the dispensation to attend Mass will end on the afternoon of June 19th.
Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee Office of the Bishop
11 North “B” Street
Pensacola, Florida 32502
Office: (850) 435-3520
Fax: (850) 435-3565
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings in the Lord. Once again, I thank you for your attention to all of the safety protocols that were put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been through many months of social distancing, masks, limited seating in our churches, etc., and it has certainly paid off. I shudder to think about how many more people could have been infected and even died as the result of contracting this virus in one of our churches or schools. Thanks be to God, the numbers are going down considerably, and we all pray that they will continue to decline until the virus is eradicated completely.
On March 20, 2020, I issued a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. I took this action in communion with other bishops in our area and in the entire United States as a way to protect the faithful and forestall any large outbreaks. It was a painful – but necessary – move to make. I am grateful to the pastors of our parishes who could adapt, offer opportunities to participate via livestream, and configure the space in church to allow for the maximum number of congregants while maintaining a level of distance.
The time has come to end the dispensation and ensure that all baptized Catholics return to the practice – indeed, the obligation – of attending the celebration of the Eucharist (i.e., Mass) every Sunday and on Holy Days of Obligation. Therefore, the dispensation to attend Mass will end on the afternoon of June 19th. Thus, every Catholic in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee should celebrate Mass in person beginning on June 20, 2021 (or the Vigil on June 19).
The obligation to attend Mass is one of the precepts of the Church. It is considered a serious sin to miss Mass if one does not have a good reason to do so. Of course, one always has the ability to dispense himself or herself for a serious reason, such as sickness or the inability to attend Mass in person. Please see the second page of this announcement for more information on “particular dispensations.”
Some parishes will continue to offer livestream options for Mass every week, but this would only be for shut-ins and those who cannot attend in person. For the vast majority of Catholics, watching Mass on video does not fulfill one’s Sunday Obligation.
Our churches will still have some safety measures put in place – for instance, some distancing between people, not offering the Chalice for communion, and other measures – but for the most part they will be ready to welcome whoever wishes to come and worship with the community. You may wish to wear a mask in church or in large gatherings with non-family members, and that is perfectly acceptable, of course.
Let us go forward in hope together! We never know what the future holds, but we can be confident that the measures we have taken in the past have led us to the point where we can return (for the most part) to celebrating our faith in person, as God’s beloved sons and daughters.
God bless you always. I am,
Sincerely yours, in Christ,
Most Reverend William A. Wack, CSC
Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee
PARTICULAR DISPENSATION INFORMATION
The general obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation (including the Vigil Mass at 4:00 pm or later on the previous day) is to be reinstated in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, effective Saturday, June 19, 2021.
Considering the necessity of being physically present with our brothers and sisters at Mass on Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation for the Eucharist, Bishop Wack asks Catholics to make a sincere judgment about whether or not these circumstances apply. If there is doubt or confusion, consult your parish pastor for clarity.
While the general dispensation is removed, there are specific instances where the dispensation will continue. One does not have an obligation to attend Mass on Sunday in the following circumstances:
1. You are ill, or your health condition would be significantly compromised if you were to contract an infectious illness (i.e., you have underlying conditions or are in a high-risk category). Please use the dispensation and do not attend Mass.
2. You exhibit flu-like symptoms. Please use the dispensation and do not attend Mass.
3. You have good reason to think you might be asymptomatic of a contagious illness (e.g., you were in recent contact with someone who tested positive for a contagious illness such as COVID or influenza). Please use the dispensation and do not attend Mass.
4. You care for the sick, homebound, or infirmed.
5. You are pregnant.
6. You cannot attend Mass through no fault of your own (e.g., no Mass is offered, you are infirmed, or, while wanting to go, you are prevented for some reason you cannot control (e.g., your ride did not show up, the church was at capacity).
7. If you have significant and reasonable fear or anxiety of becoming ill by being at Mass.
15 ways to gain an indulgence in the Year of St. Joseph
Until December 2021, there are many new ways that Catholics can receive an indulgence, including entrusting their daily work to the protection of St. Joseph the Worker or reciting the rosary with their families.
