April 1 DAY 20 (Since churches have closed)

Dear Parishioner of St. Anne:

If you are like me, you wish we could just start the year 2020 all over.  I remember on January 1st at the New Year’s morning Mass, as we celebrated the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, we began with such high hopes for the year.  Who would have known, that by the time we got to Easter, our churches would have been shutdown for three weeks due to this terrible pandemic called COVID-19.  Things are sure different today than they were on that New Year’s morning. How the world can change!

But one thing has never changed in our world.  As we struggle to stay at home, as we battle loneliness if we live alone, as we fight to find something uplifting, as we try to keep the kids busy and away from the notion, “there is nothing to do,” we can remind ourselves that we will get through this and be able to return to Mass.  For at every Mass we are reminded that God is with us through thick and thin. And knowing that, we can never be truly alone. And that never changes---before, during, and after any pandemic. 

The beautiful wooden carving that hangs in St. Anne Church above the tabernacle shows a Jesus at the Last Supper holding up the bread He gave life to----the large round circular host---a visible sign of an invisible reality.  That image serves as a reminder that Jesus is truly with us as he promised in the Book of Revelation: “I am with you always until the end of time.” We will one day celebrate Mass together and join with each other in celebrating Christ among us!  For now, the Spirit moves invisibly among us without that visible sign of communion.

That hope we cling to deep within us, that glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, that fight within us to stay optimistic for ourselves and others, just might be the bright Spirit of God working on our soul.  Listen for the whisper of God or the slight nudge the Spirit gives us in our more reflective moments.

Jesus never invited the suffering he endured.  Neither did we invite this pandemic to bring such suffering to us.  But Jesus worked through his and we are doing the same. Jesus prayed during it and we can too. 

Use your own kind of prayer to give you that glimmer of hope.  Help God help you by doing that. And remember, we will get through this and emerge from it a stronger community.

Yours in Christ,
Fr. John Connors, Pastor