COVID-19 Update

MESSAGE FROM FR. COLLINS (March 25, 2020)

Dear Friends in Christ,

I am hoping and praying that you all are continuing to keep safe and be well. Unfortunately, the spread of coronavirus continues to increase which has prompted the Archdiocese of Hartford to extend the closures and cancellations of public masses and liturgies in parishes to April 30th, 2020. The statement from the office of Archbishop Leonard Blair reads in part:

“In light of continued uncertainty regarding the extent and duration of the coronavirus in the state of Connecticut and throughout the Archdiocese of Hartford, the cancellation of public Masses and liturgies in the churches of the Archdiocese (the counties of Hartford, Litchfield, and New Haven) that was originally mandated through April 3, 2020, will now extend through April 30, 2020. This includes the liturgies of Holy Week and Easter. Parishes will be advised in the coming days regarding what spiritual opportunities can be offered to their people during this most holy season of the liturgical year. Priests will continue to celebrate a daily Mass alone with no congregation, remembering in prayer all who are affected by the pandemic, and parishes should continue to make provision for their churches to be open at some time so that individuals can still come and pray…..Please know that any and all decisions made by the Archdiocese regarding closures and cancellations are based on the current understanding of the severity of the situation surrounding the pandemic at any given point and may be altered (modified, extended, or revoked) when deemed necessary.”

Given this unfortunate reality, we will have Holy Week and Easter celebrations virtually through Facebook Live Streaming platform. The Church will continue to be open Monday through Thursday 10am to 4pm for private prayers and devotions. As announced before, please use the Tabernacle side door on the side of the rectory. Also, please use the sign sheet provided to indicate where your stayed during your prayer time for proper cleaning. Below are the schedules for masses and liturgies at St. Patrick’s church beginning Palm Sunday April 5th, through Thursday April 30th:

  • Palm Sunday, April 5th – Mass at 10.am
  • Monday, April 6th – Mass at 11.am
  • Tuesday, April 7th – No Mass
  • Wednesday, April 8th – Mass at 11.am
  • Holy Thursday, April 9th – Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7pm
  • Good Friday, April 10th – Service at 3pm
  • Good Friday, April 10 – Stations of the Cross at 7pm
  • Holy Saturday, April 11th – Vigil Mass at 8pm
  • Easter Sunday, April 12th – Mass at 10.am
  • Monday, April 13th & Tuesday April 14th – No masses (Church closed)
  • Wednesday, April 15th, April 22nd and April 29th – Mass at 11am
  • Sundays, April 19th, and April 26th – Mass at 10.am
  • Mondays, April 20th and 27th – Mass at 11.am
  • Tuesdays, April 21st and April 28th – Mass at 11.am

Again, I invite you to please join us in prayers and worship on the Facebook during the above listed times. You can find the link on our parish website: https://www.sp4c.org/ or you can join us directly on the parish Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/StPats4c. As I stated before, we will continue to give you updates, and adjust as conditions change. Let us continue to look out for each other as we go through this challenging time together. Let us all make it a point to do something that will bring joy and smiles on the face of someone else especially within this time. Let us all commit to bringing Christ’s light and peace to others in this stressful period. Giving up is not an option but keeping the faith and hope alive is the way to go.

gain, we all feel the impacts of the coronavirus in different aspects of our lives including in our finances. Many have seen their hours at work slashed, while others have even lost their jobs. St. Patrick’s Church is not exempted from the financial impacts of coronavirus since we depend on the generosity and support of our parishioners. To the extent that your means allows, please continue to send in your contributions. If you are not currently using the Online Giving system, this is a good time to start using it. The Online Giving system link can be found on our parish website homepage. You can also use your personal bank’s online BillPay service by including St. Patrick’s Church as one of the institutions that you send money, or you can mail in your checks through regular mail. I am deeply grateful to those who are already continuing to send in their offerings. And I thank all of you too for your continued support in different ways.

Be assured of my continued prayers. And may God richly bless you and keep you safe.

In Christ,

Father Collins


MESSAGE FROM FR. COLLINS (March 21, 2020)

Dear Friends in Christ,

Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic has forced us into uncharted territories that most of us were unprepared for as individuals, families and as a church community. As such, the difficulties of navigating through this challenging time have changed our lives and usual routines in ways that most of us did not anticipate. Though we feel the discomfort and pains that dealing with the impacts of the disease have caused, we cannot be broken in the spirit. Let us continue to keep strong and be united in spirit and prayers. With the grace of God and together in faith, we will overcome. The Psalm for this weekend from Psalm 23 especially the 4th verse echoes the response of faith that we all are called to embrace particularly at this challenging time. There the Psalmist proclaimed, “Even though I walk in the dark valley, I fear no evil; for you (God) are at my side with your rod and staff that give me courage”. Again, while continuing to remain attentive to the health and safety guidelines of medical professionals, let us not allow Covid-19 epidemic to derail us from our journey of faith with the Lord. To provide us with additional means of remaining united in spirit and worshipping together, we will be using Facebook to live stream masses, Holy Hours, and Stations of the Cross from St. Patrick’s church beginning tomorrow, Sunday March 22nd through Friday April 3rd, as listed below:

  • Sundays, March 22nd and 29th               – Mass at 10.am
  • Mondays, March 23rd and 30th                 – Mass at 11.am
  • Tuesdays, March 24th and 31st                – Mass at 11.am
  • Wednesdays, March 25th and April 1st   – Mass at 11.am
  • Wednesdays, March 25th and April 1st   – Holy Hour and Eucharistic
                                                               Adoration with Chaplet of Divine
                                                               Mercy at 7.pm
  • Friday, March 27, and April 3rd             – Stations of the Cross at 7.00pm

Please join us in prayer and worship on the Facebook during the above listed times. You can find the link on our parish website: https://www.sp4c.org/ or you can join us directly on the parish Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/StPats4c . As I indicated in my earlier message, we will continue to give you updates, and make necessary changes as events warrant. At this uncertain time, the risk and temptation to disconnect ourselves from others is high. Let us resist the temptation and mitigate the risk of self-disconnection and isolation by remaining connected in heart and worship with each other, and more importantly with God.

I will continue to support each of you in prayers.

God’s peace and blessings to you all.

In Christ,

Father Collins,


MESSAGE FROM FR. COLLINS (March 17, 2020)

Dear Friends in Christ,

In the recent days, the Coronavirus pandemic has altered the way of life for many, caused all kinds of health concerns, not to mention its economic impacts for individuals and families. Although rarely talked about in the social discourse, the spiritual, psychological, emotional, and relational impacts of the spread of the virus cannot be underestimated. Many are living in fear and panic wondering what their lives and those of their loved ones will become as the crisis caused by the disease continues to unfold. As I reflected on during homily this past weekend, in addition to paying attention to the professional advice and following the guidelines of medical experts and disease control specialists, it is extremely important that as people of faith, we look upon God who is the source of our hope and strength. So, in this difficult time of uncertainty, may we find spiritual renewal and clarity of vision through our relationship with the Lord.

Within the last twenty-four hours, the Office of the Archbishop Leonard Blair released a statement which reads in parts:

“In light of what the CDC has issued on March 15th regarding the cancellation or postponement of large events and mass gatherings of more than 50 people, and given the March 16th mandate of Governor Ned Lamont requiring the closure of all restaurants, bars, gyms and movie theaters, the Archdiocese of Hartford has cancelled all weekend and weekday Masses, effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in the churches of the Archdiocese (the counties of Hartford, Litchfield, and New Haven) through April 3, 2020. Priests will celebrate a daily Mass alone with no congregation, remembering in prayer all who are affected by the pandemic. Parishes will be encouraged to make provision for their churches to be open at some time so that individuals can still come and pray. Further direction and updates from the Archdiocese will be provided in a timely manner regarding Holy Week and all celebrations beyond that date.”

Given the above directives, our St. Patrick’s Parish will be operating in a limited capacity. Please take notes of the following changes that will take effect immediately at our parish until April 3, 2020 unless otherwise communicated.

  • The parish office will remain open from 10.am to 4.00pm Monday through Thursday. However, we will only have one Administrative staff member available during the period to answer phone calls and attend to other parish office needs.
  • The side door of the church leading into the Tabernacle section will be open Monday through Thursday 10.am to 4.00 pm for individual prayers before the Eucharistic Jesus, while the other sections of the church will be closed off throughout the period
  • The used Tabernacle area will be cleaned with disinfectant every hour during the time.
  • The Monday Sacrament of Confessions will still be held on Mondays of March 23, and March 30 from 6.00 to 7.00pm   
  • In addition to praying for God’s help as we deal with the pandemic, I will also be offering special prayers and private masses for all our parishioners

Additionally, the following scheduled events and activities at St. Patrick’s church are cancelled:

  • Public weekday masses of Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays of March 17, 18, 23, 24, and 25, 30, 31, and April 1
  • Public weekend masses of Saturdays/Sundays March 21/22, and March 28/29,
  • Lenten Talk series sessions with Fr. Tom Hoar, SSE for Wednesdays of March 18 and 25, as well as the Holy Hour with Vespers for Wednesday of April 1.
  • Friday Stations of the cross for Fridays March 20, 27, and April 3
  • Saturday March 21, St. Patrick Day Dinner celebration

Besides the personal impacts, disruptions in the parish activities, and schedules, the trends now suggest that the pandemic potentially can have negative effects on the parish finance if not mitigated. Therefore, we ask that you please consider using online contribution system or send in through regular mails your offerings and donations in support of your St. Patrick’s parish family.  If you have questions, or need clarifications relating to the life at St. Patrick’s, please feel free to call the parish office during the listed business hours. Also, please regularly check the parish website and Facebook page for updates. We will continue to monitor the situation to adjust and make changes when necessary.  Let us all continue to keep safe and be well as we pray for God’s help in this challenging time.

God’s peace and blessings to you all.

In Christ,

Father Collins

 

 
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