The camera rests on a painting of Mary in St. Mary Cathedral during a re-consecration rite May 1.
The camera rests on a painting of Mary in St. Mary Cathedral during a re-consecration rite May 1.
" " Archbishop Alexander Sample May 3 Mass
With 3,500 viewers from places like Gold Beach, Coquille, North Bend, Southeast Portland, Dallas, Hawaii and Michigan, Archbishop Alexander Sample on May 3 continued the weekly livestreamed Sunday Masses from St. Mary Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

On Good Shepherd Sunday, he asked viewers to pray for shepherds of the church, including the pope, bishops and parish priests.

“I know you feel the separation from your shepherds these days,” Archbishop Sample said, explaining that he has been speaking to western Oregon priests frequently during the coronavirus quarantine, which has meant a pause for public Masses.

“I want you to know that they miss you,” he said.

The archbishop urged viewers to enter a deep and personal relationship with Jesus, the Good Shepherd. “He knows everything about us and he loves us,” the archbishop said. “You have been in the mind and the heart of God from all eternity.”

Noting that sheep know which shepherd to follow because they hear the voice, he warned viewers against allowing the various voices of culture to fill them. He urged Scripture reading and deep prayer that allows for listening.

“Are we immersing ourselves in God’s Word instead of filling ourselves with other entertainments?” the archbishop asked. “We need to leave room for the voice of the shepherd.”

Archbishop Sample also has continued Friday night livestreams from his small home chapel in Northwest Portland. He calls the 25-minute presentations “chapel chats.” With his late mother’s grandmother clock chiming as he starts, he offers prayer and reflection.

On April 24, he played a recording of monks singing the Regina Coeli in Latin and told listeners his lightened schedule has allowed for fruitful and reflective prayer. He added that he hopes families welcome the same experience.

“Let’s not forget those who are alone,” he said, urging viewers to call, text and have video chats with neighbors who are isolated.

At the April 26 livestreamed Mass, the archbishop explored the story of the disciples on the way to Emmaus, explaining that the passage shows how we meet Jesus in the Eucharist. After the disciples recognized Jesus at the meal in Emmaus, he vanished. What was left was the bread and the believers around the table.

“I would hope when the time comes that we return to the churches and celebrate the Eucharist, or even now over video, that we would come to see Jesus truly present in the breaking of the bread,” the archbishop said.

“The Lord is always with us, especially in troubled and difficult times,” he added. “He is with you in every moment in every trial.”

On May 1, the archbishop joined church leaders across the United States to re-consecrate their dioceses and parishes to Mary in this time of trouble. In a livestream from St. Mary Cathedral, he said that when Jesus on the cross formed a mother-son bond between Mary and the apostle John, he really forged closeness between Mary and everyone.

“We take her as our own mother,” the archbishop said. “Take Mary the mother of God into your home. Do it again. Do it anew. Invite her into your life.”

On his knees before a statue of Mary, the archbishop sought her intercession for those who have died or are sick from coronavirus.

That evening in his chapel chat, the archbishop noted that May 1 is the start of a Marian month and also the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. He prayed for the millions of Americans who are now unemployed.

On May 4, the archdiocese posted a video in which he thanked Catholic school teachers for following their vocation and being patient, flexible and diligent in these times of online education.