And Now a Word From Your Pastor…
What a remarkable Holy Week we just celebrated! So many have commented and texted that each celebration beginning with Palm Sunday and climaxing with Easter Sunday was extraordinarily meaningful and beautiful. St. Mary’s decision,taken at almost the last moment, to celebrate Palm Sunday and Good Friday under the pavilion preved a wise decision. lt would have been impossible for such a number of people to fit into the church. Under the pavilion,everyone is in the assembly and has a comfortable seat. Of course,St. Mary’s Easter Sunday Morning celebrations have been under the pavilion for many years. The numbers speak for themselves: 6:30am …c. 300, 9am…c.800, llam…c…600. St.Joseph’s on Sunday Morning was wall-to-wall, echoing Easter joy . lt all goes to show that, after such a period of beingtold to separate from each other, everyone is more than ready to stand shoulder to shoulder again.
I don’t think there is an appreciation of all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to make each celebration of Holy Week meaningful and beautiful The environment (it’s incorrect to call it ‘decorations‘) is painstakingly thought through, put together and hours spent putting it up and taking it down for the next celebration. The music ministry is meticulous in selecting the appropriate music and hymns suitable for each service. Hours are spent practicing so that we, the assembly, will have our hearts lifted and moved in our worship. I am so proud that our music ministry sees itself as supportive of the song of the assembly and not a performance. The sacristans are almost on edge… compulsive...making sure that all that is needed for each celebration is in place and ready at the appropriate time. They arrive early befare the celebration and are there long after to put things away. Our altar servers are troopers in being experts in following the flow of each celebration and help lead the assembly in worship. The banquet after the Easter Vigil (Saturday evening) was, as expected, spectacular. The decoration of the hall took one’s breath away. Every comer of the hall screamed ‘Happy Easter!’. To the newly baptized and received into the Church that evening, ‘We are so proud of you! Welcome!’. The meal rivaled any of the most expensive restaurants. The presentation of each morsel was deliberate and artistic. What madc thc cntirc cxpcricncc of that cvcning of banqucting so spccial was that it was all done with our Elcct in mind, our lovc of the Risen Christ and our joy that we are such a blessed family.
I decided while writing this article not to mention names. Knowing me,I would probably have a senior moment and forget someone. There are so many to acknowledge! There is a host of hands who come together and spend hours to make our worshipso specialand what itshould be:our thanksgiving for all good that comes to us in Christ. Our office staff is remarkable in meeting the deadlines of all that is asked of them.All of you who have contributed to making our Holy Week indeed holy know who you are. We who have benefited from all your work and dedication thank you from the bottom of our hearts….and so many of us know who you are. We can only quote our Lord,”Well,done!”.
As was promised,the announcement was made after the Easter Masses of the amount you donated to the relief of the peopleof the Ukraine. We decided to do a collection because of the urgency of the crisis in the Ukraine and we bad no indication that the Archdiocese was planning a specialcollection. lnitially we had researched the Catholic Relief Services of Poland asthe recipient of our collection for the refugees from the Ukraine. However, we did more research and found there was indeed a Ukrainian Catholic Relief Services active in aiding the refugees and was recommended by our Archdiocese. In case you haven’t heard (and for the historical record of our parish community for generations to come) the amount you so generously donated to the aid of the people of the Ukraine who are suffering so much is: $45,000.00.