COVID-19 Parish Communication Messages/VideosCOVID-19 Parish Communication Messages/Videos

Messages, Video Updates and Volunteer Opportunities


COVID-19 UPDATE, #6 Saturday, March 28, 2020, @ 3 PM CDST
 
Dear friends,
 
I don't know about you, but in only the second weekend of not offering public Masses, this Pastor is tempted to be less at peace. If you know me, you know that every opportunity to celebrate Mass with a gathered assembly energizes me more than all my other responsibilities as a Pastor combined! 'Private' Masses just don't 'do the trick' for me. So I've put daily reminders on my Outlook® calendar to unite myself with Jesus in his self-isolation in the desert for 40 days which we re-live each year in this season of Lent. I read a reflection this week which likened every day of our current social distancing measures to 'Good Fridays.'
 
I also know our human nature. Some may be happy about not needing temporarily to worry about going to Mass! Many others are experiencing in a very real way a grieving process of this temporary loss of a discipline vital to frequent nourishment of their personal relationship with Jesus. Fr. Ryan has written a reflection paper which I'd recommend for your reading, and which is posted at this link: Reflection on Public Mass Suspensions
 
As we are all aware from Bishop Duca's directives published on March 17, 2020, #9, clergy-and all extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion appointed by their pastors---are obliged to obey our bishop by the temporary cessation of distributing Holy Communion except in the extraordinary circumstances mentioned in said directives. While nothing can perfectly substitute or replace what is most central to the faith life of Catholics, we are all doing the best we can in these unprecedented and uncertain circumstances. The USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) has made available many Resources for Prayer and Engagement, including on-line Masses, Adoration, and Daily Mass Readings, during Coronavirus. They are readily available at this link: https://catholiccurrent.org/covid19/
 
Should more aggressive social distancing measures be imposed which prevent appointments with priests for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has this to say: https://www.instagram.com/p/B99orbHo-iR/?igshid=9olmuy5s8t8b
 
ALERT: Effective THIS COMING TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 2020:
"LUNCH-FASTING BEFORE GOD ON TUESDAYS"
With Governor John Bel Edwards, Legislators, Members of Congress, 
Mayors, and other State and Local Officials
We all know that we are in a great war. In times like these, we are reminded that God, in His infinite mercy, has given us the most potent, spiritual weaponry. If you belong to Christ Jesus our Lord, this weaponry is in your hands. Now is the time to vigorously employ your armaments.
Would you please join Governor Edwards and other state and national government officials as well as religious leaders in "Lunch-Fasting Before God on Tuesdays"? On each Tuesday at noon for the next four weeks (and possibly longer), men, women, and young people through-out Louisiana will be uniting themselves in a fast from their midday meal and in earnest, private prayer in the presence of the Savior of the world.
In addition to your own participation, will you please, by every means possible, reach out to others and ask them to join you and our leaders in this united engagement in fasting and prayer?
 "Lunch-Fasting Before God on Tuesdays"will begin next Tuesday, March 31st.
Special note: If your health condition will not allow you to totally abstain from food at lunch,would you please consider fasting from "pleasant food" at noon on Tuesdays 
(Daniel 10:3)?
 
May each of us continue to do all we can to be agents of bringing an end to the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. May be continued to be united in prayer for all our health care professionals, all who are ill, and all who have died.
 
We're sure there is more news to come! Stay tuned!
 
Yours in our Good Shepherd,
Father Randy and Father Ryan
 
 

COVID-19 #5 UPDATE FOR ST. ALOYSIUS-MARCH 27, 2020, 11:30AM

Dear friends,

TODAY: Pope’s Urbi et Orbi Blessing Streamed at Noon CDST. As you’ve probably read or seen, Pope Francis has called for a worldwide ‘Day of Prayer and Fasting” today to bring an end of the Coronavirus pandemic and healing to all who are sick. All of us are encouraged today to participate in a special prayer of our Holy Father Pope Francis today at 12 noon local time. During the Statio orbis, which will be streamed from the Vatican website at www.vaticannews.va, and perhaps carried live by multiple other Catholic media outlets, Pope Francis will grant to all participants the Plenary Indulgence before imparting the Urbi et Orbi Blessing.

More Parish Groups Actively Have WEB meetings. An increasing number of our reflection, study, and prayer & devotions groups are finding creative and innovative ways to continue their regular meetings on-line. Our Youth Minister, MacDougall Womack (himself somewhat of a techno-whiz) and youth group members have come up with ways to continue meeting and praying and having fun together on-line. Check out MacDougall’s recent posting  to our youth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NN_Qp0Guzrc.  You’re invited to connect to our conference call recitation of the Rosary, Monday through Saturday, at 11:00AM and to our Stations of the Cross on Fridays (through Good Friday) at both 9:00AM and 3:00PM  at our website, there is a link to instructions to join these conference calls. 

Sunday Mass at Aloysius: Find our Mass for Sunday, March 29, 2020, posted at our Website and Facebook pages for viewing anytime, starting this Sunday morning.

