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from fathers desk

What a Difference a Year Makes

My Dear Spiritual Family,

Happy Easter to you! Alleluia, He is Risen! … He is Risen, indeed, Alleluia! New Life in Christ is upon us. What a difference a year makes! Last year, we could not gather for the high holy days. At OLPH, we recorded the Masses and uploaded them to YouTube. I sang the Exultet to an empty church. We had to finish out the year with remote education as our school closed. Since then, about a year of milestones and hard work have passed.  

Since June 8th, 2020, we have been celebrating Mass again in our beautiful church. We now have live streaming and simulcasting. We celebrated our first wedding during the pandemic, and formulated a new plan for pre-Baptismal formation. I had the honor to confirm our teens on my birthday (and will have that honor again on May 7th!) We have spent a year of remote learning for our PREP (Parish Religious Education Program). We began small groups to assist members to grow in faith and friendship. Our Pastoral Council has undertaken to prayerfully update our parish mission (unattended to since 1991). Our Finance Council has guided us through some tough times. We secured two rounds of the PPP Loan. We have faced so many challenges together. Yet our parish life is a work in progress. Our life in Christ, as a parish family moves along. We have a lot for which to be grateful. But...What a difference a year makes! Alleluia, Christ is Risen. And life in, with, and through Him is the life that awaits us.

Someone recently asked me, “Father, when will things return to normal?” Good question. I do not have the answer. It is more a question for Fauci, Biden, and Murphy than for Wilson, but that is another matter. While many of us would love for things to return “to normal” we need to reassess what that even means. We have traversed such a distance accompanied by God’s grace, we cannot think to somehow hit a “reset” button and go back to February 2020. God is at work now. Our Lord is active now, always inviting us to move forward with him in grace. Jesus is alive and shares with us the awesome gift of his divine life.

For the next phase of our life together, let's focus on: progress not perfection, accolades not complaints, affirm the good and resist the evil, fall not into pettiness but strive for excellence. There is much to do to transform our parish into a little piece of paradise, a shining light on a hill, the kingdom visible in our corner of the world.

For Easter, there are many beautiful passages from the Scriptures on which to reflect. One in particular comes to mind. The faithful women approach the tomb early in the morning. Two angels meet them with a curious question: “Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised.” Christ is alive. He is not in the tomb. He is not in the past. If we linger at the tomb, we continue to dwell on death. Jesus is alive, so let us press forward to meet Him and to base our whole lives on Christ.

Wishing you and your family a blessed Easter Season,

Fr. Wilson