MESSAGE FROM BISHOP JAIME SOTO - COMING BACK TO THE TABLE
May 20, 2020
Dear Friends in Christ:
The Acts of the Apostles begins with the Ascension of the Lord to the right hand of the Father’s throne in heaven. Luke described the scene of Jesus being lifted up, “a cloud took him from their sight.” (Acts 1.1-11) The lingering, longing look of the disciples’ gaze fixed on the sky revealed their sense of loss. Their master had seemingly left them behind. As they stared up at the sky, two angels came to chastise the gloomy group. “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?” The followers of Jesus were reminded that the Lord Jesus would return. With these words of encouragement, the disciples returned to Jerusalem. The scripture tells us, “All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus.” (Acts. 1.14)
The cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic has hidden from our sight the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Lord Jesus offered in the Sacrifice of the Mass. We miss contemplating His closeness to us. We hunger to hear His merciful words entrusting Himself to us. We yearn with open hands and hearts to receive His most precious body and blood. Like those disciples in the Acts of the Apostles our gaze lingers with longing over the empty churches with silent altars waiting to fill our souls with the presence of the Risen Lord. I have much admiration and gratitude for all those who have “devoted themselves with one accord to prayer” with one another and with Mary, the mother of Jesus. The words of Jesus which conclude the gospel of Matthew give us confidence in our prayerful vigil, “Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt. 28.20)
We have endured a long Lenten Season that was more penitential than expected. The Easter Season continues to test Christian patience. This has been a spiritual journey that has tried everyone’s faith. The Lord Jesus, our Good Shepherd, continues to assure us. Do not be afraid. With His rod and His staff, He will lead us through the “valley of the shadow of death”. He will soon set a table before us.
The difficult precautions intended to stop the spread of the coronavirus have been prudent and necessary measures. Lives have been saved and the health of many, especially the most vulnerable, have been safeguarded. This effort is still not over. Justifiable fears linger. Continued calls for caution should be heeded. The sacrifices made by those who have been afflicted and those who care for them, especially health care workers, should be honored by our sustained vigilance.
My brother priests and I are preparing to resume the public celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass. The date for lifting the suspension of public Masses has not been set but there are reasonable hopes that it will be soon. Much depends on the prudent, practical, personal measures each of us takes to maintain physical-distancing and other hygienic precautions. Returning to the Table of the Lord will incorporate these measures so that both the health as well as the holiness of the faithful can be nurtured. The steps to be taken have been outlined in the presentation, “Coming Back to the Table”. Please review this material. Prepare yourself both physically and spiritually for coming together around the Lord’s altar of sacrifice.
Join me, Bishop Weigand, and my brother priests in praying for the Lord’s mercy to end the pandemic. The sacrifices we make and sufferings we endure unite us ever more closely to the one saving sacrifice of Christ. May the Lord of tender mercies purify us and prepare us to receive the Bread of Life more worthily.
Holy Mary, mother of mercy and mother of the Church, pray with us and for us.
Click here to read Coming Back to the Table - Diocesan Guide to Public Celebration of the Mass
8TH GRADE GRADUATION MASS
Please join Father Aldrin and St. Mel School as they celebrate the 8th grade Graduation on Wednesday, May 27th at 4:00pm. The Graduation Mass will be live streamed on the St. Mel Facebook page. Click the image of the Blessed Mother below to view the live stream.
Congratulations to all of this year's graduates!
Click below to read the Decree from Bishop Soto, dated Tuesday, March 17th, regarding suspension of the public celebration of Sunday and weekday Masses. Please note that all activities have been cancelled at St. Mel. The Adoration Chapel is also closed until further notice.
The link below will direct you to the Diocese of Sacramento Coronavirus page. This is where you can find the most up to date information regarding cancellations and guidelines.
PARISH OFFICE HOURS
The Parish Office is open limited hours. Please call or email the office and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Thank you. 916-967-1229 [email protected]
FATHER ALDRIN'S LETTER TO PARISHIONERS
April 29, 2020
Blessings dear friends in Christ!
As a light in these challenging times, the Resurrection of Jesus continues to shine in our darkness. I, along with all the staff of St. Mel Parish, continue to hold you in our prayers and hearts.
