March 20, 2020
Dear OLB Friends and Benefactors,
Our purpose at Our Lady of Bethesda is to love christ, serve others, build the church. In this season of Covid-19, we simply want to continue to serve you as best as we can and keep providing the rich programs we have offered over the past almost 30 years, both in person and virtually.
What to Expect from Our Lady of Bethesda during these times (see OLB for details and sign up):
- VIRTUAL Monthly Evenings of Reflections for Men/Mini-Retreats for Women – we will continue to offer these monthly talks and questionnaires on-line, with our usual schedule of the 1st Wednesday of the month for men and the 4thWednesday/Thursday of the month for women.
- VIRTUAL Ignatian Spiritual Exercises – we will continue to offer our Ignatian Spiritual Exercises with Spiritual Direction. During this time of lessening activities for many, we thought it to be important to continue to provide the depth of encounter that the Spiritual Exercises offer. Our first offering will be during Lent beginning the evening of Friday, March 27 and ending Sunday, March 29.
- Masses – The Legionaries of Christ continue to say masses privately every day during this time. While no laity can join in the masses, they can continue to be said for your intentions. To request a mass for a specific intention, go here.
AT OUR LADY OF BETHEDA: We know that OLB is a special place for many to connect more deeply with our Lord. We want to serve both your spiritual health and your physical safety. To that end, we want to make the center available to you and in a manner consistent with ADW approved practices and guidelines, during your visit.
- Our outdoor Stations of the Cross and rosary walk remain available for you for time away to retreat. We will have copies of the Stations of the Cross at the front entrance of our retreat center. For us to continue to keep this option available to all, we ask that you respect the social distancing standards set in place while visiting the grounds.
- Chapel time for prayer…we will have our chapel available on Fridays from 9am-5pm and additional times during Holy week* for those who would like to spend some time with our Lord. Our Lord awaits us here. We ask that you respect the time and space of others. At the moment, guidelines do not allow for more than 10 people in the chapel at a time.
- Confessions…. Confessions will be offered in a manner which upholds the dignity of the sacrament, honors the social distancing commitments made by the Church, and consistent with ADW approved practices at this time. More information about these offerings will be available on our website and Our Lady of Bethesda Facebook page by Tuesday, March 24th.
With that we have a few things we would like to highlight and suggest in this season:
- During this time of extraordinary shut down, if you have had to forgo dinners, vacations, and any other expenditures that may have left you a few extra dollars, any contribution that you can make to OLB will help us over the hump, and a monthly recurring offering to stabilize our finances would be especially helpful. In whatever amount, however, you will make a difference in the retreat center’s making it through this temporary downturn.
- If the retreat center is not where you feel called to give, please consider giving to other non-profits or small businesses that are also feeling the squeeze of quarantines and shut-downs. Recently, many families have been feeling the stress of temporary furloughs. The Lord is deepening our awareness of our need for one another, and we know he will use this crisis for good in drawing communities together in mutual support.
- We encourage you to pay close attention to communications coming from your local parish about ways to meet practical needs of your neighbors and your parish, and we encourage you to plug into that and support those efforts. This is a moment for the whole Church to bring glory to God in her collective charitable witness!
We are keeping you, your families and communities in our prayers.
Executive Director – Our Lady of Bethesda
*times to be announced.