Dear faithful people of God,
With all praise and thanksgiving to Our Lord of heaven and earth I would like to inform you we will be allowed to publicly resume Masses begin on Monday May 18th. We will once again be able to gather and be together for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass while still maintaining social distancing. I ask for you continued patience and generosity as we make this transition knowing that each of us will need to make adjustments on how we do things. There will be many things to put in place for precautions and to make sure we are maintaining cleaning/sanitizing/disinfecting procedures that will keep us safer.
As we hunger and yearn for the Holy Eucharist, I ask that you please consider others and try to maintain healthy habits that will keep all of us safe. If you are over 65 or have health concerns that would put you or others at risk, please be aware that the dispensation of Bishop Spalding for the Sunday precept is still in effect until June 30, 2020. If you fall under this category remain home. Part of our planning is to figure out how we can have possible family members trained to take Holy Communion to their at risk loved ones. We will also have to continue following the social distance guidelines and prepare the Church to keep these guidelines while we are in Mass. We are only allowed to gather at 50% of our capacity at this time. Therefore, Holy Rosary will only be able to fit safely around 100 people for each Mass. I will send out the specific plan this Wednesday for the return of public Masses at Holy Rosary and our procedures and protocol that we will follow.
Please share this information with those who do not have access to social media, think of who these individuals may be, please think about who these individuals may be and reach out to them to inform them.
“For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”John 6:55-58
Until May 18, Holy Rosary will continue to be open for private prayer from 8am – 8pm daily.
My Dear People of God,
Over the past several weeks we have all faced unique and unprecedented challenges. In addition to the general stress and anxiety of the current health crisis, we have also had to go without the consolation of the public celebration of Mass. Recognizing that the nature of the situation has necessitated this decision, does not make the pain and sorrow any less real. The temporary cessation of public Masses I announced on March 17th was one of the most difficult decisions of my time as bishop. In saying this, I want to express my gratitude for the kindness, patience, and understanding of those who have embraced this decision with humility and trust.
As restrictions on public activities and gatherings begin to ease, it is my great joy to announce that we will begin a journey to resume the public celebration of Mass beginning on Monday, May 18. While a cause for celebration, it is important to recognize at the same time that these first steps are not simply an open call to return as normal. The risk of COVID-19 remains significant, especially to seniors and persons with existing health concerns. As we return to Mass, we must continue to embrace the responsibility of protecting the health and well-being of all in our community. With that in mind, although parishes may resume public Masses beginning May 18th, some pastors may prudently decide to wait a few more weeks. We are blessed with a great variety of parishes in this diocese, and that diversity allows for a certain adaptability. We especially do not want to put anyone at undue risk from a hasty or ill-prepared reopening. Our return to church must be measured, prudent, and gradual, as we responsibly respond to the situation.
As we embark on this joyful and yet challenging new journey in the life of our diocese, there are a few points I would like everyone to keep in mind:
- The ongoing risk of COVID-19 will necessitate some adjustments to the way we are used to celebrating Mass. This may at times lead to discomfort and frustration. The patience and charity of all involved will be essential to handling these changes well. In the coming weeks, let us not lose sight of what a blessing it is to be able to be able to celebrate Mass as a community.
- As we come together, we should be respectful of the norms and guidelines concerning social distancing. These policies are most effective when we work together and are all on the same page. Expect guidance from your parish about strategies for monitoring the capacity of the church and for maintain proper spacing in the pews. Your attentiveness to these measures will help everyone in the community feel more comfortable and peaceful when returning to church.
- The dispensation from Sunday Mass remains in effect through June 30th. Those who have an active ongoing illness (including infection, flare of a chronic illness, etc.), anyone over the age of 65, those with a history of heart failure, lung disease, diabetes, ongoing malignancy, any immunosuppressive disorder, those on steroids or other immunosuppressive medications, those who have been advised by a health care professional not to attend Mass, and those who live with anyone with any health vulnerability, are strongly encouraged to remain at home at this time and refrain from attending Mass. Additionally, anyone who is worried that attending Mass would add undue stress or jeopardize their health or the health of a person with whom they live, are also encouraged to remain at home. I encourage pastors to continue the practice of live-streaming Masses in order to provide for the spiritual nourishment of those remaining at home.
