Welcome to St. Paul the Apostle Church!
A Letter From Fr. Coyle
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!
In times of increased stress, my crazy Irish family turns to humor, a great medicine to lift the soul. This morning, my mother sent me a lilt of Irish laughter with the familiar “Kiss me I’m Irish” with the kiss me part of the phrase crossed out and changed to “Wave to me from at least 6 feet away.”
The concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic are indeed something to be taken seriously. If we sprinkle our worries with humor… it helps to keep our spirits up.
I encourage all of you to continue to pray for each member of our parish family, the community, our state, our nation, and the world. God will hear your prayers. Pray for those who are sick and the most vulnerable, for our medical teams, and for our government and health leaders who are guiding us in this emergency. Please also pray for those whose lives are disrupted, especially anyone who has lost income from a loss of work during this difficult time. May Mary, Mother of the Church, watch over us and May Jesus Christ, the Divine Physician, grant us health and bring us to a resolution of this pandemic.
The Diocese of Harrisburg has provided some guidelines and further instructions impacting the sacramental lives of the faithful and our parish. I tried to include everything that affects St Paul’s. I hope that the following information will help to answer many of your questions and concerns.
Guideline and Further Instructions
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
I will celebrate Mass privately each day during this time, using the intentions already scheduled for the parish. The public will not be admitted to these celebrations. I intend to offer Sunday Mass via video through online media channels in order that our parish may pray together and keep holy the Sabbath even though we will not be in the pews together. More information will follow as those plans are finalized.
St. Paul’s church building and office is closed to allow for prudent social distancing. While the church is vacant, a professional cleaning service will provide a deep clean of our facilities with chemicals approved to be suitable for use during the COVID-19 pandemic by the Center for Biocide Chemistries and American Chemistry Council. These chemicals are already on hand.
At this time, our parish office staff is working remotely from home. Please feel free to leave a message for anyone in our office and we will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also send us an email.
Additional resources are being developed by the parish office as well as the diocese for distribution. Magnificat and MagnifiKid are great resources for prayer and devotion. Both of these resources are available online and during this time they are offered for free to everyone.
Keeping the Sabbath
Keeping the Sabbath at home is important and I will continue to provide you with family prayer services to be celebrated at home as we did last weekend. You will also be provided with guidance on how to make a spiritual communion. I intend to offer Sunday Mass via video through Facebook Live and/or YouTube in order that our parish may pray together and keep holy the Sabbath even though we will not be in the pews together.
Graveside committal celebrations will occur as soon as possible with families. A Mass for the Dead (Mass of Remembrance) may be scheduled for a later date. I will offer Mass privately for the intention of the deceased. Those in attendance at graveside services will need to be mindful of social distancing as well as understand the need for there to be a limited number of people based on government guidelines.
The celebration of Matrimony within and outside of Mass may happen with the fewest number of participants as possible, provided it is in accord and within government regulations.
Baptisms may occur with the fewest number of participants as possible, provided that it is within government recommendations. It is possible that baptisms may be rescheduled to a later date.
A decision is not made at this time regarding the Easter Sacraments for candidates and the Elect.
Holy Week and Easter
A decision is not made at this time.
Bishop Gainer has informed the priests that with the churches closed throughout the diocese and penance services suspended, priests are to be careful to respond to the requests for confession from those who are dying.
The faithful are strongly encouraged and urged to request the sacrament of confession only in danger of death. To protect the priest as well as the parish staff, priests in the Diocese of Harrisburg are not to hear confessions in the parish office or rectory at this time. Pastoral necessity and pastoral discretion will dictate the sacrament as well as its location.
Care of the Sick and Dying
Anointing of the Sick and Viaticum will be given when someone is in danger of death. Please know that an emergency line is installed at the parish rectory. When you call the parish office, you may press 1 for the emergency line. Your call will then be transferred to the residence and you will be asked to leave a message if I am not available to answer the call. Please utilize the emergency line only if someone is in danger of death.
I will not waiver in the care of the dying. Special adjustments to the application of the anointing oil will be made. Home visits are suspended except for the dying.
Hospital and Nursing Home Visits
The instructions given by the particular institution will be adhered to. Normal pastoral visitations are suspended at this time. Those in hospitals will be referred to the Catholic Chaplain.
- Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, & Saturday9:00 am
- Wednesday6:00 am
- Saturday Vigil5:30 pm
- Sunday8:00 am & 10:30 am
- Wednesdays5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
- Saturdays9:45 AM & 3:30 PM
- Friday & SaturdayFriday 9:30 AM - Saturday 9:00 AM
To Saint Paul The Apostle Church
May God Bless Your Generosity!
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. Proverbs 3: 9-10
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