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April 4, 2020

Dear St. Francis de Sales parishioners,

Please know that in conjunction with the order that Governor Kemp issued to shelter-in-place, Bishop Konzen has put in directives for the Archdiocese.  In his directives he states:  "At this time, we cannot open churches for prayer or adoration and be in compliance with the mandate to shelter in place.  We are looking into ways to comply with the shelter-in-place order that would allow us to reopen our churches on a limited basis, but any activity that would encourage people to leave their homes between now and April 13 (the duration of Governor Kemp’s order), would be unwise."

 As such, please know that St. Francis de Sales will be closed until further notice.  The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass still continues to be offered for all our faithful.  However, palms will not be blessed or distributed this Palm Sunday.  We will hold on to them and hope to distribute them at a later time.

In addition, Bishop Konzen has given a dispensation for all Catholics in health care professions from the discipline of Fast and Abstinence on Good Friday, April 10, 2020.

The early Christians of the Church were under persecution, but they did not allow it to make them lose their peace with God.  Many of them persevered in their faith and won the crown of martyrdom and entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.  This is not a direct persecution on the Catholic Church.  Mass has not been suppressed and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass still continues.  This Palm Sunday, we should meditate on the Passion of Our Lord.  He offered up His sufferings and death for God’s greater glory and for our spiritual good.  Just as Our Lord told Pilate when He was condemned to Crucifixion, the only reason he had authority was because God gave it to him.  We know that God works through reality and we know that God is allowing these circumstances to occur and that they ultimately come from God.

This is the cross that God has laid upon us this Lenten Season.  We’re not all going to come down with a virus.  And we’re not all going to die from it.  But we do have to bear it.  And we need to offer up our sufferings great and small to Our Lord.  We don’t want to let this opportunity of bearing this cross and growing in virtue to pass us by.  We don’t want to lose our peace with God.  We need to spiritualize our challenges such that they are meritorious for us in gaining heaven.

You all remain in our prayers and are remembered fondly in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  May you have a Blessed Holy Week.

God bless you,

Fr. DeGuzman

Dear St. Francis de Sales parishioners,

Please know that as a directive from the Archdiocese, Bishop Konzen has postponed public Masses through the First Sunday of Easter (Low Sunday), April 19, 2020.  If we should be granted the ability to return to public gatherings sooner, we will, of course alter this plan.  As always, the priests continue to privately offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for your sanctification. 

Please also know that Cobb County has limited gatherings to ten persons.  The church is open daily from 8:00am – 5:00pm.  If there are already ten people in the church when you come to visit please come back at another time. 

Up to this time in Lent, Holy Mother Church has asked us to turn our eyes upon our own soul and look deep and search out our own shortcomings and sins.  This Passion Sunday, the Church asks us to raise our sights and fix our eyes on the olive grove in Gesthemane, the blood-strewn streets of Jerusalem, and the barren mount of Calvary, with its three crosses standing forth, black and cruel against a grey sky. 

In the Gospel for Passion Sunday, Our Lord angered His listeners by telling them He was the Eternal Son of God, and that, as such, He pre-existed their father Abraham.  The people took up stones to throw at Him and He hid himself and went out of the temple. 

It is a terrible thing to think that anyone would be so bold as to dare to stone the Savior of the world, the very Son of God.  But when we commit a deliberate mortal sin, we not only stone Him, but crucify the Son of God again.  We should resolve never to stone Our Lord by venial sin or crucify Him by mortal sin. 

“We ought to conform to God’s will in all public calamities such as war, famine, and pestilence, and reverence and adore His judgments with deep humility in the firm belief that, however severe they may seem, the God of infinite goodness would not send such disasters unless some great good were to result from them. Consider how many souls may be saved through tribulation which would otherwise be lost, how many persons through affliction are converted to God and die with sincere repentance for their sins.  What may appear a scourge and punishment is often a sign of great grace and mercy. 

