The Archbishop of San Francisco has encouraged Catholics to renew their devotion to the Eucharist as indoor Masses finally resume across the city.
Speaking during an outdoor rosary rally and Mass, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone asked Catholics: “Have we accepted this fast from the Eucharist as an opportunity God has given us to renew our devotion and love for the sacrament?”
Archbishop Cordileone told Catholics to look to St Francis of Assisi as an example of devotion to the Eucharist.
“Francis is famous for many things, but that for which he was most zealous is often overlooked: worthy and fitting worship of the one, true God, and reverence for the body and blood of Christ,” the archbishop said.
“Zeal for the Blessed Sacrament and the proper respect due to it marked his entire life, right up to the very end.”
Archbishop Cordileone said that St Francis strongly condemned treating Mass and the Eucharist casually.
“For him, everything having to do with the treatment of the Blessed Sacrament and the celebration of Mass had to be the best we could offer: worthy, clean, beautiful, precise,” he added.
CatholicSF reports that participants processed from St Anthony of Padua Church to the cathedral. Attendees spread out to practice social distancing. At the end of the Mass, Archbishop Cordileone renewed his archdiocese’s consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The San Francisco mayor’s office last week permitted places of worship to hold indoor services at 25 per cent capacity, up to 100 people, CNA reports. Previously, only one worshipper at a time was allowed into a place of worship, regardless of the building’s size. Multiple patrons were allowed into other indoor establishments.
Around 1,500 Catholics joined Eucharistic processions across the city last month to protest the previous restrictions. The archbishop himself condemned the policy, saying: “One person at a time in this great Cathedral to pray? What an insult. This is a mockery. They are mocking you, and even worse, they are mocking God.”
The US Department of Justice warned San Francisco officials that the restrictions could be unconstitutional, describing them as “draconian” and “contrary to the Constitution and the nation’s best tradition of religious freedom.”