To help avoid the spread of the Corona-19 virus, we have suspended all in person Masses. But we have created a virtual parish for our congregation and visitors so to maintain contact and spiritual guidance during this possibly stressful time. Please enjoy and check back often!
Please join us for Mass today by clicking on the video's photo. A new window will open so you can view / attend the Mass. For ALL of Father Rob's prior videos, please click on this link to go to the Mendocino Catholic Channel
During this period of crisis, the costs of "keeping the Lights on" continue as well as the charitible works of the Catholic Church. To Donate to your Parish, please click here.
May God Bless You!
Information on the planned activities of Holy Week at St. Anthony's and Blessed Sacrament (via our website) may e obtained by clicking below. You might want to check it out now, as we have a few surprises (guess they're called "Easter eggs"?) ... enjoy!
Click on Father Rob's photo for his inspirational message for today.
For all of Father Rob's videos (Masses and Inspirational Messages). please click this link to go to the YouTube Mendocino Catholic Channel
Join us at 10:30 AM on Sunday March 29 as Bishop Vasa celebrates this Sunday's Mass.
Merely click on the image to be redirected to the Diocese YouTube channel.
THE SOLICITUDE OF THE CHURCH DURING THESE TIMES OF TRIAL
Click the Diocese's logo to view Bishop Vasa's Message
All members of the faithful and other Christians are invited to participate in a special prayer of the Holy Father taking place in St. Peter’s Square this Friday, March 27, 2020.
This prayer will be streamed from Vatican News (clickable link) at 6 p.m. in Rome (1 p.m. Eastern; 10 a.m. Pacific).
During the prayer, the Holy Father will grant to all participants a Plenary Indulgence before imparting his Urbi et Orbi blessing.
Click the image to donate to help our Parishes "keep the lights on" while Masses are suspended during this period of "shelter in place".
Please join us on-line for Sunday Mass. The video link is available by clicking on the photo.
Please click on the image to read Father Martin Vu's thoughts on these Extraordinary Times facing our society.
Click this photo to be redirected to the EWTN Daily Mass on-line.
In the midst of all the darkness we have beautiful things like this happening! Truly touching ! And notice Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia church in the background! They know how to live in Barcelona - nothing can keep them down !!
~ Fr. Rob
Inspirational message for Thursday April 2, 2020
After I finished my yardwork and sat enjoying the afternoon while gazing at the cotton-like clouds over the coastal range my thoughts turned to God and why we have this current medical problem. Although the deaths are tragic and illnesses sad, there may be a positive outcome in that perhaps this 'plague' will bring people together.
Already the two political parties are working together more to assure that the most vulnerable are being helped. Most people are remaining calm and are cooperating and are reaching out to their neighbors. Sure, there are those who will hoard products or try to profit from this, but God will judge them and that is a much deeper consequence than any short-term profit or benefit.
I hope people take this time to turn to God, not as a miracle provider, but as a source of inspiration to follow the teachings of Jesus and treat our neighbors as we would like to be treated.
A doctor from Columbia Presbyterian hospital in New York City, who wished to remain anonymous, said people can open their windows and verbally show support, or they can just spend a few moments in solemn thought for those who leave the house every day to care for the sick.
Many expenses of our Parishes continue during this time of "shelter in place" during the Covid-19 virus parish closures. You can donate by Venmo (click this link) or by PayPal (button below) or by mailing a check to either Parish (see addresses below).
Many expenses of our Parishes continue during this time of "shelter in place" during the Covid-19 virus parish closures. Please help by mail or drop-off a check payable to your St. Anthony to this address:
St. Anthony's Catholic Church
P.O. Box 665
Mendocino, CA 95460
For donations to Blessed Sacrament, make checks payable to Blessed Sacrament and mail to:
Blessed Sacrament Church
PO Box 28
Elk California 95432
Dear Friends of St Anthony’s Mendocino,
I hope that you are staying safe and sound! I hope as well that with the added free time on your hands you are able to pray more each day.
