OFFICIAL STATEMENT REGARDING ASF CHURCH CLOSURES
BY ORDER OF ARCHBISHOP WESTER:
Originally written by Father Daniel J Gutierrez, Pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe, Taos,
I reproduce his words here assuming word by word. Fr. Julio Gonzalez, Pastor at Holy Family Parish, Chimayo, NM.
Dear family, as of yesterday evening Archbishop John C. Wester has made the decision to cancel all liturgies, including Mass, for an indefinite amount of time. At our parish, this unfortunately also means the closure of all campus facilities, the parish offices, and all of our worship spaces. During this period we will not be holding any ministry meetings or any other events, scheduled or otherwise.
We are waiting to hear from the Archdiocese concerning funerals and other special liturgies. That information will be passed on as it comes in.
I stand behind Archbishop in this decision as we are told by solid science that reducing contact amid groups in the days ahead will curb the spread of this virus, which in charity is exactly what we should be doing. I remind all of you that we are people of faith and reason, and so reasonable restrictions (however painful) are not an attack on our faith, but only supports it. The same God who gives us the hearts to love Him and neighbor is the same One who gives us minds to make decisions that are prudent (and done out of charity), such as the closure of our church buildings.
I know many of you have a range of emotions around this decision and around this crisis in general. Believe me, I can not believe I am typing these words! But here's what I do know. Our Lord is never closed to us when we approach Him in prayer and as Scripture tells us, "The Word of God is not chained." We can and should use this time in order to deepen our personal and family prayers lives, develop a deep hunger for the sacraments that we at times take for granted, and break open the Word of God so that we may realize our need for His truth & love.
Even though all public Masses are cancelled for the time being, I will continue to celebrate Masses. All of the intentions that have been paid will still be offered when I celebrate Mass. Your intentions will be not be wasted or ignored. Though you may not be present at Mass, the intention will still go before the Throne of the Lord at each Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, even if a congregation is not present.
If you or someone you know is in dire need of the sacraments of Anointing of the Sick or Viaticum (Eucharist for those who are dying) I will happily go as soon as I can. You can reach me in these cases by calling (505)351-4477, by email at , or by messaging me through Facebook.
Let us remember, we who look to Our Lady for inspiration and encouragement, the words she spoke to St. Juan Diego: "Am I not your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Let nothing worry you."