A Message from Father Jozef:
Please remember that the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) may prevent us from physical interaction and from uniting in a communal prayer when we gather together in our beautiful church, but it cannot keep us from being united in spirit; spirit of prayer and thanksgiving as a way of life, but most importantly the virus cannot keep us from our communion with the Lord by helping one another in any way we can, especially in these difficult times.
Below is a traditional prayer of SPIRITUAL COMMUNION that many saints have prayed over the years. It can be prayed if you cannot attend mass or you find yourself at Mass unable to receive the Eucharist, or even in the midst of your daily work, lifting up your thoughts to God. The ultimate goal of our lives should be communion with our good and gracious God and an act of spiritual communion can help a person draw closer to that goal.
I believe that You are truly
present in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally in Holy Communion,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
During these difficult times let us pray the following prayer:
Jesus traveled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.” At His command, the sick were made well. We humbly ask you to come to our aid now and stay by our side in this time of uncertainty, confusion and pain, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus. Please heal those who have contracted the virus. Be with the doctors, nurses, researchers and all medical professionals who seek to heal and help those affected and who put themselves at risk in the process. May they know your protection and peace and may we all experience your healing love. AMEN.
NOTE: Any parishioner who may be in need of assistance of any kind during this time is encouraged to call the parish office at 684-1480.
Saint Matthew Church will be open daily from
9:00 AM to 7:00 PM for private prayer.
For those visiting the church, please be assured that the church and entrance doors will be cleaned each evening after 7 pm.
Reconciliation will be by appointment by calling the parish office 684-1480 since the annual Lenten reconciliation service has been canceled.
You may drop off your weekly collection envelope in the box provided in the Gathering Space or mail it to: 1105 Cameron Avenue, Tyrone, PA 16686
DIOCESE ONLINE GIVING OPTION FOR SAINT MATTHEW PARISH
These are unprecedented times. The coronavirus has captured everyone’s attention but it has not taken away our faith. Our Church is alive and still carrying on its mission and Saint Matthew Parish will continue to bring you the light of Christ. But in order to continue our work, we need your support.
The Diocese of Altoona Johnstown has created a specific “Your Parish Offertory” giving site.
“Your Parish Offertory” is available on the diocese’ home page at www.dioceseaj.org/giving
At this link the Catholic Ministry page will appear
Click on Donate Online
Select Your Parish Offertory – Make a Donation
Select either a recurring donation “or” one time donation
Enter the amount of your donation
Select – Saint Matthew, Tyrone (126)
All funds donated will be credit to Saint Matthew Parish and we will be made aware of your continued generosity.
Thank you for your support and may our Lord continue to bless you, our community and our nation.
IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM BISHOP MARK:
Plenary Indulgence: Bishop Mark is also stressing that those impacted during this time are eligible to receive a Plenary Indulgence, which, according to the Catechism, removes the temporal punishment due to sin.
In the words of Pope John Paul II an indulgence is “the expression of the Church’s full confidence of being heard by the Father when – in view of Christ’s merits and by His gift, those of Our Lady and the saints – she asks Him to mitigate or cancel the painful aspect of punishment by fostering its medicinal aspect through other channels of grace.”
The conditions for the Plenary Indulgence include watching a televised Mass, praying the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross or other devotions, or at least receiving the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and a pious invocation to the Blessed Mother, offering this trial in a spirit of faith in God and Charity towards one’s brothers and sisters. There must be a true commitment to fulfilling the sacramental obligations of Reconciliation and Eucharist as soon as possible.
“People can be assured of the graces than can come from even these restricted opportunities for prayer,” Bishop Mark mentioned. “God’s grace goes past all of these boundaries. People should be comforted by that.”
Suspension of Public Masses: Churches and other public places of worship in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese are to remain open for private prayer. However, effective immediately, there will be no public liturgies of any sort. That is, there will be no public daily Masses or weekend Masses, no public novenas, communal stations of the cross, ecumenical services, or other public worship until the current COVID-19 crisis has passed. The purpose of this is to retard the spread of the coronavirus. The Bishop will be reviewing the situation daily and will alert priests and deacons immediately when Masses and other public worship can be resumed. The Bishop authorizes and expects priests to celebrate a private Mass each day during this crisis. This should be done in the rectory or at a private chapel. The Mass will continue to be broadcast at 11:00 AM on Sundays. The Bishop will be the presider at this liturgy and these broadcasts will be available on the Diocesan website and social media.
