Messages from Fr. Jim and Mass / Prayer Updates

Weekend Recorded Masses:

Pentecost

Ascension of the Lord

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Our Mass schedule has been changed for the time being. Mass will be celebrated on Saturday at 5 pm and Sunday at 9:30 am. (9:30 am was chosen as a mid-point hour between the regular 8:30 am and 11 am Masses.)

The 5 pm Mass will be live streamed and saved for the time being. Those who choose to stay at home can view the Mass at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/ourladyofgraceparkton/

Wednesday morning Mass will be celebrated at 8:30am and can be viewed on our facebook link.

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June 3, 2020

Dear Friends of Our Lady of Grace,

This coming weekend, (June 6th and 7th), we will open our church for Masses. Please read this message as it contains important information about our “re-entry” into the process of gathering for Mass once again.

As you think about whether or not you wish to attend Mass, please remember the guiding principle that is given to us by health experts: “Stay home, stay safe.” The obligation to attend Mass has been lifted during these past several months, and that remains so. You can choose in good conscience to attend Mass via the various live streaming opportunities that are available to you. Obviously, we would ask that you please DO NOT plan on attending Mass if you feel ill, if you have any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, or if you have been exposed to someone who has the virus. Having said all this, we would be happy to have you back to Our Lady of Grace for Mass if you wish to attend!

If you choose to attend Mass, please note the following points:

Our Mass schedule has been changed for the time being. Mass will be celebrated on Saturday at 5 pm and Sunday at 9:30 am. (9:30 am was chosen as a mid-point hour between the regular 8:30 am and 11 am Masses.)

The 5 pm Mass will be live streamed and saved for the time being. Those who choose to stay at home can view the Mass at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/ourladyofgraceparkton/

When you arrive for Mass at Our Lady of Grace, you will find that seating has been limited to 1/3 of what our church can hold, (as directed by the Archdiocese of Baltimore.) To that end, the pews have been marked in such a way as to indicate seating that is open to parishioners when they arrive. The goal is to create at least a 6-foot distance from the person(s) nearest you. Note that families are permitted to sit together and do not need to observe the 6-foot distancing. Should more people arrive for Mass than the present church set up would allow, we will have overflow seating available in the parish hall. Mass will be live streamed to the hall, and communion will be brought to those who attend Mass in the hall.

Please bring a face mask with you and wear it at all times, except when you step forward to receive communion.

There will be no hymnals or paperwork of any kind in the pews. While there will be music to accompany our worship, there will be no congregational singing at Mass for the time being. There will be no choir, only cantors.

Collection: In order to observe appropriate physical distancing, there will be no collection taken at Mass. You will be asked to deposit your contribution into a box that will be located in the gathering space of the church. You can do this either as you enter or leave.

There will be no sign of peace.

In order to keep movement to a minimum, communion will be given out at the end of Mass. Directions about communion will be given at the Mass you attend. You are asked to keep a 6-foot distance from the person in front of you. Once you have received communion, you are asked to exit the church via the front left door – (the door closest to the parish offices.) Please go directly to your car.

I have sent out the following link in previous Flocknotes. If you have not yet viewed it, I would recommend that you take the time to do so before coming to Mass this weekend. It is a very helpful guide prepared for us at this time.

What to Expect When You Return to Mass https://youtu.be/UNIJVIgDYrk

Communion for those who do not attend Mass . . .

For those who do not plan to attend Mass but who would like to receive communion, please note that you can come to the church between 10:45 – 11:15 am after the Mass on Sunday morning to receive communion. The minister of communion will be just inside the left main door, (the door closest to the handicapped parking area.)

This coming weekend is the Feast of The Most Holy Trinity. In the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we see that God is a God who is present to us in relationship. As we seek to re-establish our communal relationship after a long period of being socially distant, let us work together to create a safe and sanitary environment that can sustain our faith in God who is present to us in all ways, in all places and at all times.

Thank you.