- Similarly, I am encouraging pastors to offer special Masses on weekdays particularly for those 65 years of age or older. If you are a member of this vulnerable age group and wish to attend Mass, I strongly encourage taking advantage of these special Masses, even if you are in good health.
- Finally, please continue to pray! God is with us in this time of trial, and we should never lose sight of that. The inability to attend Mass has meant that many families have introduced new practices of family prayer into their homes. This has been an unexpected grace that has come in the midst of the current crisis. As we return to the communal celebration of Mass, I encourage you to preserve these new practices.
Thank you all for your continued support and cooperation. Please keep our diocese, our churches, and our schools in your prayers in this challenging time. You are all in my prayers as well.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend J. Mark Spalding, D.D., J.C.L.
Bishop of Nashville
Happy 4th Sunday of Easter!
May is the month of Mary and we as Catholics hold this month to honor Our Blessed Mother. Mary is the Icon of God’s love, she is an image or mirror of God’s love.
“Mary’s greatness consists in the fact the she wants to magnify God, not herself.”Pope Benedict XVI
We too are called to be an example of God’s love. If we were to ask ourselves the question, How have we done in this area of being an image God’s love? Would we be happy with our answer.
When circumstances are difficult or different that we are used too, do we still radiate God’s love? If we have been out lately for some of our essentials, have we been short with people or selfish with our needs and not thinking of others needs also? Mary was continually open for God to fill her with His love and after being filled with His love shared this with everyone, so that they to may experience this immense love God has for His beloved children. May we always be humble as Mary is humble, so that we truly can be an image of God’s love to the world. I encourage you to pray the Rosary every day asking for us to receive, as Mary did, God’s grace to be the mirror of His love.
On Tuesday the Presbyteral Council met with the Bishop to discuss the plans for slow opening of public events. The discussion was very good and many ideas, concerns, ideas, suggestions were shared with the bishop and council. Bishop Spalding has informed us that he has spoke to the mayor and governor expressing his concern of our churches being considered equal to some other essential businesses, expressing that we are unique and are essential. I will keep you informed on this process and ask you each to continue and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide our bishop and priests as we try to shepherd the flocks that have been entrusted to us.
As you know this pandemic has caused many people to experience financial hardships, please pray for those who have lost their jobs or have had their income reduced. One thing I would like to express to you at this time is our need to make sure the Church is maintained, so that it may continue operating, and not put a financial strain on the parish. The regular upkeep and maintenance continue and I ask that you please continue to be aware of the parish’s financial needs to keep the parish operating. Your generosity is greatly appreciated and will be rewarded. I share this information to keep you informed on the life of our parish and to keep you aware of our needs. Our weekly budget for the Church is $12,000.
Our collections have had a couple weeks where we reached our weekly budget, however there are several weeks where it has dropped several thousand or even a couple weeks was even cut in half. As every home owner knows it is not only the mortgage payment that needs to be made every month, but also all of the regular expenses continue to be there. Please keep our parish in your prayers and continue to generous so that we can continue to grow and share the message of Jesus Christ!
In Christ, through Mary,
A message from Bishop Spalding:
The bishops of the United States and Canada have made plans for the renewal of the consecration of the United States to the care of the Blessed Mother Mary.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ prayer service will be broadcast at https://lacatholics.org/consecration on Friday, May 1, 2020, at 12 pm PDT / 3 pm EDT. The service will also be livestreamed via the USCCB’s website at http://www.usccb.org/consecration.
Please know that this has my support and I encourage those who can to participate.
I have attached the Order of Worship for this service in both English and Spanish.
Sincerely in Christ,Most Reverend J. Mark Spalding
Bishop of Nashville.
