“Our Time of Trial”
(March 26, 2020)
As both parishioners of our great parish here in Westport and as citizens of our United States, we are unfortunately experiencing a serious pandemic outbreak of the Coronavirus. No doubt that many of us are suffering both physically and mentally. It’s during times such as this crisis that we are reminded about how fragile our human lives really are. But we should also be reminded of our common humanity, as people of this parish, who are connected to our brothers and sisters around the world. We are all one family of humanity under Almighty God. Our faith must remain strong and our prayers of hope and trust in the Lord must rise to Heaven.
One aspect of our faith that we know for sure is that Our God will NEVER abandon us. We must take into account His presence amongst us because of all of the great efforts that we are now witnessing by legions of scientists, doctors and pharmaceutical companies who are rushing to develop vaccines and drugs to help cure our afflicted citizens. We see God in the actions of so many medical personnel who are working around the clock to triage and heal the victims of this pandemic. We are seeing God present to us in so many news accounts of ordinary people helping people by their caring and generosity. So as parishioners of our Church of the Assumption, we must continue to pray for their on-going efforts that people will be comforted and healed.
Through faith, we know that our loving God goes with us and comforts us in this time of trial and suffering. In this moment, it’s spiritually important for us place our hearts, minds and souls in the hope that we should firmly have in Jesus Christ. Now is the time to pray without ceasing for the love of God to come upon us and for us to show love to all of our neighbors. We should also try to draw closer to one another in our love for Our Lord and rediscover the things that truly matter in our lives; loving God and loving our families and neighbors.
United with our Holy Father Pope Francis and our Bishop Frank Caggiano, let us pray in solidarity for our brothers and sisters in our parish, our Town of Westport, in our nation and, in all of the countries around the world who have been stricken by this horrible virus. Let us pray for those who have lost loved ones to this virus. May our God console them and grant them His divine comfort and peace.
We must also remember to pray earnestly for all of the brave doctors, nurses, clinicians and caregivers; for public health officials and all civic leaders in our local, statewide and federal Governments. May God provide them through the power of the Holy Spirit, courage, wisdom and prudence as they try to respond to this emergency with compassion all in the service of the common good.
We know that during the upcoming weeks, many of you may wish to contact the clergy of our parish expressing your spiritual concerns and questions. We encourage you to e-mail either of us and we will try and get back to you just as soon as possible. Our addresses are:
Father Cyrus Bartolome: email@example.com
Deacon Bill Koniers: firstname.lastname@example.org
Many of you have been asking when our Masses and liturgies will be open again for our parishioners to participate in person. We have been receiving frequent guidance from Bishop Caggiano. Unfortunately, all Masses and liturgies through the balance of Lent and including Holy Week, The Triduum and the Easter Vigil and Easter Masses will be closed to the public to ensure the safety of our parishioners. However, our services will be live-streamed over the internet. We have heard from many of you that our 10:00 AM Mass this past Sunday was live-streamed very successfully. We will be posting on our website, the dates and times of our Holy Week schedule.
Finally, during this time of need, we invite all of our Catholic faithful to seek together the maternal intercession of Our Lady of the Assumption and so we now share this prayer with you:
Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Jesus and our Mother, we believe in your triumphant assumption into heaven where the angels and saints acclaim you as Queen. We join them in praising you and bless the Lord who raised you above all creatures. With them we offer you our devotion and love. This day we fly to you as your most beloved children. We ask you to intercede for us with your Son.
Please pray for us, loving Mother, and gain for our nation and world, and for all our families and loved ones, the protection of your holy angels, that we may be spared the worst of this corona virus illness.
For the afflicted, we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance. Please hear the pleas of those who are very vulnerable and fearful, wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing, teach all of us in the Church and in our world, to love one another and to be patient and kind as your Son has commanded us to do. Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our nation and in our hearts.
We come to you with confidence, knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother, health of the sick and cause of our joy. Shelter us under the mantle of your protection and keep us in your loving embrace.
We forever look to you as our life, our sweetness, and our hope. Help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Father Cyrus Bartolome
Deacon Bill Koniers