My Dear Parishioners, March 30, 2020
Greetings to you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Compassionate Lord and God! I hope you are all staying healthy. Indeed, the present time, characterized by the COVID-19 pandemic, is a time of testing; at such a time, the Church discerns and asks the Holy Spirit for enlightenment. After a prolonged discernment by our Bishops, priests and the faithful, two major decisions have been made, namely: (a) that public Masses are cancelled until further notice from our Bishop Robert McElroy, and (b) that in the interest of the health of our parishioners and all others who may happen to stop by our church, St. Thomas Indian Mission is CLOSED until further notice. Now what do we do?
FOLLOW THE MASS ON TV OR RADIO.
Bishop McElroy has dispensed all Catholics in the diocese of San Diego from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. He asks instead that during this time parishioners follow the Mass on TV or Radio. For this reason the diocese is streaming daily and Sunday Mass celebrated at the diocesan pastoral center chapel and available at any time of the day. This can be accessed at www.sdcatholic.org. Moreover, the diocese will provide streaming and recording of Holy Thursday Mass, the Good Friday liturgy, the Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday Mass which will also be accessible at www.sdcatholic.org. (Note: I cannot stream my private Masses as I don’t have and cannot have a Facebook account).
Those whose only access is radio are asked to tune in to the El Centro based JP2 Radio (John Paul II Radio) which broadcasts on Sundays an English Mass at 10 AM and a Spanish Mass at 12 noon.
This present difficult time is one of those times that we are allowed to CONFESS DIRECTLY TO GOD, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches.
Pope Francis says: “Take your sorrow directly to God. People who cannot get to confession because of the coronavirus lockdown or another serious reason can go to God directly, be specific about their sins, request pardon and experience God’s loving forgiveness.”. . . “This is the right time, the opportune moment. An act of contrition done well, and our souls will become white like the snow.”
The Pope says: “Do what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says. It is very clear: If you cannot find a priest to confess to, speak directly with God, your father, and tell him the truth. Say, ‘Lord, I did this, this, this. Forgive me,’ and ask for pardon with all your heart. Make an act of contrition and promise God, ‘I will go to confession afterward, but forgive me now.’ And immediately you will return to a state of grace with God. As the Catechism teaches, you can draw near to God’s forgiveness without having a priest at hand. Think about it. This is the moment.”
(Note: Because of my health issues, I deem it more prudent not to proceed with my original plan to hear confessions during this time. Instead, I encourage parishioners to avail themselves of what the Church teaches a penitent may do during times of testing like the present situation characterized by the COVID-19 pandemic).
THE WEEKLY PARISH BULLETIN
I continue to publish our Parish Bulletin. You can find the latest issues on this, our parish website, under “Publications.” Printed Copies are available at our parish grotto of Mama Mary and at our rectory porch.
I organize the Bulletin in such a way that it facilitates your Sunday Worship which may be characterized as a “para-liturgical celebration consisting of the WORD and your SPIRITUAL COMMUNION OF THE LORD.
WE URGENTLY NEED YOUR SUNDAY CONTRIBUTION
Our parish needs your generous help as it is economically challenged. Our income is most closely tied to cash in the collection basket.
You may mail in your Sunday contribution to:
St. Thomas Indian Mission, P. O. Box 1176, Winterhaven, CA 92283.
Or, if it’s easier for you to come to St. Thomas Indian Mission, you may drop by the rectory and
throw far or deep into the padlocked porch your contribution in an envelope. I regularly go to the porch and check.
Or, you may give online: To give online, Go to:
To Register for an account:
- Click on SIGN IN.
- Click on REGISTER FOR AN ACCOUNT.
- Enter the information requested.
- Click REGISTER- a confirmation email will be sent with your login credentials.
Can’t remember your Password?
From the SIGN IN option, click on Forgot Password and a temporary password
will be emailed to the email address you list. Once you sign in with the Temporary Password, it will prompt you to create your own password.
To Make a Donation:
- If you have already set up a user email and password, click on SIGN IN.
- For a One-Time donation, click on the Fund drop down box and choose Tithe/Weekly Offering.
- Enter the amount.
- Click on SUBMIT.
- If you wish to make this a RECURRING GIFT, click on the box listed, (then follow the directions below) otherwise choose CREDIT CARD or BANK ACCOUNT.
- Enter your card (the card may be a credit or debit card- gift cards and pre-paid cards will not process) or bank information.
- Enter your billing information.
- Click Submit. An email will be sent to the email you listed as a receipt of confirmation.
With my priestly blessing,
Fr. George of the Desert
St. Thomas Indian Mission Catholic Church
Requirements for Infant Baptism
In order to have a child baptized at St. Thomas Indian Mission Catholic Church, the parents must be among its parishioners. Parishioners of St. Thomas Indian Mission are those who live within the geographical boundaries of Winterhaven as well as those who may not be living within the geographical boundaries of Winterhaven but are regularly attending Mass here and are registered as regularly contributing members.
Moreover, the following requirements must be fulfilled:
- A completed baptism form (Form B-1) to be submitted by parent(s) or legal guardian;
- A copy of the child’s birth certificate;
- The child must be under the age of 7; if the child is 7 years old or older, the child must first participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (catechism classes) for two years;
- The godparents must have received the sacraments of Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation, and must be in good moral character, living a life of faith;
- One godparent (male/female) is sufficient, but there may be two, one of each sex (ref Canon Law # 873-874)
- Godparents that live with partners as a couple must be married in the catholic church;
- Godparents must be at least 16 years of age;
- Godparents that belong to a different parish are required to complete Form B-2;
- If the parents of the child to be baptized are not married in the Catholic Church or if the parent is a single mother or single father, the godparents of the child must be a couple married in the Catholic Church.
- The parents and godparents are required to participate in a pre-baptism class.
UPCOMING IMPORTANT DATES:
" Dear friend, May no adversity paralyze you. Be afraid neither of the world, nor the future, nor of your weakness. The Lord has allowed you to live in this moment of history so that, by your faith, His name will continue to resound throughout the world"
-Pope Benedict XVI
05/25/20 3:54 pm
CNA Staff, May 25, 2020 / 10:54 am (CNA).- As Catholics celebrate Memorial Day this year, they should keep in mind not only the sacrifice of the men and women who gave their lives in service to the country, but also Christ’s sacrifice, which is at the heart of our faith, said Bishop David O'Connell of Trenton.
In a message to the faithful of his diocese, O’Connell noted that Memorial Day is often celebrated with cookouts, swimming, and parades, as well as visits to military cemeteries to honor veterans who have died in service to the country. He called on Catholics to remember the memory and sacrifices of those who have fallen.Read More
05/25/20 3:04 pm
Vatican City, May 25, 2020 / 10:04 am (CNA).- Pope Francis will pray the rosary in the Vatican Gardens’ Lourdes grotto on Saturday, as Catholic shrines from around the world join via video streaming.
The intention of the worldwide rosary is for the Blessed Virgin Mary’s help and solace during the coronavirus pandemic.Read More
05/25/20 3:01 pm
Denver Newsroom, May 25, 2020 / 10:01 am (CNA).- Four medical school educators have said that fully to address a patient’s needs, physicians should begin asking questions about the patient’s spirituality and religion.
A May 19 opinion piece in the Annals of Internal Medicine was written by a group of medical educators: Doctors Kristin Collier, Cornelius James, Sanjay Saint, and Joel Howell.Read More
“Leon Bloy, the great French Catholic convert, liked to say that, in the end, the only thing that matters is to be a saint,”