Celebration of the Liturgies of Holy Week and Especially the Sacred Triduum
In this time of need, directives have been issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, as well as the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship concerning the liturgical celebrations for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter.
1. Chrism Mass. This Mass is postponed until further notice. It is anticipated that the holy oils will be consecrated/blessed at one of the first liturgies when the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament (and other churches) are able to resume the normal liturgical schedule. Until such time as the Chrism Mass is celebrated, priests are reminded to continue using the oils consecrated/blessed last year.
2. Mass of the Lord’s Supper. This Mass is to be celebrated without the people present. It is to be celebrated in the evening as is the tradition. Since churches are to be locked at 7 pm, this Mass could be celebrated after that time. There is no foot washing and there is no solemn procession to the tabernacle. Following the Mass, priests and deacons are encouraged to pray before the Blessed Sacrament for a time. Night prayer would be appropriate.
3. Good Friday. The liturgy of the Passion of the Lord is celebrated without the people present. Permission is hereby granted for this liturgy to take place in the rectory, having made arrangements for the Blessed Sacrament to be present for the reception of Holy Communion by the priest and deacon. Veneration of the cross may take the form of bowing, genuflecting, or kneeling before a cross during the liturgy.
As an alternative to celebrating the Good Friday liturgy of the Passion of the Lord, the faithful are encouraged to pray the Stations of the Cross at home.
4. Easter Sunday. The liturgies of Easter are to be celebrated without the people present.
a. Easter Vigil. According to the liturgical norms promulgated by the Apostolic See, the Easter Vigil is celebrated only in a Cathedral or church. The Easter Vigil will be celebrated by Bishop Mark at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament without the people present, but joined by the Cathedral priests. Priests are permitted to celebrate the Easter Vigil in their own parishes as long as the celebration takes place in a church and occurs after sundown. Of course, by that time churches are to be locked.
b. Easter Day. If the priest is celebrating alone, the sprinkling of the people is omitted for obvious reason. Permission is granted for the priest to celebrate only one Mass on Easter during the day, if the Easter Vigil Mass was celebrated. If the parish schedule would normally provide for more than one Mass on Easter Day, permission is given to include all the intentions at the same celebration.
Note to parishioners, please be advised that these arrangements have been made out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of everyone. You are encouraged to watch our diocesan Proclaim TV Program (Sunday @ 10:30 am) and Sunday Mass (Sunday @ 11:00 am), as well as daily Masses and all the liturgies of Holy Week that are available on cable television or on the internet. We are encouraged to pray for one another, especially those who are sick and dying due to COVID-19.
RCIA: Christian Initiation of Adults Because this crisis is coming at the very time when the Christian Initiation of Adults would reach its apex, the rites regarding the reception of adults into the Church will be suspended until after the crisis has passed. These rites may then be celebrated at parish weekend liturgies once weekend Masses have been restored.
Easter Triduum: Because it seems unlikely that public Masses will be permitted until after Easter, priests should begin making arrangements for the private celebration of the liturgies associated with the Easter Triduum. It would be advisable for materials to be placed near the entrances of churches so that the faithful can take these home and participate in some way in these important liturgies. Priests should retain and make use of the existing paschal candle as well as the oils blessed last year. The Bishop will authorize new Paschal candles to be blessed and holy oils to be distributed once restrictions have been lifted.
Baptisms: Baptisms of children and adults may be held during the restricted period, but they should be limited to members of the immediate family only.
Confirmations: All currently scheduled confirmation Masses have been postponed. The Bishop plans to reschedule confirmations after the crisis has passed. These confirmations will most likely occur in a specific location in each of the five deaneries. In order to accommodate the greatest number of people, multiple confirmation liturgies in some deaneries may need to be scheduled.
