I am grateful that we made it through our second Easter with the challenges that have been placed before us. It has not been easy for many of us, yet we went from our first Easter with no one present to having a good number of people at our four-hour Sunday Communion and the three Easter Masses.
As we move forward, we are putting our plans into place about the upcoming future. With the vaccine helping to protect many people, health experts are expressing hope that late this summer people will be out and about. Even though plans may change, we are expecting to increase our Masses, ministries and outreach in September. So this means that we are asking our lay ministers to consider the possibility of being ready to minister by informing us, doing good training and making sure their Safe Environment Training is completed. In order to increase our ministries, we need our people ready to return when it is safe.
In the weeks ahead we will inform the parishioners of the next steps. It will be different for a while, but we will find our way through and reimagine how our community will continue its mission of serving the Lord.
Again we are looking at September, the time when many people return from vacations and rest, to restart fully our mission. I am hopeful we can get there, and our staff will continue to do what we can to keep moving forward. Your support has meant the world to us and it has been vital in keeping the spirit of many strong. I am very grateful to the many who have remained steady.
Peace in Christ,
The risen Christ breaks through all darkness and reminds us that through our baptism we share not only in his death, but also his resurrection.
More and more it seems that soon we will be able to regather safely as a community. Even though we experienced our second Easter differently than past Easter Sundays, we learn that Easter joy does not have to be hidden by our sadness and struggles during this pandemic.
This past year’s difficult journey might help us experience the journey to resurrection with a better appreciation of what endures. We were invited to journey with Jesus during the Lenten season. The sacrifices of all kinds that we made, the acts of love beyond our normal acts, the sufferings and hardships we experience in our lives, are all part of the journey towards resurrection. These sufferings teach us that nothing will ever separate us from the love of God, not even extreme suffering. The crucifix is still with us even as we know Easter is here. It is through Jesus’s wounds we are given new life. The suffering is not discounted or forgotten; rather, it reminds us to never lose hope in such challenging times.
Since last March, many of us have experienced very painful times of separation, loneliness, disagreements, fear, feeling lost and/or not in control of things in our lives. Whatever we have endured, it is all part of the path towards a full life with God. Suffering leads to resurrection. Suffering leads us to be more open to the grace, peace and mercy of God as we learn humility and openness to God working in our lives. We have all made it through to this Easter Sunday. We take these next seven weeks that are called the Easter season to enter into the mystery of the Easter joy. The joy is that God gives us life, that God’s guiding hand was always there during our most difficult time. And he will continue to be there with us on this journey until the day we see him face to face.
May this Easter heal our wounds and bring us a peace that only God can give us.
Peace in Christ,