It makes me happy to inform you that our in-person indoor masses in the church are going well. More and more people are feeling comfortable with indoor masses as many of you are getting vaccinated. We will continue to offer two Sunday masses indoors (7.30am and 4pm masses). The following protocols apply when you attend mass in the church.
1. Kindly take your seat either at the edges of the pew or in the middle of the pew. That allows us to have more parishioners accommodated at a safe distance. You can also seat yourselves on either side of the church including the choir area.
2. Follow the protocols for communion such as sanitizing and wearing masks. It is also recommended that you sanitize your hands as you leave church.
3. During the indoor masses, you are welcome to sit on the church patio or attend mass from your cars, as the masses are transmitted from the church on FM 106.7
Also, I have noticed many of you calling AAA for assistance after outdoor masses as your batteries seem to fail. We have purchased a Jumper Box with battery which are primarily designed for jump starting cars. Our ushers can help you. You don’t have to call AAA or your insurance. When you turn the key to switch on the radio, make sure you click only once. That takes you to accessory mode. The radio uses a very small amount of current — maybe a couple of amps. That’s not enough to kill a battery that’s in good condition. As long as the battery is sound, you can play the radio for an hour or two at a time without doing any harm.
On December 8th 2020, Pope Francis declared a year in honor of St. Joseph. The timing was perfect, coming on the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pius IX declaring St. Joseph as Patron of the Catholic Church and on the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, Joseph’s spouse. Along with the Pope’s announcement in his apostolic letter Patris Corde (“Heart of the Father)” came a proclamation from the Apostolic Penitentiary about special plenary indulgences that are now available for this Year of St. Joseph.
The first millennium was Christocentric via the Councils, and the second was Marian-focused on her devotions, apparitions and dogmas. That means that the third person of the Holy Family, St. Joseph, would naturally follow in the third millennium. Back 150 years ago when Pius IX saw turmoil aplenty, causing him to then declare St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church.
What are these indulgences the Apostolic Penitentiary is bestowing in this Year of St. Joseph per the Holy Father’s decree to “benefit the perfect achievement of the intended purpose?” As long as we’re in the state of grace one sacramental confession suffices for gaining several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and separate prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father are required for each plenary indulgence. According to the most recent Church guidelines on the subject, “it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act.” Yet “it is, however, fitting that Communion be received and the prayer for the intention of the Holy Father be said on the same day the work is performed.”
Personally, I am not crazy about indulgences. I guess every grace and blessing helps on our journey to heaven. What is really important during this year is to follow the example of St. Joseph. St. Joseph, the just man, urges us to rediscover the value of silence, prudence and loyalty in fulfilling one’s duties. We shall celebrate the feast of Joseph on March 19th with due solemnity, preceded by a novena of masses. Stay tuned.