Important Message from Bishp Cantu - Masses Canceled
March 13, 2020
To Our Community in the Diocese of San José:
Santa Clara County, together with the greater Seattle area, has been at the epicenter of the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the United States. Over the past few weeks, our Diocese of San José has followed the guidance of Santa Clara County health officials in responding to the presence of the virus. The Governor of California has weighed in recently requesting that no gatherings assemble with more than 250 persons. In my recent discussions with county health officials, I have been told that we have reached the exponential phase of the epidemic, with the number of those testing positive for the virus expected to rise dramatically.
As a Diocese, our top priority remains the health and safety of our families, children, and the vulnerable of our community. Out of an abundance of caution, we have closed all Diocesan school facilities from today, Friday, March 13, through Friday, March 27. In addition, I am requesting that all parishes, missions, and chapels in the Diocese of San José suspend all public Masses beginning Saturday, March 14, until further notice. Baptisms, weddings, and funerals may be celebrated but should be limited to immediate family. Faith Formation classes also should be suspended until further notice. All parish gatherings are being suspended until further notice.
With the preceding in mind, I have issued a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass during this time for all Catholics in the Diocese of San José.
Though public Masses are being suspended, I encourage parishioners to remain connected to their parish community and to pray for each other. The Diocese and several parishes will continue to livestream Sunday Masses in various languages. Information on these Masses and other spiritual resources are provided on our Diocesan Response to Coronavirus webpage at dsj.org/coronavirus.
During this difficult time, I ask that our priests, deacons, religious, and parish staffs remain attentive to the needs of shut-ins, the elderly, the sick, and the vulnerable through creative outreach. Priests will remain available for individual confessions and urgent pastoral needs, including the anointing of the sick (Last Rites). I also encourage our parishes to reach out to parishioners through phone campaigns, social media, and other methods.
We are profoundly saddened that we are not able to celebrate the Eucharist as a community, but we are reminded that Christ always remains with us, especially in times of uncertainty such as these. Be assured of my continued prayers for you and your families.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop Oscar Cantú
When does Lent start 2020?
Lent 2020 starts on "Ash Wednesday," which is February 26, 2020.
What is "Ash Wednesday?"
"Ash Wednesday" is a day of reflection and repentance from sin. It’s possible that you may see some people walking around with black marks on their foreheads on this particular day, as some Catholics and other Christians who observe this holiday mark their foreheads with ashes in the shape of a cross, publicly showing remorse for their sins.
When does Lent 2020 end?
Lent traditionally ends during "Holy Week," on "Holy Saturday." This means that Lent 2020 will end on Saturday, April 11, 2020 (establishing the 40 days of observation.) However, since 1969, Catholics now stop observing Lent on "Maundy Thursday" or "Holy Thursday," two days prior. For those following this practice, Lent will end on Thursday, April 7, 2020.
When is "Holy Week?"
"Holy Week" is the week leading up to Easter. The week begins on "Palm Sunday" (which is Sunday, April 5, 2020), it consists of other significant days such as "Maundy/Holy Thursday" and "Good Friday," and ends on "Holy Saturday," which is Saturday, April 11, 2020.
What is "Palm Sunday?"
"Palm Sunday" (also known as "Passion Sunday") celebrates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey. This is an important event that had been anticipated hundreds of years prior, with prophesies like, "Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey," (Zechariah 9:9) being written long before Jesus was born. The significance of "Palm" in the name of this day comes from the palm branches that were placed on the road in anticipation of Jesus’ arrival.
What is "Maundy" or "Holy Thursday?"
"Maundy" or "Holy Thursday" commemorates Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples, and takes place on Thursday, April 7, 2020.
What is "Good Friday?"
"Good Friday" is the Friday before Easter (Friday, April 10, 2020), and it signifies the day that Jesus was crucified. That, in and of itself, does not sound very "good." But as Pope Francis shared in his 2019 Lenten message, the period of time leading up to Easter is when Christians are "welcoming Christ’s victory over sin and death into our lives."
What is "Holy Saturday?"
"Holy Saturday," taking place on Saturday, April 11, 2020, commemorates the day that Jesus’ body lay in the tomb.
Second Saturday of every month at 6:45 pm in Church of Resurrection, Sunnyvale.
Every Saturdays at 6:30 pm in the Farana Center or Chapel at the Church of Resurrection, Sunnyvale.
Every Saturday 6:30 pm in the Farana Center or Chapel room at the Church of Resurrection, Sunnyvale.