To the faithful who I carry always in my heart
As of noon Monday 23rd March, all places of public worship are now closed on the directive of the Australian Government Phase 1.
I would like to take this opportunity to warn people that just as the government clearly stated that this is Phase 1, it also means that there will be a Phase 2. Further restrictions will come as the Virus runs its course. Personally, I believe these further restrictions will limit travel, and the ability to leave one’s home. Germany, Italy, the USA, and other countries are already doing this, so it may indeed happen here. We are living in uncharted territory here where things can change day by day, and hour by hour.
During the next months we must do what Our Lady asked us to do at Fatima. Basically, the message of Fatima can be distilled into four calls:
- PERMANENT CONVERSION, knowing that “The greatest obstacle to man’s journey towards God is sin, perseverance in sin, and, finally, denial of God (St. John Paul II, Homily in Fatima, May 13, 1982).”
- Life of PRAYER, including that of the HOLY ROSARY;
- REPARATION not only for our own sins but for the sins of the whole world
- SACRIFICES, for the living and the dead
Owing to the directive the Cowwarr Church is locked but access to Our Lord continues as Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is now on permanent Exposition in the entrance until this crisis is past.
I will continue to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as an act of Sacrifice and atonement to the Almighty Sine Populo, in private masses, in this Church every day and before mass I also pray the Litany for the end of Pestilence.
Our Ordinary, Msgr Carl Reid has sent out the following to his priests:
The Sunday obligation to attend mass is commuted, not suspended. In commuting the Sunday obligation, the faithful are required to “perform some other pious work.” The usual thing would be for you to encourage your faithful to reflect on the Scriptural readings of the Sunday (posted on our web site), perhaps to recite the Rosary, and certainly to make an Act of Spiritual Communion.
In the Bulletin last Sunday, I pointed out that there are ten things we as Catholics can do during this time of trial
- Watch or listen to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
- The Ordinariate mass, Msgr Carl is live streaming his daily mass on Facebook at 7.30am.
- If you worship un the Usus Antiquor and cannot attend mass it is streamed via the web. From the USA comes the Latin Mass http://livemass.net/.
- Ordinary form of the mass. EWTN broadcasts it daily: https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/daily-readings/
- Read the Mass readingsdaily. They can be found at https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/daily-readings/
- Read Magnificat. Temporarily online versions are available for free as a service to the Church (https://us.magnificat.net/free). This resource offers spiritual inspiration and the Mass readings.
- Pray the Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy, two of our most powerful prayers after the Mass.
- Say the Ordinariate daily office: http://prayer.covert.org/
- Have a Holy Hour in your own home chapel, or go to online for a listing of 13 chapels that broadcast adoration – https://virtualadoration.home.blog/.
- Pray the Litany as attached in a time of plague and pestilence: https://gippslandordinariate.wordpress.com/2020/03/23/litany-in-time-of-plague/
- Develop a devotion to the dying to help escort them safely into the arms of Jesus.
- Watch “The Veil Removed” (https://youtu.be/OOLZDaTgIaM) to deepen your appreciation of the Mass. This five-minute video removes the veil of this world to reveal the supernatural celebration of the Eucharist depicted in Revelation and given to us by Jesus at the Last Supper.
- Open your Bible and read it.
The Church, you and I, are, in a very real way with Christ on the Cross. We suffer the loss of Christ. Our lives are entwined with Christ and His Blessed Mother. If we suffer, we suffer along with The Blessed Virgin at the foot of the Cross. Unite your suffering to her, as she unites her suffering to Him. Use this time to draw closer to Christ.
I am looking at ways to bring consolation, and the sacraments to people. Bear with me as I try to fulfil the charge given to me as a priest. I will do my utmost to stay in contact, and bring the sacraments to those I can. However, even bringing the sacraments may be restricted in the future. I am planning sacramental visitations for people but these will of necessity not be every Sunday or even every week. They will occur when/if I am able.
Pray for our nation and an end to the scourge of the Virus; pray for our Church, our bishops, our priests; and pray for ourselves that we may walk with Christ to the Cross, and beyond. Take this time to offer oneself as an oblation, a living sacrifice to God the Father. Now is the time to pray, do penance, and become Holy.
We know we will get through this God has already won. We will emerge stronger in the faith, more resilient, and Christ centred. One of the obstacles through this time of trial is ongoing financial burdens placed on our parish such as insurance, and upkeep of the parish car etcetera. If you would like to continue to gift your collection to the parish:
- BBB: 633000
- Account: 161730056
- Ref: Put your name as a reference
Ask for help if you need it, share if you have surplus, give to God His due, and to your neighbour your love. May God bless all of you, and those you love. I remain your servant in Christ.
There is also granted a Plenary Indulgence during this time of plague. The below is an excerpt from the Apostolic Penitentiary.
Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary on the granting of special Indulgences to the faithful in the current pandemic, 20.03.2020
…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.
This Apostolic Penitentiary also willingly grants a Plenary Indulgence under the same conditions on the occasion of the current world epidemic, also to those faithful who offer a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, or Eucharistic adoration, or reading the Holy Scriptures for at least half an hour, or the recitation of the Holy Rosary, or the pious exercise of the Way of the Cross, or the recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, to implore from Almighty God the end of the epidemic, relief for those who are afflicted and eternal salvation for those whom the Lord has called to Himself.
The Church prays for those who find themselves unable to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and of the Viaticum, entrusting each and every one to divine Mercy by virtue of the communion of saints and granting the faithful a Plenary Indulgence on the point of death, provided that they are duly disposed and have recited a few prayers during their lifetime (in this case the Church makes up for the three usual conditions required). For the attainment of this indulgence the use of the crucifix or the cross is recommended (cf. Enchiridion indulgentiarum, no.12).
May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and of the Church, Health of the Sick and Help of Christians, our Advocate, help suffering humanity, saving us from the evil of this pandemic and obtaining for us every good necessary for our salvation and sanctification.