A NOTE FROM FR. VINCE
Hello everybody! We are being paroled from solitary confinement and we’ll hope all is well. You may have seen that our weekend opening is a ways away, June 27-28. However, there will be a weekday evening mass at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays, the 17 & 24. Note the end of my column for more details on the need for volunteers.
I’m looking for a very technical phrase that sums up these weeks. I’ve settled on
‘IT’S A MESS’!
I’m hoping the signs over the interstate can come back to a funny phrase rather than ‘
keep 6 ft apart in public, and 6-car lengths on the road
’! It looks like our new normal is that this Covid crisis will try to ruin our summer and fall. And being that we can handle more than one crisis at a time, we have thousands of people in the streets. I know there is a myriad of opinions on protests and what they mean. It’s hard. Now with instant media, we can watch that 8-minute video that happened in public, and in the light of day. And in case we aren’t incensed by it, we can watch it over and over again. I’m 70, white, and grew up in rural America….if you’re young, black, and live in big cities, I can’t imagine what that tape says to you. I know it is complicated and we can have conflicting thoughts on where to go from here. But we do have to go somewhere. The Gospel that Jesus preached has movement and the feel of a journey. We can’t just stay and rest and say we have done enough. The Lord is always calling us to the next place on that journey. He entered a lot of territory that was both foreign and dangerous. The chosen people had terrible opinions toward outsiders, Samaritans, and people that weren’t like them. Jesus breaks those barriers, and challenges us to journey with him. For us, it may not be the most comfortable place, but we will be together. If we want that unity for ourselves, we have to be willing to listen to each other and how they view the world. In some ways, nothing has changed, but for people of faith, everything can change for the better. Sometimes its incremental; other times at light speed; still other times it can be instantaneous. Let’s hope for a faster speed for change and growth. God counts on us, individually, and as families and as fellow parishioners. Let’s not wait to see all the growth happening around us; we want to be in the front lines. That’s where Jesus can be found.
Regarding the procedures for opening, we do know that the number of volunteers needed is a huge number. We’re guessing about 20 people per mass. Volunteers in the parking lot and inside the church who are directing traffic, as well as a group who are having to clean the pews after each service. Every week we will need a volunteer to monitor the live-stream. And on and on! Especially you who are young people (younger than me), seniors and others who do most of the volunteering, can also be the people who don’t feel safe yet. We will be creating a way to volunteer and be trained with all the details to help in your part. I’m doing my part; I’m 71 on Sunday and I’m still going to celebrate all four masses in the early weeks. I hope you plan on helping.
Stay safe everybody!