A MESSAGE FROM FATHER PETER

From the Pastor’s Desk:

Hello to all parishioners and visitors to our website:

As you know Bishop Lucia has announced that all masses and prayer services at churches throughout the diocese are temporarily suspended due to the Covid 19 virus.  What a difficult but necessary decision for him to make such a short tine into his time as our chief shepherd!  However, we “get” it. There are a lot of unknown things on the horizon, but we have to follow the instructions from the medical community.

It does seem strange, that at a time we long to be together in expressing our faith, in seeking the strength of the sacraments, in just being together in prayer that we have to distance ourselves (physically) from such activities.

Think for a moment about the gospel story after the resurrection where the apostles are locked in the Upper Room— how Jesus was able to go through the barriers and show himself to them. No, I don’t expect the Lord to physically show up inside your home. However, I believe that a bit of time in this enforced solitude spent in reflection and prayer, will lead to a deeper connection with our God—and thus, with each other.

The life of St. Joseph’s parish will continue –albeit in very different ways. We will upload a weekend mass to the website every Saturday via our YouTube channel.  I encourage us to avail of that.  Whether we can gather with others at home, or on our own—this could be a way to connect with each other in prayer. I encourage people to set a time on the weekend to gather in their household to watch it.

The church will be open for private prayer. The times are still being determined. We are working on the logistics that involve assigning spaces to pray, and providing cleaning and disinfecting the area after each visitor.

The church bulletin will continue to be uploaded to the website.  It will be mailed out to the homebound and anyone who requests it. Hard copies will be available at the east entrance and the office lobby.

I am also hoping to upload occasionally a reflection (either in word or video) on the Lenten scriptures and how they connect with the changing world we find ourselves in.

While the public gatherings of people will not be happening at this time, I encourage us all to continue our support of the parish. Lights, heat, salaries, Food Pantry bills will continue to need paying.  Over 100 of you now use credit or debit cards for your church giving. Maybe this might be a time to consider that method of parish support. Some will mail in their donations. Also the website has a “donate” button. I hope to set up a drop box in the lobby of the rectory to receive contributions.

We have received a number of queries about events scheduled in the months ahead. At this time we are planning on adhering to the scheduled.  However, as things change we will relook at events. We are in a much different place than we were a month ago, and even a week ago.

I am not one who believes that God thrust this situation upon us, but I do believe God can teach us much at this time—if we continue to open our ears, eyes and hearts to the situations around us.

As in everything, ———-God’s grace is accompanying us all onward.

Let us trust in that grace—let us be channels of that grace to each other.

Peter

Please read the statement from Bishop Cunningham regarding the Pennsylvania Report

This will open up a PDF of the Bishop’s letter.

Please take some time to view the above video.  This is the Bishop Barron Q&A session regarding the Sexual Abuse Crisis that was quoted in last weeks bulletin.