Dear brothers and sisters, members and friends of the Holy Family,
In these unprecedented days of lock down and safe-distancing, we ask the Lord to keep you and your families healthy and safe from all viruses and illness. Although we have been deprived of seeing you on a regular weekly basis, you are in our prayers and thoughts in weekday and weekend Masses celebrated on schedule and most times uploaded onto the church website and will continue to be so. On the other hand, people can now attend Mass physically if they feel comfortable doing so and if they are not sick or suffering health problems. The choir, deacons, readers, and now even altar servers, can assist with assigned turns and under safety measures. As stated previously, thanks to the use of technology, we are able to live stream our Masses with a variety of available equipment and tools. In order to improve our broadcasting image and sound, which are becoming increasingly crucial for many of our parishioners, we are planning to upgrade the internet service package, and sound system capacity, micros, mixer, speakers, and also add more streaming cameras. Some of the cameras and other equipment have already been donated and we would welcome additional donations if possible.
We thank the wonderful Faith Formation team who work constantly to maintain and strengthen the faith of the children of the parish. This year, First Holy Communion was held Saturday, June 27, in a special Mass at 11 AM, for three of our children: Mia Atkins, Easton Crabtree, and Thomas LaLiberte. It was a beautiful celebration, in accordance with the safety protocols established for attendance at liturgy and was confined to the children, their immediate families, some of the teachers and a small number of choir members. The Holy Family Society provided a delicious light brunch that was enjoyed by the all.
Unfortunately, our MYO annual National retreat was cancelled for this year, but our children are determined to participate again in the first coming retreat. Thank you to the donors, Holy Family Society, and Knights of Columbus who are a constant support for this motivating MYO youth event. Last year’s retreat was in Ohio, allowing the youth to demonstrate commitment and participation in the MYO activities in so many ways. We are proud of our MYO group. This year, our MYO group will welcome the Faith Formation children who will turn 13, ensuring that the MYO and MYA groups will be slowly growing, in a steady and secure rhythm.
We pray this month for the peace and security of the United States of America, as it celebrates its Independence Day, July 4. May the Lord keep this country a country of peace, security and safety with the rue Christian values of the Gospel. On this occasion, I would like to invite you to pray for our country of origin, Lebanon, which is experiencing not only the difficulties caused by the Coronavirus, economic depression, crisis, and suffering but also from the consequences of the economic siege and embargo against Syria. We encourage every one of you to show some giving for Caritas Lebanon, the major Catholic Charity of the country and the Middle East, or even directly for any beloved ones you know in the country. Thank you for your support.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all parishioners, whether as individuals or members of a council or group of the parish, who assist the parish in all aspects of its mission. Your participation and your commitment to your church and community is highly appreciated and well noticed. Although the church does not presently have a certain annual dues policy on parish families and members, that is originally the duty and opportunity of participation, parishioners are welcome to participate and fulfill their duties of participation in their various ways between donating and volunteering. This is vital for the life for the mission of the church and its growth.
Since March, the parish has had to forego all social fundraising activities, including half of the Lenten dinners, Sunday breakfasts, the annual dinner and Festival of Nations, resulting in a negative financial hit to the church’s income. But thanks to many parishioners, who continue to contribute by mail, online or in-person, the church has been able to continue functioning. Many our volunteers and groups are so conscious about the situation and are changing their support from social events volunteering to other forms of support to make up for this gap. Thank you!!
As you know, the church is totally mortgage free and this is a great success. We know that we still need support to build a fund for expansion to add basic needs, such as a classroom for our children, one additional bathroom and one more office. However, due to the present situation, our future plans are suspended temporarily until we can resume.
Thanks again for your trust and for treating the church as being your own home in generosity and care. May God bless you all and may you have a great month of July.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
Father Emmanuel Nakhle-Ghorr, Pastor
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