Pentecost 2020: Bulletin Cover and Column

May 31, 2020 bulletin cover

CLICK here for complete bulletin

 

Sunday May 31, 2020

Pentecost

 Dear Followers of Jesus,

COVID-19 took away the breath of thousands of people. The ventilator has become an image of hope during this virus. Breathing freely is our hope for those stricken with disease. Breathing. Jesus invites us into such a mystery.

In today’s gospel, John 20: 19-23, Pentecost is revealed behind locked doors, hours after the resurrection. “Peace” is the first word uttered from Christ’s resurrected breath. Peace becomes balm for fear. His breath becomes our new life in the Holy Spirit. His breath remains with us beyond the closed room. His breath renews our lives and offers consolation for the world for all eternity.

Pentecost refreshes our understanding of what life is about. Pentecost is the Church taking a deep breath and realizing that our breath is what we have in common with those whom we think are completely different from ourselves. Our breath holds the Holy Spirit within us. Our breath is a reminder we are born again in Jesus’ dying and rising. The Holy Spirit does not fade away or given partially or in increments. There is no golden age of the Spirit. We receive the same breath of hope, the same miracle of joy, as did the disciples.

Many people will glaze over such a feast. We may think Pentecost is only something the Church celebrates dressed in red that remains contained in the sanctuary. Yet, Pentecost becomes the container where we ask ourselves some important questions. For in our hearts, God dwells.

We have an opportunity to ask such questions as: What if we breathed in genuine hope for the first time? What if this hope could change our perspective toward people on the margins of society and Church? Could this breath sustain our young so hopelessness and meaninglessness would not penetrate them? Could this breath teach us how to care for the earth, feed the hungry, and provide adequate pay to the people who teach our children, and who care for our elderly parents?

What if breathing deeply into the life of the Holy Spirit could change how we view our own lives? Could Pentecost teach us not to hate so to offer the world non-violence? Could we settle our differences by taking in the breath of God rather than holding our breath in rage, indifference and violence? These questions become our spiritual work and reflection.

Our way out of the pandemic is God’s initiative in you and me. The Holy Spirit is trying to teach us something as we live in our bodies. We cannot remain stuck in our heads. Change is a dirty word for many people. Pentecost is the source of change. Pentecost is an opportunity for people to understand the suffering of the human race. This feast pushes us out of the nest of Easter and into the world to live the consolation and peace of Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit compels us to get to work and to quit moaning about our lives. This breath of life drives us into union and communion with our brothers and sisters.

Pentecost is more than adhering to regulations in hope that the Church will give us eternal life. Pentecost is a breath of fresh air that reveals meaning, depth and purpose here on earth. We all carry a responsibility within our human bodies to breath in the gift of faith, hope and love.

The Holy Spirit pushes on our chests so we may breath deeply in love and forgiveness. The Holy Spirit then pushes us out into the world so we may become people of integrity. We are to love and not cave into despair. We are to act in kindness and not resort to holding our breath in cynicism or apathy.

Pentecost opens new possibilities about who we are and what God wants us to become. We see Pentecost made flesh when we provide space in our parish center for people in recovery to sort through their demons and joys. We know Pentecost is real when we receive the stranger in midst and listen to their story before Mass. Pentecost opens doors and softens hearts. The Holy Spirit helps us hold the hand of the dying or the newborn child in joy. Pentecost promises life forever in God.

The Holy Spirit guides us to stop worrying about our futures and helps us pursue the task of serving other people even when a pandemic threatens to take our breath away.

