Pastor's Letter 5/3
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Christ is risen! Χριστός ἀνέστη!
Truly, He is risen! Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!
Today we celebrate the Fourth 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 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. 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 ended up being able to start up our parish food pantry, “St. Joseph’s Table”, on Saturday, April 25. Special thanks to the administrative leaders: Kelly Wilton, Kelly Bennett and Carol Little, who organized and prepped the donations and volunteers. Even with short notice, Deacon Ramon Tirado, Debbie Quetsch and Kelly Bennett were able to provide needed groceries to seven families. We are sure that the word will spread in the future, and that there will be more need for this important ministry as time goes on. The pantry is being hosted 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.
This year I think our annual May crowning takes on very special significance, given that we are going through the Covid-19 pandemic. As pastor, I would like to renew our consecration as a parish to our heavenly mother, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10, 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. The staff has asked that we have our presentation of flowers to Our Lady the day before, at 5 PM on Saturday evening; everyone is invited to come to our parish parking lot and present flowers to Our Lady at that time. (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). We will then move the flowers indoors for the Masses the next day for the May crowning.
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.
There are rumors that some of the current restrictions due to the pandemic might be loosened on May 9; who knows. But please consult our parish website in case of changes. If we are allowed to start having public Masses again, we will return to our previous schedule. Depending on what is allowed, we might have to have a sign-up process online or through the parish office if we are iniƟally limited to 50 people or so.
Finally, we have reached 102% of our Bishops Lenten Appeal goal! Thank you to everyone who generously contributed to this year’s appeal under such difficult and uncertain circumstances. Rest assured that the Diocese is distributing those funds to the many ministries it supports.