I hope and pray that this message finds you all safe and well within God's care.
I hope that amidst the lack of opportunities to prepare during this Lenten season through our parish Eucharistic Celebrations, Adoration, Confessions and Stations of the Cross, you still get nourished through televised or live stream Masses, and you are able to encounter our Lord in a deeper way through personal devotions and prayer with your families. (Please click here for various spiritual resources).
As we approach Holy Week, we ask God to strengthen our faith during this difficult time when we cannot worship Him together sacramentally in Church and participate in liturgical ceremonies as one parish community. For your spiritual preparation, Confessions will be available on Saturday, March 28 and April 4, beginning at 4:00pm. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Our Archbishop, Most. Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, in his recent memo outlined to us specific instructions for the celebration of Holy Week Liturgies.
1. Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord is to be celebrated by the priest, with the blessing of the palms. Blessed palms will be available in the Chapel beginning April 5, with your maximum protection taken into consideration when you take one for your household.
2. Holy Thursday: Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be celebrated by the priest. The collection taken at this Mass is intended to be given to the poor. I ask you to consider helping the poor among us, especially those who are suffering financially because of the pandemic. You can mail the checks for this collection to the parish office.
3. Good Friday: Liturgy of the Passion of the Lord Archbishop Cordileone added an 11th intercession asking for an end to the coronavirus pandemic, using the following formula suggested by the USCCB:
XI. For an end to the pandemic
Let us pray, dearly beloved, for a swift end
to the coronavirus pandemic that afflicts our world,
that our God and Father will heal the sick,
strengthen those who care for them,
and help us all to persevere in faith.
Prayer in silence.
Then the Priest says:
Almighty and merciful God,
source of all life, health and healing,
look with compassion on our world, brought low by disease;
protect us in the midst of the grave challenges that assail us
and in your fatherly providence
grant recovery to the stricken,
strength to those who care for them,
and success to those working to eradicate this scourge.
Through Christ our Lord.
Since the national collection for the Holy Land taken every year on Good Friday is not possible this year, those who are inspired to give can mail checks to the parish office for this cause.
4. Easter Vigil is to be celebrated by the priest, with the deacon present. I invite those who wish to make an Easter offering to the parish to mail your checks for this purpose to the parish office.
Thank you for your resilience and understanding. I encourage you to continue joining our fellow parishioners and all Catholics throughout the world in prayers and charitable works, while keeping the most solemn Week of our Church blessed and Christ-filled through celebrations and devotions offered in broadcast media and the internet. Our Chapel remains open for visit to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament from 9:00am to 6:00pm, Monday through Sunday.
Until the time when God will bring us back together in worship in our St. Luke Church, with firm trust that God will still this COVID-19 storm, leading us all to His harbor of peace and healing.
In Christ, with prayers for all of you,
Rev. Jonathan Paala
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27