Religion news in brief
A Prayer Walk in Bennington
All are welcome. Meet Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. in front of St. Peter's Church.
A meditation will be given for participants to use or pray or consider for the approximately 20- to 30-minute silent walk. Participants will walk beside the river walkway by Benn El school (social distancing a must). Then they will reassemble in front to the church to decide things like on whether to continue or take a different route. Other considerations and any suggestions to make it more meaningful will be welcome,
Televised Mass on CAT-TV
BENNINGTON — The Rev. Robert Wiseman, CSC, pastor of the Catholic churches in Bennington and North Bennington, has announced that the last public Mass until further notice was celebrated on Thursday.
Speaking for the churches of Sacred Heart - Saint Francis de Sales in Bennington and St. John the Baptist in North Bennington, Wiseman said the parish would keep members updated on its website, on Facebook and in its email newsletter, Flocknotes.
Next week the parish will do a mailing to all registered parishioners at both churches. Meanwhile CAT-TV, will show television Masses celebrated in Burlington beginning next week on channel 15.
According to the Diocese of Burlington, this will begin Sunday, March 22, at 10 a.m. Check the diocesan website at vermontcatholic.org/covid-19/ for all TV Mass options, resources and the latest updates.
The food pantry at Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales, HIS Pantry, is still operating. It is open Wednesdays from 1 to 3:30 p.m. and Fridays from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Diocese of Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne said that effective March 20 "all regularly scheduled public celebrations of the Catholic Mass, sacraments and devotions are suspended until further notice. Priests of the Diocese of Burlington will continue to celebrate Mass privately for the intentions of their community and the church."
Baptisms, funerals and weddings may take place but will be strictly limited in attendance to immediate family members.
"I have taken this course of action following the advice of local public officials and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to limit gatherings to 10 people," Coyne said. "While this is a difficult time for the faithful, we must all do our part to ensure the health and well-being of the larger community by helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation and make changes as necessary."
The diocese also offered this general list of what is open and what is not:
- Parish offices — Staffed but not open to the public. Call if assistance is needed.
- Diocesan offices — open with limited staffing.
- Parish food pantries — open.
- Vermont Catholic Charities — open.
- Parish churches — open daily for prayer. Sacred Heart - Saint Francis de Sales, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saint John the Baptist, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Catholic schools — closed until April 15 (remote and online learning).
- Parish religious education programs — closed (some remote and online learning. Look for more information to come).
- Perpetual adoration chapels — closed.
Worship on web with the Federated Church
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the social isolation we are experiencing, it is good to be able to come together to worship God. This Sunday, all are invited to join in an on-line Service of Worship with the Federated Church of East Arlington at 10 a.m.
The continuing theme for the month of March is "Mister Rogers and God's Neighborhood" with a message from the Rev. Kathy Clark titled "Look For the Helpers." If you visit the church website at http://www.federatedchurchofeastarlington.org you will find information on how to easily link in via Zoom. Additionally, a recording of the Service will appear on the website soon afterwards. So settle into your favorite chair at home with a cup of coffee or tea on Sunday morning and join us for a service of prayer, story and music.
Second Congregational Church
Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, Second Congregational Church will not be holding 10 a.m. Sunday Worship services until further notice. The Rev. D. Mark Blank will host a live online prayer service accessible via the church's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/bennscc.
St. Peter's Episcopal Church
All Services at St. Peter's Episcopal Church are canceled until further notice.
Due to health concerns around the spread of the coronavirus, the North Bennington Congregational Church has suspended worship services until further notice. We encourage you to stay strong in faith and hope in the days ahead and join one another in prayer for an end to this epidemic that is changing so many things about our way of life. Be safe and stay well. Rev. Penny Rich Smith on behalf of the congregation.
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