Bishop McClory's & Fr. Kevin's Letters

May 17, 2020 Letter from Fr. Kevin Huber

Dear Friends in the Lord,


As you know, the Bishops of Indiana have given pastors of Catholic churches in Indiana permission to celebrate
Mass publicly. For a little while, the Mass schedule will be a little different. Beginning Monday, May 18th, Fr. Jordan and I
will celebrate Mass Monday through Friday at 7:30 AM at Queen of All Saints Church. Beginning Saturday, May 30 th ,
Sunday Mass will be offered at 4:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 AM and 12:00 PM in Spanish at Queen of All
Saints Church. At St. Mary Church, Fr. Jordan and I will offer public Mass at 9:00 AM on Sunday, beginning May 31st. You
will soon discover that communal worship is going to feel and look very different. To prepare you, I want to share with you
the procedures we will use at Queen of All Saints Parish and St. Mary Parish to ensure your health and safety.
 
First, I am encouraging people who are most vulnerable to COVID19 to continue to shelter at home. Specifically,
women and men who are 65 years of age or older or who have chronic illnesses should continue to self-isolate, participating
in Mass through Facebook, live streaming, or television. However, please if you belong to this group, you will not be turned
away from Mass, unless you are exhibiting sign of illness. We will continue the practice of recording and live streaming
Mass at 10:30 AM on Sundays.
 
Second, we will observe social distance during Mass. To accommodate for the appropriate amount of social
distance, the staff has determined the number of people who can participate at a scheduled Mass, using a formula that
divided the square footage of the pews divided by 36 feet. At Queen of All Saints Parish, the maximum number of people
allowed in the church at this time is 175. At St. Mary Parish, the maximum number of people allowed in the church is 100.
For the time being, however, Mayor Parry has ordered that gatherings for church services not exceed 25 people, at least
until May 23rd .


Third, please make a reservation to attend the celebration of Mass. Everyone who wants to come to Mass is
required to call the Parish Support Center at 219-872-9196 to a make a reservation to participate in Mass. When you make
your reservation, you will be given specific instructions about where to park, the brief screening process you will experience,
which includes temperature screening, and what to bring when you come to church for Mass. People without a reservation
will not be able to enter the church.


Fourth, when entering the church, please sit in pews that are open and in spaces that are marked with an X.
Please note that families who currently live together are in daily contact will be permitted to sit together. While the place that
you sit may not be your preferred seat, respecting these measures will ensure that everyone is comfortable and safe as we
resume communal worship.


The procedures outlined above are in compliance with the guidelines for the Gradual Re-opening of Public Masses
provided by Most Reverend Robert J. McClory, Bishop of Gary, which can be found on the website at www.qas.org .
Remember, one of our core values is generous hospitality, which includes providing a safe and healthy environment for you
and your family to worship the Lord. To avoid confusion, frustration, or disappointment, please follow these procedures.
Please know that on May 30 th , the Vigil of Pentecost, I will initiate our three elect, Bryan Allen, Chad Clark, and
Louis Gross, who will receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. The next day, the Solemnity of
Pentecost, I will receive into Church two candidates, Berri Beuker and Jesse McClaren. Please pray for these elect and
candidates.


I appreciate your patience and consideration during this time of transition. Please be sure of my prayers for you
and those whom you love, asking our Lord’s blessing and protection for all of you.

Faithfully yours in the Lord,

Fr. Kevin Huber

 

May 10, 2020 Video Message from Bishop McClory

 

May 3, 2020 Video Update from Bishop McClory:

May 2, 2020 Letter from Bishop McClory:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On Friday May 1, I had the extraordinary privilege to reconsecrate our diocese to the Blessed Mother under the titles Mary Mother of the Church, Our Lady of Lourdes, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  At the very time of the consecration, Governor Holcomb issued his “Back on Track” Roadmap to Safely Reopen Indiana.

What does this mean?  
 
We are planning for the eventual reopening of public liturgy, but we want to make sure we get this right, not rushed.  I ask for your continued patience as we refine our guidelines – and patience when we implement them.  For now, our current liturgical protocols (including the suspension of the public celebration of the Mass) will remain in place while we review Governor Holcomb’s multistage plan.

Our COVID19 Liturgy Task Force continues to examine appropriate ways to maintain access to the sacraments and safely reopen public worship.  The Task Force will now revise its work considering the governor’s latest guidelines and present it to the College of Consultors (a consultative group comprised of pastors) for review.  Following the review by the Consultors, we will present to all the priests of the diocese.  Our pastors and parish leadership will need time to absorb the protocols and be prepared.  

