Message May 15, 2020

6th Sunday of Easter, 2020


Dear parishioners and friends of Saint Eugene Parish;


I have been amazed and even humbled by the dedication and generosity of so many of you, the parishioners and friends of St. Eugene Parish, as shown by your faithful contributions dropped off at the rectory during these very difficult times!  The number of people who have signed-up for electronic giving has increased.  It has been truly overwhelming!  I am also aware that some of you are unable to contribute due to the financial difficulties you are experiencing during this health crisis.  Know that you are, and will always be, members of this parish!  All of you are in my prayers, please keep me in yours!

Another powerful event that demonstrated your faithfulness and resourcefulness took place the evening of Tuesday, May 12 beginning at 7:00pm.  Thanks to the efforts of members of our Parish Social Committee, we had the opportunity to participate in a Virtual Prayer Service!  Extra thanks to Mr. Matt MacDonald and Mrs. Maureen Naylor (and the whole social committee as well!) for this.  I think that there were somewhere close to 50 participants!  After the prayer service many enjoyed the opportunity to remain ‘on-line’ and greet parishioners they may not have seen for almost 2 months now!  It was almost like after the 5:00pm vigil Mass!

One question that is probable on many minds is WHEN, when will the churches be open for regularly scheduled Masses!  Once again I can only say that I know as much as you do … in other words, I don’t have an answer.  It’s up to our civic and church leaders, our governor and Archbishop, and to be honest, I don’t think they know!  Live streamed and taped Masses are ok, but sitting home watching TV is not quite the same as sitting in a pew, seeing fellow parishioners and praying together.  Anyone miss the Sunday homily? … even a boring one?  Some admit that they are surprised to feel an emptiness … as if something is missing … and of course what’s ‘missing’ is the Eucharist.  Watching a live streamed Mass is OK, but there’s no such thing as a ‘virtual’ Holy Communion/Eucharist.  It’s difficult to see anything ‘good’ coming out of this crisis, but it might be true that we’ll never again take for granted the wonder of the Eucharist!

Just a reminder – the Sacrament of Reconciliation (‘Confession’) is available every Saturday afternoon from 4:00pm – 4:30pm.  It is also possible to set-up an appointment for confession at other times during the week; feel free to call the rectory (610/626-2866) to set-up a time.

Beginning Monday, May 18th, St. Eugene Church will be open for private meditation and prayer, Monday thru Friday, 8:00am until 11:30am.  For security reasons, please enter and leave by the side entrance across from the rectory (other doors will remain locked).  Please do not use the school-side or main entrance doors.  Also, I must rely on your honesty and sense of responsibility to follow the standard guidelines regarding ‘gatherings’: please limit the number of people in the church at any one time to 10 people or less, please keep a ‘socially responsible’ distancing in choosing a seat, etc. etc.  And keep in mind that the Blessed Sacrament IS in the tabernacle!  Sit quietly, pray, meditate, look at the stained glass windows on either side of the sanctuary, focus on the tabernacle  …  He is truly there!

God bless you and I hope to ‘see you in church’ very soon!

Fr. McDermott