June 25, 2020 Parish Update

Posted on Jun 25, 2020

I’ve been walking most mornings with mayor for about six years.  The mayor as most of you know is something of a talker.  I can go quite a while without saying anything.  You’d think after all this time and all the talking the mayor has done over the years that he would not say anything that would surprise me.  He did this morning.  As we were passing a house on the morning walk route I pointed out a mailbox that had clematis flowing over its top.  The mayor said, “I really like it when mailboxes are covered in flowers.”  Who would have guessed the mayor would even have opinions about flowers and mailboxes.

This Saturday we’ll have our first public Mass.  We’ll celebrate First Eucharist.  I’m hoping that the children will remember that the first public Mass St. Joe’s held during the pandemic was their First Eucharist.  It certainly won’t look like other celebrations we’ve had in other years but it should be memorable maybe because Mass will not look like other Masses the children have been at.

I do keep going back to the fact that my parents lived through a lot worse.  They grew up during the Great Depression, lived through WWII and the unrest of the 60s.  I think it made them stronger.  There wasn’t anything my mother wouldn’t try.  I was amazed to learn she did Sudoku puzzles everyday.  I don’t even know how she found out about them.  My brother has some of the same “can do” attitude of our mother.  Charlie worked hard all his life and had very little time for golf or fishing.  Now, living in Florida, he golfs everyday.  A couple of weeks ago he told me he’d finally conquered the game.  I don’t know what that means exactly.  He was a poor golfer I know that.  He must be a great one now–I guess.

The whole world has been shut down by this pandemic.  That has literally meant that churches have been closed, many remain closed, some reopening just now with very limited capacity.  One of the blogs I follow carries news about the Catholic Church worldwide.  The reports that are coming in from all over the world suggest that even in those places where there are public Masses, they are sparsely attended, far less than could attend do in fact choose to attend.  I think people are fearful and cautious which we should be–cautious at least.  Fear can be constructive if it leads us to be cautious, not if it leads us to be frozen and unable to carry out minimal tasks.  I suspect the virus will be with us well into the new year.  This is our new normal but our new normal will not last forever.  The Great Depression did not last forever.  WWII did not last forever, and this pandemic will not last forever either.

Have a good week…GRS