As we shelter in place, let us share in the sacred mass on this Palm Sunday. Click on the hyperlink below to celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem marking the start of Holy Week and the final days of His earthly ministry.
From Father Larry Tensi, Saint Columban Catholic Church, Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
“May we who are merely inconvenienced,
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors,
Remember those who are most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home,
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or paying the rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools are closed,
Remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips,
Remember those who have no place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of economic market,
Remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home,
Remember those who have no home.
During this time when cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
Let us find ways to the loving embrace of God to our neighbors. Amen”
In compliance with President Trump’s call for continued social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Archdiocese of Atlanta has extended the suspension of public masses through April 19. Palm Sunday, the celebration of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem marking the start of Holy Week and the final days of His earthly ministry, is on April 5 this year. We may be forced to celebrate this holy day in isolation from our parish families, but the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit have an idea for a wonderful way to connect with other christians and publicly acknowledge Palm Sunday. Check out their recent Facebook post.
“We may be physically isolated, but we are not separated. We are united as the members of the body of Christ. We are the Church.” Let’s do this!
I’m am a 58 year old cradle catholic and in my lifetime I have never experienced the suspension of public mass until this week. I don’t know about other areas, but daily and weekend public masses are suspended in the Archdiocese of Atlanta through the first weekend in April.
Mass Canceled 2020
Date: March 16, 2020
To: Priests, deacons, sisters, chancery staff, partner agencies and parish communicators
From: Most Reverend Joel M. Konzen, SM, Diocesan Administrator
RE: Coronavirus update March 16
As we walk through this Lent, we have an opportunity to embrace sacrifice and ministry in a whole new way. Each day brings new information on the spread of COVID-19 from medical professionals as well as new directives from public health officials and civil authorities.
Bishop Ned Shlesinger and I look to serve the spiritual needs of our people as we make decisions on how best to protect the health of our communities. We want you to know that, in concert with the College of Consultors of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, we have wrestled with each of these decisions. The well-being and safety of all the faithful are preeminent in our concerns.
Effective Tuesday, March 17, we will suspend all public Masses for the next three weeks including the weekends of March 21-22; March 28-29; and April 4-5. As new information and directives come out from the government, we will continue to evaluate and revise our provisions. Please let your people know, the Sacrifice of the Mass will continue. Our priests will still be offering private Masses for those in their care.
The Archdiocese of Atlanta is going to step up efforts to make spiritual resources available to you during this time. You can check our website for updates on current directives as well as a list of Masses offered online via live-stream, broadcast, or social media. These Masses are private and the faithful should only participate online. The faithful can also find online a collection of prayer and spiritual resources as well as ideas for home catechesis. Bishop Shlesinger and I will partner with other clergy at the chancery to offer a livestream Mass from the chapel at the chancery office as well as periodic video messages to the faithful. Look for those messages to begin Tuesday, March 17.
Churches will remain open for prayer and adoration. We ask that you practice social distancing when utilizing these spaces. Do not come if you are sick or if coming will put you at great risk of becoming sick. Churches may choose to move adoration from a small chapel into the main sanctuary where people can spread out.
Priests will still be able to hear individual confessions by appointment, but penance services are canceled. Weddings and funerals will be limited to immediate family only with no in-parish receptions allowed right now. All other gatherings in parish facilities should be canceled or postponed.
Confirmations are postponed until further notice.
In-person parish faith formation opportunities should be suspended during this time. This does not, however, mean that faith formation should cease. The archdiocesan website has resources for individuals and parents who wish to stay engaged in this way. Parish staff and volunteers can minister to their communities by calling people at home, checking on the elderly or otherwise marginalized, and seeking opportunities to use technology to connect individuals and communities.
We can still unite in prayer. We can still care for our neighbors. We are still the Body of Christ. We are challenged to find non-traditional ways to connect with one another. It is a sacrifice, for sure, for all of us to alter our participation in the Eucharist, a sacrifice as unwelcome as it is new. Still, we understand that it is, for the time being, a cross we bear in a spirit of self-denial, an emptying of ourselves in imitation of Our Lord’s privation as He faced His Passion. We know that we can hope in the Resurrection. Let us bring that hope to our neighbors and our communities through our sacrifice, our service, and our prayer.
In Jesus and Mary,
Most Reverend Joel M. Konzen, S.M.
Diocesan Administrator, Archdiocese of Atlanta
Coronavirus is a serious health threat, not just to the elderly, the immune suppressed and those with underlying medical conditions. Yesterday I saw a statistic reflecting 54% of all reported new cases of COVID-19 in Georgia are in otherwise healthy 20 to 49 year olds. It’s easy to get caught up in the hysteria, to become frightened and anxious. It’s hard to surrender to His will in times like this, especially when we, as catholics, are precluded from the celebration of the mass as a community, but we must. Even in the worst of times God’s promises remain.
“28 [a]We know that all things work for good for those who love God,[b] who are called according to his purpose.” [Romans 8:28 NABRE]
Pray an Act of Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot, at this moment, receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
Click HERE to experience Mass online from Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta, GA
There a many myths and stories about Saint Patrick of Ireland. Discover the true story as told by the two archbishops of the Roman Catholic and Anglican St. Patrick’s cathedrals in Armagh, northern Ireland.
Click the image to read what Saint Patrick wrote in his Confessio.
