From the Pastor – May 31, 2020

Today is the SOLEMNITY OF PENTECOST! It is the celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit to the apostlesand all of us. Today is the birthday of the church and the beginning of its missionary activity. The Spirit galvanizedthe apostles into a convinced group of followers of Jesus, as they accepted the responsibility to bring the GoodNews to all the people of the world. The Spirit led them to places they had never thought of or known. Asfrightened as they had been previously, they now knew why Jesus had called them together and what their missionwas about. They were so convinced of what they had to do that they were willing to die for the sake of Jesus andthe Gospel, beginning with James, our patron.  In this time of Covid-19, our mission may seem a little clouded. After all, we haven’t been able to worshiptogether, and it’s difficult to proclaim the Good News wearing a mask. Nevertheless, it is the Spirit who sends usforth to be a visible sign of Jesus for others. The example we give to others, especially in times like this, remindsall of us of the seriousness of the Gospel message and its impact on our lives. The way we respond to those wemeet in stores and other places, including the way we treat those who serve us, indicate how seriously we haveaccepted the invitation from Jesus to be a sign of his presence.  Sometimes, though, this becomes difficult, especially when we encounter people who want to make our missiontougher than usual. Their attitude or behavior can challenge us in ways we may not like. But our demeanor andbehavior must reflect the seriousness of our mission, which is to be and to proclaim the Good News. Jesuspromised us that he would be with us always, and the presence of the Spirit reaffirms that. The presence of theSpirit should comfort and console us, knowing that we are not alone in this mission. We are sent forth to use ourtalents to help build the kingdom of God on earth, a kingdom of justice and peace, mercy, and compassion,equality, and forgiveness. We can only accomplish this with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Pentecost also ends the Easter Season. Tomorrow we begin Ordinary Time, which we will celebrate until the FirstSunday of Advent. We are in the midst of re-configuring our church for social distancing, so that we can open it for private prayer.You may have heard or read that the church will be open for public worship. That is not true, and it may nothappen for another few weeks, when Cardinal Tobin decides it is safe for that to happen. The church will lookvery different when we are finished. We have received a set of directives from Cardinal Tobin, and when they arein place, the church will be open for private prayer a few days a week. I ask for your patience, as we work to makesure all of you who enter the church are safe. When we open the church, whether for private prayer or worship,masks will be required. If you do not have a mask on, you will not be able to enter the church. Thank you for yourunderstanding. We will continue to live stream the 10:30AM AM mass each Sunday, even when the church opensfor public worship.  The final total of our Easter collection is $36,933. This is a tribute to your generosity, since we could not take upan Easter collection in church. Our budget was $41,000, so we are not far off, considering the effects of Covid-19.THANK YOU for your continued generosity and support. I am proud and privileged to serve you as your pastor,and I am never hesitant to tell you. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!  HAPPY PENTECOST!!!  HAPPY MYSTAGOGIA!!!  ~ Fr. Joe