Information concerning Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As we continue through this difficult time here in our area, our nation, and throughout the world, let us continue to be ever faithful. Although there are no public celebrations of Holy Mass, the following can still be done to facilitate each person’s spiritual needs:
- the church will be open from 6am until 2pm for private prayer and devotion.
- The Blessed Sacrament Chapel will be open until 8pm and then continue as is our practice in the overnight hours. Please continue to pray.
- Use the hour that you would spend at Mass in prayer with your family.
- Watch Mass on EWTN, see our Sunday e blast, or watch the Mass for Shut-ins on channel 8.
- We invite you to make a spiritual communion.
According to St. Thomas Aquinas, Spiritual Communion includes 2 main elements: an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and a loving embrace as though we had already received Him. Spiritual communion produces within us effects similar to Sacramental Communion, according to the fervor of our desire and to the love with which we give Him welcome and attention. An ardent Spiritual Communion obtains for us the graces we need to become more pleasing to God, to practice virtue, and to avoid sin. An act of Spiritual Communion can be made with your own prayerful words or using a formula such as this one below.
Act of Spiritual Communion recommended by St. Alphonsus Ligouri:
My Jesus, I believe that Thou art truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. I love Thee above all things, and I long for Thee in my soul. Since I cannot now receive Thee sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace Thee as though Thou hast already come. I unite myself entirely to Thee. Never permit me to be separated from Thee. Amen.
As restaurants and other public places close, it is as if the entire world is entering into Lent. Embrace the sacrifices that you are called to make and add them to the other pious observances that you are already making. Be sure to reach out to loved ones and other members of the household of faith. Please offer them your support and friendship. Take good care and know of my prayers. If you are in need of confession, my help or counsel, please do not hesitate to contact me. Let us pray that this crisis will soon pass and let us always be mindful of God’s abiding presence even in the midst of the struggles that we face.
The announcement by the Bishop’s of Ohio on the suspension of Holy Mass within the State is reproduced below for you.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Please know that the priests will continue offering private Masses remembering you in our prayers.
April 2, 2020, 3:58 p.m.
CINCINNATI — The temporary suspension of all publicly celebrated Masses and liturgies has been extended through and including Sunday, May 3, the Catholic Conference of Ohio announced Thursday, “Gov. Mike DeWine extended the executive “Stay at Home Order” to continue to curb the spread of the Coronavirus in the State of Ohio,” conference Chair?man Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr, of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, said in a prepared statement “Out of deep concern for the common good, as well as the physical and spiritual well-being of all the people of Ohio, the Catholic Bishops of Ohio have agreed once again to cooperate with the governor’s direction. “This decision has not been taken lightly and, as your bishops, together with you, we recognize the sacrifice we are called to make by being physically distanced from the Holy Eucharist and from one another.”
CATHOLIC CONFERENCE OF OHIO
March 16, 2020
RE: Catholic Bishops of Ohio Suspend All Publicly Celebrated Masses/Liturgies
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
After serious consideration of the grave health risk involved in public gatherings and in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the bishops of Ohio have decided, effective immediately, to suspend temporarily all publicly celebrated Masses/liturgies, at least through the celebrations of Holy Week and Easter. The bishops of Ohio dispense the Catholic faithful who reside in their respective dioceses and all other Catholics currently in Ohio from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass through Easter Sunday.
This decision is not taken lightly and, as your bishops, causes us great sadness. However, after consultation with the governor and health officials we are convinced that this is the most prudent and necessary action.
Science has proven that participation in public gatherings significantly increases the risk of contagion. This poses a serious danger to those especially most vulnerable.
As Catholics, in every Sunday Mass we celebrate the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord. The Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. In this moment, we are experiencing in a unique way the passion of our Lord as this pandemic prevents us from gathering for the Sunday Eucharist. In this very difficult time, we encourage the faithful to turn to the Church’s treasury of prayer. Sunday remains a holy day, and we encourage the faithful to pray using the rich resources of our faith, including praying as a family or individually the rosary, divine mercy chaplet, the Liturgy of the Hours, stations of the cross, etc. We also urge you to participate in prayer by way of radio broadcast or televised or livestreamed Mass and make a spiritual communion.
Please join us in praying for all who are suffering from illness or disease of any kind, for all health care workers, and for an easing of the anxiety and tension caused by this situation. Relying on the motherly care of Our Lady, we unite our sufferings to those of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our healing and our hope.