Tomorrow as you know the Church marks Ascension Thursday and I simply wanted to comment on it and we will “talk” more about it with the Sunday liturgy, homily and prayers. Now whether Jesus’ time on this physical earth ended on a Thursday or not is not really the most important thing to keep in mind as it is what this piece of religious history signifies for us as his followers.
With this feast, Jesus is basically saying, my physical work is done and now, I am entrusting my mission to you because I believe in you, love you and won’t “leave you orphans.” “Don’t be afraid, I am with you always!”
So, there you have it friends! This coming Sunday will be the 7th and final Sunday of Easter with the feast of Pentecost coming the following Sunday–Jesus will send his very Spirit to guide and show us the way. With the Spirit comes courage, strength, and confidence. The seven gifts of the Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of God.
I would say that these gifts are basically about coming to know that we are first loved by God and are called to love God in return, which is about finding time to spend with consciousness each day of God–we call this prayer, who is our source and being (piety). The Spirit of Jesus gives us knowledge and wisdom and helps us to revere (fear) God in each other and all the universe. Let us ask this Spirit to be truly with us as we learn how to become better followers of our brother, Jesus. –Pastor Kathy
During this time of pandemic, through your generosity; we have been able to give two gifts to our community of $300 each. The following are some of the comments I received from each in thank you notes that I thought would interest you:
First came a note from the Winona Volunteer Services with much gratitude expressed for our generosity and especially during this time of pandemic. Sandra Burke, the executive director let us know the changes they have been called to make to assure that their staff and clients are save in the wake of Covid 19.
At first WVS was allowing only one person to come in and “shop” at a time and very soon after they were required to simply give out pre-packed food boxes from Channel One Food Bank as an added measure to keep folks safe. Only one person from a family can come into the building, waiting in a designated area with a staff member placing the box into a cart for the person to take to again limit exposure to each other. They are also offering curbside pick-up.
Sandra concluded by saying that we should remember that our generosity makes their work possible!
The other donation was to Habitat for Humanity. In the spring of the year, Habitat usually has two fund-raisers that cover many of their needs throughout the year along with the ReStore which now is closed. In lieu of needing to cancel the fund-raisers, Habitat asked for donations from the community to assist their work in absence of the other income. Amanda Hedlund, executive director said of our gift to them: You help us do so much. You help Habitat provide an essential service, and that work must go on! Thank you for helping to build wheelchair ramps for people who can’t get safely in and out of their homes. Thank you for helping to repair roofs for people getting rained on inside their homes. Thank you for painting siding before it weathers beyond repair, and for cleaning brush before it lifts siding from the walls. You are so important to Habitat for Humanity–you make this work happen.
So, my friends, there you have it–I wanted you to know the good your gifts do! Stay safe and well—Pastor Kathy
I just realized that I overlooked mentioning one of our special deceased members in my Holy Thursday homily, and that is, Bob Sherman. We continue to miss his good and gentle presence among us. My apologies to his wife, Mary and their family.
Peace and love in this Easter time,
From previous communiques, you know that I presided at Mass yesterday. Four others besides Robert and I were present and we observed safety measures including hand-sanitizing, no hand-holding at the Our Father or hugging at the “Kiss of Peace.” We also dispensed with the cup for wine at communion and used social distancing somewhat as far as sitting close to others.
Even though no one was unwell within our gathering, I feel that it is time to stop gathering for liturgy as a measure to keep us all safe for a certain amount of time. Social distancing seems to be the method to choice being applied within our schools, nursing homes and the hospital and a wise choice I feel.
My suggestion to our board was that we suspend Masses for two weeks, bringing us to Palm Sunday and then we can reassess from there–most have weighed in and are all in agreement with this plan. We are in a very fluid situation and just have to take things almost a day at a time.
I will continue to do homilies for the weeks that we will miss gathering as a group and try to be in contact with you in other ways. Please give me a call (507) 429-3616, or email, firstname.lastname@example.org if you are experiencing any unmet needs due to illness.
Our Interfaith Group in town is meeting via Zoom today to brainstorm about ways that we can, as faith communities, assist those in need who may be quarantined due to the coronavirus.
In the meantime, let us pray for each other and do all that we can to stay safe. There may be opportunities for our parish to assist financially the city-wide efforts to care for our community–I will keep you posted as I hear more.
Peace and love and all other blessings,
I know you are all keeping track of the Covid 19 pandemic and are most likely wondering how All Are One Catholic church will respond. At present we will continue to meet at our regular Mass times and assess as we go. I have put into place several protective measures to keep us all safe. These measures are as follows:
First of all, if you are feeling unwell, please stay home and if this is the case, please let me know so that I can give you spiritual support as needed.
Second, for those coming to church, we have dispensed with hand-holding, hugging and use of the cup at communion. There will be hand santizers readily–available and we will attempt to keep greater spaces between the chairs.
Now, all that having been said, this crisis in health seems to change with each day and this is a very fluid thing that we will assess week by week. I want each of you to know that first and foremost, you should do what you feel is required to be safe. As you know, our community, for the most part, falls into the group that are more susceptible for this illness. If this means that you choose to absent yourself from Mass for a time as we see how this illness works itself out, then know you have my blessing, but for now, we will continue to meet, with the above precautionary measures in place.
God’s blessings to you all,