I will also communicate directly again with you, members of the faithful, so that you are aware of the broad outlines of our revised guidelines.  I do want to prepare you for a few items that are clear from the latest public health and government guidelines.  Although the Governor’s plan allows for indoor worship services to eventually convene, following specific social distancing guidelines, the strong preference is that places of worship continue to use virtual services. He further encouraged church leaders to ask those 65 and older, and those at elevated risk, to remain at home until at least May 24.  

Social distancing will be very new for us in our churches.  For some time, we will likely be wearing masks and staying further apart than is our standard practice.  Most parishes will likely have to limit the number of people we allow into the church for a given Mass. This will not be easy to absorb, but with a spirit of gratitude and patience, I have great confidence that we will get through these days.

The Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of the Catholic faith.  In the Eucharist, we receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. All of us deeply desire to return to our public celebration of the Mass, but we must do so in a manner that is responsible and within the context of the continuing health crisis.  

Stay tuned for more updates next week.  Please keep praying for all those suffering the effects of COVID19.  Let us pray for the continued intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes during these days for healing, comfort, protection and wisdom.  

Jesus, I trust in you…

Your Servant,
The Most Reverend Robert J. McClory
Bishop of Gary

Fr. Kevin Huber's Updated Letter:

Dear Friends in the Lord,

One of the most effective means of communication that we have is our website and App.  Information and approaches change constantly as we navigate the challenges that come from the COVID-19 virus.  Please check the parish website for updates and details about how the Parish Staff at Queen of All Saints Parish and St. Mary Parish are working to meet your spiritual and pastoral needs.  Please look below for information about a variety of topics.

Mass Schedule:  The bishops in the Province of Indiana have suspended the public celebration of all Masses until further notice.  Since the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life, Fr. Jordan and I will celebrate Mass each day and post them on the website, beginning Thursday, March 19, 2020.  The video should be uploaded to the website by 10:00 AM. 

During the time of the distribution of Holy Communion, I encourage you to make a Spiritual Communion, which you can find below:

My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire to receive you in my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

The Sacrament of Penance: 

Due to the stay-at-home order, the Sacrament of Penance is offered by appointment only as of March 25, 2020. Call (219) 228-0044 to schedule a time.

Queen of All Saints Parish Legacy Center: Closed until further notice.

The Queen of All Saints Parish Community Center: Closed until further notice.

Christ the King Adoration Chapel: Christ the King Adoration Chapel will open at 6:00 AM and close at 6:00 PM, at which time the doors will be locked. The chapel will be used only for visits to the Eucharist and for adoration.

Parish Office Hours:   The Parish Support Center is closed until further notice. You can contact us at [email protected].

For Emergencies: When you need immediate attention after normal operation hours, please call 219-228-0044.

Prayer Requests: Please make prayer requests through the parish office e-mail address at [email protected].   This week our parish staff will be contacting all our parish members, asking you or updated contact information.  Please let us know what we can pray for you.  Parish Staff members will then pray for your intentions daily at 10:00 AM. 

You can also find this information on the Parish App, the Parish Facebook page, and through Flock Note messages that we will send to you.  With the members of the Parish Staff, you can be sure that we are walking with you.  You are not alone.

Faithfully yours in the Lord, 

Fr. Kevin Huber

Bishop McClory's Updated Letter - March 26th 

March 26, 2020
 
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
 
Yesterday we celebrated the Solemnity of the Annunciation - the moment when the angel Gabriel visited Mary, and with Mary’s yes, Jesus was incarnate by the Holy Spirit in her womb.   With the Blessed Mother, let us ask the Holy Spirit to fill us these days.  I pray that we may experience anew the great gift of Jesus.
 
During these days, I have been in regular consultation with our Diocese of Gary COVID-19 Task Force, the College of Consultors (a group comprised of our deans and pastors), various work groups, and members of the faithful as we do our best to respond pastorally and practically to the current pandemic.  The situation sometimes changes by the hour as we receive and incorporate new directives guided by civil authorities, public health officials, the Holy See, and the USCCB.   
 
As we approach Holy Week, it is clear that our current limitations will remain in effect.  All Masses will continue to be offered only privately until sometime after Easter.   This is not easy news to absorb, nor is it easy for me to share.  Holy Week is the high point of our year and this is an incredible sacrifice we are making for the health and wellbeing of all – and for the common good.  
 
During this time of private celebration of our liturgies, I am impressed that so many of you have participated remotely through the live streaming of our Masses.  We will continue to avail ourselves of these technologies and will be offering resources for use at home during Holy Week.   
 
The Chrism Mass will be offered privately and live streamed from the Cathedral on Monday, April 6 at 11:00am.  This is a special celebration which includes the blessing of the holy oils and normally involves the participation of all the priests and parishes of the diocese.  For this year, the only concelebrating priests will be our four deans.  
 