First Holy Communion: First communion liturgies should be postponed until after the crisis has ended.
The Sacrament of Penance: In terms of the celebration of penance, the Bishop requires that all penance services be canceled until after current restrictions on crowd size have been lifted. He encourages priests to offer specific times when the faithful can come for individual confessions. Priests should make use of the confessional barrier between themselves and the penitents, and provide ways for surfaces in the confessional to be disinfected after each penitent, if possible. Should the crisis escalate to the point where there is a grave danger of death for many, the bishop will authorize the use of general absolution. Priests will be made aware of this if the necessity arises. In the meantime, the ordinary form of the sacrament of penance should be observed.
Weddings: Priests and deacons are encouraged to contact couples who are planning weddings in the next several months to determine if these plans have been altered. It is possible, and even likely, that venue changes and cancelations may already have affected couples with scheduled weddings. Because most weddings are not scheduled earlier than mid-April, it should be possible to give more accurate guidance in the next couple of weeks.
Funerals: Funerals may continue to be celebrated but only for immediate family members. The time of the Mass should not be published. It is acceptable for families who wish to avoid coming to a parish church to have a funeral liturgy outside of Mass celebrated at the funeral home. Vigils should be conducted at the discretion of the families and funeral directors in keeping with the requirements of public safety.
Pastoral Care of the Sick: The Bishop directs that priests and deacons follow these protocols with regard to the visitation and pastoral care of the sick. Those who are hospitalized should continue to receive visitation and sacraments as permitted by hospital policy. Thus priests and deacons who serve as hospital chaplains and in emergent coverage should continue these functions. Priests and deacons should visit parishioners in nursing facilities and rehab units only in danger of death. Similarly, priests and deacons should visit parishioners in their private homes only in danger of death.
Pastoral Care in General: Priests and deacons should continue to meet on a one-to-one basis with parishioners for appointments and pastoral counseling. The Diocesan Pastoral Center will be closed for two weeks or until the current situation abates. Email and phone calls will be answered remotely. Similarly, Catholic Charities will be closed but it is possible to leave messages for Catholic Charities staff.
Graduations: Until the Diocesan Education Office receives instruction from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, all graduations are temporarily postponed.
Fundraisers: By direct order of the Bishop, all social gatherings are prohibited until further notice. This includes parish gatherings, meetings of parish groups, fish fries, and other fundraisers. These measures are required in order to avoid person-to-person contact and the spread of COVID-19. Furthermore, because it is impossible to observe the necessary sterile procedures and because of the possibility of gatherings of people in excess of what is required for public safety, all takeout meals for fundraising must also be suspended immediately.
Families and the Gospel John 9: 1-4
Failure to forgive blinds us to another’s goodness. Lent provides an opportunity to wash away our blind-spots in the pool of forgiveness. Listen to Jesus in today’s gospel: “Go wash and see.”
† Pastor: Reverend Jozef Kovacik
Weekend Mass Schedule: Saturday at 5:30 PM and Sunday at 10:30 AM
Weekday Mass Schedule:
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday at 8:00 AM
Holy Day of Obligation Mass Schedule: 9:00 AM and 7:00 PM
Sacrament of Reconciliation is celebrated on Saturday at 6:30 PM or anytime upon request.
Please remember if these times do not allow you to attend mass you can do so at Saint Joseph Church in Bellwood either on Saturday at 4:00 PM or Sunday at 8:00 AM and also on Monday at 8:00 AM & Tuesday at 6:00 PM and the Sacrament of Reconciliation is celebrated on Saturday at 3:30 PM
Hunger in Our World How can you ensure that young people in your community receive proper nutrition. Proper nutrition and hygiene practices help keep us healthy and in school. Your Rice Bowl can assist those in need:. $20 (or 50 cents a day) during these 40 days of Lent will assist a child to pay for a school uniform, $40 (or $1.00 a day) will feed a family for one month, and $80 ($2.00 a day) will buy a goat to help a family and to provide milk. During the 40 days of Lent, we will reflect on the challenge of global hunger and how it affects our human family. Visit crsricebowl.org for more information.