Dear Friends in Christ,
While we are unable to gather everyone in the church for the Eucharist, we have been livestreaming the daily Mass at 6pm from St. Mary Church in Marion, Monday-Friday. Since the church bells ring every evening at 6 to remind us to say the Angelus, this has helped us introduce that traditional prayer to some people who were not previously familiar with it. The Angelus is based on Luke 1:26-38, the Gospel passage that tells of the event called The Annunciation, which is also today’s feast day. At the heart of the prayer and today’s solemnity is the great mystery of the Incarnation: The eternal Son of God took a human nature to Himself in the womb of the Virgin Mary. But first, God’s angel waited for Mary to say something: Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word.
We ask for the grace to imitate Mary’s obedience of faith to the message God speaks to us through His Word, and through the events of our own time.
This afternoon I participated in a conference call that included about twenty priests of the Diocese of Columbus, to receive specialized instruction from a medical doctor on how to visit patients with infected diseases, and covid-19 in particular. I learned some things that some of you already know from your professional experience, such as how to put on and remove protective gear such as gloves, gowns, masks, and eye protection. As with most things, there is a right and a wrong way to do this! We also discussed how to administer the Sacrament of the Sick (anointing) to someone with a contagious disease. Bishop Brennan joined the call to thank everyone and offer his blessing.
We need to start thinking about the day when it will be possible to reopen our churches and other facilities. While we do not know how soon that will happen, we remain optimistic and we want to be ready! I believe that the reopening of our churches, in God’s good time, can be a great opportunity for evangelization and for rediscovering the treasures of our Faith. Please pray for these intentions.
Fr. Thomas Buffer, Pastor