During my Quarantine a few weeks ago, I spent more sustained time in the parish rectory than probably any since my arrival in 2018. Even during the spring Shutdown, I was in the parish office daily at least half days. Yet in both instances, the quarantine and shutdown, I was appreciative of just how fine a home I am blessed to have due to the generosity of Holy Family Parish & parishioners. It is spacious, clean, comfortable, warm and dry. It is considerably more house than I need as the only resident, but it is a great house for a pastor being adjacent to the parish and capable of welcoming seminarians or visiting clergy. Having a home is a tremendous blessing.
We’ve all spent much more time in our homes in 2020. Sometimes it can feel cozy and at other times confining, but it is always a considerable blessing. I’d like you to stop for a moment and ask yourself a few questions. Where would I have gone during the shutdown if I’d not had a home? What would I have done if I didn’t have a home that could actually house or shelter or keep safe my family? Have I noticed deficiencies in my home since having spent more time in it? What steps have I taken to remedy them? What would others do?
In August, I received a flyer from Cross Catholic Outreach. In it, they invited us as a parish to help provide a home or needed home repairs to fellow Christians in Haiti. Given hurricanes over the past few years and the immense poverty, so many there simply don’t have a home to house their families. They often have pieced together huts or hovels made of debris or gathered miscellaneous metals and wood, but nothing we would consider a home. Then I thought once again of my comfortable dwelling which I turned to when the need arose. Those poor people. Parents worried for their children. Children making the best of a very bad and sad situation.
As we move into Advent, when the world could find “No room in the Inn” and no “home for the Lord to lay His head”, I would like to challenge the members of Holy Family to provide 1 such home. Together we would need to raise and commit $8,580 to provide a new, clean, storm-worthy home to a Haitian family. That is less than a small bathroom remodel. You can make your contribution on the Holy Family Faith Direct account – “One-Time Gift Now” or by sending a check to Holy Family with “Advent Haiti Home” in the memo line. More information can be found at: crosscatholic.org/advent. Needs are great this year and there are many requests. Please consider this one.
Lights, Camera, Action!
With the improved video livestream of the Mass and other devotions here at Holy Family, we are currently looking for interested persons willing & interested in serving on a new Tech Team. Training will be provided. Time commitment would be a few hours for training and then the time of the Mass running the cameras on a scheduled volunteer basis. Currently, 2 people have been doing it all, but it seems video is here to stay and is a needed and valued way to Spread the Gospel. If interested, please contact Fr Gries or Kelli Reutman at the parish office.
Happy and Blessed Beginning of Advent! May we truly prepare our hearts and our homes to receive the Messiah!
Holy Family, Pregnant with Expectation, Pray for us.
~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries