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COVID-19 Updates

 
from fathers desk

Dear Parish Family,

First, my heart swells with gratitude towards everyone who came out to assist with the School Clean Up Day. We had about 50 people buzzing around. We moved a ton of items and even vacuumed many classrooms to leave them ready for religious education or meetings. I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all who helped. Our school building is moving toward its next life as a more versatile space.

Some people have asked, “What will happen to our school building?” In truth, we do not yet know. We discussed the possibility of leasing it to the Maple Shade Board of Education. We have been seeking out other educational institutions to see if they might want to lease it. We have received advice from numerous experts on what it might become. Nothing is certain. During the pandemic businesses are rarely expanding and many aspects of life we thought we understood became tenuous and uncertain. So, we do not yet know. If you have any suggestions or expertise in these matters, please reach out. We would welcome your input.

Our day was nostalgic but also productive. People were sharing stories and memories. It was very satisfying to listen and hear what people remember of their time in the school. Someone even found his own Bible from middle school in a closet! It is hard to accept that our school is no more. I wonder if one day in the future the good Lord may assist us to return to Catholic education, but for now, we can be sure that He invites us forward to love and serve Him with great devotion and zeal.

Dare I say that the next decade will bring more change than the previous three decades. With a large cohort of baby-boomer priests retiring, with religious sisters like the good Sisters of Saint Joseph shrinking in numbers while aging, our future as the local church will be much different.

The key to vibrancy you hold in your hand. The next generation of the church in America will be nourished by the faith, witness and discipleship of our laity. Our church is not first a building but is first built of living stones (1 Pt 2:5); that is us! And so the vibrancy, vigor and fervor of the Church is built on our vibrancy, vigor and fervor. So, permit me to restate the invitation to intentionally and courageously grow in our service and discipleship. Pray with me A Stewardship Prayer:

My parish is composed of people like me. I help make it what it is. It will be friendly if I am. It will be holy, if I am. Its pews will be filled if I help fill them. It will do great work, if I work. It will be prayerful if I pray. It will make generous gifts to many causes, if I am a generous giver. It will bring others into worship, if I invite and bring them in. It will be a place of loyalty and love, of fearlessness and faith, of compassion, charity, and mercy, if I, who make it what it is, am filled with these same things. Therefore, with the help of God, I now dedicate myself to the task of being all the things that I want my parish to be. Amen.

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Wilson