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

God give you peace,

Fr. Ron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter 2020: JN 21:15-19, Homily, Art, Link to Bulletin

IMG_1541

“Tend My Sheep”, Painting by: Ronald Raab, CSC 2020

CLICK here to listen to today’s homily

 

CLICK HERE to read this weekend’s bulletin

 

Gospel JN 21:15-19

After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them,
he said to Simon Peter,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He then said to Simon Peter a second time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
He said to him the third time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time,
“Do you love me?” and he said to him,
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger,
you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted;
but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands,
and someone else will dress you
and lead you where you do not want to go.”
He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.
And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter 2020: JN 17:20-26, Homily, Art

fullsizeoutput_282d

“The Glory of Heaven” Painting by: Ronald Raab, CSC

CLICK HERE to listen to today’s homily

 

Gospel JN 17:20-26

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
“I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them.”

Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter 2020: JN 17:11b-19, Homily, Art, Article from The Priest Magazine

fullsizeoutput_2823

Painting by: Ronald Raab, CSC

 

CLICK HERE to listen to today’s homily

 

Gospel JN 17:11B-19

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying:
“Holy Father, keep them in your name
that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are one.
When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me,
and I guarded them, and none of them was lost
except the son of destruction,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
But now I am coming to you.
I speak this in the world
so that they may share my joy completely.
I gave them your word, and the world hated them,
because they do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world
but that you keep them from the Evil One.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth.
Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”

 

Here is a link to my article published in The Priest Magazine, from the May 2020 issue.  I am posting this article again as we approach the Solemnity of Pentecost 2020. CLICK HERE TO READ 

Memorial of Saint Philip Neri 2020: JN 17: 1-11a, Homily

fullsizeoutput_2830

“I pray for them” Painting by: Ronald Raab, CSC 2020

CLICK HERE to listen to today’s homily

 

Gospel JN 17:1-11A

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said,
“Father, the hour has come.
Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you,
just as you gave him authority over all people,
so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him.
Now this is eternal life,
that they should know you, the only true God,
and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
I glorified you on earth
by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.
Now glorify me, Father, with you,
with the glory that I had with you before the world began.

“I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world.
They belonged to you, and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word.
Now they know that everything you gave me is from you,
because the words you gave to me I have given to them,
and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you,
and they have believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me,
because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours
and everything of yours is mine,
and I have been glorified in them.
And now I will no longer be in the world,
but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.”

Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter 2020: JN 16: 29-33, Homily, Art

Version 2

“Do you believe now?” Painting by: Ronald Raab, CSC 2020

CLICK HERE to listen to today’s homily

 

Gospel JN 16:29-33

The disciples said to Jesus,
“Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
Now we realize that you know everything
and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
Because of this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now?
Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world.”

The Ascension of the Lord 2020: MT 28: 16-20, Homily, Prayers of the Faithful

May 24, 2020 bulletin cover

CLICK HERE TO listen to today’s homily

 

Gospel MT 28:16-20

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

 

 

Prayers of the Faithful 

Let us pray to set our sights on our Church Universal, that we may work diligently even beyond our fear to spread the Good News of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ Jesus.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray to set our sights on the needs of parents who struggle to raise their children with autism or misfortune or disability. May we walk among people who need strong shoulders as guides and immense resources to survive.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray to set our sights on our desperate poor here on earth, for family members who stray from our nests, for people who face catastrophic need from storms and floods and for our youth unable to make sense of their futures.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray to set our sights on the person of Christ Jesus living here on earth among all who most need healing, love and forgiveness. May we walk in faith, integrity and service. May COVID-19 offer us a vital humility and ongoing compassion.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray to set our sights on healing and hope for people with mental illness and who may not want to live another day. May we as believers offer remedy and insight to people who question their very existence.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray to set our sights on the needs of people who are ill or homebound, that we may serve to alleviate fear among those who sit at the bedsides of the dying. For our beloved dead, especially those who died of COVID-19.

