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Message from Pastor

April 5, 2020

My brothers and sisters in Christ:

We enter into this Holy Week beginning with Palm Sunday to culminate in the Easter Vigil on Saturday evening. Centuries ago it was called the ‘Great Week‘. Nowadays we call it ‘Holy Week‘. If we want to benefit from this Holy Week, we must humbly put ourselves into a serious reflection of what took place in Jerusalem as Jesus was confronted by His enemies and later arrested and put to death. As we follow Jesus every step of the way from His triumphant entry into Jerusalem up to His passion on the Cross, we will connect our own present difficulties with the abandonment and betrayal that Christ Himself experienced.

The outbreak of the coronavirus has become an eye-opener for all of us. Some of us may have some questions, some doubts, anxieties, and perhaps a sense of hopelessness. But the Holy Week leads us to understand that in the midst of all the trials, fears, physical sufferings and feelings of abandonment, Christ continues to journey with us to our own calvary. Bear in mind however that Calvary was not the end of Jesus’ story; rather, it became the beginning of yet another journey – His journey to the Resurrection.  With Jesus, we will then move from the darkness of our present journey to the place of the bright light of the resurrection. The Easter Candle that we will light on Easter Vigil represents the risen Christ, as He lights up the darkness of our Church and our lives.

As your unworthy pastor, I trust that as you have accepted your baptism in Christ, you have become a people of hope. I know that you believe that there is something greater than the sufferings we are all undergoing due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. The light of our faith guides us to go through these hard times but with the strong faith and confidence that God will save us at the end. We continue to trust in God; we continue to believe in His power; we continue to rely on His grace.

Please know that you are all remembered in my daily Masses and prayers before the Blessed Sacrament. I long to see the day when we will gather again at St. Joseph Church in Mountain View to celebrate our faith together and to enjoy the peace and love that God has generously bestowed on each of us. Through the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary, may the blessings of the Almighty God, the Father +, and the Son +,  and the Holy Spirit +  remain with you always.

                                                                               - Rev. Engelberto Guzman Gammad, J.C.D.

5 de abril 2020

Mis hermanos y hermanas en Cristo:

Comenzamos la Semana Santa (conocida también como ‘Semana Mayor’) con el Domingo de Ramos, para culminar con la Vigilia Pascual el sábado por la noche. Si queremos beneficiarnos de esta Semana Santa debemos humildemente reflexionar sobre lo que sucedió en Jerusalén, cuando Jesús fue confrontado por sus enemigos y luego arrestado y ejecutado. A medida que seguimos a Jesús en cada paso del camino, desde su entrada triunfante en Jerusalén hasta su pasión en la cruz, conectaremos nuestras propias dificultades actuales con el abandono y la traición que Cristo mismo experimentó.

El brote del coronavirus se ha convertido en una revelación para todos nosotros. Puede ser que tengamos preguntas, dudas, ansiedades y quizás hasta una sensación de desesperanza. Pero la Semana Santa nos lleva a comprender que en medio de todas las pruebas, temores, sufrimientos físicos y sentimientos de abandono, Cristo continúa viajando con nosotros a nuestro propio calvario. Sin embargo, es importante tener en cuenta que el Calvario no fue el final de la historia de Jesús, más bien se convirtió en el comienzo de otro viaje más: su viaje a la resurrección. Con Jesús, nos moveremos de la oscuridad de nuestro viaje actual al lugar de la luz brillante de la resurrección. El Cirio Pascual que encendemos en la Vigilia Pascual representa al Cristo resucitado, que ilumina la oscuridad de nuestra Iglesia y de nuestras vidas.

Yo, como su humilde pastor, confío en que ustedes, al aceptar su bautismo en Cristo, se han convertido en gente de esperanza. Sé que creen que hay algo más grande que los sufrimientos por los que atravesamos debido al brote del coronavirus;luz de nuestra fe! ¡la confianza en que Dios está con nosotros y que Él nos salvará! Sigamos confiando en Dios, sigamos creyendo en Su poder, sigamos confiando en Su gracia.

Tengan por seguro que todos ustedes son recordados en mis misas y oraciones diarias ante el Santísimo Sacramento. Espero el día en que nos reuniremos nuevamente en la Iglesia de Saint Joseph en Mountain View, para celebrar juntos nuestra fe y disfrutar de la paz y del amor que nuestro Dios bondadoso nos ha otorgado a cada uno de nosotros. A través de la intercesión de nuestra Bendita Madre María, pido que las bendiciones de Dios Todopoderoso, el Padre +, y el Hijo +, y el Espíritu Santo + permanezcan con ustedes siempre.

                                                                                 - Rev. Engelberto Guzman Gammad, J.C.D.

March 25, 2020 - Feast of the Annunciation
Parish of St. Joseph
Mountain View CA

My dear brothers and sisters in the Parish of St. Joseph:

As I have mentioned in my message to you through our parish website, I wish to assure you of my
continued prayers during these challenging times in the history of our Church and the world. Every day I spend an hour before the Blessed Sacrament and celebrate a private Mass offered for all of you
including those who come to worship at St. Joseph Church in Mountain View. I am asking God to spare you from this virus which has afflicted a lot of people around the world. However, we stand firm in our faith that the Lord walks with us during these times and at the end of this drama of life we will be able to enjoy life again in the loving hands of our Father through his Son Jesus. Please continue in your unceasing prayers for everybody’s safety.