Individually our prayers may not seem like much but when we unite ourselves especially over broad spectrums of the population, they can become very powerful. Our creation is hurting. Our world is suffering. The Covid-19 crisis is only a outpouring of this internal brokenness. But through our prayers, creation can be restored and lives healed. The human body is a microcosm of the macrocosm of all creation. If one is hurting the other is too. They are both interrelated. St Paul said the body is one but has many parts. We are all parts of the Mystical Body that is the Church but we are also parts of the collective body that is Creation. So together we need to lift up our prayers for Creation to be restored; Lives to be healed; Hearts to be mended.
For a couple of weeks at least we will have to create a different way of ‘being Church’. Fortunately, a parishioner of Blessed Sacrament in Elk has already put together a spiffy new website for us to use. I learned how to create a YouTube channel as well. So, we now have coastcatholic.org as our website and Mendocino Catholic as our YouTube channel. I am self-videoing Masses for the website and the YouTube channel and you can find many other ways through these domains to remain connected to your Faith during these difficult times.
Our Finance Council ever solicitous for the welfare our Parish Church here on the Coast also would like you to contribute in the measure possible to keep things going. However, you can help is most appreciated. I must say our Rectory Appeal was quite successful as well as our Crab Feed so at this point, we’re not desperate, but what you can give is most appreciated.
At this time, I would like to thank the members of our Finance Council who take very much at heart keeping St Anthony’s of Mendocino a viable entity here on the Coast.
God bless you all and Stay safe!
We are living in extraordinary times. Only a few weeks ago, we were hearing that the virus was only affecting China and some countries in the Eastern part of the world. But very quickly, we began to hear that the virus had arrived in Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, and finally here to the United States.
Then followed a scene worthy of the movies: everything began to close down, from schools to business to restaurants to movie theaters and even to the very doors of our churches.
This morning I celebrated a Sunday Mass on my own while recording it for my Spanish-speaking parishioners. Who would have thought that we would get to this point? And yet this is our new human reality.
Faith, Hope, and Love
In these turbulent times, how can we find some sense of stability and grounding? For followers of Christ, it is important to hold on to three things: faith, hope, and love.
First is faith, the firm belief that our God is with us no matter what, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, our God remains faithful to us. Second is hope, the conviction that this time of difficulty will pass, that it will not last forever, and that we will fight and persevere and come out of this challenge stronger than when we came into it. Last is love, the greatest of all virtues and the ultimate commandment which Jesus Himself gave to us.
I’m thinking now of all the families that are at home with their kids and grandkids home from school. If you were looking for an excuse to spend time with each other, THIS IS IT! Now is the best time to eat together, pray together, spend time together and cherish the relationships that you have and may have taken for granted.
The Lord is My Shepherd, I Shall Not Want
In today’s famous Psalm 23 we hear, “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.” The psalm continues, “Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.”
This is the promise of God to us in these moments, that even though we walk through the valley of darkness, we fear no evil, for he is at our side. Therefore, holding fast to this promise, we do not give in to fear, we do not lose our hope, we do not falter in our confidence and faith. On the contrary, now more than ever is when we place greater trust, hope, and confidence in God.
We Are Not Gods
This pandemic has taught us another valuable lesson: that we are not gods. We are not invincible, we are not all-powerful, we are not all-knowing. This is the perennial human temptation since the time of Adam, that we would take for ourselves what belongs only to God. The fact is that in our humanity, we are weak, we are fragile. We are like the blind man in today’s Gospel, and sometimes it takes something major as a pandemic to shake us out of our blindness and come face to face with the reality of our fragility.
And Jesus in His great mercy comes to us in these moments and says, “Come to me. Do not trust in your own power or your own strength. Trust in my power. Trust in my strength. Trust in my grace and presence to carry you through these moments of your life.”
During these difficult times, may the Lord give us faith to trust in Him, hope to endure this trial, love to become who we truly are. May we remember that the Lord is our shepherd, we have no need to fear, and like the blind man in the Gospel, we turn to the Lord with all our hearts.
~ Fr Martin Vu
THE SOLICITUDE OF THE CHURCH DURING THESE TIMES OF TRIAL: The Lord has not abandoned us!
