March 27th

Please note: events are changing fast and even daily, so the following information is subject to change at any time. Stay tuned to our website for more updates in the time ahead.

Today is Friday, March 27th:

Here is an update:

• Today, Friday, March 27th at 1pm EDT Pope Francis prayed for the world and he imparted what is called the “Urbi et Orbi” blessing. It took place in Saint Peter’s square, which was empty of people. There may be reruns of this on EWTN or Catholic TV but I am not sure.

• Confirmation students and families: we will get a letter out to our students and families about confirmation in the next week. It looks at this time that confirmation will be in the Fall pursuant to Diocese guidelines. We will have more information in time.

• First Communion students and families: Our First Communion Mass for our second graders is postponed at this time. Right now it will be up to each parish to reschedule. As soon as we can determine when Masses will be allowed, we will get First Communion rescheduled. At this point today it will be at a time to be determined. We also will get a letter out to parents of the students about this.

• Thank you to all of our parishioners who have contributed to our collection via the mail or by dropping it off at the parish office. I know these are difficult times. But it is much appreciated. Our collection for March 14/15 was $1,528 and for March 21/22 was $2,781. Our address is St. Anne Parish, 30 College Street, Chicopee 01020.

• Unfortunately, there will be no Holy Week liturgies on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, or Easter Vigil, as the church continues to be closed. It is unsure at this point about Easter Sunday. We should know more next week. Watch for more details as we get closer to Easter which is April 12th.

• At this point in time, priests and visitors are prohibited from visiting the hospitals. It is understandable why because the virus is so contagious. Hospitals have been very strict about this. You can let us know at the parish if someone is in the hospital but at this point we are prohibited from visiting them. But we can pray for them. As soon as the hospitals permit us to visit, you can be assured that Fr. Dennis and myself will be there.

• Masses are being celebrated privately in the church for the Mass intention of the day. If you have a Mass intention already booked you can be assured that it is being celebrated by either myself or Fr. Dennis. A log is being kept of these Masses. If you are interested in booking a Mass for a loved one, please call the parish office Monday through Thursday between the hours of 9am and 12noon (532-7503).

• Remember, we are using this website to get the word out. Pass the information on to a loved one. But remind them information and directives change rapidly---even daily.

Let us all remember that our spirituality is woven together in a common faith. To fully express our Catholic faith, we need to be together in community at Mass. However, that is not possible at this point, given the restrictions we have. So, for now we need to exercise patience and navigate in and around this crisis. This means we have to be flexible, as the situation changes rapidly.

Earlier today (Friday) Pope Francis offered a prayer liturgy and benediction for the entire world. It was carried live on television and it was streaming on social media as well. It was stunning to see the Pope standing there before the Blessed Sacrament on the altar in prayer at St. Peter’s Basilica, as he prayed for the world. He is, after all, the Vicar of Christ on earth. The pope’s message in his homily could be summarized with the words: Be Not Afraid. He told the world that those are the words of Christ himself from scripture. For Jesus is with us in this crisis. Progress may be made in slow motion, but it will be achieved.

Let us continue to help each other as best as we can and remind ourselves of those words of Christ. We can do that in our homes, within our families, in our apartment buildings, and in our neighborhoods. We can use our phones and our emails to reassure one another. Encourage each other with that message of hope. For those who can, text “Hope and Trust!” To your loved ones. Lift them up with your own faith.

Let us also pray for all healthcare workers, doctors, nurses, and caretakers, that they will have the strength, energy, and protection they need to support the sick.

And may God bless and protect each of you.

Fr. John Connors
Pastor, St. Anne Parish