COVID-19 Parish Updates

Public Mass is back! We will continue to update this page and our Facebook page as more updates reagrding the impact of COVID-19 on our parishes. 

St. Rose Live Steam

Click Here for Live Stream

Mass will be continue to be live streamed on Sundays at 10:00am.

Update #13 - May 29, 2020 - An Update from Father Hennessey.

Dear Brother and Sisters in Christ,

I hope this message finds you well and that you had a wonderful day today.  The beautiful weather is a sign that summer will actually happen this year!

I write to continue to update you on the reopening of our churches for public Masses Last weekend went very smoothly, with both church buildings, and halls, set up for people to attend Mass while also exercising all the restrictions of safe social distancing, and providing for parishioners to receive Holy Communion. Additionally, we have set up speakers outside both churches for anyone who would like to come but prefers to remain outside and to listen to Mass (even from the car), and enter the church to receive Holy Communion, or request that I go outside to bring them Holy Communion.  I am so thankful to the more than 20 ushers and greeters who volunteered to serve. Without them there is no way it would have happened.  We have volunteers set for each Sunday moving forward, and would always welcome more!

Now that we are open,  I will continue to celebrate one Mass at St Agnes Church (11:30 am) and one Mass at St Rose Church (10:00 am), and add Masses as needed.  The Mass at 10:00 am at St Rose will be live streamed on the web site and on Facebook Live, for those who would prefer not to return to the Church building just yet. Each Sunday, there are approximately 450 computers logged on to view the Mass (pretty impressive), so I would like to keep this current schedule for a while in order to be sure to provide the live streamed Mass, at the same time as has been, for those who are not able, or feel comfortable, to return just yet.

While Sunday Mass is an essential part of our faith, during these extreme times of a pandemic Cardinal O’Malley has suspended the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.  I encourage people in vulnerable populations, especially the elderly and those with complicated physical conditions, and those who may not feel comfortable to attend at this time for whatever reason, and anyone who is sick or has any symptoms, to continue to watch Mass from their homes via live stream for now.  If for any reason you feel nervous about attending Mass at this time, please enjoy the Mass from home on TV or live streamed.  We will miss you in person and will look forward to the day we can be together.

Daily Masses (9:00 am at St Rose live streamed) and Funeral Masses (at both churches) have already begun this past Monday and will continue to be celebrated publicly.

Lastly, I invite all parishioners to consider beginning online giving (you can sign up here)  Your weekly offering is essential to the running of the parish. If you like, you can mail your weekly offering to the parish offices at 22 Boston Street, Middleton or drop your weekly offering to the St Rose Rectory mailbox or door at 17 Prospect Street, Topsfield. 

This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, fifty days from Easter.  It is on this Feast that we celebrate that the Holy Spirit descended on the Church, to be our Guide, our Advocate, our Helper, and our Encourager in the life of Faith.  Please join me this Sunday in praying for a complete and total outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon our parishes and upon each one of us and our families, regardless of if you attend public Mass!

As always, I am praying for you all and for all your intentions, daily.  Please keep me in your prayers as well. 

May Saint Agnes of Rome and Saint Rose of Lima continue to intercede for us all and may Our Lord give you every blessing.

 

Peace,

Father Dan 

Update #12 - May 22, 2020 - Mass is Back!

 

Dear Parishioners,

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful day.  It seems that the summer might actually be starting soon!

I write today with the good news that beginning this weekend we will reopen (with a limited schedule) for public Mass, in addition to the weekday and Sunday live stream Masses I have been celebrating since Mid-March.  Public Masses begin this Sunday May 24, at St Rose at 10:00 am (live streamed) and 11:30 am at St Agnes.  Daily public Masses will resume on Monday May 25, at 9:00 am at St Rose, so as to continue to live stream for those unable to attend, and public funerals will resume the same day at both St Agnes and St Rose.  These past months have been a challenge for so many of us, and we are still in the midst of the Corona-virus Pandemic. Please know that I have been praying for you each day, for all of your intentions, especially at the daily and Sunday Masses, and on Wednesday at the Noontime prayers for parishioners, the sick, dying, and deceased which we will continue to live stream each week. 

 

Who should attend Mass?

