My dear friends,
It never ceases to amaze me how the simple things in life can bring us such joy. Last weekend, as I concluded the two Dominical Masses that I celebrated, I joyfully told the congregation “I finally have announcements to give you of upcoming events!” I was gleeful as I shared with my parish all the events we had last Sunday because they were signs of our parish slowly but surely coming back to life beyond the Eucharist where the life of the parish flows.
Last Sunday, the Knights of Columbus were overjoyed with the amount of people that participated in our Blood Drive. I was told that 33 people donated blood and 24 pints were collected. To see this outpouring of love, on Respect Life Sunday no less, was simply beautiful. I was the last one to donate on Sunday night, and the volunteer coordinator from One Blood could not stop heaping praise on our parish. Thank you all for taking the time to donate, and for those who were turned away because the bus was full, we’ll just try to get a second bus on site for our next Blood Drive which will hopefully take place sometime right before Christmas.
The second big event that day was the Chain for Life along U.S.1. Father Omar and I were a couple of minutes late because we were locking up the church after 12:30p Mass, but when we approached our assigned block, we were edified when we saw the amount of parishioners that had shown up to stand up for life! We counted 104 people from our parish who were holding up signs, quietly praying the rosary or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, singing songs of praise, and being authentic Christian witnesses to life for the world to see. We got plenty of support especially from Archbishop Wenski who drove by on his fabled Harley! We also got some opposition which is the beauty of living in a democracy. Our Respect Life Ministry organizers kept telling me that this is the biggest crowd that they have ever had from our parish. I pray we can have many more to stand up against abortion on the First Sunday of October next year!
I know so many of you miss your ministry gatherings and long to return to the parish during the week to continue the mission that Christ sends us forth to do at the end of Sunday Mass. We still need to be a bit more patient on this as we slowly we get back to that reality. Last Sunday was a shining example of Little Flower coming to life beyond the Sunday Eucharist.
Thankfully, we have what is the one necessary thing we do as a parish: the celebration of the Mass. As we wait to return to our ministries in person, I invite our ministries to come to the daily celebration of the Mass. Let us embrace this time as a season of opportunity, so that like Mary, the Sister of Lazarus, we can sit at the feet of the Master and discern what He is calling our ministries to do. The pandemic has forced us to focus more on the Eucharist and the sacrament which may actually be providential as we seek to imitate our Lord and embrace our call to holiness.
So let us keep gathering for the Eucharist, and since we haven’t had a Healing Mass since February, I invite you to a socially distant Healing Mass this Friday, October 16 at 8:00 p.m. with the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary. It is the Feast of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, and the 42nd anniversary of the election of St. John Paul II to the papacy. The Sisters will bring the relic of the blood of St. John Paul II and a relic of St. Margaret Mary for the veneration of the faithful. May we always gather around the altar of the Lord with His angels and saints to grow ever closer to what He wants us to be.