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A message from Msgr. Marion J. Makarewicz, pastor

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

As the Body of Christ, we all share in the joys and sufferings of one another. The present pandemic will invite us deeper into that sacred mystery, even as our prayer, worship, and charity take unexpected paths. Bishop McKnight has suspended all public Masses throughout the Diocese of Jefferson City until at least Friday, April 3. Our Lady of the Lake is responding to that decree. We are also implementing other practices that are in keeping with recommendations of health officials and diocesan directives. [Liturgical Protocols for Public Health]

  1. With the public celebration of the Mass suspended, all parish Masses, liturgies, and other devotions will be closed to the faithful. We will follow Diocesan directions regarding the liturgy and we will arrange for the appropriate number of ministers to assist who are not in higher health risk categories.
  2. We will live stream on YouTube all daily Masses and Sunday Masses. The link will be provided on the parish web site, along with other links for particular prayers during this time of need. Masses will be streamed and only remain viewable until the next service. We will also be streaming as possible and appropriate other devotions.
  3. Weekday masses will be celebrated Tuesday without the public at 8:00 AM. Wednesday at 6:00 PM. Thursday at 8:00 AM. Friday at 8:00 AM. Saturday morning daily Mass will be offered at 11:00 AM.
  4. Sunday Masses will be celebrated without the public and be live streamed at 10:00 AM in English and 2:00 PM in Spanish.
  5. All public gatherings that normally would take place are cancelled. PSR, RCIA, discipleship groups, fish fries, Wednesday workshop, prayer groups, and Commission meetings are cancelled.
  6. First Communions will be postponed to the Feast of Corpus Christi or after to allow for proper catechesis.
  7. The Church will remain open for private devotion unless/until different protocols are necessary. Please use the front entrance to the church facing Bagnell Dam Blvd to enter. Please be conscious of the requirement to keep grouping low and maintain appropriate distances from other worshippers. The church doors will be locked during the celebration of the Eucharist and other devotions and only a minimum number of ministers will be allowed to be present.
  8. The Sacrament of Confession will be available by appointment, to take place in the Church with appropriate social distancing. Call the office. In addition we are cancelling the Penance Service that would have taken place on March 25. I will be available in church for confessions from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM Tuesday through Thursday, 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM Fridays, and at 4:00 PM on Saturdays.
  9. If there is an extreme emergency and someone needs the anointing of the sick, please call 573-301-2161.
  10. I will be working with the couples who have weddings scheduled this summer to respond as needed and possible to their plans.
  11. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will continue to take place Wednesdays, from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM in the Church and Fridays from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM as long as we are able to comply with all pertinent directives.
  12. The parish office will be limiting access to appointments only. Please call 365-2241 or email to get assistance.
  13. Directions for online giving can be found at our parish website using the Donate Now button at the upper right.
  14. Funeral Masses and services may still be celebrated, but with the requirement to keep attendance to no more than 10 asymptomatic immediate family members, in accord with the president’s recommendation and the CDC guidelines. One option is to have the burial first with a memorial Mass to be celebrated at a later date.

I invite all the faithful to assist in ensuring that the sacramental and prayer life of the Church will continue even in the midst of these challenges.  Primarily this means that married couples will have an opportunity to show Christ’s love for his people in all that they do. All the baptized can fulfill their baptismal promises by rejecting all that is selfish, sinful and contrary to God’s mercy. Watching a streamed mass, following along with the prayers and reading, and making a spiritual communion will be a powerful witness to our unity as Church.

Finally, as I suggested in my homily last Sunday, we already know that our true response to this crisis is one of charity. We have a tremendous opportunity as a parish to become the center of mercy and charity in our community as Bishop McKnight is inviting us to become. Deacon Jim Hankins and the Social Concerns Commission members will be coordinating these efforts. In the days to come, all parishioners will be contacted to assist us in identifying the most vulnerable in our community and planning for a response in charity as we are able.

May God bless and keep you and your loved ones in his care.

Msgr. Marion J. Makarewicz

Pastor, Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church