While Sunday Mass is an essential part of our faith, during these extreme times of a worldwide pandemic Cardinal O’Malley has suspended the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.  I encourage people in vulnerable populations, especially the elderly and those with complicating physical conditions, and those who may not feel comfortable to attend at this time for whatever reason, and anyone who is sick or has any symptoms, to continue to watch Mass from their homes via live stream for now.  If for any reason you feel nervous about attending Mass at this time, please enjoy the Mass from home on TV or live streamed.  We will miss you in person and will look forward to the day we can be together.

We will continue to keep the churches open daily from 8:00 am-8:00 pm, for parishioners to make a visit to pray.  It is a beautiful way to find some time of peace and reflection. The churches are clean, and have been cleaned regularly, and re-sanitized each evening for the last 9 weeks. Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes continue to be available at each church for those who visit. 

 

What safety precautions are in place?

Returning to public Masses for now requires that we follow the rules set down by the Archdiocese of Boston and by the Governor for everyone’s safety and peace of mind.  These include the wearing of a mask in the church, social distancing, keeping the church attendance to 40% of the capacity, omitting communal singing for now, and asking those who are experiencing any flu like symptoms to remain home, among other things.  I am so thankful to the group of parishioners, led by the Pastoral Council, who have volunteered to serve as greeters, and ushers for this Sunday.  They will greet you as you arrive to the church and assist you in being seated.  Professional cleaners will sanitize the church prior and after Mass. We have worked hard to assure that both churches are open for public Mass this weekend.   

Please see the links to the Archdiocesan and Massachusetts State Statements related to reopening, after this message.

 

Instructions/requirements of the Archdiocese of Boston on the Distribution of Holy Communion during Mass:

There will be only one Communion station . 

Some parishioners may decide not to receive Holy Communion. 

The communicants and the priest will wear masks during the distribution of Holy Communion. The priest will not wear a mask in the Sanctuary. He will only wear a mask for the distribution of Holy Communion. 

Neither the priest nor the communicants should wear gloves during the distribution of Holy Communion.

Congregants who are not coming forward to receive Holy Communion or a blessing should still get out of their pews at the beginning, so that no one will have to climb over anyone else.

The priest will have a table next to him with hand sanitizer.

The priest will hold the consecrated Host over the communicants’ outstretched hands and drop the Host into their hands without touching their hands.

Communicants will receive the consecrated Host in their hands, step to the side, lower their mask, consume the host, replace their mask, and return to their pew.

In the case of unintentional contact, the priest will sanitize his own hands immediately.

There will be tape on the floor to show where to stand as a communicant approaches to receive communion. There also will be tape on the floor to show where to stand to demask and consume the Host, and arrows showing how to return to the pews.

At the conclusion of Mass, row by row exiting will be directed by the ushers.

 

Closing Remarks

Months ago, I would never have imagined that I would be learning to be a pastor in the middle of a pandemic!  These are certainly interesting and challenging times for everyone. It is my faith in God, and His care for us that keeps me grounded.  A few months ago I wrote to you about the importance of asking God to show us the graces He had in store for us through this difficult situation. I have thought a lot about that during these days. I’d like to share with you two graces I have seen in the lives of parishioners. First, I have seen families spend time together that they seemingly would not have spent previously, and with many important developments in family relationships. Secondly, I have seen people pray more and reflect more deeply upon what is most important in life and to reevaluate how they use their time and energy. It is my prayer that as we slowly reopen the parishes, and God willing, our “normal” lives, we will be able to do so remembering the graces we have received during this difficult ongoing pandemic. The most important thing in our lives is our relationship with God and the most important goal in our lives is Heaven. Let’s always prioritize our lives accordingly to these truths. 

 

I continue to ask God to send His holy angels to protect us from all harm. I ask Our Lord Jesus, the Divine Physician, to heal the sick, console and strengthen the dying, and receive our deceased loved ones into His Mercy.

I look forward to seeing you at Mass when you are able to return, and I hope to recognize you even while you are wearing a mask!

May St Agnes and St Rose of Lima intercede for us and may Our Lord give us every blessing.

Your Brother in Christ,

Father Dan Hennessey

Pastor

 

Link to working committee instructions for reopening here.

 

Link to Statement of Archdiocese on reopening here

 

Link to State of Massachusetts instructions and checklist here

 

 

Update #11 - April 10, 2020

Usually the parish Easter offertory collection goes to the Boston Clergy Health and Retirement Trust.

Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on parishes,  all general donations received for Easter that are not designated to the Clergy Benefit Trust will be used for the benefit of the parish. If you send in a special Easter envelope that designates the Clergy Benefit Trust as recipient, someone from theparish will contact you to ask if the parish may use this donation for parish general operations because of the current situation.

Online donations to the parish can be made by clicking this link: tci.church/give

 

Update #10 - April 10, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

I hope this message finds you well.

These days we celebrate Holy Week together. Yesterday we celebrated Holy Thursday, the day that Jesus, at the Last Supper, instituted the Holy Eucharist of His Body and Blood, and the ordained priesthood for the service of His Church.  It is this day also on which Jesus gave us the command to love one another as He has loved us, signified by His washing of the feet of the disciples. I am thankful to Jesus for allowing me to share in the gift of His Priesthood, and for placing me to serve as your pastor. Today, as we celebrate Good Friday, on which we acknowledge the saving Passion of Christ, we do so under very unique circumstances.  

The circumstances of the Coronavirus pandemic are unprecedented and very difficult for so many of us in so many ways.  Now is the time to turn all the more to God for strength, guidance, and confidence. There is the natural inclination to jettison the “non-essential” things in times of stress or uncertainty.  Prayer, and our relationship with God and His Church are among the “essential activities” of our lives. Although we are not able to gather for Mass, which is particularly difficult during Holy Week and Easter, we want to turn all the more to God in prayer now. All Holy Week Services are being live streamed on our website.

As you can easily imagine, the Coronavirus epidemic, and the suspension of almost all our parish activities is having not only a social and spiritual impact on us, but also a financial impact.  Like many organizations we had to take serious measures to lessen the financial deficit which we will realize at the end of the fiscal year. Last week saw the lay off of two full time staff members (Director of Music Ministry, David Wanner, and Director of Youth Faith Formation, Steven Antonio), and the temporary reduction of wages of five other staff members. We pray for all of those affected by job loss or reduction.

Even with these measures, we are still affected by loss of income through sacramental offerings, donations and gifts, and drastically reduced weekly collection.  I am thankful for all of those who have been able to continue to contribute via online giving, mail, and dropping off contributions.  I estimate that we currently are receiving 25% of our usual weekly collection.

I understand that now is a very difficult time financially for many parishioners and that some people are not able to give financially as they would like to.  This should not in any way diminish anyone’s ability to contribute to our parish family because there are other ways to give that are not financial. With this in mind, I would like to invite you to consider in what way God is asking you to offer your Time, Talent, and Treasure to your parish community at this time. Giving in this way is biblically based in our Catholic tradition whereby we offer back to God a portion of what He has given to us, to honor God, alleviate those in need, and be reminded that all we have is a gift. 

This past week a group of parishioners gathered together virtually via computer, and spoke with me about their ideas of how to address the financial deficit we will face this year at both parishes.  The conversation was very helpful in thinking about how we as a parish community can contribute to our respective parishes using our God-given Time, Talent, and Treasure.

With this in mind I invite you to consider the Time, Talent and Treasure Opportunities, which essentially ask you to consider giving of yourself in one of these ways:

Time and Talent: Would you like to participate in one of the following activities/ministries as a participant or leader? Even though the Coronavirus pandemic limits our ability to gather in person and to participate or lead a lot of the activities listed below, now is an excellent time to be creative in the ways we can plan, and organize now and in the future. 

Ways right now to give of your time and talents include: 

  • Landscaping/Gardening Team
  • Cleaning/Sanitizing of Church Building Team
  • Homebound ministry and outreach
  • Vacation Bible School
  • Parishioner contact outreach

To participate in one of these opportunities now, please click here or go to tci.church/t3.

As a reminder we have in place these ministries and activities, in which you can participate: Lector, Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, Usher, Altar Server, Religious Education/Faith Formation, Youth Ministry, Prayer Group, Saint Mother Teresa Homebound Ministry, Church/Altar Beautification Ministry, Children's Liturgy of the Word at Mass (Pathfinders), RCIA Program, Bible Study, Religious Book Club, Buildings and Grounds Team, Ladies Group, Men’s Group, Knights of Columbus, Ladies of Saint Agnes, Collection Team, etc.

