My Holy Rosary Family,
Today on this Solemnity of St. Joseph I write with sadness knowing that we are not able to gather together in this time. But that said, while we are not able to be together physically, I know we are continuously holding one another up in Spirit. Your prayers and faithfulness are wonderful witnesses to the beauty of Holy Rosary. As many of you know, on Sunday, I spoke of how we find ourselves in a constantly changing situation. The recommendations of communal gathering guidelines seem to be changing daily. Yesterday, in order to protect the faithful, Bishop Talley announced that all public sacramental and liturgical celebrations are suspended until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means no communal Stations of the Cross, no Solemn Vespers, no Benediction, etc. These decisions were not made lightly and I support the Bishop in his effort to keep everyone safe. Holy Rosary continues to be open for prayer. We kindly ask that if you come to pray in the church, please follow the recommended minimum of a 6-foot separation from others. We also ask that you use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the church. As has been stated multiple times, if you are in the high-risk group of individuals, we ask that you please avoid all public spaces and maintain social distancing by remaining in your homes.
Please note that confessions will still take place, albeit much differently. Beginning March 21st, we will now be offering “drive-thru” confessions. They will be held outside near the Statue of Mary when it is not raining, in the event of rain they will be held under the covered area between the church and office. Fr. Michael and I will hear confessions through the passenger window. Confessions will be available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:15am-9:15am, Saturdays from 2:00pm-4:00pm, and Sundays from 12:00pm-2:00pm.
During this time when we cannot meet together for communal prayer the church is open daily for prayer 6:00am-5:00pm, so if you would like to do Stations any day this week, either at the Church or at home, we invite you to download to your smart phone or print out the following Stations of the Cross.
Also, our parish participates in Formed (https://formed.org/). Formed is a wonderful way to increase your faith during this time. If you have not signed up, simply click the link above and then proceed. It is free for our parishioners. Make sure you enter our parish code when signing up: T3KFFB.
We will be making Sunday Mass available through livestreaming on our website, Facebook, and Youtube through the following link: https://youtu.be/gybzBdT4OwE. We will livestream the Saturday 4:30pm Mass and the Sunday 10:30am Mass.
Very likely, soon our parish office will have to start operating with limited hours. Please call the office 901-767-6949 before you come. Also, we are still relying on your contributions. As I wrote before, even though we are now having to cut back on public activities and Masses, we do continue to pay salaries to both parish and school employees. We continue to have utility and maintenance expenses. I am asking you to please continue to support the mission of Holy Rosary. During this time when Masses and communal gatherings are not available, I ask you to please mail a check or sign up for online giving here:
While all of this is unconventional and out of the ordinary, let us trust that God will bring some good out of it. We must remember that our hope is in the Lord, and that he will never abandon us. I want to assure you that Fr. Michael and I will be offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass every day for the intentions that have been scheduled and for the intentions of all our Holy Rosary parishioners.
Finally as always, Fr. Michael and I are available to give the Anointing of the Sick to any parishioner whose is seriously ill so if you or a loved one are in need of the sacrament or is home-bound and in need of food or other material necessity, please contact the parish office.
In your charity, please continue to pray for us.
St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, pray for us and for the whole Church.
Prayer against Sickness
(Adapted from the Roman Ritual)
Be moved to pity, O Lord, at our earnest prayer,
and heal our illnesses of body and soul;
so that experiencing thy mercy
we may ever rejoice in the blessing.
We beseech you, O Lord,
grant us a hearing
as we devoutly raise our petitions to you,
and graciously turn away
the epidemic which afflicts us;
so that all mortal hearts may recognize
that you are Lord of Heaven and Earth,
and hold us all in your loving hands.
All Communal Events Are Currently Suspended In
The Diocese of Memphis.
My Holy Rosary family,
As you all know, this year as we have been making our annual pilgrimage to the crucifixion and the empty tomb we have been bombarded with stories about panic and fear due to COVID-19. It seems like everywhere we turn there is confusion and anxiety. It is in times such as these that we need to once again listen to the voice of our Lord; “Fear not!” It is often mentioned that the most repeated phrase in the Scripture is this message, “Do not be afraid.” As Catholics we take this message to heart, for we live not in fear, but always in hope. Whenever we go through trying times, we should make sure that we are placing our faith and hope in God to guide us. Over the last few days, and especially the last 24 hours, we have witnessed heightened health concerns due to this outbreak. We want you to know that we here at Holy Rosary have been monitoring all government recommendations and are following protocol to ensure everyone’s safety.
By now, you know from the CDC that the best offense is a good defense. So, in order to keep everyone safe all of us are called to practice good personal hygiene. Washing our hands regularly, coughing or sneezing into our elbows, making sure that if we are older, have compromised immune systems, or if we feel ill, we are not going out. Here at Holy Rosary, our church building is being regularly disinfected and cleaned. However, we ask you to please carefully consider your personal health conditions and the well-being of our parishioners before attending any Mass or devotional prayer event. If you are sick or are in one the at-risk groups, stay home. Bishop Talley has dispensed the following persons from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass:
- Individuals over the age of 60
- Individuals with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease and cancer
- Individuals with severely compromised immune systems
- Caretakers of the at-risk individuals listed above
Please keep in mind, it is not a sign of faith to ignore these practical guidelines, it is a violation of charity by not being considerate of our neighbor.
Especially now, we should use this season of Lent to focus ourselves more on Jesus Christ and His message of eternal life, rather than focus on the fear that comes from the evil one.
As we heed the call to “fear not” let us also lift up all those around us in prayer. Below you will find a prayer against sickness you are welcome to incorporate into your daily prayers during this time.
Take courage that we will get through this.
Fr. Patrick Gallagher