Dear Parishioners: A Note From our Pastor
These past few months have been extremely challenging for all of us. Some have been victims of this diabolical illness. Many have suffered losses of loved ones. Others have missed celebrating very significant moments in their lives. Our young people have missed their classmates in school and so many of our elderly have missed the community life of the parish. It has been very difficult, but at the same time there have been many signs of God’s presence and many inspirational moments of grace.
I want to thank all of you for your prayers, support and patience. In spite of your own struggles and financial challenges you have continued to generously and sacrificially support your parishes. That is a testament to your goodness and faith. I have been deeply moved and inspired by your generosity to the Church, your support of each other, and your willingness to help out.
Throughout the shutdown we continued to have St. Rita’s Church open twelve hours a day for private prayer. We offered needed in-person services to the AA community, community members were served by our St. Vincent de Paul, and to the extent possible anointing of the sick. Sadly, in addition, we worked with our very professional and compassionate local funeral directors to provide the best pastoral care we could under difficult and limited circumstances. While observing the protocols of the Church and State, we have attempted and are striving to be as generous as possible in providing ministry to you.
While continuing our weekly recorded Sunday Masses for the parish website, we opened our parish churches for daily Masses and funerals beginning on May 25th and opened up for our full Sunday Mass schedule beginning on Pentecost Sunday, May 31st. We have been functioning with our normal schedule for the past two months. Perpetual Adoration has returned. We felt and feel that while many elderly and at-risk individuals are wise to stay away from Mass for the time being, that you, the faithful, have a right to the Sacraments of the Church and that we your ministers have the obligation and responsibility to make them accessible to you. It is a joy to do so.
None of our ministry over the past few months would have been possible without the priests, our staff, and an amazing group of volunteers. We have been so blessed by our staff and volunteers! They have responded with such generous and joy filled hearts by going above and beyond what anyone could ask them to do. We are all so grateful for their service, sacrifice and contributions.
Our focus and passion is to provide you with the best possible ministry that we can with the resources that we have. There is no other agenda. Everything that we do is directed to that goal. Over the next few months we will be “catching up” with our Baptisms, Confirmations, and First Holy Communions. We will be celebrating Memorial Masses for several of our parishioners who were not able to have a Funeral Mass due to the virus.
We will continue to move forward in the best way that we can with your prayers and support. Thank you for all you are doing and have done for the Lord, the Church, and our community.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Richard F. Clancy