These acts must be accompanied by sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the pope’s intentions, the usual conditions to obtain any plenary indulgence.
Plenary indulgences remit all temporal punishment due to sin and must be accompanied by full detachment from sin.
According to the decree issued by the Apostolic Penitentiary on Dec. 8, there are 15 ways to receive an indulgence in the Year of St. Joseph:
1) Participate in a spiritual retreat for at least one day that includes a meditation on St. Joseph.
2) Pray for St. Joseph’s intercession for the unemployed that they might find dignifying work.
3) Recite the Litany of St. Joseph for persecuted Christians. Byzantine Catholics have the option of an Akathist to St. Joseph.
4) Entrust one’s daily work and activity to the protection of St. Joseph the Worker.
5) Follow St. Joseph’s example in performing a corporal work of mercy. These include feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the imprisoned, visiting the sick, and burying the dead.
6) Perform one of the spiritual works of mercy, such as comforting the sorrowful, counseling the doubtful, instructing the ignorant, admonishing the sinner, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving injuries, and praying for the living and the dead.
7) Pray the rosary together with one’s family in order that “all Christian families may be stimulated to recreate the same atmosphere of intimate communion, love and prayer that was in the Holy Family.”
8) Engaged couples can also receive an indulgence from praying the rosary together.
9) Meditate for at least 30 minutes on the Lord’s Prayer, because St. Joseph “invites us to rediscover our filial relationship with the Father, to renew fidelity to prayer, to listen and correspond with profound discernment to God’s will.”
10) Pray an approved prayer to St. Joseph on St. Joseph Sunday, the Sunday after Christmas in the Byzantine Catholic tradition.
11) Celebrate the feast of St. Joseph on March 19 with an act of piety in honor of St. Joseph.
12) Pray an approved prayer to St. Joseph on the 19th of any month.
13) Honor Joseph with an act of piety or approved prayer on a Wednesday, the day traditionally dedicated to St. Joseph.
14) Pray to St. Joseph on the Feast of the Holy Family on Dec. 27.
15) Celebrate the feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1 with an act of piety or prayer.
“All the faithful will thus have the opportunity to commit themselves, with prayers and good works, to obtain with the help of St. Joseph, head of the celestial Family of Nazareth, comfort and relief from the serious human and social tribulations that today afflict the contemporary world,” the decree signed by Cardinal Mauro Piacenza said.
The elderly, the sick, and the dying who are unable to leave their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic also have special permission to receive an indulgence by “offering with trust in God the pains and discomforts” of their lives with a prayer to St. Joseph, hope of the sick and patron of a happy death.
The decree noted that in this instance the person must have the intention of fulfilling, as soon as possible, the three usual conditions for an indulgence, as well as a detachment from sin.
The Apostolic Penitentiary permits any prayer to St. Joseph approved by the Church, mentioning in particular the “To you, O blessed Joseph” prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII:
“To you, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our tribulation, and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also. Through that charity which bound you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.”
“O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be kind to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness.”
“As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.”
Year of St. Joseph: What Catholics need to know
Pope Francis said he was establishing the year so that “every member of the faithful, following his example, may strengthen their life of faith daily in the complete fulfillment of God’s will.”
Here’s what you need to know about the Year of St. Joseph:
Why does the Church have years dedicated to specific topics?
The Church observes the passage of time through the liturgical calendar – which includes feasts such as Easter and Christmas, and seasons such as Lent and Advent. In addition, however, popes can set aside time for the Church to reflect more deeply on a specific aspect of Catholic teaching or belief. Past years designated by recent popes include a Year of Faith, Year of the Eucharist, and Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Why did the Pope declare a year of St. Joseph?
In making his declaration, Pope Francis noted that this year marks the 150th anniversary of the saint’s proclamation as patron of the Universal Church by Pope Pius IX on Dec. 8, 1870.
