The social distancing that has been in effect for several weeks now is entering a new stage of disappointment. This weekend we would have celebrated First Holy Communions in our parish. In another week or so, Bishop Massa would have visited us to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation. School children looking to be reunited with their classmates must now wait until a new scholastic year begins. Graduations will be very different from previous years. It is going to be a sad way to end the pastoral and academic year. Those of us who have been spared infection with the coronavirus, however, can only be grateful to God. And we offer thanks for the miracle of digital communication that enables children to continue learning in a new mode and all of us to pray together in a novel way.
The end of the pastoral year will bring a major change to our parish. As you may have read in The Tablet, Father John O’Connor will take over as pastor on June 30th. I have met with him to discuss the parish and its future, and I am confident that you will find him to be a truly good shepherd who will quickly win your hearts. He has been emphatic that he would like me to be around the parish frequently despite my move. And for that consideration I am most grateful.
As for my own future, on June 30th I will enter the category of senior priest. While The Tablet described my future residence as “outside the Diocese of Brooklyn,” I will, in reality, not be very far away. Msgr. Thomas Harold and his staff at St. Ann’s Parish in Garden City have welcomed me into residence in their rectory. Next month I will gradually move my belongings to St. Anne’s to make room for Fr. O’Connor here. During the summer months, I hope to spend a good deal of time at my beloved Lake Pocotopaug, but I have assured both Msgr. Harold and Fr. O’Connor that I will happily return for Sunday Mass if there is a need in either parish.
Thank you for your positive feedback on Masses and devotions live-streamed from our church. This has been a new experience for all of us, but it seems to have been a powerful means of bonding to the best of our ability in this highly stressful time.
Thank you, too, for your on-going generosity to the parish. Your contributions delivered through the mail or by hand or electronically are enabling us to keep the parish going until we can resume our normal worship patterns. Be aware also that giving to the parish can be done electronically. Many parishioners are taking advantage of this new means of stewardship. Details can be found elsewhere on this web page.
May Mary, whose month we are observing, watch over us with her maternal care and keep us from all harm to body or soul.
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