Parish Letter, May 5th, 2020
As you have probably heard by now, we have public Masses once again as per the civil law which requires social distancing of 6ft between individuals or family groups. That being said, there are several provisions from the civil authorities as well as the bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph that will change the nature of our celebrations. I ask for your patience with me on these changes and with the Mass schedule; I realize that it will not please everyone, but I am trying to make provisions for people to attend Mass once a week. Bishop Johnston has dispensed all of the faithful for the Sunday Mass obligation until further notice and encouraged the elderly and/or those with health concerns/risks to stay home. If you wish to attend Mass, I ask you to please read the following amendments to our Mass schedule. Please read the following carefully to eliminate unnecessary phone calls and emails regarding the schedule.
All Masses will have no server, no lectors, no offertory procession, and no collection and will be akin to a daily Mass. This will make the ability to offer more Masses possible for me in a timely manner. Parishioners are to leave their offertory gift at the back of the church in a basket. In addition, no bulletins will be made available as per diocesan request. All of the faithful have been asked to wear a mask upon entering the church building. All must keep a 6ft social distance between one another; please sit only where indicated. Families may sit together in one place. When Mass is over, because of our lack of staff, I am asking the families to wipe down the individual pews where they sat with sanitizing wipes provided by the parish. Directions will be given for the reception of Holy Communion at Mass.
St. Joseph—Easton PLEASE NOTE THE MASS TIME CHANGES (current capacity—36 people)
7:45 AM Sunday
8:30 AM Sunday
St. Ann—Plattsburg (current capacity: 40 people)
4:00pm Vigil Mass
10:00am Sunday morning
(5:15 PM Vigil Mass has been discontinued)
In addition, I have changed the daily Mass schedule temporarily to allow for people who are unable to attend Sunday Mass. All weekday Masses will be offered at St. Ann in Plattsburg.
Weekday Mass Schedule
Tuesday 7:15 am
Wednesday 7:15 am, Low Mass at 6:00pm (Latin)
Thursday 7:15 am
Friday 7:15 am
Again, I am hoping the Mass time change provides an opportunity for those who cannot make Sunday Mass to come and worship once a week until we are able to get back to the normal schedule. I have designed this schedule so that if you cannot get to a Sunday Mass because of the capacity issue, early morning Masses are offered before work.
It is my hope that we can return to normality soon. Any other weekly adjustments to the schedule will be posted on the parish website. Please check the website frequently to see any changes as this will most likely be the last paper communication.
I thank you beforehand for your continued financial support of our parish—you have been a very generous people! I am very proud of all of you for your love of our parish. Please communicate with one another on Mass attendance especially if your party is large. I realize that some will be inconvenienced by the amount of people we can lawfully have in our church—if you cannot come for the first Mass on a given Sunday, I hope you will find ample opportunity in the additional times I have offered. Thank you for your continued support in prayer and for checking in. May God bless you!
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Rev. Eric A. Schneider, Administrator
Given public restrictions, the celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation with either individual or general absolution may not be possible. This will make some of the faithful anxious, especially during this Lenten season of penance.
To help in this, the Holy See, through the Apostolic Penitentiary, has offered two recourses for the faithful:
“Where the individual faithful find themselves in the painful impossibility of receiving sacramental absolution, it should be remembered that perfect contrition, coming from the love of God, beloved above all things, expressed by a sincere request for forgiveness (that which the penitent is at present able to express) and accompanied by votum confessionis, that is, by the firm resolution to have recourse, as soon as possible, to sacramental confession, obtains forgiveness of sins, even mortal ones (cf. CCC, no. 1452).”
perfect contrition requires
the love of God
the sincere desire for forgiveness
the ardent commitment to receive the sacrament of reconciliation when available
“The gift of special Indulgences is granted to the faithful suffering from COVID-19 disease, commonly known as Coronavirus, as well as to health care workers, family members and all those who in any capacity, including through prayer, care for them.”
This is a time of suffering, especially for those who have contracted COVID-19. As such, it may be a time for us to “rediscover ‘the same redemptive suffering of Christ’ (Salvifici doloris, 30).”
Trusting in Christ, a Plenary indulgence is “granted to the faithful suffering from Coronavirus, who are subject to quarantine by order of the health authority in hospitals or in their own homes if, with a spirit detached from any sin, they unite spiritually through the media to the celebration of Holy Mass, the recitation of the Holy Rosary, to the pious practice of the Way of the Cross or other forms of devotion, or if at least they will recite the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and a pious invocation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, offering this trial in a spirit of faith in God and charity towards their brothers and sisters, with the will to fulfil the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the Holy Father’s intentions), as soon as possible.”
“Health care workers, family members and all those who, following the example of the Good Samaritan, exposing themselves to the risk of contagion, care for the sick of Coronavirus according to the words of the divine Redeemer: ‘Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends’ (Jn 15: 13), will obtain the same gift of the Plenary Indulgence under the same conditions.”
An indulgence is “the expression of the Church’s full confidence of being heard by the Father when – in view of Christ’s merits and, by his gift, those of Our Lady and the saints – she asks him to mitigate or cancel the painful aspect of punishment by fostering its medicinal aspect through other channels of grace” (John Paul II, General Audience, September 29, 1999).
A plenary indulgence removes all the temporal punishment due to sin (CCC, 1471).
Who Is St. Ann?
Our parish is named after Saint Ann (also known as Anne or Anna, from the Hebrew name: Hannah חַנָּה, meaning "favor" or "grace") of King David's house and line, was the mother of the Virgin Mary and grandmother of Jesus Christ.
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