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Entries for March 2020

Important Update

Posted on March 16, 2020 in: General News

Important Update
There is additional information regarding changes and cancellations on the Archdiocesan website, ARCHSTL.COM You are encouraged to pray the following prayer which is from the USCCB

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Tomorrow, Friday, March 27th, Pope Francis invites everyone around the world to join in prayer for deliverance from this coronavirus. Yes, frequently washing your hands, shelter in place, and social distancing of at least 6 feet is critically important. More important, we need to PRAY daily for those who are sick, those who have been exposed, for all our Doctors, Nurses, Health Care givers, for all those also on the front lines such as our police, fire-fighters, EMTs, those who are providing food, and so many essential services.

Beginning at Noon, St. Louis time, the Holy Father will lead the prayer service and conclude with the “Urbi et Orbi Blessing” (Blessing to the City of Rome and to the World”). All who receive this Blessing in the state of Grace are granted a plenary indulgence. (Simply go to your search engine “Pope Francis Urbi et Orbi Blessing” or refer to EWTN. In addition, if there are children in your home, you might have them do a search for the meaning of a plenary indulgence, a teachable moment to better understand the gift of their Catholic Faith.)

Grateful for You,
Father John Leykam

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On this our Parish Feast Day, many of us were able to be spiritually connected with Christians around the world as we prayed the Lord’s Prayer at Noon today with Pope Francis for deliverance from this pandemic.

On this our Parish Feast Day, everyone can pray the rosary, that through the intercession of our Lady, those who are sick may recover, the Doctors, Nurses, and Health Care Workers may be protected, and that all will heed the sound medical guidelines that come from our Medical Professionals.

On this our Parish Feast Day, I offer private Mass for you and your families!

Pope Francis

Friday, March 27th, Our Holy Father has invited everyone to participate spiritually, through all means of communication, in prayer for the whole world affected by the coronavirus. The ceremony will consist of readings from the Bible, prayers, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; and will conclude with Pope Francis giving the Urbi et orbi Blessing, with the possibility of gaining a plenary indulgence for all those who listen to it live. This blessing “to the City of Rome and to the World” is normally only given on Christmas and Easter. This prayer at St. Peter’s in Rome begins at 6 p.m. Rome time. (Simply go to your search engine “Pope Francis Urbi et Orbi Blessing” or refer to EWTN.)

Casseroles for St. Patrick Center

A reminder that the First Friday of April, is next week. For those who make casseroles for the hungry and homeless cared for by St. Patrick’s Center, please leave your frozen casseroles on the table by the front door of the rectory. As we are reminded, “Hunger never takes a vacation." Thank You!

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Tomorrow, March 25, is our Parish Feastday! Catholics and many Christians are celebrating the Annunciation, the day Gabriel visited Our Lady and thus the feast of the Lord becoming flesh within the womb of the Virgin Mary.

Pope Francis has invited all Christians around the globe to unite on March 25th at noon to pray the Our Father together - so that as the entire world is suffering from the pandemic, so the Lord might hear all of Christendom united in prayer.

In order to honor Our Blessed Mother, please pray the Rosary as a family, for God’s protection for all our Doctors, Nurses, Health Care Professionals, EMTs, Police Officers, and Firefighters. Through the intercession of Mary, we pray for those who have the virus, those who have been exposed, that God grant them healing.

At daily private Mass, you and your Families are prayed for!

God Protect You,
Father John Leykam

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I am happy to hear that many of you have used the information to watch and pray along with Masses on TV and at various sites on the internet which have been included on our website.

We have many e-mail addresses so we are able to send our Sunday bulletin electronically. Of course, the bulletin is still posted on our website. (If you wish to receive the bulletin via e-mail, please let Dodie Nelke know at: dodie@annunziata.org)

SLIconnect is the education resource of St. Luke Institute. SLIconnect.org offers resources for Catholic clergy, religious, and lay leadership by experts in psychological and spiritual health. While they offer courses and conferences for which they charge, they also offer free resources such as an excellent video called, “Resiliency in Times of Crisis.”

As you might have seen on the news, all public liturgies for Holy Week are suspended in order to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.  Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, the Chrism Mass, Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Good Friday Passion of the Lord, the Easter Vigil, Easter Sunday, will be live-streamed with Archbishop Carlson from the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. Specific times and more information will come later.

While it is not possible to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion at this time, there are still opportunities to draw close to Christ and unite with the Church during these difficult times. In the posting on our Parish Website: www.Annunziata.org last Wednesday, March 18th, and repeated in last Sunday’s bulletin, there is an explanation of Spiritual Communion and a prayer for that. In addition, for a handout on Spiritual Communion or other Liturgical Resources please visit the St. Louis Archdiocesan website: https://www.archstl.org/sacred-worship/spiritual-resources

You and your Family are remembered at private Mass,
Fr. John Leykam

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With all public Masses suspended, I hope that all are able to find daily Mass on the multiple sites and channels I have put in this weekend’s Sunday bulletin, posted online, and also the other websites I included on the parish website posts during this past week.     If you go to the website:  StPaulCenter.com/hub there is a new section called, “Quarantined Catholic Hub” that offers opportunities for real spiritual growth.

Each day I offer a private Mass.  Please know you and your family are prayed for daily.

