COVID 19 ACTION PLAN
St. John Fisher Parish Family,
Praise be Jesus Christ! Even in the midst of sacrifices and uncertainty, we are confident in the love and graces of Our Holy Saviour. He asks us to have faith, persevere, and care for one another. I encourage you to have a routine for prayer. Pray with the Mass while on TV or livestreaming. Make a “Spiritual Communion” during Mass. Suggestions will follow for individual or family prayers. There are many offerings on reliable Catholic websites for daily scripture readings and reflections, the rosary, the Pope’s Daily Homily, novenas and prayers for an end of this health threat. See the Links.
Information concerning Funerals, Baptisms, and Weddings is presented below. Our parish office has limited hours for regular business hours and visitation of the chapel. The preference is to call or email if you need information or assistance. Priests and Extraordinary Ministers of the Holy Eucharist are not permitted to visit homes and institutions, with the exception of priests visiting homes and institutions for Last Rites and Viaticum of those in danger of death.
Families are asked to continue with religious education through the materials shared online from Holy Family Regional Catholic School teachers and St. John Fisher PREP catechists. A flexible but structured life for our children is important for their continuing education and emotional health.
Prepared meals are needed for AID FOR FRIENDS. They can be dropped off in the Parish Center Kitchen. Give blood at Red Cross donor sites, shop for an elderly neighbor to help them stay protected at home, call someone struggling with the isolation, and pray for the health care professionals and God’s healing mercy.
We will emerge from this crisis with faith renewed and hope strengthened.
Fr. Robert McDermott
PARISH FUNCTIONS DURING THE COVID 19 OUTBREAK
On March 17, Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez suspended all public Masses in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia effective March 18th, until further notice. “As the Archbishop of Philadelphia, my first priority is to ensure the health and welfare of those entrusted to the pastoral and temporal care of our Church,” he said. “I want to be very clear that the Catholic Church in Philadelphia is not closing down. It is not disappearing and it will not abandon you. Time and again as our history has proven the Church has risen to meet great challenges and provide a beacon of hope and light.”
Going forward, here is the plan for the activities of St. John Fisher Parish:
- There will be no public Sunday or daily Masses at St. John Fisher Parish until the Archdiocese determines the need for the suspension has passed. Father McDermott will celebrate Mass privately to honor the requested Mass intentions of the day and for the spiritual good of the parish.
- The Church will be open for prayer on Sundays from 8am until 12:30pm. Please stay at home if you are ill. Please spread out while you are in Church.
- The Chapel will be open for prayer between 8:30am-noon (Monday-Wednesday). Please enter through the Parish Center.
- Funeral Masses will be held as needed, but there will be no viewings held in the Church, no eulogies at Church, and we will follow the CDC updated guidelines limiting no more than 10 people at a public event. Music will be provided.
- Baptisms may be performed if scheduled in advance, with only one family per ceremony. We will follow the CDC updated guidelines limiting no more than 10 people at a public event.
- Wedding arrangements must be made six months in advance. Please contact Father McDermott
- Confessions will be heard by appointment.
- Stations of the Cross services have been suspended for the rest of Lent.
- Holy Family Regional School and the PREP program are suspended until at least April 6; an extension may be necessary, so please to check the website.
- Holy Communion for the homebound and Eucharistic visits to the hospital are suspended.
- A Priest will always be available for a visit to administer the Last Rites and Viaticum to those in danger of death.
- Parish facilities cannot be used for social meetings or planning committees until further notice.
- Knights of Columbus Crab Orders can be placed by dropping the form and payment to the business office by 10:00am on Mondays through March 30, or by calling Jack at 267-254-2114. Pick up is in the Parish Center on Friday afternoons, 3-6p.m.
- Aid for Friends meals are still being delivered from the parish, and the need for these will continue. Pick up supplies in the Parish Center and drop off meals to the Freezer in the kitchen.
- The Parish Business Office will be open during the week from 8:30am until noon (Monday-Wednesday). The Office will be closed on weekends.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has added a special page about its response to the COVID19 outbreak. Click Archdiocese of Philadelphia COVID19 to keep updated on statements from the Archbishop and other divisions and activities of the Archdiocese.
The best way to receive Christ is in Holy Communion at Mass. Yet, in these times when we can't celebrate a public Mass, you can still reach out to Him by making a Spiritual Communion in prayer!
St. Thomas Aquinas once defined a Spiritual Communion as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament and lovingly embracing Him as if we had actually received Him.”
You can make a Spiritual Communion whenever and wherever you'd like, using the prayer given below, or your own heartfelt thoughts. You can receive Jesus in your heart from anywhere you might happen to be, at any time, day or night! You just need to approach Him with sincerity, humility and a desire to follow in His footsteps in acts of faith and charity. And He’s delighted when we do so! The Baltimore Catechism notes that a Spiritual Communion “is an act of devotion, and one very pleasing to God.”
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament.
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
Purify it. Sanctify it. Render it like unto Your own. I embrace you now as if you were already there.
Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen
Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.
If two or more of your family members wish to pray together, here is a printable document with prayers for when you can't go to Mass.
MASSES ON TELEVISION AND ON LINE AND OTHER SPIRITUAL ACTIVITIES
- Sunday Mass
- “The Sunday Mass” airs every Sunday at 5:30 a.m. locally on WPVI-TV Channel 6 ABC
- Archbishop Pérez Mass For The Intention Of Those Affected By The COVID-19 Pandemic (March 15, 2020)
- Saint Raymond of Penafort Parish (Philadelphia)
- Saint John Nuemann Parish (Bryn Mawr)
- Saint Cornelius Parish (Chadds Ford)
- Saint Mary Magdalen Parish Sunday Mass (Media)
- Sunday Mass
- Prayers and Daily Bible Readings
RESOURCES FOR PUBLIC HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT THE CORONA VIRUS:
The parish website, stjohnfisherchurch.com is the primary means of communication with you, and will be updated when necessary. The weekly bulletin can be found at the bottom of the home page. Thank you for your understanding!