Dear Friends in Christ,

Each weekend as I conclude the parish announcements at Mass I end with: May we meet each day in our prayers. Please know that I (along with our Priests and Religious Sisters) remember you, your loved ones and your intentions on a daily basis and appreciate that you whisper our names to the Almighty as well. I want to reassure you of our prayers especially during the current public health crisis that we are facing with COVID-19. In response to this unprecedented situation, please know that we will keep you updated as information becomes available. It is imperative to prudently consider your personal health status before choosing to attend any gatherings.

During this season of Lent we concentrate on the pillars of Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving or to phrase in a different way… a time to focus on Openness, Sacrifice and Sharing. Below are few thoughts on how we can further reflect this Lenten season given the challenges that we are facing.

Openness: What is prayer? It is an Openness to God and a recognition of our relationship with Him. I invite you to be open to how God is speaking to you these days. The best way to listen to God is through the practice of silence and quiet. God is always present to us but we are not always present to Him. Would you consider spending a few moments each day in Openness to God through silence and presence? I wonder what He is waiting to reveal to you?

Sacrifice: Fasting involves giving something up or sacrifice. Perhaps we look upon the disruptions of our normal routine as opportunities for Sacrifice, remembering those who suffer and are in need. Our Sacrifice can be seen as truly our desire for repentance and conversion. Is there something in this temporary ‘new normal’ that you can offer as a Sacrifice.

Sharing: Almsgiving is the practice of Sharing our resources with others. Are you aware of someone who is in need during this time? Needs may be in the form of material resources but also for human connection. A nice way of Sharing may be to pick up the phone and call someone to see how they are doing or if they need anything.

During this time, we especially lift up those worldwide who have been affected physically, but also are cognizant of the concerns, fears or anxiety that circulate. Personally I am reminded these days of the words from Proverbs 3:5: Trust in the Lord with all your heart. In the meantime, we join together in a spirit of patience, trust and hope and may we meet each day in our prayers.

In Christ,

Very Rev. Stephen D. Parkes, V.F.