The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the Communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Hopefully that greeting is familiar to you. They are indeed comforting words that point to the extraordinary life with and in God we all are blessed with in the gift of faith. I hope it serves to remind you of our church community, St Mary’s, and the great deprivation we are all experiencing as a result of this world crisis. It still seems incomprehensible that we must go to such extraordinary lengths in order to keep everyone safe and reduce as much risk as possible from spreading this terrible virus. It is up to each of us take this responsibility of reducing risks of infection seriously. In fact, it is our moral obligation to act responsibly and protect one another from needless suffering. I pray that we will all take care of one another at this difficult time. So many from St Mary’s parish cared for me when I arrived and continue to do so that I have no doubt you are taking care of one another as best as you can.
This note today is not what I imagined to say for my first published note to St. Mary’s parish. Everything is so different today than a few weeks ago. Today when I think of all of you and the myriad of issues, concerns, stresses and unknowns,
I recall an image I came across that referred to the disciples caught in a boat during a great storm on the Sea of Galilee. You may remember the panic-stricken disciples awoke our Lord, Jesus Christ. As the chaos raged and the storm threatened the boat, our Lord reminded the disciples of His presence. He also spoke of their lack of faith during the storm. This is an important time for us to recall our own gift of faith. This is a time to remember that He is with us. This is a time to trust that this storm will not overcome us because we have our Lord with us in the boat. We will be fine despite this current chaos and storm. The Church is our boat and He, the Lord of all, is with us.
Despite the suspension of public Masses and gatherings, the Church continues to provide in many ways. Fr. Augustin and I continue to offer daily Mass and include your intentions at each Mass. The efficacious nature of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not restricted to time and space or location. You are part of our private Masses. Also, St Mary’s Church is open daily from 3pm-5pm. We are exposing the Blessed Sacrament each day for Adoration between 3-5pm. I encourage you to take advantage of the myriad of resources available on TV and online... TV Mass, spiritual reading, prayers, devotions, etc. Also, it is important to remember our need for offertory. We still have great needs for the physical and Human Resources that are ongoing and essential for return to more ordinary parish life. Please give either online or by dropping envelops off at parish center or in the drop box in the lower church hall.
This crisis has also made it clear how important it is to have everyone’s contact info and email address updated. We are working to get this straight... please help.
Also, if you know any seniors who may need help with errands or anything to reduce their exposure please help or let us know at the parish center. We have a growing list of volunteers who are willing to help.
Be assured of my prayers for every one of you who make up St Mary’s Parish.
May God Bless you,
Go in Peace, Glorifying the Lord by your lives.