Updates All Around
A sense of normalcy has been disrupted in 2020. That might be one of the biggest understatements ever. There is a great sense of anticipation about when things will return to normal. When will they get back to how they used to be? Many of us long for the familiarity of our routine. I’ve received this question on multiple occasions in regards to Holy Water, Mass schedule/location, youth formation and more. Unfortunately I don’t know the answer to these questions. It seems that cases are rising, which is making people hesitant (fortunately the death rate doesn’t seem to be climbing).
With most of society, we are socially distancing during Mass and asking everyone to wear a mask. Many of us look forward to a time when Sunday Mass will be at St. Lawrence and St. John. At this point, we will remain at the larger churches. We have so many people coming to Mass, which is a wonderful thing, that we can’t fit everyone in the Churches while social distancing.
Not having Sunday Mass at St. John and St. Lawrence has been painful for many parishioners. In speaking with Fr. Jedidiah about this, we are going to host evening Holy Hours on Sundays at St. John and St. Lawrence. These will begin on November 8th at St. Lawrence and will rotate every week between St. John and St. Lawrence. The Holy Hour will begin with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at 4:30pm. There will be time for silent prayer until Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours is prayed together. Someone in Pennsylvania donated 48 books to our parishes for Sunday Evening Prayer! Finally we will conclude with benediction and the hour will be completed by 5:30pm.
Please consider attending the Holy Hours to make Sunday a special day set aside for the Lord.
There are a couple other things to update everyone about. Immaculate Conception parishioners may have noticed that the Sacred Heart and St. Joseph statues were moved from the back of church into the sanctuary. This was on a whim between Masses a couple of weeks ago. I felt very strongly that the Lord was asking me to move them immediately. The move has been met with a lot of positive response from parishioners. It has me thinking and praying about other ways to make our Churches more beautiful for the glory of God.
Also at Immaculate Conception, the pastoral council will have met this week to discuss the stained glass windows. You may remember a video that was distributed in June detailing the issues and possible solutions for our stained glass windows. If you want to watch the video again, it is available on the Immaculate Conception page of our website.
In regards to making our Churches more beautiful, the work on the high altar, ambo, and main altar at St. Joseph began this week. The different pieces will be fabricated at their shop and assembled in the Church. Our contract says that the work will be completed in February. Some pieces may arrive sooner depending on the order that they are completed.
The statuary for that project also has begun. The engravings which will be at the base of the altar will be completed first and they are progressing nicely. Then the statues will be carved and painted. The statuary will be completed in March. Let’s pray that it is done by the Solemnity of St. Joseph on March 19th!
One final update about the Faith Center at St. Joseph. The parish has received a very generous stock gift to renovate the Faith Center. At this point we are working with an architect to discuss the needs of the building and of our parish. The architect presented preliminary drawings to the committee and is editing them based on our feedback.
As you can tell there is a lot happening in our parishes. It is a blessing and grace of God that He continues to work in our parishes. The Lord is very active in our parishes and sometimes it is tough to keep up with Him. He leads and we simply follow Him.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Sean Wilson