Pastor's Letter 5/31 (Pentecost)
Today we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, and the sending of the Holy Spirit by the Father and the Son. In some ways this is the second most important feast day in the Church after Easter, with Christmas coming third. Another way of looking at it would see the entire 50-day
Easter season as one big feast day, and Christmas would be number two. But no matter how you look at it, Pentecost is very important, and I’m not sure we always give it its due. It is the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Love) who gives us the “energy” (grace) to live out our Christian vocation. We often think of the Father as especially being the Creator, the Son as the Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit as the Sanctifier, the one who makes us holy, or most like God.
We have returned to our normal schedule of Masses. We only had about 25% of our building’s capacity in attendance at our Masses last week, about 75 to 100
people in one or other of our four Masses. There is certainly room for more people. We are keeping attendance to about 80 people in the main church, 30 in the balcony and 50 in the parish hall, or a total of 160 in our entire building. Pews are designated with a number for maximum occupancy, and the chairs are well spaced apart in the hall. Our physical distancing worked well, and almost everyone had a mask on. (We have even provided masks for those who don’t bring one with them.) We also had some hand sanitizer available.
You are encouraged to sign up online. You do not need to get a response. If we reach 160 people signed up, you will not be allowed to sign up. In other words, if you manage to sign up, you can come and do not need to wait for any further confirmation.
Between the Masses we will have volunteers sanitize the pews, and door handles. During the Mass, we ask you to wear a mask. 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.
We are forming committees for several feast day celebrations: the Corpus Christi procession on June 14, 12:30 PM and the celebration of our parish feast day, the Feast of the Precious Blood on Saturday evening, July 4, and Sunday, July 5. (We will see what we will be allowed to do once we see what the physical distancing norms will be by then.) Please contact the office if you want to be a part of these special events for our parish.
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. Please visit the website for scholarship applications and registration for Mass so we can prepare the liturgy for your recognition and blessings accordingly.
Looking forward, we will be celebrating The Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Corpus Christi) on June 14. We invite four families to sponsor and help set up one of the four outdoor altar tables on the edges of our property where I will be stopping to pray, hear the Word of God, and bless our parish (and county) with the Blessed Sacrament. Please call the office to reserve a station and go over the details. The procession will take place at 12:30 pm between the 11:30 AM and 2 PM Masses.
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 and 4 to 6 PM on Wednesdays. 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. I hope to have the dates when they will be re-scheduled this summer available next week.
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. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your interest.