Saturday, March 14, 2020

News and thoughts about the coronavirus

Below is the decree of Bishop Milan announcing his decisions for the prevention of the spread of the coronavirus in the Eparchy of Parma. (Click on the images to enlarge them.) In addition, at the recommendation of the bishop (because of the immune-system deficiencies of some of the nuns), the monastery, chapel and poustinias will be closed to guests until further notice. We are very sorry for this difficulty. Also, the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, which was scheduled for March 23 at the Cathedral, is cancelled, but we hope to be able to live-stream it from the monastery chapel so that you can pray with us at home. Please know that we are united with you in prayer, and we are praying for you and your loved ones.

It is times like these that remind us of what is always true: 1) We must be prepared for death, and 2) We are made for eternal life. As Christians, we are called to witness to eternal life. We cannot preserve our lives here forever, and we are made for something much greater: eternal union with God. May our hope in God banish fear from our hearts. Of course, we are called to act in charity and prudence, but fear must not overcome us. May this be a beautiful time in which can grow in faith and hope, and in which we can rejoice in the destruction of eternal death by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ--the Bridegroom--the One who comes to save His Bride, the Church, and unite her to Himself. This is what the Great Fast is all about. Let us rejoice!

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