We pray to the Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter 2020: JN 16: 23B-28, Dedication Anniversary, Homily

DSC08377

Dedication of Sacred Heart Church, May 23, 2018

CLICK HERE to view slide show of our history at Sacred Heart Church

 

CLICK HERE to listen to today’s homily

Gospel JN 16:23B-28

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.
Until now you have not asked anything in my name;
ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

“I have told you this in figures of speech.
The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures
but I will tell you clearly about the Father.
On that day you will ask in my name,
and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you.
For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me
and have come to believe that I came from God.
I came from the Father and have come into the world.
Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

 

Process in

Dedication of Sacred Heart Church, May 23, 2018

Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter 2020: JN 16:20-23, Homily, Art

FullSizeRender (34)

“Mother and Child” Drawing by: Ronald Raab, CSC 2014

CLICK HERE to listen to today’s homily

CLICK here to read this week’s bulletin about May 30/31 opening

Gospel JN 16:20-23

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn,
while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.
When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived;
but when she has given birth to a child,
she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy
that a child has been born into the world.
So you also are now in anguish.
But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice,
and no one will take your joy away from you.
On that day you will not question me about anything.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”

Sacred Heart Parish Guidelines for Attending Mass During COVID-19: Bulletin cover and link to complete bulletin 2020

May 24, 2020 bulletin cover

CLICK HERE to read the complete bulletin. Please read these instructions for our opening on May 30/31. Please make sure others who do not have Internet are aware of these guidelines. 

 

Sacred Heart Parish Guidelines for attending Mass during COVID-19

May 21, 2020

Dear Parishioners,
Thank you for your patience as we work out all the details of reopening our three churches. We are glad that we will soon be back together, however we are being cautious for your protection. We realize that you may be frustrated with Sacred Heart Parish’s guidelines for attending Mass listed below, however we are closely following the guidelines from the El Paso County Health Department. We are doing our best to accommodate our parishioners and the future of our three communities. In the meantime, maintain hope in the person of Christ Jesus, the true reason for our community.
Starting Pentecost weekend, May 30th & 31st, Sacred Heart Parish will offer public Masses at all three of our churches with the following Mass schedule:

Saturday, May 30th – 5:30 pm Vigil Mass at Sacred Heart Church

Sunday, May 31st – 7:30, 9 & 11:30 am at Sacred Heart Church

Sunday, May 31st – 7:30 am at Holy Rosary Chapel

Sunday, May 31st – 9:30 am at Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Tuesday, June 2nd- *8 am & *5:30 pm at Sacred Heart Church (*Mass for the

celebration of Pentecost)

Thursday, June 4th- *8 am & *5:30 pm at Sacred Heart Church (*Mass for the

celebration of Pentecost)

We ask that parishioners sign up for the above listed Masses, however, only ten people will be allowed per Mass at this time. Sign ups are on a first come, first serve basis. (See Parishioner Responsibilities below for more details on sign ups.) This Mass schedule along with the amount of people allowed at each Mass will be reassessed after Pentecost and any changes will be communicated to the parish.

Although Bishop Sheridan has decreed that public Masses could resume on May 16th & 17th, he has also directed pastors to resume public Masses for the faithful only when they are able to do so safely. Sacred Heart Parish has chosen to resume public Masses on May 30th & 31st because that is when we believe we will be ready to provide a safe environment for all who attend. In the meantime, Sacred Heart Church is offering a limited Mass the two weekends before Pentecost to work out all of the details.

At this time Sacred Heart Parish is offering limited public Masses to ten people at a time in accordance with the Safer at Home Public Health Order 20-28, which states “All public and private gatherings are limited to no more than ten (10) individuals” (Order 1, C).” After consulting with the El Paso County Health Department, these guidelines were affirmed that no more than ten people are allowed to gather at this time. Sacred Heart Parish is committed to providing the highest safety standards possible while accommodating the safest number of people allowed to gather as instructed by county and state guidelines. When there is a change to these guidelines, we will adjust our seating capacity and communicate this information to the parish.

Please note that while our parish is implementing safety protocols for returning to Mass, there is still an increased risk of contracting the Coronavirus. Those 65 and older and those with underlying health conditions are encouraged not to attend Mass at this time.

