Pastor's Corner

My dear Parishioners,

These past 10 weeks have been a very difficult time for all of us. We cannot ignore the fact that so many people around us are suffering as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. But we must never forget that the Risen Christ is alive and present to us, even in the darkest hour of our lives. For that reason, it is important to demonstrate that our Church continues to be alive and active in the midst of stay-at-home mandate.

PentecostThis weekend is the celebration of the Solemnity of Pentecost and it should remind us of our identity as missionary disciples. It is “the Birthday of the Church!” a day to celebrate the mission Jesus has left us, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to let every person know of the love of God. And we have experienced this love in many varied ways during this Covid-19 pandemic just within family situation where patience, kindness, compassion, understanding, care, consideration and trust have become part of the day to day encounter.

Some of you feel that it would be an excellent gesture to open up the Church to celebrate this very important Festivity, the Pentecost. But the fact of the matter is that most of the churches in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles if not all, are not equipped yet with the necessary health protocols to open safely. It is worth restating the message of Archbishop Gomez that he sent to all parishes last Saturday, May 23 reminding all of us once again about the expectations before opening the doors of the Churches to make sure they are safe to use.

The following is part of his message. Archbishop Gomez reminded us that though the Church buildings are closed but our parishes are open. We have the celebration of Mass for all of you through the internet in many parishes of the Archdiocese and we are trying to be present to all of you sacramentally in that virtual world in which we are able to celebrate Mass. We hope that that reality is going to change soon.

The Archbishop also thought, it is clear to all of us that it might be possible in the coming future to be able to open physically the churches and receive parishioners to come. It’s not going to be the same in the beginning because there is the reality of the social distancing and also making sure that the churches are sanitized, and people are protected when they come to church. And that safety measure, he insisted is the most important thing — that we protect one another. We know that God is with us but at the same time we have to be careful and make sure that we protect each other in this challenging time.   

The Sacraments“So, let us keep praying together. Let us keep working together. Let us hope that things are going to change really soon. Obviously, we need to come to that moment where we can safely open our churches to continue the celebration of the Sacraments that are so essential for us,” concluded the Archbishop.

VATICAN DECREE EASES CONCERNS OF FAITHFUL

Here is information about special Plenary Indulgence granted during pandemic from Pope St. Paul VI’s Pastoral Letter “Indulgentiarum Doctrina, 10”. The Church has communicated a pastoral response to Catholics affected by the coronavirus – especially those concerned about their “state of grace” at the time of death because the sacraments of the Eucharist, Penance, and the Anointing of the Sick are curtailed during the pandemic.

The Vatican decree issued on March 20 says that people near death from the virus and unable to receive the sacraments due to isolation measures can obtain a special plenary indulgence as long “as they have recited some prayers during their life.” Such an extraordinary measure in these extreme circumstances is intended to give peace of mind to the dying and their loved ones. It essentially means that when an individual Catholic cannot fulfill conditions during this pandemic, the Church compassionately does so on their behalf.

The Church also grants this indulgence to people affected by the virus, to health-care workers and their families, and anyone who prays for the end to the pandemic. The necessary conditions for receiving this plenary indulgence are to show contrition for sins, devoutly watch a celebration of the Mass, recite the rosary, pray the Stations of the Cross, or practice some other devotion.

Votive Prayer CandleIndulgences, which are granted through the mercy of God and the authority of the Church, remove all (if plenary) or part (if partial) of a person’s temporal punishment for sin. “To acquire them, it is required on the one hand that prescribed works be performed, and on the other that the faithful have the necessary dispositions, that is to say, that they love God, detest sin, place their trust in the merits of Christ and believe firmly in the great assistance they derive from the Communion of Saints.”

Please continue to pray for all Bishops and priests, especially Fr. Louis and me so that we remain true and faithful to our vocations in serving God and His people in love. I also pray for all of you that God’s abiding love may sustain you even more this time.

Peace, 
Fr. Riz 

Note: Please remember to support St. Peter Claver Church with your weekly donation and consider using our On-Line giving portal that you can find here in our parish website. Also, I encourage you to take part in Census 2020 because your participation will make a difference in the economic health of our State and in particular our city of Simi Valley.