Bishop Raica has suspended all regular Masses in the Diocese of Gaylord until April 6, 2020 as a response to the Coronavirus. He has allowed churches to choose to remain open so that parishioners could have personal prayer time. He has also allowed small gatherings to occur for funerals and weddings. Outrage and profound confusion are just some of the responses faithful Catholics have had to this decision. This may be the first time in the history of the Church that Masses have been banned in response to a major human event. The Church in this Diocese has lost its soul.
In the history of the Church, when famine, war, or plague was upon a nation, Catholic leaders stepped up to the plate with increased Masses, prayer, penance, and other acts of reparation and petition to God for help in trying times. Churches often housed the sick and offered shelter. Cathedrals across Europe served as a bulwark against both real and presumed threats to human existence. In short, the Catholic Faith saved many nations from destruction, and the Church served as voice and leader of calm and deep physical and spiritual reassurance. The example of the Church was a source of strength and inspiration for Catholics and non-Catholics alike; many conversions to the Faith occurred because of this.
The sacrifice of the Mass is the ultimate prayer for humanity. No other form of prayer can substitute for the Mass. The prayers of a properly disposed faithful Catholic are most perfectly joined with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to bring petitions to Christ.
But not now. Instead of using some common sense measures to aid in the safety of parishioners attending Mass, Bishop Raica has ordered that all of the faithful be denied of active participation in the life of the Church by halting Masses. A reasonable approach would be to offer those who are sick or with serious medical conditions a dispensation from attendance at Mass for the next month and to instruct those who do attend Mass to abide by basic actions already known by everyone (keeping hands clean, covering one’s mouth when coughing, etc.).
Why is the Mass, the summit of worship, adoration, and petition, discontinued at a time like this? Why aren’t we having more Masses to pray for counsel, healing, and an end to the Coronavirus pandemic?
We encourage our readers to write Bishop Raica (address: 611 West North Street, Gaylord, MI 49735; telephone 989-7325147) and exhort him to have Masses for the faithful. Please pray for him and for our priests that they be given and that they freely receive the supernatural faith to lead their flocks. “Ite Missa est (The Mass is ended)”, at least in the Gaylord Diocese.
“Open, throw open wide the doors to Christ! Open, throw open wide the doors of our churches so that the faithful may enter in, repent of their sins, participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and draw upon the treasury of graces that flow from the pierced Heart of Christ, our only Redeemer who can save us from sin and death.” Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
For inspiration, you may access the following: