St. Stephen Roman Catholic Church
31020 Cole Grade Road
Light of the Valley Lutheran
28330 Lilac Road
Seventh Day Adventist Church
14919 Fruitvale Road
28094 N Lake Wohlford
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Calvary Valley Center
28751 Cole Grade Road
Adams Park Community Room
Gathering Time: Sunday mornings 10:00 am
North Coast Church – Pauma Valley
32077 Community Church Drive, Pauma Valley
Pastor Chris Video: https://www.northcoastchurch.com/march-19-2020-north-coast-church-update/
Courtesy Valley Roadrunner
By FR. LUKE JAUREGUI, St. Stephen Catholic Church
It was asked of me, “Father, how is the Wuhan, or coronavirus, affecting the Church?” The effect is large both for Saint Stephen Catholic Church and for me personally.
When the mandate from the Bishop was given to suspend public Masses, I felt very uncomfortable. The mass is a central pillar of catholic practice and faith. An important function and purpose of a priest is to not only offer the sacrifice of the mass; but also, to distribute the sacred body of Christ to the faithful. In Luke 22:19, “Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.’” This clear mandate of Jesus to offer the bloodless sacrifice every Sunday is greatly disturbed by this pandemic and the Bishop’s directive to only offer mass privately on behalf of the community. Even though Christ’s command is fulfilled with private offering of mass for the community, I am saddened.
Unfortunately, the distribution of the “bread of life” (Jn 6:48) is withheld from the general public due to the quantity of people and restrictions from the state. Only extraordinary means with which to participate in Christ’s command to Saint Peter and the Church to “Feed my lambs” (Jn 21:15) can to be employed. Please understand, the reason I am a priest, who left a good job in engineering, is to celebrate the Holy liturgy of the Eucharist and provide His divine presence to the community. In being restricted, my very identity has been challenged.
Praise God I have many thoughtful and holy brother priests with whom to consult and share in this difficulty. They have helped me understand more clearly the Spirit of God moving with us during the Wuhan pandemic. For this reason, Eucharistic adoration and the sacrament of confession is being offered at a much greater quantity. The intended is to provide the faithful with spiritual communion and elimination of sin during these troubling times. As the faithful come and kneel before the Blessed Sacrament, with plenty of room in order to avoid infection, they can offer an adoring focus on the God who loves us and is present to us. A pious approach will develop a hunger for greater union and communion with Christ to receive Him when public celebration of the Eucharist returns. For this reason, this trying time will reveal the power of God.
For in this time of fear and disease, the hunger to receive the Holy Sacrament will fuel a passion of faith in the Catholic community. Praise to our Lord Jesus Christ, in the darkness we know where the light is our God, the One we love, is present to us in both Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the reception of Holy Communion.