Message for April 12

Dear Parishioners of Saint Eugene Parish and Guests,

I thank all of you for the patience and understanding you have demonstrated over these past weeks.  Please know that I share the concerns and uncertainties that you are feeling during this crisis.  The loss of employment and income has become a reality for many of our families, our children are without the opportunities to continue their education in traditional ways, and our social interactions have been severely restricted, if not totally eliminated.  In addition, as people of faith, we must contend with closed churches and little or no access to our Sacraments.  Perhaps most disturbing of all is the fact that this year we will miss the opportunity to fully participate in the wondrous celebrations of Holy Week and Easter Sunday.  This has truly become a crisis of epic proportions, one that will require cooperation and sacrifice by all of us.

The Covid-19 Crisis has taken away so much from so many people.  But remember that there is one thing it cannot take from us, something that nothing can take from us, and that is our Faith!  True, at least temporarily, we may be deprived of the traditional ways of celebrating our Catholic Faith, but all that we profess to believe in remains as strong and as real as ever.  Beginning with Palm Sunday and continuing through Holy Week, culminating on Easter Sunday, we celebrate the most wonderful truth that by His suffering, Jesus Christ overcame death and opened for those who believe, the reality of eternal life!  For a true believer, for a true Catholic, our belief in Jesus Christ is not limited or confined to the insides of a building or the practice of rituals.  Worship comes from, and resides in, the very core of our being!  God hears our prayers no matter where we pray.

With God’s grace and using common sense we will get through this!  Until then we should stay home when possible and respectfully await the decisions of our civic and religious leaders as to the time when we can once again resume a more ‘normal’ routine.  What a wonderful day that will be when we can once again gather in our parish church to join in prayer and worship!  But this should not detract from the joy all of us should have in our hearts this Easter.  Never doubt or forget that Jesus Christ has risen and with that comes God’s offer of Eternal Life!

I wish all of you a joyful and safe Easter.  I will continue to hold you in my prayers and I respectfully ask that you continue to pray for me.

May God bless all of us,

Fr. Joseph McDermott