Families of Faith,
These are trying times and I want to encourage you as the leaders of your households. I know that all the normal parish activities you are used to experiencing are not available at this time. Yet, God has created the human family to also be a church. In fact, the Catechism refers to the family as the Domestic Church (CCC 1655 – 1658). I invite you to embrace your role as the leader of the faith in your households to lead your families in turning to God for his help and his guidance.
Please review the list of ideas below as means to draw your families closer to God our Father when you are not able to rely on your parish community as you normally would. Pray the Family Prayer for Healing below to unite yourselves with other families around the diocese. In addition, pick a few of these activities in this list to make a normal part of your daily or weekly activities during this time of distancing. And I implore you, whichever activities you may choose, please consider joining in prayer for our country, that God would pour out his mercy on us and help us through this crisis. See the Rosary section for more details.
For those of you with young children, you have the power to help them in this time of uncertainty by giving them a sense of what is going on in the world and leading them to God who stands waiting to help them, and us, in our time of need.
Each of the headings below will take you to a page with guidance and information regarding that topic. Consider a few of these for yourself and/or your family during this time.
Family Prayer for Healing
Lord, you are always a good Father to us. The scriptures are filled with all the times you spared your people from disease, famine, and tragedy. During the time of this virus, we ask you to turn your face on us and heal our world. Send your Holy Spirit to heal the sick, protect the vulnerable, and bring us quickly back to worship you at the altar. We ask this in your Son Jesus’ name. Amen
Look at the section "Prayers of Protection for Families" for more prayers that will be useful during this time of uncertainty.
We will continue to update these resource pages over as find more good reliable sources for you.
I know that praying the Rosary seems daunting, especially with little children. We tend to think that they won't be able to sit through it. But children are capable of doing it if we lead them to it. And they, like us, will get better at it with practice. Check out the resources we have so you might enter into this peaceful exercise together during this time of uncertainty. Get instructions by clicking on the title of this section.
"... his disciples asked him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?" And he said to them, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting." Mark 9:28b-29
Fasting is a powerful form of prayer. Consider how you might use what you are experiencing right now in union with Jesus for the salvation of the world. Get instructions by clicking on the title of this section.
Don't just watch the Mass on your computer or TV. Don't just let it play on your device. Turn it on so that the sacrifice of the Mass may be present in your home. Let it shape your home into a sacred space so that you can commune with Jesus even though you can't be present at Mass like you are accustomed to. Get instructions by clicking on the title of this section.
Designate and design a small space in your home to be a place of prayer where you and other members of your family can focus more easily on God's presence. Get instructions by clicking on the title of this section.
Find a few resources that will be helpful foster a discussion and learning about the faith. Get instructions by clicking on the title of this section.
Check out a number of online videos at various sources.
Contemplate the readings of the day. Find a link to the readings and a few resources which provide commentary and/or reflections. Get instructions by clicking on the title of this section.
During this time of social distancing and trying to manage life while avoiding infection from the virus, we may be tempted to thoughts and feelings of fear, powerlessness, confusion, etc. We must reject these and proclaim the sovereignty and power of God in their place. Giving in to these temptations is an ungodly reliance on ones’ self and human power and understanding. Rather, we must remember the words of Jesus, “Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
This page includes several specific prayers which address these concerns head on. Click on the title of this section for more info.