Our Lady & St. John and the Novel Coronavirus
Prayer for the Parish O GOD the Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of the faithful: sanctify this parish by thine abiding presence. Bless those who minister in holy things. Enlighten the minds of thy people more and more with the light of the everlasting Gospel. Bring erring souls to the knowledge of God our Saviour; and those who are walking in the way of life, keep steadfast unto the end. Give patience to the sick and afflicted, and renew them in body and soul. Guard from forgetfulness of thee those who are strong and prosperous. Increase in us thy manifold gifts of grace, and make us all to be fruitful in good works; O blessed Spirit, whom with the Father and the Son together we worship and glorify, one God, world without end. Amen. Beloved in Christ, As most are now aware, cases of SARS-Cov-2 have been found in Kentucky, including Jefferson County. Most of these cases do not appear to be due to travel, which indicates that the virus is spreading in the community. To care for those particularly vulnerable, we will be taking measures for the safety of ourselves and others. We will be having Mass on Sunday and during the week. The Sunday gathering of the faithful for Mass has been a great hope, consolation, defense, and joy for Christians for generations. Jesus Christ, in the sacraments and among his people, has been through many periods of illness, war, famine, and difficulty. In times of hardship, we need to pray! We need Christ! Efforts to contain the spread of the virus will impact Our Lady and St. John’s practices in several ways. Following the directives of the Archdiocese of Louisville, Communion will be in one kind. The Archdiocese has asked the peace not to be physically exchanged. As this isn’t normally a practice of our community, this should result in no change for us. Our Sunday obligation is a joy for us, but the church already, as she always has, acknowledges there are times when prudence would dictate one should stay home. Also, please note, the obligation is to be present and participate in the prayers of the Mass. No one is compelled to receive the sacrament. St. Theresa of Avila spoke of Spiritual Communion, “When you hear Mass, but do not go to Holy Communion, you may make an act of Spiritual Communion, which is exceedingly profitable. Recollect yourselves in the same manner: this impresses a deep love for our Lord on our minds; for if we prepare our souls to receive Him, He never fails, in many ways unknown to us, to give us His grace” (213) from The Way of Perfection. A general rule of thumb on whether to stay home is that those who are sick should stay home so that they do not infect others and those who are vulnerable should stay home so that they do not expose themselves to the virus. If you have a question please call me. We are planning to find a means of streaming our Mass this Sunday. More details will be sent when the means and method are certain. Taking measures to slow the spread of the virus in order to protect the elderly and those vulnerable due to other health conditions is part of our Christian duty to care for our neighbors. These include very frequent handwashing and staying at home whenever showing the slightest cold or flu-like symptoms. Additionally, we ask that parishioners observe the following precautions:
If you or anyone in your family has even the slightest symptoms (fever, cough, etc.) anytime in the last several days, everyone in the family should please stay at home.
Everyone should check their temperature before leaving home for church. If you or any family member has a temperature of 99.5 or above, please stay at home.
We are not holding coffee hour for the next few weeks.
Since our numbers and the size of the church permit it, please leave an empty pew between families.
At the communion rail, please leave about 18” between people who are not members of the same family, and leave generous spacing between families waiting in the line for communion.
O MOST mighty and merciful God, in this time of grievous sickness, we flee unto thee for succour. Deliver us, we beseech thee, from our peril; give strength and skill to all those who minister to the sick; prosper the means made use of for their cure; and grant that, perceiving how frail and uncertain our life is, we may apply our hearts unto that heavenly wisdom which leadeth to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Faithfully in Christ Jesus, Fr. Jonathan