FROM THE PASTOR’S CORNER:
A word from Pope Francis ~ “There is no such thing as low-cost Christianity.”
Happy Father’s Day to all of our dads, grandpas, Godfathers, and all those who are like a father to us. We celebrate and thank you for all of the marvelous ways you reveal God’s love to us. We ask God’s blessing upon you today and particularly remember those of our fathers who have gone ahead of us in faith and now live with the Lord.
We also remember those who do not look forward to today’s celebration. For some of us, our fathers are no longer with us and there is still a hole in our hearts. Others have had hurtful or abusive relationships with their fathers. Still others among us struggle with the painful experience of infertility. Couples in these situations spend this day grieving in the shadows. Besides honoring our fathers this day, we prayerfully remember those who are grieving the absence of their father or the opportunity to be a father.
We are taking a major step forward on this first Sunday of Summer 2020. Following our first public Masses at 11:00am and 1:00pm last Sunday, we are launching our full weekend Mass schedule according to the “new normal.” Allowing additional time for check-ins and sanitizing after each Mass, we needed to adjust our “new normal” Mass schedule to 5:00pm Saturday, and 7:00am, 9:00am, 11:00am and 1:00pm (Spanish) Sundays. We are creatures of habit and that became very apparent to me last Sunday as I looked out at the beginning of the 11:00am Mass. Each week we usually sit in the same space at the same Mass. With our social distancing requirements, no one was sitting in their usual space – except for me and Deacon Terry!
Looking back over the past several weeks, I remember the multitude of emails that came from the Bishop and the meetings that we had with senior staff and other staff members trying to put together our plans for re-opening the parish to the full sacramental life of the church. As each of us as individuals listened to each other we were able to see things that we had not even thought of before. As many of us went home each night we found our minds racing as we reviewed each detail and anticipated all that could go wrong. Many sleepless nights were spent as we wanted to serve our parish as best as we could.
Someone last Sunday compared our initial two attended Masses as giving birth. To an extent, I found myself agreeing with that statement. I had the opportunity many years ago while I was a seminarian student chaplain at a hospital in Evansville, IN to be present in their birthing room for the birth of a child. It was an experience I will never forget. I’ve shared that experience numerous times at funerals. Looking back over the blood, sweat and tears that we put into making sure that our re-opening would be done as best as possible, we did give birth to a new beginning for our parish last weekend. And we take the next baby steps this weekend as we resume our full weekend schedule of Masses.
Thank you to all who helped make our homecoming possible. Tom Norton began by coordinating the live-streaming of our weekend Masses beginning way back on the Fifth Sunday of Lent. Dr. Anne Sinclair, our Director of Music, joined us in providing music and worship aids for both our English and Spanish live-streamed Masses. Sue Entwistle, our Liturgy Coordinator, arranged for different Lectors to be with us each Sunday and saw to the pre-Mass set-up each week. Dan Tobin participated in more ZOOM meetings than he would like to admit. He ordered and secured our needed supplies at the best price possible. He also coordinated the paper work we needed to submit to the diocese so that we could be certified to re-open for Sunday and soon daily Masses. Tom Norton also tackled the tedious task of mapping out the pews in the church, allowing for proper social distancing, and then transferring all of that info to our online reservation system. Many other things were done prior to our information meeting with our core committee and volunteers. Add all of these things together and we had a very positive homecoming experience last Sunday. Glitches were noted and hopefully addressed for this weekend. Thank you all!
Now that our observance of Lent and celebrations of the Easter season are concluded, and we have celebrated the major Solemnities of Trinity Sunday and the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, we now return to the cycle of Sundays in Ordinary Time – “the green Sundays.” We re-enter this season at the 12th week where we left Ordinary Time at the beginning of Lent. We will continue reading from Matthew’s Gospel, section by section, until we begin the season of Advent on November 29th. Ordinary Time reminds us that we are called to steady and regular growth as we celebrate the ordinary events of Jesus’ life. It is good to be back in this regular cycle of our Church Year.
Many other things are taking place in our parish. Please check the online weekly bulletin posted on our website, the emailed Flocknotes and other notices posted on our parish Facebook page. As always, I pray that God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy