“May You Live in Interesting Times”
(An Ancient Chinese Curse)
This weekend Bishop Hartmayer had designated “Safe Haven Sunday” in the Diocese of Savannah. Safe Haven Sunday is a weekend set aside to directly address the societal harms of pornography. It is sponsored by a wonderful organization called Covenant Eyes. We priests were to have given the homily about the dangers of pornography and to send everyone home with a booklet entitled “Equipped” to guide parents in protecting their children and families from pornography.
But of course, that was before we knew of the Corona virus pandemic! I am sure that we will reschedule “Safe Haven Sunday” once this national and international crisis has passed. At this moment of my writing (Monday), it has just been announced that there will be no public Masses celebrated in the Diocese of Savannah until further notice. So you will not be able to attend Mass at Blessed Sacrament this Sunday. Your home will have to be your safe haven this weekend. It is ironic that this is the Fourth Sunday of Lent. Called Laetare Sunday, it is the Sunday during Lent when we try to show extra joy because of what Jesus has done for us…and because Lent is half over!
In time of crisis, we prepare for the worst; and we pray and hope for the best. We must choose prudence over preference. I will be celebrating daily Mass at 8:00 a.m. and will live-stream this for you to see. The Church will be open each day from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and the Adoration Chapel is open 24 hours a day for personal prayer time. At this time, I am not certain if the parish office will be open for business hours. However, if you need a priest, call me! I am very much available to you, whatever your needs. This is why the Catholic Church is here. This is why Blessed Sacrament was founded…to take care of God’s children in all times, both good and bad. My phone number is 706-513-4660.
We will live stream our parish weekend masses as well, and we will be offering on line classes to our students at Blessed Sacrament School. Please follow us on Facebook LIVE so that you and your family can attend Mass virtually, hear the readings and the homily, and then make a Spiritual Communion. Use this time “to go to Mass as a family” and to pray together as a family for an end to this pandemic and the safety of all people. This spiritual exercise at home will produce unforgettable positive memories in the hearts of your children.
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There are several prayers and novenas for an end to a pandemic. The Knights of Columbus have produced one (copies of which are available in the back of the Church). Yes! You can come by the Church anytime between 7 and 4 to make a visit to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and to just pray. I encourage you to do this with your families. Prayer is truly the most powerful force in the world, as it calls down the infinite power of God.
The Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.” These certainly are interesting times. I was reflecting that during my seven years as Pastor of Blessed Sacrament, we have lived through two hurricanes, a horrible sexual abuse crisis, a capital campaign and construction project, a transition to a new bishop and now the Corona virus. This has not been a boring assignment!
Once again, I turn towards the Almighty, shrug my shoulders and say, “Oh well, I still have Jesus.”
God bless you all and keep you safe.
Fr. Brett Brannen