March 25, 2020
The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
My dear people of God,
As we continue to heed medical and government advice to help keep our parishioners safe from COVID-19, so many have expressed their sincere gratitude for our televised Mass on Sunday and the many parishes that are offering Masses, Way of the Cross, Adoration, prayers and guidance and other spiritual opportunities through the use of technology. This allows parishioners to be reminded that this medical emergency is occurring during the Season of Lent when we are called to devote ourselves to prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
In prayer we seek the Lord, by fasting we practice moderation, and through almsgiving we serve the poor and marginalized and address the many needs of our parishioners.This is a time for us to take seriously the Gospel call to bring the message of Christ to the world. The Church's mission is essential. I am pleased to report that Catholic Charities and other services of our Diocese will continue to help those in need and that our parishes and our Diocese will continue to address spiritual and material needs, especially in this time of uncertainty.
To address material needs, we must remember that the call to almsgiving continues even in times of emergency, just as the business and expenses of our church parishes continue. This truth is most apparent now when we find so many of our brothers and sisters in great need. I understand that many of our parishes have online giving already in place, and I urge you to take advantage of that opportunity to give or to mail in your offertory envelopes and donations, if you prefer. To assist those who do not have online giving already established, we have made that option available for all parishioners on the Diocese of Lake Charles website at http://www.lcdiocese.org/resources/support-the-diocese. If you access “Support My Parish,” you will have the option to select your parish and properly direct your donation. To assist our parishes, I am dispensing all parishes from the Parochial Assessment (Tithe); these funds will remain in the parishes to help them to meet pressing needs during these troubling and uncertain times.
Please be assured that during this time you and your families have been constantly present to me in my thoughts and prayers and remember the assurance our Lord has given to us: “I will never forsake you or abandon you” (Heb. 15:5; Deut. 31:6).
Asking the intercession of Our Lady Star of the Sea, I remain,
Devotedly yours in Our Lord,
+Glen John Provost
Bishop of Lake Charles