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COVID-19 Updates

from fathers desk

Dear sisters and brothers,

This Sunday is Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day to all of our mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, stepmothers, and all mother figures in our lives. We honor you. We thank God for you. We love you. This is the first time, I imagine, that large portions of our parish family will not be visiting Mom today.

I have heard tales of mothers in nursing homes. Families coming to visit by the window and sharing a bit of life and a smile, showing their love and affection. As I write this, I am scheduled for a COVID-19 nasal swab test, and I am unaware when the results will arrive, so it is likely my mother and grandmother will be without my mug on Mother’s Day. We cannot take the risk of exposing that household to the virus, especially with my grandmother’s fragile health. Thank God for video chat, but I wonder if an old-fashioned letter to mother telling her how much she means to you might be an even deeper expression of affection during these days. Something to touch and to savor.

Typically this weekend, we would crown the Blessed Virgin Mary in church. The children who made first holy Communion invited to participate in Mass wearing their suits and dresses - such a lovely time of year! This year, we shall crown Mary in Church, but we will also crown the statue of Our Lady in the garden.

We remind parishioners to avoid gathering in groups and to keep social distancing guidelines. We invite parishioners to come to our parish garden - at a time and day that works for them - and pay honor and tribute to our dear Mother Mary. Come and say a prayer. Offer the Holy Rosary, or perhaps just a decade of the Rosary. Come and pray one Hail Mary and express your devotion. You may also do this in your own gardens, if you have a statue of Our Lady. If you are able, perhaps bring some flowers to show your affection: cut flowers even from your own yard, or small garden flowers. We will plant whatever you leave. In this way, we can show our love and devotion to Mary our Mother in the month of May.

The beautiful thing - well one of the many beautiful things - about our dear Mother Mary is that she is never distant. Mary is merely one hail Mary away, and she can always hear our prayers. An old priest told me that when we reach for our rosaries, just to hold on to them, we reach for the hand of our heavenly Mother. That image and tactile connection has always stuck with me, and in moments of trial and temptation, I reach for the hands of our Mother. Devotion to Mary and to the holy Rosary is a great gift on the road to holiness. Mary has for us an indescribable wealth of graces and an immense yet deeply personal love.

This month of Mary, while walking or spending time in the garden, I invite and encourage our whole parish family to take up again the holy Rosary, and to offer the prayers that Pope Francis has composed to Mary during this time of pandemic. Pray the rosary in family. Offer these prayers around the dinner table. Bring out a statue of our Lady and set her in a prominent place in the home. We fly unto you, o Virgin of virgins our Mother!

May God bless you and may Mary keep you!

Fr. Joel Wilson