Just because Masses have been suspended throughout the Diocese of Phoenix due to the coronavirus pandemic and accompanying a statewide “stay at home” order doesn’t mean the faithful are being left without ways to continue to grow spiritually this Lent.
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted has been providing weekly video messages in English and Spanish to his flock, which can be found on the diocese’s YouTube channel.
Many parishes had to cancel Lenten missions this season. As a result, Fr. John Parks, vicar for evangelization, has been leading a weekly livestreamed virtual Lenten mission every Wednesday starting March 25. The sessions are available even after the livestream on the diocese’s YouTube channel and Facebook page. The diocese also has a website with resources to accompany the mission.
Although the Sunday obligation has been abrogated, parishes are increasingly livestreaming their liturgies for families to watch together.
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted and Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares have also invited all clergy and faithful in the diocese to join them in a consecration to St. Joseph. The consecration began March 30 and ends May 1, the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. Individuals who haven’t started yet can still join in and catch up on the missing days in their own time.
Lastly, as the Church enters Holy Week with Palm Sunday April 5, the Diocese of Phoenix Office of Worship published “A Journey through Holy Week for Families.” The book is available in PDF format or as a flipbook, and provides guidance for parents in leading their families in engaging with the mysteries of Holy Week. It includes craft ideas to do with small children, such as making palm crosses on Palm Sunday. Among the recommendations are for parents to wash their spouses’ and children’s feet while watching a livestream of the Holy Thursday liturgy.