Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s,
Pandemic Update: For almost a year now, we have been enduring the pandemic and the way it has changed life as we knew it. The million-dollar question now is when? When will the restrictions/guidelines that have been affecting Mass (masks, ropes between pews, no song books) go away or change in some drastic way?
The sincere hope is by Pentecost of this year, which is May 23rd. Accordingly, Bishop Boyea has extended the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass until the Sunday prior to Pentecost, May 16. It is the hope that by late spring the most vulnerable of our population will have received the vaccine if they so desired, and those less vulnerable will have begun receiving it. After the two-month shut down last year, Pentecost was the first weekend when we had public Masses again. How beautiful it would be if that same Sunday one year later we could take this next step. Pentecost is the birthday of the Church, and that would certainly be a major celebration. There is light at the end of the tunnel, so hang on! As changes come, I will let you know.
DSA 2021: I would like to thank the Linsners at St. Mary on the Lake and the Czeiszpergers at Sacred Heart for speaking on behalf of this year’s DSA appeal. We will hear a message from Bishop Boyea this weekend. I want to encourage you to look at the many ministries the DSA supports in our diocese. With the craziness of this past year, I am especially grateful for the direct support the Diocese provided for us as parishes during this crisis. As always, vocations and all we can do to support men and women answering God’s call are high on my list. I am grateful for the Diocesan support in helping provide Fr. Tomy, who is a blessing to not only our parishes but parishes throughout this region.
One silver lining of the pandemic has been the creative ways the Diocese has been reaching out. I think especially of the Yearlong Bible Study (https://www.dioceseoflansing.org/byob) and Bishop Boyea’s Friday memo (https://dioceseoflansing.flocknote.com/FridayMemo). I know it was quite the adjustment for me to figure out YouTube and Facebook. I am grateful that Bishop, who has a few years on me, has been willing to do the same! This is a great opportunity for us as parishes and individuals to support the mission of the Church, which is so much greater than what we can do as individuals or as parishes. Thank you for your support.
Bible Study at Sacred Heart and St. Mary on the Lake: We just finished walking through St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. We are shifting now to a series on the Psalms. St. Ambrose once described the Psalms this way: “History instructs us, the law teaches us, prophecy foretells, correction punishes, morality persuades; but the book of Psalms goes further than all these. It is medicine for our spiritual health. Whoever reads it will find in it a medicine to cure the wounds caused by his own particular passions. Whoever studies it deeply will find it a kind of gymnasium open for all souls to use, where the different psalms are like different exercises set out before him. In that gymnasium, in that stadium of virtue, he can choose the exercises that will train him best to win the victor’s crown.”
In the Psalms you truly do find prayers for anything we might encounter. May this help introduce us to the great treasure trove of prayer, a gym for the soul! Our upcoming dates are Wednesdays March 10th and 24th at 6pm in Sacred Heart’s Parish Hall, and Thursdays March 11th and 25th at 10:30am at St. Mary on the Lake.