I don’t think any of us intended to give up quite this much during Lent. Our prayers are certainly with those suffering from Covid-19 and with those whose work and calling is to care for the sick. Prayer is indeed powerful, and a source of refuge, strength, and peace in these troubled times.
On March 17th, a new directive came down from Madison banning all public and private gatherings in excess of ten people. Failure to comply with this directive will result in fines and/or imprisonment.
His Excellency Bishop Callahan has accordingly decreed that all public Masses in the Diocese of La Crosse, and any another public prayer gatherings or parish events be suspended immediately until further notice.
Thus I am instructed to describe what this means in terms of your life here at St. Paul’s, St. James’, and St. Michael’s:
*We shall have no public Masses, public Rosaries, or public Stations of the Cross.
*Priests may be called to administer the Sacraments to the sick as always.
*Given the current legal and diocesan restrictions, it is evident that it will not be possible for everyone to receive Holy Communion on a regular basis. We shall nevertheless do our best to accommodate individual requests.
It is heartbreaking for a priest to have to write such words to his flock, but the root of our sorrow is the loss of the public celebration of the Holy Sacrifice, which should never be divorced in the minds of the faithful from Sacramental Communion.
*Apart from any notice to the contrary, the church will be open for prayer daily from 9am to 7pm. These hours can be expanded as time goes on.
*We are no longer allowed to post times for Confession. Feel free to contact us to arrange confession at another time. A give me time to re-group and think out- side the box. (Literally and figuratively).
The rules are constantly changing, so we are taking this one day at a time. I will follow up as soon as possible with more information, hoping at least for some ray of good news.
“As Christians we must realize that a moment of crisis is not a time of despair, but of opportunity. We were born in crisis, in defeat – the Crucifixion. Once we recognize we are under Divine Wrath, we become eligible for Divine Mercy. The very disciplines of God create hope. The thief on the right came to God by a crucifixion.”
As for the Church, “she will live to sing a requiem over the evils of the present... The Church may have its Good Fridays but these are only preludes to its Easter Sundays” (Fulton Sheen).
Viva Cristo Rey!
Long Live Christ the King! Fr Robert Letona