Memo from Msgr. Raun - Tuesday, August 11th, 2020
Greetings in the Lord Jesus!
WAYS THAT COVID SHOWS HOW DESPERATELY THE WORLD NEEDS GOD
Only God Provides Assurance and Security
Many people felt isolated during this time. Some still do. If you felt you were all alone, that can be debilitating, fearful, and depressing. But God says in His Word, “I will never fail you; I will never abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5). Scripture assures us there is no place we can go where God’s presence will not follow (Psalm 139:7-12). The Lord goes before us, walks alongside us, and has our backs.
Isaiah 33:6 says “And He will be the stability of your times, a wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge”. During these uncertain, unstable times, He is our sure foundation. While we long for a national or world leader to give us the assurance that “this will all go away and we can return to life as normal” only God knows the future, and can guide us safely through it.
That is security during uncertain times.
TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY : EUCHARISTIC ADORATION ! Our First Friday experiment with Adoration went very well. I was so moved by the number of people who came to be with our Eucharistic Lord! So, we are going to resume Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Monday through Friday, from 10 am until 6 pm, starting Monday, August 17th.
Of course we ask everyone to wear a mask and to observe social distancing when coming to Adoration. Also, there will occasionally be funerals when we need to suspend Exposition for a half-hour or so.
Bit by bit we are restoring parish life. No virus will stop Jesus Christ and His reign in our hearts and our parish family!
THIS PAST WEEKEND was the best attendance we have seen since the start of the pandemic! The 9 am and 11 am were close to 250, Saturday 5 pm was 210, and the other Masses were about 150. We saw a lot of faces that we have not seen since this all began. I was very moved.
Two things to take from this:
1. If you have been coming to the 9 and 11 am Masses, keep coming. But if you are considering returning to Mass for the first time since the pandemic began, you might want to think about the other Masses.
2. The clergy and staff are busy thinking how best to offer more Masses at "prime time" (9 and 11 am). But this will require more volunteers - ushers, Eucharistic ministers, etc., plus the janitorial staff will have to disinfect the hall after the Mass. In short, we will need more volunteers (under 60 years old) if we are to have more Masses.
THE FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION OF OUR LADY is this Saturday, August 15th. Normally this is a Holy Day of Obligation, but of course the obligation has been suspended during the pandemic. But the 9 am Mass that day will be the Mass of the Assumption, and I do hope that many of us will attend to honor our Blessed Mother on this, the oldest, most important, and most beautiful of her feast days.
FIVE MINUTE SERMONS! As you know, the Archdiocese has directed us to keep Sunday Mass as brief as reverence and the Liturgy allows. The idea behind this is the less time we are together, the less is the chance of infection. Also, we want to keep it on the short side because some people find wearing a mask for an extended time uncomfortable (I'm one of them!).
Part of this is that the clergy has been told to preach for five minutes. This has been a challenge for me! When you have been preaching fifteen minute sermons for 38 years, it's hard to change gears! And guess what - it takes more work! As a philosopher once wrote to a friend "I would have written you a shorter letter but I did not have the time." In other words, who have to work to make every word count, and still get across the essence of the message. And there isn't time for many stories and jokes! But we are doing our best. Be patient with us!
It is all part of our effort to make going to Mass as safe as possible. I do feel that going to Mass at St. Thomas is at least as safe as going to the supermarket or Wal-Mart. That is thanks to our wonderful volunteers and staff who are working so hard, and to the wonderful financial support you have been giving to your parish family during these challenging times.
FR. McKEE'S MONDAY NIGHT TEACHINS ON PRAYER have been going very well! Some of you have been wanting to send in questions for him to answer. That's wonderful! Please send them to https://www.stanm.org/prayer-questions
HOW TO GO TO MASS:
1. All Masses - just show up. But remember that we have to close off the church when we reach 250 people in attendance.
2. Wear a mask.
3. Be prepared to receive Communion in the hand.
IF WE REACH 250 PEOPLE AT A MASS, and a person arrives after that, they will be invited to come to another Mass, or they can go to their car and wait, and they will be allowed to join the Communion line at the end of Mass. We are now broadcasting every Sunday Mass on our new low-wattage FM transmitter, at 106.5 FM. You can receive this signal from anyplace in the parking lot of the church.
Communion outside the doors of the Fr. D'Arco Parish Hall is distributed after the Sunday 9 am Mass for those who do not yet feel comfortable going inside the church.
Weekdays: 8 am and 5 pm
Saturday: 8 am and 2:30 pm
BAPTISMS, MARRIAGES,SICK CALLS and FUNERALS are all taking place, albeit under the restrictions mandated by the Archbishop and the Governor. Just call the parish office and we will gladly help you with the preparations needed.
PLEASE SHARE ALL THIS INFORMATION WITH THOSE WHO DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET!
HOLINESS TIP : The Supernatural Power of Humility, According to the Saints
“We must not be wise and prudent according to the flesh, but, instead, we must be simple, humble and pure.” (St. Francis of Assisi)
LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE:
The kids text me "plz" which is shorter than please. I text back "no" which is shorter than "yes".
I've lost my mind and I'm pretty sure my kids took it!
Of course I talk to myself--sometimes I need expert advice.
OUR PRAYER FOR THE DAY: a prayer of the saint we honor today, St, Clare of Assisi, the spiritual daughter of St. Francis
I come, O Lord, unto Your sanctuary to see the life and food of my soul. As I hope in You, O Lord, inspire me with that confidence which brings me to Your holy mountain. Permit me, Divine Jesus, to come closer to You, that my whole soul may do homage to the greatness of Your majesty; that my heart, with its tenderest affections, may acknowledge Thine infinite love; that my memory may dwell on the admirable mysteries here renewed every day, and that the sacrifice of my whole being may accompany Thine.
I send you my fatherly blessing, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen !
Msgr. Doug Raun
We so enjoyed your Daily Memo today. Weâve been watching Mass with Fr. McKee on Saturday since our wonderful parish isnât having Saturday Mass at this time. Itâs such a blessing to stay connected online and in prayer. We miss you all! David & Kathleen Mendias.
Thank you for all your kind words! We love being connected to our Parish Family. May God bless you always.