Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus and Mary,
This Sunday, Jesus appears to us as the owner of a vineyard looking for workers throughout a hard day, looking for them at different times, without telling them that the pay is the same. God always looks for us and is still ready to receive us in His arms no matter what time it is. It is Jesus who makes a personal call to each one of us, making life in us what He affirms to His disciples: “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” (Jn 15:16). He continues to call us to commit ourselves to live a life of holiness, regardless of age or time. God is the cornerstone of our life, seeking to lead us to work in grace and peace that only through the Church can we acquire. Hopefully, we hear the call early to give more now, not later, when there is not much to offer.
Like every week, I mention some topics that interest our community life. First of all, I want to share with everyone that last Sunday, Fr. Rampino and I welcomed the children from our religious education program who, as workers in the vineyard, came to start a path of knowledge of Jesus. It was a pleasure to see them all with the intention of learning.
I want to thank Susan Gray for her dedication to this ministry and creating a fantastic team with her catechists and volunteers. We have started this New Year following all prevention and safety measures, disinfecting each space in the school classrooms, taking the temperature at the building entrance, and using the mask properly. I want the children to be safe and free from any contagion. Thank you, dear catechists and volunteers, for your love for this ministry and your commitment to helping children and youth. I reiterate my support for you. For me, catechesis is the heart of the parish because future Christians are being formed there. This Sunday, the 20th, the catechists will receive a blessing and be officially sent to work in this parish vineyard.
I do not know if you have noticed, but we have restored the tabernacle’s door, which we removed for a few weeks to repair it and clean it. We discovered that it was in very bad condition, but thank God it has been thoroughly cleaned and repaired with gold plating. The original lock has been repaired. The cost was a little more than four thousand dollars. The idea is to make the entire interior of the tabernacle from the same material because dust enters, and it does not have much security. I hope in a second project to completely renew the tabernacle for our Lord. I ask those who wish to collaborate with this project to do so.
Last week we changed the tape in the pews; I know that some have found it strange that we have yellow tape. It seems that they feel bad about it- I apologize for it. We realized that many are not following the norms of social distancing, and they ignored the previous tape, and every Monday, the tape had to be replaced. I thought maybe it was not visible enough, so I decided to investigate what type of tape is used in other parishes, and I decided to use what they are using. I ask for your understanding and tolerance, as these are challenging times for everyone, and I want you to know that as a spiritual father, I would like to please you in everything. However, sometimes it is not easy to do so. I ask that together we offer these small sacrifices with faith because this is temporary. Sometimes it will seem repetitive, but it is necessary to talk about it.
If we follow the appropriate security measures, we will not have to live in fear, and we will learn to have an almost normal coexistence, which will help us carry out pastoral activities. I want to inform you well in advance that I have already started the preparations for the autumn and Christmas activities; I mention here three of them in order of celebration. On October 3rd, we will have the blessing of the animals in honor of the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi. We will have two sessions, at noon and 5 pm, when you can bring your animals to be blessed. On October 10th, we will carry out a procession through the neighborhood in honor of Our Lady of Fatima. I want us to do this activity to pray for the end of the pandemic. We will call it the “Candlelight Procession” because I invite everyone to bring a candle. Lastly, to end the year, we will have a Christmas Festival where we will put a living manger, with real animals, where the children can witness something out of the ordinary and forget what the pandemic has brought us this year. I’ll be giving you more information on how we will do it later on.
I ask that we continue to pray and not lose hope. God is great and never abandons us.
I have you in my prayers, have a happy week.