With the numbers of COVID-19 cases increasing especially with a relative surge locally, we would all benefit from having the mentality that the various good hygiene practices we’ve been observing over these several months have been to prepare us for now. Now is when we especially need to be attentive to keeping the air around us clean in response to this largely airborne virus.
We have been cleaning all of the surfaces in our churches several times a week, including a full cleaning before the Saturday and Sunday Masses at St. Benedict and a thoroughly each week at Sts. Peter and Paul and before and after other events there. We have masks available at each location and both disinfecting spray and hand sanitizer. Please continue to utilize these when you visit our churches.
Likewise, we ask all visitors to our parish offices to wear masks. And, as you can see elsewhere in this bulletin, our St. Vincent de Paul volunteers are not meeting with clients in the offices but are conducting almost all of their outreach services by phone and fax. We ask the Lord to strengthen our hope and peace for persevering to the end of this pandemic.
Thank you, again, for your prayers for our 2nd grade parishioners who are finally celebrating First Holy Communion this weekend! May their experience of extended patience in preparation for this milestone encourage all of us who have likewise had to persevere with a longing to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion, especially recently.
Over the history of the Church, there have been times when it was later in life and less frequently that the faithful would receive Communion, as you well know. Even a great saint like St. Therese of Lisieux grew in holiness very profoundly through less frequent yet reverent reception of Communion. So, may a better appreciation for how Jesus feeds our souls through the Eucharist be among the fruits of this extended time of dealing with the coronavirus as well.
And, to echo what I mentioned about the Bereavement Haven support group in last week’s letter: in light of scheduling the First Communion Mass for this Sunday afternoon, please note that our Bereavement Haven support group will meet next Sunday, July 19th at 2:30 p.m. in the St. Benedict Social Hall (which has sufficient space to maintain safe distances). This group has been meeting on the second Sunday afternoon of each month for several years and will plan to continue to do so. The group has recently been discussing a very effective book, Finding a Loving God in the Midst of Grief, reading and reflecting on a chapter-at-a-time. Sharing resources like these as well as simply enjoying the time of fellowship have helped this group to be impactful.
May the Lord keep us protected and healthy and, as always, well prepared for the gift of eternal life!