Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,
The Fall Season moves on in our lives as some important activities re-start with the COVID in place. Our Parish will again be supporting the Men’s and Women’s Faith Formation Programs this year via the media of ZOOM. I invite you to consider involving yourself in this wonderful spiritual enrichment program on one Saturday a month for one hour. Please refer to our parish website to learn more and gain access to the program. You can be part of it from your home this year! Our Religious Education Program for our Young People has also started with a parent friendly approach. The Program will work its way out for everyone. With a little patience and a dab of faith, the various parts of the program will work out fine.
Also, we have celebrated two of the four First Communion Masses. Folks have remarked how they have been beautiful and spiritual. They have also been live-streamed for family and friends. Shortly we will also celebrate a simplified Mass of Remembrance for our beloved deceased of our parish’s past Memorial Year. This will be on Saturday, Oct 31 at the 4 PM Mass. Announcements and Invitations are now in the mail to “the contact person” for the survivors of our beloved deceased. You will also be able to participate in this Mass in real time via our Live Stream found on our website. Our Saturday-Sunday Mass attendance is continuing to rise slowly and steadily. As people come to experience the safety and reverence of the Masses, they spread the word and others come. We are here, waiting to welcome you when you are ready to attend again.
You may find this a bit surprising to know that Fr. Jack and I along with the entire Staff have started to strategize and plan for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We will be consulting the Parish Council at its mid-November Meeting to help us refine our schedule. We do not expect the over eight thousand attendees as in previous years, but we know that some folks have their heart set on coming for a Christmas Eve or Day visit for Communion and a Prayer. Perhaps even a Christmas Carol or two! So, we are working out a general plan to then refine which will make it possible for many, many folks to come to church to the foot of the Christmas Crib, receive Communion for Christmas, say a prayer and be inspired by hearing our Choir sing a Christmas carol. At Thanksgiving weekend we will begin to announce the Plan for times etc., so folks can plan a special brief visit to the Christ Child in the Manger on Christmas Eve or Morning.
As with all new technologies and the complications they present to all of us, our Live-stream is going well, but has occasionally experienced a hiccup. Know that nothing is an easy fix when it comes to this technology. We often sit and wait our turn for a tech to come and fix “the code” or the “updated software” etc. 99 per cent of us, or even higher amount, are not able to solve the glitches and must learn patience and humility despite the frustration of the computer systems not working.
We must always remember we are blessed with so much. The inconveniences and difficulties that we are experiencing during these COVID times, are in fact small stones in our pathway of life. Our culture makes us lose perspective and think that everything does or should revolve around “me” and “my”. We lose sight of the common good of us all and also that many others carry burdens and sorrows which are profoundly great and difficult. The Feast of Thanksgiving is coming and it would be good for us to begin now recognizing the many, many gifts and blessings we have in our lives. The Franklin Interfaith Council will be sponsoring an Interfaith Thanksgiving Service via ZOOM/Webinar on the Sunday before Thanksgiving at 7 PM. I will have more details for you and also the link well before the Prayer Service. There will be no “in person” service.
Our Saint Vincent’s continues to respond to the many needs of folks in Town. We are blessed by their caring and humble service on behalf of all of us. As the COVID Pandemic continues to limit work and opportunity for people, the requests for help grow greater in volume and needed assistance. Your personal help really matters and I thank you for your assistance. Our Parish continues everyday striving to live the Mission of the Church and perform the holy work in the name of Jesus. Your faithful financial supports via online giving or by mail or drop in keeps our Parish afloat on these turbulent waters of today. Thank you for always caring for the well being of Saint Mary’s with thoughtful generosity.
Saint Rocco, our special Patron intercedes for us. Mary, the Mother of God to whom our Parish is dedicated, intercedes for us with her Son. How blessed we are to have two most powerful Intercessors to help us through all these days.