Fr. Stan’s Article
Our celebration of Jesus’ Ascension into heaven this Memorial Day weekend carries with it the comforting assurance that Jesus will always be with us. That’s very important to remember as we face the many farewells and losses in our lives. The human drama of parting plays itself out every day not only in the hubs of transportation but also in hospitals, nursing homes, funeral parlors and cemeteries. To see a loved one leave for a time or forever breaks our hearts.
Jesus before his death assured his followers that he would not leave them orphans but would send them an Advocate, the Holy Spirit. The Spirit would teach them and guide them in keeping Jesus’ commands. After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples, ate with them, and showed them that He was truly alive. His place was in heaven however, so He commissioned them to go out into the world and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching all people everything they had learned. With the command to go out to make disciples was the promise that Jesus would always be with His Church. As modern day disciples of Jesus (followers and learners), we have this same commission and the same promise. Our lives lived imitating Jesus will bring others to Him. He will always be at our side.
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day and the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on caring for creation. Jesus taught us to not only love one another but also to care for the least among us. The gifts of creation are meant to sustain all of us. We are stewards of these gifts and will have to account for our stewardship someday. Awareness of how exploitation of creation harms the poorest among us would be the start of effective change.
Next Sunday, Pentecost, we will resume the celebration of Mass in person in the main church at 11:00 AM. We will ease into our return since the danger of the COVID-19 virus has not passed and we need to follow certain procedures to insure the health and safety of participants, volunteers and staff. The live-stream Mass on Saturday’s at 4:00 PM will also continue. The obligation of Sunday Mass attendance has been suspended by Archbishop Vigneron until September 6th. The number of people who will be able to attend next weekend will be very limited due to protocols for social distancing and church sanitization. Parishioners will have to reserve a spot for Mass (either through web sign-up or by calling the parish office) and be directed both for seating and dismissal. Communion will probably be distributed in the pews. Your patience and cooperation will be very much appreciated. Please go to our parish website for the latest updates and protocols.
Easter peace and joy,
Fr. Stan Ulman