updated March 26th at 2:50 PM
Bishop Gainer Suspends Holy Week and Easter Masses
Directive Follows Decree from Pope Francis
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Today, Bishop Ronald W. Gainer regrettably announces that no public Masses will be celebrated for Palm Sunday, Holy Week or Easter. This difficult decision was made after careful consideration of the decree (In time of Covid-19 (II)) issued by Pope Francis, and in following the recommendations of state and local government and, most especially, out of continued concern for the health and wellbeing of the faithful during these unprecedented times.
“Our Diocese, our nation and our world are experiencing the unthinkable with the coronavirus. With this global pandemic in mind, the Holy See, Pope Francis, has decreed that all Holy Week and Easter Masses will be celebrated, but that countries impacted by coronavirus and in cases where restrictions regarding the assembly and movement of people are in place, the bishop and priests may celebrate without the presence of the faithful. With the restrictions and recommendations from our state government, and in consideration of the highly contagious nature of this virus, it would be irresponsible of me to open our parish while still in the midst of this pandemic,” said Bishop Gainer. “Please know the impact of this announcement is not lost on me. I too am deeply hurting by not being able to gather with the faithful for the celebration of Mass.
“Although we cannot come together for public Masses during this holiest time of year, our priests will celebrate Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter Masses. Many of our Parishes are live streaming these Masses and I encourage the faithful to participate in Mass through these online means.”
Parishes throughout the Diocese have been asked to bless the palms used on Palm Sunday and to make them available for parishioners at a later date. The Chrism Mass in which the Holy Oils used in celebrating the sacraments are blessed and which traditionally is held during Holy Week, and includes a gathering of all priests from the Diocese in order to renew their priestly promises, has also been postponed. Parishes within the Diocese have been asked to prepare worship aids and distribute them to parishioners, allowing the faithful to more actively participate in the Holy Week and Easter Masses remotely. Additional information on live stream options and resources for parishioners are available on the Health Alerts page of the Diocesan website, www.hbgdiocese.org/coronavirus.
Additional COVID-19 prevention measures and recommendations from the Diocese are also available on the website.
Rachel A. Bryson
Executive Director of Public Relations | Diocese of Harrisburg
A Message from our Pope
This Friday, March 27, at 1 p.m. EDT (6 p.m. in Rome) via a live video stream, Pope Francis will be imparting the Urbi et Orbi blessing and granting a Plenary Indulgence to all those who participate. The blessing will be live streamed on the Vatican News website www.vaticannews.va at 1 p.m. All members of the faithful are encouraged to participate in this special event.
(The term Urbi et Orbi (which means “for the city and for the world”) signifies that a papal document is addressed not only to the City of Rome but to the entire Catholic world.)
In an effort to comply with state and diocesan directives to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, the following change will happen on Monday, March 23rd:
Beginning on Monday, March 23rd, St. Mary’s Parish Office will be able to answer phone calls from 9 am to 12 noon only. You may leave messages after that period. All other inquiries, please use email email@example.com.
To reiterate, the parish and mission facilities are closed until further notice. Please do not come to St. Mary’s or the Fatima Mission. Masses and the celebration of other sacraments are suspended until further notice. To request the Last Rites for someone in danger of death, please use the Emergency Number: 717-708-6698.
And remember, right now, what it means to be a good Catholic is to be a good citizen. May each of us do our civic duty and comply with the guidelines and directives issued by the CDC, the State of Pennsylvania, Lebanon County and the Diocese of Harrisburg. Doctors, nurses and first responders are not at home so they can help us. Let us stay at home to help them.
✔️Click here to donate ; safe and secure During this difficult time, despite the fact that we cannot attend HolyMass, we need to continue to support our parish so as Father Bob said, “We can keep the lights on.”
Thank you so much. May you experience God’s peace through these trying times.
you can donate online by following this link or mail your envelope to Assumption BVM, 2 N. 8th Street, Lebanon, PA 17042
✔️New Information regarding pie sale. Bob Mettley is waiting to hear from Sycamore to be sure they will fill the order, however you can still order. Bob will hold all the money . If Sycamore finds they can’t fill the order, he will refund all the money to those who ordered.
Here is a link to an order form, if you need one. Print it out and mail it with your money to Assumption BVM, 2 North 8th Street, Lebanon , PA 17046 . Please write “pie order” on the envelope.
Easter Pie Sale
From the Pastor Click here to read this message from our Pastor. posted March 18th at 10:30 AM
✔️Nursing Home Visits Suspended: posted March 18
First Friday visits to the home bound and pastoral visits to nursing homes are suspended. Anointing and Viaticum (Last Rites) are still available to those in danger of death.
