Hello, dear friends,
As we begin to emerge from this long quarantine, I pray that you all are staying healthy and keeping your sense of humor. This is to remind you that the Florida Catholic and La Voz Católica for the month of May are out – once again, in digital only format since our churches have not reopened just yet. Both newspapers include updates on the coronavirus (yes, we must) including a timeline of all the steps the archdiocese has taken since the start of this pandemic. I believe this will be useful for historical purposes as well as providing local Catholics with an accurate view of all that the Church has done and continues to do. As Archbishop Wenski says, we never “closed.”
Speaking of the archbishop, he’s about to mark 10 years as chief shepherd in the archdiocese, and both newspapers note that by publishing an interview where the archbishop answers some questions about the past decade and what lies ahead for the Catholic Church in South Florida. I am also sharing with you a proposed novena leading up to his anniversary June 1. We will be sharing that campaign on social media, so please repost, retweet, retag, copy, paste and everything else on your social media platforms and websites.
La Voz Católica this month also offers some interesting reflections from its columnists about the Virgin Mary and the rosary – as well as a beautiful cover.
I hope you enjoy reading both and ask you again to post links to the digital edition on your websites to encourage your parishioners to read them. Feel free to use the attached images, and here are the links:
Fla. Catholic Miami edition – https://miami.thefloridacatholic.org/Florida-Catholic-of-Miami-05212020-e-Edition/0/
In the meantime, we continue to post articles online – many more than can fit in print but print provides an orderly summation of what’s been happening. Website updates are more timely but feel more scattered. We also continue to publish, in print and online, the schedule of your livestreamed Masses. We really want to keep those updated, so if you stop livestreaming or change the schedule, I ask you to please let me know.
Finally, once again, I just want to tell you how fortunate I am in this role, to have a front row view of your creativity, energy, drive and pastoral concern for your parishioners. I have been awed, amazed and frankly, moved to tears by all that you have done and continue to do. For the past few months, I have tried to share as much of that good news with as many as possible, and I will continue to do so. If there’s anything I or anyone else in the Communications office can do to help you, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
We live in interesting times, as the saying goes, and also challenging ones. But I am convinced the Holy Spirit is guiding us, and your work is part of the reason for my conviction. May God bless you and keep you always safe and close to Him.
Now here’s the novena. It was actually suggested by a Broward parishioner who insists on remaining anonymous. It’s based on the novena for the anniversary of priestly ordination, with some of the wording changed. It would start Saturday, May 23, and continue through Sunday, May 31.
Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…
Dear Lord Jesus,
You have given us a holy priest in Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski. We are grateful for the many blessings of this good man who brings us Your holy sacraments of salvation. Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski’s hands and prayers bring us Your saving grace in the waters of baptism, Your infinite mercy in forgiving our sins and Your sustaining and saving grace in the most Holy Eucharist.
We pray that he will have a long life with which to bless Your Church and a happy death as he is ushered into Your eternal bliss. Just as Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski is there to anoint the dying, grant that he will receive the same grace at his death. We beg You, Jesus, that this holy priest will be protected from all spiritual and temporal attacks and that his fidelity to the Church and faith in You will endure, unwavering, until the end.
Father in heaven, bless and multiply Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski’s ministry so that Your Church will multiply for Your glory and for our salvation. Please shower him with your blessings every day. We praise and thank You, most Holy God, for the gift of Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski! We thank You for his years of service and ask You to bless us with many more years with our beloved Archbishop. Amen.
ARCHDIOCESE OF MIAMI
Office of the Archbishop
As we reopen our churches for the celebration of the Mass and Sacraments with the People of
God present and actively participating, we recognize that we cannot eliminate the very possible
risk of infection from the novel corona virus or COVID-19. However, your parish priests and I
are committed to mitigating the risk as much as possible. We reopen because we believe as
Church that there are no substitutes for the reception of the sacraments and our first priority is to
be the sign of hope and instrument of the salvation of the entire human race.”
On Tuesday, May 26, parishes will resume celebrating daily Masses. (May 18 in Monroe
County). However, social distancing will be required with approximately 6 feet separation
between persons (except for family members from same household); worshippers are asked to
wear a face mask and to keep it on during Mass, removing it only to receive Holy Communion.
