Update from Fr. Bill 3/27/20

Revised March 27, 2020

(changes in red)

Dear Parishioners,

My, these are unusual times!  I never thought when we began Lent that we would be ending it in such a fashion!  To inform you of what’s happening in the parish and in the parish offices, I am going to try to be as concise as possible to give you that information. Please do watch our website and bulletin as we will make updates there as often as possible and as changes dictate.

As you know we now have a “Stay at Home” order. A new health order has been issued in Johnson County. There is no longer an exemption for religious gatherings or funerals or weddings for more than 10 people. A new directive from Archbishop Naumann is forthcoming, but we are bound now by what the Johnson County officials have instructed.

As far as liturgies go, Fr. Bruce and I are continuing to say our private daily Mass, and we will do that for the original Intention that was offered earlier, as well as for your well-being, and the well-being of those who are infected by the Coronavirus, and certainly all the care-givers, and the medical personnel working with them.

We will attempt to produce and publish a digital version of our bulletin every week, which may be viewed on our website (www.stagneskc.org) or at www.ParishesOnline.com.  Hopefully, when this “Stay at Home Order” is lifted on April 24th we can all gather at church on April 25th and 26th for the Third Sunday of Easter!  

As we enter our second week of abiding by these stay at home orders sanctioned upon us, you may know of an elderly parishioner or neighbor that may need some form of assistance. Maybe visit a grocery store or pharmacy for them or perhaps rolling their trash cans to the curb, or their yard needs tending to. There are a variety of ways to help someone, and sometimes people just need to be asked. We have had many parishioners step up and say they are willing to volunteer to help. We have asked a parishioner to be the point of contact for the volunteers as well as for any parishioners that need help. Please contact Nadia Schroeder, at 913-579-2833, if you want to be added to the volunteer list, you yourself need an errand run, or if you know of someone that needs some assistance.

Our IT Department will do their best to post a link to our Sunday Mass on our website, http://www.stagneskc.org/, to be viewed beginning at 9:00 am Sunday, March 29th.  Check our website on a regular basis for more details as we continue to develop a plan.

On Palm Sunday weekend, the 4th and 5th of April, I will bless the palms and keep them here for you to pick up when we can all gather once again for regular Sunday Mass.  

At this time, I am so sorry to say that the church building must remain locked, to avoid people gathering.  The rectory office will be closed until further notice, and during this time the rectory staff will work from home. There are no baptisms or scheduled Confessions until after this “Stay at Home Order” has been lifted.  I will be here to respond to needs in the parish. 

In regards to Confessions, we are going to try something different for us on Saturday, March 28th, at 3:00 pm. You will find me under the awning that covers the Parish Center entrance. I will conduct “drive through” confessions! Pull up with the driver’s side door closest to the awning, (your car should be facing the rectory and convent).  We have to maintain our social distancing so please stay in your car. If it is the passenger who wants to confess then he/she should walk up to the table, which will be in front of me and confess. We will try this on Saturday and determine how successful it might be before we commit to it on a weekly basis. Please remember we are under this “Stay at Home” order in Johnson County, not to restrict the practice of our faith, but to keep you and your neighbors safe.  We are in a serious situation, so before you get out and come to receive sacramental penance, please evaluate its necessity at this time.

Remember the church has always taught the moment that we are aware of a sin and are truly contrite, God forgives us. A sincere and heartfelt Act of Contrition is encouraged. When you are able to go to confession then please do so, but in these challenging times we must rely on God’s merciful love and healing for each of us. Please see the appendix at the bottom of this letter for further explanation.

If there is an emergency and you need my help, please call the rectory and leave me a message. Note too that as I see many of you walking, running or bicycling through the neighborhood that we have three wonderful grotto areas on the campus for you to visit to pray and meditate. One is just off the circle drive, one at the base of the bell tower with St. Joseph, and the second is behind the Roe House along the creek.

Our monthly Food Drive had already been moved to the weekend after Easter, and so will take place on the weekend April 18th/19th.  Your donations help us stock the emergency pantry at Catholic Charities in Kansas City, Kansas and are needed now more than ever.

Please observe this shutdown.  It is for your well-being, and the well-being of others, your family, friends and neighbors.    

Just a reminder too that FORMED.ORG is a great resource to fill your time while home. No matter what stage of life you’re in, youth, single adult, married or a senior, FORMED will have something for you to read, study, or watch. FORMED can help fill your day.

And finally, I would like to thank so many who have continued to either mail in or drop off their Sunday envelopes.  We do plan to continue to pay our staff, teachers, and parish employees during this 30 day shutdown. I’m trusting Jesus is going to see us through, and I know that you, as committed parishioners, will honor your continual giving to keep us afloat.  Please know you’re in my daily prayers, you’re in my thoughts, and again, we will get through this—Jesus the Divine Physician will bring his healing to this situation.  

Please observe this shutdown.  It is for your well-being, and the well-being of others, your family, friends and neighbors. In closing I would like to share with you one of my favorite prayers (which may be found in our St. Agnes Prayer Book, on page 28):

Be at Peace Prayer

by St. Francis de Sales

Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life;

Rather, look to them with full hope that as they arise,

God, Whose very own you are, will lead you safely through all things;

and when you cannot stand it, God will carry you in His arms.

Do not fear what may happen tomorrow; the same understanding Father, Who cares for you today, will take care of you then, and every day.  He will either shield you from suffering or will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.

God bless,
Fr. Bill

Appendix:

“However, given public restrictions, the celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation with either individual or general absolution may not be possible. This will make some of the faithful anxious, especially during this Lenten season of penance.
To help in this, the Holy See, through the Apostolic Penitentiary, has offered two recourses for the faithful:

  • “Where the individual faithful find themselves in the painful impossibility of receiving sacramental absolution, it should be remembered that perfect contrition, coming from the love of God, beloved above all things, expressed by a sincere request for forgiveness (that which the penitent is at present able to express) and accompanied by votum confessionis, that is, by the firm resolution to have recourse, as soon as possible, to sacramental confession, obtains forgiveness of sins, even mortal ones (cf. CCC, no. 1452).”
    perfect contrition requires
    • the love of God
    • the sincere desire for forgiveness
    • the ardent commitment to receive the sacrament of reconciliation when available