Relationships are the foundation of humanity. God orchestrated this by creating us as beings with hearts that desire to love and be loved by those around us. It’s why, since the beginning of history, people suffer with broken hearts when relationships fall apart. Whether through divorce, estrangement, fighting, bitter disagreement or death, loss of love can cause unbearable pain. There are songs, plays, poems and novels written about broken hearts so if you’re suffering with one, find comfort in knowing you’re not alone. You may feel hurt, angry, lonely and abandoned. You may think it is impossible, but your broken heart will heal if you let it. So how can you mend a broken heart?
Allow yourself to feel pain and trust it won’t last forever.
Consider this: God created us to heal from wounds. When physically injured, the human body immediately and automatically begins to repair itself. Likewise, the human heart naturally strives to heal itself. The human spirit has an amazing capacity to rebound again and again. Understanding this and trusting it will happen, in spite of your pain and sadness, will help you move on. It is important to accept you may not heal as fast as your ex. Some people simply heal faster than others. The deeper your emotions, the longer it will take your heart to mend, but you will get through it. Don’t fight the healing process. It takes time. Be patient. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NRSVC)
TIP: Although you won’t feel like it, keep moving. Exercise is the single most effective therapy for depression. Read more. Think about joining a gym, joining an adult sports league (flag football, softball, dodgeball, basketball, tennis, etc.) or taking a dance class to get moving and meet new people.
At first, this simply may mean forcing yourself to get out of bed every morning and going through the motions of daily life. You’ll want to crawl back under the blankets and wallow in self-pity, but resist the temptation because eventually you’ll wake up each day and realize your heart hurts just a little bit less than it did the day before. When a relationship ends, you may feel the sting of failure, but remember the only real failure is not getting up one more time. My mother used to say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” This is especially true when recovering from a broken heart. “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (Jon 1:2-4, RSVCE)
Talk to someone.
Confide in a trusted family member, friend or pastor about the emotions – hurt, anger, guilt, resentment, sadness, rejection – you are experiencing. It is important to talk about your feelings in order to keep from expressing them in destructive ways. Confiding in someone you trust is like using crutches when you sprain your ankle. When your heart is broken, having someone to lean on gives you the strength you need to carry on. “For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:10 RSVCE)
NOTE: Broken hearts can take a long time to heal, but if nothing seems to help resolve your pain, if you are having an exceptionally difficult time dealing with your emotions, or if you feel desperate, please talk to a professional counselor. To talk confidentially to someone who is unbiased about your situation now, chat with a HopeCoach now or get immediate help by calling TheHopeLine® Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255.
Talk to God.
Regardless of what we do or fail to do, God will always love us. God knows everything about us – our flaws, failings, sins and transgressions – and in spite of it all, He still loves us and will never leave us. “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” (Jeremiah 31:3 RSVCE)
Only God loves us this way. The bottom line is once you hold this truth in your heart, you will be blessed with all the strength and courage you need to face rejection from others. Talk to God. Share your broken heart with Him. Ask God to help you heal and have faith that He will. Remember, God loves you no matter what and has a very special plan for you. “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 RSVCE)
TIP: Lots of churches and parishes have singles clubs. If your church doesn’t have a singles club, think about starting one and if you don’t belong to a church, now might be a good time to join one.
NOTE: Hope, Help and Healing is a faith-based on-line personal study program designed for those in separation or divorce, but is a beneficial resource for anyone, married or unmarried, going through a break-up.
Forgive and learn from your mistakes.
Forgiveness truly is the gateway to healing and happiness. Your relationship may have ended over some horribly egregious transgression. It may have ended over a series of irreconcilable differences or it may have died from lack of attention. Whatever the cause and no matter the circumstances, forgive your ex. This will be difficult if you feel the victim and especially difficult if your ex does not seek to be forgiven. Do it anyway. Our Lord Jesus tells us, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” (Matthew 6:12)
Often times a broken heart can lead you to feel blameless. If this is the true for you, take time to ask yourself some meaningful questions about your failed relationship.
Was I attentive enough?
Was I selfish?
Was I overly possessive or jealous?
Was I insensitive to my ex’s feelings?
Did I respect my ex’s responsibilities and goals?
Was I verbally abusive?
Was I quick to anger and slow to forgive?
Honest answers to these types of questions will lead you to a more profound understanding of how your behavior contributed to your break up. The Holy Spirit may be lead you to apologize to your ex or to turn to God with a repentant heart, seeking His forgiveness. Whatever you do, learn from your mistakes so you will be better equipped to make your next relationship happy, healthy and successful.
It’s something no one ever wishes for, but likely something everyone will experience. If you have the capacity to love, then you also have the capacity to be hurt. Anytime you open yourself up to love, you risk getting a broken heart. This eBook will give you the steps to get over a broken heart to help you cope, heal and love again.
In this Ebook:
26 page magazine-style eBook with colorful photos and steps to recover and move on from a broken heart.
Real audio calls to listen to others share about their heartbreak experiences.
A personal video interview with Lacey Sturm (formally Flyleaf lead singer) on recovering from a broken heart.
What to avoid after a break up and how to save yourself from getting a broken heart the next time.
Also, how to help a friend get through heartbreak.
A six-week personal study for those going through separation of divorce that will guide you to sections of the Bible that are relevant to the emotions, worries and questions you are dealing with right now. We like to think of the Bible as the “owner’s manual“ for life. It’s a place where you can get real-world answers for real-world problems, including separation and divorce. Unmarried persons going through a break up may also find this study beneficial.