I’m sure many of you have been struggling to find a blessing in what we’re dealing with in terms of the Coronavirus pandemic. I too have asked the same question — can we find light in the midst of darkness? Lord, help me to see it!
The past 48 hours have brought many phone calls from you, our parishioners. I’ve heard about the struggles of needing to be with family members and friends in nursing homes and hospitals to only realize preventative measures there provide obstacles for physical comfort and contact. I’ve heard your cries of experiencing the paralysis that comes from fear in a constantly changing environment, never really knowing what new announcement will come next or if what would happen if you or a love one were diagnosed with the virus. I’ve heard the shock of brides and grooms realizing their fairy-tale wedding would be replaced with the somber reality of nuptials exchanged in a climate of near quarantine. Yes, those realities do cast a shadow of darkness over us!
But there’s light there too! I’ve also heard about your hunger and yearning for the sacraments of the Church — a desire to return to the Eucharist as quickly as possible and to experience once again the blessings of community living. I’ve heard in these few short days that as the world slows down, you’ve heard and seen God in the small things like the sunsets or the chirping birds outside your window. I’ve heard about the excitement of never really knowing what St. Margaret has up her sleeve in terms of outreach and response.
That’s the light upon which I invite you to focus. Using the Bishop’s directives and the wisdom from our local, state and federal governments, we’re thinking about all the creative things that we can do to bring the Church to you!
But first things first. The Church is always a rock in the midst of the storms of our life, and the physical Church building is a manifestation of what Church means to us. To that end, St. Margaret Church will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00AM until 4:00PM daily so that you can experience some calm in the midst of this storm! Remember, we’re opening the building as a place for private and not communal prayer, and we ask that you observe an attitude of silence and reverence (and observe social distancing if you find someone else with you in the Church!)
Second, a beacon of light for sure, while you can’t physically join us for Mass, Fr. Brad and I will be recording Mass for you at St. Margaret so that you can participate in Mass remotely and receive a spiritual communion with the Lord. We will celebrate these Masses according to our own schedule since these will be private affairs, but we will surely be thinking of and offering your intentions in these celebrations. For weekday Masses, we will have the video feed posted by 10:00AM on our media platforms; for Sunday Mass, we will post the video by 6:00PM on Saturday evening.
Also, our staff will be working with our Pastoral Council and ministry chairs to provide video and other electronic interface so that you can still have access to St. Margaret and her many ministries even if not in person. More about these will be forthcoming!
If you watch the news and hear the updates and various statistics, I know, it can feel like you’re living in a world of darkness. I think, though, that our current inconveniences will be a shining light in the midst of the darkness. You’ll see! Have faith; have hope. We love you!