Father David’s Letter
Dear Friends in Christ,
First, based on Illinois’ Shelter at Home ordinance and current diocesan directives, here are some further updates:
- Until further notice, all public Sunday and weekday Masses are suspended, including Palm Sunday and the Easter Triduum.
- Until further notice, the church will not be open for private prayer. This directive is changed from last week.
- Until further notice, confessions are not taking place at the church. In the interim, do a thorough examination of conscience, confess your sins to the Lord in your heart, make a sincere act of contrition, pray 3 Hail Mary’s (my penance to you), and trust in Jesus’ mercy. Very importantly, make a firm resolution to confess any serious sins at the next available opportunity.
- I am live-streaming Masses on Facebook Live for those who can follow. Please see the My Parish App and St. Mary McHenry Facebook page events for upcoming times as they are posted.
- Palm Sunday Masses will be live-streamed. I will bless the palms, but they will be kept at the church until they can be distributed later. Please do not come to the church on that day looking for palms.
- I am also planning to live-stream the Easter Triduum services – Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday Easter Vigil. They will naturally be significantly different than usual, but at least we can do something via the wonders of modern technology.
- We also have to plan to not be in church for Easter Sunday, as unreal as that seems. It’s what we have to do. Unless the directives change, which do not seem likely at this point, I will plan to live-stream a Mass Easter Sunday morning.
- Mary is set to host the Divine Mercy celebration for McHenry this year, but again until further notice we cannot plan on this.
- Lastly, and I don’t like saying this, but please don’t forget to mail in your envelopes. We still have bills to pay, as you all do, and we need every little bit we can get right now. Thank you!
While each of these statements feels like a wound to the heart, we realize that we all feel this way; we are in the desert together.
On Ash Wednesday we heard Jesus say to us, “When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.” We usually aren’t meant to take these words literally, but under current circumstances we are being forced to consider them more that way. We are not gathering for Sunday or daily Eucharist, for other devotions, or even now private individual prayer. We are, in fact, praying behind the closed doors of our homes. More to the point, however, I hope we are truly praying from the deepest recesses of our hearts. Not praying merely out of habit or rote, or either for any sort of personal gain whatsoever, but sincerely, honestly, humbly, fervently, and very intimately. This is what Jesus means. Keep praying from your “inner rooms”, and trust that you will experience the Father’s presence there more strongly than ever.
“For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.” – St. Therese of Lisieux
Christ’s peace be with you,
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT! Bishop Malloy’s letter regarding the latest restrictions during the coronavirus outbreak….
As we are unable to attend Mass for awhile, you are encouraged to watch Mass on ETWN, local channels, and on St. Patrick’s and Holy Apostles’ websites. Bishop Malloy will also offer Masses for the next two Sundays at 9am and Lenten reflections on Wednesdays at noon. These will be available on the diocesan website and their Facebook page. Here is the link to Spiritual Communion and Chaplet of the Blessed Sacrament: https://www.virgosacrata.com/spiritual-communion.html
Coronavirus 19 Disease – What you need to know…
In wake of the concerns for the COVID-19 virus, here is what the CDC wants you to know about the virus and how to protect yourself from getting the virus 2019-ncov-factsheet
From the Office of Divine Worship – Influenza and the Liturgy – For Members of the Congregation and all Liturgical ministers (clergy, servers, ushers, readers, cantors, choir, Communion ministers) 2006-12-influenza-and-the-liturgy (1)
Fasting and abstinence for Lent – explained – See the Events Page
Soup, Stations, and Confessions on Fridays during Lent- Cancelled for the rest of Lent
St. Mary’s 125th Anniversary Celebration is well on its way!
From August 15, 2019 thru August 15, 2020, you can order you St. Mary T-Shirt that portrays the image of our Blessed Mother as rendered by a 2019 Montini graduate and St. Mary parishioner, Rebecca Bodden! There’s more than just T-Shirts to choose from. Go to this link to order choice of style and sizes: https://inktothepeople.com/st-mary-catholic-church-125th-anniversary-/
Here’s something to SMILE about! 🙂
St. Mary’s Church is now connected with AMAZON.SMILE! What is Amazon.Smile? Amazon is dedicated to giving back to charitable organizations like our parish. When you buy online at Amazon, you have the opportunity to have .05% of your purchases donated to St. Mary’s by Amazon. When you sign up for AmazonSmile, you’ll be asked to select from over a million of charities to support. But you can skip this step and click on our unique link. Then you’ll be taken to smile.amazon.com and then automatically asked if you want to support St Mary Church. Our unique charity link: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/36-2182123
Don’t forget to sign up for St. Mary’s MyParish App today!
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enhance your spiritual life and get updates on what’s happening at St. Mary! Just text App to phone number 88202 or visit myparishapp.com to download. St. Mary’s will not automatically be one of your choices because we are a national parish which means we have no boundaries. Just type in St. Mary 1407 and the site will be available for you to click on and join. Keep yourself up to date on parish events, daily readings, messages, Pope Francis messages, and programs to enhance your faith journey.