Please consult with your parish to see if they are livestreaming the liturgies.  All of my Sunday and Holy Week liturgies will be livestreamed. Information regarding livestreamed liturgies (and additional spiritual resources) is available at www.dcgary.org.
 
We’re in this together.   So let’s pray together.  As was announced earlier this week, I am asking you to join in a moment of daily prayer and church bells at 12noon and 6pm.  The two simple prayers I am proposing are: “Jesus I trust in you” and “Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.”  Set your cell phones or alarms to remind you to pray.  In addition, our Holy Father Pope Francis will confer a special urbi et orbi blessing on Friday March 27 at 12noon (CST).  Please watch via the internet or television.
 
If you have any intentions you’d like me to pray for, please email them to [email protected].  Your prayer requests will be forwarded to me so that I can lift them up personally in prayer.
 
I would also ask you to please continue your financial support to your parish. They rely entirely on your contributions and your generosity. I am very grateful for your support, especially during this time.
 
We are in unchartered territory, but we are in this together.  Let us entrust ourselves to Jesus through the hands of Our Lady of Lourdes.   Let us pray for her continued intercession during these days, for healing and comfort to those who are suffering.   We call upon the Holy Angels to give consolation and protection.
 
Jesus, I trust in you…
 
Your Servant,
The Most Reverend Robert J. McClory
Bishop
Diocese of Gary
 

Bishop McClory's Letter - March 17th

March 17, 2020
 
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
 
        As a diocese, we have been actively monitoring the public health response to the Coronavirus.  As the situation continues to change, I have some very painful news to share with you.   Based upon the recommendations of public health experts and in solidarity with the bishops of Indiana, effective Wednesday March 18, I am temporarily suspending all public weekday and weekend Masses in the Diocese of Gary until further notice.  
        The Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of the Catholic faith.  In the Eucharist, we receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. The decision to temporarily suspend the public celebration of the Mass was not taken lightly.  The spiritual resources of the Church will still be made available, but will be provided within the context of the current health crisis.  
        At the discretion of pastors, churches may be open for private prayer so that you can approach Our Lord who is truly present in the Tabernacle. Whenever the church remains open, it is the responsibility of the pastor (or the one who he designates) to ensure that the number of attendees adheres to guidelines given by the Centers for Disease Control and the Indiana Department of Public Health. Everyone should become familiar with the protocols concerning social distancing, vulnerable populations, and cleaning which are available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov).
        Funerals and baptisms are at the discretion of the pastor but must adhere to the guidelines outlined above by the CDC.  Individual confessions, anointings, viaticum, and other forms of pastoral care can be offered in a case-by-case basis. Consult your local parish for any of these needs during this time.  Communal penance services are cancelled. 
        While the Sunday Mass will not be publicly offered during this time, the obligation to keep the Lord’s Day holy remains. On this day, we should seek to refrain from work, increase our love of the Lord and extend charity to others through prayer and service.  Additional spiritual and devotional practices can be found on our website (www.dcgary.org).  Daily readings can be found on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (www.usccb.org).  
        Please remain connected to our diocesan website for updates. There you will also find the opportunity to register to receive up-to-date information from the diocese and local parishes. Many of our parishes currently offer web streaming of Masses. We will include links on our website to help connect you with these videos, as well as information regarding how you can find Masses offered on television and through websites.
        As you temporarily participate at Mass by remote viewing, you and your families are encouraged to make a daily Spiritual Communion by praying:

My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. 
I love you above all things and I desire to receive you in my soul.  
Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally,
Come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace you as if you were already there
And unite myself wholly to you.
Never permit me to be separated from you. 
Amen.

 
      The experience of Lent 2020 will be unlike any other.  As so many of our routines are disrupted – we should respond by re-assessing our lives and making sure that we have responded fully to Jesus.  I pray that we will find new ways to support and love each other.  
        The Lord can bring great good out of this, as we intensify our prayer, turn our hearts over to Jesus, and share that love with others.  As I mentioned in my letter last week, we live in a time in which “social distance” may be necessary as a health precaution, but this does not have to result in “spiritual distance.”  During this time, more than any other, we should seek to proclaim Jesus as our Lord – and ourselves as your servants for the sake of Jesus.
        I once again entrust and consecrate our diocese to Our Lady of Lourdes.  The Blessed Mother intercedes for us to her son Jesus.  Let us pray for her continued intercession during these days, for healing and comfort to those who are suffering.  
Jesus, I trust in you…
 
Your Servant,
The Most Reverend Robert J. McClory
Bishop
Diocese of Gary