Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I saw an amusing picture on the internet the other day. It showed Doc, the inventor and Marty McFly the hero of the movie Back to the Future. They were next to the car which served as a time machine and “Doc” was saying to Marty, “Whatever you do, don’t set it to 2020!”

Now added to the pandemic and financial crisis we have experienced heart-rending scenes of brutality and violence in our communities. In the midst of the unrest we should all remember the simple truth of our faith. The solution and only solution is Repentance and the two great commandments” Love God and Love Your Neighbor.” Think how our world would change if even a fraction of the population truly lived out these three principles!

Bishop Guglielmone has issued some new guidelines as we move forward through the summer months. He has said Mass numbers may increase to 50% of a church building’s capacity, but the same social distancing guidelines must be observed and this is to be done at the discretion of the pastor. Our church is not large enough to increase the attendance and still maintain the social distancing that is required. Therefore, in discussion with Fr. Richard I have decided that, for the month of June, we will retain the same system we have had in place during the month of May.

Therefore, if you would like to attend a weekend Mass you need to sign up. Go HERE for a link to the Sign Up Genius site. So that we can process the attendance lists in time, we ask you to sign up by 5:00 pm on the Friday before the weekend you wish to attend. Please note that, as we move forward, more people are beginning to attend the weekend Masses. I am therefore asking you to attend a weekday Mass if you are able rather than the weekend Masses. This will help to spread the numbers out and make things more manageable.

Individual confessions and Eucharistic adoration resumed this week. Please read these guidelines to make sure you are attending safely. Sunday, June 14, is the Feast of Corpus Christi. On that afternoon a small group will participate in a Corpus Christi procession and service of Benediction and prayer. We will give you more information about this in next week’s update.

The parish and school offices are now opening up again with restrictions in place and reduced opening times. During the month of June, both offices will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. For the safety of everyone, we ask that as much as possible you conduct all church business remotely (calling or emailing for Mass intentions, questions, etc.). If you do need to visit the office please call in advance to let us know that you are coming, and be sure to observe all appropriate social distancing, hand sanitizing, etc.  A secure mailbox has been installed outside the office where you can deposit checks, Mass intention requests, mail, etc. without needing to enter the office itself.

Thank you for your patience and support during this difficult time. We are all learning new lessons through the trials we are facing, and I am sure your faith, like mine is being strengthened. Remember if you have any needs, or know of members of our community who are in need you should be in touch with Beth at the parish office and she will refer you to the member of our parish team who can help.

The bishop has also given cautious approval for the resumption of parish meetings. If you would like to re-start a home group, fellowship group or Bible study, please consult with Donna Craft (dcraft@charlestondiocese.org) who will advise you on proper distancing and sanitation guidelines.

This Sunday we celebrate the mystery of the Holy and Undivided Trinity. I think folks enjoyed my sharing a link to a hymn last week. Here is another one to help you think about this glorious truth of our faith: The words are the famous St. Patrick’s Breastplate and are reputed to be by St. Patrick himself. The choir and church are from Ireland. Go HERE to enjoy! Here is the full text of this wonderful, ancient hymn of praise.

1 I bind unto myself today

the strong name of the Trinity

by invocation of the same,

the Three in One and One in Three.

2 I bind this day to me forever,

by power of faith, Christ’s incarnation,

his baptism in the Jordan river,

his death on cross for my salvation,

his bursting from the spiced tomb,

his riding up the heavenly way,

his coming at the day of doom,

I bind unto myself today.

3 I bind unto myself today

the virtues of the starlit heaven,

the glorious sun’s life-giving ray,

the whiteness of the moon at even,

the flashing of the lightning free,

the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,

the stable earth, the deep salt sea

around the old eternal rocks.

4 I bind unto myself today

the power of God to hold and lead,

God’s eye to watch, God’s might to stay,

God’s ear to hearken to my need,

the wisdom of my God to teach,

God’s hand to guide, God’s shield to ward,

the word of God to give me speech,

God’s heavenly host to be my guard.

5 Christ be with me, Christ within me,

Christ behind me, Christ before me,

Christ beside me, Christ to win me,

Christ to comfort and restore me.

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,

Christ in hearts of all that love me,

Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

6 I bind unto myself the name,

the strong name of the Trinity

by invocation of the same,

the Three in One and One in Three,

of whom all nature has creation,

eternal Father, Spirit, Word.

Praise to the Lord of my salvation;

salvation is of Christ the Lord!

With prayers and best wishes in the Lord,

Fr. Longenecker