As promised, this update comes to you immediately following our notification by Bishop Michael Warfel.
In short, ALL public Masses and general gatherings of the faithful for meetings/group prayer in the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings have been suspended until Monday, March 30th. There will be no daily Masses or weekend Masses until then, and the bishop includes his extension of a general dispensation for all the faithful from the obligation to participate at Mass on Sunday. This confirms that Communal Penance services have also been cancelled through the end of the month.
Our church will remain open for personal and household/family prayer, devotions and confessions. The bishop will continue to monitor the extent of the spread of COVID-19 as the March 30 date approaches in order to make an updated determination regarding any further response.
All are encouraged to celebrate Sunday as a domestic church by taking time to pray together as a household. In addition to making a Spiritual Communion (below) praying a rosary, Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and particularly praying the recommended Prayer to Mary, Health of the Sick.
Holy Communion may still be administered where needed, and Anointing of the Sick may still be administered to those seriously ill or in danger of death, while following the proper protocols.
Parishioners are asked to consider making their weekly contributions to the parish electronically or by mail.
Prayer for a Spiritual Communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
Prayer to Mary, Health of the Sick: (Pope Francis' composed prayer)
O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick. At the foot of the Cross you participated in Jesus' pain, with steadfast faith. You, salvation of the Roman people, know what we need. We are certain that you will provide, so that, as you did at Cana of Galilee, joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial. Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform ourselves to the Father's will and to do what Jesus tells us: He who took our suffering upon Himself, and bore our sorrows to bring us, through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen. We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God. Do not despise our pleas - we who are put to the test - and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Thank you for your prayers and understanding as we navigate through this unprecedented set of circumstances. Please pray for all of those affected by the illness.