Updates from Fr. Valencheck
Mar 12, 2020
Let us pull together to do our part during this time of HEALTH THREAT. After consultation and prayer, I and your parish administration are enacting stringent policies concerning parish gatherings, cleaning and disinfecting in order to help arrest the spread of the Coronavirus and flu. Because of mandated and recommended policies that have been handed on to us, all non-day school events in buildings and rooms in which the day school gathers have been cancelled. All student activities after school that involve any outside adults coming in to the building (including sports) have been cancelled. Mr. Keith Johnson is currently working on a plan for our Parish School of Religion (PSR) and will be informing you of that soon.
All non-student events in the church or in Forest Lodge are, as of this time, still going forward. This includes Mass, confessions, missions and talks and rehearsals unless you hear otherwise. Those who are ill are asked to remain at home. It is not a sin to miss Mass if you are ill or taking care of someone who needs constant monitoring. For those who attend the ordinary form of the Mass, the diocese has asked that communicants consider receiving in the hand though canon law prohibits making this a requirement. For the time being we will not offer the sign of peace.
There are many different feelings and concerns about this health threat and these precautions. We are doing our best with the information and guidance we are receiving and hopefully are erring on the side of caution. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
As the parish of St. Sebastian, we have a particular responsibility during this time to pray for the end of this health threat since St. Sebastian is the patron to invoke against the spread of contagious diseases. Please keep your parish and our nation in prayer though the intercession of our patron saint.
O Glorious St. Sebastian, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, to you do we raise our hearts and hands and implore your powerful intercession in obtaining, from God the Father, all the helps and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare, and for protection against contagious diseases. O, special guardian from diseases and accidents, we are confident that your intercession on our behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.
St. Sebastian is considered a protector against the plague. He is celebrated for his protection in answer to intercessory prayer against the plagues in Rome in 680, Milan in 1575, and Lisbon in 1599.