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COVID Guidelines and RESERVATIONS for Holy Week and Easter

Welcome Back. Welcome Home.

Dear Parishioners, 

Our hearts are overjoyed to see many of you returning to Masses. It has been a long year since we closed and have only had a percentage of our parish family return to Mass until recent weeks. Many in our parish community have received their vaccines– something which we hope will assist in the return to some sense of normalcy in the near future. 

As the pandemic begins to slow, we want to remind everyone that we still have social and moral obligations to one another– especially the most weak and vulnerable among us. To that end, we wish to remind you of the following: 

  • Masks should be worn over the nose and mouth while in any of our buildings. Masks may be pulled down to receive Holy Communion. 
  • Maintaining social distance remains important. Please use tape marks on the floor and pews to remain six feet away from others when inside our buildings. 
  • When you enter the church, please find your pew and remain there– avoiding sitting, talking, or visiting with others. 
  • Holy water, the collection, and Sign of Peace will remain suspended until otherwise advised from the Diocese of Toledo. You will continue to find bulletins and baskets to place your tithing at the entrances to the church. 
  • When leaving, please exit one family at a time and maintain social distancing. Once outside, we encourage visiting on the sidewalks for as long as you desire. You are welcome to remove masks and discontinue social distancing as you see fit. 

Some of our Masses are beginning to near capacity, which is a blessing. How can you assist? If you normally attend a Mass which is more crowded, does your schedule permit attending a less crowded Mass? Are there family/friends that you see regularly and can safely sit with at Mass to consolidate some space? 

Again, we are so happy to be reunited with more and more of you each week. Let us all do our best, in charity, to make the Mass experience a safe, joyful one for all. 

In Christ, 
The Clergy & Staff of Epiphany of the Lord Parish 

Easter 2021- Reservation Policies and Procedures 

As more and more people attend Masses, which is excellent, we need to do our best to maximize space when we are expecting larger crowds. Please use the QR code below to reach our reservation form and let us know how many to expect from your household at these services. If a Palm Sunday or Easter Sunday Mass reaches capacity, we may ask you to register for a different Mass time so as to help us maintain social distancing while we are still at limited seating. 

https://forms.gle/7pp5sDooJTk3Z8Ue8

If you cannot use the QR code or click on the above RED link,
please contact Holly Cerveny at 419-698-1519 or hcerveny@epiphanyofthelord.org to reserve your spot(s).
Thank you for understanding! 

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord- March 28
Normal Sunday Mass schedule- Reservations required 

Mary’s Way of the Cross- Palm Sunday- March 28- SS- 4 pm
Reservations required 

Holy Thursday – April 1 – SH- 7 pm
Reservations required 

Good Friday – April 2 – STA- 2 pm Stations of the Cross, 3 pm service
Reservations required 

Holy Saturday – April 3 – SS- 11 am Morning Prayer and Food Blessing
Open seating 

Holy Saturday – April 3 – SS- 8:30 pm Easter Vigil Mass
Reservations required 

Easter Sunday- April 4
Normal Sunday Mass schedule- Reservations required 

TO PRINT ALL THIS INFORMATION.

Mary’s Way Of The Cross

Sunday, March 28, 2021
4:00 p.m. 
at St. Stephen Catholic Church ,
1880 Genessee Street, Toledo, Ohio

Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Parish presents Mary’s Way of the Cross

A Musical Setting of Stations of the Cross as viewed through the eyes of Christ’s mother. 

Performed by The Epiphany of the Lord Choir and The Bravura String Quartet, Elaine Moore, pianist 

Text by Richard G. Furey, C.Ss.R. 
Original Music Composed and Conducted by Anthony A. Zsigray 

A free-will offering will be taken to help cover expenses 

Lent & Easter Special Events

 SS: St. Stephen Campus (1880 Genesee St.) ~ SH: Sacred Heart Campus (509 Oswald St.) ~ STA: St. Thomas Aquinas Campus (729 White St.) 

FORGIVEN

Small Group Formation for Adults In person and virtual opportunities available (see flyer for more details) 

Stations of the Cross

Fridays during Lent, 6 pm at SS 

Novena to the Irish Madonna

March 9 – 17 at 6:00 pm ** at SS
Join us in praying a special parish devotion.
**The Novena will begin immediately following Mass on both Wednesday March 10 and Wednesday March 17.
It will begin immediately following Stations of the Cross on Friday, March 12. 

What is the history of this novena and why is it important at our parish? During the rule of Henry VIII, Catholics in Ireland were persecuted and fled to Hungary. Pilgrims were led by Bishop Lynch who was later named Auxiliary Bishop of Gyor, Hungary. He intended to return to Ireland but was never able to do so. He died in 1663 in Hungary and in the Cathedral at Gyor, an image of the Blessed Mother was hung in his honor and remains there today. 

