COVID-19 Update – Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Dear Families and Friends of Saint Miriam,

If you are like me, you may be a bit tired of any message dealing with the Coronavirus outbreak. In recent days, my inbox has been flooded, and I have learned far more about companies and their polices than I would have ever thought; from SimpliSafe to Victoria’s Secrets! But, as much as we may all be a little weary, they are needed until we gain control of this pandemic.

This is certainly a challenging time and we are all doing our best to make the best possible decisions to protect our health, reduce the possibility of illness, and help level off the virus impact. This is why I have made the decision to suspend all public Masses at Saint Miriam until further notice. This decision, coupled with others previously taken over the last few weeks, were made in response to the growing concern over the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the directives provided by government, CDC, and health department officials at the local, state, and national levels. These measures will be re-evaluated pending future developments.

Please take notice of the following:

A) Sacraments and Mass

  • All Masses will still be celebrated, Sine populo (“without the people” present, but will be Livestreamed at 7:30am, 9:00am, and 10:30am.
  • Our changes at Mass, implemented last week, will continue, even with those few needed to celebrate with our priests, including with a modified Sign of Peace, Communion in hand only, and the addition of NO communal Chalice available.
  • The Faithful are dispended from their Sunday Mass obligation.
  • Additionally, there will be no Children Faith Formation (CFF) Classes this week.
    • Brother Sean will send another a home assignment to be brought back upon our return, and Mary-to-Go Kits are here if you desire to pray to Our Blessed Mother.
  • Though public Masses are suspended, the right and need of the faithful to hear the Word of God and celebrate the Sacraments is not put aside. Pastors, along with all those who work with them, will be as attentive as possible to all the spiritual, pastoral, and charitable needs of the people they serve.
  • Priests will continue to offer the sacrifice of the Holy Mass during this period and to honor all requested Mass intentions as well as be available for Sacrament of the Sick, BUT only priests will be available to celebrate the Sacraments for those in immediate danger of death. All other hospital visits are also suspended.
  • Baptisms (post Lent), Confessions, Marriages, and Funerals will take place as usual, but with due regard for the limitation of participants and reasonable social distancing.

B) Giving and Support:

  • We are making an urgent appeal to support us in this time of need:
  • We have added expense and will now have decreased revenue streams. We also will have added cleaning expenses and so we need your support. We cannot lose what we have created. Our life would be far emptier without Saint Miriam. Please make a donation today online to help us though this time. We will need to pay staff even without working because we cannot let them flounder alone. What would that say of us?
    • To help, you may visit online at www.MySaintMiriam.org/Give.
    • You may TEXT to Give!
      • Just Text the word GIVE to (215) 515-6511
      • If it’s your first time, complete a one-time registration by Clicking Sign In, follow steps! Then, simply text the desired amount! e.g. $250

C) A Special Request:

  • It will be lonely for us, as priests, to celebrate without faces. If you would like to, please send us a photo of you like a ‘selfie’, or of you and your spouse/partner, your family, etc. We will print them out and paste them to our pews! Your faces will be what we see as we celebrate with you spiritually and virtually!

Please join me in praying for one another, the recovery of those impacted by this virus, as well as the medical professionals, support personnel, emergency and first responders, and family members supporting in their recovery. We are all members of a community and we need to share our hope and care. As your Shepherd, I promise that the Church remains steadfast and is prepared to walk with you, serve you, and survive this outbreak. Neither the Church nor her charitable works will cease. We are still in the streets serving the homeless and those in need but need your support in prayer and donations to see us through, too. God is always by our side and will never abandon us. With God’s continued grace for us, we will navigate this challenge as one united family, and as a people of Hope and Love!

In Service and Hope,

Monsignor +Jim,
Pastor


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