Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge us. Southeast Florida leads the State in the numbers of people infected; and, to be sure, all of us are affected. I pray that your greatest challenge will be only how to cope with some boredom and perhaps cabin fever because of the need for “social distancing.”
Yet, as people of faith, we trust in the power of prayer and in the providence of our loving God; as a people of hope, we know that God will never abandon us; as a people of charity, despite our own fears and anxieties, we must stand in solidarity with all our brothers and sisters who are infected or affected by this pandemic.
On Palm Sunday, I ask that you join me in placing a palm frond on your door (most yards in South Florida have some type of palm in them). This would help us, despite the social distancing, to be connected as we enter into the Holiest of Weeks. We may be physically isolated, but not separated. We are united as the body of Christ.
I invite you to continue to visit our website, www.miamiarch.org, for up-to-date information, live-streaming of liturgies, and other resources. Later this week, information will be posted about Holy Week services at the Cathedral which will be live-streamed.
It is my hope that you are able to continue your weekly offertory support through the use of online giving on your parish website or through this Universal Online Offertory Page. These funds are critical for the continued operation of your parish. Your parish does so much more than offer Sunday Mass, and they depend on you! I understand that many of you may not be able to contribute given the economic impact this pandemic is having on your personal finances; however, I hope that those who are able to continue to support their parishes are doing so.
Many are suffering financially due to this pandemic. In times of need, people turn to the Church for help, and if we come together, we can try to assist those in need. If you are able to make a donation to the Coronavirus Emergency Fund, please do so now. We must unite to help support our brothers and sisters who are negatively impacted by this ongoing pandemic. Let us look to the future with hope.
Our Lent has become for us a true desert experience as we necessarily impose on ourselves some “social distancing.” These days find us all more than a bit anxious and fearful. But, if the Lord takes us to it, He will bring us through it.
Please continue to pray for each other, as I continue to pray for you and your loved ones during Holy Week.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski
Archbishop of Miami
Father Alex’s April 1st Message to Epiphany School Students
Pope Francis’ 3/27/20 Prayer Service from St. Peter Square to End Coronavirus
Fifth Sunday of Lent Parish Update
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Fifth Sunday of Lent Mass from Epiphany
On the archdiocesan website
In English (from Heart of the Nation) and in Spanish (produced locally) from 6 p.m. Saturday through all of Sunday; and from 4 p.m. Saturday through all of Sunday on our YouTube channel.
The English Mass also can be viewed at 6:30 a.m. Sundays on WSFL-39.
The Spanish Mass can be seen at 6:30 a.m. Sundays on WLTV 23-Univision and at 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Sundays on Canal Sur.
Sunday through Friday in English, Sundays in Spanish. Go to: watchthemass.com.
Radio Paz 830 AM:
in Spanish: Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.;
Monday through Saturday, 1 p.m.; Sundays, 1 p.m., (from St. Agnes, Key Biscayne);
and in Portuguese: Sundays, 7 p.m., (from St. Vincent de Paul in Margate).
View via their app, website, or listen at 830 AM.
EWTN in English:
8 a.m. daily, repeated at noon and 7 p.m.
It can also be accessed at ewtn.com/tv/watch-live
or heard at ewtn.com/radio/listen-live;
or accessed at any time at: https://video.ewtn.com/daily-mass/.
EWTN in Spanish:
2 a.m. and 11 a.m., daily Mass of Pope Francis from Santa Marta; 8 a.m., daily Mass live.
Go to: https://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/live-es.asp;
listen at https://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/live_player-es.asp?sat=radios.
NET TV (from the Diocese of Brooklyn):
9 a.m. Monday through Friday in Spanish; noon and 5 p.m. weekdays, in English. Go to: https://netny.tv/.
Sunday through Friday in English, Sundays in Spanish. Go to:
Fifth Sunday of Lent
Fourth Sunday of Lent
Fifth Sunday of Lent Reflection:
From the Womb to the Tomb and Vice Versa
Life is sometimes referred to as a journey from the womb to the tomb. We begin our existence within the confines of our mother and end up within the confines of mother earth. However, a good question to pose is: Is there a difference between the womb and the tomb? The gospel account of the Fifth Sunday of Lent shows us that maybe there isn’t much difference at all.
As we celebrate the final Sunday before Palm Sunday and the start of Holy Week, we are reminded of how Jesus summoned his friend Lazarus back to life from his tomb. Although a resuscitation, for Lazarus was restored to the same life he had, the incident is a clear preview of Jesus’ resurrection. As such, upon heeding the command of Jesus’ voice and exiting his burial site, Lazarus is born anew, bandages and all. The moral of the story is that, no matter what kind of hole we find ourselves stuck in, if we heed Jesus’ command, we too will be born again.
Sometimes, as we well know, we can find ourselves confined in life. We are there now as we grapple with the restrictions of the current pandemic crisis. Our home can feel like a burial site as we lay there dead to many of our habitual recreational outings, patterns of life and customary surroundings. But are we in a tomb or might we be in a womb of sorts? It all depends on our willingness to hear the voice of Jesus and heed his commands. One thing is for sure – Jesus, the Master, doesn’t waste opportunities to teach and comes to us as he did to Lazarus with some directions. He cries out instructions for how to handle our marriages, parent our children, appropriately respond to work, balance our time, take care of ourselves, and, yes, relate to him and the faith he has handed down to us as well. What is he creatively saying? Are we paying attention? Are we open to listening? More importantly, are we willing to respond? It’s simple – how we answer these questions will determine if we will continue to feel confined or be born anew.
