for the unity of the whole Church and for the safety and health of all people.
Our Church will be open all day, until 9:00 P.M., for private prayer. Although we won’t have Stations of the Cross publically prayed this Good Friday, there will be booklets in the lobby of Church for those who wish to pray Stations.
Please remember, too, that this is a day of Abstinence from meat, for all over the age of 14, and Fasting (no snacks; two smaller meals), for those 18 through 59.
V: The Easter Vigil in the Holy Night (Easter Vigil): Private Liturgy Only.
The Easter Vigil Liturgy, celebrated by the Archbishop, will be live-streamed from Cathedral Basilica at 8:00 P.M; we will also stream the Liturgy celebrated in our Church on our website and YouTube at 10:00 P.M.
At the Solemn Beginning of the Vigil, or Lucenarium, the preparation and lighting of the fire is omitted, the Paschal Candle is lit, the procession is omitted and the Easter Proclamation (Exsultet) follows.
The Liturgy of the Word then takes place.
For the Baptismal Liturgy, the Renewal of Baptismal Promises alone is necessary (cf. Missale Romanum, n. 55).
The Liturgy of the Eucharist then follows.
Baptisms and receptions will be postponed to near Pentecost, how it was done in the early church, possibly on May 31 or another Sunday in Easter. (The exact date will be determined after a discussion with Deacon Sommer, the Elect, and Candidates.)
VI: Easter of the Resurrection (Easter Sunday): Private Mass Only.
The Archbishop’s Mass will be live-streamed from Cathedral Basilica at 8:00 A.M. We will return to having the Mass celebrated here at St. Monica, streamed at 9:30 A.M. on our website and YouTube. In place of the Penitential Act, the priest blesses the water, using the Rite for the Blessing and Sprinkling of Water (Appendix II). Assuming that we have returned to Church by the Second Sunday of Easter, April 19th, I will utilize the Renewal of Baptismal Promises at all Masses celebrated on that weekend. If not on April 18-19, then April 25-26.
I realize that this is a very different Lent and Holy Week. However, may we continue to pray along with the Church.
As I indicated a couple of weeks ago, “worship aids” are available for free, courtesy of these publish- ers. (I encourage you to get one or the other … perhaps both … to use during this most holy time of the Church year.)
— MAGNIFICAT: Their online version is being made temporarily available to everyone for free: www.magnificat.com/free
— Free temporary access is also available in Spanish: www.magnificat.com/gratis
— Give Us This Day: https://giveusthisday.org/Free
Assuming the current plans go forward, our Parish School will resume on Monday, April 27th. Of course this is subject to change, depending on the status of the coronavirus. However, assuming that the prohibition for “large crowds” (i.e., crowds with people over 10!) has been lifted, we are going to still have our First Holy Communion Mass on Sunday, April 26th at 2:00 P.M. The parents of our First Communion children were notified earlier this week about that. Our Parish School of Religion will resume on Wednesday, April 29th at 6:45 P.M.
Saint Vincent de Paul Food Pantry is in dire need of food. As we all know there have been a large number of layoffs recently. If you are able to bring some food to replenish our Food Pantry, which does SO MUCH GOOD, please do so.
Contributions to the Parish: We still have bills to pay. So please consider your continued financial support to the parish. Thank you.
Finally, please continue to pray. Please continue to wash your hands! Please continue to not panic but believe in the love that the Lord has for us.
God’s blessings to you all, Fr Joe Weber