Pope Francis said the coronavirus pandemic has heightened his desire to reflect on St. Joseph, as so many people during the pandemic have made hidden sacrifices to protect others, just as St. Joseph quietly protected and cared for Mary and Jesus.
“Each of us can discover in Joseph — the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence — an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble,” the pope wrote.
He also said he wanted to highlight St. Joseph’s role as a father who served his family with charity and humility, adding, “Our world today needs fathers.”
When does the Year of St. Joseph begin and end?
The year begins Dec. 8, 2020, and concludes on Dec. 8, 2021.
What special graces are available during this year?
As Catholics pray and reflect on the life of St. Joseph throughout the coming year, they also have opportunities to gain a plenary indulgence, or remission of all temporal punishment due to sin. An indulgence can be applied to oneself or to a soul in Purgatory.
An indulgence requires a specific act, defined by the Church, as well as sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, prayer for the pope’s intentions, and full detachment from sin.
Special indulgences during the Year of St. Joseph can be received through more than a dozen different prayers and actions, including praying for the unemployed, entrusting one’s daily work to St. Joseph, performing a corporal or spiritual work of mercy, or meditating for at least 30 minutes on the Lord’s Prayer.
Why does the Church honor St. Joseph?
Catholics do not worship saints, but ask for their heavenly intercession before God and seek to imitate their virtues here on earth. The Catholic Church honors St. Joseph as the foster father of Jesus. He is invoked as the patron saint of the Universal Church. He is also the patron of workers, father, and a happy death.
Pope Francis proclaims Year of St. Joseph
The year begins Dec. 8, 2020, and concludes on Dec. 8, 2021, according to a decree authorized by the pope.
The decree said that Francis had established a Year of St. Joseph so that “every member of the faithful, following his example, may strengthen their life of faith daily in the complete fulfillment of God’s will.”
It added that the pope had granted special indulgences to mark the year.
The Dec. 8 decree was issued by the Apostolic Penitentiary, the dicastery of the Roman Curia that oversees indulgences, and signed by the Major Penitentiary, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, and the Regent, Msgr. Krzysztof Nykiel.
In addition to the decree, Francis issued an apostolic letter Tuesday dedicated to the foster father of Jesus.
The pope explained in the letter, entitled Patris corde (“With a father’s heart”) and dated Dec. 8, that he wanted to share some “personal reflections” on the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“My desire to do so increased during these months of pandemic,” he said, noting that many people had made hidden sacrifices during the crisis in order to protect others.
“Each of us can discover in Joseph — the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence — an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble,” he wrote.
“St. Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation.”
Pope Pius IX proclaimed St. Joseph patron of the Universal Church on Dec. 8, 1870, in the decree Quemadmodum Deus.
In its decree Tuesday, the Apostolic Penitentiary said that, “to reaffirm the universality of St. Joseph’s patronage in the Church,” it would grant a plenary indulgence to Catholics who recite any approved prayer or act of piety in honor of St. Joseph, especially on March 19, the saint’s solemnity, and May 1, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker.
Other notable days for the plenary indulgence are the Feast of the Holy Family on Dec. 29 and St. Joseph’s Sunday in the Byzantine tradition, as well as the 19th of each month and every Wednesday, a day dedicated to the saint in the Latin tradition.
The decree said: “In the current context of health emergency, the gift of the plenary indulgence is particularly extended to the elderly, the sick, the dying and all those who for legitimate reasons are unable to leave the house, who, with a soul detached from any sin and with the intention of fulfilling, as soon as possible, the three usual conditions, in their own home or where the impediment keeps them, recite an act of piety in honor of St. Joseph, comfort of the sick and patron of a happy death, offering with trust in God the pains and discomforts of their life.”
The three conditions for receiving a plenary indulgence are sacramental confession, the reception of Holy Communion and prayer for the pope’s intentions.
In his apostolic letter, Pope Francis reflected on the fatherly qualities of St. Joseph, describing him as beloved, tender and loving, obedient, accepting, and “creatively courageous.” He also underlined that he was a working father.