Life is indeed a journey from the womb to the tomb. However, as the Fifth Sunday of Lent reminds us, when we hear the voice of Jesus and heed his call, it works the other way around as well.
Coronavirus: A Cure in the Desert
Lent is a walk through the desert. We were reminded of that from the get-go as the gospel of the First Sunday of Lent always presents an account of Jesus’ forty day desert hiatus. The Exodus experience of the people of Israel and their forty-year trek through the desert before entering the Promised Land is also a traditional item of Lenten reflection. It therefore seems strangely apt that we are finding our way through a desert of our own this Lent as we embrace the Coronavirus crisis. We know it’s not a forty day journey and hope and pray it isn’t a forty year odyssey! Thankfully, likely not. We are somewhere in between. In more ways than one.
At last Sunday’s Masses I mentioned in my homily that what we are summoned to do during this crisis is interestingly much of what the Lord constantly calls us to do – to simplify our lives. In this push-button and voice-command age our lives have become wildly hyperactive, noisy and complicated as we increasingly seek instant gratification and immediate control of just about everything. This mad rush, which often leaves us with little time to meaningfully relate to and cherish one another, compromises marriages, family life and appropriate development of children and young people. Moreover, popular culture has been progressively distancing us from traditional Judeo-Christian values and mores which define life and guide its integration. So is it any wonder that the wheels have come off the bus? Obviously, we find ourselves in crisis because something, if not many things, have gone wrong. Regardless of what we think has caused this mess, the mishandling of life lies at the bottom of it. Distressing, inconvenient and alarming as its circumstances are, Coronavirus has nonetheless come to provide a reality check and timely wake-up call.
As such, this pandemic is obliging us to retreat, reflect and repent. If we take advantage of the lessons it comes to teach and the grace that lies therein, it can serve as a much needed purification of sorts. It is up to us whether we choose to draw new life from it or persist in our distorted ways. The choice is ours. We can continue to live in error or rediscover life as it is meant to be lived. We are somewhere in between indeed.
May the simplicity of life, increased family time, and heightened concern for the elderly and vulnerable we experience, heal and empower us. May our enhanced sense of vulnerability and powerlessness lead us to greater reliance on divine providence. May the painful realization that life cannot be lived with the breakneck speed and noise we have become accustomed to free us to live as God prescribes. We have been infected for a long time. Amidst our Lenten desert walk, Coronavirus comes to offer us a cure.
Almighty Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
You have revealed the beauty of your power
by exalting the lowly virgin of Nazareth
and making her the mother of our Savior.
May the prayers of this woman
bring Jesus to the waiting world
and fill the void of incompletion
with the presence of her child,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit
one God forever and ever. Amen
The Annunciation by Henry Ossawa Tanner
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, later to be Pope Benedict XVI,
once wrote of St. Augustine:
“When Augustine felt his death approaching, he “excommunicated” himself and took upon himself an ecclesiastical penance. In his last days, he set himself alongside, in solidarity, with the public sinners who seek forgiveness and grace the pain of not receiving Communion. He wanted to meet his Lord in the humility of those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for Him, the righteous and glorious one. Against the background of his sermons and writings which describe the mystery of the Church as a communion with the body of Christ and in the body of Christ, on the basis of the Eucharist, in a really marvelous way, the gesture in quite shocking. It seems to be more profound and fitting the more often I ponder it.
Do we not often takes things too lightly today when we receive the Holy Sacrament? Could such a spiritual fasting not sometimes be useful, or even necessary, to renew or establish more deeply our relation to the Body of Christ?”
May these words of Pope Benedict and the example of St. Augustine strengthen us as we currently embrace our own spiritual fasting!
SOLEMNITY OF ST. JOSEPH
As we honor this great saint in the midst of Lent and the current Coronavirus crisis, let us remember that he was no stranger to the trials and unexpected challenges this life brings. As the infancy accounts in Matthew and Luke reveal, St. Joseph often had to face unforeseen and difficult circumstances, make adjustments and press on. Because of his faith and trust in God’s providence, the Holy Family prevailed over all dangers and fulfilled their mission. He knew how to walk with God through life’s joys and jitters. He knew how to travel the path of mystery.
As we presently travel through uncharted territory while trying to embrace the precautions and sacrifices we are asked to undertake, let us turn to St. Joseph for inspiration, guidance and strength. He understands us well and will assist us. May St. Joseph, patron of families, protect our households from all physical and moral harm and enable us to grow in wisdom and purity of life at this time. May our current time together as families bring us newfound blessings! St. Joseph, pray for us!
Prayer to St. Joseph for Families
Gracious St. Joseph, protect me and my family from all evil as you did the Holy Family. Kindly keep us ever united in the love of Christ, ever fervent in imitation of the virtue of our Blessed Lady, your sinless spouse, and always faithful in devotion to you. Amen.
If due to age or health restrictions you are in need of assistance procuring groceries or other items of necessities, please contact our parish rectory at
We will be glad to do this for you!
Archbishop Wenski's Coronavirus Message
Pastor's Fourth Sunday of Lent Greeting
ABCD VIDEO 2020