Update: November 29th Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
Update: November 22nd Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
Update: November 15th Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
Update: November 8th Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
Update: November 1st Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
Update: October 25th Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
The Sacrificial Offering for Sunday, October 18, 2020 was $7,204.00. Thank you
for your spiritual and financial support during this extended period of COVID 19.
2020 Annual Catholic Appeal
The ACA for 2020 is on-going due to COVID 19. If you would like to make a
contribution to this year’s appeal you may do so at: www.diospringfield.org. Click
on the 150th banner. Credit Cards are accepted to contribute to this appeal. Be sure to choose St. Rose de Lima as your parish. Your gift will then be added to our total number of contributors and donations. To date, Ste. Rose has 420 members who have contributed $50,985.00. Thank you!
Boy Scout Troop 138
Perhaps it was due to COVID 19 and therefore stockpiles of cans and bottles were
in your basements, but the troop had to make two trips to the recycling center. If
you were turned away, Troop 138 sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience it may have caused. The response was “overwhelming.” Troop 138 thanks you for the continued support you provide.
Did you know?
The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (www.USCCB.org) provides
ongoing adult education updates on some of the most crucial issues confronting both faith and morals in today’s culture. Our website: www.Sterose.org has a “Link” tab that includes not only the daily Mass readings but also educational materials that all Catholics ought to read and consider, especially during this “election year.”
During this time of extended COVID isolation, stay informed by logging on to this
Catholic website. You’re just “a few clicks” away from being connected to Catholic
thought during these challenging times.
A little bit of “this & that!”
We’re now in the seventh month of the coronavirus pandemic. And from all
reports the pandemic is not going away any time soon. This pandemic has
challenged each of us in terms of isolation and caution. As a parish, the effects are
overwhelming! I personally miss the interaction with you before and after Masses.
The foyer of the church and the conversation it generates is sorely missed. I feel
somewhat isolated from you as we celebrate the Eucharist on the weekends.
“Popping out” of the sacristy before Mass and the immediate return to the sacristy
after Mass is less than ideal. The social of coffee and doughnuts after the 9:00 AM
Sunday Mass is truly missed as well.
I ask that all members of the parish continue to receive the Eucharist “in the
hand” during this pandemic. If you have been to the dentist lately, you’re aware of
the PPEs that are worn by the dental staff for the protection of both themselves and their patients. Due to the contagious nature of coronavirus by “droplets” from the mouth and nose, the reception of Holy Communion in the hand is the safest method to employ during this ongoing pandemic. I’m aware that some Catholic parishes allow communion on the tongue. I believe it’s still pre-mature to think that this is a safe practice. I’m the only clergyman assigned here. I’m 66 years old and therefore vulnerable to coronavirus. The parish has too many funeral Masses, several weddings, and many baptisms that need to be celebrated, not to mention morning Mass and Sunday Mass. Should COVID be contact traced back to St. Rose, the church would need to be shut down for 14 days with a very expensive disinfection protocol implemented.
A reflection from an Archdiocese on the reception of Holy Communion during a
The protocols for reception of Holy Communion that the Archdiocese has adopted are informed by the best medical expertise. In issuing these protocols, the Archbishop has acted according to Canon 837 of the Code of Canon Law which recognizes that liturgical actions are “celebrations of the Church itself as the ‘sacrament of unity,’ that is, the holy people united and ordered under the bishops.”
The sensitive issue of asking all members of the faithful to receive Holy Communion in the hand – and not on the tongue – is in accord with sound reason, unity in our communities and the good of the faithful – in this case their physical health.
Given the living tradition of the Church, which highlights the most ancient practice of receiving Holy Communion in the hand, the Archbishop has the authority to instruct the faithful to receive Holy Communion in the hand during this time of Pandemic, with no exceptions.
From the earliest of times, the Church has always honored our Eucharistic Lord with deep, and somewhat graphic faith, combined with practical piety. For instance, St. Cyril (313-386), in commenting on a 1st Century church document, teaches:
In approaching Holy Communion, come not with your wrists extended, or your fingers spread, but make your left hand a throne for the right, as for that which is to receive a King. Receive the Body of Christ, saying over it, Amen. So then after having carefully hallowed your eyes by the touch of the Holy Body, partake of it. Be careful lest you lose any portion of it, for whatever you lose, is evidently a loss to you as it were from one of your own members.
Due to the pandemic the Parish Pastoral Council has suspended all meetings.
All social events that are synonymous with Ste. Rose are also suspended because
they could be considered “super spreaders” of COVID. It appears that a second
wave of the virus is a real possibility as the weather is encouraging more “inside”
time. I personally miss the meetings and social activities too. They have kept us
“connected” to one another.
I appreciate the emails and notes that you send to me. Many have expressed
their sincere appreciation for the internet Mass from our parish church every week.
Many have appreciated the efforts made by the parish to stay connected during this time of isolation. If there is any more that we can do to assist you during this COVID isolation, please do not hesitate to either email or write a note as you send in your Sacrificial Offerings.
The protocol of disinfecting the church after Mass is ongoing! However,
more volunteers are needed to assist in this new ritual. The pews and kneelers are
sprayed and wiped after each Mass as well as handrails and door handles. A gentle reminder: please leave the kneelers in the down position after you leave the pew for the reception of Holy Communion – it is a simple request but is extremely helpful in identifying which pews were used at Mass. A little bit of irony, the finish on the pews is having a negative effect! One of the projects that needs to be accomplished is the re-finishing of the pews and the replacement of the kneelers. As it turns out, it’s a blessing in disguise that the pews were not re-finished!
Finally, the repairs to some limited limestone deterioration on the church
steeple and base are being addressed. COVID stalled the repairs. Gratefully the
repair is now completed. As of this writing the rented “cherry picker” is on site.
The repairs ought to be completed prior to the weekend. And yes, the “protective
scaffolding” will also be removed. AMEN!!! The cost to rent the cherry-picker is
The Pastoral Center is also slated to be fitted with new windows. A few years
ago, the basement windows were replaced. Now the first-floor windows are being
replaced. The windows on the original convent building – now Pastoral Center –
are from the original construction. The new windows will maintain the present
appearance. The cost to complete this project is $38,550.00. The project will begin
in about two weeks. Next year (2021) the second-floor windows will be replaced
and the following year (2022) the attic windows. By 2022 the entire Pastoral Center will have been re—fitted with energy efficient windows while covering all exterior wooden encasements with a maintenance free product. No more painting – AMEN!
With much admiration and looking forward to a “new better,”
Update: October 18th Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
Pope Francis appoints Fr. William Byrne as bishop-elect for the Diocese of Springfield
Pope Francis has named the Rev. William D. Byrne, a priest of the Archdiocese of
Washington, DC as the 10th Bishop of Springfield. The announcement was made
October 14, 2020 in Washington DC by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, U.S. papal
Bishop–elect Byrne was born September 26, 1964. A native of Washington, DC he is the youngest of 8 children of Mary (Largent) Byrne and the late Dr. William Byrne, a thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon who died in 2011.
As a youth, the bishop-elect attended Mater Dei School in Bethesda, MD, went on to Georgetown Preparatory School, North Bethesda, MD and completed his
undergraduate studies at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester. He then taught for three years at Mater Dei before being accepted as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Washington, DC.
He then studied at the Pontifical North American College in Rome completing his
Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas
(Angelicum) and was ordained in 1994 by Cardinal James A. Hickey.
As a newly ordained priest, he was first assigned to the Church of the Little Flower and the Shrine of St. Jude in Bethesda, MD. For eight years he served as the chaplain to the University of Maryland during which time 14 men from the chaplaincy entered seminary and are currently ordained priests along with five women who are currently in religious life after having attended the university.
He was named pastor of St. Peter’s on Capitol Hill, where he created a special ministry to Catholic members of Congress. During that same time, Bishop-elect Byrne also served as the Secretary for Pastoral Ministry and Social Concerns for the Archdiocese of Washington for 6 1/2 years. More recently he has served as pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Potomac, MD.
In addition to his parish work, for nine years he taught homiletics to the seminarians of the Pontifical North American College. He has been invited to speak at numerous Priests Convocations including in the Archdioceses of Washington, Newark and Seattle as well as in the dioceses of Venice, FL, Arlington, VA, Providence, RI, Allentown, PA, Greensburg, PA and Bridgeport, CT.
In 2007, he gave the homily to 20,000 Catholic youth and their leaders gathered at the Verizon Center for the annual Mass and Rally for Life which each year precedes the Annual March for Life in Washington DC.
In 2016 Pope Francis named him a “Missionary of Mercy” for the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Bishop-elect Byrne is a popular columnist and YouTube personality, with his series “Five Things” highlighting five life hacks, prayer starters, or spiritual meditations to help people to grow closer to God and appreciate the small—but vital—things in life.
The series was so popular that it has been developed into a book Five Things with
Fr. Bill which is being released tomorrow, October 15 by Loyola Press.
Bishop-elect Byrne assumes the position left vacant when Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski was named as the Archbishop of St. Louis on June 10 and was installed on August 25.
Since then, Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus has been serving as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Springfield.
Bishop-elect Byrne will be ordained and installed as the 10th Bishop of Springfield on December 14 at the Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel on State Street in Springfield. He will shepherd a diocese comprising of 79 parishes and seven missions located in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties, and a Catholic population of 164,799.
The Sacrificial Offering for Sunday, October 11, 2020 was $9,155.00. Thank you so
much for your continuing spiritual and financial support of Ste. Rose de Lima.
A reflection As a parish family, Ste. Rose de Lima has had many priests serve as pastor. Many of you who have been life-long members are able to remember the names of my
predecessors. From our Founding Pastor: Rev. Joseph A. Fredette 1909-1918; Rev.
Joseph A.M. Brochu 1918-1924; Rev. Jean B. Lamothe 1925-1945; Rev. Msgr. Charles N. Fortin 1945-1958; Rev. Msgr. J. Armand Silvain 1958-1964; Rev. Msgr. Eugene E. Guerin 1964-1976; Rev. Msgr. Roger J. Viau 1976-1978; Rev. John P. Richard 1978- 1989; Rev. Msgr. Leo A. Leclerc 1989-2005; and, of course, yours truly, you have seen “us” come and either retire or take the bridge to eternal life! But in the end, it is you who are the parish of Ste. Rose de Lima!
As I am now in my 41st year of priesthood in this diocese, I, too, have seen many men serve as Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield: Christopher Weldon, Joseph Maguire, John Marshall, Thomas Dupre, Timothy McDonnell, Mitchell Rozanski and now the 10th Bishop of the Diocese, William Byrne. Yet “we” are the Diocese of Springfield. It is here in Western Massachusetts that we live, raise our families, retire, and are buried. I encourage all of us to welcome bishop-elect William Byrne and pray for a fruitful period of ministry within our diocese. Like Archbishop Rozanski, I do not presume that bishopelect Byrne will stay here for a long period of time. While he is here, I pray that he brings his gifts and talents to us that we may in turn become a better diocesan Church in Western Massachusetts. May he know good health, happiness and joy!
Welcome bishop-elect William Byrne – Ad Multos Annos!
Update: October 11th Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
The Sacrificial Offering for Sunday, October 4th was $10,273.00. Thank you for
your generosity and remembering to support Ste. Rose both spiritually and
financially during this pandemic which is affecting each of our lives. The number
of members attending Sunday Mass continues to increase. A sign of increased
attendance is the “loose cash” offering. Last weekend the loose cash was $505.
Please note that all disinfecting protocols are in place. After each Mass, funeral,
wedding, and baptism the church pews, doors, and railings are sprayed with a
disinfectant and wiped clean. As always, each Mass could use a few more volunteers to assist with the process of disinfecting. All PPEs are provided for your use. Your assistance would greatly appreciated! “Many hands make light work!”
The Annual Catholic Appeal
As of the last report, Ste. Rose de Lima has 420 members who contributed $50,985 to the 2020 campaign. The average gift is $121.00. Thank you for assisting the Diocese of Springfield to minister to our brothers and sisters throughout the four counties of Western Massachusetts.
Youth Altar Servers
The latest updates from the Diocese concerning “youth altar servers” is that children may once again serve at Sunday Mass. The recommendation is for one or two servers at one Mass depending upon the size of the sanctuary area. Here at Ste. Rose the sanctuary is so expansive that two servers can be allowed at each Mass. Of course, altar servers must always wear a mask and disinfect their hands prior to serving at Mass.
Should youth altar servers be serving Mass at the Liturgy at which you are
proclaiming The Word, a mask will be required at all times except for when you
proclaim of the Sacred Scriptures and for the reading of the Prayer of the Faithful.
As we are so aware, the pandemic is still with us. If each of us, including Lectors,
Extra-Ordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, and Deacon employ these crucially
important protocols, we can continue to celebrate the Eucharist without fear, but
with respect for the coronavirus and how contagious it is.
Protocols which are still in effect
In as much as we are learning every day about the “uptick” in COVID cases, the
following protocols are still in effect:
- No family participation at a Liturgy of Christian Burial: readers, presentation
of gifts, eulogies, and the placing of the funeral pall. The dressing to the
casket with the pall is limited to the funeral directors and is vested in the front
of the church. Directives still mandate no processions at Mass of any kind for
the priest. The sacristy door entrance and exit are still required.
- Baptism: One infant per celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism unless there
are multiple children to be baptized in one family. The limit of 15-20 persons
at the celebration is still being enforced. Please request baptism for your child
by contacting the Pastoral Center to reserve a Sunday afternoon. The
preferred time is either 12:00 Noon or 1:00 PM.
- The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available in the “old baptistry” of the
church on Saturday afternoon from 3:15-3:45 PM. Or an appointment can be
arranged for confession at the Pastoral Center. A mask is required to enter the
- No parish social events are allowed. That includes the coffee and doughnut
hour on Sunday mornings.
- No Bingo games are allowed per the Commonwealth of Massachusetts until
With the resurgence of COVID 19, pastoral visits to hospitals and nursing homes
are limited to the protocol of each health care facility. Should you need to notify the parish of a health crisis in your family, please leave a detailed message as to: where the patient is located; identify what the health crisis is; leave a slowly spoken and clear message of the name of the person calling, the name of the person who is experiencing a health crisis, and be sure to include a phone number that can be used for a return call. Home visits are allowed if COVID 19 is not the health care crisis.
Since March of 2020, our lives have been turned “up-side-down.” Many of our
vulnerable seniors are not only living alone but are lonely too. Making a phone call, grocery shopping for a senior neighbor, or making a “face-time” visit (for those who have the technological ability) are important ways of reaching out to these “treasured seniors” in our parish and neighborhoods.
The Independent Task Force is working diligently to offer a “best-practice”
initiative for the diocese’s response to sexual misconduct by clergy and other church personnel. Every member of the diocese is asked to respond to an “on-line” survey that is available on the diocesan website: www.disopringfield.org. While it is a brief survey, specifically designed to be brief, this “tool” will be extremely helpful for the I.T.F. to review your input thereby assisting the Diocese of Springfield to better respond to future allegations – which we pray there will be no more. Please take the time today to complete this survey. Please be honest. As mentioned at Sunday Mass, the I.T.F. is not expecting a Five-Star rating. It is expecting an honest evaluation – which is most important.
Over 70 U.S. Catholic churches have been either vandalized or desecrated since the beginning of 2020. Yet the media has not covered any incident – shameful! If not for Catholic radio/media such as WJMJ in our area, little would be known. Please pray for religious tolerance. These “hate” crimes are a sin against humanity. Let us pray for healing, mutual respect, and tolerance.
Enjoy the Columbus Holiday!
Update: October 4th Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
The Sacrificial Offering for Sunday, September 27, 2020 was $6,646.00. Thank you!
The comparison of September 2019 versus 2020 is:
September 2019 had five Sundays with realized gross receipts of $45,755.00 for an
average of $9,151.00
September 2020 had four Sundays with realized gross receipts of $32,426.00 for an average of $8,106.00.
The average weekly deficit is ($1,045.00).
Pre-COVID 19 the “loose cash” offering for September 2019 averaged over 5
Sundays $786.00 During COVID 19 the “loose cash” offering for September 2020 averaged 4 Sundays $351.00. As you can clearly figure, since the pandemic, there are fewer persons attending Mass thereby reducing the “loose cash” offering. Overall, Ste. Rose de Lima Parish is “fairing well” during this period of pandemic uncertainty. As always, your spiritual and financial support are appreciated.
The Annual Raffle
The lucky winners of the 2020 Parish Raffle are announced in this week’s bulletin.
Congratulations to all who won prizes! The raffle realized a net receipt of $6,000.00 which will be donated to SJA School. This amount was donated to SJA School last year with the picnic! Clearly, many more tickets were purchased/sold than in previous years. Thank you for your overwhelming response to this year’s raffle. Let us hope and pray the pandemic will be over so that in September of 2021 the parish picnic will once again occur.
The Sacrament of Confirmation Friday, September 25, 2020, thirty high school seniors completed the Rites of Christian Initiation by being confirmed through the Sacrament of Confirmation. Due to the pandemic, the celebration of Confirmation was re-scheduled from May of 2020 to September of 2020. The pandemic also made it impossible for now “Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski” of St. Louis to confer this sacrament upon them. With Bishop Robert McManus in Worcester, Massachusetts serving as the Apostolic Administrator during the interim while “we” await the announcement of a new bishop, permission was granted – by then Bishop Rozanski – for local pastors to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation for their parishioners. It was such an honor and privilege for me to celebrate this sacrament this year. I quickly realized that these young men and women were 2 and 3 years old when I arrived in the parish on July 1, 2005. How the time has flown! Congratulations to all those confirmed and to their families. May the Holy Spirit fill them with wisdom and understanding as they continue to grow into a mature Catholic faith.
As a people, we continue to walk through challenging times. The pandemic has
fundamentally changed the way we live our daily lives; natural disasters plague the Pacific Northwest and the Gulf Coast States; Catholic churches are being
desecrated around the United States; violent protests have spread across the
country; our political system appears to be more dysfunctional with every passing
day; loss of good paying jobs mount every week; and there will be a national election very soon. With all these realities happening concurrently, it could potentially overwhelm us. It is my contention, however; we will inevitably “get through this together!” If each of us simply contributes positive faith-based energy recognizing that each of us is responsible for the well-being of our neighbor, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish. Are there obstacles and fears that can either inhibit or limit our willingness to get involved in the healing process? The answer is “yes!”
Remember the words that Jesus spoke “for man it is impossible; but with God all
things are possible.” Our “mature and adult” faith will allow us to persevere into
the dark waters of uncertainty. In a sense, Jesus will call us out of the safety of the
boat as he did Peter and invite us “to walk on the turbulent waters” of our times.
We could falter as did Peter when he flinched as he focused on the powerful wind
and waves rather than to have kept his focus on Jesus. With our eyes fixed on faith, yet aware of what surrounds us, we can walk on the turbulent waters of our time in history and persevere. May God give us the courage to persevere, trust, and do our part to announce the good news of the kingdom.
Update: September 27th Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
Sunday Offering for Sunday, September 20, 2020
The Sacrificial Offering for Sunday, September 20, 2020 was $7,269.00. Thank you
for your continued financial support throughout the COVID 19 pandemic. Your
prayerful and financial support are most encouraging. I am looking forward to the
day when the pandemic is behind us and our personal and spiritual lives can return to a more normal reality. However, it is important the each of us remains vigilant with all the protocols to avoid catching/spreading the virus. As you have read and heard in the media, since the Labor Day weekend, there has been an uptick in coronavirus infections here in Massachusetts. So please continue to wear a mask in all public places, keep social distancing, wash/sanitize your hands often, and refrain from touching your face and rubbing your eyes. Together we will get through this. As the SJA School marquee says, “St. Paul was on the road to ‘de-mask-us.’”
The Annual Parish Raffle
On Monday, September 28th the drawing for the Annual Raffle will take place in
the Pastoral Center. All ticket returns need to be remitted by 12:00 NOON to be
assured of a chance at winning the cash prizes and the $100.00 lottery basket. The
First Prize is $1,000.00 donated by the St. Pierre-Phaneuf Family Chapels. Including
the $100.00 lottery basket, a total of $3,000.00 will be given away:
First Prize: $1,000.00 – one prize
Second Prize: $ 500.00 – two second prizes
Third Prize: $ 200.00 – two third prizes
Fourth Prize: $ 100.00 – five fourth prizes
Fifth Prize: $ 100.00 worth of Lottery Tickets.
PLUS the $100.00 seller’s raffle!
Good luck to all who purchased/sold tickets. All proceeds will go to benefit SJA
School! Thank you to one and all. Hopefully, the Parish Picnic will be “allowed”
for September 2021! It will be here before you know it!
The 2020 Annual Catholic Appeal
As of the most recent report, 420 St. Rose de Lima families contributed $50,785.00
to this year’s campaign. That is an average contribution of $121.00. Within the
diocese Ste. Rose de Lima Parish is ranked “number four” with the 420 contributors to this year’s appeal. Thank you so much for your generous response to the 2020 ACA. This amount is an increase of $4,167.00 versus 2019! As always, it is never too late to contribute to the 2020 ACA. Log onto: www.diospringfield.org and click on the 150th banner and make your contribution. There is no amount either too small or too large – whatever you can reasonably afford. In the name of the Diocese of Springfield, I thank you!
Parish Events and Meetings
By now, we are too aware of what this pandemic has done to parish meetings and
events: they have been eliminated. While the pandemic has “trampled” parish life
and each of our daily lives, the well-being of everyone is of paramount importance. When the pandemic is reasonably defeated, parish life will return to a “new normal.” In the meantime, each of us could reflect upon how much parish life was “taken for granted” prior to the pandemic. Perhaps, we can begin to discern the meaning of “belonging” to a faith-based community. And upon such reflection, we can begin to plan on a renewed desire to be more involved in parish life by participating more fully when parish life resumes. As the saying goes, “Many hands make light work!” Whether your involvement may include participation in religious programming, social outreach, spiritual devotions, or a greater longing for celebrating the Eucharist, this time of isolation need not be wasted. Ste. Rose de Lima Parish is only as strong and vibrant as each member is fully engaged in parish life. Reflect and pray of how you can make a difference when this pandemic is over and each of us can become more engaged.
Bishop Robert McManus
Effective last week, Bishop Robert McManus, allowed those communicants who
wish to receive communion in the more traditional manner – on the tongue – to do so. I am concerned about the distribution of the Eucharist on the tongue during this pandemic, and the way the coronavirus is transmitted, which is documented as “droplets” transmitted from one person to another; I ask for your consideration for the safety of your neighbors and to those who administer the Eucharist to continue to receive in your hand. This pandemic is far from over. As mentioned above, there has been an uptick in the number of cases since the Labor Day weekend. The uptick now includes 33 states within the U.S. Over 200,000 people have died from either the virus itself or from the virus complicating underlying health issues. The virus can be traced to its source of contagion. Any contact tracing connecting the spread of the virus to Ste. Rose de Lima would/could possibly mean a shut down for 14 days. I ask you to consider what is more important: to celebrate the Eucharist regularly or to take the risk of a shutdown for 14 days? I struggle to discern, from a theological perspective, of either the tongue or the hand being more sacred, I come up empty. If, however, any person wishes to receive communion on their tongue, I implore you to consider being the last person(s) to receive. Should the minister of the Eucharist slightly touch the communicant’s tongue, the minister must disinfect his/her hands prior to resuming the distribution of communion. Admittedly, I am
extremely uncomfortable with Bishop McManus’ decision. I am in the vulnerable
age group (66 years old) to contract the virus. Being the solitary priest in the parish, I need to continue to be virus free. Should I contract the virus I would need to be in quarantine for 14 days – minimally – or until recovered. I, and we as a parish, cannot afford that possibility. The diocese does not have a “reserve” of priests to send in the case of my illness. To date, as a parish, we have celebrated Sunday Masses, weddings, funerals, and baptisms very well with no contact tracing to our parish. I pray we consider the health and well-being of each other and maintain communion in the hand until this pandemic is over.
Update: September 20th Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
Sunday Sacrificial Offering
The Sacrificial Offering for Sunday, September 13th amounted to $6,350.00. For thefirst two Sundays of September the average is $9,255.00. Thank you for your
generosity to Ste. Rose de Lima Parish during this period of pandemic.
The Diocesan Catholic Charities Office serves the needs of disadvantaged
individuals and families in Western Mass. The social work staff meets with people
in need of housing assistance, furniture, utility assistance, food vouchers,
counseling, recommendations for childcare, and employment opportunities. The
staff does a comprehensive intake form and interview before any funds are verified or distributed. Catholic Charities is a resource for many parishes to refer people to when the needs of individuals or families exceeds what any one Parish can do. Your support of the ACA allows this Ministry to assist those most in need in our communities. Thank you for your support of the ACA! If you would like donate to the ACA, go to diospringfield.org/aca/ and click on the link.
SJA School Fundraising Last weekend several volunteers spent Saturday in the SJA School yard receiving your no longer wanted/needed items. To all volunteers and those donating – thank you! Once “Savers” processes the donated items the bulletin will publish the receipts. Thank you!
Old SJA School Desks
For many years old school desks have been stored in the basement of the Pastoral
Center. In the past attempts to sell the desk sets had a limited response. However,
since “remote learning” has become the present norm for childhood education due to the COVD 19 pandemic, the parish was able to sell 70 desk/chair sets. The
proceeds from this sale are $1,600.00. Those funds will be forwarded to SJA School. The basement of the P.C. has more room for storage. To those who volunteered to move the desks and chairs out of the basement and make them available for sale: Thank You!
Recording Sunday Mass
Every Wednesday a small team of volunteers record Sunday Mass for the members of the parish who are isolated due to the coronavirus. It is “our collective pleasure and honor” to celebrate Sunday Mass for you, our most loyal members. We long for the day when all our members can safely return to worship our living and loving God together in our magnificent church. The Mass will continue to be recorded for the foreseeable future. With so many great minds working to produce a vaccine, we can collectively pray for the scientists in their work to put an end the COVID 19 virus. How wonderful it will be to return to a more normal way of living. The Mass is available through the parish website: www.sterose.org, Facebook and YouTube.
Friday, September 25th at 5:00 PM the “confirmandi” will finally celebrate the
Sacrament of Confirmation. Normally, either the bishop of the diocese or a
designated priest would celebrate Confirmation with the parish priest(s) and
deacon(s). However, with COVID 19, Archbishop Rozanski (prior to moving to St.
Louis), gave permission for local pastors to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation for their parishioners. It is truly an honor and a privilege for me to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation with the now “Senior High School Class.” With the celebration of Confirmation on September 25, 2020, both celebrations of First Communion and Confirmation will complete the celebrations that ought to have been celebrated earlier in the year. Again, due to the virus all celebrations were put “on hold.” The staff and I appreciate the patience of all families concerned. Mr. Daniel Prats, a member of Ste. Rose de Lima Parish, is in the diaconate formation program and will soon be ordained a deacon. On Saturday, October 3, 2020, Daniel Prats will receive two “orders or steps” toward ordination: Lector and Acolyte. These steps toward ordination will be conferred upon him by Bishop Robert McManus, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Springfield, while being the Ordinary Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts. The ceremony will take place at St. Michael Cathedral at 11:00 AM. With the size of the church and with masks and social distancing in place, you are most welcome to attend this special liturgy. If you are unable to attend, please keep Dan in your prayers as he moves forward to being ordained a deacon.
Update: September 13th Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
The sacrificial offering for Sunday, September 2020 was $12,161.00. Thank you
for your generosity to your parish especially during this 2020 pandemic.
Annual Catholic Appeal
As of September 8th, 420 members of Ste. Rose have contributed $50,785.00 to the 2020 ACA. Thank you for such a tremendous spirit of generosity! No amount is too large or too small to contribute to the ACA. Log onto: www.diopsringfield.org and click on the 150th banner to make your on-line contribution.
Financial comparison of August 2019 vs 2020
In August 2019 there were four Sundays, and the amount contributed was
$44,685.00. In August of 2020 there were five Sundays, and the amount contributed was $45,866.00. Therefore, by comparison August of 2020 realized +$1,181.00. The pandemic has had an impact on all of us, whether it has been isolation, quarantined, staying home to stay safe, etc. The overall effect on the finances to Ste. Rose de Lima Parish in this new fiscal year (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021) has been minimally felt. The huge financial “hit” the parish will experience is the loss of bingo revenue. All receipts for bingo benefit SJA School. As the year progresses and the parish subsidizes the school without bingo revenue, “our” financial realities will be challenging. Your devotion to Ste. Rose de Lima Church and SJA School are a testament to your dedication to the Catholic faith and Catholic education.
Annual Parish Raffle
To date over $8,000.00 in raffle ticket sales have been remitted. It is not too late to
remit your raffle ticket purchase/sales. Total prizes to be awarded total a value of
$3,000.00. Cash prizes total $2,900.00 and the final prize is $100.00 in Lottery
Tickets. The drawing will be held on Monday, September 28th in the Pastoral Center. Let us pray that the pandemic will be eliminated by September 2021 and we’ll be able to host the annual parish picnic.
The events of 9/11 were remembered last week, though without the customary
solemnity of The Celebration of the Eucharist as is the custom in the Catholic
Chicopee-Ludlow deanery. While the pandemic may have kept us from the
communal celebration of the Eucharist, I am sure, that we did in fact remember the events of that horrific day. The loss of life and the bravery of “first responders” will never be forgotten. We pray for those who lost their lives on 9/11. We pray for those who died with health complications from inhaling all the dust as the Twin Towers collapsed. May we never forget!
Update: September 6th Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
The sacrificial offering for Sunday, August 30, 2020 was $7,021.00. Thank you for
your generous support during this on-going pandemic.
2020 Annual Catholic Appeal
As of the last report, 420 members of Ste. Rose have contributed $50,785.00. Thank you for your overwhelming response to the 2020 campaign. It is never too late to contribute to the 2020 ACA. Log onto: www.diospringfield.org and click on the 150th Banner to make your contribution. Be sure to list Ste. Rose as your parish so that you will be counted, and your contribution will be totaled to “us!”
St. Joan of Arc School
SJA School is open! The students are in a “brick and mortar” learning environment. Many of the children are pleased to be with their friends and teachers. All protocols that are mandated by the Commonwealth and the Diocese are strictly being implemented. Please remember that once the school building has been disinfected at the end of the day, no one will have access to the building. By adhering to this mandate from the diocese, we can be assured the building is clean for the next school day. The building is “alarmed” at the end of the day.
The Cub Scouts & Boy Scouts of America
An agreement with the diocese and the parish will allow the scouts the use of the
church hall as another year of scouting begins. It will be the responsibility of the
Cub & Boy Scouts to disinfect the hall after its use. To date, the scouts are the only “outside” organization that can use a church property.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, AA is not able to use the church hall on Tuesday evenings. It is with a great sense of anticipation that AA will be able to use the hall soon. St. Rose has hosted AA on Tuesday evening for over 25 years! The hall provides a wonderful environment for AA participants. Let us pray that we will be able to open the hall to AA once again. The parish is proud to provide this
Bishop Robert McManus
As mentioned last weekend, Bishop McManus is the canonical “Apostolic
Administrator” for the Diocese of Springfield while “we” await the announcement
of a new “Ordinary Bishop.” When Bishop Timothy McDonnell retired, he became
the “Apostolic Administrator” until the arrival of Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski for a
little over one year. Let us join in fervent prayer that an announcement is made soon. In the meantime, during the canon of the Mass, “Bishop Robert McManus” will be mentioned as “Robert our bishop.”
Since the days of my youth the Diocese of Springfield has had several bishops:
Christopher Weldon, Joseph Maguire, John Marshall, Thomas Dupre, Timothy
McDonnell, and Mitchell Rozanski. Most of the bishops did retire. John Marshall
died in office, as the one exception. Mitchell Rozanski is the only one who has ever moved on to another diocese. Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski is now the
archbishop of St. Louis, MO. An archbishop has the added responsibility of being
“the metropolitan” for the entire Catholic population of the State. Archbishop
Rozanski is the “shepherd” of all the dioceses in his state. In fact, often, the
Archbishop of St. Louis has been elevated to the rank of “Cardinal.” Admittedly,
Archbishop Rozanski was an unknown to many of the clergy in this diocese.
However, he was a parochial vicar, pastor, and then elevated to the role of an
“auxiliary bishop” in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. In 2014 he was appointed as
The Bishop of Springfield, and now just 6 years later, appointed to be the Archbishop of St. Louis. It is my fervent prayer that The Holy Father, Pope Francis, will choose another person, perhaps already an auxiliary bishop to succeed Archbishop Rozanski. Notice that I said “succeed” not “replace.” No one can ever be replaced. Each person brings their gifts and talents to their position in the Church. Join me in prayer, that whoever our new bishop will be, that he will be welcomed to our diocese with open arms. In as much that we are all human, I trust that “we” will not compare our new bishop with Archbishop Rozanski. To make such a comparison would be totally unfair to the new bishop. There will be a period of transition, to be sure. But, with the grace of God, we pray that our diocese will be appointed the right person for new shepherd.
Update: August 30th Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
For Sunday, August 23, 2020 the sacrificial offering was $9,483.00. Sunday, August
30th will be the final weekend in the month of August. The bulletin will provide a
comparison of August 2019 vs 2020. Thanks so much for your support of Ste Rose
during these many months of pandemic.