All attendees should know that they are attending Mass at their own risk. If you are sick, have a cough or fever, please stay home.

For those who wish to stay at home at this time, we encourage you to continue to join in Masses on television and online. We are currently pursuing the option to either livestream Mass or provide a weekly recording on our website. As a reminder, all the faithful are dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass

The Parish Center will remain closed. There are still no ministry or organization meetings at the parish. The Parish Office is available by phone (719-633-8711) and email (office@sacredheartcos.org) Sunday thru Thursday, 8:30 am- 4:30 pm, however the front doors remain closed to visitors at this time.

As social distancing guidelines are gradually eased, we will observe both the guidelines of our local diocese and those of the state and local government in an effort of charity to not spread the Coronavirus.

When returning to Mass, please remember to practice good hygiene by washing your hands frequently, following social distancing guidelines and wearing a cloth face mask. Below is a list of responsibilities for those attending Mass. Please read the responsibilities. If you or a member of your household are not able or willing to abide by the responsibilities outlined below, we ask that you stay at home at this time.  

Responsibilities for those Attending Mass:

 

  1. Make a reservation for you and your family. Contact the Parish Office at 719-633-8711 or email office@sacredheartcos.org. The office is available to take reservations Sunday from 8:30 am- 1 pm, Monday – Wednesday from 8:30 am-4:30 pm and Thursday from 8:30 am- noon. Only those with a confirmed reservation will be allowed to enter the churches at this time. Reservations are on a first come, first serve basis. The parish will determine how many seats are available based on the current state and county guidelines and the appropriate amount of spacing in each of the churches. Once seats are filled, there will be no wait-list offered at this time. Reservations will be offered weekly for the following Sunday and weekday Masses. We will not make reservations for future Masses in advance.

 

When making a reservation, please include the following information:

  1. Your name and the names of all immediate family members attending with you, including children and infants.
  2. Phone number and email address.
  3. Which Mass you would like to attend for the upcoming week.
  4. Since the number of people who can attend Mass is limited, we ask that your family attend only one Sunday or weekday Mass per month to allow other parishioners the opportunity to attend.
  5. If anyone is 65 or older. (However, we strongly encourage you to stay home at this time.)
  6. You will receive a confirmation email that your reservation has been made. If you do not receive this confirmation, your reservation has not been accepted. Leaving a voicemail message or sending an email does not confirm your reservation.

* Please note that this reservation system may change to an online sign up system once Masses are able to accommodate more than ten people. More information will be communicated if there is a change in the reservation system.

 

  1. Arrive 15-30 minutes early to Mass. When you arrive for your scheduled Mass, please park and wait in your car. The church will open 30 minutes before the scheduled Mass timeand Hospitality Ministers will be outside to welcome you and check you in. Observe social distancing between households by using the markers on the sidewalks and abiding by the markers on the pews in the church. Parishioners must bring and wear a face mask at all times on the property, including in the parking lot, and during Mass.

  

  1. Follow the check-in procedure. After being checked in, all parishioners will enter the church through the side door entrance. The check in process will include confirmation that all parishioners have brought and are wearing their face mask and have sanitized their hands prior to entry. Once all parishioners with reservations have been checked in, the doors will be closed and locked on the outside to prevent exceeding a safe capacity inside the church. Only those who have made a reservation for the Mass will be admitted to Mass at this time. (A similar check in process will occur at Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Holy Rosary Chapel.)

 

  1. Practice good hygiene and wash your hands well before coming to the church. There will be hand sanitizer stations outside the church entrance. All are asked to sanitize their hands before entering the church.

 

The restroom in Sacred Heart Church will be available, however it can not be properly disinfected after each use. It will be sanitized after each Mass. Parishioners will use the restroom at their own risk. The restrooms in the Parish Center will not be available at this time.

 

  1.  All are required to bring and wear a cloth face mask while on the property and during Mass, removing it only when receiving Holy Communion. This includes children two years and older.

