May 18, 2020
Peace and all good things to you!
As I begin writing this letter, I find myself thinking about what has happened in the world and in all of our lives since the beginning of March. What an unbelievable journey of uncertainty, suffering, radical changes in our daily lifestyle and FAITH!
It has been over nine weeks since we have been able to join together as a parish community to celebrate the Eucharist and by now all of us are longing to be fed by the gift of the Lord’s precious Body and Blood.
At the same time, I keep feeling and experiencing a real intensity of prayer for one another within our St. Martin Parish Family that is coming from our Domestic Churches. There is truly a presence of the Risen Lord in our homes and apartments. We have received notes from many of you and posts have been placed on Facebook that beautifully illustrate the good spirit of prayer and charity that is happening. A number of parishioners mentioned the positive influence on their family life as they have been taking the opportunity to pray together more often; while another wrote: “I spend time alone each morning praying my rosary for all of our parish families and friends that we all stay safe and healthy.” So too, the signs of God walking with us through these days has also been reflected in the many hours each week that parents have set up “classrooms” in their homes to team-up with dedicated teachers to continue the education of their children. The quiet calls of caring that we make to friends and relatives who are alone and the trips to the grocery store for those who are unable to venture out themselves are also reflections of the “Good Shepherd” among us.
However, one of the greatest challenges right now is to maintain and sustain our spirit of hope and trust in God. Like so many things in life, we often start with a burst of good will and energy, but as the days wear on some of this understandably starts to dissipate. We continue to hear about the virus infecting many people and our concern about our own health and that of our loved ones generate daily anxiety. Coupled with that is the complex economic situation and basic “cabin fever”. Literally we all need to be reminded and assured again and again that God is with us and Resurrection will come.
The Easter Season is always a time of making the Resurrection present – a time of healing from the pain of crucifixion and I think we have begun to see some of these “little Easters” taking place.
First of all, in nature itself. This has been a glorious and beautiful Spring. A combination of both cool and warm days has given us a beautiful expose of flowers and greenery. (It has also put many of our allergies in full gear but that’s another story!) In essence, the world of God’s creation has come back to life again and that’s a powerful sign of Resurrection and rejuvenation.
St. Martin of Tours Church and School “A Century of Caring; A Legacy of Faith” Also, from what the medical community has been telling us, a lot of healing has been taking place through the dedicated care and self-sacrifice of so many nurses, doctors, medical technicians, first responders and the entire staffs of our local hospitals and nursing homes. The precautions that we all have been doing our best to observe are making a difference. Doing our best to help one another continue to stay safe and healthy is a living out of Jesus’ great commandment – “to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.” There again is how we bring Jesus’ Resurrection into our midst.
These final weeks of the Easter Season contain another dose of hope and healing. Sunday, May 24th is the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. As Jesus was preparing to return to the Father and entrust the work of His ministry to His apostles and ultimately the Church, His final words to them were: “Know that I am with you always until the end of the world!” Jesus is with us right now.
The following weekend May 30th and 31st is the great Feast of Pentecost which celebrates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the Birthday of the Church. As you know, this is the weekend that we will be able to once again publicly celebrate the Eucharist as a parish community. What a fantastic day to be together again – allowing the Holy Spirit to bring His healing gifts to us and to the whole world.
These Spring/ Easter days also have a very important person woven into our prayers of faith and hope. That person of course is Mary – the Mother of God and our Mother. May is traditionally dedicated to her and I suspect that she has been receiving many requests and pleas from all of us – her children – for help in these difficult times. In her honor this year, we have re-instituted the shrine on the Harding Avenue side of the Church with a new statue. Some years ago, the site was vandalized, but in light of the present situation in the world today we wanted to once again make her part of the prayerfulness of our parish campus. When you are walking by the shrine, be sure to stop for a moment and ask for her intercession.
Included with this mailing you will find a guide of what to expect when we come back to Church for the first time. Please take the time to read through it and know it will take time for all of us to become accustomed to the new protocols and safety measures that may with us for some time. Also, you will find a Novena prayer to the Holy Spirit to help prepare us for Pentecost.
May we move through these final days of May and into June with a renewed sense of hope, thanksgiving and healing.
Happy Pentecost and many blessings from all of our Pastoral Staff!
Sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Terence J. Hamilton
P.S. Be sure to wear something RED to Mass on Pentecost!
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