Letter from Bishop Christopher J. Coyne with Pandemic Update
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
During the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we, the faithful, must all do our part to ensure the health and well-being of the larger community by helping prevent the spread of this disease. That is why, effective Friday, March 20, all regularly scheduled public celebrations of the Catholic Mass, sacraments and devotions are suspended until further notice. Priests of the Diocese of Burlington will continue to celebrate Mass privately for the intentions of their community and the Church. Baptisms, funerals and weddings may take place but will be strictly limited in attendance to immediate family members. In addition, confessions can be arranged with your pastor by appointment.
While this is a difficult time for us all, I ask that you use this time to strengthen your relationship with Christ through daily prayer, participating in TV Mass, bible study and engaging your family in faith activities. TV Mass schedules, prayers, Keeping Sunday Holy activities and updates can be found here: vermontcatholic.org/covid-19.
The Diocese will be live streaming Mass starting this Sunday, March 22, at 10 a.m. which will be posted on every parish eCatholic website as well as the Diocesan TV Mass page (click here).
Please take advantage of these resources and click on the Diocese’s Facebook page to follow us and receive daily inspiration, prayer and updates.
I also ask that you prayerfully consider supporting your parish and the Diocese by making your usual offertory and Bishop’s Appeal contributions through this difficult time to sustain us until we can resume our regular Mass schedule. Visit your local parish or the bishopsappealvt.org for more information.
Finally, I have asked each parish and chapel to erect a shrine either inside or outside of the church to pray for deliverance from the COVID-19 pandemic. A candle will be kept burning in front of the Blessed Mother for those who have died; for those who are ill; for the doctors, nurses and caregivers who are treating the sick; for those with suffering family members; for those who are in mourning; for those who are vulnerable; for those who are afraid; and for those leaders whose decisions impact the pandemic. All are welcome to visit and pray for Mary’s intercession or to pray from home.
My motto, “Trust in the Lord,” has gotten me through many difficult times. Lean on the Lord and know that He will guide you through to better days.
Yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Christopher J. Coyne
Bishop of Burlington