Monday, March 23, 2020
Florida Catholic staff - Florida Catholic
Due to the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic, most of the news briefs listed in the March 2020 print edition have been canceled or postponed. The last two, posted below, were not affected by the virus. The first few have taken place since the newspaper went to press March 13, 2020.
Parishes still need support
The Archdiocesan Office of Development has created two websites in response to the suspension of Masses and closure of businesses caused by the coronavirus. On one website —Universal Online Offertory Page — parishioners can continue to support their churches through online giving; on the other — Coronavirus Emergency Fund — Catholics can assist those suffering economic hardship.
Archbishop Thomas Wenski’s letter announcing the effort was sent out to donors and parishioners March 21. In it, he writes:
“It is critically important that our parishes receive the offertory support they need to remain operational and sustainable despite the suspension of weekly Masses. I understand that many of you may not be able to contribute given the economic impact this pandemic is having on your personal finances; however, I hope that those who are able to continue to support their parishes will do so. Your online support will make a critical difference to the operations of your parishes during this crisis.
“I am sensitive to the financial hardship suffered by many in recent days. Many turn to the Church for help, and if we come together, we can try to assist them in their time of need,” the letter continued. We must unite to help support our brothers and sisters who have been negatively impacted by this ongoing pandemic.”
Links to both funds can be found on the archdiocese’s home page: www.miamiarch.org.
Pray with Pope Francis March 25 and 27
On Wednesday, March 25, the feast of the Annunciation, Pope Francis is asking Christians around the world to pray the Our Father at noon, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In these trying days, while humanity trembles due to the threat of the pandemic, I would like to propose to all Christians that together we lift our voices towards heaven,” he said after reciting the Angelus March 22. He suggested the Our Father, “the prayer that Jesus, our Lord, taught us.”
He also announced that on Friday, March 27, at 6 p.m. (1 p.m. Miami time), he will preside over a moment of prayer on the front steps of St. Peter’s Basilica. The ceremony will consist of readings from the scriptures, prayers of supplication, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. It will conclude with Pope Francis giving a special Urbi et Orbi Blessing.
All those who listen to the prayer service live through the various forms of communication will have the possibility of gaining a plenary indulgence. The Urbi et Orbi Blessing — “to the City [of Rome] and to the World” — is normally only given on Christmas and Easter.
Warning about solicitors
The Archdiocese of Miami has been alerted to door-to-door solicitors presenting themselves as seminarians and members of a religious organization called Mary Queen of the Third Millennium, Inc. Sometimes carrying a statue of Our Lady, they may ask to pray in one’s home, offer to bless the house and then ask individuals to sign papers allowing them to make automatic withdrawals from their bank accounts. This organization does not appear to be legitimate and is neither approved nor affiliated with the Archdiocese of Miami nor its seminaries. If anyone has been victimized, please report it to the State of Florida Consumer Services Hotline, 1-800-435-7352.
Help Florida farmworkers feed the world
From Ash Wednesday through Holy Thursday, April 9, the Florida Catholic’s central office in Orlando is conducting its Long-Sleeve Relief Drive, a Lenten staple for readers since 2005. The drive asks for donations of clean, used or new, men’s and women’s cotton long-sleeve shirts, to be used by migrant and seasonal farmworkers in Florida fields, to protect them from extreme weather conditions and pesticide residue. Long Sleeve Relief also works to create awareness of the conditions that farmworkers face and the vital role they play in the economy. Between 150,000 and 200,000 migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families travel and work in Florida each year, harvesting crops such as citrus, sugar cane, tomatoes, peppers, cotton, watermelons, peanuts, snap beans, and potatoes.All contributions are tax-deductible. To give, text the code GIVE1SHIRT to 44-321 or donate at: https://bit.ly/383z1L4.