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COVID-19 Update


Update: June 28th Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,

13th Sunday Mass of Ordinary Time

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
Fr Bill

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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.
Also available:
Sanctuary Lamp for the month $25.00
Hosts for the month $35.00.

Update: June 21st. Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,

12th Sunday Mass of Ordinary Time


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.

Mass Attendance
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.
www.usccb.org/racism
Peace & Love,
Fr. Bill

Update: June 14th. Dear Parishioner…Around & About Ste Rose,

Lord’s Day Mass — Click here to watch

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.
Thank you!

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.

And finally,
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!
Fr. Bill

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Bulletin news:
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,

Trinity Sunday Mass – Click here to Watch

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.

And finally,

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. For enhanced seating capacity, please remember that the LEFT SIDE of the pews are for families and the RIGHT SIDE is for individuals.
  4. 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.”
  5. 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,

Pentecost Sunday Mass – Click here to Watch

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.

Liturgical Celebrations

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.

And finally

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

Seventh Sunday Mass Available online – Click here to Watch

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

Mass Intentions

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.

And finally,

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.

Mass Intentions

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.

And finally,

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: frbill@sterose.org
Deacon Michael Trznadel: deaconmike@sterose.org
Peggy Constant, Pastoral Minister: peggy@sterose.org
Cindee Gagnon, DRE: cindee@sterose.org Diane Bissonnette, Parish Secretary: diane@sterose.org

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:

  1. A resurgence of faith as was experienced post 9/11
  2. 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,

Fr Bill

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! 

Fr. Bill

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.” 

Fr. Bill