The mayor of the city of Savannah has issued a shelter in place decree. Although the mayor of Richmond Hill has not done so yet, in solidarity with the Deanery of Savannah which includes Richmond Hill, all parish churches are now to be locked in an abundance of caution to help mitigate the spread of this insidious Coronavirus.
Part of the nature of this virus is that it can live on surfaces for hours. All of these scrupulous actions are taken out of an abundance of caution for the physical health of our parishioners and all others we meet.
Our parish office is closed too. You can contact us by email which is found on our bulletin or our parish website.
As well, Confessions will not be heard in our church buildings.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches the following about Perfect Contrition, which I urge you to strive to make while the Sacrament of Penance is suspended:
Among the penitent's acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is "sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again."
When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called "perfect" (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.
The contrition called "imperfect" (or "attrition") is also a gift of God, a prompting of the Holy Spirit. It is born of the consideration of sin's ugliness or the fear of eternal damnation and the other penalties threatening the sinner (contrition of fear). Such a stirring of conscience can initiate an interior process which, under the prompting of grace, will be brought to completion by sacramental absolution. By itself however, imperfect contrition cannot obtain the forgiveness of grave sins, but it disposes one to obtain forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance.
You can also learn how to make "The Act of Perfect Contrition", and "How to make an Act of Spiritual Communion" by clicking on the highlighted titles.
In terms of our parish budget and the offertory collection, if your income has not changed, please consider maintaining your contributions to the parish. You can give easily on line by going to our secure Our Sunday Visitor on-line giving and setting up a personal account. WE NEED YOUR SACRIFICIAL OFFERINGS IF WE ARE TO PAY OUR EMPLOYEES, OUR BILLS AND OUR DEBT. Or you can mail your offering to us.
Although the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is closed to the general public, the Mass is nonetheless offered for your intentions and more importantly, for your eternal salvation. That is what Jesus did for us on Calvary 2000 years ago. That bloody One Sacrifice is experienced in an eternal or timeless way in every Catholic Mass but in a “gloriously Risen, unbloody way!” What a blessing from our Lord is this Most Wonderful Sacrament. Priests are offering non-public Masses throughout the world and all of us benefit from this whether we are there in person or not. We can be there in spirit and pray for the reopening of our churches and our public Sacraments, especially the Mass and Penance!
I am so distressed about all of this and I am worried about the spiritual and physical health and well-being of our parishioners and all people throughout the world. Together with Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Saints Anne and Joachim, and in union with the Church Triumphant, Militant and Suffering, God will see us through this hour to the perfection of heaven. BE NOT AFRAID! God bless you.