Dear Family in Christ.
The spread of the coronavirus contagion has “hit home.” Accordingly, the Archbishop of Denver has decreed that all parishes cancel the public celebration of the Eucharist until April 1. However, Fr. Leopoldo and I will celebrate the Eucharist for the parish at 9:00 a.m. this Sunday, March 15. (Regrettably, we cannot invite you to attend. And we are not yet able to live-stream or record the celebration of the Eucharist; we are looking to do so next weekend.) We invite you to spend time on Sunday with your family, friends, and fellow parishioners in your neighborhood or small Christian community reading and reflecting on the readings for Sunday and making a prayerful spiritual communion with Jesus and the church. (The readings are: Exodus. 17:3-7; Psalm 95; Romans 5:1-2, 5-8; and John 4:5-42.)
Furthermore, I want to inform you that I have cancelled all parish services, activities, meetings, etc., for this weekend of March 14-15. Monday morning, I will meet with parish leadership to draft a plan for moving forward with the provision of prayer, pastoral, and parish services. The parish office does remain open for business.
Please keep informed of next week’s Notre Dame Parish’s prayer and ministry opportunities by regularly checking our parish website. It is the best source for information regarding our Christian community.
Know especially that I am praying for yours and you, the parish, and our Denver community at large. We pray for the sick, of course, but also for all our health care workers, government leaders, and all who are suffering economic loss because of the spread of the virus. We believe that the cross of Christ is God’s victory over illness, disease, sin, and death. Jesus is our divine physician—as St. Peter taught, “by his stripes we are healed” (I Peter 2:24). His Holy Spirit is our protector, for as we pray in the hymn Veni Creator Spiritus, “Far from us drive our deadly foe; true peace unto us bring; and through all perils lead us safe beneath thy sacred wing.”
Here is the prayer of spiritual Communion. “My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you in 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 unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.”
As we pray in the Church’s Votive Mass for the Sick, let us pray: “Almighty ever-living God, eternal health of believers, hear our prayers for your servants who are sick. Grant them, we implore you, your merciful help, so that, with their health restored, they may give you thanks in the midst of your Church. Amen.”
With my love. Devotedly. Father Ed