The Bishop

                               Ajaccio, Monday, March 30th

Dear Fathers, I hope you are in good shape despite the difficult conditions of this Lent. Let's not hesitate to share news of each other. Here are some details for the coming days. Holy Week is approaching; a very special Holy Week as we will be celebrating these services in private.

As far as possible and in accordance with the rules of caution, I invite you to celebrate with at least one faithful. Given the specificity of the Holy Days, we are invited to give priority to the celebration of Holy Week services in parish churches and to communicate their schedules to the faithful who will be able to join in prayer. It is also desirable to ring the bells at the beginning of the services of the Palms, the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday. Some of you film their celebrations and retransmit them on Facebook. I also do it for certain celebrations. I encourage you to give your faithful "tools" to pray at home. With televised celebrations, there is the risk of remaining "spectator". It would be a beautiful grace if this time of trial could allow some to (re)discover prayer or reading the Word of God at home! Together, let us implore the Immaculate Virgin!

Consecration of Corsica to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on April 4th

As you know, at Fatima, the Virgin Mary asks to honor her Immaculate Heart in particular on the first Saturday of the month. Therefore, I invite you to celebrate Mass (in private) in memory of the Virgin Mary next Saturday, April 4th, if possible at 11am. We will thus celebrate in communion with each other, but also with all the faithful who will be willing to join in this prayer. I will personally celebrate at the cathedral where the Mass will be preceded by the renewal of the wishes of the magnificent elders by the mayor (which could not be done on March 18). At the end of Mass1, after the post-community, we will renew the consecration of Corsica to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with the help of the prayer we used in 2014 (attached). The Mass will be filmed and broadcast on our social networks. I invite you to disseminate this information widely so that as many faithful as possible can join this event. In this moment of trial that causes so much suffering, let us put together a true act of faith in the powerful intercession of the Virgin Mary!

The priests of Ajaccio will be able to take the Mass of St Mary, Queen and Mother of Mercy, and the others the Mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary; cf. Masses in honor of the Virgin Mary, p. 262 and p.192.

Palm Sunday In the current context, we are asked not to celebrate outside the churches and (outside the cathedral) to use the simple entrance (the third form in the Roman missal, i.e. without blessing of twigs, by reading simply the antienne of openness that remembers Jesus' entry into Jerusalem). I will celebrate at the cathedral at 10 a.m. and bless the twigs "by way of the waves," as the Pope does in an urbi and orbi blessing. This Mass will be broadcast on our networks. We intend to ask FR3 Via Stella if they agree to film this blessing so that as many faithful as possible can join in.

Holy Thursday. During mass in memory of the Lord's Supper, foot washing is omitted and the Holy Sacrament will be kept in the tabernacle. Where several priests live together, it is asked to celebrate. The bells can be ringed at the time of the gloria (they will remain silent until the Easter Vigil). At the end, of course, everyone will be able to take the time of worship he wishes at this particular moment when we remember the institution of the Eucharist and the ministerial priesthood as well as the Lord's commandment on fraternal charity.

Good Friday It would be good to invite the faithful to pray the Way of the Cross at home. Each priest can offer a meditation for the faithful of his parish. You can also find them on liturgie.catholique.fr. For the Office of Passion, an eleventh intention will be added to the great universal prayer: Let us pray for all the countries affected by the Corona Virus epidemic. Eternal and almighty God, the strength of those who hope in you, looks with compassion at those who find themselves, in these days, in a situation of disarray: we pray to you for the sick and for those who care for them; may your help, always present, assist those who need you and that your grace grants the deceased the eternal life you wish to offer to all. By Jesus, Christ our Lord. A/. Amen If the priest is alone, the great universal prayer will be said without the mention of "beloved brothers" when it is present in the introductions (intentions 1 and 10).
Saturday Holy Church invites us to stand in confident prayer, waiting for the Lord's resurrection. The liturgy of hours (available on the website AELF.org) can unite with the whole Church in the same hope. Celebration of the Vigil Pascale This is celebrated only in the Cathedral and Parish churches. For the solemn opening and the lucernaire The beginning of the Vigil is simplified, without fire or blessing. As there is no procession, the Easter candle will be installed directly at its final location according to church usage. We can make the optional preparation of the Easter candle. The announcement of the Passover follows directly. If the priest is alone, he can say or sing the announcement of the Passover in front of the Easter candle and it is suggested to use the first form instead in the mode of the preface (Roman Missal p. 234), without the parts in crochet (address to the faithful and dialogue cf. p.235). For the Liturgy of the Word It unfolds as usual (cf. Missal Romain No. 20-22 p. 242). If the priest is alone, he may omit the introductory monition (see Roman missal No. 22 p. 242). If he does not read the seven readings of the Old Testament, he may read only three or even two, including the necessarily the account of the Exodus (3rd reading). During the Easter Anthem (the song of Glory to God), depending on the custom it will be possible to keep ringing the bells. After the Glory to God follows as usual the collection (Missal Romain No. 32 p. 248), then the epistle Rm 6, 3-11), and finally the hallelujah followed by the gospel For the baptismal liturgy The litany of saints, the blessing of baptismal water, and baptisms will be omitted. The renovation of the baptismal faith will be spent directly (Roman Missal No. 46 p.256). If the priest is alone, he can replace the dialogous form of the renovation of baptismal promises with the Creed according to either of the two usual forms (Symbol of the Apostles or of Nicaea-Constantinople) the bells can be ringed at the end of the celebration according to local customs. Easter Sunday Easter Mass will take place as usual, the church bells will be ringing at the beginning and end of the Mass celebration. I will celebrate at the cathedral at 10am, we hope that FR3 Via Stella will agree to broadcast the Mass live.
Mercy Sunday. In order to bring to the Lord a unanimous prayer from the whole diocese, a novena preparatory to the Sunday of Mercy (April 19) will be proposed. It will begin on Good Friday. Chrismal Mass It is difficult to make calendar forecasts. For organizational reasons, however, we need to schedule a number of appointments, even if we have to make changes later. This is how we plan the Christian Mass on Sunday, May 24 at 4 p.m. at the parish church of Corte. Please note this important event for our diocese. Continuity of the quest This crisis will have, among other things, serious consequences on the financial situation of our diocese. Yet the Church has an essential role to play, especially in these troubled times. And for that she needs the means. Several dioceses have already reacted and set up a "continuity of the quest" thanks in particular to the application "The Quest". Most of the parish units of the diocese are already listed on this site: https://www.appli-laquete.fr/

All the faithful have to do is download the Quest app. They can make a donation from home, for example when they attend services broadcast on networks or on television. For those who are less comfortable with the apps on the phones, we will very soon set up on the diocesan site a link on which to click. All funds collected are directly credited to the accounts of the parish units concerned. As you can see, the effectiveness of this system depends to a large extent on you. Thank you for "playing the game" and communicating about it. This may be an opportunity to recall the spiritual significance of the quest, especially during the Eucharist.

In these times of trial, know that I carry you especially in my prayers. I haven't called you all of them personally yet, but I'm doing it little by little. Don't hesitate to call me if you wish. In any case, let us remain united in prayer and hope. Well fraternally,

The Bishop