Bishop Jenky offers encouragement, blessing in video message for Holy Week

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, speaks from the sanctuary of St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria in a video message released at the start of Holy Week. The bishop is regularly recording videos to address the faithful during these weeks of coronavirus separation.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Following is the full transcription of a video message for Holy Week released April 4 by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC.

Today we celebrate Palm Sunday. And in the 18 years I have served as your bishop, this has got to be the strangest Palm Sunday and Holy Week I have ever lived through. In fact, I am 73 years old and this is the strangest Palm Sunday and Holy Week I have lived through as a human being.

I am well aware of the fact that many of you are worried — worried about the fear of contagion for your loved ones, worried about your employment, worried about health care, worried about having the necessities of life. And the diocese, in many ways, faces similar crises. We have many employees for whom we are responsible. And, as you well know, there is no offertory collection during these days, no tuition coming in. I, like all of you, need to live by faith and walk by faith that our precious Catholic life continues in the future after this time of contagion is ended.

I have a special word of encouragement for our teachers and our students who are making e-learning a reality and study ahead, at home, all those things they need to be promoted to the following year in their education or to prepare them for college or university.

In these peculiar circumstances of contagion and some fear, we continue as believers in Jesus Christ.

There is a special kind of remembering that Catholic Christians have. It’s called anamnesis. It means remembering or, though the power of the Holy Spirit, you actually participate in what is being celebrated. So be we at home praying, or watching things on the internet, alone quietly praying alone in our rooms, we still walk with Jesus Christ as he journeys up to Jerusalem, as he is acclaimed by the crowds as the king, as he introduces the Eucharist and ordains the first priests, as he prays in the Garden of Gethsemane, as he is arrested, beaten, scourged, carries his cross to Calvary, dies for our salvation, and is buried in the tomb.

And this journey, which we make with Christ, is leading somewhere. It leads to the glory of the Resurrection.

I am so very proud of the priests of our diocese and many of their lay colleagues who are livestreaming the liturgies of the Triduum so that you can celebrate at home the ancient traditions of our church. Besides your parishes and schools, I encourage you to check out what the diocese is livestreaming. The Office of Liturgy has taken great care to promote these liturgies on the net and other means in special ways to make available to you the great spiritual richness of our worship.

This is also a time for families to grow closer together. This is a time for family prayer, for parents and grandparents sharing their faith with the younger generation. This is a time for parents to be prayer leaders for their own children. This is a time for all of us to remember how important the Lord Jesus Christ is to our lives.

When we face challenge, when we face even the possibility of great illness or death, that’s the time to remember Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. That those who believe in him never really die. That we have an eternal salvation in him and we can trust in the power of his great love.

As you celebrate Holy Week in your homes, please be assured your priests and your bishop are joining with you as we pray in our homes. Please know that all the promises of Jesus Christ are true, and that we are united in his spirit with all the saints and angels. May almighty God bless all of you, hear your prayers, and comfort you. I implore God’s blessing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.




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