My Dear Parishioners,
Today’s parable about the workers in the vineyard reveals to us a God who is not only just but overly generous. He gives us what we deserve and more.
The laborers who worked from dawn to dusk received the same compensation as the laborers who worked only for an hour or two. At first glance this seems unjust and an unfair labor practice.
Thanks to the generosity of Santa Barbara parishioners, the Guam Daily Post staff and Bank of Guam employees, the pantry’s larder is filled with groceries and sundry items with a few exceptions:
1. PROTEINS: Corned beef hash; canned pasta with meat
2. DRINKS: whole milk or chocolate milk (5-10 fl. oz.)
3. STARCHES: Calrose rice
4. SUNDRIES: manual can openers; cloth shopping bags
Fr. Ken usually opens the pantry ½ hour before normal opening times to receive cash donations & grocery deliveries.
With the recent decision by His Excellency, Michael J. Byrnes regarding the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass during PCOR1, the Mass Schedule for Santa Barbara Parish is as follows:
Daily Mass (Monday-Saturday):
The distribution of Communion will take place after the final blessing in front of the church and the lower chapel.
*Masses will be broadcast over the PA system.
Livestream on Sunday at 9AM and 5PM.
Thank you for your prayers and your patience. God bless us all!
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
During these times of heightened anxiety, I send my prayers from abroad. I remain in close communication with my brother priests as well as Archdiocese of Agaña Curia members regarding developments in our island.
With the Governor’s recent Executive Order, our church protocols remain in effect. Though the churches are closed to the public, our priests shall continue to provide Guam’s Catholic faithful access to the essential, saving graces of the Holy Eucharist at a number of parishes at this time through the celebration of Masses in parish parking lots. Many of these Masses will be livestreamed to our homebound, elderly, sick and fragile brothers and sisters.
I would like to share cogent words and a wonderful theological reflection from one of our brother priests on Guam that I believe most would find quite helpful. It is as follows:
“One of the fulcrum/pivotal ideas in the discussion on which institutions or establishments should be allowed to open in this time of the pandemic is the concept of ESSENTIAL. Simply put, whatever is ESSENTIAL should remain open no matter what; and, whatever is NON-ESSENTIAL should be closed. After all, isn’t that what it means to be essential, that is, that it is something you cannot live without? While it may appear to be a simple argument, I believe that the word ESSENTIAL has nuances of meaning because of its richness and depth... Definitely, spiritual life is the Most Essential. ‘What is it for man to gain the whole world but forfeit his life?’ Hence, you ‘cannot live’ without spiritual nourishment for eternal life. But, food is also essential for physical nourishment for man is not just spirit but BODY and SOUL. Jesus did not let the crowds go to look for their own food when they were in the deserted place. He fed them.
On one hand, government officials use the word ESSENTIAL to refer to the PHYSICAL survival of man. On the other hand, spiritual leaders use the same word but referring to eternal life. There is a huge and wide difference between the two. They are not on the same plane. No doubt, spiritual nourishment is way, way more essential than physical nourishment.
But in this time of the pandemic, one of the major considerations is on the issue of the manner of acquiring these said two essentials, two nourishments. One may not be able to physically come to church but can still nourish his spirit through various means like livestreaming. The Eucharist remains available to us through this platform and many other means. This is the very same reason why there is such a thing as Baptism by Desire, Communion by Desire, Spiritual Communion, etc. When extremely necessary, Sunday Obligation may even be dispensed.
But in this issue of ACQUISITION, opening of the stores and other establishments may become NECESSARY (ESSENTIAL). While we can continue to spiritually nourish our faithful through various means and strategies as we have already done before, there is no other way that our people can acquire their needed physical nourishment unless there are sources they can go to.
May the Good Lord, through the intercession of Our Lady, on the occasion of her Assumption, guide us and make use of us as instruments of His continued love and care for His flock entrusted to our care.”
I respect my brother priest considerably, and I would like to add a thought that springs from the beginning of our collision with the Covid-19 disaster. The primary virtue of the Christian faith is charity, the chief of the supernatural virtues. When we first began to navigate the virus, I proposed that maintaining social distance and using face masks are acts of this kind of charity. Of course, we find it inconvenient and bothersome, but that is often the “price” of charity. As Mother Theresa often said, “Without suffering, there is no love.”
Our Governor, our island and in fact most of the world are contending with a disaster of a nature and magnitude many have not experienced before in their lifetimes. Working faithfully and relentlessly for the good of the entire island, our Governor is trying her best. She is a dedicated leader. All of us, no matter our positions or backgrounds, desire everyone to be safe from this danger.
Last week’s pivot to “parking lot Masses” is an example of our Church on Guam working with government and health officials to promote safety while still preserving the beloved sacraments and celebration of the Holy Eucharist that are so vital to our lives and souls as baptized children of God.
Our priests have been working diligently with their staff and volunteers to ensure the safety of their congregations. I am grateful to them. A lot goes into a “parking lot Mass.” Though not ideal, they are a way to bring Christ to the people. Shielded and separated from one another in the safety of their cars at naturally safe distances, the faithful are strongly protected in these instances.
Again, as my brother priest indicates, “essential” contains a broad spectrum of meanings; and I believe that our witness to charity in this regard can be a powerful message to our faithful and to those who do not yet believe in our Savior. I therefore ask all people to have the heart of Jesus as you interact and communicate with one another. Above all, never forget, God is with us during these difficult times.
With full trust in Jesus, I remain,
/s/Archbishop Michael Byrnes, S.T.D.
Metropolitan Archbishop of Agaña
Due to the implementation of PCOR1, the parish office is closed.
For more information, contact us.
Parishioners who wish to have a priest visit their loved one currently admitted at
GMH may contact Fr. Jeff San Nicolas at 929-5333.
Regular confession service is on hold during PCOR 1. For emergencies, please contact Fr. Dan at email@example.com.
Archbishop Michael Byrnes, consulting with the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission announces that Masses will not be completely halted during Pandemic Condition of Readiness (PCOR) 1. Priests will temporarily celebrate Masses at the different Catholic churches throughout the island in parking lots and via live streaming starting this Sunday, August 16.
(Please visit the Internet sites of your parish or access archagana.org for an updated schedule of Masses by early tonight. Please allow parishes time to update and compile their information).
Archbishop Byrnes is off-island on extended leave recuperating from surgery but is keeping apprised of the situation here at home.
The archbishop assures everyone of his continued prayers for our island. “The celebration of the Mass is the most essential endeavor known to the human race,” the archbishop emphasized in a brief message to his brother clergymen this morning, thanking them for their steadfastness.
Governor Lou Leon Guerrero announced Friday that she is placing the island on Pandemic Condition of Readiness (PCOR) 1 as of 12:01 a.m. Sunday. With much sadness, our Archdiocese will abide with the Executive Order. We care about the health and safety of Catholics and all people in the community.
Archdiocesan officials spoke directly and respectfully with Governor Leon Guerrero today and communicated, among other things, the Church’s absolute need to continue celebrating Mass at our parishes, at the very least, in parking lots using speaker systems and Internet live streaming.
The celebration of the Holy Eucharist is not a form of entertainment. It is not a type of social activity nor a pastime. Gathering in Communion with Jesus Christ, the author of all life, is essential to the life and soul of the Catholic Church and its people, who together comprise the Church.
The celebration of the Holy Eucharist is vital to the life and soul of the Church. It is essential to all Catholics because it nourishes and sustains us. Most importantly, beyond our earthly bodies, partaking in the celebration of Holy Mass is essential to sanctifying our souls so that we be united with God in his Kingdom of Heaven for all eternity. The Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life." – Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1324.
Priests, staff and volunteers of each of our 26 parishes have stringently followed all protocols and procedures that ensure the safety of all Mass attendees and the celebrants at all of our live Masses these past many weeks. They will continue to do so now, during parking lot and live stream Masses. We earnestly pray that the PCOR 1 restrictions will be but for a short time.
All Catholics are reminded that if you are feeling ill or have pre-existing conditions that may put you at a greater risk to contract COVID-19 or other illnesses, please stay home. This is for your protection and that of others near you. The dispensation granted by Archbishop Byrnes excusing the faithful from Mass obligations still stands during this difficult time of a public health emergency.
Sent by Tony Diaz, Office of Communication, 562-0065, tony.diaz@archagana,org