Catholic Charities Appeal continues. When mailing donation cards and checks to the parish office, please remember to include in the check memo our parish number “0507.” As of last week, our parish’s donated total is $17,095 or 50% of our goal; it ranks the very lowest donation level on the list of area parishes. Thank you for your support of this needed cause.
For the second week in a row, I walked several streets (on average, 1-3 miles each day) of the parish with the Risen Christ in the monstrance, mostly by the homes and streets requested by parishioners. Thanks to all who asked for Jesus to come and bless their home and street. I will keep on walking with Jesus on sunny days until people are allowed to assemble again at our church for Masses and liturgies. Please let me know if you want your house or street to be visited and blessed from a sidewalk.
I would like to share some initial observations from my street walking with Jesus. I met many different people who were either walking, riding bikes, walking dogs, or driving. Overall, the streets were fairly empty and hardly any children playing outside, even on a sunny day. I could recognize right away the minority of practicing Catholics, as they immediately knew the Risen Christ truly present in the Eucharist coming towards them. Some smiled, waved, others crossed themselves, and a few even cried and reverently knelt before their God. Most of those thanked me for bringing Jesus to their streets, praising God’s name. Others looked on with curious intensity. Still, others did not pay attention, pretended not to notice, or did not have the proper understanding. What was heartwarming to see, was some people inviting their street neighbors also to come out and be blessed. Some people even drove from other towns to meet and adore Jesus, kneeling on a sidewalk on the announced walking route. In a way, various responses remind me of a large Sunday Mass congregation with people on different faith levels. I hope that Jesus will touch many hearts and bring some Catholics and others back to the Sacraments.
Our parish applied for and received a special federally sponsored bank loan set up to help small business and non-profit organizations temporarily pay salaries of their laid-off employees, to prevent them from having to file for unemployment. We can do it for these remaining seven weeks only, and hopefully afterward, the churches will be open again to hold regular Sunday Masses with a congregation. This loan, if stipulations are met, should be forgiven, so businesses will not have to pay it back. It helps prevent bankruptcies and helps the economy survive this most challenging of times. All of our parish staff is employed again as of last week for the next seven weeks in their previously held positions and hours. However, due to the stay-at-home governor’s order for non-essential businesses and personnel, our parish office remains closed to the public until the ban is lifted. We daily monitor phone calls, emails, and mail. Any inquiries will be addressed soon, within a day or two. We appreciate your ongoing financial support of our parish to help pay the other essential operating expenses. Ours is a large campus with several large buildings requiring constant maintenance and upkeep.
This COVID-19 “fear-demic” will eventually fade away. Let us not be emotionally traumatized by the not clearly defined long-term fright. The only real fear we should have is the healthy fear or respect for God, our Lord, and the Risen Messiah, Jesus Christ. Boost the immune system daily, as it is the only sure defense against this and all the other dangerous microbes. People with robust immune systems do not seem to get very sick, if at all, with this virus, and that is a vast majority of people. It would be wise to limit watching the TV news, stay socially active and have strong emotional connections with at least a few people, as it is essential for a healthy immune system. Reach out to others in need. Pray daily. Continue to follow the social distancing, hand washing and other sanitary guidelines, and use face masks as preventative measures.
Happy and Healthy Easter Season!
“My Peace I give to you” (Jesus)