"The Mass Continues" A Letter from Bishop McKenna
Dear Friends in Christ,
As you would know by now, we have had to suspend public celebrations of Mass in the Diocese, as part of our cooperation in slowing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the priests will continue to say Mass, either alone or, where feasible, with very small groups, in private.
The efficacy of the Mass does not depend on the size of the congregation, but on the loving power of God, working through the priest. The one sacrifice of Christ is renewed on many altars: it is an action of the whole Church, on earth and in heaven; and its graces flow to everyone, even to those who have died.
For the next many weeks, even months, most Catholics in the world will not have the opportunity to celebrate Mass in person. The deprivation for those whose participation is regular will be real: it could also be an opportunity to deepen, through hunger, our appreciation of the Lord's gift. As the old song says: “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone…”
A few years ago, I wrote a pastoral letter on the Eucharist, entitled Holy Communion. I offer it again, with this message, (https://bit.ly/2Qyjb56) in the hope that some may find it helpful in their reflections: and more eagerly anticipate the day when we can offer Mass together again.
In that letter, I wrote that “full participation in the Mass… means living a Eucharistic life.” Our unselfish care for one another in these days, especially for those who are suffering most, will be a sign of that truly Eucharistic life.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop of Bathurst
23 March 2020