March 12, 2020 +JMJ
Dear Parishioners of Divine Mercy of Paulding County,
Greetings in Jesus Christ! Just this evening I received a memo from Bishop Daniel Thomas, regarding coronavirus prevention measures which include the following paragraphs:
Given the current grave situation posed by the threat of the coronavirus and in accord with the authority granted to the diocesan bishop by the Code of Canon Law (canons 87§1 and 1245), I, in union with all my brother bishops of the State of Ohio, hereby dispense the Catholic faithful who reside in the Diocese of Toledo and all other Catholics currently in the Diocese of Toledo from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass for the weekends of March 14-15, March 21-22 and March 28-29.
Out of charity and concern for our brothers and sisters, I urge all of the faithful seriously to consider not attending Mass on these three weekends, in particular those who are sick, experiencing symptoms of illness or are at risk of illness. Those members of the faithful who do not attend Mass on these weekends should devote some time to prayer on the Lord’s Day, either alone or as a family. These faithful are, likewise, encouraged to watch/listen to a broadcast of Sunday Mass via television, radio or internet/streaming and to make a spiritual communion.
Although all the faithful are urged seriously to consider not attending Mass, the memo later states that all scheduled Masses in the Diocese will still be held, so far as possible. This is to accommodate those individuals who believe it is still prudent to attend Mass. With the likelihood that our Mass attendance will decline significantly as people discern that they ought not go to Mass, we will hold one Mass per campus during the weekends of March 14-15, March 21-22 and March 28-29. The Masses will be: Payne, 4pm Saturday; Antwerp, 8:30am Sunday; Paulding 10:30am Sunday. [That means we are cancelling the Saturday evening 6:00pm Paulding Mass, a Mass that is slimly attended already.] This schedule should accommodate all of those souls still able to attend Masses on these three weekends.
Daily Masses at Divine Mercy will continue as scheduled, with the exception that Masses originally scheduled as school Masses will now move to 8am on those same days, since schools will be closed for the next three weeks.
Also, all PSR and junior high youth group and YDisciple activities will be cancelled during the next three weeks. Catholic Chat will also be cancelled for the next three weeks.
You can find the Bishop’s full statement at our parish website.
Thank you for your patience and prayer in this trying time. Please pray for God’s healing on our land!
In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,