Fr. Jim

 

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May 21, 2020

Dear Friends of Our Lady of Grace,

This weekend we celebrate The Ascension of the Lord. In the gospel of this feast, Jesus gives the Great Commission . . . “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. . .” He then promises us that he will be with us until the end of the age. (Some translations say, he will be with us always until the end of time.) With this commission, we see that the work of redemption is not finished, but is ongoing throughout history. We are given the task of proclaiming this and working in the name of Christ that he may reach the ends of the earth with his saving grace. And, of course, it is a great comfort to know that Christ is present to us always.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CLASS OF 2020 This past week, the Pastoral Council and I made a video of congratulations to the Class of 2020. I reminded those students who are graduating this year that while they are not having a commencement ceremony, they are indeed celebrating a commencement – a beginning! Blessings on the Class of 2020 for completing their high school education. Blessings on each member of this class as they now set about a new beginning and next phase of their lives. And thanks go to the parents of these graduates for their own essential role as parents – for the love and support they have given to their children over these many years!

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND Of course, we also celebrate Memorial Day Weekend. Let us hold in prayer all those who have given their lives for our freedom. We pray that they rest forever in peace, and that they are given the reward of eternal life.
For them we pray:

Eternal life grant unto them, O Lord,and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. Amen.
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.

Some new news regarding our schedule for the upcoming week: Update on the Process of Opening Up Our Lady of Grace . . .
At this time, (Friday, May 22nd at 6:30 pm), churches in Baltimore County are not allowed to begin worship services, (Mass for us), for any gatherings over 10 people. It seems, though, that we are “on the horizon” of being able to open again for Mass in the near future. I will be communicating with you about when and how we will be opening the church up to specific functions via Flocknote and the parish website: www.ourladygrace.org. Stay tuned . . .

Reminder:  While we are still not permitted to gather for Mass, Confessions will be heard from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm on Saturday, (First room to the left as you enter the left doors of the church.) Those coming to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation AND the priest are required to wear a face mask and keep appropriate distance. Once we are allowed to celebrate Mass again, we will return to the normal hours of 4:00 pm – 4:45 pm before the 5:00 pm Mass.

This past week we opened the chapel for private prayer between 10 am and 5 pm on weekdays.

Please note that  this coming week, (May 25th – 29th),the chapel will be open for prayer ONLY on Wednesday – Friday. The church will be closed on Monday, May 25th and Tuesday, May 26th. It will re-open on Wednesday, May 27th.
Those who come into the church or chapel are asked to wear face masks. No more than 10 people can gather at any one time, and they are asked to keep appropriate distance from one another.
To ready ourselves for the time when Mass will begin again, I invite you to take time to watch the attached presentation that has been prepared us. This presentation will hopefully prepare us for when we see each other once again gathered for Mass.

What to Expect When You Return to Masshttps://youtu.be/UNIJVIgDYrk

Masses & Adoration Live Streaming

Please remember that there are several live streaming opportunities here at Our Lady of Grace.
Weekend MassLive Streamed at 5 pm on Saturdays https://www.facebook.com/ourladyofgraceparkton/
Please note that the live streaming will begin at 4:50 pm. Appropriate music will be playing before the Mass begins.You can join us anytime during this 10 minutes before Mass.
You can also view the recorded version of the Mass on YouTube after the live streaming of the Mass at:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuTzd3OdfApDe-Kg99h0leA

Weekday Live Streamed Virtual Adoration Wednesday through Friday this week –  from 3 pm – 4 pm. https://www.facebook.com/ourladyofgraceparkton/

Wednesday Morning Service Deacon Jim will lead a Liturgy of the Word service this coming Wednesday, May 27th that will be live streamed at 8:30 am and available in recorded form after the 8:30 am Masshttps://www.facebook.com/ourladyofgraceparkton/

Thank You!

Again, my thanks to all of you who have generously continued your support for Our Lady of Grace. I am grateful for your generosity to our parish!

I would appeal to you to consider using “Give Central” as your method of supporting our parish. You can find a link to “Give Central” on our parish website at www.ourladygrace.org.

Blessings this week, and may God bless us and our families with health and peace!

