Pray at Home Resources
Please visit this page and our Facebook page often as we will be adding resources to help you keep Christ at the center of your family during this difficult time.
It may seem cliché, but Fr. Patrick Peyton was known for saying, "The family that prays together, stays together." As we face yet another week without public Mass we turn to Christ and place Him at the center of our families asking Him for the grace to remain united. We do this by praying daily, but especially as a family on Sundays.
Whether school has been cancelled, work closed or activities postponed God desires to be a part of our lives. God does not wait until our lives a squeaky clean and polished but rather enters in when we are most in need. The stress of having daily life interrupted can put a strain on relationships and pressure on individuals. Prayer thus becomes all the more important for all families and individuals. By keeping the Sabbath Holy as a family, we place God at the forefront of our lives and provide Him a window through which to enter. May all of our parish families persevere in praying and staying together. Be sure to visit the Pray at Home page each week for the current Prayer Guide
3/20: Pray the Rosary with us on Saturday, March 21 at 7PM on Our Lady of Victory's Facebook page.
Watch with us on Our Lady of Victory's Facebook page as Fr. Matt and Fr. Sudhir celebrate Mass at Our Lady of the Assumption on Sunday, March 22 at 9AM.
3/21: Each week we will be posting a Prayer Guide for you to download (there are copies available in the church...if you need one and they are gone, please email email@example.com). We will also be posting a video, and maybe even some music for you to listen to!
See our Pray at Home Guides page to view and download
3/20: Please be sure to keep an eye on our Facebook page and this website for ways to keep the faith at home during this challenging time. We will add more resources in the coming days and weeks.
View / Download: Letter from Fr. Matthew Gill regarding the current health crisis and resources to pray at home.
March 20 Letter from Fr. Matthew Gill
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
During this time of the Corona Virus, the time of the suspension of Masses in our country I would like to offer a few words of encouragement and hope to our parish families of Our Lady of the Assumption and Our Lady of Victory.
St. Francis Xavier was a Jesuit missionary priest from Spain in the 16th century. His desire to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ brought him to the ends of the earth, including locations such India, Malaysia, and Japan. However, out of all of those places, it is Japan that has the most extraordinary history. St. Francis arrived there in 1549 and, for about two years, tried to explain and teach the basics of the Catholic faith to the local Japanese. He had moderate success, including several baptisms of the locals, and eventually he needed to continue on his missionary journeys. Not long afterward, the Japanese authorities began to persecute all Christian missionaries that were coming from Europe. This eventually led to the extinguishing of all public celebrations and observances of the Catholic faith for the next 250 years. Then in the middle of the 19th century something very powerful was discovered.
As Japan had been recently opening itself to receive foreign visitors, several Catholic missionaries from France arrived. After a short while there one of the French missionaries was approached by a Japanese lady who asked him three questions, “Are you single (meaning are you celibate)?”, “What is the name of your leader in Rome?”, “Do you venerate the Virgin Mary?” The priest then realized she was a Catholic and that there were still Catholics in Japan even after hundreds of years without a priest!
I recount this famous story of the Miracle of the Orient because it reminds us that God will always sustain His Church and He will always help His faithful to persevere, regardless of the circumstances. The absence of the public celebration of Mass for us, just as it was for the Japanese faithful, is a great hardship. The Mass, the Eucharist is the source and summit of our entire lives, and with public celebration of Mass canceled Catholics are left with a gaping hole in their Sundays, within their hearts, and within the communities of their parishes. This also comes at time when our parishes are still mourning the loss of our pastor, Fr. Perry. In addition to all of the social, medical and parochial tragedies, I’m sure there are personal hardships that many are experiencing within our parishes, both individuals and families. So what is our response in all of this? What is the human person, the Catholic supposed to do?
In order to answer that question, I’d like to go to the book of Psalms. If you’re ever in doubt about how to pray go to the Psalms, they express every human sentiment: anger, trust, confusion, hope, lament and surrendering oneself to God.
This is Psalm 46, which may offer some direction:
God is for us a refuge and strength,
a helper close at hand in times of distress.
So we should not fear though the earth should rock,
though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea,
even though its waters rage and foam
even though the mountains be shaken by its waves.
The Lord of hosts is with us:
the God of Jacob is our strength.
Come, consider the works of the Lord
the redoubtable deeds He has done on the earth.
He puts an end to wars over all the earth
the bow He breaks, the spear He snaps.
He burns the shields with fire.
Be still and know that I am God,
supreme among the nations, supreme on earth!
The Lord of hosts is with us
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Even if the mountains start to shake, meaning even if everything within our life that we thought was secure and stable, even if those start to shake, God will not. Christ told his disciples, “I am the vine, you are the branches, live in Me.” It’s during this moment of social, medical, and possibly even personal crisis that Jesus Christ must be our rock, and the source of our perseverance.
To that end, I would like to share with you a few plans that are underway to keep Christ at the center of our lives and our parish even if public celebrations are suspended.
Live Streaming and Recording of Mass
This is available in several other parishes here in our diocese and we are currently working with a company to begin live streaming from OLV within the next several weeks.Recordings will also be made from OLA and posted online.
Facebook Live of Stations of the Cross
This evening, as well as the rest of the Fridays of Lent at 5pm, we will be streaming Stations of the Cross. To access the video, live at 5pm please go to the OLV Facebook page. If you do not have an account you can still access it by typing in “Our Lady of Victory Parish Cape Cod MA Facebook” into your web browser. Once on the page, click “Posts” on the left hand side and then click on the video to watch. Videos will also remain on the page if you would like to watch at a later time.
Keeping the Sabbath Holy as a Family
Even though there is no public celebration of Mass we can still honor the Lord’s Day, Sunday, with prayer in our homes.We have put together booklets that will be left at the doors of the church as well as made available online.These include a Liturgy of the Word and an online video reflection from Fr. Matt or
Fr. Sudhir, (our temporary parochial vicar this spring).
Private Prayer in OLA and OLV Churches
We will be keeping the church buildings open throughout the day for private prayer. We are also currently working on a plan for Adoration periodically, without large groups, as well as offering Confessions safely for those who would like to receive the Sacrament during Lent.
As we continue to move through the rest of the season of Lent please continue to check back on the websites of Our Lady of the Assumption, Our Lady of Victory as well as the Our Lady of Victory Cape Cod MA Facebook page. By praying and keeping Christ at the center of our families during this difficult time we allow Him to remain the rock of our lives. Even though the seas of the world roar and wave, even though we experience disruption of our daily lives, “the Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our stronghold.” He sustained the faithful Japanese for hundreds of years and will remain faithful and good to us today as well.
With my prayers,
Father Matthew G. Gill