Crisis Update No. 14

“When will public Masses resume?”: Bishop Stika has decreed that public Masses will resume the weekend of Pentecost Sunday, May 30-31, but with heavily modified procedures for congregants and clergy.  Among other requirements, everyone will need to bring their own face mask.  The parish Divine Worship Committee of the Pastoral Council will meet on May 20th to discuss implementation of all the bishop’s directives.

Mother’s Day 2020: We will publish a special Mother’s Day tribute here on May 10th.  Please send Father Shelton a tribute message for your mother, living or deceased, by noon on Friday, with “Mother’s Day Tribute” in the subject line.

Recognition of Graduates: We will recognize and pray for our graduates at the 8 am Mass on Sunday, May 17th. Submit names of your children or grandchildren who are graduating from either high school or college to our Director of Youth Ministry Omar Carmona by noon on Friday, May 15th.  We will also publish congratulatory messages here on that same day, so, if you have a graduating child or grandchild, please your congratulations message for him or her to Father Shelton by noon on Wednesday, May 13th, with “Graduation Message” in the subject line.

Face Mask Sewing Group:  Last week, 50 masks went to the Alzheimer Foundation of East Tennessee, 100 masks went to the Navajo Nation, and 100 masks went to Dr. Bunick’s Mexico Medical Mission.  We took in an additional 156 masks last week that puts us well over 2,500.  Karen Vacaliuc made mask for lip readers with clear vinyl face covers.  We are going to hold onto a few masks for parishioners who may not have one when public Masses resume.

White Elephant Thrift Store: Our thrift store will reopen on Tuesday, May 19th from 12 noon to 7 pm.  Only ten customers at a time will be allowed in the store, and must bring their own safety masks to wear at all times while inside the store.  Tentative plans are for the store to be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 noon to 7 pm, and on Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm, for the duration of the summer.

Society of Saint Vincent de Paul: “Shout out to our front office staff and to the Saint Mary’s Hands of Christ Crisis Team: After trying to reach several other Catholic churches in our area, H called our assistance helpline for her grandson, J.  H lives in Florida while J lives in Anderson County, and both have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus.  When H called, J was completely out of food, and H could not help her beloved grandson because of her own financial limitations.  Referred to St. Joseph Food Pantry, J was choked up with relief and gratitude upon receiving the food distribution he desperately needed.   Both he and his grandmother were so thankful for our assistance; in fact, H called Mary Gubanc the next day to express her appreciation for the generosity and kindness shown to her grandson. Please note that St. Joseph Food Pantry remains open with modified procedures on Wednesdays from 10-11:45 am.  Please call the assistance helpline if you are unable to come to the pantry so that food can be delivered to you.”  –Saint Mary’s Conference of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul

Parish Grounds Spring Cleaning: We still need volunteers for the annual spring grounds cleaning.  This year instead of our regular cleanup day we put together a list of areas that need attention. We are asking volunteers to help with these areas. We ask that everyone practice SOCIAL DISTANCING. If you can help it would be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions call Lawrence O’Rourke 294-5602.

Pastor’s Easter Challenge: The number of parishioners accepting Father Shelton’s Easter Challenge keeps growing!  He is receiving regular updates from the follow households: Benning, Schmidt, Suggs, Tondo, Platfoot, Gionelli, Colburn, Walsh, Blaha, Pichler, Pearson and Mitchell.  Keep up the momentum!  It’s fun to be Catholic!  And it’s healthy to be Catholic!  Our life expectancy is eternal!

Parish Office: The parish office staff have remained hard at work and available to parishioners throughout the lock-down, keeping the usual office hours to answer phone calls, although the lobby is closed.  The staff will meet on May 20th to discuss the best time and manner to reopen the lobby.

Pentecost Novena: The Blessed Mother and the Holy Apostles prayed the very first Christian novena during the nine days between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday.  They prayed for the coming of the Holy Spirit, and we join them each year.  The Pentecost Novena begins on Friday, May 22nd.

Come, Creator Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator come,
From your bright heavenly throne!
Come, take possession of our souls,
And make them all your own.
You who are called the Paraclete,
Best gift of God above,
The living spring, the living fire,
Sweet unction, and true love!
You who are sevenfold in your grace,
Finger of God’s right hand,
His promise, teaching little ones
To speak and understand!
O guide our minds with your blessed light,
With love our hearts inflame,
And with your strength which never decays
Confirm our mortal frame.
Far from us drive our hellish foe
True peace unto us bring,
And through all perils guide us safe
Beneath your sacred wing.
Through you may we the Father know,
Through you the eternal Son
And you the Spirit of them both
Thrice-blessed three in one.
All glory to the Father be,
And to the risen Son;
The same to you, O Paraclete,
While endless ages run. Amen.