St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Updated Message from the Bishop

Office of the Bishop

March 26, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As we continue to respond to the spread and the danger of the coronavirus, I write once more to offer a word of encouragement. Many exceptional steps have been taken both in the Church and in the wider society, in an effort to protect individuals from exposure to the virus or from becoming a carrier that might expose others.

As Catholics, we recognize a particular obligation to see Christ in every moment of our lives, both the good and the challenging. Every sacrifice that we make is another step on our way to choosing for Christ, and therefore for eternal life in heaven itself.

We are a people of hope and trust in the Lord. Jesus has told us that His true followers are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. That means that we have received not only the gift of faith, but also the responsibility that comes with that gift. The current moment challenges us to live as those who truly believe that Jesus has not left us alone, but is with us even more closely when difficulties arise. Others, especially those who are fearful, ill, lonely or without faith, need to have our witness, especially now.

As the coronavirus problem is projected to intensify in the coming days, I write to convey to you some further dispositions to address the projected spike in cases and the longer timeframe that appears to be anticipated for protective measures. To that end:

1) Through Easter Sunday (up until and including Easter Sunday), all Masses are to continue to be celebrated privately without the presence of the faithful.

2) I also take this opportunity to extend the dispensation given to all the faithful from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass through Easter Sunday.

3) All adoration chapels are now to be closed in order to increase our response to protect the faithful from the spread of the coronavirus.

Given the continuing unavailability of the sacraments to the faithful except in grave circumstances, there is a widespread feeling of longing to be with Christ and with the Church. It is important that we continue to recognize the ability of Jesus to be close to us even in such an exceptional time.

I have asked Father Jonathan Bakkelund, Director of the Office of Divine Worship of the Diocese of Rockford, to prepare some thoughts on the Plenary Indulgences that the Vatican has made available at this time, as well as means for a spiritual communion when Eucharistic communion is not available, and likewise the richness of making a perfect act of contrition when sacramental reconciliation cannot be accessed. His very helpful comments are attached.

Please know of my prayers for all of you during this unprecedented time. I ask for your prayers as
well.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend David J. Malloy Bishop of Rockford

Attachment

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Prayer to Mary During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Corona Virus prayerFrom Our Holy Father, Pope Francis
O Mary, you always shine on our path as a sign of salvation and of hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm. You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need, and we are sure you will provide so that, as in Cana of Galilee, we may return to joy and to feasting after this time of trial. Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform to the will of the Father and to do as we are told by Jesus, who has taken upon himself our sufferings and carried our sorrows to lead us, through the cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen


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MARCH 16, 2020; Corona Virus Temporary Policy

TO ALL PASTORS, DEACONS AND PARISHIONERS:
As the Diocese of Rockford continually monitors guidance and directives from local, state and national health agencies to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in our diocesan communities and in the greater United States, we wish to inform you of additional measures being taken by the Diocese of Rockford to curtail crowds and social contact. In addition to the directive to postpone or reschedule all non-essential, non-sacramental gatherings until further notice, the Diocese of Rockford has issued the following new directives: Continue reading


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Pope Francis Will Beatify These Martyred Greek-Catholic Bishops in Romania

ROME — On Sunday in Blaj, Pope Francis will beatify seven Greek-Catholic bishops of Romania who were killed by the communist regime between 1950 and 1970.
These martyrs “have given all to defend the Church. And at the cost of their lives, they did not accept the situation; they did not deny their very faith,” a Romanian Greek-Catholic priest told CNA.
Father Vasile Man, the postulator of the bishops’ causes for…

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pope-francis-will-beatify-these-martyred-greek-catholic-bishops-in-romania


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Cardinal Cupich Warns Against ‘Radical’ Illinois Abortion Bills

One bill would remove many regulations, including a ban on partial-birth abortion; other bill would repeal the state parental-notification law.

Catholic News Agency
CHICAGO — Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago has spoken out against a pair of Illinois abortion bills, calling them a radical and disturbing movement away from the common good.
In a March 23 letter to the people of his archdiocese, Cupich encouraged Catholics to take a stand against the legislation.
One of the bills — introduced as House Bill 2495 and Senate Bill 1942 — “seeks to strip unborn persons of any protection — or even consideration — under the law and declares abortion to be a ‘fundamental right’ and matter of health care,” he warned. …

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/cardinal-cupich-warns-against-radical-illinois-abortion-bills


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Bishop Malloy’s Letter about the new bill introduced in Springfield

This is the letter from Bishop Malloy from Sunday, March 3, 2019:

These are the bills Bishop Malloy is referring to in the state of Illinois: HB 2467 and HB 2495 Continue reading


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Pope Francis Calls for ‘Renewed and Decisive Approach to Resolving Conflicts’

“Combatting the culture of abuse, the loss of credibility, the resulting bewilderment and confusion, and the discrediting of our mission urgently demands of us a renewed and decisive approach to resolving conflicts,” according to Pope Francis.
His remarks came in a 3600-word letter to the US bishops, who are meeting for a spiritual retreat January 2-8, 2019. The letter, Dated January 1, 2019, was released by the Vatican on January 3.
Preacher to the Papal Household, Capuchin Friar Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap., is directing the retreat under the theme of “He appointed Twelve, to be with Him and to Send Out to Preach” based on Mark 3:14. The retreat is taking place at the invitation of Pope Francis who has asked all bishops in the United States to pause in prayer as the Church seeks to respond to the signs of the times.

https://zenit.org/articles/pope-francis-calls-for-renewed-and-decisive-approach-to-resolving-conflicts/