Once Again, I Am So Very Grateful
Many hands do make light work. Last Sunday, I counted 37 volunteers (there might have been more) who stayed or came back after the 12:30 Mass to help us take down the Christmas decorations. In the group there were several of our young soldiers who stayed after the 12:30 Mass or came back to help. I was so sad to see the decorations go, but time marches on. Annie and Carol were amazed at the number of people who came to help them. With all of the young muscle that volunteered we were able to put everything back up in the storage right away. Usually it takes our maintenance men an entire day to carry everything up to the attic. When the cleaning crew came in on Monday they were amazed at how clean the church was and one of the cleaning staff asked if we even had church this weekend because there were no smashed Cheerios on the floor! One of the most beautiful things about our parish is that, when asked, people are not afraid to step up and get the job done together.
I know that I have written about this, but it bears repeating because people are still concerned. Recently a woman called the office and left the following message: “Father, make sure that you tell your people that the Catholic Church does not approve of getting the Covid vaccine.” When I called her back I assured her that this was not the case and that as faithful Catholics we take our instruction on matters of faith from the Holy Father and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), not some website that claims to be Catholic. Both the Holy Father and the USCCB have advised Catholics that it is OK to take the vaccine. We have placed the links to their statements on our website so that you can read them yourselves. In these days of media confusion it is best to go straight to the source, rather than read what someone said about what someone said. Be at peace.
We have decided to increase the number of bulletins we print so that every family can have one. Because our parish life is still kind of on hold, there is not always a lot to print in the bulletin so we will continue to use just over half the space as a worship aid. On those pages of the bulletin we will print the Gloria, the readings, the Creed, and the Act of Spiritual Communion so that you may follow along. When Mass is over simply discard the bulletin in the trash or take it home. Please do not leave them laying all over the church and Commons Area. This is an experiment. If all goes well it will continue. If not, we will have to once again limit the number of bulletins printed.
This week, as I look out over the parking lot, it is obvious that something is different. There are very few cars and there are no little voices screaming, “Hi Fr. Robert!” In order to reduce the risk of community spread after Christmas and because our hospitals were almost at capacity, the decision was made for our school to go virtual and I believe it was the right decision and the most prudent decision. However, going virtual is no easy task. Our teachers do their best to communicate with their students online, but it is actually much more work for them. Many of our families band together and it is not uncommon for them to have students from more than one family spread all over the house doing virtual learning. Many of our grandmas and grandpas have been enlisted to supervise their grandchildren, making sure that they are on task. One grandma said, “I put her in my bedroom, he’s at the dining room table, and the little one is on the sun porch. I continuously make the rounds making sure they are paying attention. The older one helps me turn on the computers for the little one.” These days it takes a lot of goodwill to educate our children, but goodwill is something we have an abundant supply of here at St. Anne and St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School. Thank you one and all for the care and concern you have for our children.