2020 marks the 5th anniversary of the release of Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home. A global Laudato Si’ Week will be observed May 16-24 of this year to celebrate the continuing impact and implementation of the encyclical.
To coincide with this global observance, the Archdiocese of Atlanta’s Laudato Si’ Green Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 20, at 12:00 p.m. It will be livestreamed online from the St. Dominic Chapel at the Chancery. Archbishop Gregory Hartmayer, OFM Conv. will serve as the principal celebrant.
All are welcome to participate virtually at http://www.livestream.com/archatl.
Dear Friends in Christ,
Knowing how much Catholics everywhere are yearning to return to the Eucharist and to gather once again in our churches, we must communicate that, having struggled with our decision, we believe that we must yet maintain the current practice of sheltering in place. With input and support from the priests of both the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Diocese of Savannah, we are, for the safety of all Georgia residents, not authorizing the return to congregating at churches or making our churches available for devotions. This determination extends through the month of May. If the sheltering-in-place and social distancing guidelines are altered significantly during this time, we will reexamine the possibility of congregating at churches.
We took many factors into account in coming to this conclusion. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has been updating data daily and providing guidance on when next steps might be safe. Their current report on Georgia indicates that waiting until June to shift social distancing strategies would be the best course of action.
Many of our priests fall into the high-risk category for this virus, as do a good number of the faithful. In addition to that, priests are reluctant to put their congregations at risk. With more than 200 churches and more than one million Catholics in the state of Georgia, in a great variety of circumstances, we are not able to offer a workable strategy that could apply throughout our diverse population.
If one church offers a unique liturgy or devotion, it might be flooded with attendees. Normally that would be a welcome response, but in the current environment this would not respect the need to remain, for safety’s sake, in place. The same is true for drive-through services and devotions. Parishes that could accommodate a drive-through service or reconciliation for their own members would not be able to safely accommodate the additional people from surrounding communities.
We will take the time from now until we do resume regular liturgies and sacraments to carefully plot the conditions–including matters of numerical management, required spacing, and sanitation–under which churches may safely return to offering regular gatherings. The dispensation from Saturday or Sunday Mass attendance is, of course, still applicable, although Catholics are expected to avail themselves of the virtual Mass each week.
Preserving the bonds of parish life is particularly important, even as we see evidence of the strengthening of family worship and devotion in our homes. Parishes are reaching out to the elderly and homebound, which we heartily endorse. Providing encouragement, especially in light of the protracted absence from normal activities, is a proper work of mercy.
Parish catechetical activities such as Parish Schools of Religion or other faith formation opportunities should be offered digitally. Both Arch/Diocesan staff and Parish staff have put together resources for both catechetical leaders and families to use, and they are updating their website resource pages almost daily.
The employees of the Chanceries will continue their working remotely and parishes are strongly encouraged to do likewise.
This is an unprecedented time in history, and we hardly imagined a time when we would have to weigh our Church’s spiritual progress against the brute necessities of general health and survival. But, we live in the reality of Easter, and even now we rejoice in the goodness of God and the saving grace of the Risen Lord. May the ever-new and ever-wondrous Paraclete, the Spirit of all truth, sustain us in hope and keep us united in the confession of our Catholic belief.
Archbishop Gregory Hartmayer, OFM, Conv.
Bishop of Savannah/Archbishop-designate of Atlanta
Bishop Joel M. Konzen, S.M.
Bishop Bernard Shlesinger, III
From Fr. Terry:
I agree with the bishops that this is a difficult but correct decision. We are all suffering because of the loss of Eucharist and community, but we need to be responsible and do everything we can to protect the most vulnerable among us. Please pray that the effects of the pandemic are smaller and over quicker than predicted.
Our parish has adapted well to physical distancing and offer many ways to stay in touch with our community even though we cannot meet in person.
God bless you and stay safe!
Please see Bishop Konzen’s Decree for Healthcare Workers which grants healthcare workers a dispensation from fasting and abstinence for Good Friday. We are all deeply appreciative of their work and sacrifice at this time.
Pursuant to Governor Kemp’s Executive Order to Ensure a Safe & Healthy Georgia, our Parish Offices and Church will be closed until at least Monday, April 13. Our staff is working remotely; you may call us at 770-253-1888 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org during our usual business hours: Monday through Friday from 9:30am to 3pm.
Please stay in touch with us through our website www.smmcatholic.org, and watch Sunday Mass online on our SMM Catholic YouTube Channel. As the days go by with forced isolation, St. Mary Magdalene will be providing more opportunities for parishioners to stay in touch electronically, while respecting all physical separation requirements.
Fr. Terry will be providing a recorded Mass available the morning of Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, as well as the following Sundays until we can once again gather as a community. He asks that, for the Sacred Triduum: Holy Thursday Mass, the Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil, please join in union with the bishops of the Archdiocese streaming live at https://archatl.com/covid-19/holy-week-triduum-easter/.
Know that we are praying for you, and especially for all those directly affected by the COVID-19 virus. May there be a speedy end to this pandemic, and may we all grow spiritually from the sacrifices we have made.
Watch the Fifth Sunday of Lent Mass here.
This year we will be updating our parish directory and sign-ups are now open. Please visit select the link below to select a day and time the is most convenient for you and your family. For participating each individual or family will receive a complimentary 8×10 photograph and a copy of the directory. The photography dates are July 11-14, August 1-3, and August 8-11. More information is available at https://booknow-lifetouch.appointment-plus.com/yd24y14x/
The Knights of Columbus invites you to participate in their 11th Annual Charity Golf Tournament at Summer Grove Golf Club on Friday October 13, 2017. Proceeds benefit local charities including St Vincent DePaul, Meals on Wheels, Abby’s Angels and many more. Registration begins at 10:00 am with a shotgun start at 12:00 pm. The entry fee is $85 per player and includes Green Fees, Cart, Driving Range and American Buffet dinner after the tournament. Each participant also receives a $100 gift certificate to Travis Matthew Golf Apparel. In addition there will be a raffle with many great prizes. To participate in the golf tournament as a player and/or a sponsor, please pick up a tournament brochure available in the Narthex, or call Bob Schnelle at 678.895.3803 or Pete Darcy at 404.597.7065.
Due to impending inclement weather, Parish Offices will be CLOSED Monday and Tuesday, September 11 and 12. There will be NO Preschool Classes and NO Faith Formation Classes. Mass will be celebrated on Monday, 9/11 at 9 am, but there will be NO Communion Service on Tuesday, 9/12. Offices will reopen on Wednesday, 9/13 at 9:30 am.
Please pray for the success of our new Small Faith Communities. Sign ups begin the week of September 16/17.
Prayer for Small Faith Communities.
We pray for guidance and wisdom. Help us gather together to learn, to grow and to change.
We pray that we move into a deeper understanding of your truth.
We lay our lives down before you and ask that you would move within us
May we all feel safe with each other.
Safe to think and question.
Safe to ask for help, and safe to share our lives with each other, as we become a community of faith, growing in understanding of you, our loving heavenly Father.