Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On this Sunday before the Solemnity of the Lord’s Ascension, we are, once more, spiritually transported to the Upper Room as Jesus gives his farewell discourse (actually began in last Sunday’s Gospel). He encourages His followers to have a strong spirit of love and promises to send the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide them. The promised Advocate comes, of course, at Pentecost, and as we see in the Acts of the Apostles, inspires and strengthens Philip, Peter, and John to proclaim the Gospel.
Later on, we hear Peter fulfilling Jesus command to “feed the sheep” by exhorting them to remain true to Christ even in the midst of suffering and persecution. Pope Francis and his predecessors do the same in our own day and age. Many words of encouragement and hopefulness have come to us from Our Holy Father and our bishops. They remind us always to keep ourselves focused on Christ and place all our trust in Him.
Happily, I witness the good and positive actions on the part of the faithful as we struggle through these days. Parishioners have been very conscientious and generous knowing that we still have parish expenses and bills to pay. Thank you for your loving support and thoughtfulness. Also, many thanks to those who have made and are continuing to make sacrificial offerings for our local needy families and individuals. Contribution of all amounts – some quite substantial, have been to allotted our St. Vincent de Paul account, which specifically is earmarked for the poor. Despite your own financial constraints, you have been mindful of those in our midst who need assistance at this time. God knows the goodness of your hearts and truly it will be recognized by Him.
Father Sahd and I are also thankful for the kind letters and notes of support, especially those who have expressed their gratefulness for the internet broadcast of Masses and Sunday evening Vespers. We are glad to reach as many as we do and it only makes us more anxious to see you face-to-face. We also appreciate the gifts of food for your priests. Thank you for taking such care of us. You are just like the good and faithful women who took care of the Lord and His disciples.
Lastly, let us all continue to place ourselves, our loved ones, our nation, and our world under the loving care of Our Blessed Mother. Pray the Rosary every day. She will not let us down.