Bishop Gainer’s recently issued a number of directives to his priests and deacons. The directive regarding the Sacrament of Penance (during the Coronavirus Pandemic) states;
“The faithful should be urged to request the sacrament of penance only in danger of death.”
In order to comply with this directive and those of the CDC and PA State officials to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus to one another and to priests:
…….the March 22nd Penance Service has been cancelled;
………extended times to hear confessions on March 25th and 26th from 7-9 pm have been cancelled.
Also, regularly scheduled confessions on Tuesdays at 7:15 am and Saturdays from 4-5 pm have been cancelled until further notice.
✔️Bishop Gainer Temporarily Suspends All Masses
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Today and effective immediately until further notice, Bishop Ronald W. Gainer, out of great concern for the health of the faithful and in union with the Bishops of Pennsylvania, has temporarily suspended all daily and weekend Masses in the Diocese of Harrisburg. Additionally, Bishop Gainer has suspended all public liturgies and devotions, and has asked that all churches and chapels be closed, including all perpetual adoration chapels.
Bishop Gainer made this decision after careful consideration of the recommendations from public health officials, and out of great concern for the health and well-being of the faithful, our clergy and parish staffs, given the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
“For Catholics, the Eucharist is the source and summit of our life in Christ, strengthening us to remain firm in our faith as we journey through this life. Making this difficult decision to temporarily suspend Masses and close our churches was not made lightly,” said Bishop Gainer. “Rather, this decision has been made after careful discussions and considerable reflection on the advice being provided from healthcare professionals. I deeply care for all those members of my flock. As chief shepherd, it is m y duty to see to their spiritual health, and now in these challenging times, also to their physical welfare. I continue to pray for all those impacted by this virus, for our medical professionals caring for the ill and for all people facing these uncertain times. I also pray for the intercession of our Blessed Mother, Mary, health of the sick.”
A listing of live broadcasting and/or recordings of Masses from parishes throughout the Diocese is available on the Health Alerts page of the Diocesan website. Daily and Sunday Masses are also available from EWTN on Comcast channel 291 in the Harrisburg area, or online at https://video.ewtn.com/daily-mass.
Additional resources for parishes and the faithful will be available, also on the Diocesan website, in the coming days. These resources will include ways the faithful can continue to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
Please visit the Health Alerts page of the Diocesan website for the most up-to-date information regarding the Diocese’s response to COVID-19, including a listing of Diocesan event cancellations and postponements, as well as additional COVID-19 prevention measures and recommendations.
✔️Updated March 16th at 2:00 PM
✅Silent Lunches on Wednesdays are now cancelled.
✅No daily Mass.
✅Stations of the Cross on Fridays are now cancelled.
✅Adoration is now suspended on Wednesdays.
✅From Rashko: Please be aware, due to the unknown for mass, we are canceling all music practices and events until further notice.
- During this time, especially during the Lenten season, we wanted to remind you that EWTN broadcasts the daily Mass live at 8am Eastern from Our Lady of the Angels Chapel on the EWTN campus in Irondale, Alabama. You can watch live on TV or online via streaming at ewtn.com/tv/watch-live.You can also listen to the Mass live on the radio, SIRIUS/XM, or listen online at ewtn.com/radio/listen-live.If you missed the live stream, you can get today’s daily readings and homily at this link.
Below is a suggested prayer of spiritual Communion.
Jesus, really present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar, since I cannot now receive thee under the sacramental veil, I beseech thee, with a heart full of love and longing, to come spiritually into my soul through the Immaculate Heart of thy most Holy Mother, and to abide with me, thou in me, and I in thee, in time and in eternity. Amen.
UPDATED MONDAY MARCH 16TH AT 2:00 PM
✔️Please be aware, due to the unknown for mass, we are canceling all music practices and events until further notice. Thank you
✔️The following policies regarding ALL events/rehearsals are in effect:
LEBANON CATHOLIC SHOW (Little Women)
Due to the Diocesan mandate for all school activities (including musicals) be immediately cancelled or postponed until at least April 15. Therefore, we are in need to RESCHEDULE, NOT CANCEL the show. ALL PIT MEMBERS MUST SUBMIT IN WRITING WHAT DATES WILL WORK:
April 24, 25, 26 May 1,2,3
May 16,17,18 (NOT AVAILABLE DUE TO 40 HOURS).
Please be vigilant to watch emails, social media for further contacts. Thank you for your continued work for our Lord Jesus Christ.
With prayers for all:
Mr. Rashko F. Nutaitis
Director of Music