To participate in one of these opportunities, please click here or go to tci.church/t3.

Treasure: Would you like to give financially to the parish by gathering with others to meet or exceed the weekly Treasure Opportunity?  The Treasure Opportunity is a weekly amount that each parish needs in order to sustain itself during these difficult financial times. In order to close the financial gap in this year's operating budgets (approximately $50,000 per parish) before the end of June, a group of parishioners have stepped forward to help match a portion of your contributions. To participate in this opportunity, please click click here.

During these days of Holy Week, I want you to know how blessed I feel to serve you as your priest.  I never imagined that my first Holy Week with you would be like this, and I hope it is the last one like this! But I am encouraged by our Faith, and the truth that God never abandons us and that “all things work for good for those who love God.”(Romans 8:28)  I am trying to keep my mind and my heart open to understand what the Lord is saying to us all through these experiences and how to best respond as a man of faith. I invite you to spend time this week thanking the Lord for all that He did for us in His Passion and for the grace to share even now in the fruit of His Resurrection.

 

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Daniel Hennessey

Pastor

 

Update #9 - April 7, 2020

As we enter in the Triduum, our Mass schedule will be changing for the weekend. All Masses and services will be live streamed and are not to be attended in person, as public Mass remains suspended due the COVID-19 outbreak.

Holy Thursday - April 9

7PM: Mass of the Lord's Supper

Good Friday - April 10

3PM: Good Friday Service

7PM: Friday of the Passion of the Lord

Holy Saturday - April 11

8PM: Easter Vigil Mass

Easter Sunday - April 12

10AM: Easter Sunday Mass

 

Update #8  - March 31, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

I hope you are doing well, even as we all experience the uncertainty of these times. Please know that I am praying for you and that I am available to you if you would like to reach me.  You can contact me at the parish office phone number at 978-774-1958, X105 or at fdh@theci.me.  Both ways of communication go directly to me.

I write to update you on a two things and to ask you to consider one thing:

  • In addition to our regular day for confessions I am adding time for the Sacrament of Confession, so the current schedule is this:
    • Monday 5:00 pm-7:00 pm at St Rose Hall.  Please enter the Hall through the Church or through the outside door located where the Church and Hall meet.
    • Friday 4:30 pm-6:30 pm at St Agnes Church.  Please enter through the main door of the Church and find me in the Sanctuary area near the Altar
    • Saturday 10:00 am- 12:00 Noon at St Rose. Please find me standing outside in nice weather or in the Church Hall during inclement weather.
  • I want to thank you again, those who have been dropping off/sending in a weekly collection, or who are currently giving through the online giving through our web site.  Your weekly contribution is very important during this unprecedented time. 
  • I would like to present this for your consideration:
    • There is an initiative that was created by a Catholic man on the North Shore whereby parishioners can make donations to supplement the regular weekly collection of our parishes during these difficult times.  It is intended to be a limited time daily donation (for 90 days) in which people are able to go on line  to sign up to donate a certain amount over 90 days.  It is called: "90 Days NOW--For your Parish" , and allows you to go on line quickly and sign up to give any amount you determine over the next 90 days.   The link is available by clicking here or using this link: https://bcatholic.sites.bostoncatholic.org/form/giving-form?fid=4916
    • This initiative is not intended to replace the usual way of contributing weekly, but is intended to help with additional contributions at this time

Thank you for considering this.

As I have mentioned in past updates, please know of my prayers for you and that if you need anything, please do not hesitate to contact me. In my next update I will take the opportunity to share with you the schedule of Masses and services for Holy Week, which will be done via live streaming.

 

Your Brother in Christ,
Father Daniel Hennessey

Pastor

 

Update #7  - Marrch 27, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

 

I hope and pray that this message finds you well.  I want you all to know of my prayers for you and your loved ones during this time, especially for your spiritual and physical protection.  I want to share with you a few things:

If any sacramental emergency arises, or you need to contact me for any reason, please call me at 978-774-1958, extension 105. The parish offices are currently closed until further notice. You can also send me an email at fdh@theci.me

  • We have put together an online prayer request line that goes only to me, at which any parishioner can make a request for prayers.  You can send me your prayer requests at this link here.
  • Daily Mass is celebrated and live streamed here, Monday through Saturday at 9:00 am.
  • Sunday Mass is celebrated and live streamed here, Sunday at 10:00 am.
  • Stations of the Cross and Lenten Book Club are being done by Zoom and you can register here.  It will be on Friday's at 7:00 pm, beginning tonight.
  • Eucharistic Adoration is available in the churches Saturday from 4:00-8:00 pm, and Sunday from 8:00 am - 8:00 pm.

Although weekend Public Masses are suspended until further notice, our parish expenses still remain relatively constant.  I am so grateful to those parishioners who have made online gifts or dropped an offering off to the rectory or parish offices.

I invite all parishioners to consider beginning online giving (you can learn more and/or sign up here), or dropping your weekly offering to the parish offices mailbox (the box is black and located on the building itself at 22 Boston Street, Middleton) or by dropping your weekly offering to the St Rose Rectory mailbox or door at 17 Prospect Street, Topsfield.


During these days, be assured of my prayers for you.  I look forward to the day we can celebrate Mass together in our churches!

 

Your Brother in Christ,

Father Daniel Hennessey

 

 

Update #6

Dear Parishioners,

 

Happy Feast of Saint Joseph. Saint Joseph is the patron Saint of the Universal Church and also the protector of the Child Jesus and Mary. He is a great saint for us to turn to these days asking him to intercede for us during these uncertain and difficult times.

 

I write today to update you on the parishes and in what ways we are able to continue to minister in these challenging days.

Although we are not able to gather for public Mass yet, I have been celebrating Mass each day at St Rose Church and live streaming it on our web site. You can access it by clicking here. Each day the intention of the Mass has been the same: For the spiritual and physical protection of all the parishioners of Saint Agnes and Saint Rose Parishes, for all those watching Mass by live stream and for the wider communities of Middleton, Topsfield, and Boxford. Although we are not having public Mass, we are still urging parishioners to contribute weekly via on-line giving (click here), or by post mail or by dropping the donation off to the rectory or office. No weekend collections will have a serious impact on the financial situation of our parishes.

  • Mass will be live streamed from Saint Rose Church each weekday at 9:00 am and each Sunday at 10:00 am.
  • Saint Agnes and Saint Rose churches are open daily from 8:00 am- 8:00 pm for you to make a visit if you like.
  • Each church is sanitized each evening after it is closed in prep for the next day.
  • Eucharistic Adoration (Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament) for personal prayer is available in both churches Saturday from 4:00-8:00 pm and Sunday from 8:00 am-8:00 pm.  You are welcome to come at any time for Adoration.
  • The Sacrament of Confession is available each Monday at Saint Rose Hall from 5-7 pm. This location allows for proper privacy and for enough space to follow the social distancing directives by the CDC. The hall can be accessed by using either the door from the church to the hall or by using the door from outside where the hall and church meet.
  • Weddings and baptisms are still taking place but so as to follow the directives given to us by the government and the Archdiocese Boston, they are to remain limited to immediate family and no more than 25 people in number at this time.
  • Faith Formation:
    • For students grade 1-8, please see the online virtual learning resources outlined here by the Director of Youth Faith Formation.
    • For students in grades 9 and 10, please visit tci.church/elevate
  • For those parishioners who are part of the Lenten Book Club, I am preparing a video you can watch on line of some reflections and summary of the book.
  • Interested parishioners may obtain a free 40 day subscription to Formed.org. It is an on line resource for education and formation in the Faith. To access a free subscription please click here for instructions.

Lastly, as we move forward these days I am made more aware of the need for us to be good to one another and to care for each other as best we can. There are so many ways we can reach out to each other by phone, text, on line and via media. It is important also to pray for each other and to know that God is with us. It is a time to turn all the more to God and to trust in His guidance and protection. I have often been consoled by the words of a priest who counseled me at a difficult time in my life many years before I became a priest. I was trying to understand why God would allow something bad to happen in my life and allow it to continue to exist and effect me as it did. He told me that it is good and natural for me to ask the question “why?” But it is often times more fruitful to ask the question “how?” He encouraged me to ask myself "How can I live and strive toward God in this situation at this time under these circumstances." That was very helpful to me. So I pass it on to you. Maybe we can each ask God how we can draw closer to Him and His Church at this time. How can we love those closest to us at this time? How can we be the face of Christ to others at this time, even if in some limited way.

