Dear Friends in Christ,
I thank Dave Duhamel for organizing our Lenten mission: “Conviction, Contrition, Conversion”. Sr. Scholastica, OP, will lead us in exploring how the intellect, emotions and will help us enter into Lent. See details and sign-up on our parish website.
The teaching staff in our school is now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and many of our teachers have already been vaccinated. I’m very grateful for our principal Sr. Marie Blanchette, OP, and for our vice-principal Kendell Doogan for their leadership throughout the pandemic. Also worthy of our gratitude is parishioner Elaine Bunick, MD, and her tireless work distributing vaccines at Munsey Pharmacy. Munsey Pharmacy has emerged as a heroic contributor to the fight against this SARS coronavirus disease, having taken the complex initiative to become a vaccination site. This pandemic has taught me that people are willing to work tirelessly to ensure the physical, mental and spiritual health of their families, friends, neighbors and strangers. I know God has had plenty of troubles with us, but I can also see why he thinks we’re worth saving!
The Parish Pastoral Council has several committees, one of which is the Divine Worship Committee. This committee, headed by Head Usher John Hough, plans and evaluates our liturgical rites here at Saint Mary’s. This committee now has a special subcommittee concerned exclusively with pandemic-related procedures in the church. The pandemic subcommittee is headed by JJ Wilder, and includes Lay Ministries Coordinator Cyndi Panter, Head Sacristan Mike Barnes, Head Usher John Hough, and several other critical parish leaders. This special subcommittee is presently making precautionary preparations for Holy Week and easter Sunday.
After consultation with the Parish Pastoral Council, whose members completed a “pastoral care evaluation form” I provided them last year, I’ve written to Bishop Stika about my thoughts on the future of the parish and on the kind of pastoral leadership I think would best serve you. My six-year term ends this summer, and so Bishop Stika will decide whether to renew my term or assign an exciting new pastor to lead the parish. Please keep him in your prayers as he makes his decision.
If you’d like Holy Water for your home, then leave water bottles in the church next to the baptismal font before noon on Sundays, and you can pick them up after 3 pm. You can also pick them up on Monday or Tuesday. Be sure your name or other identifier is on them.
Our Lenten journey together as a parish is our opportunity to take bold, brave steps to know each other better. So, for Lent 2021, I’m asking each and every member of our parish to make a commitment to open your copy of our parish directory each and every day of the penitential season, and randomly select one of your fellow parishioners to call. By the end of Lent, you will have gained or strengthened 40 friendships. 40 Days to 40 Friends! I’m praying for great fruitfulness from this penitential exercise.
The Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary is Friday, March 19th. I encourage you to make a visit to the side altar of Saint Joseph on that day, and there to pray for all the husbands in our parish.
Passover Triduum schedule (seating restrictions TBD): Maundy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper: 7 pm. Good Friday Celebration of the Lord’s Passion: 7 pm. Holy Night Easter Vigil: 8:30 pm.
Easter Sunday Mass schedule (!!!NOTE CHANGE FROM USUAL SUNDAY SCHEDULE!!! Seating restrictions TBD): 8 am, 9:30 am, 11 am, 2 pm (Spanish) and 6 pm. Usual Sunday schedule resumes on Divine Mercy Sunday.