UPDATE: Here is the broadcast of the livestream
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.” (Heb 13:8) We have an awesome, powerful, all loving God who never changes and desires to transform our hearts and souls into perfect witnesses of His grace. Life is full of changes and our journey with the Lord invites us to change or a conversion daily.
Frequently we forget or choose not to think about the need for our change. Think for moment about an experience you have had that disrupts or interrupts your life. When interruptions come into our life we can either embrace it, adapt to it, or turn away and remain doing the same thing we were doing previously.
God is always calling us to conversion through receiving His perfect grace and truth. The truth that will set us free. As our current situation transitions I would like to update you on Bishop Spalding’s newest decree. Bishop has extended lifting our obligation to attend Mass until June 30th. On Tuesday the bishop and some priests will meet to discuss a roll out plan for how to transition back to public Masses and other sacraments. I will keep you posted on how this process will play out. Stay tuned 🙂
We have taken down the corner house which is part of our future plans for more parking, that is specifically reserved for our senior parishioners, parishioners who have disabilities, and for expectant mothers. We hope to be able to better serve them and their growing needs to help them to be apart of this amazing parish family.
Easter and May are a time for the Sacraments of Baptism, 1st Holy Communion, Confirmation, and graduations. THESE SACRAMENTS AND EVENTS WILL STILL HAPPEN IN THE NEAR FUTURE. We are trying to adapt and improvise how and when they will take place, forwarding you these dates as soon as they are able to be decided.
Recently I have spoke with many people, parishioners and others, many of them described to me that they have a great sense of fear that has been consuming them constantly. CATHOLICS DO NOT LIVE IN FEAR! We have Jesus Christ who is God of the universe and has won the battle over the devil. Remember when Jesus appears to the Apostles and immediately He greets them with, “DO NOT BE AFRAID.”
By placing our trust in Jesus we believe He has won the victory over the devil so that we may live in His freedom and love forever! WE MUST BE COURAGEOUS AND PUT OUR TRUST IN GOD ALONE! May we draw strength from the wisdom of St. Paul when he says,
“I charge you in the presence of God and of Jesus Christ who is the judge the living and the dead..: preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, amd exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.”(2 Tim 4:1- 4)
Love and prayers,
My Dear People of God,
For the last five weeks, we have been experiencing an unprecedented time of modified ministry necessitated by the worldwide health crisis, and I have rejoiced in the faithfulness that you have shown in continuing to foster your relationship with Christ and his Church. As you know, the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass and the cancellation of all public celebrations of Mass and other gatherings are currently effective through today, April 24.
In order to permit all of you to exercise prudent care over your health and wellbeing and charity towards others, I am extending the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation through June 30. Even when public Masses have resumed, I encourage those who are vulnerable, sick, or otherwise at risk or concerned about contracting or spreading disease, to refrain from attending Mass. Those who do choose to return to Mass should observe all guidelines concerning social distancing and diligent hygiene. We will also be continuing to provide resources for growth in your life of Faith, and opportunities to watch celebrations of Mass online.
No doubt you have heard some of our civic leaders discussing the possibility of restarting public activities in Tennessee in the coming weeks and months. In light of those intentions, I would like to announce to you today that we have begun developing plans to phase back in the public celebration of Mass and other church activities here in the Diocese of Nashville. This is a fluid and rapidly changing situation with ongoing developments that are hard to predict. While it will not be possible to resume the public celebration of Mass immediately, we hope to consider beginning modified celebrations of Mass open to the public in mid-May. I will be discussing the specific dates involved, health and safety precautions, and any necessary modifications to the Liturgy, with the Council of Priests in our meeting next week. Once this discussion has taken place, further details of when and how we will resume our public liturgical life will be forthcoming.
As I have assured you throughout this time, please know of my sincere love and concern for all of you and your families. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Let us pray together that this time of renewed optimism for an end to this time of crisis may soon be brought to fulfillment by the power of God’s loving care and providence.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend J. Mark Spalding, D.D., J.C.L.
Bishop of Nashville