My Dear Parishioners,
This past weekend was the first since Bishop Matano has suspended all public Masses in our Diocese. During my military service, I was deployed twice to Kuwait and Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Christmas Ministry at Niger, as well I was on remote one-year tour in Korea. I remember the Martial Law in Poland from 13 December 1981 when the Communist regime after the Solidarity Movement restricted gathering or walking of no more than 3 people and curfew from 10 PM to 6 AM. Never once during those missions or under Communist rule was weekend Mass suspended.
Every day, Fr. Juan, Fr. John, and I privately offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and pray for you and your families. I cannot begin to tell you how it saddens me to have to offer Mass without your presence. We are praying often for the end of this period of “social distancing” and look forward to the day when we are reunited again as a Parish family in our beautiful church.
I am certain that these past days have been devastating to our parish staff and volunteers. While I pray that for the end of this plague, the closures and suspensions will continue throughout Holy Week and well beyond our Easter celebration. With Mass suspended, our weekly collections (cash and envelopes) have dwindled.
Thanks be to God, we have some modest reserves that will allow us to pay our staff until the middle of April. As we approach Easter and April, our operating cash will dwindle quickly and we will be forced to make several personnel cutbacks. As an immediate action, I have reduced my salary by 50%. Thanks to your dedication and support , we are one of the few faith communities which can carry on our Church Mission a bit longer than other parishes.
Currently, our electronic giving amounts to about 30% of our monthly revenue. The balance is made up from weekly cash and envelope collections. For those who are giving electronically, I cannot thank you enough and I implore you to continue your contributions. For those who usually give by envelope, I humbly ask that you mail it in or drop it in the mail bin at the Ministry Center (64 S. Main Street). For those who typically donate cash in the collection basket, may you consider joining our electronic giving or mail a weekly check to the Ministry Center. Our website also provides options for one-time online donations and text-to-give instructions.
The Parish and Diocese will continue to provide updates to the community as this crisis unfolds. Please know that you and your family are in my daily prayers. Stay safe and healthy and I hope to welcome you back to Mass very soon.
In gratitude for the opportunity to serve you and your loved ones,
I remain in Christ,