The pope referred to the saint as “a father in the shadows,” citing the novel “The Shadow of the Father,” published by the Polish author Jan Dobraczyński in 1977.
He said that Dobraczyński, who was declared Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1993 for protecting Jewish children in Warsaw in World War II, “uses the evocative image of a shadow to define Joseph.”
“In his relationship to Jesus, Joseph was the earthly shadow of the heavenly Father: he watched over him and protected him, never leaving him to go his own way,” the pope wrote.
Francis said that the contemporary world required examples of true fatherhood.
“Our world today needs fathers. It has no use for tyrants who would domineer others as a means of compensating for their own needs,” he wrote.
“It rejects those who confuse authority with authoritarianism, service with servility, discussion with oppression, charity with a welfare mentality, power with destruction.”
“Every true vocation is born of the gift of oneself, which is the fruit of mature sacrifice. The priesthood and consecrated life likewise require this kind of maturity. Whatever our vocation, whether to marriage, celibacy or virginity, our gift of self will not come to fulfillment if it stops at sacrifice; were that the case, instead of becoming a sign of the beauty and joy of love, the gift of self would risk being an expression of unhappiness, sadness and frustration.”
He continued: “When fathers refuse to live the lives of their children for them, new and unexpected vistas open up. Every child is the bearer of a unique mystery that can only be brought to light with the help of a father who respects that child’s freedom. A father who realizes that he is most a father and educator at the point when he becomes ‘useless,’ when he sees that his child has become independent and can walk the paths of life unaccompanied. When he becomes like Joseph, who always knew that his child was not his own but had merely been entrusted to his care.”
The pope added: “In every exercise of our fatherhood, we should always keep in mind that it has nothing to do with possession, but is rather a ‘sign’ pointing to a greater fatherhood. In a way, we are all like Joseph: a shadow of the heavenly Father, who ‘makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust’ (Matthew 5:45). And a shadow that follows his Son.”
Pope Francis has promoted devotion to St. Joseph throughout his pontificate.
He began his petrine ministry on March 19, 2013, the Solemnity of St. Joseph, and dedicated the homily at his inauguration Mass to the saint.
“In the Gospels, St. Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love,” he said.
His coat of arms features a spikenard, which is associated with St. Joseph in Hispanic iconographic tradition.
On May 1, 2013, the pope authorized a decree instructing that St. Joseph’s name be inserted into Eucharistic Prayers II, III, and IV.
During an apostolic visit to the Philippines in 2015, the pope explained why he kept an image of the saint on his desk.
“I would also like to tell you something very personal,” he said. “I have great love for St. Joseph, because he is a man of silence and strength.”
“On my table I have an image of St. Joseph sleeping. Even when he is asleep, he is taking care of the Church! Yes! We know that he can do that. So when I have a problem, a difficulty, I write a little note and I put it underneath St. Joseph, so that he can dream about it! In other words I tell him: pray for this problem!”
At his general audience on March 18 this year, he urged Catholics to turn to St. Joseph in times of adversity.
“In life, at work and within the family, through joys and sorrows, he always sought and loved the Lord, deserving the Scriptures’ eulogy that described him as a just and wise man,” he said.
“Always invoke him, especially in difficult times and entrust your life to this great saint.”
The pope concluded his new apostolic letter by urging Catholics to pray to St. Joseph for “the grace of graces: our conversion.”
He ended the text with a prayer: “Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To you God entrusted his only Son; in you Mary placed her trust; with you Christ became man. Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father and guide us in the path of life. Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage, and defend us from every evil. Amen.”
Message of the Holy Father Francis for Lent 2021
The following is the text of the Message of the Holy Father Francis for Lent 2021, entitled: “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem “ (Mt 20: 18). Lent: a Time for Renewing Faith, Hope and Love:
Message of the Holy Father
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem” (Mt 20:18).
Lent: a Time for Renewing Faith, Hope and Love.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Jesus revealed to his disciples the deepest meaning of his mission when he told them of his passion, death and resurrection, in fulfilment of the Father’s will. He then called the disciples to share in this mission for the salvation of the world.
