My Dear Parishioners,
Happy Easter! I extend the blessings of this most sacred season. It may be difficult to feel like celebrating in a time of pandemic, but for many of us, the pandemic draws us into the deepest mysteries of our faith. As those who believe that Jesus is Lord, for those who proclaim that God raised Jesus from the dead, we do not define ourselves by disaster; rather, we live in hope. We have been called a people of faith and a people of hope. This pandemic calls us to live both.
The early Christian community struggled to understand what being raised from the dead meant. In the New Testament stories of the encounters with the Risen Lord, there is an element of uncertainty and doubt. The Resurrection of Jesus is not something that can be proved; the Resurrection is a matter of faith.
Our faith is nourished by the celebration of the Eucharist. Unfortunately, we are not able to gather and share this meal together. I am allowed to celebrate it privately and as I look into an empty and darkened church, I want you to know that I miss you. Your physical presence is an integral part of this celebration and I look forward to the day when we can gather together again.
We define ourselves by Easter hope and this is the time when we celebrate new life in the Church through the Sacraments of Initiation. The celebration of the Easter Sacraments at the Easter Vigil is a source of real joy for the community of faith. They remind us that our faith is shared and passed on. Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist remind us that we belong to God and that God sustains, informs, inspires and feeds us as we journey through life. In case you are worried that Sacraments are cancelled this year, please be assured that they are simply delayed and will be rescheduled according to the directions we receive from the Archdiocese. Of course, this includes the sacraments celebrated by our young people throughout the Easter season. We will continue to be guided by the direction given by our health officials.
I realize that all of us have different ways of trying to calm ourselves while we deal with stress. For myself, I discovered TV Lourdes Direct on YouTube. It is merely a camera focused on the grotto at Lourdes. Of course, in the late afternoon, it is night in France and the image of the grotto, the candles and the sound of the water flowing allow me to meditate peacefully.
I watched Queen Elizabeth address the British people and the Commonwealth. As always, what she said was brief and to the point. She reminded us that this would be difficult, but better days will return, we will be with our families again, we will meet again.
I want to thank everyone who has called in to check on how Father Dave and I are doing. We appreciate your thoughtfulness and like many of you we are getting caught up on Netflix, when we tire of listening to the news. The films and series are a new source of homily material. (LOL).
Barrig is working remotely from home and she is regularly checking both phone messages and email. We will try our best to look after you in these challenging times.
(Father) Tom Moore
Almighty and eternal God, our refuge in every danger, to whom we turn in our distress; in faith we pray, look with compassion on the afflicted, grant eternal rest to the dead, comfort to mourners, healing to the sick, peace to the dying, strength to healthcare workers, wisdom to our leaders and the courage to reach out to all in love, so that together we give glory to your holy name. Amen
- from the Votive Mass in Time of Pandemic