Hymnals, missalettes, holy water will be removed from the church; and the church and its
facilities will be sanitized between services. Hand sanitizers are available at church entrances. In
entering or leaving the church, and in approaching the altar to receive Holy Communion please
maintain proper social distance. These arrangements will take some time getting used to and so
you are asked to pay attention to ushers or others who may be directing. After Mass please do
not congregate in the church or outside but make your way home.
During Mass, please do not hold hands (for example, during the praying of the Lord’s Prayer), or
exchange the Sign of Peace. While preaching or at the altar the celebrant will not use a face
mask, but he and other ministers will when they distribute Holy Communion. (If anyone
disagrees about the necessity of wearing a face mask, I would ask that person to wear it anyway
– out of respect for and charity towards their fellow parishioners.)
Social distancing will reduce the numbers of faithful that can be accommodated – perhaps only
25-30% of your church’s usual occupancy. Your parish priests- with input from their pastoral
councils – will plan appropriately – perhaps by adding Masses to the schedule if necessary or
setting up some type of “reservation system” to assure that everyone who wishes to attend can do
The dispensation from the obligation of attending Mass on Sunday continues indefinitely. Good
judgment and reason should guide your decision as to when you should resume coming to
If you are sick or have flu like symptoms, stay home. If you are frail because of age or are
vulnerable because of an underlying condition, or you are a caretaker of someone who is, it
might be reasonable for you to stay home. If you are fearful, stay home.
These “home bound” parishioners should contact the parish rectory and arrange for the
Sacraments to be brought to them.
9401 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami Shores, Florida 33138
Telephone: 305-762-1233 Facsimile: 305-757-3947
We do not live in a risk-free world- we never have. There is a certain amount of risk we assume
when we cross a street, or when we get in our cars to go to work or even to the comer store. We
can never eliminate risk completely, but prudence helps us to mitigate risk whenever and
wherever possible. So, when we cross a street, we go to a crosswalk and look both ways before
crossing; when we get into our car, we make sure that it is operating safely, that the brakes work,
etc. and when we make a turn we use our turn signals.
The corona virus, COVID-19, has introduced new risks into our lives- and until a vaccine is
widely available, we will be unable to eliminate completely the risks, but we must prudently try
to mitigate those risks wherever and whenever possible. For this reason, the entire world put
itself into “lock down”, practicing social distance, washing hands frequently, and pretty much
staying at home as much as possible. The “lock down” succeeded in as much as the spread of
this very contagious virus was flattened and our hospitals were not overwhelmed with COVID-
19 cases. Nevertheless, a high price was paid by all – for all were affected even if not all were
infected. Our lives were upended: schools closed, public gatherings limited, millions of jobs lost
– and, to be sure despite these measures, many thousands fell sick and too many of our loved
In the Archdiocese of Miami, we suspended Masses with congregations present beginning March
16. However, we never “closed”: our parish offices remained open, our schools, our Catholic
Charities, our Catholic Health Services, our Pastoral Center all continued their operations.
Priests continued making sick calls, hearing confession, and offering Mass daily. Through
livestreaming of Masses, Bible studies and many other activities your priests strove to remain
present to you, their parishioners. And while they could not celebrate Masses in church with you
these past many weeks, they never failed in offering you, the people of God, their most “essential
service” of their prayers.
Our civic authorities throughout the US and the world are slowly “unlocking” the various
jurisdictions under their control even while scientists and medical professionals continue to urge
caution. The novel corona virus is still among us – as is the risk of contagion. As we move to
reopen, prudence -the ability to govern and discipline ourselves by the use of reason -must
govern our actions. There is no substitute for good judgment.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Thomas Wenski
Archbishop of Miami
11 Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions | May 2020
ON RECEIVING IN THE HAND
I believe there has always been a certain amount of liturgical practice praeter ius (apart from the law) and contra ius (contrary to law).
It would be my opinion that practices contrary to the law should not take place without a clearly justifiable reason. I think the present pandemic is a very justifiable reason to require Holy Communion in the hand if the local ordinary determines that will be the practice in his jurisdiction.
No one has the right to endanger the life of another even unknowingly by demanding Communion on the tongue when the persons following could be exposed to a virus of which the oral recipient is not yet aware.
There is a great tradition in our faith of “sacrifice.” I make the sacrifice to receive in a way that protects the whole community. Moreover, how does one respect the Sacred Species if one is willing to burden it with the possibility of contagion?
Fr. Mike Nolan, JCL, DMin
Office of Worship, Wichita, KS