My Dear Parishioners,
On behalf of Msgr. Bolger, Fr. Connors, Msgr. McCoy, myself, and all those who minister and work here at St. Joseph parish I want to wish all of you and your loved ones a very Blessed Easter. This will no doubt be a very different Easter for all of us, because we are separated because of the coronavirus. For me, celebrating Easter Mass without a congregation and I’m sure for you, celebrating Easter without attending Mass and receiving the Eucharist, feels like Easter without Resurrection. But we know that Jesus is risen. We have faith that He is with us in this crisis and that He will see us through it. So I invite you to try to rejoice, even if you don’t feel like it.
It is important that we remember on as many levels available how much God loves us, and what He in His mercy has offered to us. That is why we offered the Blessed Palm last week. It was just a simple small thing, and some questioned why do it, but once we got the OK from the police chief, and worked out a plan to reasonably be able to give it out, we thought it was important to keep people somehow connected to their faith. Certainly a blessed object such as a palm branch is nowhere near as sacred or holy or important as being able to receive Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, but when prevented from that because of circumstances, it is important to renew ourselves in other ways. Also, some people unfortunately only come to Mass once or twice a year to get palm and ashes. At least those people on the fringe of our faith get an opportunity to stay connected, even in some small way, to God.
So in our own way and in a very new way, we rejoice that Jesus Christ is risen, and that we are also invited to participate in His resurrection through His Church and the Holy Spirit. Jesus remained faithful to God the Father, even when things were at their bleakest. He believed what God had promised, and God found a way. Today we rejoice because Jesus is the way that God found to bring us back from the death of our sins. We have hope because of Him. So we can truly rejoice that Jesus is alive and that He has forever changed our future. HAPPY EASTER!
On a personal note I am grateful to all those who helped with the video/audio presentations of Holy Week, including the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the Solemn Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion, and the Easter Vigil. This includes the ministers, videographers, internet specialists, and musicians. Special thanks also to those who continue to support St. Joseph with whatever donations you are able to make.
If you have not yet returned your Rice Bowls, the safest thing to do would be to write a check to St. Joseph, noting in the memo Rice Bowl, or Catholic Relief Services and mail it to the rectory, or drop it in the secure mail slot of the rectory front door. We will be forwarding those donations to Catholic Relief Services.
I wish to express my gratitude to you, the people of St. Joseph parish. I am most grateful for your prayers and support. I hope that you and your families experience the renewal of grace offered in Jesus’ saving sacrifice.
God Bless You,