March 25th 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord.

The feast of the Annunciation occurs in this time of crisis in order to remind us of two things: 1) that God is greater than each one of us and all of us together, 2) that the core of being fully human is to empty ourselves of everything else and let God fill our hearts and our lives. In fact, in order for Mary to be full of grace, she had to empty herself of something. She had to forego all other relations and focus on the one relationship that precedes them all. In our anxiety and daily struggles to discern what is essential in life, may we hear the words of the angel, that “nothing will be impossible for God”.

 Updates on COVID-19 preparedness.

As a precautionary measure in view of the more rapid spread of the coronavirus in Virginia, and acting on the recommendation of the Parish Pastoral Council, I have decided to close the church for the personal prayer open periods that were previously advertised. This action is taken to prevent the risk of exposure to parishioners who would otherwise continue to come to church for prayer, and to the volunteers who would need to be at church to maintain required controlled access during the open periods.

I will continue to hear confessions on Saturdays from 4.30 to 5.00 PM. Those desiring confession during the weekdays may contact me directly by calling the office at 757-917-5830 or emailing me at frpaul@sacredheartnorfolk.org to schedule an appointment.

If you have the knowledge and/or equipment for livestreaming Mass, please contact me at frpaul@sacredheartnorfolk.org

We have also published a list of useful online sites on our parish webpage to provide additional capabilities that may assist you in worship and personal prayer from home. This information can be found at the following link: http://www.sacredheartnorfolk.org/

I will share with you the Holy Week and Easter guidelines as soon as the Diocese issues them, either later this week or early next week.

Please understand that we are responding to an unprecedented situation with the COVID-19 outbreak, and my driving concern at this time is the safety and health of our parishioners. I intend to review this closure decision on a week-to-week basis and will reopen the church for prayer as soon as the situation warrants. I continue to hope and pray that you remain well during this crisis, and encourage you to stay at home, if at all feasible, until this threat subsides.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Paul Muyimbwa