Pastor's Message

Dear parishioners:

This has certainly been an interesting time for all of us; uncertainty brings a sense of being unsettled, and most of us do not like that. And during this time of pandemic, updates and changes to guidelines – sometimes daily – has certainly made decision-making difficult, at the Diocesan and local parish levels.

Be assured that I have worked and prayed hard for all of you every single day of this shutdown; and, while some have chosen to use this challenging and unorthodox time to be critical and judgmental of your priests and bishops, who have worked hard to try and make decisions in this novel time for which there are no manuals, many of you have expressed your prayerful support in cards and emails, and shared the joy of your strengthening faith with me during this challenging time. I truly thank those of you who have been supportive, as I could not continue to navigate this situation without your kind words and prayers.

Now that we may be entering a phase of resuming public gatherings for the Holy Sacrifice of Mass, please continue to be prayerfully docile to the rules and practices that must be put in place for our gatherings. I am sure they will change, and change some more, as we go forward, so please be patient.

At least in the early stages, the manner in which we gather and conduct our Mass, may look very different than that to which you have become accustomed. But I have made these adjustments in consultation with many of your brothers and sisters here in our parish community, and in line with what experts tell us will help to mitigate the spread, or resurgence, of the virus among us. Additionally, we are trying to be as compliant as possible with ever-changing CDC guidelines and directives from all levels of government, and with directives from our Bishop and Vicar General.

In the coming days and weeks, I will be sharing with you details for the gradual re-opening of our parish campus. Many of us have been working so hard during this time: our Finance Council and parish staff have worked hard to assist me in navigating the financial management of our parish in these trying economic times; I have been active in putting together a new Pastoral (Parish) Council, and exploring the make-up of a Stewardship Council, both of which will assist me in leading our parish forward into a new and exciting future.

And, our Principal, Ms. Margaret Beale, and I have been working with Diocesan leaders and our architect, to hire a general contractor to move forward with putting your contributions to our Capital Campaign, Faith Grows Here, to work on capital improvements to Immaculata Catholic School. And who can miss all the hard work our teachers, parents, and students have done in continuing the mission Catholic education in these trying times.

Saint Peter says “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope …” (1 Peter 3:15), and these things I’ve mentioned give us many reasons to explain why we remain hopeful. We still have some challenging times ahead but, at the end of the day, we must always remain hopeful because of our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ; a faith that reminds us that all things are of God, and are for the greater Good – even these times of pandemic in which we live.

You are all in my prayers, as well as Fr. Taylor’s, and let us move forward, in Hope, Faith, and Love.

Fr. Cook
Pastor, Immaculate Conception

Dear Parishioners of Immaculate Conception,

As the pastor of the Parish of the Immaculate Conception my primary concern, particularly during this time of crisis, is the holiness, health and safety of our parishioners. I am praying for all who have been impacted by the current health crisis, especially the sick and their care givers. You are well aware of the impact the spread of COVID-19 has had on our parish, the beloved teachers and children at Immaculata Catholic School, and in our local community and our country. I will continue to find creative ways to communicate with you about our parish events and activities as often as possible so that you are aware of what is going on at Immaculate Conception.

Our primary role is to provide for the spiritual and pastoral needs of the faithful. And while we have had to take sweeping measures, including canceling all public Masses and functions, as followers of Christ we must continue to pray and support those most vulnerable – the poor, those with less stable employment, the elderly, sick and shut-ins who may feel isolated and lonely, and the parents and children of our school, as we continue distance-learning efforts.

I write to ask all of you to continue the Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and gratitude and generosity to others. Now is not the time to be paralyzed in fear or uncertainty; it is, indeed, a time to redouble your Lenten practices, to pray, fast, and give alms to our parish offertory, and to the Diocesan Support Appeal.

Please know that I am committed to continuing the good work of our parish and the Universal Church at this time, and to keep our staff (parish and school) employed and paid. We want to thank each of you for the many ways you support our mission, and ask that you please continue to support the work of our parish church. Immaculate Conception is dependent upon your weekly financial gifts to continue its ministries in this critical time of crisis; many of our expenses do not cease, even when we are not able to go to Mass.

Please use this time to transition to online giving using this link to go to our parish website: At the top-right of the page, hover your pointer over “Ways to Give” and select “Online.” Use the “Offertory and Holydays” category to start the giving process.

You may also mail your weekly offertory envelopes to the parish office: Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 611 N. Church Street, Suite 101, Hendersonville, NC 28792.

We are grateful for your much-needed contributions!