Thank You,

Fr. Jim

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May 15, 2020
 

Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord!

These words from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah who wrote that they were announced by “one crying in the wilderness,” (John the Baptist), is a familiar Advent cry. Why am I entitling my Pastor’s Reflections this week with this lead off? Because, in a sense, we have been living through an Advent of waiting . . . waiting for that day when we can gather to celebrate Mass together and receive the Eucharist. We’re not there yet – but hope is on the horizon. The day comes closer when we will be celebrating Mass in our church once again. I know that many are profoundly ready to “return to normal,” – but we have to remind ourselves that “normal” is new. We have new habits to take up, a new understanding of what being together means, new methods and practices to observe. And what better season to face all of this in that this Easter Season – when NEW LIFE is the foundation of what we are about.  Because we are about life, we have the unusual opportunity to care for our life and the lives in each other in a unique way going forward. Following healthy protocols and taking care not to spread any germs or viruses, we participate in the new life offered to us by Christ by being careful for each other.

I so hope that being absent from the Eucharist has made our hearts hunger for the Bread of Life. Even though I have received the Eucharist when I celebrate Mass, (for myself and for all of you!), I pray that all of us will return to receiving the Eucharist, (when that time comes), with a heightened sense of just how important the Eucharist is to us. If there is any silver lining to this time of pandemic and limitation,  let it be that we have been given this opportunity to experience that “absence has made our hearts grow fonder.”

To ready ourselves for the time when Mass will begin again, I invite you to take time to watch the attached presentation that has been prepared us. This presentation will hopefully prepare us for that time when we see each other once again, gathered around the Table of the Lord!

What to Expect When You Return to Mass

https://youtu.be/UNIJVIgDYrk

Thank you,

Fr. Jim

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May 9, 2020

Dear Friends of Our Lady of Grace,In the gospel on this Fifth Weekend of Easter, Thomas admits to Jesus, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” And Jesus responds to Thomas, “I AM the way, and the truth, and the life . . .”
I think that many of us can identify with Thomas in this scene. Sometimes it is not easy to know where we are going, to know the way. Like Thomas, we are left asking, “how can we know the way?” For the better part of the last two months, we have been asking ourselves, “where are we going?” We look to an uncertain future; so much is unknown to us. And yet . . . our faith asks us to trust, it asks that we believe in what we have not seen and cannot see. And that faith does NOT ask us to wait into an unknown future, but rather, to envision our lives in a new way so as to live out a better future. That is what faith in the Risen Jesus is about! Death and darkness are not our destiny. . . life and light ARE!
At a time when it seems reasonable to think that there is darkness before us, we are challenged to see the light. And that light is not something “out there” – in the days ahead, in the “not now.” That light can be here, with us, NOW. We have only to realize the light that grows in our midst; the light that grows in our lived experience of yearning and hope. And what does that light look like? (Or, how do we “realize” that light?) Tomos Roberts is a young poet from London. He wrote a poem entitled, “The Great Realisation.” It is a poem which imagines a world after Covid-19 and is written as a bed-time story being read to a child. I highly recommend that you take a few minutes to listen to Tomos Roberts reading his poem. It is a gem that we need to take to heart. You will find it at the YouTube link below. This young man has something profound to offer us.
“The Great Realisation”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bea4jCAkXsI 

Mother’s DayThis Sunday is, of course, Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day to all our mothers! In honor of our mother’s and of Mary, Mother of God, our Universal Prayer at Mass this weekend will be in the form of an Act of Consecration of our parish to Mary. We pray that Mary, the first and truest disciple, may be an inspiration to us as our companion on the journey toward discipleship. May she guide us always to her son, Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life!

Please remember that there are several live streaming opportunities here at Our Lady of Grace.
Weekend MassLive Streamed at 5 pm on Saturdays and available in recorded form after the Saturday 5 pm Masshttps://www.facebook.com/ourladyofgraceparkton/https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuTzd3OdfApDe-Kg99h0leA
Please note that the live streaming will begin at 4:50 pm. Appropriate music will be playing before the Mass begins.

