Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As we find ourselves in an interesting chapter of human history due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), putting into effect all the government, healthcare organizations, and diocesan directives – all essential and prudent – we may find ourselves more and more isolated from one another. This, of course, is so contrary to what we strive for as Christians who regularly assemble at the Table of the Lord, are enriched through faith formation events, or enjoy good fellowship with a cup of coffee. The very essence of the Church community is to unite, gather, and celebrate with hearts joined in mind and spirit. The necessary precautions due to COVID-19 present serious challenge for a community eager to be together.
Yet, throughout history, members of the Church experienced separation for a number of reasons. In addition to other times of plague, members were isolated due to political persecutions, wars, natural catastrophes, and acts of violence – to name just a few. Sadly, parts of the world today continue to experience separation for these same reasons.
Frankly, we do not know where this pandemic is going to take us and we remain uncertain as to the daily impact it will have on society and, in our specific case, as a parish family.
Already it has dictated a change of plans for our annual St. Malachi Run and other activities will need to be curbed as directed by civic and ecclesial leadership.
However, I invite all of us to think about how we keep the spirit of solidarity and unity during these challenging weeks or even months ahead. Here are some ideas:
- Should conditions prevent us from gathering even for regularly scheduled events, including the Sunday Eucharist, perhaps we can still gather in our homes to proclaim the readings of the day and to pray together at common time. I would suggest that we hold to the time that we ordinarily gather for the Sunday Mass knowing that others are praying in unison. Sunday Mass readings may be found at: usccb.org/bible/readings.
- Another way for our parish life and mission is for us to continue to remember those already homebound or in nursing homes and hospitals. As we find ourselves living through these challenging days we have some increased perspective regarding how our brothers and sisters live daily with such restrictions.
- Always mindful of the Poor and others with particular needs in our community, let us be attentive to local leadership and others who may need to creatively find ways of serving and reaching out should current practices be altered.
Of course, additional information will be coming and we do need to plan for more challenges. But we can also bear joyful witness as a community of believers united in our faith, our prayer, and our continued concern for one another. Please stay tuned to our parish website and look for additional emails should there be updates or changes to our parish schedules and events.
Yours in Christ,