Welcome News, God bless the People, Continue to be Careful.
Thank God that the number of cases of the virus has stabilized somewhat. With the rapid administration of the vaccine there is good news about the pandemic. Great that from next week we have congregations back in church (with pods of 50 in large churches). It has been a very long ‘Eucharistic Fast’ for many. Our hearts go out to the children who cannot yet make first Communion or Confirmation.
Let us all keep up our guard, heeding all public health guidance. Gather together your parish Covid 19 committee and stewards. Ready your churches, stock up on supplies. Take care, as the virus continues to be highly contagious and a major threat to health, especially to people in the vulnerable categories.
- Meanwhile let us encourage and invite individuals and families to plan their return to Sunday Mass. At every level in the church, may all encourage one another to return to worshipping in our communities and to continue to pray in our homes.
- The Sunday obligation will continue to be suspended for some time yet. As before, people can come to Mass on a weekday rather than a Sunday. Ask traditional daily Mass-goers to just attend one or two days, for the first few weeks. Some of the oldest among us may return to Mass because they are now fully vaccinated. Wonderful that they can be with us again, they are welcome!
- We will delay promoting the Sacrament of Reconciliation for some weeks yet.
- We are slowly and cautiously moving regarding baptisms, we move with great care confining attendance to the immediate family.
Let our first Masses be in thanksgiving, – for how we have coped over the 14 months, for the dedicated service of frontline workers, and for the great goodness of so many in our families and local communities. Let us ask God’s blessing and mercy on all who have died, on all who mourn, and on all whose lives have been seriously damaged, – be it health, loss of employment or financial ruin. Pray, too that we might continue to work together in true solidarity to rid ourselves of the virus and responding to the challenge of getting our lives and our society back on track, locally and world-wide.
May the pandemic have brought home to us that we are all part of one great human family on earth, in the care of God our heavenly Father. All praise to Him. On May 23rd we will celebrate Pentecost Sunday, the love of God present in our world through the Holy Spirit.
A final word, sincere thanks to all who have continued contributing to parish funds and to the priest dues, thus continuing to ensure the financial health of the parish. Ask the people to remember the financial need of local charities and voluntary community organizations as well.
Bishop Ray 4.05.2021