Weekday Live Streamed Virtual Adoration Monday through Friday from 3 pm – 4 pm. https://www.facebook.com/ourladyofgraceparkton/https://www.instagram.com/ourladygraceym/

Wednesday Morning Mass Live Streamed at 8:30 am and available in recorded form after the 8:30 am Masshttps://www.facebook.com/ourladyofgraceparkton/

AttachmentsPlease note the attachment to this Flocknote –  a  guide for all who wish to follow our Mass this weekend.
Thank You!THANK YOU to all of you who have generously continued your support for Our Lady of Grace. Thanks to you, we are keeping our head
“above water” during this time. I am grateful for your generosity to our parish!
I would appeal to you, Our Lady of Grace parishioners, to consider using “Give Central” as your method of supporting our parish. You can find a link to “Give Central” on our parish website at www.ourladygrace.org. I will say more about this in coming weeks.
Blessings this week, and may God bless us and our families with health and peace!

Fr. Jim

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May 1, 2020
 
Dear Friends of Our Lady of Grace,
 
This weekend we celebrate the 4th Sunday of Easter. This weekend every year is Good Shepherd Sunday – as all the gospels of this weekend every year are about some aspect of Christ as our shepherd. This weekend Deacon Jim will offer the homily at Mass. We are glad to have him back serving at the altar again!
 
May 1st is the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. We ask God’s blessing on all who work and for those who at this time cannot work due to the restrictions placed on us because of the coronavirus. We pray for all who suffer from financial stress because of this situation. We also give special thanks to healthcare workers whose work and service is especially highlighted at this time. May God grant that they be safe from all harm.
 
The month of May is traditionally devoted to honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary. May Mary, Mother of the Church, keep us close and inspire us to continue our devotion to Christ, the shepherd and guardian of our souls.
 
 
Reminder of Ongoing Opportunities
Please remember that there are several live streaming opportunities here at Our Lady of Grace.
 
Weekend Mass
Live Streamed at 5 pm on Saturdays
and available in recorded form after the Saturday 5 pm Mass
 
Please note that the live streaming will begin at 4:50 pm. Appropriate music will be playing before the Mass begins.
 
Weekday Live Streamed Virtual Adoration 
Monday through Friday from 3 pm – 4 pm.
 
Wednesday Morning Mass 
Live Streamed at 8:30 am and available in recorded form after the 8:30 am Mass
 
 
Attachments
Please note the attachment to this Flocknote –  a  guide for all who wish to follow our Mass this weekend.
 
Again – Thank You
THANK YOU to all of you who have generously continued your support for Our Lady of Grace. Thanks to you, we are keeping our head “above water” during this time. I am grateful for your generosity to our parish!
 
Blessings this week, and may God bless us and our families with health and peace! 

Fr. Jim

 
 
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April 24, 2020
 
Dear Friends of Our Lady of Grace,
 
Staff Appreciation
This week “Administrative Assistant’s Appreciation Day” was celebrated. For our purposes, however, I would like to make it “Staff Appreciation Day,” and give a shout out to our parish staff. Throughout this time of social distancing, they have risen to the occasion! Our staff has been amazing during this time. Jenn Perry has continued to work on all things financial from home and has not skipped a beat! Debbie Kaminski also works primarily from home but stops in the office several times a week to pick up mail and make sure all is in order. Our Formation Team, (made up of Debbie Webber, Michelle Stead, Meg Knarr, and Scott Becker), have reached out to families and kept them engaged in the continuing formation of their children. Scott has also remained engaged with the youth via ZOOM. I have joined them in several of the meetings and I am glad to see our youth engaged! I also would highlight that Scott has been our “A/V guy” for all our Masses and Adoration. Our thanks to Scott for sharing his tech abilities that allow us to continue to stay connected.   John Butler, our maintenance person, stops by to make sure all is operating well and that all is in order. My thanks to all these folks – it really is great to serve with them in support of Our Lady of Grace!
 