 

May the Lord continue to bless and protect us and bring us back together for Mass soon.

 

Sincerely in Christ,

 

Father Dan Hennessey

Pastor

 

 

Update #5

Dear Parishioners,

I wanted you all to know that I will be celebrating a non-public Mass each weekday and it will be live-streamed on our web site for you to watch along and pray if you would like. It will be each day at 9:00amuntil we resume public Masses. 

Saint Agnes and Saint Rose Churches will be open each day from 8:00am to 8:00pm for anyone to make a visit. Saint Rose Church will be closed each day from 8:50am to 9:30am. 

If a Sacramental emergency arises in which a person needs to receive the Sacrament of the Sick in danger of death, please contact the parishes‘ office at anytime (978) 774-1958 and I will come to the sick person. 

Here is the Act of Spiritual Communion Prayer I recited at Mass, which you may enjoy praying:

 

Oh my Jesus,
I believe that You
are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament, the Eucharist.
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 I unite myself wholly to You
Never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.

God bless and be assured of my prayers.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Daniel Hennessey 

Pastor

 

Update #4:

As both churches continue to remain open for prayer, we will be offering Eucharistic Adoration this weekend. On Saturday, the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed at St. Agnes from 4pm-8pm and at St. Rose from 5pm-8pm. On Saturday, Adoration will occur from 8am-2pm at St. Agnes and 11am-6pm at St. Rose.

Saturday Adoration

St. Agnes: 4pm-8pm

St. Rose: 5pm-8pm

Sunday Adoration

St. Agnes: 8am-2pm

St. Rose: 11am-6pm

 

Update #3:

Dear Parishioners,

Please note that with the exception of 9:45-10:45am this Sunday morning at Saint Rose, both Saint Agnes and Saint Rose Churches will be open from 8:00am to 8:00pm daily until further notice.  Please see the statement frim Cardinal O’Malley below. 

 

On behalf of the Cardinal we want to inform you of a message he is requesting of each parish during these challenging days. This does not change the earlier directives regarding Mass. Thank you for your attention to this important message. 

Following the decision to temporarily suspend daily and Sunday Masses in the Archdiocese of Boston, Cardinal O’Malley has asked that all parishes provide for their churches be open every day during reasonable hours in order that the Catholic faithful and other members of the community can have the opportunity to visit the church for times of prayer. The Cardinal has also asked that when possible there be exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the churches. 

Cardinal Sean said,” When we visit our churches outside of Mass and see the red glow of the sanctuary lamp we know that Jesus is there with us. The presence of the Eucharist in the tabernacle and during times of Adoration is a sign that Jesus silently and lovingly waits for us, always ready to receive and console us. May our prayers in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament be a source of strength and peace until we can safely resume the celebration of Mass for all members of the Catholic community in our Archdiocese and all who would wish to join us at that time.”

 

In Christ,

Father Daniel Hennessey 

Pastor  

 

Update #2:

Dear Parishioners,

Following the directive given by Cardinal O’Malley this afternoon (see below), I announce to you that all Masses this weekend, and until further notice, are suspended and thus cancelled. During this time, and as noted below, all Catholics are dispensed from the obligation to attend Holy Mass on Sunday and are encouraged to view and pray along while watching Mass on TV or online if possible. I will celebrate a private Mass on Sunday at 10:00am on our website (click here) for anyone who would like to view it and pray along with me. This is a non-public Mass, during which the doors of the Church will be locked. I respectfully ask that no one come to the Church at that time. The Church will remain open each day as is the usual practice for private visits and prayer. Mass will also be available to stream on CatholicTV at http://www.catholictv.org/.

During this time let us pray for each other and turn all the more to Our Lord, especially praying for those who are directly impacted by this virus. 

All future updates will be available at our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cicatholic and on our webiste at https://www.tci.church/covid19/.

 

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Daniel Hennessey 

Pastor

Message From Cardinal Seán O'Malley: https://rcabrisk.org/2020/03/13/3-13-20-cardinals-message/

Update #1

Dear Parishioners,

I hope this note finds you well.

Today, I write to share with you some updates regarding our parishes and the constantly changing situation of the Coronavirus epidemic.

