Because the key to making good decisions is ensuring that we are correctly informed, we are carefully considering our responses. Please know that any delay is primarily so that we can ensure that we are offering the latest and most accurate information.
We will do our best to provide updates like this with new information as we receive it.
Please also pass this on to those members of our community who may not have internet access.
Finally, let us all commend ourselves to prayer. Many of these questions have to do with material responses to this situation. This is important, and I urge you to observe these responses carefully. May we also respond with faith! We have an opportunity to re-ignite our own faith and the faith of those around us. This is a time to pray, to reach out (remotely, of course!) to those in our community, and to be fonts of grace to the world. Christ accomplished His greatest work on the cross – may we unite our sufferings and sacrifice to His!
How does the ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ proclamation and the archbishop’s letter affect Holy Rosary parish?
The governor’s order obliges us to make changes to how we operate and minister. The primary changes are that our offices must be closed.
What does this mean for prayer at Holy Rosary?
The archbishop desires that the faithful have access to churches in the archdiocese for private prayer. Therefore, the CMC Chapel will be open on Wednesday afternoons for private prayer and adoration of our Lord in the Tabernacle.
Since no more than eight people may be in the chapel at once, this must be done by appointment.
To schedule, please call Shelly Copeland at 253-383-4549.
What about Sunday Masses and other parish events?
Out of an abundance of caution and following the emergency proclamation made by Governor Inslee on March 11, 2020, Archbishop Etienne immediately suspended all public Masses. Since that time, the Archbishop has issued additional guidance.
Because it is not possible to attend Sunday Mass, all Catholics are dispensed from their Sunday obligation. However, the Church strongly recommends that when Sunday Mass cannot be attended, we devote ourselves to prayer, especially as a family (Code of Canon Law, 1248 §2)
Does this mean that Masses are canceled altogether?
Although Masses are not being celebrated publicly, Mass is being offered every single day by your priests around the archdiocese. The sacrifice of the Mass continues and your prayers are offered with it.
Will the Church be able to offer funerals, weddings, or baptisms?
The governor’s order requires us to postpone all gatherings including weddings, baptisms, and funerals. The only exception would be for a private baptism when there is grave danger of death. In such a case, please call the parish.
What about Confession?
Foremost, recall that confession is always obligatory for mortal sins. If we only have venial sins, confession is not necessary – sincere contrition remits venial sins. Moreover, perfect contrition (sorrow for sin motivated solely by love of God rather than shame or fear of punishment) remits even mortal sins if it includes firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1452)
In the circumstances of public Mass being suspended and Lenten penance services being canceled, there are devotions that enable you to receive forgiveness of your sins (under certain conditions) and the consolation of the grace of the Eucharist. These devotions have been encouraged by the church in times of great distress and have been practiced by the saints.
Archdiocesan resources on Perfect Contrition and Spiritual Communion can be downloaded and shared here:
What about Anointing of the Sick?
For anointing of the sick – which should only be requested for serious illness involving danger of death – please call the parish emergency line at 253-922-4021.
When will we be able to return to normal? How long will this last?
We don’t know. The situation continues to develop, not only in our state but across the country. The most recent guidance suggests that we may be in for several weeks or months of heightened care and precautions. While we maintain hope for a swift turn-around, we should prepare ourselves to adapt our family and faith life for an extended period.
Is there anything we can do to support the parish and staff?
So many have very generously reached out to offer encouragement to our staff and faculty. Those little gestures make a huge difference – please continue in praying for and supporting our parish and school employees. Your patience and kindness are a welcome balm!
Because Masses are not being offered publicly, we don’t have the opportunity for offertory collections. But our general expenses continue. Utilities and payroll are our most significant expenses, and they allow us to offer service and support to you even in these times.
Please make sure that your weekly donations make it to the parish! It would be especially helpful if you converted to online donations, as this would minimize person-to-person contact and reduce the manual workload of the staff.
A convenient and safe way to donate to Holy Rosary Parish!