Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am encouraged by the patience and fortitude being shown by our people during this pandemic lockdown. Thank you for bearing with us as we try to minister the best we can in the midst of unprecedented obstacles.

My fellow priests and I have come up with various ways of administering the sacraments safely, but these plans need to be approved by Bishop Guglielmone as he has an overview not just of our parish, but the needs and capabilities of all parishes and parish clergy. We will let you know as soon as possible what plans have been approved and how best we can move forward as restrictions start to be relaxed.

Several of the parishioners have said to me, “You know Father, this lockdown period is hard for us. We long to return to the Eucharist, but on the other hand, it has been the most spiritually enriching Lent I have ever spent!” The shift in perspectives—seeing things from a new angle—can often help us to see ourselves, others and the Lord’s work as we have never seen them before. While we have faced new difficulties and uncertainties we are reminded of the more intense suffering and uncertainty so many of our brothers and sisters have faced down through history, and indeed in many parts of the world today.

I hope during this time you will remember them in your prayers and remember all those who do not have the consolation of faith or the support of a church. Many are lonely, afraid, worried and anxious at this time. Let’s remember to reach out to them with what assistance, friendship and faith we can offer.

This week Fr. Richard has provided a series of daily meditations on the theme of suffering. You can connect with them through the parish website and the parish Facebook page. Next week Deacon Mike will provide daily meditations and I will take my turn the week after that. I am also recording the apologetics course I taught in the parish last Autumn, and that audio podcast will be available soon on the website. This week Mr. Curtin provided an update on the activities of OLR school, and I have asked Pauline Bellavance to bring us up to date on the work of our St. Vincent de Paul Society next week.

 

During this Easter season, at daily Mass we read from the Acts of the Apostles, and I am always encouraged to see that St Luke wrote the ACTS of the Apostles—not the preaching, or the theology, or the philosophy, or the biography, or the rules and regulations, or even the spirituality and prayer life of the Apostles, but the ACTS of the Apostles. I remember an old gospel song in which the singer cried out, “Jesus rose from the dead and you can’t even get out of bed!” In other words, Jesus took the action in the power of God to descend into the realm of the dead and then rose again—bursting forth because death can never quench the source of life itself.

So as Easter people, let us take action and take responsibility. Let us continue in good works. As St. Paul wrote to the church at Galatia, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

Your Pastor

Fr. Longenecker