Dear brothers and sisters, members and friends of the Holy Family,
Greetings go to all of you, especially as we endure the consequences of the unprecedented and never imagined before, Coronavirus. All our families stayed and are staying home for safety and caution, just like the first generation Church when Christians would stay while fearing horrible persecutions. Some of you have transformed a corner in each of your homes to become a part of the church, where you created an altar with a cross or an icon, and safely lit a candle, as you gather every weekend attending the Mass virtually, with your family as if you were in church, participating in the Mass with songs, responses and spiritual Communion.
During the month of May, Holy Family celebrated Mother’s Day on Sunday May 10, praying for all mothers and ladies of the parish, appreciating and recognizing their great contribution in the community. On May 21, we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension with a liturgy at 6 PM. The last Sunday of May, the church celebrated the Holy Feast of Pentecost, where the church for the first time opened its doors for parishioners after a closing that started in the middle of March due to the Coronavirus pandemic. During the month of May, the Festival of Nations was cancelled, which caused more loss of revenues for the church, added to other loss due to the cancellation of Lenten dinners also due to the Coronavirus. But the generosity of our donors has covered a part of this decrease in income. The lockdown of the church for almost three months; celebrating the Masses to an empty church, deprived the church of its primary income which is the collection during Mass. However, I would like to this opportunity to thank a number of parishioners and friends who kept making their checks to the church or donating through the website PayPal. These actions helped decrease the funding gap.
On Sunday, May 17, we were supposed to celebrate the First Holy Communion for four of our beautiful children. This celebration has been postponed for a short time. Despite the Coronavirus, the Faith Formation team didn’t stop working. Teachers organized weekly Zoom meetings resuming classes. I thank the teachers and parents for encouraging their children in attending these online virtual classes. They even liked the classes and looked forward to them. These children and their families are very dedicated and committed members of Holy Family and on behalf of the parish, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Gary Schwery and his entire Faith Formation team: Regina George, Samantha George Crabtree and AnneMarie Thomas for preparing the parish Faith Formation children ages 6 to 12. We also thank Nikki Abbot and AnneMarie Schwery for leading the MYO youth ages 13 and up, who worked throughout the year with dedication and commitment. In addition, I thank on your behalf again and again the altar staff, lay deacons and readers. I thank the choir members and organists who showed dedication and commitment even during this period of social distancing and caution and kept serving the Mass. Weekday and weekend Masses kept being celebrated on schedule all this period, and were broadcast at least three times a week. I once again take the opportunity to thank our broadcasting team of Gary Kloncz and Stephen Abbott, for ensuring the timely broadcasting of our services. Gary is always looking for ways to improve the audio and video systems so that the live-streaming will be at a more acceptable level in both audio and video. The church sound system is old (over 20 years) with old technology, and our cameras need to be replaced with more modern ones. We will act according to the received donations and generosity of our faith community to be able to achieve this goal. This is becoming not only a priority but a necessity due to the sick and elderly of the parish and the increasing numbers of people who are watching the Mass on Facebook or the website. We also thank Sam Salha for his efforts in continually maintaining the Church website for us.
The Holy Family Ladies Society monthly meetings were suspended for safety until further notice. We greatly miss the presence of the wonderful ladies and their active presence and we thank them for their constant support to the church.
And finally we celebrated Memorial Day. We pray for the repose of the souls of all U.S. soldiers and military who died in duty, especially the members of our community. God bless America. On behalf of the Holy Family Church we thank you for your generosity, support, participation, dedication and commitment to your church, and may the Lord grant you always health, peace and joy. Your participation and support always makes a difference and it will never go unnoticed or forgotten. Your support is appreciated now more than ever. God bless you and your families and children and keep you safe and healthy. Please pray for the sick and suffering of our community.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
Father Emmanuel Nakhle-Ghorr, Pastor
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