In our Lenten journey towards Easter, let us remember the One who “humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8). During this season of conversion, let us renew our faith, draw from the “living water” of hope, and receive with open hearts the love of God, who makes us brothers and sisters in Christ. At the Easter vigil, we will renew our baptismal promises and experience rebirth as new men and women by the working of the Holy Spirit. This Lenten journey, like the entire pilgrimage of the Christian life, is even now illumined by the light of the resurrection, which inspires the thoughts, attitudes and decisions of the followers of Christ.
Fasting, prayer and almsgiving, as preached by Jesus (cf. Mt 6:1-18), enable and express our conversion. The path of poverty and self-denial (fasting), concern and loving care for the poor (almsgiving), and childlike dialogue with the Father (prayer) make it possible for us to live lives of sincere faith, living hope and effective charity.
- Faith calls us to accept the truth and testify to it before God and all our brothers and
In this Lenten season, accepting and living the truth revealed in Christ means, first of all, opening our hearts to God’s word, which the Church passes on from generation to generation. This truth is not an abstract concept reserved for a chosen intelligent few. Instead, it is a message that all of us can receive and understand thanks to the wisdom of a heart open to the grandeur of God, who loves us even before we are aware of it. Christ himself is this truth. By taking on our humanity, even to its very limits, he has made himself the way – demanding, yet open to all – that leads to the fullness of life.
Fasting, experienced as a form of self-denial, helps those who undertake it in simplicity of heart to rediscover God’s gift and to recognize that, created in his image and likeness, we find our fulfilment in him. In embracing the experience of poverty, those who fast make themselves poor with the poor and accumulate the treasure of a love both received and shared. In this way, fasting helps us to love God and our neighbour, inasmuch as love, as Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches, is a movement outwards that focuses our attention on others and considers them as one with ourselves (cf. Fratelli Tutti, 93).
Lent is a time for believing, for welcoming God into our lives and allowing him to “make his dwelling” among us (cf. Jn 14:23). Fasting involves being freed from all that weighs us down – like consumerism or an excess of information, whether true or false – in order to open the doors of our hearts to the One who comes to us, poor in all things, yet “full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14): the Son of God our Saviour.
- Hope as “living water” enabling us to continue our
The Samaritan woman at the well, whom Jesus asks for a drink, does not understand what he means when he says that he can offer her “living water” (Jn 4:10). Naturally, she thinks that he is referring to material water, but Jesus is speaking of the Holy Spirit whom he will give in abundance through the paschal mystery, bestowing a hope that does not disappoint. Jesus had already spoken of this hope when, in telling of his passion and death, he said that he would “be raised on the third day” (Mt 20:19). Jesus was speaking of the future opened up by the Father’s mercy. Hoping with him and because of him means believing that history does not end with our mistakes, our violence and injustice, or the sin that crucifies Love. It means receiving from his open heart the Father’s forgiveness.
In these times of trouble, when everything seems fragile and uncertain, it may appear challenging to speak of hope. Yet Lent is precisely the season of hope, when we turn back to God who patiently continues to care for his creation which we have often mistreated (cf. Laudato Si’, 32-33; 43-44). Saint Paul urges us to place our hope in reconciliation: “Be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20). By receiving forgiveness in the sacrament that lies at the heart of our process of conversion, we in turn can spread forgiveness to others. Having received forgiveness ourselves, we can offer it through our willingness to enter into attentive dialogue with others and to give comfort to those experiencing sorrow and pain. God’s forgiveness, offered also through our words and actions, enables us to experience an Easter of fraternity.
In Lent, may we be increasingly concerned with “speaking words of comfort, strength, consolation and encouragement, and not words that demean, sadden, anger or show scorn” (Fratelli Tutti, 223). In order to give hope to others, it is sometimes enough simply to be kind, to be “willing to set everything else aside in order to show interest, to give the gift of a smile, to speak a word of encouragement, to listen amid general indifference” (ibid., 224).
Through recollection and silent prayer, hope is given to us as inspiration and interior light, illuminating the challenges and choices we face in our mission. Hence the need to pray (cf. Mt 6:6) and, in secret, to encounter the Father of tender love.
To experience Lent in hope entails growing in the realization that, in Jesus Christ, we are witnesses of new times, in which God is “making all things new” (cf. Rev 21:1-6). It means receiving the hope of Christ, who gave his life on the cross and was raised by God on the third day, and always being “prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls [us] to account for the hope that is in [us]” (1 Pet 3:15).
- Love, following in the footsteps of Christ, in concern and compassion for all,is the highest expression of our faith and
Love rejoices in seeing others grow. Hence it suffers when others are anguished, lonely, sick, homeless, despised or in need. Love is a leap of the heart; it brings us out of ourselves and creates bonds of sharing and communion.
“‘Social love’ makes it possible to advance towards a civilization of love, to which all of us can feel called. With its impulse to universality, love is capable of building a new world. No mere sentiment, it is the best means of discovering effective paths of development for everyone” (Fratelli Tutti, 183).
Love is a gift that gives meaning to our lives. It enables us to view those in need as members of our own family, as friends, brothers or sisters. A small amount, if given with love, never ends, but becomes a source of life and happiness. Such was the case with the jar of meal and jug of oil of the widow of Zarephath, who offered a cake of bread to the prophet Elijah (cf. 1 Kings 17:7-16); it was also the case with the loaves blessed, broken and given by Jesus to the disciples to distribute to the crowd (cf. Mk 6:30-44). Such is the case too with our almsgiving, whether small or large, when offered with joy and simplicity.
To experience Lent with love means caring for those who suffer or feel abandoned and fearful because of the Covid-19 pandemic. In these days of deep uncertainty about the future, let us keep in mind the Lord’s word to his Servant, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you” (Is 43:1). In our charity, may we speak words of reassurance and help others to realize that God loves them as sons and daughters.
“Only a gaze transformed by charity can enable the dignity of others to be recognized and, as a consequence, the poor to be acknowledged and valued in their dignity, respected in their identity and culture, and thus truly integrated into society” (Fratelli Tutti, 187).
Dear brothers and sisters, every moment of our lives is a time for believing, hoping and loving. The call to experience Lent as a journey of conversion, prayer and sharing of our goods, helps us – as communities and as individuals – to revive the faith that comes from the living Christ, the hope inspired by the breath of the Holy Spirit and the love flowing from the merciful heart of the Father.
May Mary, Mother of the Saviour, ever faithful at the foot of the cross and in the heart of the Church, sustain us with her loving presence. May the blessing of the risen Lord accompany all of us on our journey towards the light of Easter.
Rome, Saint John Lateran, 11 November 2020, the Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours
Lord Teach me to Pray
SAVE THE DATE: ONE BLOOD, BLOOD DRIVE AT THE BASILICA
January 10, 2021, 8:00 am– 1:00 pm
Right now blood supplies are critically low and demand is high. Start 2021 out right by saving a life! All donors will receive a long sleve shirt and a $10 gift certificate to Carrabbas. The bus is practicing social distancing (4 donors total) on the bus, which is why this appointment link is so beneficial. Everyone must wear masks, everyone’s temperature will be taken, and all equipment will be sanitized between donors. We are still doing the antibody testing on every donation and we encourage anyone who has had the virus to please donate blood as well, as they are helping the most critical of COVID patients right now. (Without symptoms, of course). Call 1.888.9donate. (1.888.936.6283) to reserve your spot or for more information. Identification is required!
The link to register online is below:
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The Holy See
LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO THE FAITHFUL FOR THE MONTH OF MAY 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The month of May is approaching, a time when the People of God express with particular intensity
their love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is traditional in this month to pray the Rosary
at home within the family. The restrictions of the pandemic have made us come to appreciate all
the more this “family” aspect, also from a spiritual point of view.
