March 27, 2020

Dear Friends,

This certainly is the strangest period of time that I can recall. The outbreak of the coronavirus is affecting every element of our lives, including our religious faith and practice. In the first of our 7:30PM reflections I called it “the Lent we did not choose”.  And it is all that!

We are doing our best to follow the directives of the State of Connecticut in order to safeguard the health of each of us and of the larger community and to level the curve of the coronavirus. “Stay healthy, stay home” seems to be the advice we all need to follow. At the same time, we are making good use of social media to help us remain connected with each other as well as with the larger Church especially in this season of Lent. I have found myself referring to our parish as an “ungathered Church”. I believe that describes us well these days.

Our archdiocese is likewise working hand-in-hand with our state government toward the same end. As you are aware from the last letter from Archbishop Blair, the ban on public Masses has been extended to Thursday April 30. In keeping with this directive, we have also closed the church to any visits, meetings or activity.

However, we will celebrate Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum, but in a different, “ungathered” way. You will be able to find the gatherings of our Holy Week services at www.shcsouthbury.online.church.  I also urge you to follow our postings of the Call to Worship, Gospel and homily for Sunday as well as the reflections by pastoral staff at 7:30PM Monday through Friday evenings on that link. We will celebrate our Holy Week and Sacred Triduum liturgies live as follows:

  • April 5 Palm/Passion Sunday Mass at 9AM. The pastoral staff will safely and carefully distribute palms using social distance in the parking lot from 10:30-12 noon for anyone who wishes them.
  • April 9 Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7PM.
  • April 10 Good Friday Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion and Death at 3PM
  • We will not celebrate the Easter Vigil in favor of an Easter Sunday morning Mass.
  • April 12 Easter Sunday Mass at 9AM

The Faith Reflection Service normally held each Palm Sunday afternoon is cancelled. However, the actual faith reflections by seven of our parishioners that have been so inspiring and uplifting will be available online at the www.shcsouthbury.online.church. We will notify you when we post them so that you can share and be inspired by them. 

The Faith Walk is also cancelled for this year. However, we will offer a drive-by Stations of the Cross in our parking lot from 12 pm April 3-10 (Good Friday). More details will be forthcoming about this wonderful and prayerful opportunity for you to follow this Lenten tradition.

The vibrant life, faith, mission and ministry of Sacred Heart Parish continues even in the adverse circumstances. Please make good use of these opportunities especially this year. As always, we are available to you in any way you would wish. Let us keep each other in prayer.

God bless you!

Father Joe