Dear brothers and sisters, members and friends of the Holy Family,
I know how sad it is to not see you these days. Not being able to join together in church and celebrate Sundays and our festivities. I know, also, that your safety comes first. Thank God we have the means to keep connected. Instead of you coming to Church with your families on Sundays, due to the lockdown which forces you to stay home safe, guided by divine providence and thanks to modern technology, the Church is now in your own homes and Mass is celebrated and available for attendance by you and your families wherever you are. The faithful are participating in masses and prayers through the Internet until better days return - hopefully soon.
On behalf of our entire church community, councils and groups, we thank all of you who keep showing your financial support to the church. This is making a great difference and keeps the church able to reach out to all parishioners in all channels possible. We also thank all those who continue to maintain the church through their efforts in the office or by continuing the maintenance tasks so necessary to maintain the church. You are all doing a spectacular job in this uncertain time of Coronavirus.
In the month of April we celebrated the last period of Lent followed by Holy Week that marked the services of Palm Sunday, on Wednesday, the Ritual of the Lamp, the Washing of the Feet Ritual and Adoration of the Holy Sacrament on Holy Thursday, and on Great Friday, the Ritual of the Crucifixion of the Lord. We heard confessions on both Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday, and liturgies on Easter Eve and Easter Sunday, all as scheduled. The major difference is that it was all online with an empty church and locked doors. Families gathered in their homes around a small altar in a family room with icons and a lit candle, watching Mass virtually.
In this coming month of May, we go through the Season of the Resurrection of the Lord and His apparitions to the Disciples. We will celebrate the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord on Thursday, May 21st and conclude the month by the Feast of Pentecost, Sunday, May 31st.
I thank the Youth and MYO Committee that is organizing online and distanced meetings activities for the church youth. We also thank the Faith Formation team, especially Gary Schwery and the teachers, for preparing online classes so that our children will be prepared for their First Holy Communion and First Confession when possible. I thank them for their constant care and teaching to the MYO and children. Unfortunately, the First Communion Mass of this year for four of our children will be postponed until a later date when the social situation goes back to normal.
Wishing you and your family a safe and healthy stay at home period of time where you take advantage of the situation to revive your family spirit and life, and discover real and better priorities in your life. We see today that wealth, power and earthly glory becomes second to health and safety and faith and hope. May this month be a blessing for you and your family.
God Bless You All.
Father Emmanuel Nakhle-Ghorr, Pastor
Copyright (c) 2020 Holy Family Maronite Church, St Paul. (v2006.01)