Greetings to you all during a Holy Week and Easter period very different from any other we have known. How strange it will be to celebrate Easter in isolation and without the usual church and family gatherings to which we are accustomed at this time of year.
We have been putting weekend Masses and Holy Week celebrations on-line on the parish website and I will continue to say a weekend Mass there until we get back to a relatively normal scene.
We are charting unknown and unprecedented territory here, but let’s make good use of the extra time we have to ourselves and our immediate families and make what positives we can of these enforced opportunities.
As for myself, as parish priest, it is a very strange experience to be sitting here quietly at home, thinking how to remain in virtual contact with weekly Masses and communications on the parish website, and to do more reflection, reading, piano playing, jigsaw puzzling, and improving my cultural appreciation of music with Spotify, apart from thinking of how to reduce my clutter, which seems to increase with age!!
It has been heartening to receive many offers of help for isolated parishioners. This spirit of friendship and support is so much a part of the fabric of our parish identity, as we think also beyond our local scene to the many people adversely affected by the present situation. We look forward to the light at the end of the tunnel, but it is not going to be tomorrow, and a vaccine will take much longer than we would wish. Meanwhile, we just have to sensibly adapt to the present circumstances.
Parish support at this time may be difficult and I understand that financial hardships mean that some will need to withdraw from financial contributions. I thank those parishioners for their past support and embrace them still as participants in our parish life.
For those who usually support the parish with weekly envelopes at Mass and wish to continue contributions, we have published ways to do this on our website.
To you all, thanks for your ongoing understanding and personal support. You are all in my Mass prayers and thoughts, as we encourage each other and hope for the future together.
Here’s hoping the doubt and fear passes sooner than later, but we can’t hold our breaths or take unnecessary risks, as we try to come to terms with this interim period.
So, please keep safe, secure and hopefully healthy.
Warmest wishes to all for a very different, but happy Easter with families at home.