Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ. As Catholics, we believe that Christ is present body, blood, soul and divinity in the Most Holy Eucharist. Jesus at the Last Supper institutes the Eucharist by saying, this is my body and this is my blood. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. Jesus tells us in today’s gospel, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever”. It is in the celebration of Mass that we are called to receive Our Lord sacramentally. Jesus nourishes and sustains us so that we may continue the mission of building up the Kingdom of God here in our community. Over these last 10 weeks, you have been unable to receive the Lord sacramentally. For those of you who have been livestreaming with us, you have noticed that Father Kingsley and I have been offering the prayer of spiritual communion before the prayer after communion. It is there that we ask the Lord to enter into our hearts spiritually. Many of you have expressed to me that one of the most difficult aspects of this pandemic is not being able to receive Holy Communion. We know that the Lord is with us, even during these most turbulent times. I invite all of us to turn to Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, praying that he will bestow his peace and mercy upon all of us.
Re-Opening Process of Churches
As you all have been made aware of by news media outlets, New York State has now begun the process of re-opening businesses and churches. They have begun with the upstate counties and New York City will be the last. As you know this is being done in phases. As I write this letter we are still in phase 1 meaning that our churches are open only for private prayer four hours a day. Phase 2 would include the celebration of weekday Mass only with 25% of full capacity. It is our hope that with the completion of these phases, we will be able to gather for Sunday Mass safely. When that is we still do not know. This Monday we will open Holy Rosary Church. The hours will be from 9:00AM to 12:00Noon. The touching of statues and lighting of votive candles will be prohibited. There will not be any communal prayers led at any of the churches. We are now permitted to celebrate Funeral services in church but it will be done outside of the celebration of Mass. We will continue to livestream both weekday and Sunday Mass from Our Lady of Victory Church. As soon as each phase is completed we will inform you via social media and our parish website. We are still looking for volunteers from each of our three churches to help greet parishioners and to make sure the guidelines for entering the church are met. If you are willing to volunteer please call the parish office.
Congratulations to our Graduates
June is the month of graduations! Because of the pandemic, we were unable to gather and congratulate those who have graduated from schools of learning. You are invited to submit the names of our graduates and we will list them in our bulletin, website and Facebook page.
May the heart of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament be praised, adored and loved, with grateful affection at every moment in all the tabernacles of the world even until the end of time. Amen.
Wishing you a Blessed Week,
Father Alonzo Cox