DIOCESE OF SAVANNAH UPDATE REGARDING COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

As the vaccine roll out continues across the country, the State of Georgia has relaxed restrictions in public places with regard to capacity requirements and social distancing measurements (please see Guidance for In-Person Operations at
https://www.georgia.org/covidfaq). While the Diocesan guidelines for Sunday Mass attendance will continue for the time being, all parishes will soon begin implementing the next phase of reopening protocols.

Pastors may use their discretion as to when these protocols will go into effect at each parish. It is expected that all parishes will be fully open by the first day of the 2021-2022 school year: August 9, 2021.

Let us move forward in unity and hope, confident in God’s help.

NEW PANDEMIC PROTOCOLS

The following protocols may be observed in the Diocese of Savannah beginning Pentecost Sunday, May 23, 2021:

Tape and ropes marking off pews may be removed. It is recommended that those attending Mass continue to maintain at least three feet of distance between households. Each individual and household should take personal responsibility for their decisions and show respect for others.

The wearing of masks inside churches and other parish buildings is encouraged.

At the discretion of the local Pastor, Holy Water may be re-introduced at the entrances of the church. If Holy Water is present, it should be refreshed on a regular (a few times per week) basis.

At the discretion of the local Pastor, hymnals may be placed in the pews. Handling and use of the hymnal is a decision left to the individual.

Hand sanitizer should be made available at church entrances.

Ushers and greeters should refrain from shaking hands as people enter.

The Offertory Procession should take place.

Altar servers should return to their pre-pandemic responsibilities.

The collection may be gathered utilizing baskets with extended handles.

The Sign of Peace should take place with the invitation: Let us offer one another a gesture of peace or a simple acknowledgment of peace.

Those distributing Holy Communion should wear masks and should sanitize their hands before and after distribution.

The faithful should not be denied the reception of Holy Communion on the tongue.

The distribution of the Precious Blood to the faithful remains suspended.

After-Mass fellowship may take place with individually wrapped food items and the observation of social distancing protocols as noted above.

As of November 29, 2020, the dispensation from Sunday Mass attendance is granted only for the following: those who belong to vulnerable populations due to age or health; caregivers and those who live with those in vulnerable populations; those who are sick or have symptoms; and those who suffer from extreme uneasiness or anxiety from being in any public places in this time of pandemic.

FORMED.ORG

As our parishioner, we are pleased to give you a free subscription to formed.org. Entertaining movies, enlightening programs, inspiring talks, and a great selection of popular eBooks—an incredible online gateway to the best Catholic content – all in one place!

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  • Visit formed.org with a web browser
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You can also use the following link: https://churchofthelittleflower.formed.org

Divine Mercy Sunday

Divine Mercy image

Divine Mercy Sunday is the Sunday after Easter and is a special celebration and opportunity to receive the mercy of our Lord. We will pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 pm in the church. All are welcome to attend.

For more information about Divine Mercy Sunday and the graces available on the feast day, here is an excerpt from EWTN website:

During the course of Jesus’ revelations to Saint Faustina on the Divine Mercy He asked on numerous occasions that a feast day be dedicated to the Divine Mercy and that this feast be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. The liturgical texts of that day, the 2nd Sunday of Easter, concern the institution of the Sacrament of Penance, the Tribunal of the Divine Mercy, and are thus already suited to the request of Our Lord. This Feast, which had already been granted to the nation of Poland and been celebrated within Vatican City, was granted to the Universal Church by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the canonization of Sr. Faustina on 30 April 2000. In a decree dated 23 May 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stated that “throughout the world the Second Sunday of Easter will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday, a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that mankind will experience in the years to come.” These papal acts represent the highest endorsement that the Church can give to a private revelation, an act of  papal infallibility proclaiming the certain sanctity of the mystic, and the granting of a universal feast, as requested by Our Lord to St. Faustina.

Concerning the Feast of Mercy Jesus said:

Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. (Diary 300)

I want the image solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it. (Diary 341)

This Feast emerged from the very depths of My mercy, and it is confirmed in the vast depths of my tender mercies. (Diary 420)

On one occasion, I heard these words: My daughter, tell the whole world about My Inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.* [our emphasis] On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy. (Diary 699)

Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to our neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to absolve yourself from it. (Diary 742)

I want to grant complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy. (Diary 1109)

As you can see the Lord’s desire for the Feast includes the solemn, public  veneration of the Image of Divine Mercy by the Church, as well as personal acts of veneration and mercy. The great promise for the individual soul is that a devotional act of sacramental penance and Communion will obtain for that soul the plenitude of the divine mercy on the Feast.

*The Cardinal of Krakow, Cardinal Macharski, whose diocese is the center of the spread of the devotion and the sponsor of the Cause of Sr. Faustina, has written that we should use Lent as preparation for the Feast and confess even before Holy Week! So, it is clear that the confessional requirement does not have to be met on the Feast itself. That would be an impossible burden for the clergy if it did. The Communion requirement is easily met that day, however, since it is a day of obligation, being Sunday. We would only need confession again, if received earlier in Lenten or Easter Season, if we were in the state of mortal sin on the Feast.