Our Preschool team also continues to reach out to parents of the Preschool children to help them to work with their children. Sally Lake and her team, (made up of teachers Ashly Harman, Mary Rolfes and Brook Carhart and helpers Jessica Burrows, Hannon Brannigan and Pat Sheridan), do all they can to continue to serve the families of Our Lady of Grace Preschool. Also a special thanks to volunteer Kate Hardig for her ongoing efforts and generous gift of time and support for the Preschool.
 
3rd Sunday of Easter
The gospel for this 3rd Sunday of Easter is the story of the disciples walking with Jesus on the road to Emmaus, found in the gospel of Luke . This story is about recognizing Jesus after having engaged in a journey and finally having the insight to see who he was in their midst in “the breaking of the bread.” Bishop Dan Meuggenborg, (who writes commentary on the scripture), notes an interesting feature in this story. The disciples in the story were walking in the wrong direction – AWAY from Jerusalem and the other disciples. And yet, Jesus joined them and accompanied them on their journey. He opened the scriptures before them and broke bread with them. Once they recognize Jesus and were “rightly oriented,” they change direction and returned to Jerusalem! They recognized that their “hearts were burning” as they listened to Jesus. He made things clear to them and allowed them to see the truth of who he was and the truth of who they were.
 
The notion of “journey” is one that is helpful for us as we all look at our lives. We are all journeying someplace. Certainly we all hope that our life’s journey is going in the right direction! The present moment of our journey has many of us staying at home more, hopefully enjoying time with family and perhaps friends on the phone! Or course, many are aching to return to work and attend to the businesses that have sadly been negatively impacted by the results of the coronavirus. Let us hold them in prayer and trust that God is guiding us by his grace.
 
Reminder of Ongoing Opportunities
Please remember that there are several live streaming opportunities here at Our Lady of Grace.
 
Weekend Mass
Live Streamed at 5 pm on Saturdays
and available in recorded form after the Saturday 5 pm Mass
 
 
Weekday Live Streamed Virtual Adoration 
Monday through Friday from 3 pm – 4 pm.
 
Wednesday Morning Mass 
Live Streamed at 8:30 am and available in recorded form after the 8:30 am Mass
 
 
Attachments
Please note two attachments to this Flocknote.
  1. A Mass guide for all who wish to follow our Mass this weekend.
  2. A flyer for those interested in helping out Hereford Zone Students and Parents in Need.
 
 
Thank You
Finally, THANK YOU to all of you who have generously continued your support for Our Lady of Grace. Thanks to you, we are keeping our head
“above water” during this time. I am grateful for your generosity to our parish!
 
Blessings this week, and may God bless us and our families with health and peace! 

Fr. Jim

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April 17, 2020
 
Dear Friends of Our Lady of Grace,
 
Christ is Risen! Alleluia! Truly he is Risen! Alleluia! I write you on this Friday within the octave of Easter. Easter Sunday and the seven days that follow through the Second Sunday of Easter, (Divine Mercy Sunday), are considered ONE great feast. And so I wish you all a Happy Easter!
 
As we approach Divine Mercy Sunday, it is good to recall the image of Jesus as Divine Mercy – always pictured with the words, JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU. Surely now more than ever, these words might be a source of comfort to us. Who of us is not affected by the coronavirus and the social distancing requirements that have been put into our daily lives and behaviors?  The call then, to trust in Jesus and the risen life he pours forth on us is good news that we all can celebrate. And we pray that wherever we are led we will find new meaning and joy as we grow to be one with the Risen Christ and the mercy he showers on us.
 
As you know, we are “live streaming” our weekend Mass every Saturday at 5 pm. After the live streaming, the Mass will be posted on the Facebook and YouTube links provided.
 
Those links are:
 
 
Wednesday Morning Mass
 
This week we will be introducing a live streamed Wednesday morning Mass. Our Wednesday morning Mass is at the usual time, 8:30 am going forward. You can view this Mass ONLY on the Facebook link:
 
 
Finally, I would note that I spoke with Archbishop Lori this past week. The Archbishop called simply to find out how we are all doing during this time. It was a very pleasant conversation. He asked me to mention his best wishes to all of your, the parishioners of Our Lady of Grace. He wants us to know that we are in his thoughts and prayers. Let us pray as well for him as he leads the Archdiocese through this time of uncertainty – but certain of our faith in Christ who is Risen from the dead!
 