I wish to take this opportunity to share with you the directives that I received from Bishop Oscar Cantu in the midst of the outbreak of COVID-19, or better known as Coronavirus. It is my wish to reach out to each of you so that you and I will be guided properly for our well-being.

Regarding Mass and Sacramental Practices
- Public Masses will continue to be suspended until further notice and instruction from the office
of the Bishop of San Jose.
- St. Joseph Church will remain closed during the shelter-in-place period as imposed by the state
of California.
- The Diocese continues to livestream Sunday Masses on the Diocesan Facebook page, at 10:00 a.m. in English and 11:00 a.m. in Spanish. Other Masses are broadcast each Sunday at 5:00 a.m. on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).
- I am working with Marcel Mesaros and Alvin Cura to help me livestream the celebration of the Sacred Triduum which includes Holy Thursday (Mass of the Lord’s Supper), Good Friday (Veneration of the Cross), and Easter Vigil (Easter Proclamation). This will be celebrated privately by me with Father Michael Gazzingan and Father Noel Sanvicente. (Father Thierry Geris will decide if he will be joining us considering his health condition at this time). Please note that the parishioners are dispensed from attending these services. The Holy Thursday Mass will be at 7:00 p.m., Good Friday service at 3:00 p.m. and Easter Vigil at 8:30 p.m. We will instruct you on how to join us in the livestream Masses.
- As pastor, I celebrate the Mass privately every day. This is preceded by a daily Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament. This is offered exclusively for your intention and for those who come to worship at St. Joseph Church.

Regarding Funerals
- As per order from the County Public Health Officer of the County of Santa Clara, in accord with the restrictions of Shelter-In-Place as imposed by the State of California, attendance at funeral is restricted to the immediate family only, not to exceed 10 persons. All persons must maintain a distance of six feet apart.
- The Bishop of San Jose instructed priests to do funeral service at the gravesite. A memorial Mass may be offered to be celebrated at a later time.

Regarding Confessions
- Persons desiring to make a confession must contact us. Call the parish number – 650-967-3831
– and leave a message and we will return your call as soon as we can. Due to the sacramental nature of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, confessions are to be made in person, not on the phone, or FaceTime or live stream. If you call for an appointment, we are willing to set a time and date for your confession. Note, however, that we still maintain the regular schedule for confessions every Saturday at 4:00p.m. to 5:00 p.m. This is done outside the church building (church plaza) and we continue to maintain the distance from each other while waiting for your time for confession.
- If you come for confession, please wear a mask as we are also required to wear mask when we listen to your confession. MASK IS ABSOLUTLEY NECESSARY WHEN YOU APPROACH US FOR
CONFESSION. The Bishop also reminded us that we are not to use the confessional in the church. So be prepared to have the confession in an open air or in an open space of the church compound.

Regarding Anointing of the Sick
- As per directive from the Bishop of San Jose, we make visits to the sick and the dying for emergencies only. Please take note that the hospitals do not allow us into the room of a patient with Coronavirus. To my understanding, it is safer not to get closer to those who have been with the patient with coronavirus as they might have been infected without their knowing it.

Regarding Faith Formation
- Bishop Cantu suspended all Faith Formation classes until further notice. Erika Underwood and Tony Berrios have adopted distance learning education in order to reach out to our faith formation students during the lockdown period.

Regarding Suspension of Parish Activities
- On March 20, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsome issued California Sate Executive Order N-33-20 extending the Shelter-In-Place to all California residents until further notice. There is no way we can gather for parish activities until the situation improves and becomes normal. In the meantime, NO stations of the cross, quiceañeras, or weddings, or prayer group meetings, or any public devotions are permitted.

Finally, I ask each of you to take these instructions with utmost care for your safety and your well-being. Continue to pray and ask God to protect us. Prayer can move mountains and as the angel of the Lord said to Mary at the Annunciation: “With God nothing will be impossible.” (Luke 1:37). I miss everyone of you and though I suffer for not being able to be with you during these difficult times, I wish to assure you that you are always in my thoughts and prayers. May the Lord Jesus and His Mother Mary, continue to accompany us as we journey during this Lent to the joyful celebration of Easter.

God bless you all. I love you all very dearly.
- Father Engelberto Gammad, Pastor

March 21, 2020
Parish of St. Joseph
Mountain View CA

Dear Parishioners,

During these difficult times caused by the Coronavirus, that has afflicted many people around the world, I wish to assure you of my continued prayers. Everyday as I do my private Mass and Holy Hour, I have been asking God to protect you from this virus, including all others who come to St. Joseph Church to worship. Through the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary, may we be freed from this present sorrow and enjoy the peace that God has planted in our hearts through Jesus Christ our Lord.Father Thierry, Father Michael and Father Noel join me in praying for all of you.

Rev. Engelberto Gammad, J.C.D.