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Fr. Ron's Blog

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Dear Friends,

I can finally do something traditional. It would have been traditional to spend most of this column on "thanking" the various people involved in the preparation for and celebration of the "rites" of Easter. Last year, with the lockdown, or should I say the "lockout," that would have been a very small list. This year, with all the protocols, the list is even longer.

First, I want to thank all those who helped with the liturgical celebrations. These include the musicians, the choirs, adults, children and bell choir, even in the limited numbers which they had to abide by. Also the readers, the Eucharistic ministers and the servers. We have been blessed by those who are willing to come out for these ministries, even in the face of the uncertainty of "community spread." I'm especially grateful to the servers who offered without my even asking. Frankly it would not have dawned on me to ask for servers but as I look back on all the services I don't know how we could have celebrated without them.

There is a new category of ministries this year that we have not had before, at least to this extent, and that's the Ministers of Hospitality, the ushers. They staff the doors, checking registrations, helping people find seats while maintaining social distancing, helping direct the flow at communion time, while also ensuring social distancing. Without these ministers we would be hard pressed to follow the protocols of both the state and the Archdiocese. And we have to have multiple numbers at every mass to cover all those tasks and responsibilities. And for Easter Sunday we had to have them at 8 masses. I am so grateful to all those who stepped forward to help in these critical assignments. And I would like to add, the thanks go out to all those who, week after week, staff the doors and these ministries, sitting at the tables, welcoming congregants, helping seat them and directing them at communion time. We could not celebrate our 7 Masses every Sunday without your steadfastness and dedication.

I want to thank those who decorated the church for all the major celebrations, Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter. And to all those in the parish offices, the maintenance staff and the professional staff who pitched in to do a variety of tasks not usually part of their responsibilities. All were exceptionally generous with their time and talent in so many different ways.

It is a dangerous thing to thank individuals by name, but I venture into the danger zone. I am especially appreciative of the work done by Peter Sicko and Glen McCall. Week after week Glen organizes "the paper" that we need to check in people at the door, registration emails, phone lists, bulletins, worship aids, etc. etc. And week after week, Peter not only directs the music and plays, but puts together the worship aids and then gets it all up into whatever format is needed to put it up on the monitors.

There are so many others who deserve to be mentioned but I know I would leave someone out. I just want the whole parish to know that it seems to take twice as much work and effort to achieve any results these days because of all the protocols that need to be followed. I am grateful to every single person who has a hand in all of these efforts. Please know you are keeping alive the faith of this community until the day comes when we can break out, inviting everyone back and worshiping, praying and sharing our faith lives once again.

Until that day comes,
Be well, be safe and God bless,
Fr. Ron

 

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