Peace of Christ, and I hope you are well in these strange times.
Know that Fr. Tim and I are always committed to the health and safety – both spiritual and physical – of all of our parishioners and guests. We are carefully monitoring the developments surrounding COVID-19 (the coronavirus). Given the highly contagious nature of the virus and the danger it poses to vulnerable populations, our pastoral staff and I have made several important decisions to help protect all members of our parish community from possible infection.
Mass Dispensation. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee announced March 12 that Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki has dispensed Catholics from their obligation to attend Sunday Mass due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, the coronavirus. The dispensation will cover the next two weeks, including Masses for Sundays March 15, 22 and 29. Masses will still be celebrated across the 10 counties of the archdiocese, but the obligation to attend Sunday Mass will be lifted, leaving attendance to people’s individual judgment.
“If people are fearful about crowds or if there are people who are older or suffer from an existing medical condition, we do not want to put them at any additional risk,” Archbishop Listecki said. “These are measures to prevent an increase in the spread of a virus and serve as a safety net for the next two weeks. After that, we will reevaluate.” Sunday Mass is available in the archdiocese via broadcast in two forms, on the radio, at 9 am, Sunday mornings, on Radio 920 AM, W.O.L.F., and on broadcast television on WVTV, My24 at 7 am, and 9 am, and on WITI Fox 6, at 5:30 am. In place of attending Mass for those Catholics who choose to remain home, the Church asks that they set aside a similar amount of time for private prayer and reflection. The obligation to attend Sunday Mass dates back to the 4th century. The Second Vatican Council reiterated the Church’s requirement that the faithful attend Mass on Sunday, as the chief act of worship for Catholics.
Changes to Mass at the Family of Four Parishes. At this time in our Family of Four Parishes, we are no longer distributing the Precious Blood at Mass until further notice. Please know that in no way does this diminish your reception of Holy Communion, as the Church has always taught that the fullness of Christ’s body, blood, soul, and divinity is present in either species of the Eucharist. We ask that you please receive in the hand for Holy Communion. We are also not exchanging the usual Sign of Peace – instead, you are welcome to give a wave or a slight bow to those around you. Thanks in advance for your understanding!
- Catholic East Fish Fry – all events canceled.
- Sunday, March 15 St. Joseph Tavolata – canceled.
- Sunday, March 15 Karen Beaumont Concert – canceled.
- Wednesday, March 18 Eat, Drink, and Be Catholic – canceled.
- All Children’s Liturgy of the Word – canceled.
Thanks for your patience and understanding! Let us keep each other in prayer.
Sincerely in the Lord,
Fr. John Baumgardner, Temporary Administrator
Old Saint Mary, Three Holy Women, Saints Peter and Paul, Our Lady of Divine Providence Parishes