March 30, 2020
Dear Saint Joseph Parish Families,
No matter what is going on in your heart, I believe the Lord does not want us to be discouraged or afraid. As a firm believer in the power of prayer I encourage you to use the enclosed prayer from Pope Francis as well as personal prayers that comfort you. If we do this, God will be glorified, and we will rejoice with him when all of this is over.
You need to know what is happening in our Parish and Diocese. The following is the most current information we have. Please know this is uncharted territory for all of us, so some things may change. We are writing this script day by day.
For Sacramental emergencies (Baptism/Confession/Anointing of the Sick) please call (812) 482-1805. If it is after hours you will be instructed on how to proceed. If you are at Memorial Hospital, they will contact a Priest for you, upon request.
The Parish Center is open 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. This is for Pastoral concerns only. You are encouraged to phone the Parish Center to verify hours. Appointments are strongly suggested.
Weekend and weekday Masses are still celebrated (non public). Father Homero and Father Andrew will join me in celebrating private Masses daily. Mass intentions can be found in the bulletin. We will also pray a special petition for the Prayers you hold in your heart and for our brothers and sisters directly affected by the Pandemic, world wide.
Bishop Siegel and I encourage Sunday Prayer. We share the pain of your loss of Mass and Communion and know it to be a great cross for many. I encourage you to remain faithful to the Third Commandment “To keep holy the Sabbath” by praying as a household, watching an online or televised mass. Bishop Siegel will celebrate Mass at 10:00 AM EDT from Saint Benedict Cathedral. View at www.facebook.com/saintbenedictcathedral . Saint Joseph will continue our regular 11:00 AM rebroadcast on WJTS (Channel 7-Spectrum). You might also enjoy Bishop Robert Barron (workonfire.org), EWTN (EWTN.com) broadcasts or search for area parishes on FaceBook (st joe jasper).
Celebrating Easter Sunday and Holy Week – At this time it looks like we may be celebrating in our homes. Your home is known as “The Domestic Church” and there can be a beauty in your home and family being the place of worship and celebration. Consider making an altar; a crucifix, candle, your Bible, and possibly a religious statue is all you need. Gather at your home Altar to pray, read scripture, and join in celebrating Mass at Easter. Please share a photo of your altar with Father Eugene - firstname.lastname@example.org . We plan to stream Holy Thursday live on Facebook at 6:30 PM, Good Friday we will broadcast service(s) on WJTS and Easter Sunday Mass will be broadcast at 11:00 AM, April 12.
In addition to the Sunday Mass, we are hoping to provide you resources and ways to pray with your families and in your homes. This is a time to introduce a new daily devotion with your family. We will be praying the Angelus daily at Noon. Each day at 3:00 PM we will have inspirational reflection both posted to Facebook. Father Andrew will be hosting What’s Up Wednesday each Wednesday at 4:00 PM. A gift for you is a www.formed.org membership.
The doors of Saint Joseph Church are open from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM daily. You are welcome to stop and spend time in the presence of Jesus, and seek peace. We ask our visitors to keep social distancing in mind and of course stay home if you, or someone in your home are sick or have health/age issues that might compromise your recovery. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) limits groups to 10 or less.
The Sacraments of Marriage, Baptism, and Funerals continue, with restrictions.
Confession continue to be offered at Saint Joseph – Saturday mornings 11:00 AM to Noon,
Wednesdays starting at 7:30 AM, and Thursdays starting at 7:00 PM. For the time being confessions will be offered in the two front confessionals. The priest will sit in the confessional and the penitent will sit in the main body of the church facing the altar in either the chair or the pew directly across from the priest. The purple curtain should remain down to allow for social distancing.
All activities, events, meetings, and classes at Saint Joseph are cancelled until further notice.
Tithes have been a concern for several families that have hand delivered them to the Parish Office. In an effort to minimize health risks we encourage you to make your contributions electronically. This will protect both you and our staff as it reduces face to face exposure and also transmission risk by currency or check. You can set up your electronic tithes at SaintJosephJasper.org , then follow the link on our home page. If you do not have the ability to make your contribution electronically you can mail them to the parish center.
For the most current information please visit our website (www.SaintJosephJasper.org) or our Facebook page (St Joe Jasper. You can also subscribe to Saint Joseph Flocknotes (www.StJoeJasper.flocknote.com) and we will send significant updates to you by text or email, regrettably we do not have the resources to phone individual homes.
Saint Joseph has been aggressive in reaching out to our community to offer support and prayer. I hope you were able to pause as the bells of Saint Joseph tolled as an invitation to prayer and to honor the Feast Day of Saint Joseph, on March 19, 2020. The bells will continue to toll at 3:00 PM daily as a continued invitation to pause and pray.
We continue to reach out in support of our community – Backpack Buddies, Community Chew and Dubois County Community Meals, and the Blood Mobile are among those we have engaged. We serve the “highly at risk” in the community with support. There is still more to do, let us know of any suggestions.
Please send your thoughts to Editor@SaintJosephJasper.org .
I ask you to remember that the most repeated phrase in Scripture is “Be not afraid!” God probably sends us this message so often because fear is such a big part of human nature. Fear can alert us to danger, but fear can also lead us astray. Let us set aside our fears and choose to pray for the protection and embrace of our Lord with confidence in the Holy Spirit.
May the power of the Holy Spirit be with you,
Father Eugene Schmitt, Pastor
Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death Amen. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death Amen.Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death Amen., the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death Amen.