We begin as a parish community our stewardship of treasure campaign. As I signed more than a thousand letters inviting you to be a part of this pledge campaign I prayed for you and your family in this era of Covid 19. It has been a difficult, confusing time. I couldn’t help but be gratified at how many of you give so generously to our parish community. I also invite those for whom we have no record for giving to either sign up for envelopes or Faith Direct which is an electronic fund transfer service. In giving of your income in a prepared proportionate and sacrificial way you are supporting some eighty parish ministries. Thank you for your genericity. May the Lord bless you in every way.
Here’s a sample of my fall reading list: All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny; Sontag by Benjamin Moser; the eleventh and twelfth books of The Wheel of Time series, Dead Souls by Nicolai Gogol; My Dog Tulip by J.R. Ackerley; Goldfinger by Ian Fleming; The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie; Whose Body? By Dorothy Sayers; Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens; As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, and Wayfarers in the Cosmos by Fr. George Coyne and Alessandro Omizzola.
With the fifth anniversary of the publication of Laudato Si, Pope Francis’ pastoral letter on ecology, we celebrate the Season of Creation. This is an opportunity for us to reflect on how we might as individuals and as a community mitigate the harmful effects of global warming on our environment. This Sunday is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi who in his beautiful Canticle of the Sun offered a paean to the glories of God’s creation. As a parish we are taking steps to recycle paper and aluminum products and cutting down on waste. We are also encouraging staff to telecommute part-time when possible (a side-benefit of COVID-19!). I have a hope that we might install some solar panels on one of our buildings as a signal that we are a green community. We are hoping to put together a Creation Care Team. If you are interested in joining please call Andrea Mendoza, our pastoral assistant for Social Outreach and Advocacy. Her office number can be found in our bulletin and on our website.
As we return indoors to celebrate Mass on October 3rd and 4th you will notice a few things are different. The main change is that we have installed kneelers to all the chairs. Archbishop Etienne has asked all parishioners to kneel during the period of communion as well as during the Eucharistic prayers. I believe that we are the only parish in the archdiocese that does not have kneelers. We will kneel after the Holy, holy, holy…until the Great Amen before the Lord’s Prayer. We will then kneel after the Lamb of God. During this time of COVID 19 we will stand together at our places until we receive communion and then we may either kneel or be seated. To kneel one may either kneel on the floor in front of one’s seat or come around behind one’s chair and use the kneelers. Thanks for your patience as we begin this practice in our church
I would like to thank all those who are involved in our faith formation programs, both students, teachers, and staff. I especially want to thank Joan Williamson, our pastoral assistant for faith formation, for the many hours that she has put in amidst the challenges of Covid-19. Her love of ministry is appealing. I especially enjoy the faith formation newsletter. I also thank Chelsea Wilde who is our pastoral assistant for youth ministry, grades 5-12. Her vibrant faith is contagious.
A big thank you to Amy Bonte who has served as our pastoral assistant for elementary faith formation for the past few years. Her creativity never fails to amaze me. Amy is stepping away from this position at this time. We wish her well in her future pursuits as a volunteer and consultant.
I am thankful to parishioner Therese McHenry for stepping into this position. Therese has been our parish librarian the past couple of years. She draws from many years of teaching experiences. May the Lord bless her in every way.