COVID - 19 Updates

Basilica's Parishioners,

His Excellency Bishop Knestout issued an instruction suspending all public Masses until further notice. This means that Mass will not be available anywhere in the Diocese of Richmond. This includes Sundays, Holy Days and week days. Nothing was mentioned concerning Holy Week and Easter specifically, but unless we hear otherwise, the suspension will include those Highest of Holy Days as well. You may read the Bishop’s letter here: https://richmonddiocese.org/coronavirus/

This is a difficult time for everyone and it is easy to become absorbed in the frenzy and chaos of the daily changes. One may think that the timing could not be worse. Lent is a time for a joyful expression of our trust in God’s mercy. That is done most beautifully during the Scrutinies that normally take place over the next couple of weeks. But I think if it had to happen, there is no better time than Lent. During this season we are also asked to rely more faithfully and confidently on God’s Providence and Power. Sometimes that means disturbing our ordinary patterns and rituals. While it is uncomfortable and disheartening, we remember that growth is change and all change comes at a price. We also remember in this time of uncertainty that God has been God for a very long time. Nothing is unprecedented to God. We stand behind a Savior who has already won the greatest of Victories and shares it with us. We serve a Mighty God and He is the Lord and Master of time. That is all the certainty that we need.

During this time when we cannot come together for Worship, we are asked to remember a Spiritual Communion that exists between us. We will keep each other in prayer and remember the great things God has done for us and look forward to the time when we will come back together for worship again. In the meantime, Sunday homilies will continue to be posted on our website: https://www.basilicaofsaintmary.org/ as well as YouTube and Facebook. You can also watch Mass online. Here is a link to help:

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/how-and-why-to-watch-mass-online-during-coronavirus-82713

While the Basilica doors will be closed, other local parishes are available for you to go to for personal prayer and reflection during the day. Please remember that no more than ten (10) individuals will be permitted at any given time.

I strongly encourage everyone to check our webpage for updates and changes. While you are there, please consider signing up for e-giving. It is a great way to continue to show gratitude for God and provide the needs of the poor and hungry.

The Basilica Offices will remain open for business however, because of the need for social distancing and reduced staffing due to school closures, I ask that you conduct as much business as possible via e-mail at [email protected].

All meetings, classes, prayer groups are cancelled until further notice.

All liturgies, including Sunday, Holy Day, and weekday Masses, are suspended until further notice.

The Catholic Diocese of Richmond has created a resource and information page on how it is responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Please visit the page for the latest information as changes occur. Thank you for your patience as, together, we navigate during this challenging time.

https://richmonddiocese.org/coronavirus/