Pastor's Letter for the April 11, 2021 Bulletin

Praise God that we can continue to enjoy Easter blessings. May you experience Our Lord’s life-changing mercy.

We are entering into another phase of Sacraments of Initiation during this Easter Season, including Confirmation next Sunday, April 18th and First Communion on Sunday, May 2nd.  congratulations to all who have participated in the Sacraments of Initiation. Please keep all of them and their sponsors in prayer.

I’m looking forward to next Saturday’s hiking trip.  We have had at least half a dozen people mention to me that they were interested in participating in this hike.  Since several of us are needing to begin with a trail that is manageable for a first hike, I’m planning to meet hikers at the parking lot for the Stone House Loop, which is Trail #10 on Salt Fork State Park maps, at 10:30 a.m.  If you would like to carpool or caravan, I will plan to leave from the Gomber Avenue parish parking lot at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday morning April 17th. See you at either place!

This afternoon (Friday) I participated in a Zoom meeting about the distribution of food to Haiti.  From the USA, 77 parishes participated to raise funds for more than a million pounds of food! It will be distributed from more than 26 sea containers to Haiti!

These will be 14 sea containers of rice from Guyana (718,242 pounds of rice) and 8 sea containers of beans from Brazil (304,000 pounds of beans). This more than one million pounds of food will be distributed in a staggered way over 3 months, April through June.  We are blessed that it looks like our twin parish in Caracol, St. Elisabeth Parish, is among those receiving the food distribution in April, through the northern dioceses of Cap-Haitien and Fort-Liberte. They mentioned in this Zoom meeting that PTPA & Food for the Poor are actually establishing a new warehouse in Caracol itself, so this will be a true on-going blessing for St. Elisabeth.

Imagine going to the grocery store and trying to load this amount of food.  Each parish will receive 100 bags of rice (99-lbs. bags) for a total of 9,900 pounds of rice and 38 bags of beans (110-lbs. bags) for a total of 4,180 pounds of beans, for a total of 14,080 pounds of food.  This was from $2,000 in donations from our parish that was then matched by a donor through Food for the Poor. This partnership with Food for the Poor was coordinated through a group called PTPA (Parish Twinning Program of the Americas).

Again, thank you for participating in all of the various collections we have had for this twin parish program.  We were just at the edge of having an evening of sacred music to connect even more when the COVID situation began.  The people of St. Elisabeth’s in Caracol produced a beautiful DVD of music from a Mass that was offered in January 2020 that we were planning to present that night.  We will be looking forward to having a better breakthrough now that the COVID situation is changing.  The food insecurity there is very profound, so this will be a very important part of our relationship.

May the Lord help us to experience the joy of the transforming power of God’s love and mercy for us.  Happy Easter!