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March 22, 2020 - Fourth Sunday of Lent

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

WOW. As I type this Pastor’s Article it is the Feast Day of Saint Joseph and we are on day three of no public Masses, no meetings and activities, and no school. It feels so strange to be on this property 24 hours a day (except for the occasional grocery store visit) and not see so much going on that normally is. It is heartbreaking for me really.

This past Monday, after watching the morning news, I realized we were heading to this closure here in Connecticut. I even said to those who attended the 9AM Mass on Monday that it might be the last public Mass for some time. Later that morning I received this communication from the Archbishop (see inset below).

When I received this notice it stung. While I thought it was coming, to see it actually happen was sad and painful. In these unprecedented times, such a call seems to go against our inclinations. In a time of crisis, we turn to our faith. We preach that God is bigger than human fear! Think of all the historical moments of crisis, war, terrorism, health scares: the churches were flooded with people turning to their faith as the source of strength and comfort. People are anxious. People are in need of support. People are fearful. They need prayer and connection. And yet, as the experts have indicated, large group gatherings are a hotspot for the spread of disease. Despite our best efforts at limiting contact during the Mass, with the elimination of the exchange of the sign of peace, and the encouragement of all to receive Holy Communion in the hand, the best way, sadly, at this point, at this moment, is to keep people apart right now.