St. Francis Xavier is a vibrant Catholic church in Birmingham, Alabama. We're large enough to offer an array of parish ministries and activities for all ages and interests, and we're small enough to get to know one another as a warm community working together to fulfill Christ's Word. Thank you for taking the time to come learn about our church!
A Message From Fr. Bob
My dear parish family,
These are indeed challenging times. The Entrance Antiphon for today’s Mass was from Psalm 16. It said, “To you I call, for you will surely heed me, O God; turn your ear to me; hear my words. Guard me as the apple of your eye; in the shadow of your wings protect me.” At all times, but especially now, we call upon the grace of God to protect us. As your pastor, I am trying to act with prudence and appropriate caution at this difficult moment in history. My desire is to do the best I can to protect the people, especially the vulnerable, that have been entrusted to me as Pastor.
The Bishop of Birmingham, along with the Archbishop of Mobile, has suspended the celebration of public Masses effective immediately. This also includes public devotions such as Stations of the Cross and prayer groups, as well as all parish events and activities. Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals will proceed with limitations. Our parish chapel will be open each day from 9am until 4pm for private prayer. Please be conscious of the current “social distancing” guidelines.
The actions of our Bishop, as well as mine, are to take prudent steps to break the chain of transmission of the Covid-19 virus. No solution is foolproof or airtight. But during the influenza epidemic of 1918 that infected over 25% of the population of the United States, and that killed hundreds of thousands of people, some cities such as Saint Louis, Missouri took measures that seemed drastic at the time but translated into a per capita death rate much lower than other large cities. As a matter of fact, the last time public worship was suspended on a large scale was during that influenza epidemic in 1918.
I realize that the decision to suspend public worship will greatly disturb our lives. However, please realize that this decision was only made after consultation with competent medical and ecclesiastical authorities and much prayer. Our responsibility as the Body of Christ is to protect the poor and vulnerable.
We are continuing to stay in touch with our home-bound parishioners, as well as those in nursing homes. If you would like to volunteer to assist them in getting groceries or prescriptions, please contact our Director of Pastoral Care, Sister Sara Burress, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will say the Sunday Mass privately and it will be available electronically (information on how to access that will be forthcoming). You may also access daily Mass at wordonfire.org/daily-mass as well as on EWTN.
We ask the Lord to guard us and protect us in the shadow of His wings and we beg the intercession of Saint Francis Xavier and Our Blessed Mother, Mary, who is the Mother of Mercy, the Health of the Sick, and the Comforter of the Afflicted.
Father Bob Sullivan