A letter from the pastor

Dear Faithful of St. Paul’s and St. Peters,

I know that many have been astonished by the extraordinary decision to suspend the celebration of the Mass for the coming weeks.  This speaks so strongly of the meaning of the Eucharist to us all.

The hunger for the Eucharist is heightened now as the celebration of Mass and reception of Holy Communion is not readily available to us.  May this hunger touch us all during the coming weeks in ways that heighten not only our desire to receive Holy Communion, but also our desire to join together to celebrate the Eucharist with our brothers and sisters.  When we gather for the Sunday Eucharist, we come together for the fullest experience of the presence of the divine — through Christ, the presence of the Father in our midst.  This Lenten season is extraordinary in so many ways – may it be a time of extraordinary grace for us all.

I ask you to join me in ardent prayer as we journey through these last weeks of Lent — remembering all who have been affected directly or in any way by this unprecedented global public health issue.

Please be assured that along with Fr. Valan and Fr. Joseph, you and your family and all your intentions are remembered at our daily private Mass and in our daily prayers.  We greatly miss celebrating the holy sacrifice of the Mass with you.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Fr. Michael R. Houle, Pastor

*Please continue to pray for our seminarians who remain in semi-quarantine at the seminary .  Mac Hill tells us they are all well and continuing classes.  Since they are confined to campus they have become like a monastery with extended hours of adoration during which time they are praying for us. 

 

 

 

  

 

A Recap of Suspensions and Dispensations in Effect in the Diocese of St. Augustine Until Further Notice

March 24, 2020

From the Office of Bishop Felipe Estevez: 

  • All public Masses are suspended in the churches and chapels of the Diocese of St. Augustine (i.e., no weekday or Sunday public Masses, no communion services, or Masses in homes).

  • Priests will still offer the Sacrifice of the Mass daily (but without participation by the faithful) for the needs of the Church and the world, especially as we face the present realities of the pandemic. 

  • Indefinite dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass for three categories of people for as long as the specific condition below continues: 

    •  All who are sick and those who are caring for them

    •  Those who because of age or infirmity are at higher risk for contracting the coronavirus

    •  Those who have been exposed to the coronavirus because of travel or other circumstances 

 To further protect public health and calm fears, Bishop Estévez has also dispensed all the Catholic faithful from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass until the suspension of Mass is rescinded. 

  • By his authority as the diocesan bishop to dispense from universal ecclesiastical laws, Bishop Estévez has also dispensed all Catholics from the prohibition during Lent this year to abstain from meat on Fridays.

When families and individuals take advantage of this dispensation, they are asked to consider other acts of penance or charity that they might carry out in its place.

Spiritual Communion
In the absence of Mass and the Eucharist, the faithful are encouraged to make a “Spiritual Communion” through the prayer of the Most Holy Redeemer (Anima Christi), the prayer of Self-Offering (Suscipe), or by praying the prayer below:

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.