From Bishop Vasa January 26, 2021

  • Presbyteral Bulletin #89 January 26, 2021
  • Ursuline Sisters Property Sale Press Release
  • Rules for Ash Wednesday and Saint Blase Memorial, From the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 12 January 2021. Robert Card. Sarah, Prefect +Arthur Roche Archbishop Secretary

PRESENT COUNTY TIER / REGION STATUS: All counties of the Diocese remain in the Purple – Outdoor only with masks and social distancing. This past weekend was colder than what we have experienced this winter and so I know that you and your people are experiencing greater hardship. I get occasional requests to ‘Open up our churches’ but this is not an option which I have. Many people stay home already out of fear and that fear would only be increased by a move, against State orders, to allow indoor worship. While I must admit a great impatience with the State, I cannot recommend any form of disobedience despite the desire, and sometimes the demand, that we oppose the State. We have tried to comply as best as we can up to now and I do not see any alternative but to stay the course. The recent action of ‘lifting the lockdown’ does not have any impact on County restrictions on indoor worship.
LENT: The Memorial of Saint Blasé is February 3 and Ash Wednesday is on February 17. The USCCB has sent a reminder of an alternate way to Bless Throats and the Holy See has issued an instruction on methods of marking people with ashes (both attached in a single document). The recommendation is to ‘sprinkle’ the ashes on the heads of individuals who come forward. Other alternatives include using cotton swabs, perhaps Q-Tips with a separate swab for each person or simply applying ashes in the usual manner with or without the use of gloves.
Since the reason for change of methodology is tied to the risk of transmission from one person to another each community must determine if there is really any risk connected with the distribution of ashes. The possibility of some virions being transmitted from a recipient’s forehead to the ashes on the thumb of the distributor and then those ‘infected’ ashes being distributed to other recipients and then those recipients somehow breathing in the virion and becoming infected seems to me to be astronomically remote. If you feel the need to exercise an abundance of caution then please do so. Sprinkling would need to be explained but may manifest the greatest degree of ‘caution’. I will not contend with any of you for the method which you may choose. For those in the congregation who may have fears, different ‘options’ could be offered in different lines.
MARIAN SISTERS: I attach a Press Release from last week regarding the pending sale of the Ursuline property in Santa Rosa to the Marian Sisters. The purchase price is set at $5 million and is being funded almost entirely by the Marian Sisters and their supporters. The Diocese has offered a short-term loan in the amount of $500,000 but since the initial announcements to supporters they have raised an additional $150,000 and may only need $350,000 to complete the purchase. This is a loan, not a grant.
The main building on the property (40+ acres) is the Convent / Motherhouse which will be fully occupied by the Sisters. The Retreat portion of the property burned in 2017. Thus, at the present time there will not be any possibility of using the building for retreats or other Diocesan gatherings. The availability of land, however, does present the possible future hope of working with the Sisters to build other facilities there for broader Diocesan use.
PERSEVERE! BE SAFE! God bless you for all your efforts for the sake of souls during these most trying times. PRAY for better days!
PRESBYTERAL BULLETIN
DIOCESE OF SANTA ROSA


Ursuline Sisters 400 Angela Drive Santa Rosa, CA 95409 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 01/15/2021

URSULINE SISTERS PROPERTY SALE
SANTA ROSA, CA: The Ursuline Sisters, who have served in Santa Rosa for more than 130 years, are announcing the sale of their property at 400 Angela Drive in Santa Rosa, California to the Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa.
After careful, sometimes painful discernment, the Ursuline Sisters have determined that they are no longer able to carry on their ministries from this location. Three years ago, Angela Center building was lost in the 2017 Tubbs Wildfire. The convent also suffered significant damage as did the surrounding landscape. It has taken three years to repair the damage, to rebuild the Maintenance building, and return the grounds to a safe condition. Hence, a recent decision was made to sell the convent, as well as the adjacent property. The sisters wish to express their deepest gratitude to all the people who have supported them and graced their halls and grounds. We are truly blessed.
It is our desire that the Marian Sisters enjoy the property and make it their home for many years to come.
The founding Sisters of the Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa, natives of California, were invited by Bishop Robert F. Vasa to establish the community in 2012. The community has grown rapidly and serves the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa in the Catholic schools, Chancery, and Parish offices, as well as through catechetical instruction, retreat talks, youth events, liturgical music, and sacristy care.
“We are honored to work with the Ursuline Sisters through this transition,” Reverend Mother Teresa Christe, MSSR stated, “and we look forward to continuing to use this property for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. The acquisition of the property is a big step in deepening our roots in this community.”
The Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa hope to establish residence at Ursula Hall Spring 2021.
For more information about the Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa, visit http://www.mariansisters.com.


