We truly hope you know that as we move through these uncertain circumstances, we are praying for you. Our faculty and staff are praying for you. Our Bishop and priests are praying for us all. Most importantly, as this year’s Overbrook theme reminds us, God is with us.
We have had the great fortune of being with God each week during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. What a gift for our students! Bishop Spalding’s recent announcement
that he has dispensed the weekly obligation to attend Mass and canceled the public celebration of the Mass through April 24th. While not unexpected, we know your student may feel the absence of that weekly celebration.
We would like to share some links and tips to help you and your family navigate these days.
We encourage you to continue to join in the weekly celebration in your home! God is with us, and joining into the Mass with your family is a beautiful and strong way to help your children remember that truth. Here are some tips for celebrating with the Church:
- Wear your Sunday best as you gather in your home. It’s a good cue to your students that what was once their playroom or dining room is now a calm and reverent place.
- Create a sacred space in your home. Here’s a great link on ways to do that. http://themythretold.com/creating-a-sacred-space/
- Watch the mass as a family. Though we cannot receive the sacraments virtually, we can sacramentals by watching. What does that mean? If a priest, a bishop, or Pope Francis gives a blessing, and you are watching it live, you and your family receive that blessing. What a powerful reminder that God is with us! Even though you’re watching online, keep participating in the Mass by standing, kneeling, and responding to the prayers as if you were in Church.
- Participate as a family! Invite family members to give the readings for the day. Have your student offer to explain the readings. Involve a physical act of devotion for your family, like touching the feet of Jesus on your Crucifix. One beautiful thing your family can do is have the head of your household give your students a blessing. This blessing can be given with words, or could be a powerful silent prayer: place your hand on each child’s head for a moment of silence, then use your thumb to mark the sign of the cross on his/her forehead. I know it will be a beautiful act of reverence for your family.
- Make a Spiritual Communion. This means simply to pray, “Jesus, come into my heart, as closely as possible to the way you come into our hearts in the Eucharist.” Catholics are encouraged to pray this way whenever we are unable to receive the Eucharist.
- Set Sunday apart. As many of you will be at home all week, find ways to make Sunday feel different. Perhaps a special meal or tablecloth, a designated time to put away technology, or a time to start praying the rosary as a family.
Looking for a great family activity? The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia have recorded the 20 mysteries of the Rosary. Listen on SoundCloud or find a link here. What a gift for our families to pray with the Sisters!
God is with us! God is with your family!