Pastor's Column, Sunday, July 26, 2020

Submitted by St. Mary on Fri, 07/24/2020 - 2:14pm

Dear Parishioners:

   What is the plan?  This is a question that I imagine people are asking on a continual basis, in these times.  Workplaces that had been shut down, now re-opened, needed to have a plan in order to do so.  At recent meetings of the parish staff and the parish pastoral council, we have discussed how we can move forward in planning, in the midst of many questions that remain around the current health issues.  School districts throughout the state and nation—schools throughout the world—are formulating or finalizing plans for the coming academic year. 

   Mrs. Laura Marvin and the excellent staff of Saint Mary School have worked super-diligently, to map out a path to reopening.  In fact, the plan and an accompanying message from the Principal is linked through our parish website.  It is worth a read.   Reviewing that document provides, I daresay, only a measure of comprehension of all that the staff and a designated committee have needed to read and process in order to formulate the finished product.  We can be sure that further refinement will be occurring up until the day students actually arrive.  Please keep all teachers in prayer in a special way in these days.

   The same question, “What is the plan,” can be asked on an existential and spiritual level as well.  We may be asking frequently, even in the context of our prayer, “God, what is your plan?”  “What is going to become of us in all of this?”  Not shortchanging the physiological dimension, yet what is the long-term impact on people’s mental and spiritual health?  As a faith community, I believe we have a profound responsibility to assist one another in preserving hope—cultivating hope like farmers cultivate their crops.

   I know that many, many among us are missing the hymn element of worship.  I hope it is obvious that Fr. Rich and I are among those who are longing for the return of congregational singing.  We are considering options for some “al fresco” singing.

   Finally this week, in the midst of everything else that is—or is not—happening in society and our world, we are in an election year.  I want strongly to encourage each and every one of us to pray and reflect on the core principles that ought to influence the candidates and our selection from among the candidates.  One very accessible resource for discussion and reflection is a “library” of video presentations sponsored by the Unites States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Among them are a series on core areas of Catholic teaching.  Here is the link:



                                                Fr. Stephen


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