July 14th, 2020 – Memorial Feast of Saint Kateri Tekaktwitha
Church closure update.
It is with great heaviness of heart that we heard of the reclosing of churches in the Archdiocese in response to the Governor’s instructions. CoVi19 is on the rise in the State again and we must respond sensibly to curb this predictable increase in infections. I have to say I was quite tearful yesterday evening taking this all in. Firstly, I want to thank all the parish volunteers who made the four weeks of reopening so well organized, responsible and safe. I want to support Bishop Robert’s remarks that there is no evidence that anywhere in the Archdiocese did our controlled and sensible opening up contribute towards this current upturn of infections. But we must do our part and respond so that this situation does not run ahead of us and become even more serious. Secondly, I want us all to thank support all our health care professionals who have been at the front line for over four months now. It has been very hard on them and their families. It is for them that pray for their safety every day at Masses here in the parish and ring our Carillon out in praise of them every day if we can.
I ask you to not let your frustrations and disappointment bubble over. We are all feeling impotent against this pandemic. I believe that the primary reason for this is that we are facing an invisible enemy that we; we don’t know what to attack; instead we have to be very defensive. A virus is the smallest viable bit of biological matter and its ill effects far outweigh its size. Our minds boggle that something so tiny can bring us too our knees at yet it does. But perhaps its most insidious effect is what it is doing to our society, and I’m not talking here about the obvious infringements upon us that social distancing etc imposes; rather it is the exacerbation the divisions in society. We are projecting our frustrations onto others. This is most obviously seen in the acrimonious party politics of the current day (I personally believe both Democrats and Republicans have lost touch with the honorable principals that are the heart of either party).
The virus has exposed some of the dreadful inequalities in society. It has highlighted a need for us all to make real progress in overcoming centuries old systemic prejudice, racism and economic inequality and inescapable poverty. We have to see and listen more and judge less. These exposed problems makes us take note that the American dream is for many unachievable if not a nightmare. As we fight not to be exposed to the virus on a physical level Covid19 is exposing us to many issues that have laid hidden or purposefully buried and we are vulnerable and lash out. A great quality of the American psyche is its “get up and go” and get to action. The problem we are facing however, is we don’t know quite what to do, social distancing does not seem like acting but rather being overly defensive, but we have this urge to act and what is happening is action ends up not being considered and becomes a lashing out. Which is never good or constructive. We must appreciate social distancing protocols and the reduction of opportunities to congregate as real action. These are not dynamic actions so they don’t seem active but they are essential if we are to reduce the infection rate and get back to some acceptable level of normality.
So what are we doing here at St Louis de Montfort?
Well in “Church Shutdown II”, we are continuing the Livestream program of all our Masses as before and the Morning and Evening prayer at 7 am and 5 pm respectively. We will also continue the expanded Angelus devotions at Midday followed by carillon support of our health workers.
The order of the Governor is about the cessation of indoor worship. The pastors and the parish team are considering open air worship options. We will hopefully get a fuller picture about this over the next 24 hours or so.
We will be having an open air Confirmation celebration this Friday. Our normal schedule of confessions will confessions will continue outside. Both Spanish and the English First Communion Celebrations will also hopefully go forward outside but that will be in small gatherings and a restricted way.
We are looking to see if we can celebrate drive in Masses in the parking lot at the weekend. This is a hope at this stage, it takes a lot of organizing if it is going to work safely.
Baptisms can be celebrated in the gathering area. We are also open to the possibility of funerals and weddings in the Gathering Area. All of these options seem obvious but they need a lot of organizing, set up and volunteers. So be prepare to help in needed. So we’ll keep you posted on the website and please pass on this information to any other parishioner that you know so the word gets out.
God bless all our leaders both civil and religious who have to carry the burden of response to this pandemic. May they be wise and calm and only focused on the good of the people they serve.
God bless you, keep safe, keep sane and keep calm.
May St Kateri, a great saint of this land protect us.
Fr Aidan-Peter Rossiter, CJ