The 2020 Annual Catholic Appeal
As of August 20, 2020, the members (419) of Ste Rose de Lima Parish have
contributed $50,685.00 to this year’s campaign. Thank you very much. Again, it is
never too late and no amount too large or too small to contribute to this annual
campaign. You can log on to: www.diospringfeild.org and then click on the 150th
banner and make an online contribution. Remember to designate St Rose de Lima
as your parish thereby adding to the number of contributors and the total contributed.
What is an “Apostolic Administrator?
First, as you may already know, the bishop of Worcester, Robert McManus, has
been named “Apostolic Administrator” of the Diocese of Springfield until a new
bishop is appointed. During the cannon of the Mass, his name will be prayed for
as “our bishop, Robert.” Below is the description of what the role of an apostolic
Authority and Responsibilities of an Apostolic Administrator in a diocese in a
time of “sede vacante” (“the seat being vacant”)
August 25, 2020
(adapted from the Diocese of Buffalo)
With the installation of Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski as the ordinary for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, it was announced today that His Holiness, Pope Francis, has appointed Most Reverend Robert J. McManus, Bishop of the Diocese of Worcester, to serve as Apostolic Administrator or the Diocese of Springfield. The Diocese of Springfield is now in a time of “sede vacante,” as the seat of the diocese is vacant until a new bishop is appointed and installed.
A number of changes are in effect during this time. For example,
– Offices that exercise general or specific authority granted directly by the diocesan bishop cease since their authority derives from the diocesan bishop, such as the Vicars General and other vicars.
– Some offices remain during the vacant see: chancellor, judicial vicar and financial officer. These offices are necessary for the ordinary operation of the diocese and so remain in place and assist the Apostolic Administrator in his work.
– While the judicial vicar’s authority is granted by the diocesan bishop, it does not cease during the vacant see so the process of justice within the diocese can continue without interruption.
What is an Apostolic Administrator?
An apostolic administrator is a bishop who is appointed by the pope to see to the good order and administration of a diocese that is awaiting the appointment of a permanent bishop or ordinary. In addition to his usual pastoral responsibilities as bishop, the apostolic administrator has the authority to make the necessary decisions for the daily operations of the diocese. Major decisions and initiatives are deferred to the new bishop unless an urgent situation requires action. The
apostolic administrator is charged with deciding what issues need to be addressed during this interim period and what issues need to wait for the attention of the new bishop. The role of the apostolic administrator ends when the new bishop is installed.
In general, the apostolic administrator is subject to the same obligations and possesses the same powers as a diocesan bishop. However, there are certain limitations on the power of the administrator that hinge upon his status. Under the code of canon law, an interim apostolic or diocesan administrator must be appointed to oversee the affairs of the diocese when the diocese becomes vacant. A diocese becomes vacant whenever the diocesan bishop dies, retires, resigns, or is transferred from or deprived of his see
by the Roman Pontiff. The vacancy of the see becomes effective at the time that written notice of acceptance is received by the diocesan bishop.
Canon law itself denies the administrator the power to perform certain actions that are permitted to the diocesan bishop. For example, Church law allows the administrator to issue letters authorizing the ordination of diocesan priests or deacons but states he can only do so with the consent of the College of Consultors of the diocese.
There are certain functions that the administrator may perform only after the diocesan see has been impeded or stood vacant for more than one year. For example, the administrator may grant incardination or excardination to priests and deacons only if the diocese has been vacant for a year. The administrator can name priests as administrators of parishes but cannot name them pastors unless the diocese has been without a diocesan bishop for at least one year.
Finally, Church law prohibits the administrator from taking actions which may prejudice the rights of the diocese or its bishop. This would include suppression of parishes and relegation of churches to profane use.
Apart from such limitations, the administrator enjoys powers and has obligations equivalent to those of a diocesan bishop in all respects. For example, with regard to selling of ecclesiastical property, the administrator needs to obtain the consent of both the college of consultors and the diocesan finance council when the value of the property to be alienated falls within the minimum and maximum amounts set by the episcopal conference.
In general, the Apostolic Administrator maintains the necessary day to day functioning of a diocese but does not make any structural changes that would truly be innovations in the particular diocese.
“Sede vacante”: Canon law DETAILS
The guiding principle behind this part of the law is that during the vacant see the ordinary operations of the diocese are to continue for the good of souls.
– An Apostolic Administrator is bound by the obligations and possesses the power of a diocesan bishop, excluding those matters which are excepted by their nature or by the law itself (Canon 427, 1).
– One of the powers excluded by the law is the power to make diocesan law.
– An example of a power that the Apostolic Administrator may exercise is the calling of candidates for ordination to the diaconate and the presbyterate, but only after the College of Consultors has given its consent. This is possible because the calling of candidates to holy orders and their subsequent ordination are part of the ordinary operations of a diocese.
– The Apostolic Administrator may appoint pastors but only if the see has been vacant for a year. The office of pastor is understood to be a stable office. Since the administrator is not to make any innovations, the conferral of a stable office should not happen except in the situation noted here.
– If a pastorate becomes vacant before that year time frame has occurred, the Apostolic Administrator may appoint a priest as the parochial administrator since this is not a stable office. Similarly, he may appoint priests as parochial vicars because that is not a stable office.
– The Secretariat of Divine Worship frequently receives inquiries about the naming of the bishop in the Eucharistic Prayer. When a diocesan bishop resigns or is transferred to another See, an administrator is normally named if there is to be an interregnum before a new bishop is appointed. If the administrator is a bishop, then he is named in the Eucharistic Prayer as “N. our Bishop,” (other distinctions are not applied within the Prayer; thus it is never “our Archbishop,” “our Cardinal Archbishop,” or “our Apostolic Administrator”). Until a new bishop is installed
the administrator bishop remains the connection within the apostolic communion, not because he is administrator but because he is successor to the Apostles as a bishop. The title “apostolic administrator” is not a liturgical title, nor does it have any bearing on his ability to be a source of communion, which comes rather from his ordination as bishop. (As per Volume XLIX March 2013 – USCCB’s Newsletter)
– Mass for the Election of a Bishop can be celebrated praying for the Holy Spirit to guide the process of the selection of the next Bishop of Springfield.
Update: August 23rd Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
Please remember in your prayers the souls and families of: Sue Cavanaugh, Edilberto Roman, James E. Sullivan, Alice Roy, Joel Rapalo, Jr., Cynthia Brown, and George Whitehead. May they rest in God’s eternal peace.
This Sunday, at the 11AM Mass, three R.C.IA. Candidates will receive the
Sacrament of Confirmation that they had been prepared to receive at the Easter Vigil. Their patience, during this pandemic delay, is to be rewarded. Congratulations to: Crystal Grzelak, Scott McLaughlin and Alysia Loso. God bless you and may you be assured of our prayers as you continue on your spiritual journey. May our Patron Saint, Ste. Rose of Lima, whose feast day is today, always walk with you!
PLEASE KEEP OUR SECOND GRADE FIRST COMMUNION CLASS IN
YOUR PRAYERS. They will be receiving the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist for the first time next Saturday, August 29th. They, and their families, have been patiently awaiting this moment since it was postponed last May.
For Sunday, August 16, 2020 the Sacrificial Offering was $7,666.00. As the end of
the month of August rapidly approaches a monthly comparison of August 2019
versus August 2020 will be provided. Thank you for your generosity during this
Assistance Needed after Sunday Mass
Disinfecting the pews after each Sunday Mass is required by the COVID 19 protocol. There is the need for more volunteers to assist in this endeavor. With several volunteers the process takes only a few minutes. Mark Morin, the custodian is there to assist and instruct volunteers on how to properly disinfect the pews. Your assistance will be greatly appreciated. All PPE’s needed are provided. Thank you.
A gentle reminder
To assist with the disinfecting of the pews, etc. after Mass, please remember to have the kneeler in the “down position.” The down position will indicate a pew that was in use during Mass.
The Pastoral Center
The Pastoral Center has been open for several weeks. If you need to personally come to the P.C. please remember that you must wear a mask for the safety of the staff and for yourself. The P.C. is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. You may contact the P.C. by telephone as well, if you wish to schedule a
memorial Mass for your prayerful intention.
The Sacrament of Baptism
The Sacrament of Baptism is offered by appointment only and for one infant.
Baptismal classes are suspended during the pandemic. For the celebration of
baptism, the request is made to limit the number of attendees to 15-20. The pews
need to be disinfected after the ceremony for the 4:00 PM Sunday Mass. Thank you for your understanding during this pandemic.
The Liturgy of Christian Burial
The Liturgy of Christian Burial has been allowed for the past several weeks.
Working through the funeral home, Masses are arranged. Masses may be arranged by the family if there is no funeral director. With direct cremations, the family and the parish can schedule a funeral Mass. However, due to the pandemic, masks must be worn in the church. As mentioned last week, until the pandemic has passed, family participation at Mass is not allowed. Your cooperation and understanding are greatly appreciated.
Youth Altar Servers
How much do we miss you? More than you know! The parishes are still waiting
for the “green light” from the diocese to allow the altar servers to return to service. As soon as the parish is informed that altar servers are once again allowed, this bulletin will break the news.
And finally, These days of COVID 19 isolation have interfered with all aspects of life.
Gradually there has been an up-tick of attendance at Sunday Mass. Please
remember that at Communion time a mask must be on when receiving the sacred
host in your hand. Once the host is in your hand, remove half of your mask and then place the host in your mouth. Then, replace the mask. Communion on the tongue continues to be prohibited by the Diocese of Springfield. The coronavirus is primarily transmitted by “droplets.” Should the finger of the priest/deacon/eucharistic minister get touched by a person’s tongue, the minister of communion would need to stop and disinfect their hands. Personally, I have been distributing Holy Communion for a long time. As experienced as I am, prior to COVID 19, it was not uncommon to mistakenly touch a person’s tongue. For the safety of all, our diocese continues to ask that all communicants receive The
Eucharist in their hand.
Archbishop-designate of St. Louis Mitchell T. Rozanski has officially departed
from the Diocese of Springfield as he awaits his official installation in St. Louis on
August 25, 2020. However, he was named the Apostolic Administrator of the
Diocese of Springfield until a new bishop is assigned here. That news is according
to the iObserve news source. At this time, there is no “local” news as to “who” it
will be or “when” the appointment will be announced. Archbishop Rozanski was
an “unknown” to our diocesan church when he was appointed. As you now know,
he was an auxiliary bishop in the archdiocese of Baltimore. He came with a fresh
set of eyes and in the span of a short six years made a significant impact upon our
diocese. His many contributions of leadership, I believe, will have an enduring
“positive” influence for years to come. In a sense, he paved the way for his
successor to inherit a better diocesan church. It would be my preference to welcome another “unknown” bishop to our diocesan church. While I do not know who it will be or when it will be announced, I am somewhat confident to suggest the next bishop will be an existing auxiliary bishop from another diocese. In any event, I encourage all of us to pray to the Holy Spirit to inspire Pope Francis to send us the right person for our next bishop.
Update: August 16th Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
PLEASE REMEMBER IN YOUR PRAYERS the following souls who have, since
the inception of the COVID 19 Virus, had their Funeral Mass, Funeral Home
Prayer Service and Graveside Service through the Pastoral Ministry of Ste. Rose
de Lima Parish. May they Rest in God’s peace!!
March: William Kane, Conrad Desrochers, Jr, Donald Mercier, John Toth, Carol
Provost, Richard D’Agostino, Beatrice Graham, Joan Moreau, Bernice Laurin,
Cecile Desforges, Edna O’Connor, Clare Tetrault.
April: Matthew King, Jacqueline Breault, Janice Blanchard, Barbara MacClure,
Robert Marowski, Joyce Kelty, Eleanor Raleigh, Nicole Ayotte, Denise St. George,
John Murowski, Georgia Carleton, Stephanie Chaisson, Gina Groom, Dorothy
Topor, John Herring, Theodore Chmura, Jr, Helen “Kay” Kennedy, Lorraine
Jamrog, Ronald Guerin.
May: Mary Connors, Barbara Ryan, Rosemary Riley, Irene Hambley, Jeannette
Roy, Normand LaFontaine, Doris Demanche, Guy Collette, Philip Louraine,
Kathleen Collins, Bernadette Ross. Helen Mekal, Patricia Kearns, Richard Elmer,
Stephen Pietras, Barbara Burger, Rita Arbour, Napoleon “Nap” Rougeau, Albert
Morin, William Shaw, Simone Couture.
June: Evangeline Roy, Mary Jane Hemsworth, John Nietupski, Elaine Talbot,
Edmund Rogalski, Yvette Guyette, Sueanne Fitzherbert, Joseph Hallee, Helen
Tadeo, Theresa Cardano, Dorothy Colapinto, Joyce Burris, George Pouliot.
July: Valerie Zywar; Eleanor Rusinowski; Charles Bouse, Joyce Stefanik, Robert
Hebert, Marilyn Goggin, Judy Godin, Jeannette Smith, Curtis Lee Gendreau, Paul
E. Samson, James Lindsay, Gerard Bewsee, Daniel Scheeser, William Murray, Jr.,
August: David Murphy, Paul Desrosiers, Viola Donze, Susie Beaudry, Rose
Chouinard, Rachel Desrosiers, Mary Murray, Lionel Remillard, Julien Turgeon.
May their souls and the souls of all our faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen
Sacrificial Offering August 9, 2020
The Sacrificial Offering for Sunday, August 9th was $7,614.00. Thank you!
The 2020 Annual Catholic Appeal
As of the last report, 419 contributors from Ste. Rose donated $49,910.00 to this
year’s appeal. It is never too late, and no amount is too small to contribute to this
year’s ACA. You may log on to www.diospringfield.org and click on the 150th
Banner to make your contribution. Be sure to designate Ste. Rose de Lima as your
parish so that your contribution will be tallied for the parish.
The Annual Raffle
Many parishioners have sent in their returns for the Annual Raffle – Thank you! The proceeds for this fundraising event will support St Joan of Arc School. This year SJA needs all the financial assistance possible due to COVID 19. The virus has
limited the student body numbers and bingo has been suspended. Lower enrollment and the lack of bingo receipts will result in a real financial challenge this year. Your support of this annual raffle is greatly appreciated.
Pastoral Ministry/Visitations & COVID 19 Pastoral Ministry is of great importance to the spiritual life of the parish. Again, due to the virus, its implementation is limited. Hospitals and nursing home visits to patients and residents are happening but in a limited capacity. Each health care facility has its own protocols in place. Prior to any pastoral visit, the facility is contacted to learn of their specific regulations. When allowed, if there is NO COVID, the visitation will be made. The Sacrament of the Sick (The Last Rites) will be administered if allowed by the health care facility. Home visitations are limited to a brief visit for the reception of Holy Communion and/or The Sacrament of the Sick. If a loved one is nearing death, please call the Pastoral Center. Please do not wait until the last minute to call.
The Liturgy of Christian Burial
Funeral Masses are being celebrated during this re-opening phase of the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. There are limitations, however. Presently family
members are not allowed to proclaim the scriptures, present the offertory gifts, or
give a eulogy. Please do not request “an exception.” Due to the recent up-tick in
COVID cases, the parish needs to exercise extreme caution that it is not traced as a source for the virus. Your cooperation and understanding are appreciated. All the local funeral directors are aware of these limitations and will be helpful in the
planning of the Liturgy of Christian Burial for your deceased loved one.
COVID 19 & Mass attendance
For over 22 weeks many members of the parish have been fearful of attending Mass due to the fear of contracting the virus. Those who have underlying health issues ought to remain at home during this time of pandemic. The media reminds each of us every day how the virus is “ticking-up” and that each of us needs to follow the well-known protocols to assist in the war against the coronavirus. Simple things like face masks, social distancing, and frequent hand washing are extremely effective in combating this virus. As you are aware, but just as a reminder, all Catholics are exempted from Mass attendance by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops. Should you feel the need to remain at home you may avail yourself to The Chalice of Salvation on Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM on channel 22 or cable channel 787. Also, the parish website is updated weekly with Sunday Mass recorded from Ste. Rose de Lima Church. Our weekly taped Mass is also available on Facebook and You Tube. At Communion time you may offer the following prayer
An Act of Spiritual Communion
I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into 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.
Update: August 9th Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
Sacrificial Offering for Sunday, August 2, 2020
The Sacrificial Offering for Sunday, August 2, 2020 was $14,014.00. Additionally,
a one-time contribution for $4,000.00 was made. Thank you for your continued
generosity to Ste. Rose de Lima Parish.
The 2020 Annual Catholic Appeal
As of July 30, 2020, there were 416 contributors donating a total of $49,870.00 to
the 2020 ACA. Your generosity will enable the diocese to assist families/individuals
who seek financial help as well as fund many charities and organizations/agencies
throughout the four counties of Western Massachusetts. You may contribute to this year’s ACA by visiting: www.diospringfield.org and click on the 150th Anniversary banner.
The Pastoral Center
The 15 Chapel Street address was built as a convent to house the Sisters of the
Presentation of Mary many years ago. Eventually as the numbers of religious
women declined the convent was “converted” to become the Pastoral Center – a true blessing and good use of the building. A few years ago, the basement original windows were replaced. They were single pane windows with serious issues to dry rot and safety/security. The reaming windows are still the originals! The casings outside have been repainted many times over the years. It is now the time to replace those windows. The replacement of windows will be phased in. The first phase will be to replace the first-floor windows. This replacement project ought to be completed before the onset of winter. More information will follow in future bulletins.
Many of the special ceremonies during the liturgical year were postponed due to
the closure of parishes during the height of the pandemic. A few of the significant
celebrations were: First Communion, Confirmation, and The Reception of Adults
into Full Communion (who are enrolled in the RCIA) at the Easter Vigil. Beginning
in August these celebrations will occur. The RCIA candidates will be received into
Full Communion on Sunday, August 23rd at the 11:00 AM Mass. First Communion
will be celebrated on Saturday, August 29th at 10:30 AM, and Confirmation will be
Friday, September 25th at 5:00 PM. By scheduling and announcing these
celebrations, families have the option to participate in these ceremonies or can
choose to wait until next year due to concerns related to the pandemic.
The Sacrament of Marriage is also being celebrated. Some couples have chosen
to keep their original date while downsizing their event. Others have chosen another date in 2021. Also, the Liturgy of Christian Burial is being scheduled as the need arises. Baptisms are also being celebrated; however, they are arranged by
appointment and with only one infant for each ceremony. In many ways the
“normal” liturgical life of the parish is resumed. While it’s still summer the many meetings that ordinarily occur continue to be postponed. Parish meetings may resume in the fall but with extreme caution as the pandemic protocols need to be strictly enforced. As you’re aware, there has been a slight “up-tick” in reported virus infections. Therefore, it’s especially important to maintain all COVID 19 protocols of social distancing, wearing face masks, and frequent handwashing. We’re responsible not only for ourselves but toward each other. Together we make a difference and assist all medical personnel and first responders in their vital service to our community.
Update: August 2nd Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
The Sacrificial Offering for Sunday, July 19, 2020 was $6,245.00. The Offering for
Sunday, July 26, 2020 was $5,819.00 Thank you for your generosity during these
hot and humid summer days during the COVID 19 pandemic. As a comparison of
July 2019 vs. July 2020:
July 2019 total receipts = $35,235 with 4 Sundays
July 2020 total receipts =$34,604 with 4 Sundays
Difference ($ 631)
Remember that the “loose cash” collected every weekend is greatly diminished
because fewer persons are attending Mass on the weekend. With all sincerity, your generosity to Ste. Rose de Lima Parish is simply “outstanding!” Thank you! Merci Beaucoup!
2020 Annual Catholic Appeal
As of July 24, 2020, Ste. Rose de Lima parishioners have contributed $49,250.00.
In the name of archbishop-designate of St. Louis, Mitchell T. Rozanski, I thank you
for your generous response to this year’s appeal. It is never too late to contribute to the 2020 ACA. You may either use the campaign materials mailed to you from the Diocese, or you may log onto: www.diospringfield.org and click on the 150th
Banner. Be sure to identify your contribution for St. Rose de Lima Parish. Thank
The 2020 Raffle for the benefit of St Joan of Arc School
By now, every member of the parish ought to have received the mailing for the 2020 Raffle. Again, due to COVID 19 the annual picnic is cancelled. Likewise, bingo
has been shut down since February/March. With the shutdown of bingo, SJA
School’s financial prognosis is strained. Whatever you can do to sell raffle tickets
this year will be greatly appreciated. The SJA Booster Club is another way to assist
the school with its strained finances this year. The parish is so grateful to Joe &
Sandy Chessey for stepping up and managing the club. There are some open
numbers. So, if you’re interested in being part of the SJA Booster Club, please give
them a call. They’ll be happy to assist you.
This & That
I had a COVID 19 test on July 22, 2020 with a “negative” result. I was relieved
with the result. I have been very careful to follow the pandemic protocols. It seems to be paying off. On weekends, I do miss greeting you in the foyer of the church both before and after the celebration of the Eucharist. But, given the pandemic, it is the safest way to celebrate Mass, at least for now. With the report from Baystate Medical Center last week, that some 39 persons were infected with COVID 19 by one individual who went to “a hot spot” and did not self-quarantine upon their return, it’s a painful reminder of how easily this virus can spread. Please continue to be vigilant with social distancing, wear a face mask, and frequently wash your hands and the surfaces around your home. Each of us needs to be not only responsible for ourselves but also toward each other. It is fair to say that “we” are tiring of the isolation; however, as the media continues to report the spike of the virus in many States, we ought to be encouraged to “stay the course.”
Pastoral ministry is beginning to expand as hospitals and nursing homes evaluate
the polices of visitation. Home visitations for the reception of the Eucharist is
possible if there is no virus. A home visitation ought to be brief, but prayerful at the same time. As your parish priest, I will administer the Sacrament of the Sick as
requested with the understanding that COVID 19 is not present. In all respects of
Pastoral ministry virus protocols need to be in place.
The Diocese is going to allow parish meetings to resume. Given the fact that it’s
summer, and most parish meetings are “in hibernation” anyway, when meetings do resume, all protocols must be strictly followed.
The Liturgy of Christian Burial has resumed for the recently deceased members of
the parish. Given the size of our church building, the average funeral Mass does
not exceed the social distancing mandate. Readers, eulogies, and gifts bearers are
temporarily banned from participation at the funeral Mass. The placing of the
funeral pall on the casket is relegated to the funeral directors. Most importantly,
the Liturgy of Christian Burial is being celebrated thereby allowing families to
celebrate death of a loved one in a near normal manner.
The celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism is also allowed. Again, given the
protocols, families must call the Pastoral Center to make an appointment for the
baptism. Baptism is celebrated on Sunday afternoon, either at 12:00 Noon or at
1:00 PM. Only one infant/child will be baptized at a time, unless those to be baptized are siblings. The limit of those who may attend is 10-20 persons.
Nuptial celebrations are allowed. Several brides and grooms have either rescheduled their 2020 wedding plans or have down-sized” their wedding plans.
The Pastoral Center is open Monday – Friday with the hours of 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
Should you need to make a trip to the office please be sure to wear a mask as you
enter the building. “We’ll get through this together!
And finally, the bridges of the Mass Pike at Grattan Street & Granby Road are now
completed! The traffic patterns have returned to normal. The bridges look so much better. Does anyone remember the last time they were painted? So, dear friends, with the heat and heat indexes of the past several days and those in the forecast, please drink plenty of water and stay in cool and air-conditioned places. Remember this weather in January and February!
Update: July 26th Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
No letter this week… But plenty of new news to check out:
The Raffle Mailing was mailed on Thursday so you should be getting your tickets
The Booster Club is being revived and will begin on August 3rd
Check the Booster Club News for details.
Have a blessed week!
Update: July 19th Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
Sacrificial Offering July 12, 2020
The Sacrificial Offering for the parish on Sunday, July 12, 2020 amounted to
$10,115.00. Thank you for your generosity especially during these most challenging days of the pandemic.
2020 Annual Catholic Appeal
As of July 9, 2020, parishioners of Ste. Rose (412) have contributed $49,112.00 to
this year’s ACA! In the name of our Apostolic Administrator, Archbishop-elect
Mitch Rozanski, I thank you for your support to this annual campaign. Due to the
pandemic, more persons have reached out to the Diocese for assistance. The Diocese offers tuition assistance to families for Catholic Schools, responds to financial requests through the Catholic Charities Office, as well as many health and human services throughout the four counties of Western Massachusetts. Though the diocese has been under public scrutiny, it continues to assist those who seek assistance. The Diocese continues to do “good works” because of your generosity. Without your contribution many of these “good works” would not be possible. It is never too late to contribute to this year’s campaign. You may either contribute through the materials received through the USPS or contribute on line to: www.diospringfield.org and click on the 150th Anniversary Banner. Be sure to list Ste. Rose de Lima as the reference to add to the parish’s totals of contributors and receipts.
The 2020 Parish Picnic
As it is for so many fairs and social gatherings, due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the Annual Parish Picnic is cancelled for this year. The proceeds of the annual picnic are channeled 100% to St. Joan of Arc School. Those funds will be greatly missed as well as the receipts from Bingo. Bingo has not operated since the lock-down. However, the parish will conduct the Annual Raffle for the benefit of SJA. The prize structure for this year’s raffle is “updated” from last year:
The Parish Raffle is awarding cash prizes totaling $3,000.00 There will be One: $1,000.00 prize donated by the St. Pierre-Phaneuf Aldenville Funeral Chapel.
Two $500.00 prizes Two $200.00 prizes and Five $100.00 prizes
In addition, one prize of $100.00 in Lottery Tickets (Donated by the Community
Life Commission.) The $100.00 Seller’s raffle will continue to be part of this year’s benefit raffle. The mailing will be arriving to your home soon. In advance, I thank you for your generous response to this benefit for St Joan of Arc School.
St Joan of Arc Booster Club It is with great joy that I announce that the SJA Booster club during the past 17 years has contributed more than $305,000.00 to SJA School. Without the dedication of 17 years of service by Gerry & Peg Girouard, this grand total would not have been a reality. So again, thank you Gerry & Peg! Gratefully, Joe and Sandy Chessey have graciously volunteered to run the SJA Booster Club as interim until a permanent successor comes forward – and there is an individual who has shown an interest! To all the members of the SJA Booster Club – Thank you! Merci Beaucoup!
This and That:
- The Mass Pike Authority has finally repainted the bridges that crossover
Granby Road and Grattan Streets. What an improvement for the aesthetics
here in Aldenville!
- Mass attendance continues to “tick-up” as time progresses. The least
attended Mass at this point is the 4:00 PM on Sunday. If you are wanting to
attend the least attended Mass where there is most definitely lots of room, it
is the Sunday afternoon Mass – now you know!
- Many parishioners who are watching Mass on the internet have offered so
many wonderful comments included in their Sacrificial Offering mail. Thank
you! It is greatly appreciated. “We” will continue to record Mass throughout
this pandemic. The Mass is recorded on Wednesdays at 4:00 PM – most often.
At times, it may need to be re-scheduled when a conflict arises in schedules.
With social distancing in mind, that Mass is now open for general attendance.
- I thank you for the many prayers and good wishes for the recovery of my sister,
Kathy Hoggan. Her health crisis was supposed to be a simple MOH
procedure for Basal Cell Carcinoma; however, the MOH procedure could not
achieve the needed results. She has been in the Sarasota, FL Medical Center
for over three weeks. With many surgeries, two of them 13 hours and 11 hours
respectively, and shorter surgeries in between, she has now entered the
rehabilitation stage of her recovery. Again, thank you for all your prayers
and good wishes.
- Since the advent of good weather, I have “resurrected” my bicycle as part of
daily exercise. While I enjoy bicycling, I am saddened by how much litter
there is around our beautiful City of Chicopee. Everything from “empty nips”
to old masks, fast food carry-out paper/trays, etc. I encourage everyone to
assist in our civic duty to not only “not litter ourselves” but to make our
environment here in Chicopee as clean and free of rubbish along our streets
by encouraging conversations about how do we help keep our city litter free.
Civic pride goes a long way to attracting businesses and families to locate in
our city. Oh, and don’t forget: Share the Road with Bicyclists!
Update: July 12th Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
The Sacrificial Offering for Sunday, July 4, 2020 was $12,451.06. Thank you for your generous hearts! 2020 Annual Catholic AppealAs of July 2, 2020, the ACA has realized from 410 Ste. Rose de Lima parishioners $48,740.00. Thank you for your generous response to this year’s appeal during this time of pandemic. Contributions both large and small are always accepted. You may contribute by either sending in the ACA materials or by going on-line to www.diospringfield.organd click on the 150th Anniversary banner. Be sure to credit Ste. Rose de Lima for your contribution which will add to the total number of contributors and the total amount donated.
The Annual Parish Picnic
As you most probably presumed, the annual parish picnic is cancelled for 2020. The pandemic has shut down so many festive activities. The annual picnic has been for the benefit of St. Joan of Arc School. A “raffle” has always been part of the annual picnic. The raffle; however, will be conducted this year. SJA School will strategically depend on the profit from the raffle in as much as BINGO has been suspended due to the pandemic. It takes an entire parish effort to financially maintain a parish Catholic School. In advance, your participation in this year’s raffle will be appreciated. The prize structure will be announced very soon. The thought is to expand the prizes as an incentive for greater participation.
Each weekend since the reopening of “places of worship”, Ste. Rose has seen a gradual increase of people celebrating the Eucharist. The parish is doing all that it can to assure the church building is safe to enter. After each Mass, volunteers clean the pews that were used. Please remember to leave the kneeler in the DOWN POSITION which will indicate the pews that need to be disinfected. Together we will get through this pandemic. As the number of cases of COVID 19 “sky-rocket,” may your vigilance to maintain protocols be your incentive to avoid unnecessary risk from infection of COVID 19. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is among the few states that is experiencing “containment” of the coronavirus. The wearing of a mask, frequent hand-washing, and social distancing are proven to be effective in containing the virus.
The parish will continue to record Sunday Mass for those who choose to remain at home. Many statements of appreciation have been written by those watching the Mass. The parish is grateful to “the team” who make the Mass recording a reality. The recorded Mass is available on the parish website, Facebook, and You Tube. Thank you one and all!
The way public Mass is now celebrated is a temporary one. I miss greeting you in the foyer prior to and after Mass. As you know, there are no longer “processions” in and out of Mass. There are no music books and missals with the scripture readings; there are no printed materials distributed at Mass; there is no coffee and doughnuts on Sunday morning after the 9:00 AM Mass; no parish meetings…etc. Parish life has been fundamentally altered by this pandemic. Through all the systemic changes, however, we remain a resilient people. Our faith assists each of us to work through the new experiences of being isolated from family and friends. Our faith reminds us that “with God all things are possible” and we will live through this unprecedented time in our personal history. At the end of the day, when this pandemic will be defeated, I believe that each of us will have a new-found appreciation for the many things we previously took for granted. Please persevere with courage and trust during this pandemic. Though our summer of 2020 will be significantly different, enjoy the quiet days of summer and reflect upon the many blessings we have and continue to experience.
Update: July 5th Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
Sacrificial Giving June 28, 2020.
The Sacrificial Offering for Sunday, June 28, 2020 was $7,090.00. Thank you for
your spiritual and financial support throughout the COVID 19 pandemic.
2020 Annual Catholic Appeal
As of June 25, 2020, 409 members of the parish have contributed $48,715.00. The
average contribution is $119.00! Remember it is never too late to contribute to this year’s campaign. All gifts, large or small, contribute to the charitable work of the diocese, including tuition assistance for students at St Joan of Arc School. If you have already contributed to this year’s campaign – thank you! If you have yet to make your 2020 contribution you may do so at www.diospringfield.org. Be sure to click onto the 150th Anniversary Banner and give the name of your parish so that your gift will be included in the next update. Thank you!
Mass Attendance during the reopening phase of the Commonwealth of
With a slow start, Mass attendance continues to rise. Remember, Mass attendance
is not required at this time due to the pandemic. The Apostolic Administrator,
Archbishop-elect of St. Louis, Mitchell T. Rozanski has offered the dispensation
from Mass attendance throughout the COVID 19 pandemic. When you feel safe
enough, then, and only then, ought you return to Mass for the celebration of the
The temporary “new normal”
For the time being, Ste. Rose de Lima’s parishioners are adjusting to the temporary protocol of celebrating Mass during this pandemic. While it is agreed, that the method of receiving the Eucharist is not the best of practices, it nonetheless assists the parish to ensure social distancing not only for the reception of the Eucharist, but also allows a gradual egress from the church. Whenever it is deemed “safe” the usual method of receiving the Eucharist will resume. By that time, it may be difficult to retain some folks through the dismissal.
Sacraments of Baptism, Marriage, Confirmation
The sacraments are once again being celebrated, albeit with the new protocols of
COVID 19. Baptisms are by appointment only with one family per celebration.
Many brides and grooms have either re-scheduled their wedding date or have scaled back their plans and have chosen to keep their original date. The Apostolic
Administrator, Mitchell T. Rozanski has granted permission to local pastors to
celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation with their parish communities. As you are aware, these are unusual times. With that in mind, unusual permissions are being granted to keep the sacramental life of the Church moving forward.
The Liturgy of Christian Burial
Funeral Masses are being celebrated as the requests are made with protocols in place. These include: no placing of the funeral pall, readers, presentation of gifts, and eulogies from family members. Readings may be chosen by family members,
however. The Ste. Rose de Lima church building is large enough to be able to
maintain social distancing for 99% of all funeral liturgies. There is no limit of
persons who can attend a graveside prayer service.
Ste. Rose de Lima Cemetery
With last week’s severe weather, an aging tree fell victim as a major limb was spilt
from the trunk of the tree. Upon inspection of the remaining tree, it was found to be rotted throughout. A tree service is being hired to clean-up the massive limb that fell and to cut down the remainder of the tree. If there are monuments that have been damaged because of the “act of nature,” most home-owners insurance plans will cover any damages. The cemetery will begin the testing of all the older trees to learn as to their health. By being pro-active on learning the condition of the many trees in the cemetery, we can work to eliminate the threat of damage due to severe storms in the future.
The Judge Peter Velis Report
As disturbing as Judge Velis report is, how necessary it was that the investigation
into the claims of clergy abuse against the deceased Christopher J. Weldon, Clarence Forand, and Edward Authier be conducted. These revelations (the report can be read in its entirety at www.diospringfield.org ) will assist Mr. Jeffrey Trant, the new director of Safe Environment to bring transparency and credibility to an office of the Diocese that has been sorely lacking in those afore-mentioned areas for too many years. The Memorandum of Understanding agreed upon by the District Attorneys of Western Massachusetts was also a major step forward in filing sexual abuse complaints by victims. Hopefully and prayerfully, the Velis report will be the spearhead needed to begin the process of restoring integrity and trust within the Diocese of Springfield. As previously mentioned, I serve on the Independent Task Force under the chairmanship of Judge Daniel Ford (ret) and Ms. Irene Woods. This I.T.F. is an eclectic group of individuals from different faith traditions and areas of expertise whose sole purpose is to construct a compassionate and transparent process of how to respond to future allegations of sexual abuse within the Church. It is the sole purpose of the I.T.F. to put ourselves “out of work” upon the successful completion of our task. The next meeting for the I.T.F. is July 8, 2020. It will be the first meeting since the announcement of Judge Peter Velis’ report.
This weekend we celebrate the Fourth of July! For many, this year’s celebration
will be tempered down due the pandemic. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is making great strides in containing the coronavirus while many states are
experiencing incredible spread of COVID 19. While we celebrate the Fourth please
continue to maintain safe practices: wear a mask, wash your hands often, and
maintain social distancing as much as possible. Normally, I go to Cape Cod for a
few days to spend time relaxing and enjoying my family. However, due to the virus, the Missionary Cooperative Plan has been cancelled this year. So, I will be here throughout the holiday weekend. I will use this opportunity to work on the many acknowledgements, that are so overdue, in recognition for the many gifts you bestowed on me with the “147 car parade celebration” of my 40th anniversary. I have not yet cashed any checks, please pardon me! Have a safe and fun filled Fourth of July Celebration!
Update: June 28th Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
Sacrificial Giving June 21, 2020
The Sacrificial Offering was $6,195.00. St. Joan of Arc School was $878.00.
Thank you for the generous spirit you have displayed since the pandemic closed
places of worship back in March. As Mass is once again celebrated in church with
the full schedule, please use your best judgment as to whether you ought to attend Mass or not. The parish will continue to record Sunday Mass for your convenience during this coronavirus pandemic.
The 2020 Annual Catholic Appeal
As of June 19th, there have been 408 contributors to the 2020 ACA with an
accumulated total of $48,465.00. Thank you for your generosity. If you have yet to
contribute to this year’s campaign, you may either use the printed materials you
received from the diocese or log onto www.diospringfield.org and click on the 150th banner. Be sure you “give credit” to Ste Rose de Lima and your contribution will be added to the accumulative total. No contribution is either too large or too small. All contributions are important.
This & That,
BAPTISMS: A reminder to all parents of newborn children who desire their child
to be baptized: please call the Pastoral Center and make an appointment with either Fr. Bill or Deacon Mike. The Sacrament of Baptism will be celebrated for one
family at a time with immediate family members only. Please limit the number to
no more than 20 persons. Remember, the pews that are used will need to be
disinfected prior to the beginning of the next Mass.
WEDDINGS: Several brides and grooms have had to re-schedule their wedding
plans due to the social limitations and limits at the varying venues. Do not hesitate to call the P.C. to re-schedule your wedding day. The parish will do all that it can to accommodate either a later date this year or next year.
YOUTH ALTAR SERVERS have refrained from serving Mass at this time due to
the pandemic. As soon as it is allowed, “the parish” will be delighted to have all
Altar Servers return to service at Mass. “You are missed!”
LECTORS who are scheduled may choose as to whether they will attend their
scheduled Mass. Lectors are asked to come to the sacristy at least 10 minutes before Mass. Otherwise, another will be sought for that particular Mass. The Lector need not wear a mask while proclaiming The Word.
SPECIAL MINISTERS OF THE EUCHARIST who are scheduled will only serve
if there is a need. Since the reopening of Sunday Mass, the need for assistance at
communion time has been limited. The attendance at any individual Mass has never exceeded 90 persons. But if called upon, there is hand sanitizer on the Altar that must be used as well as a mandate to wear a mask for distribution of the Eucharist.
ARCHBISHOP-ELECT MITCHELL T. ROZANSKI will be installed in St. Louis,
MO on August 25, 2020. It is not known if the Diocese of Springfield will have his
successor by that date. Most probably an “apostolic administrator” will be appointed until the successor is announced. With his re-assignment, he will not be able to make his pastoral visit to Ste. Rose de Lima. The visit had been planned for two different dates. Neither date ever worked out. The first date was postponed due to an illness with a member of the Visitation Team and the second date was due to the pandemic.
INDEPENDENT TASK FORCE Judge Peter Velis delivered his report on the
Bishop Christopher J. Weldon allegations and the diocese’s response to the alleged victim. As was announced, Archbishop-elect Mitchell Rozanski appointed me to serve on the Independent Task Force to study Judge Velis’ report and work with the members of the ITF to put a better practice, response, and procedure for future individuals who may come forward. Please keep the members of the ITF in your thoughts and prayers as we assist the diocese with a transparent protocol.
Also, Archbishop-elect Mitchell Rozanski invited me to serve on the “College of
Consultors” for a five-year term to assist in the transition of the “eventual” new
bishop of the diocese.
PASTORAL MINISTRY is in the process of reopening. For the homebound
members of the parish who feel “ready” to welcome a Minister of the Eucharist into your home, please call the P.C. 536-4558 and speak with Peggy Constant. The visit ought to be brief with all COVID 19 protocols being observed. This reopening
includes requests for the Sacrament of the Sick by the parish priest. Again, all
COVID 19 protocols will be observed. If a person has the virus, please understand
that the home visit is not possible. Hospitals have begun to loosen their restrictions too. However, the priest, deacon, or pastoral minister cannot make the “usual round” of patients. Each pastoral visit will need to be specific to one patient per visit. Each hospital will have its own “twist” as to who can visit a patient. Of course, for an “end of life” issue, the clergy is now permitted into the health care facility. Nursing Homes continue to have strict restrictions with regards to visitations. If there is COVID 19, present the Nursing Home may not allow any person into their facility. Please know what each health care facility allows prior to requesting pastoral visitations.
MASS INTENTIONS that were missed due to the pandemic are in the process of
being re-scheduled. Private Masses were not being celebrated during the complete shutdown phase. Continue to read the “on-line” bulletin below for details and please check the Mass schedule on the website to learn the Mass Intentions for the week.
Have a wonderful week! Pray for a week of RAIN! Stay safe! Stay well!
Peace & Love
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Other Bulletin news:
2020 and 2021 MASS BOOKS Because of COVID-19 and the closing of
Churches, scheduled and paid for Masses went unsaid from Saturday, 3/14/20 to
Tuesday 5/26/20. That’s a lot of Masses!! As you will notice in the coming “year”
Re-scheduled Masses will be announced as (Re-sked and the date the original Mass was booked)
Weekday Masses were rescheduled in an “as need” fill in the 2020 book. Wherever there was an extra available open slot, a rescheduled Mass has been put in that place. Watch the on-line bulletin to see when these Weekday Masses are being said.
Weekend Masses on Saturdays and Sundays were harder to reschedule, as weekends were already filled. With Fr. Bill’s permission, we have transferred them to the same weekends from 2020 to 2021. We had to make an exception for Easter which is not the same weekend next year, and that schedule is different.
Unpaid Masses were not rescheduled.
We hope most of you will be happy with this decision and we thank you for your
understanding. The 2021 Book is now available. The rescheduled Masses have taken precedence. They’re probably Masses you would have booked for those dates anyhow. So check with us.
The offering for: Mass is $10.00.
Sanctuary Lamp for the month $25.00
Hosts for the month $35.00.
Update: June 21st. Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
Sacrificial Giving for June 14, 2020
The Sacrificial Offering for Sunday, June 14, 2020 was $9,913.00. Thank you for
your continuing spiritual and financial support of Ste. Rose de Lima Parish.
Happy Father’s Day
This Sunday, June 21st is Father’s Day! To all the men in our parish who have
chosen to give life, the parish family of Ste. Rose de Lima celebrates Father’s Day
with you! For the sacrifices, and the continuing love that you display the whole year through – thank you! Our lives are enriched by your love, faith, and devotion to us, your children. For those whose Father’s Day is a fond remembrance of their fathers who have returned to God, we hold you in prayer. For those who remember their fathers with a saddened memory, we hold you in prayer as well. For those who are experiencing strained relationships with their fathers, we hold you in prayer too. May Father’s Day 2020 be a time of celebrating LIFE and LOVE and FAITH. May it bring healing where it is needed that all may know peace… Happy Father’s Day!
2020 Annual Catholic Campaign
As of the last update, 402 members of the parish have contributed $46,970.00 to the ACA! This year, due to COVID 19 many persons/families who would never have the need to seek financial assistance for either Catholic School tuition or other services from diocesan agencies and those supported by the ACA are seeking it. If you have not yet contributed to the 2020 campaign and wish to do so, you may either send in to the diocese your ACA materials or log on to www.diospringfield.org Let’s do all we can to assist those who are seeking financial assistance during the COVID 19 pandemic. Thank you!
SJA Booster Club A volunteer is needed to assume the leadership of the SJA Booster Club. The present Club will end July 12th. We sincerely thank Peggy and Gerry Girouard for having maintained this very important fundraiser for St. Joan of Arc School for over 17 years. They have done a wonderful job in managing the club and through their efforts have made a generous economic impact towards the operation of our beloved SJA. The Booster Club is a valuable and necessary fundraiser and we need to carry on as soon as a new chairperson comes forward. Thank you for your consideration in this regard.
Since the Phase One reopening of religious services by the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts, Mass attendance is “ticking up” each weekend. Attendees are
observing the “new normal” protocols with great diligence. Lectors are welcome to maintain their schedule, if however, any lector prefers to stay at home during this pandemic, that decision is respected. Eucharistic ministers are on an “as needed” basis if there are enough people attending a particular Mass. Youth altar servers are still being discouraged by the diocesan recommendations. Any person who chooses to remain home during this pandemic can do so with no need of feeling guilty. Bishops throughout the country have given a dispensation from the Sunday obligation during this pandemic. In the meantime, we can keep each other in our thoughts and prayers to persevere with the wearing of a mask, social distancing, and frequent washing of hands. People throughout the Commonwealth are doing their part in reducing the spread of COVID 19 as it is evident from local media as they report the numbers. News outlets have announced that the states that have reopened too early have experienced a significant “up-tick” in COVID 19 infections. So, let us “stay the course” together and defeat this coronavirus pandemic here in Western Massachusetts.
From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops
OPEN WIDE OUR HEARTS PRAYER:
Mary, friend and mother to all, through your Son, God has found a way to unite
himself to every human being, called to be one people, sisters and brothers to each other. We ask for your help in calling on your Son, seeking forgiveness for the times when we have failed to love and respect one another. We ask for your help in obtaining from your Son the grace we need to overcome the evil of racism and to build a just society. We ask for your help in following your Son, so that prejudice and animosity will no longer infect our minds or hearts but will be replaced with a love that respects the dignity of each person. Mother of the Church, the Spirit of your Son Jesus warms our hearts: pray for us. Amen.
Peace & Love,
Update: June 14th. Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
Sacrificial Offering for Sunday, June 7, 2020
The Sacrificial Offering for last weekend was $10,423.85. Thank you very much
for your generosity especially during these unprecedented days of COVID 19.
2020 Annual Catholic Appeal
As of June 4th, the people of Ste. Rose de Lima (393) have contributed $45,215.00
to this year’s appeal. In the name of the Diocese I thank you for your generosity. If
you have not yet contributed, you may make your donation by either using the ACA materials received in the US Mail or log onto the diocesan website:
www.diospringfield.org and click on the 150th Anniversary Banner. If using the
website be sure to claim Ste Rose de Lima as your parish thereby adding to the
above-mentioned total number of contributors as well as the amount contributed.
The Appointment of Archbishop-elect Mitchell T. Rozanski to St. Louis, MO
Wednesday, June 10, 2020 was to begin with a very surprising announcement that
Bishop “Mitch” was elevated to become the 10th Archbishop of The Diocese of St.
Louis, MO. After a short six years as Bishop of Springfield, I believe, he made a
significant impact in our Catholic Community of Western Massachusetts. His warm
and welcoming personality quickly endeared him to our diocesan Church. While,
perhaps, some issues were controversial, he was available to listen to the concerns
of the clergy and the laity alike. Understanding the climate the Church is presently
experiencing, I do not believe any one bishop would or could resolve all issues with 100% agreement amongst the clergy, religious, and laity. I believe Bishop “Mitch” in six years accomplished much. From my point of view, as a priest for 40 years and a pastor for 30 years, Bishop “Mitch” is one of the most approachable bishops that I have ever experienced. Since my seminary years began in 1976, the Diocese of Springfield has had seven bishops, and soon to welcome the eighth bishop since that time. I wish to publicly thank Bishop “Mitch” for his efforts and wish him all the spiritual benefits that he will need as he assumes the position of Archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, MO. “Ad multos Annos!”
The Next Bishop of Springfield
Bishop Mitchell Rozanski arrived in Springfield from his home Archdiocese of
Baltimore, MD. Who would have suspected his appointment to our diocese?
Absolutely no one! Yet, this previously unknown individual proved himself a good
and worthy person. I pray that we as a diocesan family, awaiting the news of whom Pope Francis will appoint as our new bishop, will wait, not anxiously, but in a spirit of prayer and anticipation that the right person be chosen to lead our Catholic community in Western Massachusetts. Western Mass has many issues which confront it: poverty, unemployment, racism, parish closures, dwindling participation of Catholics in parish life, and the response to clerical abuse just to mention a few. Amid the COVID 19 pandemic, I ask that the people of God in this diocese be of one mind and heart in our daily prayer during this period of transition. May God bless us and may St. Michael the Archangel, our diocesan patron, protect us from fear and anxiety. Amen.
I wish to take this opportunity to thank you, the good people of Ste. Rose for the
wonderful and inspiring way you have maintained your continued commitment to
your parish and your pastor. As we slowly begin to reopen our society, I encourage “all of us” to be not fearful of COVID 19 but, rather, to be respectful of the virus while each of us does our part to stop the spread of this horrific virus. May Ste. Rose de Lima be our intercessor and example of prayer. As the days of summer are now upon us, I wish our families, especially those with children, to have a safe, restful, and peaceful experience.
God bless you!
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Remember the SAVERS FUNDrive? Well, it’s back on and scheduled now for
Saturday, September 19, 2020. So please hold on to all the items you were planning on donating for just a little bit longer. September will be here before you know it. Meanwhile, have a safe and enjoyable summer. More details about the FUNDrive to follow.
The deadline has been extended to June 30th to submit applications for the Rev. Francis Shannon Scholarship. For High School graduates who belong to Ste. Rose de Lima Parish and wish to further their education, applications are available at the Ste. Rose de Lima Pastoral Center (call 413-536-4558, Mon-Fri 9-5) or from Mary Rider, Chairperson 533-2437. This scholarship is a one-time grant. Completed applications must be returned to the Chairperson by the new extended deadline of June 30, 2020, accompanied by an
official transcript of H.S. or College grades and a letter from their Pastor stating that the applicant is an active and participating member of the Parish. Former members of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Willimansett, who were enrolled in the CCD Program at the time the church was closed, may apply.
Update: June 7th. Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
Sunday Offering May 30, 2020
The Sacrificial Offering was $14,190.00; additional Easter Offering $260.00; additional Ascension offering $123.00. Total contributed $14,573.00. Thank you! Thank you! Merci Beaucoup!
2020 Annual Catholic Appeal
As of May 28, 2020, there are 379 contributors from Ste. Rose to the ACA for a total contribution of $41,700.00. The average contribution is $110.00. All contributions to the ACA, whether great or small, will be appreciated greatly to this annual campaign. You may log on to www:diospringfield.org and click onto the 150th Anniversary Banner and make an on-line contribution. Your generosity is appreciated.
Graduating Class of 2020 from St Joan of Arc School
Congratulations are in order for the Eighth Grade of SJA!!!! To be sure, the year 2020 will be remembered for the COVID 19 pandemic that closed schools throughout the Commonwealth. The accomplishments of the Class of 2020 will not be forgotten. The parish family of Ste. Rose de Lima congratulates you and prays for your continued success as you enter the next stage of your educational career. Have a great summer and enter High School with peace and joy. A Mass was celebrated Friday, June 5, 2020 in Ste. Rose de Lima Church to honor, with prayer, their academic and personal achievements.
Re: Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and The RCIA Candidates
Baptism: The Sacrament of Baptism will be celebrated by appointment only, and with one family at a time, to ensure social distancing, versus the multiple baptisms process employed in the parish for so many years. Baptism will be on any Sunday of the month; however only one celebration per day thereby enabling the church to be disinfected prior to the Sunday 4:00 PM Mass. Please limit the attendees to immediate family to alleviate multiple pews that would otherwise need to be disinfected.
Confirmation: Bishop Mitchell Rozanski has given permission to pastors to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation. The parish will plan for a date in September.
R.C.I.A Candidates The candidates to be received into the full communion of the Church will not need to wait until Easter 2021. A date in September will be chosen to celebrate this special occasion.
Observations after the first week of reopening for Sunday Mass
I presume there were many smiles upon the faces of those who chose to return to Sunday Mass on May 29-30, 2020. With everyone wearing a mask, smiles were impossible to be seen! Attendance was what I expected it to be – minimal. I fully understand the hesitancy to return to Mass due to the spread of COVID 19. While the number of cases continues to decline, more persons are being diagnosed the virus. Bishop Rozanski has reiterated that the “general dispensation” is applied to everyone from attending Sunday Mass due to the virus and the apprehension that still exists. The total attendance for the weekend was approximately 200 persons.
Again, if you are in the vulnerable category and are afraid of being in the church, there is no need to put yourself in jeopardy. The parish will continue to record Sunday Mass which may be viewed from either the parish website: www.sterose.org or on Facebook.
It was obvious throughout last weekend’s Masses, that you, the parishioners of Ste. Rose de Lima, have been reading the “on-line” bulletin. All persons seemed to be familiar with the new protocol for attending Church. Just a few reminders:
- All persons must enter through the front doors on Grattan Street. All exits; however, may be used to ensure social distancing upon leaving the church. The elevator door is open but limited to one person at a time unless folks are living in common. The bathrooms remain closed.
- The Sunday Offering baskets are in front of the “last pew” on either side of the church. This eliminates the need of “passing the basket” and maintains the 6-foot distance protocol.
- For enhanced seating capacity, please remember that the LEFT SIDE of the pews are for families and the RIGHT SIDE is for individuals.
- All persons must leave the church with the reception of Holy Communion. While this practice is not the “best practice” it is a practice that is considered “temporary.”
- For the reception of Holy Communion, upon leaving the pews, please leave the kneelers in the DOWN POSITION. By doing so it indicates which of the pews have been used and need disinfection.
Once again, I have been edified by the people of Ste. Rose de Lima Parish with the many kind notes written “by hand” as you sent in your Sacrificial Gifts. You are so encouraging, supportive, and concerned for me and my well-being during this pandemic. I assure you that I am very well and staying safe. Last week the Bishop convened a meeting of the Presbyteral Council – of which I have been appointed – and as each member entered the building our temperatures were taken. Mine was 97.3 degrees – healthy!!! I am planning to stay that way, too! Also, you have read that I serve now on the Independent Task Force assembled by Jeffrey Trant to review Judge Peter Velis’ report concerning the diocesan handling of the misconduct allegation against the deceased Bishop, Christopher J. Weldon. I am honored to serve on the I.T.F. and hope to contribute to formulating good policy of how to respond to misconduct allegations with dignity and respect. The I.T.F. is a temporary task force. Upon “doing our job” the task force will disband.
As a priest is assigned to a parish, many priests are asked to serve the diocese in different capacities. I am humbled that I have been asked to be of service to Bishop Rozanski. Please pray for the Bishop as he leads our diocese in extremely trying times and remember to pray for all members of the I.T.F. so that good work will be accomplished and rid our Church of the issue of misconduct. Fr. Bill
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Please note: THE DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO JUNE 30TH TO SUBMIT APPLICATIONS FOR THE REV. FRANCIS SHANNON SCHOLARSHIP For High School graduates who belong to Ste. Rose de Lima Parish and wish to further their education, applications are available at the Ste. Rose de Lima Pastoral Center (call 413-536-4558, Mon-Fri 9-5) or from Mary Rider, Chairperson 533-2437. This scholarship is a one-time grant. Completed applications must be returned to the Chairperson by the new extended deadline of June 30, 2020, accompanied by an official transcript of H.S. or College grades and a letter from their Pastor stating that the applicant is an active and participating member of the Parish. Former members of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Willimansett, who were enrolled in the CCD Program at the time the church was closed, may apply.
Update: May 31st. Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,
Offertory Collection May 24, 2020
The Offertory Collection was $5,968.99. Thank you! Your continued support of the parish during this pandemic is greatly appreciated.
2020 Annual Catholic Appeal
As of May 26, 2020 the parish has sent $39,640.00 to the Diocese for the ACA! Thank you for your generosity during this time of COVID 19.
Ste. Rose de Lima Parish is returning to full liturgical life with social distancing as the “new normal.”
The Liturgy of Christian Burial – a Funeral Mass – will include the following guidelines:
- All persons must be ushered into the church by the funeral directors while wearing masks upon leaving your vehicles. Families who live in common may sit with each other. All others must be seated as individuals. The pews are marked accordingly. The floor of the church is marked every 6 feet – please observe the distance.
- Only funeral directors may place the “Funeral Pall” on the casket. Cremains are to be pre-set prior to the beginning of the Mass.
- Families may choose readings; however, cannot proclaim them.
- No presentation of the gifts.
- No eulogies.
- Leave the kneelers in the “down position” thereby designating the pews that need to be cleaned.
- Maintain social distance upon leaving the church.
The Rite of Baptism
Baptism will be celebrated by appointment only. Until further notice, baptism will be offered for an individual family. Again, all social distancing must be observed. The preference for attendees would be limited to parents and other siblings, Godparents, and grandparents. What families may choose to celebrate afterwards is for your own discretion. Families will be asked to leave the church as soon as the Rite of Baptism is completed to clean the used pews prior to the Sunday 4:00 PM Mass.
The Rite of Christian Marriage
Marriages that are already planned will need to be reminded of the social distance guideline.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation
The existing reconciliation rooms are too small to accommodate individual confession. The designated place for individual confessions will be in the “foyer sacristy” where two chairs can be 6 feet apart. A screen will be available with a kneeler for those who prefer anonymity. The regular time of 3:15-3:45 PM will be maintained.
The Celebration of the Eucharist on Saturday and Sunday
Please refer to last week’s on-line bulletin of “How to return to church” and review the guidelines as well as the video link. Remember, ENTRANCE to the church is through the TWO FRONT DOORS ONLY. The elevator door is the only side door for entrance. If you need to use the elevator, perhaps you ought to reconsider your decision to attend Mass. Only one person may use the elevator at a time unless persons live in common. For EXITING the church ALL DOORS may be used. All persons must leave the church immediately. To assist in this regard, Bishop Rozanski recommends the distribution of Holy Communion after the final dismissal. The priest will receive Holy Eucharist and then, continue to the dismissal. Thereupon, all persons who wish to receive the Eucharist will approach the priest, deacon, or Extra-Ordinary minister, receive the Eucharist, and then immediately return to your vehicles. ALSO, to assist with the cleaning of the church, please leave the kneeler on the floor which will indicate the pews that were used thereby facilitating which pews were used and need to be cleaned. REMINDER: THE BATHROOMS WILL BE CLOSED. If you have the need to use a bathroom often, please stay home and view the Mass from Ste. Rose Church on either the website: www.sterose.org on Facebook.
I am aware that the guidelines to attend Mass appear to be overwhelming – they are! These guidelines are there to ensure the safety of all persons who prefer to attend Mass. Several of the parishes which chose to open to the public last weekend indicated that very few persons attended. So, please use good judgement about returning to Sunday Mass. COVID 19 is far from being over. The number of cases and deaths are rising every day. While it is true the average daily number of new cases is slowing, new cases are still being reported. If you have underlying health issues, if you are in the vulnerable age category, or have “reverential” fear about returning to Mass, remember that Bishop Rozanski continues to offer the “dispensation from Sunday Mass.” It is not sinful to miss Mass during this COVID 19 pandemic.
And finally, finally!
Sunday, May 24th was the celebration of my 40th Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood. As of July 1st, 15 of those 40 years have been here at Ste. Rose de Lima as your pastor with an additional 18 months when assigned here in the late 1980’s as a Parochial Vicar. I was quite content to celebrate the 40th in the quiet serenity of the rectory, until, that is, I was lured from the rectory by the CPD to check on a possible “break-in” at the Pastoral Center! There I was caught totally by surprise of a 147- car drive-by parade as a 40th celebration! What a surprise!!!!! The sirens, the honking horns, the cars so wonderfully decorated, the children with their parents – I was so overwhelmed! I thank you so sincerely for such an outpouring of love and support. I went to bed that evening with a humbled heart! I thank all who planned the “surprise parade” and all of you who drove by to wish me a happy anniversary. I will never forget this incredible event in my life. Thank You ! Merci Beaucoup! With Love & Admiration, Fr. Bill
Update May 24th, Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste. Rose
Sunday Sacrificial Giving
The collection for Sunday, May 17, 2020 was $6,215.00. Thank you for your generosity during these difficult times of “sheltering in place” during the COVID 19 pandemic. Sacrificial Giving has been hand-delivered, sent via USPS, or sent from banking institutions. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Memorial Day Mass
Mass will be celebrated at Ste. Rose Cemetery on Monday, May 25th at 9:00 AM. Please remember to bring your chairs and to be socially distant to other families. Everyone must wear a mask even though the Mass will be outdoors. Your mask must remain on your face except for the reception of Holy Communion. Instructions for the reception of the Eucharist are detailed later in this letter. But remember, COVID 19 is spread most efficiently through “droplets;” therefore, reception of communion will be “in the hand only!” NO EXCEPTIONS!
When will Ste Rose de Lima Parish “re-open?”
The Baker Administration authorized the re-opening of “places of worship” effective Monday, May 18, 2020. Quite honestly, the placement of churches on the first phase of re-opening caught most church officials off guard. Most were expecting either a phase 3 or phase 4 schedule. With this short notice, Ste. Rose de Lima Parish will re-open for weekday Mass in the church on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. The full schedule of Sunday Masses will resume May 30-31, 2020 – Pentecost Sunday.
Who ought to refrain from attending Mass?
The most vulnerable to catch COVID 19 ought to stay home – period. All persons over the age of 60 are most at risk. Bishop Rozanski has extended the dispensation to EVERYONE to facilitate being safe: please stay home. If you are ill in any way with any underlying health conditions: please stay home. If you have the need to use the bathroom often: please stay home. The most effective way to curb COVID 19 is to “shelter in place.” Should the number of COVID 19 cases increase with a “second surge” closures will resume and will be enforced much longer. In the next section you will learn how few can attend Mass with the 6ft distancing guideline. Celebrating Mass in a “new normal” way! While the 40% capacity number has been offered as a standard for the re-opening, that number cannot be achieved with the guideline of a 6ft social distancing. The 6-foot guideline means that every other pew may be used, and that each person must be 6 feet away from each other while attending Mass. In practical numbers it comes to a total of 3 persons in each pew. Each side of the church has 36 pews. Of the 36 pews only 18 can be used on either side. The total # of persons able to attend Mass would be 108 persons. However, we can increase the number if we designate one side of the church for “families” and the other side for individuals. It is permissible that families who “live in common” to sit together without social distancing. Therefore, the LEFT SIDE of the church will be for families. Two families may sit in the same pew with a 6-foot distance. The RIGHT SIDE will be for individuals ONLY! Blue tape on each of the pews indicates a seat for the individual. The LEFT SIDE has blue tape as well, assisting families to know how far apart six feet is. Two families could be in the same pew while maintaining 6ft between each other.
Requirements for entrance to the church
1 EXCEPT for the use of the elevator all persons are asked to enter the church through the TWO FRONT DOORS on Grattan Street. There is to be no “socializing” in either the foyer or inside the church. Persons must go directly to a “blue taped” spot to sit. Remember there are only 3 places to sit in each pew on the RIGHT SIDE.
2 All persons must wear a MASK! No mask means no entrance into the church. It must remain on until the reception of Holy Communion and then replaced immediately.
3 Until the stationary hand-sanitizers are in place bring your own hand sanitizer.
4 BATHROOMS WILL BE CLOSED including the church hall! Each time a person uses the bathroom it MUST be re-sanitized. Only in an absolute EMERGENCY can the bathrooms be used.
5 Respect the 6-foot markings of “blue tape” on the floor for distancing especially for the reception of the Eucharist.
6 No hymnals/missals or bulletins to be used/distributed. Please read the “online” bulletin every week.
7 Reception of the Eucharist will be as follows:
- Four communion stations in the front of the church only
- Beginning with the first set of pews, persons will need to keep 6ft distance, following a “row by row” method.
- Wear mask up the aisle.
- Form a “cupped” palm to receive communion.
- Remove one side of the mask.
- Place the host in your mouth
- Re-cover your face with the mask.
- Ministers of Communion including the deacon and priest will sanitize hands just prior to distributing communion. While distributing communion all ministers, deacon, and priest will wear a mask.
8 EXITING the church must be in keeping with the 6ft distancing guidelines. All doors may be used to exit the church. That will assist with social distancing. There are to be no social gatherings after Mass. Please walk to your cars immediately after Mass while wearing your mask.
9 Upon the conclusion of Mass every person must exit the church. The church will need to be re-sanitized after each Mass.
10 The parish is collecting a list of names of persons who would be willing to assist in the cleanup of the church after the Mass they normally attend. The parish has all the needed supplies to re-sanitize church as well as the recommended PPE to ensure a safe process. Instructions will be given. If you are interested, you can email Deacon Mike.
Diocese of Springfield – Message from Bishop Rozanski
Since the cessation of public Mass, the individual Mass Intentions have been suspended. All “unsaid intentions” will eventually be offered as they will be rescheduled. Please check the on-line bulletin and the parish schedule on the website. Due to the COVID 19 the parish may not be able to accommodate all requests for rescheduling for a specific date.
The Celebration of Baptism and the Liturgy of Christian Burial
With the “limited” reopening of the Church, the sacrament of baptism will be celebrated; however, the actual baptism will need to be scheduled through the Pastoral Center. For the foreseeable future baptism will be celebrated with individual families. Due to restrictions of large gatherings there will be no baptismal classes. Instruction will be given during the Rite of Baptism. The Liturgy of Christian Burial will once again be celebrated. Again, with all the guidelines of face masks and social distancing being observed, the funeral Mass will be offered. The recommendations of individual funeral home directors will be closely followed. More information will be given in future bulletins concerning “how to implement” a safe environment for the celebration of the Rite of Christian Burial. And finally,
The Pastoral Center will re-open Tuesday, May 26.
Please be sure to wear a mask when entering the building and maintain the social distancing requirement. Please remember that the COVID 19 pandemic is not over. There will be no real “return to normal” until a vaccine is available, and everyone has been vaccinated. Massachusetts has the third highest rate of contraction of the virus in the nation. Unfortunately, people are dying every day from the effects of the virus. Please use caution as the State begins to open slowly. Like you, I am eagerly awaiting the socialization that we are accustomed to return. Each of us needs to remain vigilant to the guidelines given to us from the State. As the warmer weather is now returning to our “neck of the woods,” enjoy the beauty of our part of the world. Be smart! Be safe! Love & Peace, Fr. Bill
Update May 17th, Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste. Rose,
Sacrificial Giving for Sunday, May 10th
From the USPS delivery, drop-off at the Pastoral Center, and monthly contributors through banking institutions, Ste. Rose deposited a total of $8,505.95. Offertory: $8,221.95, Easter $85.00, and Ascension $199.00. Thank you for the support you continue to display during this COVID 19 pandemic.
2020 Annual Catholic Appeal
As of May 7th, the members of Ste Rose have contributed $37,182.00 to this year’s campaign. In the name of Bishop Mitchell Rozanski, I thank you for supporting the ACA.
Staffing at the Pastoral Center
The staff of Ste. Rose de Lima parish are continuing to come to work on an “as needed” basis. The business side of the parish needs to be addressed weekly. With “social distancing” and the wearing of masks, the work is getting accomplished. The parish is keeping up with all invoices from our loyal vendors. The parish continues to pay all employees because “The Church” does not qualify for unemployment benefits. However, the Diocese did apply for the Federal Program called “PPP” and qualified to receive Federal funds to maintain our current payroll through June 30, 2020. If the parish continues to maintain its present payroll, the “PPP” (Payroll Protection Program) loan is considered “forgivable.” Utilities also qualify in the PPP. Ste. Rose is complying with the guidelines of the Federal Program; therefore, the parish will be absolved from re-payment. When the amount of the “forgivable loan” is made known, the on-line bulletin will publish the amount.
Working during the pandemic
The new church custodian, Mark, as well as the staff at the Pastoral Center are working “as needed.” This is because they either work alone or they meet the requirements of social distancing and the wearing of a mask. The “parish” would never put any of its employees at risk. With that said, the Pastoral Center is still closed to the public until we receive notifications through the Office of the Governor that we can “re-open.’ The rectory staff has not been working, thereby keeping the rectory an isolated and safe environment for the priest’s residence.
I, very much like yourselves, am anxiously awaiting the May 18th date set by Governor Baker to announce his decision as to when and how he plans to re-open The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In preparation for a “gradual” re-opening of the State, the Diocese of Springfield has been communicating with the Deans and Vicars as to how to possibly prepare for an eventual re-opening of public Mass. The following are recommendations to keep our worship space safe:
1. Eliminate all printed materials for the short-term. That would include the bulletin, children’s bulletin, and hymnals/missals. The hymns at Mass will be limited to the hymns that are more commonly known.
2. All members of the congregation will need to wear a mask until further notice. Each person must bring their own – no mask means no entry into the church.
3. Until the parish can purchase a commercial application of hand-sanitizers at the entrances of the church (they have been ordered) everyone must bring their own hand sanitizer.
4. Families who “live in common” may sit together in the pews. Otherwise, for individuals, social distancing will be required.
5. There will be the continued ban on “holy water” at the fonts.
6. The Sign of Peace will be eliminated.
7. The USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) is mandating that the reception of Holy Communion will be limited to “the hand.” As the COVID 19 virus is spread through droplets, Communion on the tongue will not be allowed. Communicants will be asked “to cup” their hands thereby allowing the Priest, Deacon or the Eucharistic Minister to distribute Holy Communion with no hand to hand contact. Those distributing Holy Communion will sanitize their hands just prior to the distribution while wearing a mask to avoid breathing over the open communion vessel.
8. The dismissal at Mass must occur in an orderly manner allowing the persons in the front of the church to leave first with social distancing – as would take place while deplaning from an aircraft. There is to be no hand shaking after Mass.
9. Upon the conclusion of Mass all persons must leave the building. The building will need to be sanitized in preparation for the following Mass. Ste. Rose de Lima will be seeking “volunteers” to assist with sanitizing the church after each Mass. The parish will supply gloves, masks, and a virus killing product.
These are several of the recommendations that are presently under consideration. There will be more recommendations to consider as we move closer to a re-opening. Ste. Rose de Lima will be ready “when” we are given the okay to re-open. Reopening in a safe manner will require the 100% cooperation of every member of the parish. So, please follow the guidelines set by Governor Baker. The more we stay at home and maintain social distancing, the sooner we can return to a “new normal” not only in our Church but in society as well. Persevere! Remember, it’s a short-term hardship for a long-term benefit of good health not only for ourselves but for the benefit of one another. Peace & Love, Fr. Bill
Update May 10th, Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste. Rose,
The Sunday Offering for May 3, 2020
The Sunday Offering: $11,613.00, Easter: $161.00, and Ascension: $199.00 for a total of $11,973.00. Thank you so much for your generosity during this COVID 19 pandemic. Some parishioners have used the www.diospringfield.org for their weekly/monthly parish support. The parish did receive from the diocese a report of each contributor; however, the diocese is charging a “service fee” as was reported on the first report. I encourage those who have used the diocesan website to send their contributions directly to the parish through either the USPS or by hand delivery to the Pastoral Center and inserting the envelope(s) through the letter slot in the door. Again, thank you all for your financial support of your parish during these extraordinary days of COVID 19 isolation.
Fr. Shannon Scholarship Application date extended
Due to COVID 19 the Fr. Shannon Scholarship application deadline is now June 30, 2020. With the closure of all school systems throughout the Commonwealth, acquiring transcripts may prove to be more time consuming. Hopefully, the committee will be able to meet in July and award scholarships to worthy applicants.
Staffing During COVID 19
The Pastoral Center continues to be “officially” closed to the public. However, the staff arrives at the center on an “as needed” basis. Should you have a need to telephone the P.C, please leave a voice mail to whomever you wish to speak, and a response will be made. Emails are also being reviewed. We are making every effort, with reduced staffing, to keep up with requests while staying safe at the same time.
Since the cessation of public Mass, Mass intentions have not been fulfilled. All Mass Intentions will be rescheduled upon the resumption of public Mass. Only once these Mass Intentions are rescheduled will the parish resume scheduling Mass Intentions for future requests. The primary reason for not fulfilling these intentions is because family members often prefer to be present at Mass for the intention of their beloved dead.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
The Diocese of Springfield continues to abide by the guidelines from Governor Baker. By following these guidelines “we” intend to assist in our responsibility to ensure the good health and well-being of each another. Please stay home as much as is possible. Wear “a mask” when in public especially when social distancing is not an option. These days of isolation are becoming wearisome; however, in those States where there is a “re-opening” the COVID 19 virus is once again spreading. The City of Worcester, Massachusetts appears to be the new “hot spot” for the spread of COVID 19. Though we are all tiring of the “stay home” guideline it is so important to follow. While there are some clergy and deacons who wish to perform more pastoral ministry, it is the recommendation of Bishop Rozanski to maintain a reasonable approach to the ministries of the Church during these days of pandemic. The reality of this is simple: COVID 19 is still being studied as to its genetic makeup, how this virus truly spreads, and what length of time the virus will be present. There are more theories than scientific facts concerning this virus. As most of the clergy in our diocese are over the age of 65, the risk of contracting COVID 19 is real for the clergy as well – including myself as I am now 66 years old! Together we will get through this! Let us pray for each other that we may persevere!
Mother’s Day 2020
Mother’s Day 2020 is going to be the most difficult Mother’s Day that we have ever experienced. For those who are so fortunate to have their mothers still present in their lives, we know what a blessing they are in our lives. Mother’s Day celebrations during this pandemic will be subdued at best. With social distancing and home isolation many personal visits or dinners will not take place this year. Perhaps Mother’s Day celebrations may be through the technology of either “facetime” or “Facebook!” Our top priority this year ought to be “to keep you, our mothers, safe!” For those younger families who are living with their mothers today during this time of staying at home – how blessed you are! For those older families, whose mother is isolated – we your children hold you dear in our hearts and long to be in your presence once again. For those families, whose mother has entered into eternal – we thank you for your life filled with love and enduring memories. With that said, I wish all Mothers a very happy Mother’s Day today! Though many of us cannot be together as we would prefer, you will be in all our thoughts and prayers! We, your children, thank you for the miracle of life and of love you have bestowed upon us. May you, our Mothers, take consolation as did Mary when she was separated from her Son. Happy Mother’s Day! Fr. Bill
Update: May 3, 2020 Dear Parishioner… Around & About Ste. Rose,
2020 Annual Catholic Appeal
During this COVID 19 pandemic the 2020 Annual Catholic Campaign is in progress. As of April 27, 2020, the ACA has received $35,867 from the parishioners of Ste. Rose de Lima Parish. As you can imagine, as this COVID 19 pandemic continues, there will be many families seeking additional assistance from “The Church” due to unemployment and other financial hardships. If you can afford to contribute this year, your contribution will assist the ACA to respond to individuals as well as human service agencies. To make a contribution please either use the campaign materials that were sent to you via USPS or logging onto: www.diospringfield.org and clicking on the 150th Anniversary icon. If using the website, please be sure to indicate your parish in order to have your contribution added to the totals of the parish. Thank You!
Sunday Offering for April 26th
The parish deposited a little more than $7,400.00! Thank you for your generosity during this pandemic. This amount includes contributions made to Ste. Rose de Lima Parish through the diocesan website as a check was mailed to the parish. Nearly $800.00 was contributed to the parish through this process. Thank You!
In our parish
The COVID 19 pandemic has affected several members of our parish family as a contributing factor to the passing of family members and friends. Please keep all COVID 19 victims and their grieving families in your thoughts and prayers.
Funerals, Weddings, Baptisms, etc
As the COVID 19 pandemic continues to hold us to limited social gatherings, the following guidelines are in place at least through May 18th (possibly longer):
Funerals: Funeral Home services are allowed with the understanding that the service is private and limited to ten attendees both at the funeral home and the cemetery. When Governor Baker lifts the public ban and unessential services are permitted to return to the “open” status, Ste. Rose de Lima Parish will offer a Memorial Mass for all persons who passed into eternal life during the pandemic. Obviously, the date is still undetermined; however, ample notification of the date will be provided.
Weddings: Many of the Spring weddings have been re-scheduled to late summer and early fall. We hope and pray that these re-scheduled ceremonies will be celebrated with the new dates.
Baptisms: All baptisms have been postponed until further notice. Again, when the ban is lifted families will be notified about the resumption of the Sacrament of Baptism.
The Sacrament of Confirmation: Confirmation will be re-scheduled for either September or October.
First Communion has been re-scheduled for August 29, 2020.
R.C.I.A: The candidates who were preparing for the Easter Sacraments will not need to wait until Easter 2021. The diocese will announce a “special” opportunity for the RCIA candidates to be received into the Church in the fall.
Pastoral Visits to area hospitals and nursing homes will resume only after the ban from these institutions are lifted. Home visitations will return as soon as it is safe to do so.
I trust that this week’s letter finds each of us united in our thoughts and prayers during this extended time of social distancing and isolation. Parish life has been affected by COVID 19 in a rather significant way. I sense from your “notes of encouragement” from emails, voice mails, and written notes in your Sunday Offering envelopes, a longing to return to Sunday Mass to celebrate the Eucharist. I share that same sentiment. As you are aware, Governor Baker has extended the stay at home directive until May 18th. While we may feel disappointed about this extension, I believe it is better to extend the social isolation directive rather than return too soon with the potential of greater consequences from this pandemic. The citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have experienced a significant amount of the loss of life from complications of this virus. I encourage all of us to be faithful to this “social isolation.” Please stay home as much as possible. When you need to go out shopping etcetera, be sure to wear a mask in order to protect others. Our Christianity demands that we have a share in promoting the health and well-being of your neighbors. Upon your return home, be sure to wash your hands and to disinfect any purchase(s) that you bring into your home. The COVID 19 virus can live on surfaces for up to 72 hours.
As for myself, I am keeping the social distancing directive. I have been remarkably busy with both funeral home services and graveside services. I continue to monitor all US Mail, email, and voice mail. I am counting and depositing the Sunday Offering every Tuesday. The staff is coming to the Pastoral Center on an “as needed” basis to continue the ongoing business of the parish. If you leave either emails or voice mails for the staff, please be patient as they will respond to you. The parish is keeping up with all invoices for all our vendors. Everyone is being paid on time. Sunday Mass continues to be recorded for your viewing on this website, Facebook, and You Tube (Search for: Ste Rose de Lima.)
When needed, I am going shopping for groceries and other household necessities. While in the stores, though I am wearing a mask and civilian clothing, I am amazed at how many of you recognize me!!! It is wonderful to say hello and have a brief conversation. I continue to cook, vacuum, do laundry, and clean the rectory kitchen and the bathrooms. Being born third of six children, domestic work is nothing new to me – I like it! As we move forward together through this crisis, let us keep each other in our thoughts and prayers. May God bless us throughout this Easter season. Perhaps, with the subsiding of COVID 19, we can celebrate Pentecost Sunday together in our parish church of Ste. Rose de Lima. With pastoral love and peace, Fr. Bill
PARISH STAFF CAN BE REACHED AT:
Rev. William Tourigny, Pastor: email@example.com
Deacon Michael Trznadel: firstname.lastname@example.org
Peggy Constant, Pastoral Minister: email@example.com
Cindee Gagnon, DRE: firstname.lastname@example.org Diane Bissonnette, Parish Secretary: email@example.com
Update: April 26th Dear Parishioner… Around & About Ste. Rose,
40th Anniversary Celebration The 40th Anniversary of Ordination celebration for Fr. Bill has been postponed until May of 2021. With the advent of COVID 19, it is important to be assured of a safe environment free of fear from spreading the virus. It is also more in keeping with the understanding that many may need to re-adjust their financial priorities. With so much uncertainty, it is best to postpone this celebration. More details will be made known in future bulletin announcements.
The 2020 Annual Catholic Appeal Amid this COVID 19 pandemic, the Diocese is sponsoring this annual charitable campaign. As of April 7th, Ste. Rose parishioners have already contributed $30,752. If you are able to respond to this year’s campaign, please log onto www.diospringfield.org and click on the 150th Anniversary “tab” to make your contribution; or you can respond by using the ACA materials which you received through the USPS. Thank you!
Ste Rose Sacrificial Giving for Sunday, April 19th The Sunday Offering totaled $9,353.00. Your continued support of the parish is so appreciated especially during the COVID 19 pandemic when we are still unable to publicly celebrate The Eucharist. Sunday Mass will continue to be recorded from Ste. Rose parish church every week until public Masses are allowed. These recordings can be found on our website: www.steroseorg; our “Friends” on Facebook, and on You Tube by “searching: Ste Rose de Lima.”
The Rites of Christian Burial In compliance with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, only private funeral homes services are permitted. A funeral home service may be attended by no more than 10 persons. A graveside service may be attended by no more than 10 persons. Both services must keep “social distancing” as a standard. A “Memorial Service of Remembrance” will be planned by Ste. Rose de Lima Parish for our members who died during this pandemic without the benefit of a Liturgy of Christian Burial when it’s safe to do so.
School closure for the remainder of the school year By now, I am sure that we have all learned of Governor Baker’s decision to close all schools throughout the Commonwealth until a reopening, hopefully, in September. As it was reported it does not mean that the children are going to begin an early vacation. SJA School, like all other schools, will continue to reach out to all students through the end of the academic year. The faculty and staff of SJA have continued to instruct “our” students since the suspension of classes. Instructing children through “whatever means works” places additional responsibility on SJA School to maintain a regular contact with our students. It also places additional responsibilities on parents to create “a home schooling” environment. While classroom experience can never be replicated, through sacrifice and planning, our students will not have had a “lost year.” When go back to work restrictions are lifted, there will be an additional challenge for parents to work and assist in the education, rearing, protection, and supervision of their children. Schools have traditionally provided a full-day of in-school learning thereby enabling parents to work knowing that their children were in a safe environment throughout the school day hours. While these days of isolation are demanding on each of us in ways that were unforeseen, the health and well-being of every person is of paramount importance. Let us pray for each other during these unprecedented days that peace and love will prevail in each of our lives and in our homes.
And finally, Throughout these days of social distancing and isolation, it would not be uncommon for any of us to feel alone, lonely, and somewhat depressed particularly if some already are living by themselves. With the technology that is available we need to keep in touch with those we love. A phone call, perhaps “facetime” emails, texting, and tweeting can be vehicles by which we stay in constant communication with those we love and care deeply about. Offering our services to those who are most vulnerable to COVID 19 by doing some grocery shopping or assisting in other ways, such as making meals for those who are unable to fend for themselves. Individually, there are “quiet times” when prayer can bring solace and peace. There are great opportunities for reading and time for reflection. As the weather improves there will be opportunities to go outside for a walk and other forms of exercise. Make every attempt to avoid the temptation of simply sitting in front of the television for hours on end – such an attractive option with “binge-watching” of your favorite series while snacking on “junk foods.” As for myself, I continue to monitor all telephone calls and emails. I am keeping a regular schedule in order to maintain good health and well-being – including a regular exercise routine in the gym I created in the rectory basement 15 years ago. I am not as busy as “normal” but busy enough that the days go by quickly. I check on my Mother every day and will assist her while maintaining the proper procedures to keep her safe – she is now 89 years old! My Uncle Bob is also in need of assistance. He is 92 years old and living alone. I am cooking, cleaning, shopping, doing laundry and bedding and towels. I am going to the Pastoral Center to keep up with the USPS and finances and communicating with the Business Office of SJA School. I am counting and depositing your very generous contributions to the parish. I have been presiding at funeral home services as well as graveside services for those recent deaths in the parish and our community while maintaining social distancing. With a team of a few parishioners, I am celebrating Sunday Mass on Thursday evenings for recording. I thank you for your thoughts and prayers throughout the years but especially now during these unprecedented times. We will get through this together by praying for each other and practicing the new social guidelines of staying home and not spreading COVID 19. May God bless you and your families and keep us all safe. Fr. Bill
Update: April 19, 2020 Dear Parishioner… Around & About Ste Rose,
Your Financial Support is so edifying As noted in the last bulletin, the parishioners contributed a little over $13,120.00. This past week, combining the Sunday and the Easter Offering the parish deposited $7,807.00. Thank you so much for your spiritual and financial support. In as much as the Pastoral Center is closed because “we” are still in “isolation mode,” I am opening the envelopes weekly. Not only are you very generous, I appreciate the many “personal notes” written by you expressing your concern about my health and well-being. I continue to have great health and positive spirits. I look forward to the day when we can once again celebrate The Eucharist together in our parish church. The bulletin will continue to provide the dollar amounts of The Sunday Offering throughout this pandemic.
