As we now enter our third week of no “public” liturgies during this covid-19 pandemic, our hearts are rightfully saddened by the fact that we are not able to gather as a community to celebrate the beautiful and meaningful Holy Week and Easter Liturgies. We have been humbled by a little virus that is not even visible to the human eye. I wish to remind everyone, however, that even as we practice social distancing, Holy Week and Easter have NOT been cancelled. Although we may not be able to participate, in person, in the celebration of the Mysteries of our Redemption, we can still watch them on TV and make a spiritual communion in the hopes of once again being able to come to Church and receiving the Holy Eucharist for which our souls yearn (Psalm 42). I encourage you all to do so as our Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio presides over the sacred rites from the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Brooklyn. (Please see the schedule of liturgies on NET TV in the bulletin or on the diocesan website).
I have been in touch with some of our parishioners over the phone. I am particularly concerned about our seniors who are especially vulnerable at this time. Frequently I am asked when this will all end. Behind that question is a desire to return to the Holy Eucharist, to receive the bread of life, to drink of the cup of salvation. I am truly encouraged by such faith, and the most difficult part of this entire ordeal, for me, is not being able to share this sacred meal with my parishioners. Although I have been celebrating Mass daily in the St. Kateri Rectory Chapel, it is not the same. While I am not able to answer when this crisis will end, I do know that it will someday be possible for us all to gather around the table of the Lord and celebrate what God has done for us in His Son Jesus Christ.
So, my dear parishioners, I encourage you to continue to pray and to look forward to the day when we can once again come to Church, to be together as a people of faith, to celebrate the reason for our hope, to worship our God who loves us infinitely more than we can ever imagine. Be safe, stay healthy, do not take any unnecessary chances during this time of pandemic, but above all be glad that God has saved us. Yes, he has saved us, and that is after all what we truly celebrate during these Holy Days.
May God continue to bless each and every one of you. Let us pray for one another.
Rev. Frank Schwarz, Pastor
SPIRITUAL COMMUNION PRAYER
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in
the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things
and I desire to receive You in my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
Come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.