Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Since the beginning of Lent until now
We have prepared our hearts by penance and charitable works.
Today we gather together to herald with the whole Church the beginning of the celebration of our Lord’s Paschal Mystery, that is to say, of his Passion and Resurrection.
For it was to accomplish this mystery that he entered his own city of Jerusalem.
Therefore, with all faith and devotion, let us commemorate the Lord’s entry into the city for our salvation, following in his footsteps, so that, being made by his grace partakers of the Cross, we may share also in his Resurrection and in his life.
These words are used at the very beginning of our Palm Sunday liturgy. This is really an invitation and a posturing for all to enter consciously and actively into this Holy Week. I find these words moving and compelling. Perhaps this strange year makes this Holy Week even more sublime and critical for embracing the truth of the Gospel and the Eucharist… the life of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I am praying for all our parishioners during this most holy time of the year and our lives. My prayer is for all to enter into the gift of the Eucharist and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass more fully. Perhaps this Holy Week will allow us all to, at least, open our minds and hearts a little more to the Paschal Mystery present before us at this time.
Also, at this time we are beginning to hear of some changes to restrictions to our celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Although we must maintain the distancing requirements, we may allow more seating in church. Some singing of the familiar Mass parts may also be allowed soon. We may even soon allow vaccinated adults to help serve at Mass. There are some other small allowances that may also change very soon. I will keep you posted on these changes as they develop. But overall, I am hopeful with what I am hearing.
As a reminder, I want to reiterate the temporary changes to the Mass schedule that are now in place. This will continue until Fr. Augustin returns in approximately six to seven weeks. Please be patient as I work through this period of being the only priest here at St Mary’s. I do hope this will help us all grow in charity and in understanding of the realities of a changing church. I also want to remind everyone that this dramatic shift in the number of priests should keep us mindful of our need to pray for vocations to the priesthood. I do believe God is calling young men to become His priests and they need our prayers.