US bishop calls for Eucharistic processions to fight Coronavirus
TYLER, Texas, March 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, has called on every Catholic priest in his diocese to “lead a simple Eucharistic Procession” around the local parish church before the feast of St. Joseph on March 19 as a way to fight the Coronavirus.
This should be done, he said in a tweet, “for repentance, Christ’s healing hand on the Coronavirus & that all men may be Godly, manly sons & disciples of His Son Jesus Christ.”
I call on every Catholic priest to lead a simple Eucharistic Procession around your Church sometime before the Feast of St Joseph, March 19, for repentance, Christ’s healing hand on the Coronavirus & that all men may be Godly, manly sons & disciples of His Son Jesus Christ.— Bishop J. Strickland (@Bishopoftyler) March 11, 2020
Strickland was publicly encouraged to organize a Eucharistic procession through his own city of Tyler by Jennifer Hartline, a senior contributor to The Stream.
Hartline tweeted, “Every bishop. Every city. Process with the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of your city! GET OUT THERE with Jesus and PRAY for divine mercy and protection! LIFT THE LORD HIGH! You have apostolic authority -- USE IT!! Where is your supernatural faith?!?”
Every bishop. Every city. Process with the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of your city! GET OUT THERE with Jesus and PRAY for divine mercy and protection! LIFT THE LORD HIGH! You have apostolic authority -- USE IT!! Where is your supernatural faith?!?@USCCB— Jennifer Hartline (@jenniehartline) March 10, 2020
She followed up by sending out tweets to specific bishops, including Bishop Robert Barron in Los Angeles. “Now THAT sounds like a Catholic response to me,” Hartline emphasized the importance of public Eucharistic processions.
“I believe YOU WILL do this,” she told Strickland. “That’s the kind of bishop you are.”
Within hours, Strickland responded, saying, “Wonderful idea. I will begin preparing to do this and encourage others to do the same. Jesus Christ is LORD!!!”
Wonderful idea. I will begin preparing to do this and encourage others to do the same. Jesus Christ is LORD!!! https://t.co/VRNZYDESUb— Bishop J. Strickland (@Bishopoftyler) March 11, 2020
He then went on to call on other priests to lead Eucharistic processions in their own parishes.
In a 2019 interview with LifeSiteNews, Strickland pointed out that he only preaches the truth of Christ. “I’m ordained to shepherd people according to that truth.”
“So it’s my job to teach what Christ teaches and so people, the laity that feel supported, hopefully they do feel supported,” he continued.
“I’m sure some feel challenged because it’s not exactly a comfortable gospel; it’s a narrow path, in all aspects of living Catholic life of following Christ. It’s a narrow path that is hard to walk,” Strickland admitted.
While many priests and bishops reacted to the outbreak of the Coronavirus in a timid manner, canceling public Masses or dispensing the faithful from fulfilling their Sunday obligation, Strickland and others had a supernatural response.
Maronite priest Majdi Allawi took the Blessed Sacrament on a plane flying above Beirut, the capital of Lebanon in the Middle East, to bless and protect it from the Coronavirus.
This weekend @AFP flew with Lebanese Christian Maronite priest Majdi Allawi as he took to the skies above #Beirut to bless the crisis-hit country and protect it from the Coronavirus as fears of its spread spike | #COVIDー19 pic.twitter.com/S14fJIpGiT— Dylan Collins (@collinsdyl) March 9, 2020
A priest in Bibione, a small Italian town not far from Venice, placed a statue of Our Lady on his little truck and drove through the city, blessing the inhabitants, streets, and houses.
Ve la giro come arrivata su WApp - Il parroco di Bibione, ha preso l’ape ci ha caricato sopra la statua della madonna ed è andato in giro per il paese a benedire strade e case, fermato dai carabinieri ha risposto: sto lavorando!!! Un grande!!! - pic.twitter.com/wsYYYhGQiw— Ibis rosso ���� �� (@ibisrosso) March 11, 2020
Vatican News reported that Fr. Franz Xaver Brandmayr, the priest responsible for Santa Maria dell’Anima, the German parish in Rome, continues to say Mass. “People can still come to the church and participate in the Masses.”
Brandmayr said he technically says a private Mass, “but no one can stop me from doing it in a loud voice. I also always give a sermon.”
The priest also pointed out that he would give communion to the faithful. “That’s where obedience stops for me. I don’t refuse communion to anyone. We are here for our community. I know I’ve exhausted the options, but I do it with all my heart,” he added.
The Polish Bishops’ Conference has asked priests to celebrate more Sunday Masses.
Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, a popular priest and blogger, asked bishops to consider “asking priests to add a Mass every day, perhaps a votive Mass against the spread of disease.” He said bishops are able to give “permission for votive Masses for grave public reasons.”