Dear Fellow Parishioners,
Your active response and very positive feedback regarding our Holy Week and Easter celebrations have been very gratifying. In addition to Easter gifts to the parish, many of you included a note thanking our parish staff for all their hard work in making our church and rectory– and especially the altar– both reverent and inviting.
There is a virtually unlimited number of Masses available on TV or online, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic so changed our lives. However, the large number of parishioners watching the Mass here at St. Vincent’s is a sign that you don’t simply want Mass, you prefer it in our familiar and beautiful church. As a priest, I feel the same way. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
I am well aware that “going to Mass” via the internet is not an entirely satisfying experience, especially because for now you cannot receive Holy Communion.
The other side of that coin is that, as a priest, I also find something is missing when celebrating Mass in a completely empty church. No one is present, no one is responding. While I can speak only for myself, as long as this continues, there will be something important missing for the priest as well as the parishioners.
The coronavirus pandemic has reminded me how much energy I get from you on Sunday, and how much I miss seeing you. It’s easy to remember so many of you by where you sit, week after week, but it’s not the same as your being there.
Finally, the “shelter-in-place” directive gives us some sense of what it would be like to be completely homebound– not just for a few weeks, but indefinitely. It’s a good time to be grateful for our blessings, even the smaller ones, and to be mindful of those whose lives are far more difficult or isolated than our own. Above all, we would do well to hold fast to the last line of the Gospel of Matthew, when Jesus says: “And know that I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:20)
In Christ, our Lord,
Fr. Bill Donahue