As far as we are personally concerned, let us mediate well on this truth of our faith that the very hairs of our head are numbered (Matt. 10:30), and not one of them will fall except by the will of God.  In other words, we cannot suffer the least harm unless He wills and orders it.  Relying on this truth we can easily understand that we have nothing more or less to fear in times of public calamity than at any other time.  God can just as easily protect us in the mist of general ruin and despair as He can deliver us from evil while all around is peace and content.  The only thing we need to be concerned about is to gain His favor, and this is the inevitable effect of conforming our will to His.  Let us therefore hasten to accept from His hand all that He sends us, and as a result of our trustful surrender He will either cause us to gain the greatest advantages from our misfortunes or else spare us from them altogether.”  (Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence, The Secret to Peace and Happiness by Fr. Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure, S.J. and St. Claude de al Colobiere, S.J.) 

May God bless you,

Fr. DeGuzman

Dear St. Francis de Sales parishioners:

Thank you for your prayers and continued support of our parish.

As we know, in this season of Lent any penances and mortifications we impose upon ourselves are not necessarily to weaken our body, but to lift up our soul. And we know that the best penances for us to bear and accept are the ones that God Himself gives us. We know that God works through reality, and that He is allowing these events to take place for His greater glory and our own spiritual good. As such, we need to spiritualize these challenges such that we are able to uproot our vices, grow in virtue, and gain merit for heaven.

We know that to be a good Catholic we have to do more than just show up for Mass on Sunday and not think about God for the rest of the week. Our faith has to permeate our week and our lives.

As we have to practice social distancing, we cannot have too many people in too small a space. Therefore, we cannot have organized activities such as Rosary groups in the church or other group prayer. This does not mean that you cannot pray your Rosary. But if you do, please do so in silence to yourself. This also gives the opportunity for other parishioners to practice their private Lenten devotions such as Stations of the Cross, spiritual reading and meditation. Silence is conducive to prayer.

As you all know you have been dispensed from your Sunday obligation. The priests are still offering their daily Masses for you and we are available for confessions by appointment. This includes if you want to go to confession on Sunday. Confessions must be made by appointment. The church is open daily from 8am – 5pm and you are welcome to come in for prayer, but we cannot have too many people here at the same time.

You are encouraged to keep the Lord’s day holy and the whole week by watching the Latin Mass on livemass.net, reading through the Mass readings and meditating on them along with the daily readings in the Liturgical Year Project available on our website or other spiritual books. You are also encouraged to make spiritual communions and pray your family rosary.

We are approaching Laetare Sunday, halfway through Lent, when we read of the miracle Our Lord performed of the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes. The following week on Passion Sunday, Our Lord hid Himself, because they took up stones to cast at Him and He went out of the temple. We also know of His Passion and Death. But we also know of His Resurrection to everlasting life.

Holy Mother Church has been through epidemics before. That’s why we have those prayers. And we know that these trials too shall pass, giving us a renewed appreciation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and of Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Please know that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass still continues and that you are in our prayers and that we offer our private Masses for you during these times.

God bless you,

Rev. Joseph DeGuzman, FSSP
Pastor
St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church
587 Landers Drive SW
Mableton, GA 30126

ph. (770)948-6888

 

Dear St. Francis de Sales parishioners:

Please know that all public Masses in the Archdiocese of Atlanta including St. Francis de Sales are cancelled from March 17 - April 5 by order of Bishop Konzen.  You are dispensed from your Sunday obligation. You may stream the Latin Mass at livemass.net.

In addition all parish activities are cancelled during this time.  This includes CCD, Knights of Columbus, Legion of Mary, Inquiry class, confirmation class, Guild of St. Stephen, Squires, etc.

All meetings with priests will be conducted over the phone. Confessions are available by appointment. The church will be open daily from 8am - 5pm for prayer. Please practice social distancing. Adoration on Thursdays from 10am to 3pm is still available.

Please know that you are in our prayers and that the priests will be offering their private Masses for you during this time.

 

God bless you,

Rev. Joseph DeGuzman, FSSP

Pastor
St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church
587 Landers Drive SW
Mableton, GA 30126

MABLETON–This story about Ash Wednesday at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church appeared on WSB-TV's 11 pm news on Feb. 26, 2020.