It has been an amazing thing to see new faces appear in both parishes, even though the number of you who can attend Mass has been very small compared to normal. One of these new faces is a young man who is now discerning the priesthood. Another is a couple who just recently got married and have joined the parish. While others from parishes around the county have started to attend our parishes. This does not take into account the many people who attend online, from all over the country.
Now, this does not change the sadness of missing so many of you in the pews due to COVID-19 safety precautions. Yet, it is a reminder that the Lord is still bringing growth to our parishes, nonetheless. Despite most parish activities needing to be canceled, and without most of the community present to welcome visitors, new people are attending Mass. Not in vast numbers, but it is increasing. Why? Because their hearts were made for the Lord, and we desire to be close to him.
I believe it is the faithfulness of all of you who pray for our parish and support it in all the ways that you can. Whether it be financially, volunteering, and by your presence online and in person. I know for many of us, it can be difficult not doing what you used to do due to the dangers that exist. Your prayers are still bringing people to the doors of the church. While we do not know how much longer this will last, we do know that the Lord is calling so many more people to come and worship Him. Saint Augustine used to say that our hearts were made for the Lord and will not be satisfied until they are filled to the brim with his love. This happens in the reception of the sacraments, community life of this parish, and in our prayers. No pandemic can stop it.
Yes, parish life is quite different than before, but it has not ended. I pray for all of you every day, both those present at the church, and those remote. Please pray for me, the parish leaders, and volunteers that we may allow the Lord to use us. The way He wills despite the dangers. Please keep praying for our church families. May we continue to grow and show forth the love of the Lord to all people! Let us be on our way!
Your Brother and Father in Christ,