***There will be no public celebrations of Palm Sunday and/or of the Sacred Paschal Triduum, including Easter Sunday.***
A LETTER FROM OUR PASTOR
Dear Parish Family,
May the peace of the Lord be with you.
Hello! I am emailing you today to tell you that we the parish priests, deacons, sisters, and lay leaders miss you very much! As the days wear on, I know that it isn’t easy to endure the Stay At Home obligation that has been imposed upon us all.
I want to connect with everyone to say that we are praying for you and thinking of you each day. Our commitment to our parish is a vital element on our journey of Faith day by day.
I have always appreciated the many who have attended Mass and other services at Church. It is an honor for us priests to celebrate Mass and the Sacraments for you. Exchanging happy greetings and news of the day often in the parking lot and the vestibule is truly a delight. So when it isn’t possible physically, I wish to stay in touch with you electronically!
Remember that God loves each and every one of us dearly. He desires to unite with you in prayer frequently throughout the day. During this Lenten season, we see Jesus carrying His Cross, step by step on the road from Jerusalem to Calvary. Of course we know that every time we try to bear our personal Crosses patiently, we are assisting Jesus to carry His Cross. We are like Simon of Cyrene at these moments. We are like Veronica who offered Jesus her veil. So, dear ones, try not to give in to discouragement. Because in Faith, we are working on our relationship with Jesus. How joyful life can be when we know that Jesus is close to us, at our side!
Our Church doors are open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Feel free to come in and pray during these times. Of course, we priests are staying at home like yourselves. Together we concelebrate Mass each morning in the rectory. We satisfy all of the Mass intentions for the day. At 4:00 p.m., we pray the Rosary together. We pray for the intentions of our Holy Father Pope Francis, and we pray for an end to the Coronavirus.
At 5:15 p.m. we recite Vespers, the Evening Prayer of the Church. The prayers include petitions for all of you and, again, an intention begging God to relieve us of the virus.
The Archdiocese has just issued a directive canceling Palm Sunday, and all of the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday) and Easter Sunday Services as well. I encourage everyone to go to the web sites of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, EWTN, or the Holy See to connect with live telecasts of Sunday and Holy Day Masses to join prayerfully with the liturgies of the Church. Again, according to directives, we will bless the Palm at St. Ephrem privately, and distribute it at a later date to be determined.
We will be hearing Confessions in Church on Saturday, April 4 from 3 to 4 p.m. This is the Saturday before Palm Sunday. Also on Wednesday April 8, the day before Holy Thursday, from 1 to 3 p.m. and again from 7 to 8 p.m. in Church.
I also request that you continue to contribute to St. Ephrem Church. As you can imagine, our collections have been reduced to nearly zero! I am grateful to all parishioners who use Sunday envelopes. I am grateful to all parish organizations who do fund raising for our benefit.
I salute St. Ephrem School and our Prep Program. I salute all parish organizations, their leaders and members. As we have been saying, “We’re all in this together!”
God bless you. We love you. We miss you. We hope to see you soon.
In Christ’s love,
Msgr. Kenneth P. McAteer
Rev. Stephen F.X. Katziner
Rev. Timothy F. O’Sullivan
For comprehensive information about the pastoral and temporal response of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit http://archphila.org/covid19/.
Welcome to the St. Ephrem Catholic Church Website!
We, the faithful of the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Ephrem, join together with Pope Francis, the Shepherd of the Universal Church, Most Reverend Nelson J. Perez, D.D., Archbishop and Shepherd of the Church of Philadelphia, and our pastor, Monsignor Kenneth P. McAteer, Shepherd of the Saint Ephrem Parish Family, to proclaim that we are called to be, and to become loving family centered in Jesus; and to proclaim to everyone the good news that Jesus Christ is the light of the world who offers to all who follow Him the light of the life.
We acknowledge and accept that each of us is unique, and has special gifts from the Holy Spirit. We wish to nurture, develop and share these gifts within and for the Body of Christ. We cherish these gifts that surround us, the splendor of creation, and the beauty of human life.