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St. Joseph on CONVID-19

St. Joseph Parish

This will be a Lent we all remember, I am sure. In the midst of the growing spread of COVID-19, which the World Health Organization has described as a global pandemic, all Sunday and weekday Masses have been suspended in Yakima Diocese.

For many of us, Sunday Mass is a staple of our week and our spiritual life. We look forward to Sunday as a day of rest and a day to worship God in the way most pleasing to him, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. When it is not possible for us to participate at Mass, how can we still keep holy the Lord’s Day?

  1. Watch a livestream of the Mass 

We will be livestreaming Mass without a congregation.  It will be posted on our Facebook and we will post the homily as well. facebook.com/stjoseph.kennewick/

Gather as a family, with a small group of friends or neighbors or by yourself, and watch the Mass.

While digital participation can never replace actual presence at Mass, livestream Mass is a great way of keeping our connection with the Mass when it is not possible to be there in person. We can make an offering in our heart to be united spiritually to this offering, which is more spiritually efficacious than any other prayer. We should silence our phones, eliminate (as best we can!) distractions in our home, and try to give all of our attention to what is happening at the Mass so we can fully participate in this remote way. Here is a list of live stream masses:

https://www.aod.org/livemasses                     https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/daily-readings

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4A6RIOwC2E  LIVE STREAM ADORATION

  1. Make a spiritual communion 

An ancient practice of the Church for those who cannot be present at Mass is to make a spiritual communion. We have a simple prayer you can pray with longing in your heart to be united to Jesus. I know many who are too ill to attend Mass regularly, imprisoned, or in places where they are prevented from participating at Mass because of persecution or a shortage of priests have the regular practice of making a weekly — or daily — spiritual communion.

A prayer for Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire to receive you in my soul. Since I cannot at this moment 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.

  1. Read the Sunday readings as a family

These can easily be found at usccb.org/bible by clicking on “Today’s Readings.” Magnificat (a daily prayer book) is also offering free digital resources during this time, including the Sunday readings and a reflection.

Reading Scripture individually or together with others — especially in our families — is an excellent spiritual practice.

  1. Check in on those around you

Because those who are older are most susceptible to complications from COVID-19, health official are encouraging them to minimize their time away from home. It is a great act of charity to reach out to these brothers and sisters in our faith communities to check in on them. Do they need groceries or help with something in their homes? Caring for each other — especially those who are most vulnerable during this time — is a demand of the Gospel. It is the enactment of our life as joyful missionary disciples.

  1. Pray a family Rosary

Unleash the Gospel also calls for families to reclaim the Rosary as a way to be united to Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of the Church. She is the perfect model of a disciple and our great intercessor.  Here’s a video to help you pray the rosary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgtJ-sFzWww

  1. Go to a church and pray

Many of our churches will be open so that the faithful can pray privately. Our parish will open the Small Church will be open from 6:00 am – 5:00 pm every day. 

If you are not sick, take some time on Sunday to “make a visit” to a parish and pray before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament for your family, your parish and your neighborhood.

We should pray for our elected leaders, researchers and health care workers in this time for wisdom and prudence in their decisions and perseverance in their work.   Also, pray for families during this time.

  1. Visit Formed.org

Go to formed.org and click on sign up, then select I belong to a parish and type in our zip code and select St. joseph Parish.  Type your and email address.

Fr. Vázquez
Pastor