For this reason, I want to encourage everyone to rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at
home in the month of May. This can be done either as a group or individually; you can decide
according to your own situations, making the most of both opportunities. The key to doing this is
always simplicity, and it is easy also on the internet to find good models of prayers to follow.
I am also providing two prayers to Our Lady that you can recite at the end of the Rosary, and that I
myself will pray in the month of May, in spiritual union with all of you. I include them with this letter
so that they are available to everyone.
Dear brothers and sisters, contemplating the face of Christ with the heart of Mary our Mother will
make us even more united as a spiritual family and will help us overcome this time of trial. I keep
all of you in my prayers, especially those suffering most greatly, and I ask you, please, to pray for
me. I thank you, and with great affection I send you my blessing.
Rome, Saint John Lateran, 25 April 2020
Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist
You shine continuously on our journey
as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who, at the foot of the cross,
were united with Jesus’ suffering,
and persevered in your faith.
“Protectress of the Roman people”,
you know our needs,
and we know that you will provide,
so that, as at Cana in Galilee,
joy and celebration may return
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the will of the Father
and to do what Jesus tells us.
For he took upon himself our suffering,
and burdened himself with our sorrows
to bring us, through the cross,
to the joy of the Resurrection.
We fly to your protection,
O Holy Mother of God;
Do not despise our petitions
in our necessities,
but deliver us always
from every danger,
O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.
“We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God”.
In the present tragic situation, when the whole world is prey to suffering and anxiety, we fly to you,
Mother of God and our Mother, and seek refuge under your protection.
Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes towards us amid this coronavirus pandemic. Comfort those
who are distraught and mourn their loved ones who have died, and at times are buried in a way
that grieves them deeply. Be close to those who are concerned for their loved ones who are sick
and who, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, cannot be close to them. Fill with hope
those who are troubled by the uncertainty of the future and the consequences for the economy
Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us to God, the Father of mercies, that this great suffering
may end and that hope and peace may dawn anew. Plead with your divine Son, as you did at
Cana, so that the families of the sick and the victims be comforted, and their hearts be opened to
confidence and trust.
Protect those doctors, nurses, health workers and volunteers who are on the frontline of this
emergency, and are risking their lives to save others. Support their heroic effort and grant them
strength, generosity and continued health.
Be close to those who assist the sick night and day, and to priests who, in their pastoral concern
and fidelity to the Gospel, are trying to help and support everyone.
Blessed Virgin, illumine the minds of men and women engaged in scientific research, that they
may find effective solutions to overcome this virus.
Support national leaders, that with wisdom, solicitude and generosity they may come to the aid of
those lacking the basic necessities of life and may devise social and economic solutions inspired
by farsightedness and solidarity.
Mary Most Holy, stir our consciences, so that the enormous funds invested in developing and
stockpiling arms will instead be spent on promoting effective research on how to prevent similar
tragedies from occurring in the future.
Beloved Mother, help us realize that we are all members of one great family and to recognize the
bond that unites us, so that, in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity, we can help to alleviate countless
situations of poverty and need. Make us strong in faith, persevering in service, constant in prayer.
Mary, Consolation of the afflicted, embrace all your children in distress and pray that God will
stretch out his all-powerful hand and free us from this terrible pandemic, so that life can serenely
resume its normal course.
To you, who shine on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope, do we entrust ourselves, O
Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary. Amen.
©Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Bishop Wack’s Pronouncements Regarding Suppression of Masses
History and 14th century prayer to the Blessed Mother for protection from the Plague.
the Virgin Mother prays to you.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
⸙ THIS WEEK AT THE BASILICA
*The celebration of all Sunday and Weekday
Masses has been suspended.
*All public, scheduled liturgical gatherings:
Reconciliation Services, Stations of the Cross,
and scheduled confessions have also been
View our website, check myparish app and look
for emails for updates.
The church will be open for daily prayer:
Mon –Fri, 10:30 am– 12:30 pm &
Sunday, 10:00 am– 12:00 pm