Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Thank you to so many who have prayed for and reached out to those of our parish community with COVID, as well as those in cautious self-quarantine. My own quarantine draws to a close w/o incident, fortunately, but please join me in continuing to pray for those who suffer greatly from the coronavirus.
In this update:
- Masses this Weekend
- New liturgical book
- Advent planning
- Vaccine ethics
- McCarrick Report
Masses this Weekend
I will be released from quarantine in time to return to celebrate the parish Masses this weekend. Fortunately, to date, I have heard of no cases of anyone contracting COVID through participating in-person at Mass! Let’s keep up the safety protocols.
Also, I encourage you to please sign up online for Mass so we can best practice social distancing. [SIGN UP HERE]
It will certainly be a strange Thanksgiving this year! There is much over the last calendar year that still weighs heavily upon our minds and hearts, yet I daresay there is much to be grateful for! Please join me in intentionally setting aside time this coming week to truly dig deep for all the occasions and ways to give thanks… especially looking at the crosses in our lives. And if we’re grateful, let’s make sure we thank the Giver of all good gifts!
We’ll be celebrating a special 9am Mass on Thanksgiving. I hope you can take time to join me in thanking God that day! We’ll have a special signup for that Mass. [SIGN UP HERE]
New liturgical books
The new liturgical year, starting with Advent, is approaching! With that, we have new liturgical books. They will be available in the back of church. Please feel free to take one home for your use, one per household please. If you have one of the outgoing books, please recycle when the month has ended.
I’ve heard that Christmas music is already playing in stores. Before we get swept up in the ordinary business of Advent in unordinary times, I invite you to join me in planning ahead. How can we intentionally live Advent before Christmas? I know many families have their own customs. I wanted to invite you to join me in a few opportunities:
- “The Search”, by Chris Stephanick. A generous parishioner has purchased 250 copies of this book for our parish. We will have them available to take in the back of church starting this weekend. Again, please just one per household. If you don’t feel safe coming to church but would like a copy, please contact the parish office.
- “Joy”, a 26 day digital retreat, with daily short videos and reflections to meet your busy schedule. Sign up online if you want to join me: https://coaching.reallifecatholic.com/unshakeable-joy
- Catholic Charities Christmas at the Cathedral Concert – though the livestream of beautiful music with inspiring witnesses was on Nov. 13th, you can still watch it here: https://portal.gladitood.com/projects/catholic-charities-of-st-louis/christmas-at-the-cathedral (music starts at the 33:25 mark)
There is encouraging news in the media recently regarding developments of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. With any new medical development, it is good for Catholics to double check to make sure nothing unethical was done in the research, the manufacturing, or the delivery of the vaccine.
An excellent resource is the National Catholic Bioethics Center, which breaks down complicated ethical issues in an understandable manner. A short article on some ethical considerations of the vaccine can be found here: https://www.ncbcenter.org/making-sense-of-bioethics-cms/column-182-covid-19-vaccine-myths . There are many other excellent articles worth referencing on the website.
Lastly, you may have heard that recently an exhaustive, 400+ page report was released regarding Mr. Theodore McCarrick, former priest and cardinal. It is an attempt to be utterly transparent about how someone who committed such heinous evil could rise so high in the hierarchy of the church. There is no easy answer, as the report reveals a combination of lies, naivety, deception and threats. It is truly saddening and maddening to see such evil from one who is meant to reflect the light of Christ.
I invite you to join me in resisting the urge to say, “more of the same.” On one hand, we should be grateful for the significant but not yet complete strides we’ve made in improving our accountability and protections measures for the young and vulnerable.
On the other hand, please join me in working for healing in the Body of Christ, firstly with prayer, secondly by reaching out to those who have been hurt – to hear them, to apologize on behalf of our family the Church, and to pray with them asking Jesus’ healing. The wounds are still gaping, so we cannot grow weary or complacent in joining Jesus, the Divine Physician.
Thank you, again, to so many who have generous to take on various duties during this time of COVID challenges to our parish and staff. Jesus Christ summoned us together to form a community around Him, for we are not meant to traverse this life alone!
Know of my prayers and gratitude for you!
Gratefully in Christ,