We Are Here to Help!
If you are, or someone you know is, in need of assistance due to restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic, please contact the parish office. We will do our best to match your needs to our resources. Also, if you are willing to help in some way, please email Barb.
From Fr. Andrew:
Greetings, again, everyone.
It sounds as though results of the return to daily Mass for those select counties are largely positive. The diocese continues to formulate guidelines for us to use when we come back. I am thankful to the parish council for working on specifics for our own churches as well as the finance council on keeping us financially healthy.Does anyone else feel powerless and/or helpless throughout this trying time? If so, that might be a good thing. When we think we have it all together then something goes wrong, then what do we do if we think there is no one to whom we can go for help? Pride will ruin us and we cannot go wrong with humility. A saying of our Lord that keeps coming back to me: "When you have done all that is commanded you, say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty'" (Luke 17:10).
The Easter season ends with the celebration of Pentecost on Sunday.
From the treatise Against Heresies by St. Irenaeus, bishop:
"This was why the Lord had promised to send the Advocate: he was to prepare us as an offering to God. Like dry flour, which cannot become one lump of dough, one loaf of bread, without moisture, we who are many could not become one in Christ Jesus without the water that comes down from heaven. And like parched ground, which yields no harvest unless it receives moisture, we who were once like a waterless tree could never have lived and borne fruit without this abundant rainfall from above. Through the baptism that liberates us from change and decay we have become one in body; through the Spirit we have become one in soul."
From Bishop Joensen: Making Plans!
Bishop Joensen recently sent out an email in anticipation of reopening churches to public celebrations. There are a number of criteria to be met before that can happen. Here are a few main points:
~ Individual parishes will only be allowed to resume public weekday Masses when all required criteria are met. The diocese is tracking county specific data, to try to discern when it is prudent to resume public weekday Masses. We are being guided by the national guidelines for reopening, which direct us to watch for a 14-day decrease in positive COVID-19 tests, or a 14-day decrease in the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests.
~ Daily Mass will resume before Sunday Mass.
~When Mass is resumed, the general plan states:
a. Social distancing must be maintained throughout the Mass.
b. The worship space must be thoroughly disinfected between every Mass, following the cleaning guidelines prepared by the Diocese, which are based on CDC guidance.
c. Efforts are made to make the Mass as hygienic as possible, while respecting the integrity of the liturgy.
~ Even when we resume Mass, please know that with respect to the vulnerable members of our communities whom we want to protect and not spread the virus, the SUNDAY MASS OBLIGATION REMAINS SUSPENDED.
~ For those who will attend Mass, please make an occasional presence, and not a daily presence. This is an act of charity toward others, as it can allow more people to participate in daily Mass and better serve the common good.
~Only attend Mass at your own parish. Traveling to neighboring parishes creates a greater health risk for all, and hinders the diocese in its efforts to make the sacraments publicly available in the safest way possible.
For the full letter please go to https://www.dmdiocese.org/resources/worship/coronavirus .
A New Way to Tithe!
Our parish has been looking into offering online giving and we are currently able to offer this opportunity through the Catholic Foundation of Southwest Iowa. They have provided all parishes with a secure link: https://catholicfoundationiowa.org/make-a-donation/parishes-and-schools-relief/. Using the drop down menu, you can choose our parish (St. Mary/Holy Cross Parish - Elkhart) and make your donation. Contributions made through this platform will be treated as tithes to our parish. There are no fees associated with this, so ALL of your donation will go to our parish. The Foundation will send all gift acknowledgement letters.
COVID-19: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.
The link below leads to the diocesan website and Bishop Joensen's communication about the virus and a lot of other information.
Holy Mary, Comfort of Sick. Pray for Us.
~ St. Mary’s Church is open for private prayer Monday - Friday 8am to 8pm and from 10am to 8pm Saturday & Sunday.
~ Fr. Andrew will privately celebrate daily Mass and offer the Mass intention for the day. These Masses are not open to the public.
~ Private, one-on-one confession can be scheduled by appointment with Fr. Andrew (Fr.Andrew@saintmaryhc.org).
~ If it is necessary for you to come to the parish office, please contact Fr. Andrew or staff ahead of time to be sure someone is here, or make an appointment. Phone messages and email will be checked frequently, even when staff is not in the office, and your messages will be returned.
~Although we are not able to gather as a parish community here at St. Mary-Holy Cross, we will communicate through email, our website and our facebook page. If you have not already, please provide your email to Barb to receive updates from us as well as from Bishop Joensen.