As I write this, we have ended one week of closures of schools and more closures of non-life-sustaining businesses, a request to remain at home if at all possible, social distancing in public spaces, and no public celebration of Mass. At this moment, the week ahead looks like more restrictions or a longer time lapse will be needed to combat the coronavirus that has truly spread throughout the world at a rapid pace. It is a situation that changes not only daily, but sometimes hourly.
As you read this, it is the Fifth Sunday of Lent and just one week to Palm Sunday. This is certainly not the Lent we envisioned back on Ash Wednesday, at least I didn’t envision it. Our Lenten journey has taken quite a remarkable and unforeseen turn. But perhaps that is exactly how we should view these necessary restrictions we are undergoing. Lent can be experienced and lived in many different ways, and perhaps when something is imposed upon us ~ we should embrace it and “offer it up” as my
Mother always reminded me.
I have seen many couples and families out walking through the parish campus and in the surrounding neighborhood over the past week. The cancellation of so many planned events has freed up some time for other activities even as we find ourselves involved in totally new and different activities to compensate for the unavailability of going to our workplaces. Yours truly is getting a crash course on the in’s and out’s of social media and options on how we priests can continue to connect with all of you, our parish family. We miss you very much! We taped Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Lent and got it out over social media and email. Hope you got to see it. We don’t know what we can continue to do going forward but we will try to keep in touch.
Our staff began working remotely and so our staff meetings have gone virtual. I’m getting to like these virtual meetings, they have gone surprisingly well and have afforded us continued interaction as a team while developing new ideas of what we can and need to do at this time. Needless to say, our usual planning is taking a back seat to responding to the current reality we are in. I suggest that we all take the extra time we have for renewed prayer, fasting and penance. I am confidant that the good Lord, whose love, mercy and healing are everlasting will see us through this and help us to become even more deeply sons and daughters who share His goodness with one another.
A dear friend of mine sent me information on Saint Corona. Yes, there is a martyr from around the year 170 named Corona. It is a fascinating story and confluence of many divergent threads. Go to https://chargedwithstcharles.blog to check it out. Continue to remain safe and well. Know that we priests are praying for all of you and for all our world. Please pray for us as well.
God bless you, God love you, Monsignor McCulken