Join me in prayer for the repose of the souls of those who have died from COVID-19, and for the recovery of those who are sick; also, for the strength of healthcare workers and caregivers, and for an end to this health crisis. Please be assured of my prayers for all of you, my dear parishioners, and know that we are here for you.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Rev. Fr. W. Christian Cook Pastor,

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

Dear Parishioners of Immaculate Conception:

Certainly we are all concerned about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), especially in that we have many parishioners who are in populations that are considered to be in high-risk categories. First, and foremost, we must commend this matter to prayer; we must ask Almighty God to avert this pandemic from us, and to bless and protect all healthcare professionals on the front lines of fighting this virus.

Second, Bishop Jugis has asked us to make greater efforts to reduce person-to-person contact and large gatherings in compliance with government-issued mandates, in an effort to reduce exposure to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

To that end, I am taking the following actions:

• ALL PUBLIC MASSES ARE CANCELLED at Immaculate Conception. Our Diocese has directed that Masses must be offered consistent with CDC guidelines which, as of today, limits gatherings to less than ten (10) people. Therefore, offering public Mass is not practicable at IC.

o The Priests of IC are still offering daily private Mass for the spiritual benefit of our Parish and parishioners.

o The norms of Mass intentions, and their offerings, are being observed.

• PLEASE CONTINUE YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF OUR PARISH: I humbly ask the faithful of our Parish to continue your stewardship of treasure by continuing your weekly offertory gifts to the parish through the mail or electronic giving.

o We have no other source of income, other than what you give us, and we want to be able to continue to pay our employees and pay our bills; we also anticipate charitable needs to increase during this pandemic.

o Offertory Mailing Address: Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 611 N. Church St., Ste. 101, Hendersonville, NC 28792–3623.

• All functions and activities at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, and Immaculata Catholic School, are cancelled indefinitely. The Diocese will reevaluate the situation regularly, as this very fluid situation continues to develop.

• Lay Extraordinary Ministers shall not be taking Communion to the homebound, retirement/rest homes, or hospitals, until further notice.

• Until further notice, all non-liturgical functions at the Church, St. Joseph Center, and school are cancelled, including, for example, faith formation, youth groups, prayer groups, and choir practices. Please consider distance learning and conference calls for functions like RCIA, and various board/council meetings (e.g., St Gerard Board, Finance Council, etc., who meet in the SJC/meeting rooms).

• Any room reservations for groups, meetings, etc., are hereby cancelled; you are not to meet at the SJC, the Cenacle, or in the church or school, and will have to make other arrangements during this period. Consider meeting in homes, or alternative places, if you so choose; Base Communities must make their own decisions as to whether to continue to meet during this pandemic.

• The Church building will remain locked, and off limits to the public so that our maintenance staff can conduct sanitizing and cleaning activities, according to CDC guidelines. We hope to be able to open the Chapel, in some limited capacity, soon.

o IF YOU HAVE A KEY to the church, DO NOT ENTER without authorization from the Pastor, Fr. Cook.

o We are working hard to be able to re-open our Chapel, so please be patient.

• Beginning Friday, March 20th, the Parish office will be closed to the public to reduce human interaction, and to increase personal distancing.

o Office personnel have been offered the option of working from home, to create distancing, as instructed by the CDC, the State of North Carolina, and our Diocese.

o You may interact with Parish Office via telephone and email, if needed. Please be patient, as we try to continue to serve you in these unorthodox times.

Let us all join in prayer, as we entrust all things to God. We will make it through this, with the help of God, and by making well-informed decisions about our public interactions.

In Christ,
Rev. W. Christian Cook
Pastor, Immaculate Conception

Effective immediately, in compliance with the executive order issued by Gov. Roy Cooper on Saturday, 14 March 2020, Bishop Jugis is directing pastors of churches with a seating capacity of 100 or more to cancel all public Masses.
Therefore, all public Masses (weekend and weekday) at Immaculate Conception are cancelled until further notice.      


Mis hermanos y hermanas en Cristo:

Ciertamente, todos estamos preocupados por el Coronavirus (COVID-19), especialmente porque tenemos muchos feligreses que se encuentran en poblaciones consideradas en categorías de alto riesgo. Primero y ante todo, debemos recomendar este asunto a la oración; debemos pedirle a Dios Todopoderoso que evite esta pandemia de nosotros y que bendiga y proteja a todos los profesionales de la salud en la primera línea de lucha contra este virus. En segundo lugar, el obispo Jugis nos ha pedido que hagamos mayores esfuerzos para reducir el contacto de persona a persona y las grandes reuniones, en un esfuerzo por reducir la exposición al coronavirus (COVID-19).

Con ese fin, estoy tomando las siguientes acciones; tenga en cuenta que esperamos que estas acciones sean necesarias por un tiempo relativamente corto, así que no permita que lo abrumen:

• El obispo de Charlotte ha renunciado a la obligación de los fieles de asistir a la misa dominical (que naturalmente incluye la misa anticipada del sábado, conocida como la vigilia del sábado); por lo tanto, no está obligado a venir a misa, esté enfermo o no; tome la decisión prudente para usted y su familia, teniendo en cuenta que el Gobernador Cooper (NC) nos ha pedido que evitemos las reuniones, especialmente aquellas de más de 100 personas.

Todas las funciones y actividades, excepto la Santa Misa y las Confesiones, se cancelan hasta el 5 de abril de 2020. En ese momento, volveremos a evaluar la situación y es posible que necesitemos extender este período.

• Notará que todos los libros (missalettes, himnarios y similares) se han eliminado de la iglesia, al igual que las fuentes de Agua bendita.

• No se debe dar la mano, sostener la mano y cosas similares durante la misa; No se ofrecerá el Signo de la Paz.
• Los fieles pueden recibir la Sagrada Comunión durante la Misa de la siguiente manera: en la mano, en la lengua, o pueden abstenerse de participar en la comunión espiritual. La decisión sobre cómo recibir la Sagrada Comunión es la del comulgante, utilizando la razón y la piedad personal.

• Los Ministros Extraordinarios Laicos no llevarán la Comunión a los confines de su hogar, hogares de retiro / descanso u hospitales, hasta nuevo aviso. Por lo tanto, no llene un pyx con una hostia antes de la misa, como lo ha hecho normalmente. En el caso del peligro de muerte, donde existe la necesidad de comunión / viático y / o unción, la familia debe notificar a un sacerdote.

• Hasta el 5 de abril de 2020, y sujeto a extensión, todas las funciones no litúrgicas en la Iglesia, el Centro San José y la escuela se cancelan, incluyendo, por ejemplo, formación en la fe, grupos juveniles, grupos de oración, ministerios, actividades sociales, grupos de apoyo, retiros, grupos de estudio, reuniones grupales, RICA y prácticas de coro. Considere el aprendizaje a distancia y las llamadas en conferencia para funciones como RICA y varias reuniones de la junta / consejo (por ejemplo, la Junta de St Gerard, el Consejo de Finanzas, etc., que se reúnen en las salas de reunión de San José)

Todas los Via Crucis los viernes están cancelados (siéntase libre de rezar esta devoción por su cuenta); también se cancela adoración y las charlas del Padre Cook los martes por la noche; Ningún grupo puede reunirse para Adoración hasta nuevo aviso.
• Cualquier reserva de habitación para grupos, reuniones, etc., se cancela por la presente; no debe reunirse en el Centro de San José o en la iglesia o la escuela, y tendrá que hacer otros arreglos durante este período. Considere reunirse en hogares o lugares alternativos, si así lo desea; Las comunidades de base deben tomar sus propias decisiones sobre si continuarán reuniéndose durante esta pandemia.

• El edificio de la Iglesia se cerrará a las 3:00 pm todos los días (excepto los sábados y domingos, cuando la Iglesia se cerrará tan pronto como sea posible después de la Misa final del día), para que nuestro personal de mantenimiento pueda realizar actividades de desinfección y limpieza, de acuerdo con las pautas de los CDC, para preparar el espacio para el día siguiente.

• La oficina de la parroquia estará abierta, aunque puede ser necesario cerrar al público (aún podría interactuar con nuestra oficina por teléfono / correo electrónico / correo. En caso de que necesitemos cerrar nuestra oficina a los visitantes; a partir de ahora , nuestro personal planea estar trabajando).

• Finalmente, les pediría a los fieles de nuestra parroquia que continúen su administración del tesoro al continuar su apoyo financiero a nuestra parroquia durante estos tiempos difíciles. Alentamos a los feligreses que no puedan asistir a misa a que continúen con sus ofrendas ofensivas semanales a la parroquia por correo o donaciones electrónicas. Queremos seguir pagando a nuestros empleados y nuestras facturas, pero también anticipamos que las necesidades caritativas aumentarán durante esta pandemia.

Por favor sepa de mis oraciones, y las oraciones del p. Taylor, y diáconos Mark y Silfrido, para todos ustedes. Únase a nosotros en oración, ya que confiamos todas las cosas a Dios. Lo haremos a través de esto, con la ayuda de Dios, y tomando decisiones bien informadas sobre nuestras interacciones públicas.

En Cristo,
Rev. W. Christian Cook
Pastor, Inmaculada Concepción