Driving around town, I frequently see bumper stickers touting “Salt Life”. While I’m not much of a beach person myself, I certainly acknowledge the joy and peace that comes from relaxing with one’s toes in the sand with sunshine overhead. It reminds us of the need to rest. Mankind must work, but we are not made for work. Rather work is for mankind. Work is a way for us to share in the ongoing wondrous creation of God. The Lord’s Day is intended as a weekly reminder of the need to rest. But not just any rest, resting in God Himself the Creator, Lover, and Lord.
Summer time is a communal time of rest. It has a certain component that allows us a time to take a deep breath and hopefully slow down just a little bit. This has been true here at Holy Family. Not only with the pandemic, but with summer time, the social, catechetical, and service opportunities have slowed down during the month of June & July. Honestly, I try to appreciate these days with more time outside, resting, and easier days in the office. Yet, I also know in my heart of hearts, that it really shouldn’t continue indefinitely. While I don’t want to be overwhelmed, there is something about being engaged and productive after a rest that is also refreshing. Part of what it means to be a parish is to be prodded on to a more holy and engaged life in Christ and Church Community. Do know, that much planning has been taking place to begin once again as small groups and gatherings to grow and serve. Our parish Holy Family Catholic School & Preschool has been planning how students can safely return in person on August 5th, and I’m impressed by and confident in the preparations. Our Children’s Faith Formation (CFF) is making similar plans, as are adult faith gatherings. While there are plenty of uncertainties about the Fall, it is our hope and plan to allow parishioners to resume safe gatherings together. While the parish is (somewhat) dormant right now, it is not dead. We are still full of life, but rightly enjoying a little rest and relaxation in the midst of ongoing challenges and summer time.
Know of my continued prayers for you. Even during the summer, true rest in the Lord includes attending Mass in person (if you can safely do so according to your health), watching our livestreamed Mass, spending time in prayer and Scripture reading. For many, the body will recover with a bit of sleep, healthy eating and exercise. For the soul to rest, recover, and recuperate, needs prayer and encounter with the Living Lord. At the end of the summer, will you have experienced that much needed spiritual rest?
Mass in Person Reminders
Safety social distancing protocols have been part of our lives for several months now, but the need is still real. Please remain vigilant to protect your own health and that of your sisters and brothers in Christ. We have a Christian obligation to care for the well-being of all our neighbors.
- Before coming to Mass, please perform a personal health assessment (and that of other members of your household) to ensure you are not presenting any COVID symptoms: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus
- Please arrive early to be seated by an usher.
You may want to sit elsewhere, but the ushers are trying to maximize church capacity, maintain safe social distance, and minimize the post-Mass church cleaning. It’s a tall order!
- If you see blue, use another pew!
(Look down. If there is blue tape that says “No Entry”, then you cannot sit in that pew.)
- Wearing a Mask or face covering is highly, strongly, emphatically, ardently, vigorously (get the point!?!?) recommended for all in person attendees
- Please do respond, sing, answer, and participate in the Mass parts as best you are able. A willing engaged heart is a great gift to God.
Thank you for your patience, presence, and practices so we can safely gather in person as a parish family for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass where we can together encounter Christ in Word and Sacrament.
Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, & Joseph, Pray for us.
~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries