Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,
In listening to Governor Baker we can all start to prepare ourselves for the “re-opening” of our previous lives. To be sure it is still a little distant, but it seems to be in sight. We are still called to remember and value “the common good” as we are getting poised to start again. Letting up now would be a great mistake. We need, as Saint Paul says, “stay the course and finish the race”.For most of us our faith has allowed us to meet each day and deal with whatever has been the difficulties or problems. Remembering the grace that faith gives to us to be strong and hopeful helps us to deal with Isolation, fear or worry. We are always blessed by the Lord and surrounded by his light and grace.
I know that somehow or other “going to church” will begin again. At this point I do not know how modified or changed for either a short or long term will be our church practices. Yet, we always need to remember that it is “about God and others, not myself” and we will somehow work it all out. So many, many of us have missed being at our beautiful Sunday Masses, whether the glorious 10:30, the peaceful 7:30 AM, the joyful 9 or Noon and also the more contemporary music Mass, the 5 PM. We all have journeyed to the ‘holy ground” to meet our God and offer Him our hearts and hopes and ask for his grace. Weekend Mass is indeed a “holy thing” and we have all missed it, but we will be gathering again to meet our God and pray to Him and receive the Lord Jesus in Communion.
We will probably be wearing masks in church (get your bandanna ready!) and sitting in clusters if we are a household or distant if we are not. Receiving Holy Communion will be a delicate task which has yet to be worked out. This should be about receiving the Lord Jesus in Holy Communion. It is not about belief or faith, but what is safest for everyone during the continuing decline of the pandemic is our first priority.
I have been humming “Remember how You loved us” the last two days as I think about what is in front of us. We will be able to gather to remember how much our God has loved us and sent His Son to redeem us and give us His Body in Communion and also send the Holy Spirit to empower and guide us. All during this time I have found my basic sense of faith, hope and love to be the guiding and sustaining forces in my life. The faith which my parents gave to me and shared with me by their example is what keeps me strong now. The influences of our culture from “reality TV’, all the Apps which we use, the multiple social platforms or the smugness of how we do or do not believe can mask what actually matters. Basic faith in God and the desire to do His will in all things will carry you through this time.
Our Saint Vincent’s appreciate the generosity of the many folks who help them. They are asking rhis week for “hygiene items for men and women: shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste and also laundry detergent”. They have also updated their “Resource Sheet” if you need assistance or know of someone who does. Thank you to those who contribute financially and those who bring items to inside the side wooden church door at top of the driveway. So many of you make a weekly financial donation to support the ongoing existence of our Parish whether by on-line giving (found at: stamaryfranklin.org) or by mailing or dropping envelopes in the Rectory side door. I personally appreciate your thoughtful generosity to our Parish.
This is the month of May which is dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. We invoke her special intercession and also ask Saint Rocco, our special Patron to protect all of us, especially those who are ill and those who care for them. There are many saints among us these days We only need to look out and see our first responders, our nurses, doctors and medical technicians and assistants, our retail food workers and so many more who quietly and faithfully care for all of us. God’s grace is all around us during this Pandemic. You need only to look with eyes of faith to see Him in others.