As many of you have heard, the civil authorities have ruled that there should be no gatherings greater than 10 persons. In light of that and the difficulties that it will pose at the parish level; the Diocese (i.e. Bishop Hying and his council) have asked that we suspend all Masses and public meetings at the parishes including RCIA, the scrutinies, Religious Education classes, CCW meetings, Knights of Columbus meetings, Bible studies etc. until April 3, 2020.
However, he strongly encourages us to pray, and to leave the Church doors open. We cannot ever have more than 10 people in the Church at any one time, but he also encourages adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and we will continue doing the Baptisms, Weddings, and Funerals during this time, but again with the cap of 10 in attendance. He has asked that penitential services be cancelled but that individual confessions should go on. So our Wednesday evening confessions from 7:00pm-8:30pm will continue, as well as Saturday mornings 8:30am-10:00am confessions, adoration, and benediction. You can watch daily mass at https://stmarypinebluff.com/live-stream/ . Please check the Spiritual Communion prayer in our website so that you can say that at Communion time and get great graces while watching. Also available in our website is the Prayer in Times of Pestilence. We will also be continuing to hold the Way of the Cross Friday evening, but only 10 people may attend. We will try to keep the same office hours and you can call anytime to set up a confession by appointment. I will also still be doing anointing of the sick whenever needed.
The parish functions from your tithing. Even though you cannot come to Mass, please do not stop tithing to the parish. I highly encourage you to consider EFT (electronic fund transfer) which according to your direction deducts a fixed amount monthly or twice a month from your account. You can change the amounts at any time or cancel the withdrawals at any time if you find them inconvenient. If you do not want to sign up for EFT you can also give on line with a credit card via our website and pay-pal. https://www.saintchristopherparish.com/general-donations/ That link should work for you, but if not go to the Parish website and at the very bottom left of the home page it says “Make an online donation ‘new’.” If you click there it will take you to a format to make your donation. I know that some of you may not be tech savvy or may not trust this stuff and don’t like to use credit cards online. Please mail in your tithing or bring it by the office, so that we can continue all of our functions and service without great disruptions or debts.
Please continue to pray that God in His mercy through the intercession of His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ and the intercession of our Patron Saints Christopher, Andrew and William protect us, vanquish this pandemic and heal all those affected. The Bishop’s prayer invokes Our Lady Star of the Sea. Other Saints we can invoke whose intercession is proven powerful in these matters: Agricola of Avignon, Adrian of Nicomedia, Deodatus of Never, St. Roch, and Edmund the Martyr of East Anglia.
May God Bless us and spare us.