Especially in the midst of these unprecedented times, it is good for us to turn to the Lord for guidance and strength, and to ask for protection from all harm. It is good for us also to use our God given reason and knowledge of science and best practices to minimize exposure to ourselves and others, of this virus.

Cardinal O’Malley has given clear directives as to how pastors and parishes are to proceed in these days. You will find a link at the end of this message to read his statement and the statement by the Archdiocese of Boston Risk Management Department. I ask you to please review these statements for your own information. 

Our local, state and federal governments, and school systems have made decisions with regard to the public common good. You will find a link to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at the end of this message.

Having taken the current situation into mind and having reviewed the directives from government and Church officials, I would like to share with you some updates regarding our programs and parishes at this time:

•Weekend Masses: This weekend —March 14/15, and each weekend thereafter until further notice—all our Masses will take place as scheduled, with the following notes:

•The church gathering areas will be cleaned, using appropriate disinfectant, at the completion of each Mass.

•The missalette/song books and worship aids will be removed from the pews so as to minimize the chance of passing on germs from person to person.

•The Holy Water fonts will be drained, cleaned, and remain empty.

•At Mass, Communion received on the tongue is suspended. All those who come forward to receive the Eucharist should receive in their hands.

•Exchange of the Sign of Peace is suspended.

•Invitation to greet fellow parishioners prior to Mass is suspended.

•Mass will be celebrated in such a way so as to minimize the time spent in the building, omitting all music. Each Mass will take approximately 25-30 minutes.

•At the completion of Mass, I, or a visiting priest, will omit greeting people with a hand shake as they exit the church.

•Weekday Masses will continue as scheduled following the same liturgical guidelines outlined for weekend Masses.

•Sacrament of Reconciliation will remain as scheduled, and will take place in the respective church buildings outside the confined space of the Confessional room.

•Religious Education/Youth Faith Formation: All Programs (Grades 1-10) are suspended until further notice, as we assess this continually changing situation.

•For those who had previously registered for the Merrimack Valley Catholic Youth Conference, refunds have been initiated and should appear in your accounts in 7-10 business days.

•First Communion scheduled for May 2 and May 9 will remain on the schedule. Families will be notified of any change in schedule no later than Easter Sunday,April 12.

•Stations of the Cross on Friday’s at St Rose and at St Agnes will continue as scheduled.

•Book club, on Friday’s at St Rose and at St Agnes, is suspended until further notice.

•The Second Annual Youth Ministry Fundraiser scheduled for March 26 will be postponed until the Fall (date to be announced shortly) More Info Here

•All homebound visits, with the exception of those in need of the Sacrament of Holy Anointing by the priest, in danger of death, are suspended. 

•All public events such as dinners, lunches, and social gatherings are suspended. 

•So as to minimize the impact and spread of the virus, and to protect others from contracting the virus, any parishioner who reasonably may have been exposed to the Coronavirus, or who has any symptoms whatsoever associated with the flu, is asked to please remain at home.

At Saint Rose Church we enjoy the option of live streaming from the Church, 24 hours a day. This means that at any time you can go on line to this web site, and see the Church, and hear the audio as it comes through the speaker system. Because of this, I encourage any parishioner who is unable to attend Mass to watch (and pray) Mass as it is live streamed from Saint Rose Church if at all possible.

As mentioned, these times are unprecedented and can be for many people a time of fear and uncertainty. I myself am encouraged by the words of Scripture and my personal experiences which teach me that it is precisely at times like these that we can turn confidently to The Lord, who knows our every need and who loves us. In the Second Reading for Mass this Sunday Saint Paul states, “Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, died at the appointed time for the ungodly...God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5) There is nothing outside of His love for us, so we should all the more turn to Him now. This situation reminds me of our need for God.

Please know of my prayers for you. May Saint Agnes of Rome and Saint Rose of Lima intercede for us always, and especially at this time.

Your brother in Christ,

Father Daniel Hennessey, Pastor
 

Cardinal O’Malley’s statement: https://www.thebostonpilot.com/amp_article.asp?ID=187098

Archdiocesan directives: https://rcabrisk.org/2018/07/25/parish-safety-program/

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html

St. Rose Live Stream: https://www.tci.church/live/

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