Holy Week

04-03-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary's,

During the Virtual Retreat offered by Cardinal Seán, he spoke of the inspiring hymn "All I ask of you is forever to remember me as loving you."

This hymn, which we often sing with passion, will have great meaning if we launch our new-style Holy Week 2020 with remembering how the Lord Jesus has loved us. In the good times, in the bad times, in the lost times, in the scary times, and actually in all times the Lord has always loved us and surrounded us with his grace. This week as we are able to watch on the Catholic Channel on our cable system or via the website catholictv.org, we will be celebrating in faith how the Lord has loved us. We remember and celebrate that he has lived, died, and risen from the dead for each and every one of us.

We start our week with the Celebration on Palm Sunday on a journey with Jesus to Jerusalem. We know the whole story, unlike the followers in the gospel passages. We know that this will involve his brutal death, but we also know it will end with his rising from the dead. For many this year, our hearts or beings may yearn to be present in our holy church and sanctuary to celebrate these moments in sacred ritual because we believe that Christ is risen. We hold and believe that the Lord Jesus has brought the true meaning of our lives to us. We are destined for more because of his Resurrection; we are destined for eternal life. As we move through this Holy Week in being part of the Services from our Cathedral, let our hearts and spirits be attuned to how the Lord is with us even in these most uncertain and difficult days.

I am most grateful to the many Parishioners who have been sending their financial support in by the mail or the rectory side door, and also through online giving, also accessible via our website. Folks are continually signing up for this. I know that we are all worried about our own home and families, so I deeply appreciate those of you who are also supporting the home of God and his family. Your thoughtfulness and generosity is greatly admired and appreciated.

Cardinal Seán has a suggestion for financial parish support for folks who might be able to help their own parish a little extra in these days. Please see the link in the Resources sidebar and below, if you would want to consider this extra beyond your regular Sunday support. Most importantly, our Saint Vincent de Paul has quietly continued its work for the frail, needy, and vulnerable. Members have been active in providing necessary food, supplies, and financial support. Thank you to all those who have been sending support as food and supplies inside the church side door or financial help via the mail so that they can continue their much needed work. In the Resources sidebar is a list that the St. Vincent's has provided of "Food Resources," which includes St. Vincent's, but is far more than just the St. Vincent's.

One of the treasured parts of our parish culture and legacy is our parish devotion to Saint Rocco. We now honor him each August with a special Mass of Anointing for the Sick and Infirm. At our new entrance, we have the "Saint Rocco in the Field" statue of him to remind us of his and our faith in the power of God. He cared for those ill during the plague and cured many of them. May his intercession be a support to all of us during these days.

"Saint Rocco, intercede for those who are ill or worn down by worry or fear. Saint Rocco, protect and help all those who now care for the ill and dying."

Because our Parish is dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God, we always make our prayer to our God through her. We are blessed that Mary, Mother of God, and our special patron of Saint Rocco are with us in these difficult days.