Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Fr. Perrone: Post-Holy Week house keeping & ruminations

Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" (Assumption Grotto News, April 19, 2015):
All the great days are now behind us: Holy Week, Easter Sunday and Divine Mercy Sunday. Although the Church is still in high spirits throughout the greater Easter season, yet it would be expected that one should feel a liturgical slump. For sure, there are some peak days ahead, such as Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi and the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, not to mention our own local celebration of First Holy Communion and May crowning. The break with the sharp winter temperatures and the warmth of the sunshine add to this feeling of release and repose after a season of hard work with harsh temperatures.

It is only now that I can begin to feel this pleasant change. I say this because there is about the span of a month’s time when I so immerse myself in liturgical things that I have to drop almost everything else. In other words: one week before Holy Week preparations are made; then comes the Great Week itself with Easter; what follows is a week of restoration to order, putting things back in place, noting corrections to be made for next year’s celebrations. After Divine Mercy Sunday I look over the large stack of parish work that has lain on my desk, growing ever higher by the day, and I began to make up for the “lost” time.

I write this not because you want to know what I do behind the scenes, but so that you can be a little understanding of why it may be that I cannot set meeting times and answer many messages, respond to mailings and make appointments during this time. I’m catching up on many things (not to mention the necessities of the dread tax time) so that there can be a return to normalcy. I appreciate your understanding and patience.

You will note that the church front porch and steps are being repaired and rebuilt. There had been a growing problem for the last few years. We thought it would be a relatively easy fix-up. It turned out to be a major project. After some eighty years and more one should expect that some repairs of our church would be needed. As it is, the church structure is remarkably sound (I’m told) and it is obvious that no effort or expense was spared when constructing the church, the reason for its durability as well as its admirable quality.

You will notice that there are other areas of the church plant which need attention. There’s so much here of land and aging buildings. We do our best to keep things serviceable while awaiting a time when more substantial restorations can be done. Another area for you to exercise patience.

We were pleased to have four new members of the Church brought in at the Easter Vigil Mass. While that may be a somewhat small number of converts in comparison to what suburban parishes accomplish, it is for us a good number. The more important thing, however, is that, after having interviewed them and questioned them on the faith, these converts give good indications that they will be worthy members of the Church. Christ is alive not only in Himself but also in His members who live in His grace and who represent Him to the world. This is so badly needed today when the Catholic voice is being stifled by the ungodly din of the worldly and the depraved. I have high hopes for these new Catholics (not to put too great a burden of expectation on them) that they will inject their newfound enthusiasm for the faith back into the body of the Church. This is an encouragement for all of us as well as our joy for them.

We have for several years been blessed with two extraordinary ladies–both named Mary–who have done laundry for us priests on the one hand and for the church linens on the other. Both of them have had to retire from this work (one only temporarily, it is hoped). This leaves us with a need for a couple of ladies to step in, those who may have the extra time to devote to it. Should you know of some such person, or should you yourself be she (how awkward that sounds!), do pluck up the courage and speak to the pastor or to his more kindly disposed associate priest.

Fr. Perrone