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