Pastor's Letter 5/17
Updated: May 23, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As I write this, we are planning for our first public Masses in two months to begin this Sunday, beginning with the 5 PM Vigil (Saturday evening) Mass.
What that means for Precious Blood is as follows: we will have a sign-up process, available on the website, for parishioners to “reserve seats” for the Mass they wish to attend. This information will be available for processing up until 12:00 PM on Saturday. The number of seats (one per person) will be for 150 people total, spaced appropriately in the Church downstairs, in the balcony, and in the parish hall. You can also call in your reservation to the office before 4 PM on Fridays.
Between the Masses we will have volunteers sanitize the pews, and door handles. During the Mass, we ask you to USE YOUR BEST JUDGEMENT AND TAKE YOUR OWN PRECAUTIONS as to whether or not to wear masks and gloves, or even if you wish to take the risk to attend. For those NOT READY TO ATTEND MASS, Bishop Burbidge is maintaining the dispensation from attending Sunday Mass. To assist you, we will continue to host live-streaming Masses at 11:30 AM in English and 2:00 PM in Spanish.
We pray that Phase 1 protocols go well enough so that we can continue to move forward to the next phase.
Today we celebrate the Sixth Sunday of Easter. Next week we will celebrate the Feast of the Ascension and in two 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.
The Pentecost Vigil on May 30, at 5 PM will be an echo of the Easter Vigil. With four readings from the Old Testament, and the celebration of some Baptisms and Confirmations and First Communions, it will last about 90 minutes. 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.
We are forming committees for several feast day celebrations: a potential Pentecost potluck outdoor parish picnic after the Vigil Pentecost Mass on May 30 and the Corpus Christi procession on June 14, 12:30 PM. Please contact the office if you want to be a part of these special events for our parish.
On Saturday, May 9, we had a procession of cars that came in and out of our parking lot to present flowers to Our Lady for the month of May. We estimate that we had over 75 families participate. The flowers were transported afterwards to the church and placed around the statue of Mary in our sanctuary. Thank you to all who helped make this possible.
Graduates will be recognized and blessed at the June 7 (Trinity Sunday) 11:30 AM and 2 PM Mass and if you’d like, you can wear your cap and gown.
We continue to pray for an end to the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) so we all will be able to start again with our work and our education. Please contact me if you feel overwhelmed, anxious, or physically affected by the current circumstances. God is our strength and our Divine healer.
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 nonperishable 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.
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 email@example.com for a link.
Vacation Bible Camp is coming in July. Under the direction of Kelly Bennett the children will be able to participate in: Totally Catholic: Rocky Railway! Through life’s ups and downs, Jesus' Power Pulls Us! See the bulletin for upcoming details and volunteering opportunities and contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your interest.