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Dear Friends,

We continue to walk through this uncertainty, of course. But we do so with faith and hope in Jesus Christ, risen from the dead. Jesus who is our Lord and Messiah, Savior of the world.

Last weekend, we had a beautiful celebration for our Blessed Mother, crowning her statue in our Sanctuary on Mother’s Day at the end of Mass. Although a bit different from past years, it was touching. Perhaps you also caught Elizabeth Calabro’s video on our You Tube channel explaining how to make a crown of flowers for our Lady for your home. It is still May and you can still crown a statue of Mary in your homes. I encourage you to do so.

Before Covid-19, busyness was perhaps seen as a good sign, a sign of accomplishment, of getting things done. Since the quarantine, we no longer are able to be busy with all that occupied us before, even though many things occupy us now in different ways. Our participants in the Following Christ retreat last weekend, done virtually, acknowledged this change of life for all of us. They came to recognize that busyness can actually interfere with our relationship with God. Busyness can block out what God is trying to give to us, to tell us, to inspire within us here and now. Let us take advantage of this time, an imposed fast, an imposed slow down to learn what God is saying to us, how God wants to lead us, how we can experience His love first-hand and share it with our brothers and sisters in this moment.

We are all anxiously waiting to move from the red zone to the yellow zone and hopefully to the green zone. What all of that actually means in so far as what we can do, how we can gather, still remains a bit of a mystery. Some have called what we are currently experiencing the “new normal.” However, I believe this is the “temporary normal.” The new normal will be experienced sometime in the near future. Let us pray fervently to the dear Lord that a vaccine and a cure will be forthcoming as

quickly as possible.

We have received a number of innovative ideas for distribution of Holy Communion during this pandemic. We certainly are looking at all possibilities. However, our County Commissioners have noted that although parking lot services would be acceptable at this time, limited in number of course, no sign of peace, no distribution of Holy Communion would be appropriate due to the lack of social distancing. The danger goes both ways, especially since so many people who have the virus show no symptoms. It is dangerous to those receiving and dangerous to the minister distributing Communion. Let us continue to pray for an end of all of this as soon as possible. In the meantime, Spiritual Communions are effective and efficacious for our souls. Make one every day and even multiple times of the day!

We have organized a Task Force to help us plan for when we are permitted to gather together again. We want to be sure that we remain safe and well, doing that which will help protect our parish family as we worship in person again.

In the meantime, hold onto these words from Pope Francis’ homily on the occasion of an extraordinary blessing “to the city and the world” (Urbi et Orbi) in Rome on March 27. “The Lord awakens so as to reawaken and revive our Easter faith. We have an anchor: By His cross we have been saved. We have a rudder: By His cross we have been redeemed. We have a hope: By His cross we have been healed and embraced so that nothing and no one can separate us from His redeeming love.”

God bless you, God love you,

Monsignor McCulken

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