(Fr. Lou preached the homily on this Sunday. Below are Fr. Jim’s opening welcome and closing announcements)
On behalf of Fr. Lou, the parish and school staffs of Saint Michael Parish and myself, prayers, blessings and peace to you all as we gather “virtually” on Laetare Sunday.
For all who are joining us on our YouTube channel from wherever you may be, welcome. We are grateful to be able to worship with you and appreciate you praying with us. It is our deepest desire that as we celebrate holy Eucharist with you that it may be a truly prayerful and spiritual experience.
Therefore we invite you to fully participate through your posture at the proper times, the recitation of the prayers and, of course, singing – even if it’s off key. Enter fully into prayer. Though we cannot be together physically, we can be together spiritually in an even more intimate way.
Some suggestions we received were families setting a table in front of the TV before Mass begins; place on it a white, rose or purple cloth, a Bible and even candles and flowers. This helps set a home altar and a sacred space. You might find this helpful for focusing your prayer. You can take a moment and do that right now.
I will have a series of important announcements at the end of Mass to keep everyone updated.
I invite you to type in any prayer requests that you might have in the chat box before Mass begins so that we can hold them in prayer throughout the week. As we take some time to do so, let us let us also quiet our hearts and our homes as we enter into this beautiful sacrament of the Mass.
Announcements – March 22, 2020
1. Though our parish and school offices are physically closed, we are open for parish business through phone and email. All of the parish stewards are hard at work. Phones are being answered from 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Thursday and until 1 PM on Fridays.
2. All of our staff and teachers are working virtually from home. You can connect with them through our website, their email or direct phone numbers. We want to be connected to you and engaged with you as much as possible. Many of our stewards have already contacted you personally. We are here for you.
3. Fr. Lou and I are live streaming daily Mass on our Facebook live channel Monday through Thursday at 12 noon and Friday and Saturday at 9 AM. At our Friday 9 AM Mass, we’re inviting all students and teachers to join us. Everyone young and old is invited as well.
4. We are continuing our regular times for the Sacrament of Reconciliation Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
5. Fr. Lou is reaching out to high school seniors, students home from university—as well as young adults—asking you to be of service. You can contact him at his email: frlou@SaintMichaelparish.org for more information.
5. Because of a desperate need in our community, we have increased the number of spaces for homeless men from 15 to 30. Sacred Heart Parish, who normally hosts Friday through Sunday, is now hosting here at Saint Michael Parish. Because of this, we are in need of more volunteers to assist us in many different areas.
Please check our parish website and the post for the Mens’ Shelter on the homepage (click here). You will find more details on ways that you can help and sign up. This is a population that is most at risk and they are our brothers and sisters in Christ.
6. The shelter and homeless need: any non-perishable food items, blankets, gallon-size plastic bags, sleeping bags, baby wipes, any medical gloves, wound care kits, warm gloves and hats, coats, socks, rescue blankets and more. Please check our website for more details.
You can drop these items off at the Eastside doors of the Gathering Space, on the way to the St. Joseph Chapel, between 6:30 PM and 8 PM. daily.
7. Thank you for your continued financial support during these difficult times. If you are not already doing so, please consider online giving. You can always mail in your Sunday envelope to the parish.
8. If you have any questions or specific needs during this time, please do call the parish office during normal business hours. There will be someone there to answer and to assist. We are here for you.
Let us stand now and ask for God’s blessing.