 

There will be no singing because it dramatically increases the potential for spreading the virus if someone is infected. Also, the hymnals will be removed from the pews.

 

  1. Please keep a safe social distancewhen:
  2. a.Seated in the pews. Our Hospitality Ministers will seat each household according to distancing guidelines in the order that they arrive. Households will sit together in pews as they normally do, side by side. Maintain 6 feet between your household and the next one in a pew.

 

  1. b.When going to Communion we ask all to leave the pew, as indicated by Hospitality Ministers, and come forward observing the taped markings on the floor to keep the 6 feet distance while standing in line. Families belonging to the same household are encouraged to stand together. We strongly encourage all to come forward so no one must climb over someone and violate social distancing rules.

 

  1. c.Parishioners are encouraged to place their donation in the central collection basket as they leave the church. We will not pass the collection baskets. All parishioners are still encouraged to contribute to the financial needs of the parish through online giving even if you are not able to be physically present at Sunday Mass.

 

  1. When leaving Church and going to your car, please maintain social distancing. Do not gather outside of the church to visit or socialize. Paper bulletins will not be passed out. Weekly bulletins are available on our website www.sacredheartcos.org.

 

  1.  Holy Communion SHOULD BE RECEIVED IN THE HAND ONLYto safeguard the recipient and the priest. We realize this will be difficult for some, but we ask that we humble ourselves in obedience and gratefully receive our Lord in this manner to practice charity towards our neighbor. The distribution of the Precious Blood to the people remains suspended at this time.

 

Hospitality Ministers will encourage the orderly process towards Holy Communion. The Eucharist will be distributed by sections of seating to allow for social distancing when in line to receive and when returning to your pew. The recipient should keep their mask on in the communion line, receive the Eucharist in their hand, step a few feet away from the priest, remove their face mask to consume the Eucharist, and promptly put their face mask back on before returning to their seat.

 

  1. Leaving Church:Be mindful of proper social distancing as you leave. The Hospitality Ministers will dismiss rows one by one. We ask that you wait to leave until you are instructed to ensure proper social distancing. Once the Mass concludes, we ask that you promptly leave the church so that we may adequately sanitize the church before the next Mass attendees arrive. Please do not stay behind to pray or socialize.

 

  1. If you become sick with COVID-19 symptoms and/ or test positive after attending Mass at Sacred Heart Parish, as a courtesy we ask that you please contact the parish office to disclose which Mass you attended. You do not need to disclose your name and that information won’t be shared with other parishioners. However, in the event that someone who attends a Mass becomes ill with the virus, we would like the opportunity to contact other attendees to let them know that they have been potentially exposed to prevent the spread of the virus in the community.

 

We need your help: We need Hospitality Ministers at EACH Mass to assist with the check in process, seat attendees, direct parishioners in the communion line and at dismissal. If we do not have enough volunteers, we may not be able to gather for Mass in the future when the number of attendees is allowed to increase. The majority of our Hospitality Ministers who currently serve in this ministry are 65 years and older. We strongly suggest that they stay home at this time. We need volunteers who are between the ages of 18-64 to volunteer to help during this unique time. No previous experience necessary. Training will be provided! If you are able to volunteer, email Sue Gerlach at sgerlach@sacredheartcos.org.

 

Other ways to help: Pray for the welfare of our three churches and our parish. Please be patient with us as we maneuver through the sign up process and the new procedures for attending Mass. If you are able to contribute financially to support our three churches, we welcome you to do this through our online giving portal or mail your contribution to Sacred Heart Parish, 2021 W. Pikes Peak Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80904.

Let us thank God for his loving protection and our Blessed Mother Mary for her prayerful intercession as we open our three churches for public Masses! Thank you for your patience with us as we navigate through this unprecedented time. Please know of our prayer for you and your loved ones.

Sincerely,

Sacred Heart Parish COVID-19 Task Force