Update……..Tuesday, May 12th…Day 61 since the churches have been closed
  • Here is some information I recently saw:  According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, 27% of Catholics say that the coronavirus crisis has strengthened their faith rather than weakened it.  According to the national survey, those Americans who rate religion as very important to them are far more likely than others to say their faith has grown stronger because of the coronavirus outbreak.  This explains why so many people “miss church.”  Their faith is strong and this virus is separating them from church.  Interesting information.
  • Thanks to all who contribute to Renate’s Food Pantry.  If you make a donation be sure to mark it for the pantry and we will ensure it gets there. 
  • Don’t forget our 11am Sunday Mass is streamed live during this pandemic on Facebook.  We also have a weekly story for young children posted each Wednesday on our website.
  • This year marks the 100th anniversary of St. Margaret Mary, to whom Jesus appeared as the Sacred Heart.  Wednesday, May 13th is the anniversary of the canonization of Margaret Mary.  You can join the Sisters of Visitation as they celebrate the canonization of Margaret Mary as their co-founder.  A plenary indulgence is offered on that day if you would like to join them on line.  Their website is www.vistyr.org.  This is an opportunity for online adoration and prayer.
  • No news to announce on when the closing of the churches will end.  Today is day 61 since the churches have been closed.  We are awaiting more guidance from the Bishop and Governor Baker’s staff.  We will keep you updated.  Keep praying that this will end soon. 
  • The Diocese of Springfield Catholic Communications invites high school seniors from our parishes and Catholic schools to submit photos and/or videos and brief profiles to be featured on the Catholic Communications Facebook page and the "Real to Reel" weekly newsmagazine program.  This is a way to recognize high school seniors.  The photos, videos, and biographical information should be sent to Rebecca Drake, Editor/News Director at r.drake@diospringfield.org.  NOTE: Make videos in horizontal mode, if possible, for more effective display on television.

Here is the suggested information to submit:

  • Name
  • School and Parish
  • High School Achievements and Activities
  • Plans and Hopes for the Future
  • How Catholic Faith Has Made a Difference in Your Life and Education

Reflection: 

  • 5th Sunday of Easter
  • May 10, 2020
  • 11am Streaming Mass
  • Homily from last Sunday, May 10
  • By Fr. John Connors

First let me extend a very special Mother’s Day message to all Moms out there watching Mass today.  Our Moms have helped us through this crisis and that is yet another reason why we are all getting through this pandemic.  Give your mom a hug or give her an air hug virtually if you are not home with her.  Better yet---Call her!

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled,” Jesus begins in the gospel today on this the 5th Sunday of the Easter season. 

These are certainly most troubling times.  Is there really anyone in the entire country not aware of this?  It is difficult not have our hearts be troubled.   And yet, when we find that God is all we have…..we can discover that God is all we need.  That is a real truth we can discover in the midst of this sequestering.  No wonder Jesus tells us in the gospel today, “do not let your hearts be troubled.”   Why?  Because he is with us through it.

A key message I have tried to make throughout this long ordeal we are enduring is that we do not walk alone.  We have the Spirit of God to lead us and guide us.  If you did not believe that, you would not be taking time to watch this Mass right now.

It is in that spirit, that we hear those words:  Do not let your hearts be troubled.  After all, we have Jesus himself, present in the Spirit, who is walking with us on this difficult journey through a pandemic.  As long as we cling to that trust----then our hearts need not be troubled.

As a Saint Anne parish family, we journey through these times like a long wagon train of sorts.  Remember those wagon trains from two centuries ago traveling out west.  They stuck together and many took their faith along with them.

We are journeying through uncharted territory in facing the coronavirus--- like our ancestors who journeyed out west through a difficult terrain.   Over hills and through many storms, they traveled.  We face not only a different kind of journey---but also an uncertain future.  And yet, we do not journey alone.  We have Jesus with us.  Don’t leave home without Him today.  He is, you might say, our GPS through this ordeal.  It is through Him that we can find our way to handle the challenges we are in.

What does Jesus say to the Apostle Thomas when he says, “How can we know the way?”  Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” 

Along the trail of this virus we have learned to adjust to a new normal.  We have been watching Mass on TV or through live streaming.  We have relied upon spiritual communion--- rather than receiving the physical presence of the bread of life.  We have celebrated even the holiest of days---Easter---in our living rooms.  Our churches have been closed.  Schools are closed and masks and gloves are customary attire. 

What in the world happened we might wonder?  It seems like we have taken a detour in our Christian life since we cannot be at church.  But as long as we have the Spirit to guide us, we are going to be ok.  That may seem foolish to nonbelievers.  But we know otherwise. 

As Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.   In today’s language, he might say, I am your GPS!  You see, we have a real GPS in our redeemer.  And we need that even more than the guidance of health officials.  We need the help and direction from those health professionals of course.  We want to do our part in safeguarding ourselves and neighbor.  And yet, we can do that with confidence when we stay close to the Spirit.

I am confident that the Spirit continues to guide us through these times.  We will be back together and back on the wagon trail before long.  We stayed apart because that is also living the light of the gospel in solidarity with the entire Body of Christ. 

Our bishop did not hesitate to suspend Masses and dispense the faithful from the obligation to attend Mass to not only be in compliance with protective measures, but also to do our part in preventing the spread of this deadly virus.   We have to remember that over 70,000 Americans have died from Covid-19 including some right here in Chicopee.  

As we return as a parish community there will be some changes that will take place.  How we worship together, the preventive steps we need to take, and the protections we will need to put in place, will be different at church then what we were used to.  But that is ok.  We have already had to adjust to many changes. 

We have learned how to navigate the one-way aisles at Big Y and staying our 6 feet apart.  We have stayed away from friends and neighbors.  We have already made countless sacrifices to serve God’s people through one another.   

No matter what twists and turns may lay ahead for us in this pandemic, let not our hearts be troubled.  Because we have someone very special with us----our redeemer Savior who gives us our strength.  Talk with Him today---He wants to hear from us. 

And one day soon, this wagon train of St. Anne parish ---will be back together---as we continue to travel along ----the Way, the Truth and the Life. 

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