I’ll end my Flocknote to you with the prayer that is prayed to the Blessed Virgin Mary at the end of Night Prayer during the Easter Season, the Regina Caeli:
 
Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
The Son whom you merited to bear, alleluia,
has risen as he said, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.
 
Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia!
For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia!
 
 
Blessings to all!
Fr. Jim

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April 7, 2020

Dear Friends of Our Lady of Grace,
 
As you know, Our Lady of Grace has been offering weekday virtual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Mondays through Fridays from 3 pm to 4 pm. Archbishop Lori has asked all priests of the Archdiocese to join him from 10 am – 11 am this coming Thursday, Holy Thursday, to pray in support of each other and for our parishioners. I write to invite you to join the bishops and priests of the Archdiocese for this special virtual adoration and time of prayer.
 
In view of this change in time for Thursday, our virtual adoration will not be held on Thursday afternoon, nor will it be held on Good Friday or Holy Saturday, when we will be observing the Sacred Triduum. We will return with virtual adoration on Easter Monday, in its normal time slot of 3 pm – 4 pm.
 
Also – a reminder of the times for our Sacred Triduum and Easter Sunday:
 
Holy Thursday
Mass of the Lord’s Supper / 7 pm
 
Good Friday
Celebration of the Lord’s Passion / 7 pm
 
Holy Saturday
The Easter Vigil / 8 pm
 
Easter Sunday
Mass / 8:30 am
 
A blessed Holy Week to all!
Thank you.
Fr. Jim

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April 3, 2020
 
Dear Friends of Our Lady of Grace,
 
This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday, the beginning of the holiest week of our Christian year. We will celebrate the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, his Passion, death and resurrection in the course of this coming week, as we walk toward the great Paschal Feast of Easter! That we do so in a “socially distanced” way does not mean that we are alone. This year, however, we have needed to find ways of being together that have called for creativity and the use of technology. I would like to take this opportunity to say a word of thanks to our parish staff for their commitment to continued service to the parish, especially at this time of “stay in place” and home-based attention to continuing to live our faith.
 
One of the things I have done this past week is to begin watching a course about “The World’s Greatest Churches.” (Some of you may be familiar with The Teaching Company – The Great Courses.) My thanks to one of our parishioners, Celia Davis for her recommendation. The teacher of the course starts out by reminding the viewer that while his course is about church buildings, that the meaning of the word church comes from the Greek work “ekklesia” – meaning an assembly or gathering of people. The Church is people and where they gather. It is a good reminder at this time that we can gather in ways other than that of physical presence to each other. (Of course, physical presence to each other is IDEAL – but for the time, we will need to assemble or gather in other ways.)
 
I invite you to join us live for Mass this Palm Sunday Weekend on Saturday at 5 pm. The links to this Mass are:
 
 
Also – please note that “Live Streamed Virtual Adoration” is now taking place on Wednesdays from 3 pm – 4 pm.
 
 
On Giving to Our Lady of Grace –
 
A number of you have sent in your offerings via mail or online giving. Thank you SO VERY MUCH for you continued support of Our Lady of Grace!
 
To those of you who are able to give to Our Lady of Grace but have not given since Mass has not been offered in the church, I do make an appeal to you to send your offering into the parish. Like you, the parish faces bills that need to be paid, staff salaries that still need to be attended to and buildings that need to be maintained. You are welcome to mail your envelope to the parish office. Someone picks the mail up daily. I know that some are not comfortable sending their offering via mail. If this is the case with you, I would also encourage you to consider giving online. Please go to our parish website, (www.ourladygrace.org) and click on “GIVING.” That link will provide you with appropriate information on how to give to the parish online.
 
Finally, I am aware that some of our parishioners may be facing financial stress at this time. For those of you who cannot give to the parish for this reason, please know of our thanks for your consideration. We pray for that time when all will be back to normal, and your financial situation is normalized again as well. In the meantime, we pray for all of you and your well being.
 