In Christ’s Love,  Father John Leykam

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As of Tuesday, March 17th, the Archbishop suspended all public Masses in the Archdiocese of St. Louis in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. This pastoral decision will be maintained through April 5, 2020, pending further updates.

Annunziata Church will be open, as will all Catholic Churches, to individuals for personal prayer, devoons, and the Sacrament of Confession at the regular me on each Saturday from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. Church of the Annunziata opens Monday thru Friday from 6:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturdays from 6:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sundays from 6:45 a.m. unl Noon.

While there are no public Masses, Mass is live streamed from the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis at http://cathedralstl.org/live/ (Sunday at 10 a.m. and Monday thru Saturday at 8 a.m. Mass is televised on EWTN (Sundays at 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. and Monday thru Saturday at 7 a.m., 11 a.m., and 6 p.m.

Please note that this weekend’s Parish bullen should be on line later on this Friday aernoon, with hard copies available at Church beginning this weekend. In the bullen, please find addional informaon on Masses that you can live-stream.

I miss YOU!  Father John Leykam

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Today, March 19th, is the Feast of St. Joseph, Protector of Families.  During this challenging time, let us reach out in prayer for our family, friends, and community—and in a special way, for the sick, suffering, and those who are caring for them.

Pope Francis has asked everyone to pray a rosary in honor of St. Joseph for an end to this pandemic.  

God Bless You,
Father John Leykam

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In celebrating daily private Mass, I want you to know I pray for you, your families, and your special intentions.

Yesterday I suggested watching and praying with the daily Mass on EWTN. Also, there is a daily u tube video of “Mass from Bishop Barron’s Chapel”.  You can pray along with the Mass whenever you plan to watch it on your computer. Simply google, “Word on Fire Daily Mass”.

Receiving the Blessed Sacrament in the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Catholic Faith, but during these unprecedented times and to ensure the health and safety of all people, it is not possible to receive the Sacrament during this time.  However, there are still opportunities to draw close to Christ and unite with the Church during these difficult times.

The great theologian, St. Thomas Aquinas, teaches that Spiritual Communion is an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the most Holy Sacrament and lovingly embrace Him. Here is a beautiful example:

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With the suspension of all public Masses in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, I encourage you to watch or record and pray with the daily Mass on EWTN. You may google “Word on Fire Daily Mass”.   Bishop Robert Barron or his associate, Father Steve Grumow, offer daily Mass from Bishop Barron’s Chapel. You can tune in to that U tube video and pray any time of the day.

I offer a daily private Mass and want to assure you that you and your dear family are remembered at the Altar.  This morning, Archbishop Gomez, the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, offered the following reflection and prayer for our Nation:

“With the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus, we are confronted once more with the fragility of our lives, and again we are reminded of our common humanity—that the peoples of this world are our brothers and sisters, that we are all one family under God.

God does not abandon us, God goes with us even now in this time of trial and testing. In this moment, it is important for us to anchor our hearts in the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. Now is the time to intensify our prayers and sacrifices for the love of God and the love of our neighbor. Let us draw closer to one another in our love for Christ, and rediscover the things that truly matter in our lives.

United with our Holy Father Pope Francis, let us pray in solidarity for our brothers and sisters here and around the world who are sick. Let us pray for those who have lost loved ones to this virus. May God console them and grant them peace.

We pray also for doctors, nurses, and caregivers, for public health officials and all civic leaders. May God grant them courage and prudence as they seek to respond to this emergency with compassion and in service to the common good.”

May God Bless You and your loved Ones,
Fr. John Leykam

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This afternoon, March 16th, at 4:30 I received an e-mail from Archbishop Robert Carlson. The Archbishop states that “in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community, I am mandating the suspension of all public Masses in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Pending updates and guidance from local and state government and health officials, we have preliminary plans to resume Masses beginning April 6th; however, we will re-evaluate at a later date.”

Please know our Church will be open for individuals to come for personal prayer and devotions from 6:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. during weekdays, from 6:45 to 5:00 on Saturdays, and from 6:45 to Noon on Sundays. Confessions will be held at the usual time on Saturdays from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. Our Eucharistic Chapel, next to Faris Hall, will be closed until Masses resume. Our Lenten Benediction on Wednesday evenings, Stations of the Cross on Fridays, and our Parish Lenten Mission are cancelled.

Our St. Vincent de Paul Hotline remains in operation to help those in need. The number is 314-993-8133 ext. 225. We will continue to publish a Sunday bulletin which will be online. In addition, please continue to consult this website for updated information concerning our parish.

This is a strange and challenging time, but right now, the most important thing to remember is that we are all in this together. We focus on Christ, our Savior, and pray for an end to this pandemic, through the intercession of Mary, our Blessed Mother, we pray for all who are sick, for our Doctors, Nurses, Health Care Givers, and for wisdom and trust in the power of Almighty God. (The Prayer composed by the Bishops of our Church is included on our website.)

Yes, there is actually a St. Corona whose remains are in Northern Italy. In the ninth century, at the age of 16, St. Corona gave her life to comfort a fellow Christian. Ironically, St. Corona is considered as one of the patron saints of pandemics. Let us pray through her intercession that this pandemic subsides.

God Bless you!
Fr. John Leykam

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