Happy Thanksgiving from the Eastside Pastoral Region!
It is with a grateful heart that I send this message to all of you. This COVID-19 year certainly has been one that none of us could have imagined. In my wildest dreams I would not have imagined our circumstances of social distancing and masks. Like most of us, the term “social distancing” was not something we had ever heard. This COVID time has certainly brought crosses.
People we know have suffered from COVID, especially in our regional parishes, and maybe people we have known closely have died. Just recently Msgr. Lane told me a priest friend of his that had just visited him had just contracted COVID a few weeks after his visit and was now at death's door. Fortunately, it looks like he is going to pull through. We cannot diminish the hazards of this Virus.
I want to thank all of you for your understanding and cooperation during this time. I know going to Mass with the way things are is difficult as is having to watch Mass on the “livestream." It just isn’t the same nor is the way it should be. With all that said, I am inspired by your desire for the nourishment needed from God through the holy sacrifice of the mass and the sacraments that you continue to seek and be strengthened by.
While the cross of this virus has affected many lives physically it has also affected many emotionally. The isolation of our seniors and those in nursing homes, or just people being alone has been disastrous. I am very thankful to all who did their utmost to be there for those imprisoned and isolated through their calls, emails and visits to those alone.
Of course, this has been hazardous to families in the Medical Field, and so it is with a grateful heart that I lift you up for doing what you do. Altogether, while there have many crosses that I can't enumerate here, there have been blessings as well. Through these crosses, we have been brought closer to God in some ways. We have come to know how truly important God is in our lives and how important others are as well. Maybe we even appreciate more our relationship with God and with others. Those two, God and others, no human beings can do without. They are ESSENTIAL.
And so, knowing how essential God and others are, I pledge to continue, during this COVID time, to provide, to the best of ability with Fr. Jacob, and Msgr. Lane and all the staff, to help make sure you have a parish that helps take care of these needs and gives you the graces that are essential to our lives.
While we come on this Thanksgiving Day of 2020, things are different, even without our families and friends beside us per usual- we can still give praise and thanks for all that we have been given. Truly we all have been given a lot - especially a God that loves and cares for us, that never leaves us and never stops strengthening us through His Church, his gift to us for all times.
May God bless you all on this Thanksgiving and keep you and your families well.
Eastside Pastoral Region
on Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 8:14AM