These past few months have been a challenge for this ‘farmer’, your Pastor. We have been fortunate enough to have qualified for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which is the Federal Loan designated to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for the full 8 weeks of the program. We qualified for $32,900.00 and 75% was used for lay-employee salaries and benefits with the remaining 25% being applied to utility bills which were an acceptable expense. By following the mandated rules, what started as a ‘loan’ was then turned into a ‘grant’ which we do not have to pay back. Praise God!
“Bearing fruit and yielding a hundred, or sixty, or thirtyfold.”
The Gospel parable ends on a high note with the seed sown on rich soil producing abundantly. Despite these challenging past few months, so many of you have been providing the resources ($$$$) to keep our parish up and running smoothly. Many of you have faithfully mailed in your weekly collection envelopes, continued your On-Line giving, given large donations, or filled the calabash bowls on your way out of Mass. I know that these are hard times for many of you, but your generosity is even more of a blessing to us now. Your sacrificial giving is a sign that you accept ownership of the parish. And for this I am grateful and feel blessed.
The sower does not work alone.
Our daily situation in the world, state, an even our parish changes often. Our future seems uncertain, but St. Paul gives us reason to hope. “Brothers and Sisters: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.” Paul is encouraging us to look beyond our current situation with hope. Yes, there are still many uncertainties, but we need to be practical and prayerful in addressing the ongoing needs of ourselves, our families, and our church. Do what you need to do, to remain safe and healthy. Our current church attendance is averaging about 240 people per weekend…about 1/3 of our usual congregation size. Those who feel sick, compromised by large gatherings, or unsure about attending Mass now…do what you are comfortable with. No one should feel pressured to attend Mass….let’s wait and see what the future brings…and hopefully you will be able to return to worship with us. For those of you who have returned….
Welcome Back! A question that I am frequently asked is when we will be able to return to the church building. My answer is always the same: “when we no longer have to wear face masks, sit 6 feet apart, and disinfect the worship space after each mass. That time will come, a new ‘normal’ will have to be observed and we will be a better and healthier parish…both physically and spiritually. Thank you for being both part of the sowing and the reaping of God’s Word and blessings.