First of all, I commend all the faithful for any efforts made to assure some electronic connection with your Church or local parish. I trust that many of you participated in broadcast Masses from your Churches or Chapels and that these provided some spiritual solace. The necessary and prudent measures enacted by government officials to prevent and slow infection rates during this current pandemic come with a great many sacrifices. As in all areas of life, these measures also affect the Church in her mission of caring for souls. You, the faithful have been overwhelmingly understanding in adapting to the restrictions of public gatherings and the temporary cessation of public Masses. The attendance at ‘virtual’ Eucharistic celebrations and participating in spiritual communion assures an ongoing spiritual connection. Another crucial aspect of the spiritual life is the forgiveness of sins, which is ordinarily accomplished through individual and integral confession to a priest followed by individual absolution. The current pandemic and the measures taken to combat it make this very difficult. Therefore, instructions have been issued by the Holy See (Apostolic Penitentiary) regarding methods of providing spiritual care.
Since we, in California, are operating under a stay at home policy it would be, in my view, imprudent to set up or attempt to offer the availability of individual confession even with the utilization of various protective measures. Further, the availability of suitable ‘protective masks’ and the proper use of such masks is more challenging than simply putting them on and taking them off.
The Holy See offers this in regard to the Sacrament of Confession for all the faithful:
“Where the individual faithful find themselves in the painful impossibility of receiving sacramental absolution, it should be remembered that perfect contrition, coming from the love of God, beloved above all things, expressed by a sincere request for forgiveness and accompanied by the will or firm desire to confess, that is, by the firm resolution to have recourse, as soon as possible, to sacramental confession, obtains forgiveness of sins, even mortal ones (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1452).” The teaching of the Church is that all sins can be forgiven by way of an Act of Perfect Contrition. Such an Act requires:
1. the love of God above all things
2. the sincere desire for forgiveness
3. the ardent commitment to receive the sacrament of reconciliation when available.
Using this information, the faithful can be assured that the mercy of Christ has not abandoned you in a time of particular need. No one will be held accountable by God for sins for which one is truly sorry and which would have been confessed, had the opportunity been present. Thus, in the present circumstances, and even without sacramental confession, the solace of the Church is offered for any who have fears or anxieties about the need for confession. Individually, or in conjunction with a virtual prayer service the faithful, by your own Act of Perfect Contrition, can receive an assurance of the forgiveness of your sins. Remember this applies when Sacramental Confession is not possible and does not, in any way, diminish the ultimate need for Sacramental Confession. The one point, which is often lost is that the person’s will to confess must be genuine and must be acted upon (with regard to mortal sins) when the present threat passes.
Pastors can lead the faithful in, or the faithful by yourselves may make, an examination of conscience and be assured in faith that your own sorrow, under the present circumstances, is sufficient to assure you of God’s mercy.
The Holy See has also recently reminded us that the Church teaching about Indulgences is still active and alive in the Church.
Thus, for those who may want the priest to come and anoint in “danger of death” the Holy See reminds us:
“The Church prays for those who find themselves unable to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and of the Viaticum, entrusting each and every one to Divine Mercy by virtue of the communion of saints and granting the faithful a Plenary Indulgence on the point of death, provided that they are duly disposed and have recited a few prayers during their lifetime (in this case the Church makes up for the three usual conditions required). For the attainment of this indulgence the use of the crucifix or the cross is recommended (cf. Enchiridion indulgentiarum, no.12).
Since most people are very familiar with the Rosary the following, taken from the Enchiridion of Indulgences, should be noted:
A Plenary Indulgence is granted, if the Rosary is recited in a church or public oratory or in a family group, a religious community or pious association …. . Now the Rosary is a certain formula of prayer, which is made up of fifteen decades of 'Hail Marys' with an 'Our Father' before each decade, and in which the recitation of each decade is accompanied by pious meditation on a particular mystery of our Redemption. The name 'Rosary,' however, is commonly used in reference to only a third (that is, five decades only) of the fifteen decades. The gaining of the plenary indulgence is regulated by the following norms:
1. The recitation of five decades of the Rosary suffices; but the five decades must be recited continuously.
2. The vocal recitation MUST be accompanied by pious meditation on the mysteries.
3. Sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the Holy Father's intentions, when this becomes possible.
Special Instructions have been issued to those priests engaged in hospital ministry in regard to additional pastoral actions which may be used in accordance with directives from the Holy See for forgiveness of sins and the granting of Plenary Indulgences.
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