Dear St. Catherine Parish Family,
This Sunday we begin the most sacred week of the Church’s year, Holy Week. We begin with Palm Sunday and end with the celebration of Easter. Obviously our celebrations this year will be very different in that we will not be able to be together in person. However, I wanted to share with you our live stream plans for or this coming week along with some other resources that will be helpful for you to enter into the sacred mysteries more fruitfully. I will share additional spiritual resources regularly through our Facebook page, so please make sure to check that page as well.
Masses will be live streamed at 10:15am in English and 1:30pm in Spanish. Bishop Konzen has asked that we not bless and distribute palms on this day; however, I wanted to share with you an interesting article with a creative way to mark Palm Sunday in your homes. Additionally, I am including a worship aid for you all to use which includes the readings and hymns for the Mass in English.
The Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be bilingual and will be live streamed at 7:00pm. Will send out a program later this week with hymns and readings.
The schedule for Good Friday liturgies is as follows (all will be live streamed):
-Meditations on the Seven Last Words of Christ in English – 1:00pm
-Stations of the Cross in English – 2:20pm
-Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion in English – 3:00pm
-Stations of the Cross in Spanish – 4:30pm
-Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion in Spanish – 6:00pm
This year we will not be able to celebrate the sacraments of initiation with our candidates and catechumens who have been preparing for full communion with the Church at the Easter Vigil (these will be administered once we are able to return to the church). Additionally, in the absence of a congregation, the Holy See has indicated that there should not be the initial celebration with the Easter fire and the blessing of the Paschal candle. Consequently, the Easter Vigil will not be substantially different from a regular Easter Mass, so we will not be live streaming the Easter Vigil Mass and will live stream Mass on Easter Sunday.
Easter Sunday Masses will be live streamed at 10:15am in English and 1:30pm in Spanish. Will send out a program later this week with hymns and readings. (A note to those who sponsored Easter flowers: We will not be purchasing the additional flowers at this point since people will not be able to see them in person. We will wait until we are able to return to church, and we will have a beautiful flower display using the sponsor donations at that time.)
A Note About Online Giving and Special Collections
This past week, our offertory collection was a little over $28,000 (budgeted for $38,000). I want to thank all of you again who are continuing to give so generously to support the needs of our parish. Your recognition of the importance of stewardship towards our parish is truly inspiring to me. Over the last few weeks we have been receiving 70-75% of our budgeted need. Although, I am taking several measures to reduce our expenses at this time, I am trying to continue to compensate most of our staff who are working remotely. I, along with the archdiocese, am also looking very closely at the different options for assistance that are available to non-profits and churches. We will try to take advantage of whatever relief is available should this situation continue longer term. We have also implemented Text to Give, which is a quick and easy way to give on your phone to the offertory or a special collection with a simple text. Click on the link here for information on how to give by text. If you have not yet signed up for online giving, you can visit www.osvonlinegiving.com/1114. If you have any questions, please call Charissa Saenz at 678-206-7664.
Additional Spiritual Resources
-Tan Books Parish Discount – Tan Books is a wonderful Catholic publisher with a variety of excellent spiritual books. They are offering a special 30% discount to parishes who have signed up for their offer. Additionally, 30% of sales will be donated back to the parish. If you would like to take advantage of this offer, visit www.tanbooks.com and use the code SIENA30144.
-Dominican Holy Week Retreat – The Eastern Province Dominicans are a very faithful order and are offering an online Holy Week retreat led by their priests and brothers. For more information, visit thomisticinstitute.org/events/holy-week-retreat.
Please know that I am praying for you all this week in a special way, that the Lord would bless you and your families and allow all of us to have a fruitful time of prayer and reflection as we enter into these most sacred mysteries of the Lord’s passion, death, and resurrection.