Pastor's Column, Sunday, September 7, 2020

Submitted by St. Mary on Thu, 09/03/2020 - 10:14am

Dear Parishioners:

   Perhaps, along the way, we have encountered the riddle, “When is a door not a door?... when it’s ‘ajar’!” Well, here is a riddle that is really a reflection. When is a shrine not only a shrine? …when it is also used as a classroom. Let me explain. With the start of the school year, naturally enough some of our teachers are taking advantage of the fine weather to hold instruction out of doors. Last week, I had the pleasure of “sitting in” on part of Religion teacher Dr. Seifried’s class, which he held at our beautiful Fatima shrine. He would read a series of descriptive sentences about a person, and the students had to identify whether it was a saint already canonized or a “saint in the making” one of their classmates.

   You may have heard me say the following at weekend Mass, and it bears repeating. Usually, I think of the start of school as the end of summer. This year, it feels like the end of a long winter. It is so wonderful to have the presence and the sounds of the children back on the parish campus. We continue to pray for the wellbeing of all as we forge ahead with in person learning. We pray for all students and teachers in all of our area schools. Saint Corona, pray for us.

   Further involving the Fatima shrine: beginning this Sunday evening at 5:30 pm and continuing throughout the month of September at that hour, we will hold an outdoor service of the Word and Holy Communion, in the area surrounding this space. We will encourage those who have not yet been able to come inside church for in person Mass to consider joining us for this time of worship. We are committed to making the Eucharist accessible to more and more of our people, knowing that it brings grace and fortification to our souls.

   Labor Day falls as late as it possibly can this year, with September beginning on Tuesday. As announced last weekend, the parish office will be closed on Monday. This time of year also marks the resumption of 11 am Mass on Sunday, rather than 10 am. Please make it a safe and joyful holiday weekend. Here is a prayer for Labor Day, from Bread for the World:

Almighty God, Creator of the world, we give you thanks for the gift of stewardship and work. Deliver us, in our various occupations, from the service of self alone, that we may do our work in truth and beauty for the common good. God of justice, we pray for all workers, that they would receive fair compensation and treatment in their labor. For those who seek work, provide jobs -- both citizen and immigrant alike. For those who cannot work, provide sustenance. Make those who lead the industries and commerce of this country responsive to your perfect will. Build up in the leaders of our country a respect for all laborers. Deliver us, Lord Jesus, from the maligning evils of greed, sloth, and gluttony that we may lead lives of holiness in service to you and our neighbor. We ask all these things for our good and your glory. Amen.


                                                                                Fr. Stephen


For quick access to the entire bulletin for this weekend ONLINE, just click on the link below: