Pastor’s Letter: May 21, 2020

Pastor’s Letter: May 21, 2020

Pastor’s Letter: May 21, 2020

22 May 2020 | Posted by: chadmin

May 21, 2020

Dear friend,

Bishop Jenky released a letter on May 20, 2020 about the Diocesan response to COVID-19. Included with his letter were some guidelines for the churches in the Diocese of Peoria to prepare for opening to the public. Currently, churches are allowed to open for 10 people who desire to attend a funeral, baptism, or marriage. This is considered Phase 1 of reopening. In the coming weeks, Bishop Jenky hopes that individual churches can prepare to open for private prayer and public Mass, with limited parishioners present. This desire of our Bishop embraces our communal desire to publicly worship together again. As individual parishes prepare to open, much work and communication will take place. St. Philomena Parish has begun these preparations. The Diocese of Peoria is working in coordination with all of the Bishops of Illinois, who are in communication with Governor Pritzker. All steps and benchmarks to open individual churches will work in concert with our Diocese, including oversight and permission to open based on proof of our individual plan. When we do receive permission to open the church to our parish community, we all know that social distancing will apply, which will mean limited seating capacity. As parish administration, we pledge to do our best to meet the spiritual needs of our faithful so that we can worship together in a safe and prayerful manner. When we are able to open, we know that all of us will need to make adjustments for the benefit of one another. As we further grasp how best to make these accommodations, we will communicate. Please continue to pray for all those religious and civil authorities seeking to guide us through this pandemic.

With these limitations, the Bishops are mindful that the majority of Catholics are separated from the Holy Eucharist. In their desire to bring the gift of the Eucharist to the faithful, the distribution of the Eucharist outside is now permitted. A video with instructions is available for parishioners to view on YouTube and Facebook. Please refer to the video for more detailed instructions. For this communication, please know that Communion will be available to you in our main parking lot after the daily 8am Mass, 4:30pm Mass on Saturday, and at 9am and 11am on Sunday.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! We take this time each year to remember those who died while serving in the military. As a Christian, I often think how unfortunate it is that we need a military. We all know the reality of the world and the reality of human conflict. This reality mandates that we provide protection. All of us know people who have served or are currently serving in our military. Many of us have loved ones who died during service. This time of year is a great opportunity to join in prayer of thanksgiving for the willing sacrifice of time, love, and sometimes life of our armed forces. Please continue to pray for those who are currently in war-torn areas of the world, that they will return home safely.

God bless,

Father David