My Dear Friends in Christ,
Happy Easter! The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Today is a day of triumph and resurrected life. As Catholics, we are blessed that Easter is not just one day, but a season that lasts for 50 days. It is not just a beautiful historical event in our church, but a continued lived experience for us with the Resurrected Christ. During this Easter season, may the risen Lord become real to us, even in the newfound challenges of life during this time of quarantine.
I am so grateful that Fr. Melwin and I were able to begin Holy Week by seeing so many of you collecting blessed palms for your homes last Sunday. We continued to celebrate Holy Week “with you” by virtually praying and viewing the Masses said by our shepherd, Bishop Daniel Thomas, through the Easter Triduum.
In recent weeks, we have all lived a unique Lenten experience and have made far more sacrifices than any of us anticipated. Though Lent is over, many of those sacrifices continue as we follow the many health and safety guidelines in place. Let us remember that time is a manmade system. From God’s perspective, this period of isolation is less than the blink of an eye. For us, we must learn ways to be in virtual unity. Fr. Melwin and I adjusted our schedules for saying Masses so they are not at the same time as Bishop Thomas. This allows us to be in communion with you when watching and praying the Mass with the Bishop at your household. Please continue to make time for these Masses in your daily routine, too.
Next Sunday, April 19, is Divine Mercy Sunday. Please set aside extra time for prayer with your family. Fr. Melwin and I will spend time in Adoration and offer the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Litany. Our intentions will include you and your families, medical staff and first responders, church leaders, political leaders, and all those in leadership roles. Look for information on Facebook and in next week’s bulletin about how to pray the chaplet and litany from home.
Bishop Thomas has advised that we will not resume public Masses and administration of sacraments before May 3. I ask all parishioners to hold in special prayer those in our parish anticipating reception of sacraments because our RCIA program, Confirmation preparation, and First Communion preparation have been delayed. I pray that their faith continues to be strengthened and that they may be an example to all of us as we wait for a return to the regular reception and administering of sacraments.
Celebrating Easter deepens our faith in the resurrected Jesus who is always calling us and inspiring us to lead lives characterized by joy, peace, and compassion. Let us share this Easter joy with others via telephone, emails, letters, or the other means of communication we are utilizing to stay in touch. I wish you every blessing for this Easter season and I pray that the light of Christ may brighten the life of each of you.
Father Gilbert Mascarenhas SAC- Pastor