Pastor's Letter 5/10
Today we celebrate the Fifth Sunday of Easter. In three more weeks, we will celebrate Pentecost, the sending of the Holy Spirit, which will conclude the Easter season. The Pentecost Novena starts, May 22nd, the Friday after the Ascension of The Lord through the Saturday Vigil of Pentecost, May 30th. The link on our website to pray the Novena (in imitation of the first novena in the Acts of the Apostles) is: https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/devotions/novena-to-the-holy-spirit-for-the-seven-gifts- 13434. Please continue to pray for our catechumens and candidates for Full Communion into the Church during this time of the Mystagogia, as they are led into a deeper understanding of the Sacraments.
Graduates of the Class of 2020, I know this has been quite an unexpected and disappointing time for you as ceremonies have been either postponed or cancelled altogether; and with the limitation of groups to 10 people, it has been a struggle not to be able to be with your friends and families to celebrate. However, your parish community does want to celebrate with you as best we can. We would like to offer a Mass on June 7 (Feast of the Holy Trinity) for you. With blessings from God and recognition for participation in ministries of music, altar serving, liturgy, and the youth group, we will thank you and lift you up in faith, hope, love, asking God to strengthen you. Each one of you has been a blessing in one way or another to our parish. Please check the website to register you name and information for our Mass intentions, scholarship information, and a special blessing
at your home or at the Church.
We continue to pray for an end to the spread of the corona virus (Covid-19) so we all will be able to start again with our work, our education and 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.
We are grateful to our parishioners who are able to continue to support the parish during this time as we still have all of our payroll expenses. If you wish, you 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) Our income at first had declined to 25% of what it had normally been. Thanks to your generosity, we are now up to about 40% of our usual income. Our parish food pantry, “St. Joseph’s Table”, continues at our Old Rectory and is open from 10 AM to 12 PM on Saturdays. If you would like to volunteer to help out, please contact the rectory. We also are receiving donations of non-perishable food or gift cards at the rectory office from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. St. Joseph’s Table helps ALL members of our parish, both English and Spanish speaking. As part of our works of Mercy we are all called to feed the hungry, clothe the poor and give drink to the thirsty. If you need any assistance, let us know.
The dates for our First Communions have had to be canceled due to the pandemic. As soon as we know with more certainly when we will be able to celebrate them, we will let you know, so families can make appropriate plans.
Finally, we have reached 104% of our Bishops Lenten Appeal goal! Thank you to everyone who generously contributed to this year’s appeal under such difficult and uncertain circumstances. The Diocese is distributing those funds to the many ministries we support.
A unique retreat is being offered online through Zoom.com. It is called an Unbound Retreat, based on the writings and approach of a man called Neal Lozano. It will be offered in English from Friday, May 22 to Sunday, May 24. I have a book called Unbound, written by Neal Lozano, available in the vestibule. (If we have run out, just check with the rectory office for a copy.) It can be helpful, though not necessary, to read the book ahead of time. The retreat will be led by Fr. Thomas Cavanaugh, a Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of the Angels parish in Woodbridge. This retreat is for anyone who feels hopeless in finding freedom from some evil inclination in their lives; anyone struggling with the same sin time after time - repeat patterns which may suggest a hidden root issue, predisposing a person to those sins; anyone frustrated with his or her spiritual growth; anyone who longs to help someone without hope; anyone bound by negative patterns of thinking; anyone who wishes to tap into the power of the Gospel; anyone who wants to learn more about the deliverance ministry. Participation will bring real freedom to people who are struggling in the spiritual life. You will have the opportunity to ask questions online. If enough people find this approach helpful, we can consider bringing it to our parish. If you are interested in attending, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a link.
Shalom, Fr. Kevin