Although we are experiencing a pandemic, we as Christians need to remain hopeful, to stay positive and to trust in the Lord. The fact that this is happening during Lent provides us with a great opportunity because this is when we should be focusing on prayer, fasting and almsgiving. This time calls us to reach out to those who are in need. This may include helping someone with grocery shopping, picking up the phone to ask if they are doing okay or in need of any assistance, etc. When you shop and struggle to find the items you need, use it as an opportunity to thank God for the blessings and offer up your suffering for those who go without food or who have been struggling with this pandemic. Thankfully for us, there are so many online resources that can help us to pray better! Some organizations have even made their subscriptions free for a period as a way of helping us to stay spiritually nourished during this time. Don’t waste this time or dwell on the challenges and get depressed but take advantage of this situation by praying more fervently and growing spiritually with your family during this Lenten season in the year that we have dedicated to Family Life and Spirituality.
- The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) publishes the daily readings for Mass each day, in both English and Spanish. You can watch a video reflection on the readings or listen to them as they are proclaimed by clicking here.
- Listen to Bishop Robert Barron’s homily on the Sunday readings on his Word on Fire website. In light of this pandemic, Bishop Barron is also offering daily Mass videos. You can also sign up to receive daily Gospel reflections from Bishop Barron.
- Spend time on EWTN Global Catholic Network, a great Catholic online resource that offers Catholic TV, Radio, News, Lenten Programs, and more!
- Pray the Rosary, either individually or as a family. It takes only 15 minutes.
- Consider a new Catholic subscription-based app called Hallow. During this pandemic, the developers have extended their free trial from 1 week to 3 months.
- Pray the Divine Office, also known as the Liturgy of the Hours. You can access the complete office online at Universalis. You can also download the iBreviary app on your phone (I use this app every day to pray the Divine Office). When you open the app, click “Today” at the top, click “Pray” at the top left, then click “Breviary” from the menu and choose the time of day would like to pray.
- Download the Laudate app on your phone. It has daily readings, prayers, stations of the cross, chaplets and more! I recommend clicking “Daily Readings & Saint of the Day,” then selecting a specific podcast or clicking “All podcasts together.” This is a free app and a wonderful way to begin your day, even while commuting.
- FORMED is an online Catholic resource of movies, documentaries, Scripture studies, faith formation videos, eBooks, podcasts and more. Resources are available for children and adults, in both English and Spanish. You can sign up by searching for our neighboring parish, Our Lady of Grace, and creating your own free account.
- Magnificat Magazine is offering complimentary access to the online version of their popular daily devotional publication, which includes readings for Mass, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and spiritual reading. Subscriptions (print and digital) usually cost $47/year, but the online access is currently being offered for free.
- Participate in the celebration of the Eucharist by way of video-stream or live stream over the internet:
— The Immaculata Parish (USD Campus) Live stream – Sunday’s at 11:00 am WATCH
— Diocese of San Diego (video uploaded every Saturday at 5:00 pm) WATCH
— Bishop Robert Barron is offering daily Mass for the foreseeable future WATCH
— EWTN Live stream at 8:00 am and 12:00 pm Eastern Time WATCH
— Catholic Extension at 10:00 am Central Time WATCH
— Heart of the Nation WATCH
— CatholicTV WATCH
— Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter WATCH
- Spiritual Communion: I encourage you to receive Jesus spiritually by praying the following prayer and also by visiting this link to read a beautiful reflection about fasting from the Eucharist that was written by Pope Benedict XVI.
- Come to church to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance. I will continue providing confession on Wednesday’s from 5:00 – 6:00 pm, or by appointment. An examination of conscience can help you prepare, hard copies are also available on the side tables in the church.
- Take time to visit the church, individually and/or as a family and pray before the Blessed Sacrament. The church will remain open during the day for those who would like to visit, please use the side door by kiosk. We will have Eucharistic Adoration every day except Saturday’s, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, as well as Wednesday’s from 5:00 to 6:00 pm. We may not be able to celebrate Mass, but Christ is still present among us in the Blessed Sacrament, so I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity and take some time to be with the Lord to pray for peace and healing.
- Don’t forget to continue to support the parish financially. Even though public celebration of the Eucharist will be suspended, ministry is alive and continues: the parish office will remain open, operating expenses accrue, employees need to be paid, those who are hungry need to be helped by way of our Food Pantry, and more. Offertory envelopes or checks can be mailed to the parish office. To support the parish regularly and without the use of offertory envelopes, eGiving is an easy and safe option.
- We will continue to celebrate Sacraments, such as Anointing of the sick, weddings, funerals, and baptism. Please call the parish office at 619-463-6629, we remain open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
– Sincerely, Father Devdas Masillamony