Updates on Coronavirus & Parish Life March 17, 2020
Message from Fr. Juan & Parish Staff
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
How can we put our faith into practice during this difficult time? Certainly, the challenges we face with the spread of the Coronavirus are unprecedented. Never did we think anything could put us in such a terrible situation in which Bishops, the shepherds of our Church, would ask us to even stop coming to Church.
It might seem at first sight that we are turning our backs to God in the time we need our faith the most.
However, this is not the case! Our Lord’s greatest commandment is to Love God and our neighbor. As we well know, there are many faithful people who are vulnerable to the virus and, out of love and the most profound care for them, we prevent ourselves from coming to Church so that by caring for them with pastoral care we worship God in Spirit and Truth.
Now, the fact we cannot come to Church does not mean our faith is over. This calls us to take action and to express our faith in different ways. Let us also think of the many communities throughout the world located in the midst of the jungles or isolated parts of the world, or with very few priests or places of worship, who keep the faith alive in the heart of their homes without the Eucharist for months at the time. So, let us first and foremost participate in the Eucharist from home by means of the internet and/or tv. In situations such as this, Sunday obligation is fulfilled by these means. At communion time, we encourage everyone to do a Spiritual Communion. Daily mass is also available on our website and on many other Catholic sites.
Undoubtedly, it is during these troubling times when we need to pray even more. Therefore, we ask you to join us in the many spiritual practices and devotions the parish is making available for everyone.
Let us stay United in Faith.
Love you all,
Fr. Juan, Deacon Patrick and Parish Staff.
In cooperation with Governor Baker’s announcement over the weekend, the Diocese of Worcester has issued the following statement by Bishop Robert McManus, Bishop of Worcester:
"After carefully reviewing the sound advice of medical professionals and the recent order by Governor Baker to limit gatherings to 25 participants, I have decided to suspend all public celebrations of Mass until further notice in the hope of slowing and, God willing, halting the spread of this disease. The obligation to take part in the Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation is thereby lifted."
Participating in the Mass at Home
We’re all encouraged to continue to pray with the local Catholic community by virtual attendance at the Sunday Mass and Daily Mass which is carried on • EWTN - cable channel 18 • Catholic Channel - cable channel 101 • Laudate app on your phone • GodMinute podcasts and also streaming on our website
While public Masses have been suspended, know that our pastor, Fr. Juan, will offer Mass privately each day for you and your intentions.
If you scheduled a mass to be offered for your loved one during this time, Fr.Juan will fulfill the intention during his private Mass. If you’d like to reschedule the Mass, please call the office.
Joining in Spiritual Communion
The suspension of the public celebration of Mass is upsetting for many of us who hunger to receive Jesus in the Eucharist regularly, but let us also remember that grace is being offered to us through spiritual communion. What is spiritual communion? It’s a prayer professing faith in Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist and inviting him to come to live in our heart.
Our beloved Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI reminds us that even when we cannot go to Mass and cannot receive Holy Communion “it is beneficial to cultivate a desire for full union with Christ through the practice of spiritual communion, praised by Pope John Paul II and recommended by saints who were masters of the spiritual life” (
, no. 55).
How do you make a Spiritual Communion? Begin by examining your conscience and making a good Act of Contrition. Then pray one of the prayers recommended by the Saints for inviting Christ into your heart. Here is one by Saint Alphonsus Liguori:
“My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were already there, and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.”
A Spiritual Communion can never fully take the place of receiving Holy Communion at Mass, but in these extraordinary times it can help us to stay close to Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament of his Body and Blood.
What About the Other Sacraments?
In regard to the pastoral care of the sick, in each area of the diocese, two or more priests will be assigned and will be trained to act as designated ministers to the sick. They will provide pastoral care to the quarantined, the sick and the dying. If a person is in need of a pastoral visit, this will be referred to one of the designated priests for our area.
In regard to the Sacrament of Penance, with the suspension of person-to-person contact, the Sacrament of Penance will not be available, except to the most seriously ill from the Designated Priest Ministers of the Sick.
What Do I Do If I Can’t Go to Confession?
Each of us should regularly examine our consciences. When we are conscious of sin, we should go to Confession and seek absolution from the priest. When this is not possible, the Church recommends that we make as perfect an Act of Contrition as possible.
Contrition is “sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again.” The
Catechism of the Catholic Church
reminds us that when such contrition “arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called "perfect" (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.”
There are many forms of the Act of Contrition. Here’s just one:
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good,
I have sinned against You Whom I should love above all things,
I firmly intend, with Your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Savior Jesus Christ, suffered and died for us.
In His name, my God, have mercy. Amen.
Parish Activities happening by Facebook Live Sessions
On Tuesday at 6:30 pm Gospel exploration will be having a Facebook Live session for everyone to participate from home. There
will not be
a session at Church.
Just like our Parish on Facebook by clicking here
Please join the Facebook Live rosary at 6 pm.
Just like our Parish on Facebook by clicking here and join us in prayer at 6 pm.
Will the Church Be Open for Private Prayer?
Yes, for now the church will remain open for private prayer. However, the number of people in the church at any given time cannot exceed 25 people.
What About the Parish Office? Will It Remain Open?
In order to minimize the risk of infection to our parish pastoral staff and those to whom they minister, our parish offices are closed to the public. All members of the parish pastoral staff are available by phone at 508.476.2002 or by email. Please check our parish website
Facebook Page for the latest updates
. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Financial Stewardship During the Pandemic
We are always grateful for your generous support and we hope that you will continue to financially give to our parish even though Masses have been suspended. In order that the other work of the Church may continue, we are asking that you continue to support our parish financially in any of the following ways:
1. Mail in your weekly envelopes
2. Mail a check
3. prayerfully consider continuing to give weekly via our Online Giving page.
Click here for Online Donations.
Thank you is not enough to express our gratitude for your generosity!
Also consider what you can safely do to help others
Call the elderly and isolated
• Provide food or supplies for someone
• Give to our Food Pantry
Communication During the Closure: Don’t Just Delete It!
While it isn’t our intention to inundate you with daily emails, there is important information that will need to be shared regularly. Because the situation is so fluid, we will be sending you an update about once a week unless it’s imperative that we get the information to you sooner. We hope you’ll view each of the items we send, and we bet you’ll even enjoy a lot of it! We have some good stuff coming your way!
A Faith Response to the Coronavirus
The coronavirus outbreak is stirring up anxiety, confusion, and major inconveniences. It is a situation in which we can easily overreact or under react.
Click below to download a guide to see how can our faith tradition guide and comfort us through troubling time.
For Diocesan Information please click
Fr. Juan Escudero
on Tuesday, March 17 at 8:00AM