An important COVID update for the weekend of June 6th
Statement for the Parishioners of Sacred Heart of Jesus:
Dear Sacred Heart of Jesus family,
Thank you for your generous prayers and support during a challenging but grace-filled time. Fr. Lundberg is now home from the hospital and continuing to improve. Testing has confirmed that Fr. Holmes has fully recovered and will be back offering Mass this weekend. Thanks be to our good and gracious God.
Please be patient with us in the days ahead while our priests continue to recuperate. Frs. Fasano and Riley are doing their best to cover Masses, Confessions, weddings, and emergencies. Several outside priests like Frs. Schultz and Pollard have pitched in to help in a wonderful way. Fr. Holmes will ease back into the schedule. We are getting by!
Our usual Confession schedule—in which we are privileged to serve you “above and beyond the call of duty”—will be compromised, especially during weekend Masses. There may not be Confessions heard during Masses this weekend.
In response to the guidelines issued by the CDC and in consultation with the Virginia Department of Health, Bishop Burbidge has lifted the occupancy limits and social distancing requirements at any church function, including Mass. You will notice that our social distancing “ivy” has come down in the church and all pews are, once again, available.
That said, Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church will follow state guidelines, meaning fully vaccinated people are no longer required to wear masks. Those who are unvaccinated are encouraged to wear masks. No one will be asked about his/her vaccination status, and no one will be restricted from entering a church or inhibited in any way for not wearing a mask. Out of charity for others, however, anyone experiencing symptoms of illness, no matter how minor they appear, is asked to stay home.
Beginning Saturday, June 26, and Sunday, June 27, Bishop Burbidge is reinstating the obligation to attend Mass. We welcome and encourage all to return to full in-person participation of the Sunday Eucharist, the source and summit of our Catholic faith (cf. Code of Canon Law, canon 1246-1247 and Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2180). This obligation does not apply to those who are ill; those who have reason to believe that they were recently exposed to the coronavirus, another serious or contagious illness; those who are confined to their home, a hospital, or nursing facility; or those with serious underlying health conditions.
The priests and parish staff have been overwhelmed by the love and support of our Sacred Heart of Jesus family. Please continue to pray for the health, safety, and sanctity of everyone in our blessed Shenandoah Valley community.
Sincerely in Jesus Christ,