In 1697, Catholics in Hungary were under persecution. On March 17, the image of the Blessed Mother wept a bloody sweat which continued for three hours. This miracle was verified by Catholics and Protestants who witnessed the event. 

In 1914, Archbishop Schrembs of Toledo, visited Gyor in Hungary. Moved by the story, he requested a copy be made of the original painting hung in Bishop Lynch’s honor. The copy was made and laid face-to-face against the original painting for thirty days before coming “home” to St. Stephen Church, Toledo, Ohio. The novena to the Irish Madonna has remained an important tradition in our parish since coming together as Epiphany of the Lord. 

Please join parishioners for this beautiful novena. Come every night or come when able. 

Reconciliation

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Fridays, 8-8:20 am (prior to 8:30 am Mass at SS) 

Wednesdays, 5-5:45 pm (prior to 6 pm Mass at SS) 

Saturdays, 3-3:45 pm (prior to 4 pm Mass at SH) 

Sunday, March 21, 1:30 – 3:30 pm at STA
Spiritually prepare yourself for Easter by adoring our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation. 

HOLY WEEK

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord- March 28

Normal Sunday Mass schedule. Palms will be laid out for the faithful to pick up. 

Mary’s Way of the Cross

Palm Sunday- March 28- SS
4:00 pm
A musical walk through the Passion seen through the eyes of the Blessed Mother 

Tuesday- March 30

The Chrism Mass will not be open to the faithful to attend. The Chrism Mass may be viewed at 11 am at facebook.com/diocesetoledo 

Wednesday- March 31

The annual Tenebrae service at the Rosary Cathedral is canceled. 

Holy Thursday – April 1 – SH

7:00 pm Mass- There will be no washing of the feet. Adoration until 9:15pm

Good Friday – April 2 – STA

2:00 pm Stations of the Cross
3:00 pm Service- There will be a chance for the faithful to adore the cross as a community. There will be no individual veneration.

Holy Saturday – April 3 – SS

11:00 am Morning Prayer and Food Blessing
8:30 pm Easter Vigil Mass- There will be no Easter fire or individual candles. 

What is the food blessing? For those of Eastern European heritage, it is customary to spend Good Friday in prayer and fasting while preparing the foods to be consumed after the Easter Vigil. Foods might include nut roll, pascha (a sweet, egg bread), cirak (cheese), kielbasa, other pastries, and dyed eggs. Foods are brought to church on Holy Saturday to be blessed. There will be more details about this ritual in future weeks. We would love to include your family’s special recipes for Easter!! 

Please submit Easter recipes to Kathy Fech at kfech@epipihanyofthelord.org or by dropping off a copy at the parish office. Include the name (even if deceased) of who the recipe belongs to, who is submitting it, and your ethnic origins (Hungarian, Polish, Slovak, etc.) Your recipe will be published on the parish’s Facebook page and many will also be put in the bulletin during the weeks of Lent. 

Easter Sunday – April 4

Normal Sunday Mass schedule 

Divine Mercy Sunday

Sunday, April 11, 2:00 to 3:30 pm at STA
Come for Adoration and to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. 

PRINT FLYER

FORGIVEN

Adult Faith Formation Small Group Discussions (virtual or in person) 

Sign up for our parish Lent small group study! Virtual and in-person options are both available. Study guides will be available at all campuses the weekend of Feb. 20-21.

To reserve your spot for in-person sessions or request the Zoom link for virtual, please contact Kathy Fech. 
kfech@epiphanyofthelord.org 
419-698-1519 ext. 202 

Option 1: Saturdays, virtually Feb. 27 March 6, and March 13– 10 am via Zoom 

Option 2: Thursdays, virtually March 4, 11, 18– 7 pm via Zoom 

Option 3: Mondays, in person, RSVP required March 1, 8, 15– 7 pm, STA Church Hall 

Option 4: Wednesdays in person, RSVP required March 3, 10, 17– 1 pm, STA Church Hall 

Kathy Fech, Deacon Leon, and members of the Adult Formation Committee will be leading the groups. We recommend all participants have a Forgiven Study Guide. These are available in the back of church, at the parish office, or at the in-person sessions. A recommended donation of $6 per guide is requested for those who can afford to give. 

FLYER to print.

