I’m happy to report that last Sunday at 9 AM, there was a live broadcast of the Mass on my Face- book page, available to the public using the following link: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100013005573744 . I’m told that at least 135 people viewed live with 437 views! You may use this link for future live broadcasts. Please know that I will livestream the Mass again this Saturday, March 28TH at 5 PM and Sunday, March 29TH at 9 AM. Quite honestly, I never intended to use live media, but I know how much it means to all of you to see Mass celebrated in the church where so many of you have attended for years. I hope this gives you a sense of connection with our parish. I’d also like to inform you that the Archdiocese of Chicago is also providing weekend and daily
Masses; you may use this link to view them:
As I write this column, it has been reported that in some areas people are not observing the shelter-in-place guide- lines. I do want to stress the importance for all of us to only go out when necessary; it will lead to saving lives.
Otherwise, the virus will spread more rapidly, and we will overload our healthcare system all at once, causing many to die who otherwise could be saved with proper healthcare and equipment such as ventilators. There still is uncertainty regarding how the virus is transmitted; it appears that a majority can be infected without symptoms while passing on the illness to others.
I just received some updated guidelines from the Archdiocese of Chicago. Please know that the Archdiocese and I are aware of the pain and sadness of being separated from the sacramental life of the Church, especially the Sacrament of the Eucharist. However we are making this sacrifice to shelter-in-place for the common good, including our own good. Regarding individual confessions, they are not possible in any form, including drive-thru confession. For now, I especially ask those seeking the Sacrament of Reconciliation to make a solemn, sincere Act of Contrition with a firm intention to go to Confession as soon as the stay-at-home order is lifted. If you do not know an Act of Contrition, simply google the phrase and pray it. Please know that God knows better than we do what is in our hearts; God takes our relationship with Him seriously. If you are sorry for your sins, repent with the intention to go to Confession after the stay-at-home order is lifted, the Lord will honor your desire and patiently wait for you in the sacrament.
Holy Communion to the Sick and Homebound is suspended until the governor’s stay-at-home order is lifted. The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is possible with some qualifications. Only a select few designated priests under sixty years old with no comorbidity may anoint a COVID-19 patient. Non-COVID-19 patients may also be anoint- ed. Funeral Masses and funerals are not possible at this time as our churches are still closed. However, funeral services at the funeral home or gravesides are possible with a limit of ten people attending and practicing social distancing.
Finally, a Plenary Indulgence has been granted due to the extraordinary nature of this pandemic. An indulgence removes some (partial) or all (plenary) temporal punishment due to sin. A Plenary Indulgence can be gained by the faithful suffering from Coronavirus, who are subject to quarantine by order of the health authority in hospitals or in their own homes if, with a spirit detached from any sin, they unite spiritually through the media to the celebration of Holy Mass, the recitation of the Holy Rosary, to the pious practice of the Way of the Cross or other forms of devotion, or if at least they will recite the Creed, the Lord's Prayer and a pious invocation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, offering this trial in a spirit of faith in God and charity towards their brothers and sisters, with the will to fulfill the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the Holy Father's intentions), as soon as possible, when the suspensions are lifted. In addition, health care workers, first responders, family members and all those who, exposing themselves to the risk of contagion, care for the sick of Coronavirus will obtain the same gift of the Plenary Indulgence under the same conditions.
Let us continue to pray for all the sick and those who care for them, and please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers. May the peace of the Lord Jesus be with you always.