July 26, 2020
The Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Eighth Sunday After Pentecost
During these months of the pandemic, it is natural for us to become discouraged. However, we must check ourselves from sadness and trust in the Good God and Our Blessed Mother. Our faith tells us that God Our Lord permits evil only to draw from it greater good. We must be firmly convinced of this truth in these difficult days.
May I express sincere gratitude to all of you, our dear parishioners, for your generosity to the Church. In these days of shutdowns and mitigated schedules it would seem likely that our parish offerings would go down. But that has not been the case. Thank you most sincerely and may God reward you for your goodness. As many know, each year at St. Paul’s we have two major fundraisers: the Golf Outing in the spring and the Gala/Casino Night in the autumn. Although they could not be held this year, we trust God will look down from heaven and see the little vineyard of our parish, which His right hand has planted.
Last week at St. Pauls’ was quite dramatic. On Wednesday evening the Church was hit by lightning. At this time, we believe the lightning entered through the phone lines. Our phones were knocked out and an electrical panel was, as they say, fried. Our Church A/C system was knocked out, as have been the beautiful carillon system, given to us in blessed memory of Thomas Meade. Even the irrigation system was damaged, and the back-parking lot was flooded. But if we see things in perspective, we realize it could have been worse. When we see the suffering, Our Lord endured for love of us, and see the last drop of His Most Precious Blood shed for us, we realize that our sufferings are usually much less. May the angels, whose statues we see adoring the Blessed Sacrament watch over and protect our Church.
During the time of the shutdown of the Churches, our parish Church was open each day from 9 to 5. Many of our own parishioners visited the Church daily, as they still do. Many would light candles or pray in the various chapels and shrines. Several priests came to pray in our Church during this time, and all remarked of the beauty of the renovation.
In many ways, we realize that things in our society will never be the same. But perhaps that is not so bad. We realize now what is the most important thing in life: that we live as so to go to Heaven.
SCHEDULE: We are pleased that it has been five weeks that our Church has been open for the Celebration of Mass. Bishop Barres has granted a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass so no one should feel obligated to attend. The Masses are offered at 5PM on Saturday, and 8.30 and 10.30 on Sunday morning. The Church is sanitized after each Mass. We are also blessed with an A/C and Heating system which has a sensor monitoring air quality. It automatically brings in air from the outside so that our air in the Church is healthy Confessions are 4.00 to 4.45PM on Saturday afternoon. Weekday Mass is celebrated in the Church at 9.00AM on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Please follow the state and diocesan directives when attending Mass regarding masks and social distancing. I have been so pleased to see that since the time that the weekday Mass has been changed from 8AM to 9AM so many more people are attending. There are more coming to weekday Mass now during the Covid-19 than ever came at 8AM even before the epidemic and quarantine. If one is compromised because of health issues or age, one should not attend Mass. For example, July 26th was an official air quality alert day. When things like this are the case, we should remain at home. Thanks to one of our parishioners, Mr. Alan Toth, the Mass from St. Paul’s maybe seen on our You Tube Channel. Please see the parish website for our parish bulletin. There will be no printed bulletins for the foreseeable future.
Please remember that in these extraordinary times, the Mass may be different from what we knew. This is the case in every aspect of life. Communion is distributed after the conclusion of Mass, as the Bishop has directed. We are aware that in other parishes the directives of the Bishop are not followed. That will never be the case at St. Paul’s. We do not have Holy Water out in the Church, but there is a canister filled with Holy Water which we may take home. There are no missalettes, but we may find the Mass texts at stpaulsmass.com (This site is prepared by Gary Ducoing, our director of liturgical music).There is no offertory procession (bringing up the gifts). For everyone’s safety we have not been scheduling altar servers, lectors, or Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.
CONFIRMATION: Confirmation had been scheduled to be administered by Bishop Andrzej on May 9th. However, all spring confirmations were cancelled. Our Confirmation class will be confirmed on Saturday, August 19th. The Bishop has asked the pastors of the parishes in the diocese to administer Confirmation to their own parishioners. Therefore, it will be grace to administer the sacrament to our children. Congratulations to them all. The confirmation candidates will attend
ST. ANN: Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Ann, the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is a wonderful intercessor and invoked throughout the world. Some of our parishioners have visited her great shrine in Quebec, Ste. Anne de Beauprais. She is also the patroness of the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania. May St. Ann extend to us al her grandmotherly assistance.
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda