Important letter from Fr. Tom – July 5, 2020
How do you respond when you remain the same, but everything around you seems to change? I’m asking that question because that’s what I’m experiencing right now – and I suspect it is something that others have experienced at some point in their lives as well.
As far as I’m concerned, I’m staying the same. I continue to be a priest, I continue to be the pastor of Our Lady of Victory. For me, everything is very much the same.
But as far as the world around me many things are changing. Just a few months ago Masses were full and plans were being made for Holy Week and Easter; Confirmation was ready to happen and First Communions and Graduation and Weddings were being planned. And then everything changed. Everything was cancelled or postponed. The church was empty, we began to record Mass- es on YouTube, confessions and anointings were done only under extraordinary circumstances. People, including priests and sisters, were being buried without funeral Masses. Baptisms, First Communions and Confirmations and Graduation and Weddings were postponed. The school building was closed with Faith Formation classes cancelled and OLV School moving to distance learning. The rectory office was closed, with only the Food Pantry remaining active.
Then changes also began to take place in society. While good things may result, a negative result was that the noble members of law enforcement became the targets of ridicule and derision.
And then just as things slowly started to settle down and re-open – albeit limitedly – the rectory changes. Seminarian Paul moved out and Fr. Sullivan gets transferred. Seminarian Robert moves in and Fr. Rafal arrives – and the predominant language in the rectory quickly changes from English to Polish!
So to go back to my original question— How do you respond when you remain the same, but everything around you seems to change? Well, I look for some sense of stability – and of course I find it in Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever!
The motto of a religious order called the Carthusians is this: “ While the world changes, the cross stands firm.” I’m choosing to adopt that for myself these days!
Welcome Fr. Rafal!
What a privilege to have one of only two newly-ordained priests of our Diocese assigned to serve here at OLV!
Fr. Rafal begins his assignment this weekend. While he begins under unusual circumstances with social distancing still in place, we look forward to offering him the warm hospitality that is characteristic of OLV!
Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals, with limited attendance, have begun. We are holding individual Baptisms, so there is only one family in the church at a time. Weddings can be held with proper social distancing for the guests. Funerals are held with the immediate family sitting together and others socially distant throughout the church. We can also make the chapel available for overflow guests at funerals and weddings to view and hear the service broadcast downstairs.
I hope to receive permission to increase the church capacity to 50% soon.
As has been announced previously, OLV School Graduation has been re-scheduled for August 1st and First Communions have been re-scheduled for the Saturdays of September. We are still waiting to hear from the Bishop’s Office about a new date for Confirmation.
Praised be the name of Jesus Christ now and forever!