From Father John
We had all gone astray like sheep, following his own way, but our Lord called us back – he is calling us back today. And thus before us is a time like no other in modern history, a time of looking within, a time of yearning for togetherness, a time of loss, a time of pain, and yet we have hope that even though we can’t be together at this time in our physical bodies, we are indeed the BODY of CHRIST.
For I say it again as I have said it before, we have all every one, taken the Church for granted we have reduced it to what we do, and what we experience, it has become all about us. But its true power is when it takes us beyond ourselves, the great sacrament of humility, the Church. The Church offers us the very touches of Jesus on this earth and yet we had failed to see it. We said we will go where we feel comfortable, where we are entertained, where I get what I want, and yet God was, and is, calling us to much more than this – a life in union with his. Jesus wants to take us by the hand and lead us down the road with him – he takes us during Holy Week where we would not always want to go, the road to Golgatha, the place of the skull.
So to live like him and to be with him in this most Holy season of the Year, Holy Week, the Triduum, the Passion, the Death and the Final Hope of us all, is the greatest gift we can receive.
He wants us to experience HIS DESOLATION, to live in HIS LONELINESS, to be granted a time where we too can cry out, O GOD O GOD WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME. I’ve always said we focus too much on the physical suffering of our Lord, the lashes, the thorns digging into the skin, the piecing of the nails, failing at times failed to know the piercing of the heart, the lashes of the loneliness, the thorns of wondering “what is this all for?” when there will be those who reject this love. These are the greatest torments of Our Lord Jesus Christ. A love unrequited, a love not returned for so great a love is his for us. We can experience our Lord’s DESOLATION in this time like no other.
What do we do in this time of separateness from the Church, we walk with our Lord on this path, we pray that one day we may be reunited, that things will return to normal, but that our prayer will be deeper and more heartfelt, our appreciation more, and our fear lessened. We can use the resources given to us, for example on the USCCB.org website there are many resources for praying at home these liturgies at the top of the page in the grey box. (For example in the third grey box, Spiritual Reading for Troubled Times, you will find that Magnificat, which is a publication has given the readings for the upcoming liturgies.)
We may have many resources, but it is better to do a few and do them well, that too much – simplicity in our prayer is what we are being called to.
And be assured of my prayers united with yours, while we cannot gather together in our normal group celebrations, I will be celebrating the mass and services of Holy Week with all of you in mind. The mass has an outreach, its sacrificial nature is effective even if we cannot be present. As your pastor it is my obligation to offer it for you. As the Body of Christ we come together, in the hope that one day we may embrace each other again in the full participation of the mass.
I wish each and every one of you, a Blessed Holy Week, with the Hope that Easter is on the Horizon; I hope to see each and every one of you again very soon. This will end as fast as it began, and it will all seem like it was just a dream. Looking back perhaps we will see we have become better persons for it.
Yours in Jesus Christ our Suffering Servant,
Friday, April 3, 2020: Printable Copy of Letter
Friday, March 20, 2020: Printable Copy of Letter
Addendum: Friday, March 27, 2020
*There will be upcoming developments to include next week for Holy Week and Easter.
*Stay tuned to the latest concerning First Communion which as of now does not look like it will be the same format and time as
before -- possibly considering a future date for First Communion in the fall if it cannot be celebrated the week following Easter.
*Finally, if you would still like to support the church monetarily at this time there is a Dropbox outside of St. Daniels center
wherein you can drive up and deposit. It will be checked daily.