This Sunday, April 19th, we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, culminating the Easter Week and the Easter Sunday Octave (8-day-long Easter solemnity). This Feast is a unique opportunity given to the faithful by Christ Himself as presented in the Diary of St. Faustina to obtain grace of the total forgiveness of sins and remission of temporal punishments (no purgatory) for ourselves now and special graces for souls in purgatory. (Diary, 699) It is the time of God’s Mercy upon us. This year, because of COVID-19 severe group worship restrictions, some of the conditions to receive the grace of the Great Divine Mercy Sunday Promise by Jesus of total forgiveness of all sins and incurred Purgatory punishments are slightly different. The same conditions of Sacramental Confession and Holy Communion apply. However, since there is no possibility of receiving the needed sacraments in person, a perfect Act of Contrition with a promise to go to Confession as soon as it is possible, and receiving Spiritual Holy Communion at home will also qualify to receive the grace.
Here are three great links to find out more about the specifics of the Divine Mercy Sunday Great Promise of Jesus to forgive all of our sins and purgatory punishments due to our sins: https://www.thedivinemercy.org/videos/what-do-divine-mercy-sunday-april-19-0, and
http://www.divinemercysunday.com/plenary_indulgence.htm, and https://www.thedivinemercy.org/celebrate/greatgrace/faq
Due to the cancellation of all Masses with congregation participation, our Easter flower decorations are a bit different this season. We have a stunning and spiritually inspiring and Easter storytelling display of a mini-Golgotha in the sanctuary. The church is open to see it and pray in front of the Risen Christ present in the Eucharist.
Catholic Charities Appeal continues. When mailing donation cards and checks to the parish office, please remember to include in the check memo our parish number “0507.” As of last week, our parish’s donated total is $15,895 or 46% of our goal. Thank you for your support of this needed cause.
A grateful thank you to all parishioners supporting our parish through mailing, dropping off, or direct electronic deposits. It greatly helps us to weather the storm of the COVID-19 congregational worship restrictions and it will help us to be ready to reopen the parish with all the staff and ministries hopefully in a few more weeks or when it is allowed.
Several days this past week, I walked (on average, 1- 3 miles per day) several streets within the boundaries of the parish with the Risen Christ in the monstrance, mostly by the homes and streets requested by parishioners. Thanks to all who requested Jesus to come and bless their home and street. Ours is a walkable parish, so if people are not allowed to come to celebrate the presence of the Risen Christ as a congregation, He comes to the people where they live. I will keep on walking with Jesus until people are allowed to congregate again at our church for Masses and liturgies. Please let me know if you want your house or street to be visited and blessed.
The Easter Season would be a perfect time to visit the church for safe individual prayer and to encounter the Risen Christ. We need to be close to Him more than ever, to keep the level of fear and anxiety low. Jesus is the best immune system booster we can imagine. The dreadful coronavirus causing COVID-19 illness is hardly a match for Christ. Our church is open for individual prayers daily from noon to 6pm. Eucharist is exposed on the altar daily from 3pm-4pm for private adoration. We pray the Chaplet daily at about 3:30 pm. The doors are either open or ajar, so there is no need to touch any doorknobs or handles. The doors and bathrooms are sanitized daily. The church is safe for private visits. Still, people over 60 and with underlying medical conditions should continue to self-isolate for at least the next few weeks as a precaution.
We continue to pray for all people affected by COVID-19, especially those who are sick, hospitalized, all the first responders, and medical personnel. Our hearts go out in prayerful support to all the families who cannot visit their loved ones in the nursing homes or hospitals. Our parish Divine Mercy Chaplet Prayer Warriors Ministry prays the Chaplet daily for all people dying or in danger of death, especially those with no access to the Sacraments of Confession and Anointing of the Sick. I suggest we offer any indulgencies we can obtain this Divine Mercy Sunday for all the souls of those who died without reconciling with God, the Church, and the people.
Jesus, I Trust in You.