Important Announcement, Please Read!

Dear Parishioners,

Like other dioceses across the country, masses have been cancelled in our diocese until further notice due to the corona virus. This cancellation encompasses everything – masses, communion services, PSR, small group meetings, any and all activities. I can still minister on an individual basis the anointing of the sick to those who are dying and individual reconciliation. I will be offering private masses by myself. This period of closure will go beyond Holy Week and the Easter Vigil.

Imhttps://www.dio.org/coronavirus

CoronaVirus Response – Diocese of Springfield in Illinois Since the beginning of 2020, the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois has been monitoring developments regarding the Coronavirus, including guidance and information from the Centers for Disease Control, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and other government agencies. www.dio.org

 This whole situation is tragic and painful. However, with technology, we will continue to practice our faith in a variety of ways. 

  1. MASS ATTENDANCE

Although it is no substitute for actual attendance and receiving the Eucharist, we still may attend mass online either live or pre-recorded. The following is a link to live masses throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit. There are a large variety of times and styles of masses.  

https://www.aod.org/livemasses

Live Mass Times – Archdiocese of Detroit To watch Sunday Mass from home, click the links below at the corresponding Mass times. These services are available online or televised by EWTN, Fox 2, Catholic Television Network of Detroit (CTND) in English and Spanish, St. Patrick Parish in White Lake, and St. Hugo Parish in Bloomfield Hills, MI. www.aod.org

Some of these masses are not only live-streamed, but recorded and on YouTube. Last Sunday night, I watched the mass at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament on YouTube. This link also provides resources for television masses. This link also provides streaming and television daily mass services.

Recently, Bishop Robert Barron’s website has started to offer daily mass.

Word on Fire In an effort to continue the practice of our faith in these trying times, we invite you to join us online for daily Mass from Bishop Barron’s chapel. And please continue to pray for all those affected by the coronavirus. www.wordonfire.org

I am sure our diocese will be offering online masses, but I am not aware of what they are at this time.

Because of the amount, variety, and quality of these streamed services, I do not plan on having my own streamed service. I will, however, have a homily videotaped and presented on our Facebook and website page. As a reminder, we already do have the scripture readings in written and oral format on our website as well as homilies from previous Sundays. I encourage you to use this resource as well during this time.

2.  TIPS FOR KEEPING THE LORD’S DAY HOLY

Although we are no longer unable to attend mass and are removed from that obligation, we are still obliged to keep Sunday a holy day. This time of fasting from the Eucharist might be a call for us to focus once again on how we can keep Sunday holy more than just attending mass. The following article offers some suggestions.

https://detroitcatholic.com/voices/fr-stephen-pullis/keeping-sunday-holy-in-a-time-without-mass-six-tips-for-the-faithful

3. CONTINUING TO EDUCATE OUR CHILDREN

For those families who last Sunday attended mass at Carlinville or sent their children to PSR at Gillespie, they received the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies for the next two weeks. The families in Gillespie who did not attend PSR were mailed the Weeklies and any Carlinville families who wanted the Weeklies had them mailed to them. If you have not received or want to receive the Pflaum Weekly to help home school your child, please let us know. We will be more than happy to mail you the Weeklies. Every week Karla will email the parents the link to the videos associated with the Weekly. As your children are e-learning, so too I hope this can be a good experience of e-learning the faith. I am also hoping that by parents using these weeklies and associated videos, they can appreciate the quality of the curriculum that we are providing our children. By going over the Weekly with their children, not only will the family’s faith be strengthened, but everyone will be more prepared to listen to the readings at mass. Finally, I hope this will give our parents confidence in providing this curriculum on their own (homeschool) or as a cathechist. 

As it now appears that we might be longer than two weeks, we will mail you the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies for the additional weeks. Those who picked up the Weeklies in Carlinville at mass should inform Karla Huddlestun so she can include you in the list of people we are sending the Weeklies to. Based on how long we are out, we will have to make a decision as to whether or not we will suspend PSR for the rest of the year. 

4. RESOURCES TO MAKE THIS TIME A RETREAT RATHER THAN A ROADBLOCK

In my homily last Sunday, I noted that we could spend these two weeks one of two ways. We can focus on all the work (or entertainment) we had always wanted to achieve (or experience), or we can devote at least part of this time to developing our relationship with one another and with Jesus. There are a variety of resources available to do this. Many publishers are offering their programs for free during this time. This link gives you some options:

https://detroitcatholic.com/news/gabriella-patti/now-what-livestream-mass-times-free-resources-available-during-covid-19-crisis

Now what? Livestream Mass times, free resources available during COVID-19 crisis – Detroit Catholic: Read Catholic News & Stories DETROIT — As the number of coronavirus cases in Michigan continues to grow, public gatherings and events — including Masses — have been restricted for the safety and health of the general public and to mitigate the spread of the virus. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency, banned all gatherings of 250 or more people and has effectively shut down all schools until April 6. detroitcatholic.com

A lot of these options are family focused. One program, Nextstep, sounds ideal because it is a two week program. Personally, I am going to try that one out.

5. COMMUNICATION THROUGH FACEBOOK, WEBSITE, EMAIL, AND BLOOMZ

We are committed to keeping you up to date with what is happening with our parishes. Through the above, we will keep you informed.

Although this is something none of us wants to go through, I am certain that with God’s help, this time, like Lent, can be a source of spiritual renewal. I will keep all of you in prayer at this time.

God bless,

Fr. Michael B. Haag