Dear Parish Community:
As you know, I serve not only as the Pastor of Immaculate Conception, but too, as the Director of the Office of Worship for the Diocese of Richmond. My responsibilities and schedule with the Office of Worship takes me to Richmond for various meetings and appointments. Sometimes, this work takes me away from our parish when Daily Mass is offered, and unfortunately, Daily Mass on those days is canceled. Finding a substitute priest to celebrate a Daily Mass is near impossible with the reality of today’s priest numbers. I know, however, many in our community still have an interest in gathering for prayer. Therefore, to fulfill this desire, the staff and I have discussed the option of offering Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours in place of Daily Mass on those days when my schedule takes me away from the parish.
If you are unfamiliar with The Liturgy of the Hours, it also known as the Divine Office and is the daily prayer of the Church that marks the hours of each day and orients that time to prayer. The Hours are a meditative dialogue on the mystery of Christ using scripture and prayer, and much of the scripture in the Hours is taken from the Book of Psalms. One of the most important Hours is Morning Prayer (the other being Evening Prayer).
The first opportunities to celebrate Morning Prayer in place of Daily Mass are Wednesday, March 22nd and Thursday, March 23rd at 8:30 am. The time in prayer is approximately 20 minutes. If you have never tried this prayer or are a veteran, please consider joining the community in the Daily Mass chapel. This is a wonderful opportunity to become acquainted and comfortable with this ancient prayer form.
I appreciate your understanding and continued patience with me as I serve our community as your pastor, and too, serve our Bishop as his Director of the Office of Worship for the Diocese.
Enjoy this Lenten Season, and know always of my prayers and gratitude!