Blessings to all this coming Holy Week. Please go to the parish website for a schedule of all our Holy Week / Triduum Liturgies.
 
Thank you – and may God keep us safe in his mercy! 

Fr. Jim

* * * * * * *
 
March 31, 2020
 
Dear Our Lady of Grace Parishioners,
 
As you know, Our Lady of Grace staff members have made great efforts via email, Flocknote and meeting apps to stay in touch with and support you, our parishioners. Nothing can replace physical presence, of course, however these methods do help us to “bridge the gap” that is necessary at this time.
 
In view of Governor Hogan’s “Stay In Place” order, our church doors are no longer open for private prayer. While disappointing, this order is made for the good of all of us.  Given this new reality, we invite you to join staff and other parishioners for weekday Eucharistic Adoration/Holy Hour between 3 pm and 4 pm. You can worship silently or with music in your own home.
 
Go to either of the two links below to participate in this special hour Monday – Friday, beginning Wednesday, April 1st.  Since Mass is celebrated live on Saturday at 5 pm, and recorded for Sunday viewing and participation, this Eucharistic Adoration/Holy Hour will not be available on Saturday or Sunday. Since the Mass is our highest form of prayer, it will be, as always, the focus of our weekends.
 
 
 
Thank you!
Our Lady of Grace

 

* * * * * * *
 
A Letter from Fr. Jim (March 27, 2020)
 
Our Lady of Grace
From Fr. Jim
Fifth Sunday of Lent
 
Greetings to all as we look to the Fifth Sunday of Lent this weekend. We here at Our Lady of Grace are trying to learn some new technology so that we can be visually present to you for weekend Mass. This weekend we hope to accomplish something new! Our hope is to “live stream” the Mass at 5 pm on Saturday. You can view the Mass live on Facebook or at a later time on YouTube. You will find the Mass available at:
 
 
We will be closing the Church at 4 PM to prepare for mass. Please come for personal prayer prior to 4!
 
The gospel for this weekend is the story of Jesus raising his friend Lazarus to life. Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, sent word to Jesus that their brother and his friend, Lazarus, was ill. Before Jesus reached Lazarus, Lazarus died and was buried. Jesus used the occasion of Lazarus’ death to show forth God’s power and to call people to belief.
Jesus proclaimed to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live.”
 
As we approach Holy Week, (just next week!), and the great Paschal celebration of the Triduum and Easter, we understand that this story is one that prepares us. It is also an invitation to us to believe in Christ as the source of our life! St. Paul writes: “If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit dwelling in you.”
 
As he did to Lazarus, Jesus invite us to come out of our graves! Whatever is robbing us of life and is bringing death to us can be conquered by the power of the one who gives us life. May we be untied from bondage to death and rise with Christ to newness of life.
 
Fr. Jim

* * * * * * *

A Letter from Fr. Jim (March 20, 2020)

Dear Friends and Parishioners of Our Lady of Grace,

In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul writes, “What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” (Romans 8)

All these years later, these words can be a source of comfort to us. We are living in unprecedented times. More than ever, we can see that the world is ONE in its determination to face the present COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation. And with that determination comes some sacrifice that we are asked to endure. One big sacrifice is not being able to attend Mass or other gatherings in person for the time being. BUT- we are a people who have an active faith that assures us of our connection with each other beyond what is physical. We are ONE in Christ, and that unity cannot be endangered by the present situation we find ourselves in, as long as we hold fast to our faith and trust in God.

The staff at Our Lady of Grace (both parish and Preschool), has been working this week to be present to the parish in a variety of ways. I am grateful to them for the work they have done to reach out to parishioners to stay in touch. Our Faith Formation team, made up of Michelle Stead, Meg Knarr and Debbie Webber has kept in touch with parents, trying to provide helpful information for them to continue to teach and form their children. Our Youth Minister, Scott Becker, has reached out to our youth via various online platforms. My thanks to Scott as well for his technological knowledge. Scott will coordinate the video taping of the weekend Masses which will be available to you going forward.