Are Catholics allowed to get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Per Bishop Daniel Thomas: 

Per the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB): 

  • The USCCB… has been engaged in a campaign advocating for the development of a vaccine for COVID-19 that has no link to abortion. 
  • The Congregation affirms that a serious health danger could justify use of “a vaccine which was developed using cell lines of illicit origin.” 
  • A specific example where the reasons for accepting vaccination are sufficiently serious to “justify it, even though the vaccine has been developed with the help of cell lines derived from aborted fetal cells, is the case of rubella (German measles).” It is important to note that the making of the rubella vaccine (or that of the new COVID19 vaccines) does not involve cells “taken directly from the body of an aborted child”. 
  • Neither Pfizer nor Moderna used morally compromised cell lines in the design, development, or production of the vaccine. A confirmatory test, however, employing the commonly used, but morally compromised HEK293 cell line was performed on both vaccines. Thus, while “neither vaccine is completely free from any connection to morally compromised cell lines, in this case the connection is very remote from the initial evil of the abortion.” In view of the gravity of the current pandemic and the lack of availability of alternative vaccines, the reasons to accept the new COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are sufficiently “serious to justify their use, despite their remote connection to morally compromised cell lines.” In addition, receiving the COVID-19 vaccine ought to be understood as an act of “charity toward the other members of our community. In this way, being vaccinated safely against COVID-19 should be considered an act of love of our neighbor and part of our moral responsibility for the common good.” 
  • See full statement at: usccb.org/moral-considerations-covid-vaccines 

Per the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and signed by Pope Francis: 

How can I advocate for vaccine reform? 

Consider sending an email to one or both of these leaders in vaccine research and development: 

Moderna: Juan Andres, Chief Technical Operations and Quality Officer Email: juan.andres@modernatx.com

Pfizer: Mikael Dolsten, Chief Scientific Officer and President, Worldwide Research, Development and Medical of Pfizer Inc.
Email: mikael.Dolsten@pfizer.com 

When emailing the above leaders, consider using wording such as: 

  • “While I am aware that no new fetal stem cells were obtained for and used in your COVID-19 vaccine, I am greatly concerned about the immoral use of fetal stem cell lines (no matter how old) being used in the vaccines I count on to protect myself and my family.” 
  • “The development of vaccines must respect all human life, created in the image and likeness of God, from conception to natural death. Stem cell lines derived from babies aborted many decades ago have been used and, in some cases, continue to be used at various stages of development of some vaccines including the new COVID-19 vaccinations. Taking innocent human life to harvest such cells and create cell lines is morally unacceptable.” 
  • “It is immoral to use tissue taken from an aborted child and create stem cell lines.” 
  • “While I am planning to receive the vaccine, I have serious moral reservations about doing so.” or “For the reasons I am about to state I will not be receiving the vaccine.” 

Other ways to Advocate: 

  • Visit the Center for Disease Control website (hcdc.gov/dcs/contactus/form) and “express your concern that they have not made vaccines available for COVID-19 that are free from (remote) connections to abortion and fetal stem cell lines obtained from abortions.” 
  • Anytime you get a vaccine, research and ask your doctor if there are any options available that do not have ties to fetal stem cells that have been obtained through abortion. 
  • If you still have moral reservations or concerns after researching, we invite you to contact the parish office and arrange to speak with one of our priests or deacons about this important matter. 

Click to Print.

Epiphany Encounter

Hitch up your camels and pack up some frankincense and myrrh. Head to the east (side, that is) to pay homage to your priests. Or, at least, enjoy a brief visit with them to celebrate our Parish Feast Day. 

Sun. Jan. 3, 2021 

2-4 pm
St. Stephen Gym/Cafeteria 

If possible, we request that families whose last names begin with A-M arrive between 2-3 pm and families whose last names begin with N-Z arrive at 3 pm or later to assist with social distancing. 

  • This is in place of our previously cancelled “St. Nicholas Shuffle”; all plans subject to change or cancellation in light of the pandemic 
  • The Epiphany Encounter provides a chance to chat, briefly, with the priests. It is not a chance to visit with others and no refreshments will be served. 
  • Please enter on the gym side– the entrance nearest the rectory 
  • We ask all attending to wear a mask covering your nose and mouth the entire time. 
  • Wait in the designated line with your entire household. 
  • When it’s your family’s turn, you can exchange masked face-to-masked face holiday and feast day greetings with the priests. 
  • If possible, bring a clearly labeled photo of your family not wearing masks to help Fr. Eric get to know you. 
  • Our Zoom meetings remain a wonderful option for getting to know Fr. Eric (without masks!). If you cannot attend or cannot stand in line, we encourage you to go to https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d4aa8ad2da4f8cf8-meet and schedule your visit today! 
  • Those attending the “Encounter” are also welcome to schedule a Zoom meeting with Fr. Eric in order to have a longer visit with our new pastor. 

If you want to print this , click on EPIPHANY ENCOUNTER

To view the live stream Mass on Facebook - Sunday at 11:30 am, click here