COVID-19 Parish Updates

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

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

Update #8  - Marrch 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 978-774-1948, X105 or at  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:
    • 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



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

  • 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
  • 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 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




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.

God bless and be assured of my prayers.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Daniel Hennessey 



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 



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

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 and on our webiste at


Sincerely in Christ,

Father Daniel Hennessey 


Message From Cardinal Seán O'Malley:

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:

Archdiocesan directives:


St. Rose Live Stream:

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