COVID-19 Response and Recommendations

Categories: Blog, News

A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

Look To What Is Unseen Which Is Eternal

As we monitor the turn of events throughout the world we are reminded of our common humanity. We are encouraged to practice social distancing although we know we are one family of God and remain close spiritually through this belief.

Therefore, we are not discouraged, rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Our team is moving forward, cautiously and prayerfully, with what God has put before us. Day by day we look for efficient ways to serve you during this time. The well-being of our brothers and sisters and all those you love are our utmost concern – from our pastors, chancery and community partners, donors, board, staff and all those in need in Central Florida. We are committed to collaborating on what is best for each circumstance.

For those considering moving funds into our endowment and reserve funds, due to current market volatility, we encourage prudence as we wait to see more stabilization in the market. We are thankful for the gifts God has provided us to effectively and prudently steward the resources entrusted to us for the benefit of His people. Our board-approved investment policy, our oversight governance structure and our investment advisors help us attain our long-term objectives even in times of uncertainty.  We are providing an update from our advisors, Concord Advisory Group, who share our concerns. Their update provides insight from their research and our long-term horizon outlook. Please contact Susan Hunt at shunt@cfocf.org who can advise on how to prepare for the transfer of funds at a later date when market conditions are more suitable.

For those who are at-risk during this time and were attending Mass through live stream, we honor your precaution. In cooperation with the effort to contain the spread of the virus our Bishop has suspended the celebration of Mass in our churches. As we all transition to this we offer resources for remaining in prayer and near to God. Please remember to continue your financial support of the work of the church.  You can contact your parish office to find out if they have an online giving option and set up your offerings to be given online. For your convenience, our team has developed a webpage which will provide an opportunity to give to any parish and especially those who do not have an online giving option. Or you can mail a check to your parish. Thank you for your continued charity which binds our faith community as we promote the Gospel and build His Kingdom.

We find that donors are generous in our community and we are grateful. There is a great need for God’s people to release His resources into the world for the benefit of our ministries that serve and address the needs in our Central Florida community. For those able to share their blessings we encourage charity.  Please contact Madelyn Weed at mweed@cfocf.org for questions you have about charitable giving at this time.

We remember that these times are temporary. Our team is following the guidelines of the CDC to ensure well-being while we remain available to serve. Some of our upcoming educational seminars and series are being postponed as a cautionary measure to protect our friends and family of God – The Legacy Planning Seminar at Blessed Trinity, Ocala on March 25 and The Stewardship Matters Series at Bishop Moore Catholic on April 3 . We look forward to re-scheduling and having the opportunity to be in person with you again.

During this time of darkness we are called to be a light. Pray for those who are ill, our medical professionals and the scientists working to create vaccines and cures. Remember many will feel extra lonely during these times of self-quarantine, postponed events and streamed Masses. Reach out to family, friends and neighbors through phone calls, emails, skype and social media.

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13  Stay informed from credible and reliable sources such as the Florida State Health Department and the CDC. Monitor updates for Mass, Sacraments and ministries in the Diocese of Orlando.

You and your loved ones remain in our prayers. May we all rest in the peace which comes from knowing we are in His hands.

COVID-19: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Here’s some basic information from FloridaHealth.gov about what this coronavirus is and precautionary measures to take.

HOW CAN I SUPPORT MY PARISH IN THESE TIMES

 YOU CAN BE A LIGHT DURING THIS TIME

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. 
– Ephesians 5:8-9

We have opportunities to care for one another and demonstrate Christ’s love and radiate light.
Let us move forward, cautiously and prayerfully, with what God has put before us:

PRAY

• in solidarity for our brothers and sisters here and around the world who are sick, and for those who have lost loved ones to this virus. May God console them and grant them peace.
• for doctors, nurses, and caregivers, for public health officials and all civic leaders. May God grant them courage and prudence as they seek to respond to this emergency with compassion and in service to the common good.
• for those with mental health concerns, as well as those who feel increasingly lonely during this time. May they be comforted by calls and letters of love and encouragement.

SERVE

• by educating yourself about the Coronavirus from credible sources, such as, the CDC and the Florida State Health Department. Know the symptoms and have a plan for what you would do if you or a family member were to become sick.
• by checking on your friends and neighbors. Continue to reach out and care for one another through phone calls, emails and social media. Please reach out to anyone you think might be feeling isolated over the next few weeks.

GIVE

• by considering ways you can bless medical professionals with acts of kindness and notes of appreciation. As the virus continues, many doctors and nurses will be working long hours in stressful situations.
• by continuing your financial support of the work of our Church. Many of you have set up your offerings to be automatically given. If you haven’t, you can give an offering by filling out the form below. You can also make your offering as automatic recurring gifts.

Not everyone can make the same size gift, but everyone can make the same size sacrifice.

Our Church continues to serve our faithful and its community, as one Body of Christ through live stream and other online resources. Although many of us are practicing social distancing, we have never felt more connected. Remember this is temporary.

Archbishop José Gomez, in his role of President of the USCCB,
reminds us during this critical time that:
“God does not abandon us, he goes with us even now in this time of trial and testing.
Now is the time to intensify our prayers and sacrifices
for the love of God and the love of our neighbor”.

Thank you for your continued charity which binds our faith community as we promote the Gospel and build His Kingdom.
You remain in our prayers.
To make a tax-deductible donation now, please click here.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE FROM THE DIOCESE OF ORLANDO

For the latest updates from The Diocese of Orlando and a message from Bishop Noonan, please click here.

USCCB PRESIDENT’S REFLECTION AND PRAYER DURING CORONAVIRUS

March 13, 2020

WASHINGTON- Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19):

With the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus, we are confronted once more with the fragility of our lives, and again we are reminded of our common humanity — that the peoples of this world are our brothers and sisters, that we are all one family under God.

God does not abandon us, he goes with us even now in this time of trial and testing. In this moment, it is important for us to anchor our hearts in the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. Now is the time to intensify our prayers and sacrifices for the love of God and the love of our neighbor. Let us draw closer to one another in our love for him, and rediscover the things that truly matter in our lives.

United with our Holy Father Pope Francis, let us pray in solidarity for our brothers and sisters here and around the world who are sick. Let us pray for those who have lost loved ones to this virus. May God console them and grant them peace.

We pray also for doctors, nurses, and caregivers, for public health officials and all civic leaders. May God grant them courage and prudence as they seek to respond to this emergency with compassion and in service to the common good.

In this time of need, I invite all the faithful to seek together the maternal intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and I share this prayer with you:

Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.

Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.

For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.

In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.

We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.

Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.