Audio Recordings of Our Sunday Homilies. Listen to the homilies of both Father Randy and Father Ryan, for both last Sunday and this coming Sunday, posted at our website: http://church.aloysius.org/weekly-homilies

Bishop Duca’s private weekday Masses are available for viewing at the diocese’s Catholic TV channel 15 and on its YouTube channel: http://www.catholiclifetv.org/televised-liturgy/today-s-mass. Additionally, a number of our other local priests and parishes were pre-equipped or have been able to become equipped to live-stream regularly scheduled private Masses and other devotions via YouTube channels or other technology, and they are able to do so without the ‘close-quarters’ technical assistance of others.

In these ongoing uncertain days and weeks ahead, I wanted to share this story, which I originally remember seeing somewhere more than 20 years ago:

                                                                                                                Our Father Provides

One day, a little boy stood waving a smudgy red flag at the side of a railroad track. Off in the distance a freight engine and a single caboose were approaching slowly down the track. A man who stood watching all this was prompted to walk over and say to the boy. “You don’t think that train is going to stop for you just because you are waving that flag, do you?” Then he added cynically, “Don’t waste your time.” The little boy made no answer but kept on waving the flag. As the man looked on, to his utter amazement he saw the train slow down and finally come to a stop, just in front of the boy. The boy put the flag down and scrambled up the side of the engine into the cab. As he reached the top, the boy looked back at the man and said with a knowing smile, “The engineer is my father.” Sometimes, people chide us for praying to God as we do. They say, as the man said to the little boy, “Don’t waste your time,” but they forget that God is our Father.

Yours in our Good Shepherd,

Father Randy and Father Ryan

 

COVID-19 #4 UPDATE FOR ST. ALOYSIUS  – MARCH 24, 2020, 12 Noon

Dear friends,

Men’s ACTS retreat scheduled for April 16-19, 2020, has been postponed to the fall.

Grab ‘n Go’ drive-thru meal pick-up for students…only initiated last week..has been suspended until further notice at all school distribution sites locally, including St. Aloysius. Only after the sites were established and up-and-running were they informed of daily health screening and PPE required of food service personnel delivering the program, which sites were unable to requisition and acquire because the equipment is backordered and earmarked first for medical personnel. That factor, coupled with staffing issues at some sites owing to yesterday’s ‘stay at home’ order, resulted in suspension of the service. There is a chance that it may be resumed, so stay tuned.

Consistent with our bishop’s latest update this morning www.diobr.org, our St. Aloysius Pastoral Services Center building has been CLOSED to visitors. However, a skeleton crew of our Church staff is at work in the building and are able to receive and answer calls, or retrieve and return voice mail messages, as well as receive and reply to email messages. http://church.aloysius.org/about/staff/  Staff who are able to work from home are doing so, and To drop off mail and deliveries during published weekday business hours, visitors are able to be ‘buzzed’ in to the lobby. If no reply is forthcoming from ringing the doorbell, call the Church office number: 225-343-6657.  All full time and part time >20 staff continue to receive their pay. Custodial and maintenance essential staff are working on-site on adjusted staggered shifts, observing social-distancing measures, and assuring the safety, security, operational readiness, and cleanliness of all our facilities.

Our Pastoral Council met again by conference call last evening to assess the progress made by our ministries in just the last week with initiatives to keep our parishioners connected and as active as possible in the activities and services of our ministries. Links have been posted at our website to sign up to help us reach out to all the households of our parish to check on them and see if they have needs with which we can help. .Many are gathering on-line in prayer and common recitation of devotions. Both Fr. Ryan and I will be posting the audio-recordings of our Sunday homilies to our website in advance of the weekend, and Fr. Ryan will be posting videos of his recorded Sunday Mass, albeit without the ‘bells and whistles’ to which we are accustomed at our in-person Sunday Masses.

On-line Baptism Seminars are in the works, as is the First Communion Retreat program for parents and our First Communion candidates. So….stay tuned as we continue to adjust to our new reality, still in hopes that it will be short-lived!

Yours in our Good Shepherd,

Father Randy and Father Ryan

 

 

COVID-19 #3 UPDATE FOR ST. ALOYSIUS  Friday, March 20, 2020

COVID-19 #2 UPDATE FOR ST. ALOYSIUS MARCH19, 2020

3.19.2020 Video Message from Fr. Ryan 

COVID-19 #1  UPDATE FOR ST. ALOYSIUS PARISH #1  March 16, 2020

3.18.020  Parish Family Outreach from Fr. Ryan Hallford March 18, 2020  To Volunteer

3.16.2020 The status of scheduled services, events, and activities published in the bulletin is changing rapidly with new information and direction about arresting and containing the spread of the coronavirus. Please see our Facebook® page, or www.church.aloysius.org, and check your email (registered households) for messages with the latest updates about schedule changes, postponements, closures, and cancellations.

3.16.2020 Bishop Michael Duca of the Diocese of Baton Rouge has announced, beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the suspension of public celebrations of Sunday and daily Masses in all parishes and Catholic institutions in the diocese. The suspension is in effect until further notice.