Pastor’s Letter: May 28, 2020

Pastor’s Letter: May 28, 2020

Pastor’s Letter: May 28, 2020

29 May 2020 | Posted by: chadmin

May 28, 2020

Dear friend,

I pray you are doing well. Thank you all for the anniversary cards. Being my 17th year, my anniversary was not something I was thinking much about. I was quite surprised by all the communication. It was quite enjoyable to read through all your thoughts and blessings. I especially enjoyed the real-time feedback on the administrative response of our parish staff during the COVID-19 outbreak. This time has presented new challenges to all of us. Our goal is to continue working toward communal prayer once again. Thanks for the feedback and support. I wish I could share all the cute cards I received from our kids!

The Bishops of Illinois have released a phased approach to reopening our churches. The churches in the Diocese of Peoria are all currently in Phase 1, which allows for 10 people to be present for a wedding, funeral or baptism. The next step is opening the church building for a maximum of 10 people to be present for private prayer time. We anticipate opening the St. Philomena Church building this weekend for private prayer. Entrance into our church will require a signup process. Because of the size of our parish community, we can’t at this time simply open church for anyone to come at any time.

Both for health reasons and for a successful progression through the stages of reopening, all our Catholic churches are required to go through the same steps to manage persons inside the church. For this reason, we will use Eventbrite, an internet scheduling service, to schedule individuals to pray in church as well as attend Mass, once we are able to hold public Mass inside church again. A separate letter from this bulletin column, along with a recorded online video will include detailed information on the process to register on Eventbrite. Please know for now we continue to livestream 8am Mass daily. Communion continues to be distributed in the St. Philomena parking lot at about 8:30am Monday – Saturday, after the celebration of the 4:30pm vigil Mass on Saturday and at 9am and 11am on Sunday. Our hope is that we can continue to meet the spiritual needs of all our 1,400 families.

This past week, we began our summer projects. We are still benefiting from our capital campaign a few years ago, which is funding several of the projects we hope to complete this summer. Next time you come to campus, you will notice that the stone on church was power washed. It looks terrific. We are also repairing the bases of each front pillar, to return the original beauty. Parts of the school brick will be tuck-pointed this summer. Next week, construction will begin on a new grotto in the Rosary Garden. This grotto will include a statue of the Holy Family and benches where you can sit and pray. The grotto will consist of materials similar to the Parish Center brick and stone. Our hope is that this grotto will enhance the prayer experience of our school students and parish members. We are also pleased to install new school playground equipment this summer. The current play equipment, purchased and first installed in 1991, has reached the end of its safe use. The new playground should be installed in next month or so.

Happy Pentecost! The gospel reading gives the image of Jesus breathing on the Apostles, while inviting them to receive the Holy Spirit. The gift of the Spirit comes forth from the mouth of God. The Spirit given to all of us through Baptism and Confirmation, brings wisdom, understanding, right judgment, courage, knowledge, reverence, and counsel, fear of the Lord. Just as the Apostles received the Holy Spirit to heal and guide the early Church, so are we called to believe in the Spirit we have received. May this Pentecost inspire us to seek spiritual guidance from God for in all life situations. Have a great week.

God bless,

Father David