Recently, Bishop Soto published a statement regarding the direction he is leading us as the Church of the Diocese of Sacramento. This is posted on our website at www.stmelchurch.org.
Bishop Soto in union with fellow bishops in California is preparing to lift the suspension for public celebrations of the Sacrifice of the Mass as soon as the State of California directs us of the lifting of present restrictions for public gatherings.
In response to the Bishop’s letter, I along with parish advisors have begun discussions on how this will work for us at St. Mel. Most importantly we all need to realize that no decisions have been made as to the timing or exactly how this will work.
Definitely, the Bishop said that when decisions are made the following:
- Firstly, they’ll be made for the dignity and care for all, especially the most vulnerable;
- Secondly, the lifting of the present restrictions will be gradual;
- Thirdly, those of us 65 years of age and older, together with those with underlying health conditions, will remain sheltering-in-place even as public movement is gradually permitted; and
- Fourthly the dispensation from obligation to attend Sunday Mass celebration will continue until further notice.
Dear friends, let us continue to place all our hope and trust in the one who loves us enough to die and rise for our salvation. Mary, our Mother, pray for us!
God Bless you.
Fr. Aldrin Basarte, Parochial Administrator
PARISHIONERS LIVE STREAMING THE ROSARY
St. Mel is asking parish families to volunteer to live stream their family saying the Rosary on Facebook each day of May at 7:00pm. Please go to the sign up page by clicking here to sign up for a day or 2 or as many days as you would like! We have a lot of days to fill.
Each family using Facebook is encouraged to tag or post to the St. Mel Catholic Church page at the start of each rosary and then pray your family rosary as you normally would but also GO LIVE on Facebook so others in our community can pray along with you.
Haven’t “gone live” on Facebook before? It’s simple, click to learn how to Go Live on Facebook.
Don't know how to pray the Rosary? Click here to learn how.
Deacon Ryan P. Mahar will be ordained to the priesthood on Saturday, June 6th. Please keep him in prayer as this momentous day approaches. Cards can be sent to the Office of Vocations, 2110 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95818, addressed to Fr. Ryan Mahar. Congratulations Father Ryan!
Two Diocesan Seminarians, Edgar Lozano and Benjamin Condon, graduated on May 8th from College 4 at Mt Angel College Seminary. Congratulatory cards can be sent to their home parishes.
Edgar's home church is Our Lady of Guadalupe at 711 T Street, Sacramento, CA 95811
Ben's home church is St. Mel, 4745 Pennsylvania Avenue, Fair Oaks, CA 95628
What is next in the plans for these two young men? After a summer work program, they will return to Seminary to begin their graduate Theology studies. Edgar will remain at Mt. Angel and Ben will attend St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park. Thank you for your prayerful support of ALL our diocesan seminarians.
Please click here to read Making an Act of Perfect Contrition. This can be used when it is not possible to approach the Sacrament of Penance
Due to COVID-19, the St. Mel Adoration Chapel is closed. You can worship Our Lord with Eucharistic Adoration live via EWTN. Click here to be taken to the EWTN Chapel.
In order to stay connected with you, the Parish Staff is working to update cell phone numbers and email addresses of all parishioners. With this information, we would be able to send texts and emails to make sure you are aware of cancellations and other important information. Please email your cell phone number and email address to [email protected] Thank you and God Bless.
CATHOLIC FUNERAL & CEMETERY SERVICES
The Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services, a ministry of the Diocese of Sacramento, has provided us with information regarding Funeral Masses and burials during the pandemic. Please click here to read the CFCS Community Digest.
Until further notice Masses are live streamed on the St. Mel Facebook page at 11:30am weekdays and 9:00am Sunday.
8:00a.m., 10:00a.m. and 4:30p.m.
Monday to Saturday: 8:30a.m.
Holy Days of Obligation
8:30a.m. and 7:00p.m.
Saturday: 3:00p.m. to 4:15p.m.
Due to COVID-19, the office is open limited hours. Please call the office, 916-967-1229, or email [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Monday - Friday
8:00a.m. - 4:00p.m.
Closed for Lunch Noon - 1:00p.m.