Our Lady of Grace Preschool staff, led by Sally Lake, has been in touch with the parents of the Preschool children via email and internet offerings to help them to navigate this time. Our thanks to Sally Lake, Ashley Harman, Brooke Carhart and Mary Rolfes for their dedication to the preschool children and their families during this time.

Debbie Kaminski has made great efforts to keep the parish website up to date. There you will find information and links that will help you to stay engaged in the life of the Church. (http://www.ourladygrace.org) The parish bulletin can be accessed from the website, but I will also make note of some daily prayer resources that you may find particularly helpful during these days of Lent.

Lentreflections.com Bishop Robert Barron offers a daily gospel reflection. You can sign up on the website and the reflections will come to your email daily.

DynamicCatholic.com Matthew Kelly and the Dynamic Catholic team provide daily inspirational videos. Sign up on the website and the reflections come to you in your email.

http://Pray-as-you-go.org This site offers daily prayers, music, scripture and reflection. You can log onto the website and download the app.

Formed.org This excellent site offers many resources for Lent and the year round. Our Lady of Grace has a subscription to this site for your use. Log onto the website and sign up under your email address and enter our parish information: olg.formed.org

My own goal going forward will be to communicate with you weekly to offer words of encouragement and give you updated information. A video of Mass celebrated in Our Lady of Grace Chapel will be available every weekend – hopefully by Saturday evening at 6 pm.

Our parish offices continue to be open during the week. If you have a need or question, please feel free to call us at (410) 329-6826. You can also contact me via my email at Jhannon@ourladygrace.org.

Let us be one with each other in prayerful support, for our parish and for our larger Archdiocesan community. Archbishop Lori’s Novena Prayer for the Archdiocese of Baltimore is a good way for me to end this, my first Flocknote communication with you.

O Mary, you brighten our path as a sign of salvation and of hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who at the Cross took part in Jesus’ pain while remaining steadfast in faith. O loving Mother, you know what we need and we are confident that you will provide for us as at Cana in Galilee. Intercede for us with your Son, Jesus, the Divine Physician, for those who have fallen ill, for those who are vulnerable, and for those who have died. Intercede also for those charged with protecting the health and safety of others and for those who are tending to the sick and seeking a cure. Help us, O Mother of Divine Love, to conform to the will of the Father and to do as we are told by Jesus, who took upon himself our sufferings and carried our sorrows, so as to lead us, through the Cross to the glory of the Resurrection. Amen.

In this unique time, may we embrace the faith that St. Paul himself proclaimed and trust that nothing separates us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

In Christ Always,

Fr. Jim

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Masses Cancelled in Archdiocese of Baltimore and at Our Lady of Grace

After receiving an update from State officials late March 14th, 2020 on the current impact of the COVID-19 virus and acting on the advice of medical professionals, Archbishop William E Lori has determined that to safeguard the well-being the faithful of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and to prevent further community spread of the virus, all public Masses are canceled until further notice.

Baltimore’s site for detailed information:
https://www.archbalt.org/coronavirus/

The Archdiocese of Baltimore is continually monitoring advice from public health officials and local, state and federal governments for the best ways of responding to the coronavirus (COVID19). We offer the following resources and policies to help Catholics of the Archdiocese in an ever-changing climate. You will also find a link to online Masses and a newsfeed with local, national and international coverage of the pandemic.  www.archbalt.org

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Regular Weekend Mass and Penance Times

Reconciliation: Saturday 4:00-4:45pm

Regular Mass Times:

Saturday: 5:00pm  /  Sunday: 8:30am and 11:00am

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Daily Mass Times

Monday to Thursday: 8:30am

Friday: 8:30am (Communion Service)
(During the summer months there will be no Friday morning services.)

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Holy Days

Our Lady of Grace often celebrates a Vigil Mass, Morning Mass at 8:30am, and an Evening Mass for Holy Days of Obligation.  The vigil or the evening mass will be at 5pm or 7pm (which is scheduled based on the needs of the parish).