Pastor's Letter 4/26
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Christ is risen! Χριστός ἀνέστη!
Truly, He is risen! Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!
Today we celebrate the Third Sunday of Easter. We continue to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ throughout the Easter season, until we get to Pentecost, which will fall on May 31 this year. Our celebration of the sending of the Holy Spirit will conclude the Easter season.
We continue to pray for an end to the spread of the corona virus (Covid-19) so we all can start again with our work, our education and being able to attend Mass and church activities. In the meantime, we will keep you up to date on our website with the live streaming schedule and any other developments.
Now for some good news during this pandemic:
We have successfully sold our property in the Stevensburg area. I would like to thank Robert and Nancy Kertscher, who donated 25 acres off of Stones Mill Road to our parish in 1989. We accepted an offer of $111,600, and after paying realtor and town fees, we received a net total of $99,840.49. We had considered other options, including subdividing the property for residential use, but the soil conditions were not conducive to sewer and water without an additional investment to properly “perk” or prepare the soil to handle that infrastructure. Though we originally intended the proceeds of the sale to offset some of the parking lot construction costs, it turns out that this sale will help us to weather the approximately 75% reduction in income that we have experienced due to the decreased offertory because public Masses have been canceled during the pandemic.
One parishioner asked me recently how they could continue to support the parish during this time as we still have all of our payroll expenses. Of course, someone can always stop by the rectory office Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM, or mail in a contribution. And for those who find it easier to give electronically, they can give through FaithDirect. You can find a link to FaithDirect when you scroll down on our webpage. (www.pbcconline.com)
We have a telephone tree to communicate with our parish community to hear how people are getting along during this pandemic. We could use some more volunteers who would be able to call several names per week. Contact the rectory office if you are willing to help. Thank you, Kelly Bennett for overseeing this ministry.
We have started an emergency food pantry ministry, St Joseph’s Table, whose mission it is to provide food for families in our parish who need emergency help. We are hoping for volunteers to help a few hours a week to organize and distribute nonperishable food. Contact the rectory office with your interest and to get more details. Just in time for the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker (May 1), St. Joseph’s Table will open at the Old Rectory this Saturday from 10 AM - 12 PM for families to come by for emergency pantry items. We hope to continue to offer this service on Saturdays for as long as it will be needed.
Also for the feast of Saint Joseph, on May 1, there will be a small contingent of people celebrating a consecration to St. Joseph. They have been preparing for the consecration for 33 days. If you are interested in this devotion, please contact the office for more information.
This year I think our annual May crowning takes on very special significance, given that we are going through the Covid-19 pandemic. Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May in the U.S., and in many countries in Latin America it is celebrated on May 10. This year these two celebrations coincide. As pastor, I would like to renew our consecration as a parish to our heavenly mother, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and entrust all of Culpeper County (the boundaries of our parish) to her. I will read the consecration at the end of Mass, and then we will have someone place a crown of flowers on Mary’s statue. I would encourage you to read the words of the consecration along with me; they can be found on our website and can be printed out as a PDF file. Then at 2 PM you will all be invited to come to our parish parking lot and present flowers to Our Lady. (Her statue will be brought outside.) There will be representatives ready to receive your flowers so you will not have to get out of your car. As we did on Easter Sunday, please turn on to Edmondson St from Main St and then turn LEFT in to the second entrance (the back parking lot) and exit RIGHT only onto East St. You are also invited to bring a non-perishable food items for Saint Joseph’s Table (our parish emergency-food pantry).