Note regarding the Blessing of Throats on the Memorial of Saint Blase:

  1. If, for pastoral reasons, each individual cannot be blessed in the manner described in no. 1627, for example when great numbers are gathered for the blessing or when the memorial of Saint Blase occurs on a Sunday, a priest or deacon may give the blessing to all assembled by extending hands, without the crossed candles, over the people while saying the prayer of blessing. A lay minister says the prayer proper to lay ministers without making the sign of the cross.
    The current circumstances would certainly be considered a sufficient pastoral reason to avoid administration of the blessing to individuals in the usual manner, should there be any concern of danger due to the ongoing pandemic.
    NOTE ON ASH WEDNESDAY Prot. N. 17/21
    Distribution of Ashes in Time of Pandemic
    The Priest says the prayer for blessing the ashes. He sprinkles the ashes with holy water, without saying anything. Then he addresses all those present and only once says the formula as it appears in the Roman Missal, applying it to all in general: “Repent, and believe in the Gospel”, or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”.
    The Priest then cleanses his hands, puts on a face mask and distributes the ashes to those who come to him or, if appropriate, he goes to those who are standing in their places. The Priest takes the ashes and sprinkles them on the head of each one without saying anything.
    From the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 12 January 2021.
    Robert Card. Sarah
    Prefect
    +Arthur Roche
    Archbishop Secretary

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time – January 31, 2021

Today’s gospel tells the story of Jesus performing an exorcism on the Sabbath.

Reading I

Dt 18:15-20

Moses spoke to all the people, saying:
“A prophet like me will the LORD, your God, raise up for you
from among your own kin;
to him you shall listen.
This is exactly what you requested of the LORD, your God, at Horeb
on the day of the assembly, when you said,
‘Let us not again hear the voice of the LORD, our God,
nor see this great fire any more, lest we die.’
And the LORD said to me, ‘This was well said.
I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kin,
and will put my words into his mouth;
he shall tell them all that I command him.
Whoever will not listen to my words which he speaks in my name,
I myself will make him answer for it.
But if a prophet presumes to speak in my name
an oracle that I have not commanded him to speak,
or speaks in the name of other gods, he shall die.’”

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9

R. (8) If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
    let us acclaim the rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
    let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us bow down in worship;
    let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
    and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
    “Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
    as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
    they tested me though they had seen my works.”
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Reading II

1 Cor 7:32-35

Brothers and sisters:
I should like you to be free of anxieties.
An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord,
how he may please the Lord.
But a married man is anxious about the things of the world,
how he may please his wife, and he is divided.
An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord,
so that she may be holy in both body and spirit.
A married woman, on the other hand,
is anxious about the things of the world,
how she may please her husband. 
I am telling you this for your own benefit,
not to impose a restraint upon you,
but for the sake of propriety
and adherence to the Lord without distraction.
 

Alleluia

Mt 4:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light;
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death,
light has arisen.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
 

Gospel

Mk 1:21-28

Then they came to Capernaum,
and on the sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and taught.
The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;
he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
Jesus rebuked him and said,
“Quiet!  Come out of him!”
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.
All were amazed and asked one another,
“What is this?
A new teaching with authority.
He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”
His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time – January 24, 2021

Reading I

Jon 3:1-5, 10

The word of the LORD came to Jonah, saying:
“Set out for the great city of Nineveh,
and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”
So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh,
according to the LORD’S bidding.
Now Nineveh was an enormously large city;
it took three days to go through it.
Jonah began his journey through the city,
and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing,
“Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed, “
when the people of Nineveh believed God;
they proclaimed a fast
and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;
he did not carry it out.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (4a) Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
    teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my savior.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
    and your love are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
    because of your goodness, O LORD.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Good and upright is the LORD;
    thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice
    and teaches the humble his way.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.

Reading II

1 Cor 7:29-31

I tell you, brothers and sisters, the time is running out.
From now on, let those having wives act as not having them,
those weeping as not weeping,
those rejoicing as not rejoicing,
those buying as not owning, 
those using the world as not using it fully.
For the world in its present form is passing away.

Alleluia

Mk 1:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

Mk 1:14-20

After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Then they abandoned their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther
and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They too were in a boat mending their nets.
Then he called them.
So they left their father Zebedee in the boat
along with the hired men and followed him.

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time – January 17, 2021

1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19

Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the LORD
where the ark of God was.
The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, “Here I am.”
Samuel ran to Eli and said, “Here I am.  You called me.”
“I did not call you, “  Eli said.  “Go back to sleep.”
So he went back to sleep.
Again the LORD called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli.
“Here I am, “ he said.  “You called me.”
But Eli answered, “I did not call you, my son.  Go back to sleep.”

At that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD,
because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet.
The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time.
Getting up and going to Eli, he said, “Here I am.  You called me.”
Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth.
So he said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply,
Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.”
When Samuel went to sleep in his place,
the LORD came and revealed his presence,
calling out as before, “Samuel, Samuel!”
Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him,
not permitting any word of his to be without effect.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10

R. (8a and 9a) Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
    and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.
And he put a new song into my mouth,
    a hymn to our God. 
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or offering you wished not,
    but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
    then said I, “Behold I come.”
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
to do your will, O my God, is my delight,
    and your law is within my heart!”
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
    I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.

Reading II

1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20

Brothers and sisters:
The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord,
and the Lord is for the body;
God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power.

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?
But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with him.
Avoid immorality.
Every other sin a person commits is outside the body,
but the immoral person sins against his own body.
Do you not know that your body
is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you,
whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
For you have been purchased at a price.
Therefore glorify God in your body. 
 

Alleluia

Jn 1:41, 17b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We have found the Messiah:
Jesus Christ, who brings us truth and grace.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
 

Gospel

Jn 1:35-42

John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God.”
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
“What are you looking for?”
They said to him, “Rabbi” — which translated means Teacher —,
“where are you staying?”
He said to them, “Come, and you will see.”
So they went and saw where Jesus was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
“We have found the Messiah” — which is translated Christ —.
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
“You are Simon the son of John;
you will be called Cephas” — which is translated Peter.

The Baptism of the Lord – Sunday, January 10, 2021

Ghiberti Baptistry Doors, Florence

Reading I

Is 42:1-4, 6-7

Thus says the LORD:
Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one with whom I am pleased,
upon whom I have put my spirit;
he shall bring forth justice to the nations,
not crying out, not shouting,
not making his voice heard in the street.
a bruised reed he shall not break,
and a smoldering wick he shall not quench,
until he establishes justice on the earth;
the coastlands will wait for his teaching.

I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice,
I have grasped you by the hand;
I formed you, and set you
as a covenant of the people,
a light for the nations,
to open the eyes of the blind,
to bring out prisoners from confinement,
and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

OR:

Is 55:1-11

Thus says the LORD:
All you who are thirsty,
come to the water!
You who have no money,
come, receive grain and eat;
come, without paying and without cost,
drink wine and milk!
Why spend your money for what is not bread,
your wages for what fails to satisfy?
Heed me, and you shall eat well,
you shall delight in rich fare.
Come to me heedfully,
listen, that you may have life.
I will renew with you the everlasting covenant,
the benefits assured to David.
As I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander of nations,
so shall you summon a nation you knew not,

and nations that knew you not shall run to you,
because of the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, who has glorified you.

Seek the LORD while he may be found,
call him while he is near.
Let the scoundrel forsake his way,
and the wicked man his thoughts;
let him turn to the LORD for mercy;
to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
As high as the heavens are above the earth 
so high are my ways above your ways
and my thoughts above your thoughts.

For just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
and do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
so shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
my word shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10

R. (11b)  The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Give to the LORD, you sons of God,
    give to the LORD glory and praise,
Give to the LORD the glory due his name;
    adore the LORD in holy attire.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters,
    the LORD, over vast waters.
The voice of the LORD is mighty;
    the voice of the LORD is majestic. 
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The God of glory thunders,
    and in his temple all say, “Glory!”
The LORD is enthroned above the flood;
    the LORD is enthroned as king forever.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.

OR:

Is 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6

R. (3)  You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
God indeed is my savior;
    I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
    and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
    at the fountain of salvation.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
    among the nations make known his deeds,
      proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
    let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
    for great in your midst
    is the Holy One of Israel!
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

Reading II

Acts 10:34-38

Peter proceeded to speak to those gathered
in the house of Cornelius, saying: 
“In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.
Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly
is acceptable to him.
You know the word that he sent to the Israelites 
as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all, 
what has happened all over Judea, 
beginning in Galilee after the baptism
that John preached, 
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Spirit and power.
He went about doing good 
and healing all those oppressed by the devil, 
for God was with him.”

OR:

1 Jn 5:1-9

Beloved:
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God,
and everyone who loves the Father
loves also the one begotten by him.
In this way we know that we love the children of God
when we love God and obey his commandments.
For the love of God is this,
that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome,
for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.
And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.
Who indeed is the victor over the world
but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ,
not by water alone, but by water and blood.
The Spirit is the one who testifies,
and the Spirit is truth.
So there are three that testify,
the Spirit, the water, and the blood,
and the three are of one accord.
If we accept human testimony,
the testimony of God is surely greater.
Now the testimony of God is this,
that he has testified on behalf of his Son.

Alleluia

Cf. Jn 1:29

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
John saw Jesus approaching him, and said:
Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

Mk 1:7-11

This is what John the Baptist proclaimed: 
“One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water; 
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee 
and was baptized in the Jordan by John.
On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open 
and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens, 
“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”