Dear Parishioners,

As you may have heard, Bishop Jenky of the Diocese of Peoria has suspended all public Masses beginning March 14th until further notice. This is an unprecedented action and for lack of better words this is a crazy time in our country and our world. Almost all sporting events, practices, school, travel, etc. have been canceled. Many are worried and trying to adjust their lives according to these changes.

It’s so unfortunate that when we clearly need God so much we aren’t able to go to Mass. However, it doesn’t mean we should just forget about prayer or Mass all together! I have included a link to give you the opportunity to participate in Mass from your computer and have included some helpful hints to make this a fruitful time of prayer for you and your family. May your lack of receiving our Lord in the Holy Eucharist these coming weeks stir in your heart a deeper desire to receive Him again.

Many of us enjoy some “mindless” TV from time to time. We often “wedge” from our couches or easy chairs, passively watching images in front of us. BUT when it comes to viewing the Sacrifice of the Mass on a “screen”, let’s actively participate!

Here are some practical tips— if you think of others, add them to the comment section so we can help each other enjoy the fruits of Mass.

  1. Dress of Mass: Put on your “Sunday best” – even if watching from your living room.
  2. Prep: Read the Scriptures before Mass.
  3. Silence: Quiet yourself and your surroundings even for just a few minutes.
  4. Call to mind your personal intentions: if you are with your family or a small gathering of friends, share those intentions out loud. Remember to include the sick, the lonely, those who are afraid, and all those who care for the sick.
  5. Stand-Sit-Kneel, Sing- Respond-Listen: act like you are in the Presence of God. (You ARE in His presence. You are present in church, mentally and spiritually).
  6. Make Spiritual communion: There is a vast treasury of these prayers. Find one that feeds your soul. (The priest will pray on with you during the broadcast too.)
  7. Give Thanks: Pause for a moment after the broadcast ends.
  8. Get Hungry: Long for your next Holy Communion. Get excited to pray with your brothers and sisters in our church again. Resolve. to never grumble again about getting up early on a Sunday or when someone takes “your” parking space, or “your” pew again.

Please continue to check our website and Facebook page for further details, updates, and resources.

God Bless,

Father Dustin Schultz

Pastor of St. Patrick Church of Merna

Pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Downs