Our Parish Website & Facebook Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the parish bulletin and other news will be posted on our website: www.sterose.org as well as a link to Sunday Mass. YouTube has noted that Easter Sunday Mass had over 500 “hits” and is still growing. Throughout this pandemic the parish will attempt to record Sunday Mass on a weekly basis; therefore, Mass will be the appropriate Easter Season Mass – this week will be the Second Sunday of Easter. You may follow the readings by logging on to www.usccb.org. Also, Facebook has a new administrator – Gail Boone – and will continue to update “our page”: Ste Rose de Lima. Attention: this is a new page. Should you get the old page please check for the new one.
Prayer During and Pandemic Lord Jesus, Hear our pleas, our Good Shepherd and Divine Physician. We implore your mercy in the wake of this outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Guide our efforts to prevent contagion and prepare to care for those most vulnerable. Assist all professionals and volunteers who work to eradicate the pandemic now spreading. May our actions and efforts be marked by your steadfast love and selfless service and never by fear or panic. Bestow your comfort and healing to the sick, sustain and strengthen them by your grace. May they know your closeness as they carry the cross of illness. And may all who have been called from this life come to worship you eternally with all the saints as you grant consolation and peace to their mourners. Amen. Holy Mary, Health of the Sick, pray for us. St. Joseph, Hope of the Sick, pray for us. St. Rocco, protector against pandemics, pray for us.
Finally, Please stay safe! Please stay home! I am monitoring all phone calls and emails and I will respond to all but in a matter of prioritizing which are most important. May God bless you and your families. Fr. Bill
Update: April 12, 2020 Dear Parishioner… Around & About Ste Rose,
Dear Parishioners, First Some News! Peter Ferland has been the custodian in the parish for nearly 20 twenty years. On April 18th Peter will celebrate his 71st birthday – Congratulations! As Peter turns 71 years old, we announce his retirement. Peter’s last day is April 17th. The parish thanks Peter for his nearly 20 years of service and we wish him a long and happy retirement. Peter’s mom is advanced in years and is in declining health. We pray that time spent with his mother is full of joy and service to her needs. May God bless you Peter! Again, all of us at Ste. Rose de Lima Parish wish you a long and happy retirement!
Mark Morin, who presently serves as the custodian at St. Joan of Arc School will succeed Peter as church custodian. Mark will be in a part-time position as custodian while maintaining his full-time position at SJA School. His position will be effective Monday, April 20, 2020. Welcome aboard!
Easter Sunday Mass was recorded for you to watch from inside our beautiful Ste. Rose de Lima Church! It can be accessed through the parish website, Facebook, and You Tube. I am so grateful to so many who made this “taping” of Easter Sunday Mass possible. You will be able to view the Mass as often as you like with the ability to “fast-forward” the sermon! We are hopeful to tape weekly Sunday Mass from our church until the time of social isolation is ended. You will notice that the church is fully decorated with the “glory of Easter Joy!” How I wish you could have been able to see it for yourselves! To all who have contributed to the Easter Flower Fund – thank you!
Financial News Last week the parish was able to deposit a total of $13,120.00 ~~ thank you so much! Many parishioners have contributed through the USPS, dropping off contributions at the Pastoral Center, and others on-line through the diocesan website. Your continued financial support throughout this pandemic is edifying! Merci Beaucoup!
And finally, Easter 2020 will long be remembered as the Easter of COVID 19. With a global pandemic in full force, we watch the death toll rise daily. The media has kept us informed with the important facts. However, one fact that is mentioned only occasionally, is how many have recovered from the COVID 19 virus. For the recovery of so many – we are grateful. The temptation though, is to become relaxed with the concept of “social distancing.” The primary method of assisting ER personnel and all first responders is to maintain a sense of vigilance with social distancing and isolation. It comes right down to this: the more vigilant we are the sooner the virus will peak and begin to recede thereby saving thousands of lives. Let us do our part of social awareness by only going out for what is truly essential. The Diocese of Springfield has been especially criticized by many “fundamental” Catholics as being too restrictive in its response to COVID 19. Remember that clergy are human too! Many of the clergy in our diocese are over the age of 60. Many clergy have underlying health issues as well. As you may know, 8 priests in the Archdiocese of Boston contracted COVID 19. Directives from the Governor’s Office are in a state of flux. Updates from the Governor’s Office need to be seriously considered in response to what is “safe” to do. I believe that Bishop Rozanski’s leadership has been “on target” no matter what his critics may say. There is a short-term versus long-term strategy: short-term isolation versus long-term good health for all. Which would you prefer? I choose long-term health for everyone. With all of that said, it is Easter and a time to reflect on its meaning: The Spirit of the Risen Christ is upon each of us. Recall the Gospel of St. John:” On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Those first apostles experienced fear for their very lives. Living behind locked doors, the Risen Christ burst through the locked doors of fear and breathed upon them a new hope. I believe, even in our weeks of isolation, fearful for our very lives, the Risen Christ bursts through our “locked doors” and breathes on us Easter Joy and Easter Peace. We are the only ones that can allow fear to dominate our lives. As believers, we choose to trust in the love and mercy of our God – even in this time of pandemic. Even in the present experience of sacrament-less times, is not God’s strength greater than our weakness? Can God redeem us because of God’s great mercy? To my way of thinking the answer is a resounding “YES!” Easter 2020 is a challenging spiritual reality. Remember, it is not so much what we can do for God, it is about what our God can accomplish in us. May Easter 2020 enable each of us to trust in its very message: Christ has died! Christ is Risen! Christ will come again! Alleluia! Alleluia! May you and your family experience a Blessed Easter Season! Perhaps by Pentecost Sunday (50 days after Easter) we will once again be with each other at the Eucharistic Table! With Easter Love & Peace, Fr. Bill
Update: April 5, 2020 Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste. Rose,
A Brief Up-Date: No Palm Branch Distribution
Due to the “spike” that is expected with viral infections as a result of COVID 19 in the next two weeks, The Diocese of Springfield has urged all parishes to not distribute palm branches in any manner whatsoever. There is no way to assure safe palm distribution. As the “spike” in COVID 19 cases is expected within the next two weeks, the urgent request from the CDC, State, and Federal government is stayhome except for essential services. We are performing our Christian duty by following these guidelines when, caring for our neighbor, each of us stays home and be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. All medical personnel in Emergency Rooms throughout the USA are pleading with each of us to help them respond to new and existing patients by staying home and employing social distancing. If each of us stays home, we assist all first responders and medical personnel. So, let’s all do our part in the battle against COVID 19. Keep all first responders and medical personnel in our thoughts and prayers as they courageously battle COVID 19 – they are the “front line” in this battle of saving human lives.
Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday 2020
For Christians around the globe, Palm Sunday 2020 is an extremely unique experience -no procession with palm as the Church customarily re-enacts Jesus’ triumphant entry into the City of Jerusalem. From the triumphant entry into Jerusalem to the agony of Jesus’ betrayal and passion, the culmination of his ministry is nearly approaching – The Resurrection! Though we are unable to celebrate the Holy Week services each of us can view these Holy Week services through television. Easter Sunday 2020 will be unique as well – no Easter Sunday Masses as well as smaller (if any) family gatherings will be able to be celebrated. It does not mean; however, that there is no Easter! Easter Sunday is still being celebrated! The Easter season will still be celebrated! Hopefully, as we move toward Pentecost Sunday the COVID 19 virus pandemic will be over and celebrate the reception of the Holy Spirit. The Lenten season, as unique as it continues to be, can assist us in re-examining the ministry of the Church and of its significance in each of our lives. What all people of faith have taken for granted as Sunday Mass/worship services “always being there” becomes food for thought! Perhaps questions we could ponder: Has Mass-less Sundays affected my life? If so, how? Has isolation at home had an affect in my life? If so, how? Will I/we have greater compassion for those members of our communities who are isolated day in and day out? Remember, ‘Lenten’ is a Latin word meaning springtime or growth. Will this Lenten season, a time of real deprivation and fear, possibly be a springboard to embracing a more spiritual way of life while recognizing how fragile human life truly is? Have I/we experienced a sense of vulnerability? Have I/we even questioned the meaning and purpose of life? These are but a few questions we may ponder during this pandemic.
What will our parishes look like post COVID 19
I see two scenarios as possibilities:
- A resurgence of faith as was experienced post 9/11
- A complete collapse of the Church as we know it today.
This & That
Everyday life has been altered in ways that we could not have imagined. In my life, I have had to perform ordinary everyday issues: cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, and straightening dresser drawers and closets. I must admit I don’t mind it at all! But it reminded me of what all of you do every day. Then add in your parental responsibilities, I became overwhelmed by what you do! Now that the children are out of school until at least May, I can only imagine the added stress of assisting your children with pursuing their education. Having your children home 24/7 must be challenging at best. Then there are the evenings! With no parish meetings, I’ve maintained my exercise routines and have watched more series, movies, and television than normal. Made more popcorn than is usual to go along with the movies, etc. I am sure it must be the same with you. A little more time “on-line” is part of the day as well. I have kept up with many emails sent by so many of you who are reaching out to me making sure that I am safe and well – I assure you, I am very well! It’s a wonder that the internet doesn’t crash with all the extra demand! I am also grateful to so many of you who have either dropped off your “sacrificial offerings” or sent them in through the USPS – thank you so much. Last week we deposited $4,995.00. And of course, keeping up with my Mother every day by telephone and shopping for her essential needs and delivering them to her as they arise.
I have a longing to return to life as we knew it; however, I believe we will experience a “new normal.” I have no idea what it will be but, together we will continue to walk with each other in this great adventure of life and faith. May God bless you and your families during these difficult times. I pray we stay united in prayer during this upcoming Holy Week and Easter season.
With peace and love,
Update:March 22, 2020 Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose
The Liturgical calendar is celebrating the 5th Sunday of Lent. The Gospel of St. John conveys the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. As miraculous as this event was, the pharisees plotted even more intently to do away with Jesus and to rid of Lazarus as well. Though great deeds were accomplished by Jesus, it was a thirst for power and control over the people of which the pharisees were seeking to maintain. Ultimately, however, the more the pharisees sought power and control over the people, the more they lost their ill-conceived lust for power. The people of Jesus’ time were no fools. In Jesus they found hope and joy.
As we now prepare for the third “Mass-less Sunday” since the COVID 19 outbreak has occurred; as we find ourselves in our homes “in isolation;” as we find ourselves “making do” with what we have; as we find ourselves living in close proximity with family members; as we find ourselves having more meals in common, we have a profound opportunity to re-discover what really matters in life: faith in God and belonging to a family – as imperfect as our family may be. I find myself telephoning my mother every day to be sure she has all that she might need. I find myself telephoning others as well so to stay in touch and be sure all is okay. Mother Teresa of Calcutta said that “loneliness” was the single greatest cause of death. It is in a family that we live and move and have our being.
COVID 19 can teach us a valuable lesson: we are not in control. We were not in control on the day of our conception and we were not in control when we first fell off our bicycle once the training wheels came off. We are not even in control of when and where we will breathe our last breath. COVID 19 is teaching us how we need one another along the journey of life. We can find hope and joy by the great gift of presence in one another’s lives. St Paul said to the Corinthians that in the end there are three things that last: faith, hope, and love. The greatest of these is love.
During this time of social isolation/distancing, I pray that each of us re-discover the things that matter most in life: family, faith, and community. How I long to return to the Eucharistic Table with you gathered as a “community of faith.” How I long to be reunited in word and deed as people of faith. Perhaps “collectively and individually” we will reconsider that “taking things for granted” will no longer occur.
Palm Sunday is quickly approaching! Palm branches were ordered several months ago. In as much as the likelihood of not celebrating Palm Sunday Mass is becoming more evident, the palm will be blessed and placed in front of the church for your taking. Please wear “protective gloves” and keep social distancing in mind as you approach the display of palm. You may take what you need and feel free to take palm branches for those who are unable to leave their homes.
Holy Week services are also unlikely to be celebrated. And, I dare say, Easter Masses may not be celebrated either. These Mass-less days summons each of us to more intense personal prayer. Pray in your home, pray with your family members. The following website has all the readings for each day in the liturgical calendar: www.usccb.org Take advantage of being united with your faith community by reading and reflecting on The Word of God throughout Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter. There are many opportunities to attend Mass through television: there’s The Chalice of Salvation on Sunday morning at 10:00 AM on Channel 22 (Channel 787 on Spectrum as well as Catholic TV out of the Boston area, and EWTN also on Spectrum.
First Communion & Confirmation are most likely needing to be re-scheduled. Bishop Rozanski will re-schedule Confirmation to the Fall season. First Communion will need to be re-scheduled in as much as Governor Baker has extended the school closure to May 4, 2020. As soon as dates are available, the dates will be posted in the weekly bulletin.
Financially, as you can well-imagine, the parish is in uncharted territory. This will be the third weekend of no Mass, therefore no collection of the Sunday Offering. To date the parish has received almost $5,000.00 through either a drop-off at the Pastoral Center or from the USPS. For those who have made their contribution – thank you. By this weekend the parish will realize a -$30,000.00 drop in collections – averaging about $10,000.00 per week. While these are very difficult economic times, please be sure to take care of your own financial responsibilities first. If you are able contribute to the parish – thank you!
And finally, together we will get through the COVID 19 pandemic. If you recall, in the aftermath of 9/11 there was a resurgence of communities pulling together and to rebuild. The American spirt of re-building and re-connecting is part of our DNA!! It is my hope-filled prayer that once the crisis of COVID 19 is over we can embrace that same spirit in our families, faith communities, and civic communities.
May God Bless you and those you love! Stay safe – stay smart!
March 20, 2020 Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste. Rose
No doubt the coronavirus (COVID 19) has affected every part of our daily lives. The daily routines have come to a screeching halt; I dare say our lives will never quite be the same. The effect of COVID 19 has isolated each of us in ways that we could have never anticipated. The idea of “social distancing” is so foreign to us that making the transition to new models of social behavior are both awkward and unfamiliar. However, if we collectively adopt the guidelines from the CDC (Center of Disease Control) each of us will play a very important role in not spreading the virus.
As for our “parish life,” every activity has come to a screeching halt: School is closed, Religious Education is suspended, the Pastoral Center is closed, meetings are cancelled until further notice, and the celebration of The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass has been suspended until further notice. The few liturgical celebrations are the Liturgies of Christian Burial. Gratefully, no one has died from the coronavirus in our parish. Should a Liturgy of Christian Burial be needed, the attendees are limited to immediate family and very close friends. All funeral homes are enforcing the guidelines for social distancing that are strongly recommended by State and Federal Governmental agencies.
Many members of the parish are concerned about the Mass Intentions that were scheduled, in some cases, a year ago. Please know that all Mass Intentions will be re-scheduled as soon as public Masses are allowed. Because the Pastoral Center is closed, Mass Intentions will not be scheduled until the P.C. is re-opened.
As for myself, I am in the rectory answering the telephone as calls come in. I am available for end of life issues: to anoint members with the Sacrament of the Sick (Last Rites) if needed. The same is true with Pastoral Care for the dying in either a hospital or nursing home. The guidelines at all area hospitals and nursing home allow one clergy member to tend to those who may be experiencing “end of life issues.”
It has been encouraging that more members than normal are using the USPS to send in their contributions to the parish. Financially, the parish is in unchartered territory. All expenses will continue to be paid in a timely fashion, including the payment of our salaried personnel. I am sure that many are experiencing their own financial challenges during this coronavirus outbreak. Please understand that your own financial well-being is of primary importance.
And finally, I encourage all of you to watch Mass on Sunday mornings on Channel 22 at 10:00 AM for “The Chalice of Salvation.” Daily Mass can be viewed on The EWTN and Catholic TV networks on our Spectrum cable provider. We can collectively pray for the safety of all during this time of pandemic. Pray especially for health care workers who are on the front line of combatting the coronavirus as well as for all first responders who also put their lives on the line every day attempting to assist all of us.
Finally, please stay safe. Follow all the guidelines/recommendations that have been given so that we can all live through this pandemic and, pray God, we respond to each other’s needs with generosity and compassion.
May God bless you! I miss you and long for the day to be reunited at “The Table of the Eucharist.”