Since the number of coronavirus infections began to skyrocket in the United States, the responsibility of caring for the seriously ill, protecting the public’s health and well-being, and providing supplies for people sheltering at home has fallen to a legion of brave and selfless men and women. Health care workers, first responders and an untold number of essential workers have shown up on the job, risking their health and sometimes their lives.
Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., invites the Catholic faithful and all people of good will to take part in a special livestreamed Mass May 13 as he remembers in a special way these extraordinary individuals, especially those who are served the public within Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean Counties. The Bishop will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving and Support for front line and essential workers health care workers, first responders and frontline workers in the battle against COVID-19 May 13 at noon in St. Joseph Church, part of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Keyport.
Commemorating the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, the Mass will be livestreamed without a congregation, beginning at noon, from St. Joseph Church, part of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Keyport. Bishop O’Connell will serve as homilist; Father Rene Pulgarin, Our Lady of Fatima pastor, will be the concelebrant. It can be viewed live and after the event on YouTube.com/trentondiocese.
The story of Our Lady of Fatima reminds all of the importance of praying to God in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity. Catholic tradition holds that in 1917 the Blessed Mother appeared to three Portuguese children near the city of Fatima asking them to pray the Rosary for world peace, for the end of World War I, for sinners, and for the conversion of Russia. During the current pandemic, many prayers are being said to Our Lady of Fatima across the globe to seek her intercession on behalf of all those who have been impacted by the virus.
The Feast of Our Lady of Fatima is also the date chosen by Bishop O’Connell to reopen the churches of the Diocese for private prayer only, while still observing public health guidelines set by the state. The announcement represents the first of a three-phased approach to return to normal parish and sacramental life for the Church of Trenton. Learn more about this effort here.
During this COVID-19 crisis and until further notice, Holy Communion can only be distributed to the faithful as Viaticum for the dying in the Diocese of Trenton.