We are at the very beginning of what appears to be a long and protracted time of physical separation from each other and from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We have continued to celebrate Holy Mass not only for the particular intentions printed in the bulletin but for each and every one of you. You are in our daily prayers as we strive to respond both materially and spiritually to the impact of COVID-19. We cannot encourage you enough to pray for each other and to remember especially those in our community who live alone. Reach out to each other through the various forms of communication to make sure everyone is healthy, sane, and striving for holiness. Particularly, we would ask the following: if you are aware of a member of the St. Luke community who is not adept at accessing all of this information either through email, the website or through Facebook, please share all this information with them by phone.
Yesterday we celebrated the great Feast of Saint Joseph, patron of the Universal Church, Foster-father to Our Savior and Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. How blessed we are to have his intercession and care for each of us. Throughout our current and future tribulations let us invoke his powerful intercession and have confidence that Our Heavenly Father will hear our prayers:
Oh glorious St. Joseph, thou who hast power to render possible even things which are considered impossible, come to our aid in our present trouble and distress. Take this important and difficult affair under thy particular protection, that it may end happily. (The particular request: an end to the COVID-19 and all who are sick from it and all those suffering from its effects.)
O dear St. Joseph, all our confidence is in thee. Let it not be said that we would invoke thee in vain; and since thou art so powerful with Jesus and Mary. Show that thy goodness equals thy power. Amen
St. Joseph, friend of the Sacred Heart, pray for us.
Also, we want to remind everyone that Confessions are heard on Saturdays at 4:15-4:45pm (as well as on Tuesdays & Thursdays at 6am during the Lenten season, Wednesdays at 5:30pm, Fridays at 11am, and Sundays at 7am) and the Church is open during those times for private prayer. The Church is also open Monday – Friday from 11:30 am until 1:00 pm. Please use the handicap door to the Church located between the school and the Church proper. We are using that one door in order to keep it clean. We are cleaning that door and the handles as well as the bathroom every day. Also, we want to safeguard people in the church since that entrance is monitored through the ring system we have in place.
Please find this prayer for spiritual communion in the absence of Holy Mass:
I believe that you are truly present
in the most Blessed Sacrament.
I love You above all things
and desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I am not able at this moment
to receive You sacramentally,
I ask that You spiritually enter into my heart.
I embrace You and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen. (Padre Pio)
We have included two links in this letter: the first link is the Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary on the granting of special Indulgences to the faithful in the current pandemic given today from Rome. The Apostolic Penitentiary is chiefly a tribunal of mercy, responsible for issues relating to the forgiveness of sins in the Catholic Church.
The second link is a video message from Archbishop Carlson to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis. Please take a moment to watch this brief video.
There are many resources out there available to you during this time of uncertainty. Here are a couple that you might find helpful:
- Magnificat: In addition to its online edition, MAGNIFICAT is now offering complimentary access to its iOS and Android Apps throughout May. To register for free access in English, visit www.magnificat.com/free. We are also happy to make available complimentary access to MagnifiKid. Visit www.magnifikid.com/free to view and download each weekly booklet of our colorful Sunday missalette for children ages 6 through 12.
- Living Faith Reflections: In light of the tremendous disruptions of our daily lives due to the worldwide outbreak of the Coronavirus, we want to help you find comfort, peace and healing in your faith both now and during the challenging days and weeks ahead. To that end, we are making Living Faith Daily Catholic Devotions along with La Fe Viva and Living Faith Kids free to access online through the end of March. You can get free, temporary access to all of our daily devotionals here: Living Faith January/February/March 2020; La Fe Viva January/February/March 2020; Living Faith Kids March 2020
Finally, it is our hope to communicate with you weekly and more so if there is immediate information that needs to be shared with you. The primary purpose of these communications is to continue to hold us together even when we are separated. Also, it is important that we remain spiritually rooted in the things that truly matter and this is our Catholic faith and the strength provided by it in all times and seasons.
Please feel free to contact Fr. Pete at any time with your concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org; parish phone – 314-644-2144 x11.
For more information from the Archdiocese please visit: www.archstl.org/coronavirus.