October 18th – XXIX Sunday in Ordinary Time

My Dear Friends,

We know how anxious many of you are to return to the physical meetings of our ministries. Trust me, we are too because it gets very quiet around here after the 5:30 p.m. Mass has ended. Ministries are the lifeblood of the parish. They take what we have received at the Holy Eucharist and not only put our faith into action but go deeper into what it means to be a parishioner of the Church of the Little Flower.  

We are aware that a lot of you have been meeting over Zoom or on other online platforms since the pandemic started, and we commend you for your efforts in reaching out to all your ministry members during the last seven months. However, your priests want to facilitate a one-time in person meeting with all of you. Using the same guidelines we have set up for Mass, we want to meet with each ministry in our church on the day they are scheduled to meet. In the coming days, the parish office will be reaching out to all the ministry heads to schedule a time with Father Omar or myself so that we can host you in our church for a meeting. We can discuss whatever topic you want, answer questions you might have, and more importantly: pray together and be physically together.  

When we gather, it will be just like we gather for Mass with social distancing and with masks on. It has been difficult for so many to not gather once a week beyond Mass to participate in our ministries. We hope this will be the first step in returning to full ministerial life, but we must be conscious of the safety of all our parishioners, and obviously, wait for the Archbishop to give his approval for weekly in person meetings to resume. 

A reminder that we are still in the midst of October: the month of the rosary and Respect Life month. I encourage you to pray the rosary as a family, to join the Zoom meeting rosaries that are prayed every day by our different ministries (you can find the information on page 3), or to just pray it yourself more often (in the car on the way to work/school or on the way home is a great and peaceful practice). I was edified by the close to 200 people that joined us on October 7th for our outdoor, socially distant rosary on our rectory lawn. It was a testament of how much we long to be in community and long for the peace that comes from our Lord and from Mary through the rosary. We are currently being bombarded with so much negativity that we need the solace and the protection of our Blessed Mother who allows us in the rosary to see her Son through her eyes. If you long for peace: pray the rosary! 

Finally, at the beginning of the month we very quietly started leaving our church open for prayer all day with permission from the Archbishop. While we can’t open up the Perpetual Adoration Chapel just yet because of its intimate size, I encourage you to take advantage of our beautiful church being open (and quiet!) during the day as seek to find peace in our daily lives. Also take advantage of confessions on Saturday between 8:30am-10:00am that take place while we have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament followed by Benediction. With everything when it comes to the reopening of our parish, and also with our lives, we ask the Lord for patience. Things may not be moving as quickly as we would like, but they are moving at the Lord’s pace. His timing is always perfect. Take this time to go deeper into your faith and into your prayer life. Fill your hearts with all things Christ during this pandemic, so that when this veil is lifted from us, you are ready to share the Good News with others to the fullest! 

God bless you all,

Fr Manny Signature