A message from Fr. Schiele concerning the Coronavirus

Brothers and Sisters:

By now I’m sure you’ve heard about both the closing of schools and many other places in Montgomery County for the next two weeks and the dispensation from the obligation of Sunday (weekend) Mass until further notice from Archbishop Pérez.

The statement from Archbishop Pérez did not address events such as devotions and prayer meetings.  Since we are in Montgomery County, however, where religious leaders have been asked “to use discretion to prevent the spread of COVID-19.” (from the 6 ABC news website).  To that end, I am suspending all prayer groups, devotions, Wednesday Exposition and Stations of the Cross for the two week period ending March 27.  As the state and county governments reevaluate and provide updated guidelines, I will do the same.

I don’t like doing this.  If there’s one thing we need right now, it’s prayer.  But with so much uncertainty surrounding this virus, I’d rather err on the side of caution.  At present, our plan is to do a thorough cleaning of the Church and School during the closure but as many of the companies that offer disinfection service have been telling us, at present, the materials used in disinfection will only work on what was on the surface when applied; the next person who coughs in the room now puts us back almost at square one.  Nonetheless, we will be doing that cleaning with the time we have.

As Archbishop Pérez indicated in his statement, ALL MASSES will still take place and the Church will be open for those celebrations.  This includes the weekday and Saturday 7:15 AM and the weekday Lenten 12:05 PM in addition to the weekend Masses.  If you are comfortable coming to that prayer, you are most welcome.  But be safe and be healthy.  If you are at risk for this virus, you are NOT doing anything wrong by being cautious and not coming to Church.  Pray with us at home and remember all those suffering worldwide from this virus and all those brave men and women in the healthcare and first responder fields who are working with the sick.  And don’t forget all those keeping our services and utilities up and running as well.  If there’s one thing this disease reminds us, we are all interconnected.  Hopefully, some good will come out of this as we all work together to treat, prevent and support each other.  Those are good virtues to cultivate at all times.

And while I’ve got you, don’t forget the Disciple Maker Index.  I just got the email.  About 400 responses.  Not bad but let’s be better.  I understand.  We are all majorly DISTRACTED right now.  But why not distract yourself for about 20 minutes from all this and do a dive into your faith life and respond to the Index.

And remember that if you’re getting this through Flocknote, we only have about half the parish in the system right now.  Please pass this on to your fellow parishioners.  Many thanks.

And thank you for your understanding and your support.  On behalf of Fr. Fedak, Fr. Silva, Deacon Langsdorf, Deacon Evans, Deacon Currie and the Parish Staff, know that you and your families are always in our prayers, especially during this challenging time.  May God bless you always.

Rev. John D. Schiele, Pastor
Corpus Christi Parish
900 Sumneytown Pike
Lansdale, PA  19446