I must say it felt strange seeing everyone wearing face masks and people sitting in differ pews than they are accustom but for me personally it was it was great to celebrate Mass once again with a congregation present. I have been celebrating a daily Mass every day since the Coronavirus crisis caused us to cease having public Masses. I must say that it has felt even stranger to me than resuming Mass now with the precautions we are taking. I have never before in my 38 years of priesthood celebrated Mass alone. But, as I have celebrated Mass each day, I have prayed for the intentions of every member of Good Shepherd Catholic Community.
As we go forward I will be resuming daily Masses this week following our previous schedule with the same precautions we have put in place for Sunday Masses. Remember face masks are required while in attendance.
Please also remember what Bishop Matano has stated, “It must be noted that even with all precautions taken, there still will be a risk for anyone who attends a public gathering to contract the coronavirus. Anyone who is sick should stay home, as should anyone who fears contracting a disease by attending Mass. Parishes should communicate clearly to parishioners who are vulnerable that they should remain at home in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). For this reason, the obligation to attend Sunday Mass will remain suspended for all Catholics in the Diocese of Rochester until further notice.’
Those who are in the vulnerable group are persons over 65 years of age and those with pre-existing medical conditions, so please use caution if you have any concern about attending Masses. I myself fit into that group so as I Celebrate Mass I will be taking extra precautions.
We no longer have books in our churches to write down prayer requests for your special intentions. But I remind you that we have a prayer chain ministry. On the bulletin cover each week is listed PRAYER REQUESTS with contact information to call in or email us your prayer requests. A group of parishioners have joined this ministry and when they receive the prayer requests they add those intentions to their prayers. This ministry is headed up by Elizabeth Harper who started the ministry when she lived in Moravia. She has since moved but has generously continue to devote herself to sending out the prayer request to those in the prayer ministry. So if you have prayer requests you can call or email Elizabeth at 315-729-8962 or email@example.com or by contacting the Parish Office. If you would like to join this prayer ministry please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 315-364-7197.
I am happy to report that Bishop Matano has assigned me to a second term here as your pastor. As we look to the future together, it is important to plan and envision how our parish’s ministry should develop. At the June Pastoral Council meeting I said a blessing over the newly selected Council that will be working together this year. Next year’s Pastoral Council will consist of three new members Anne Miller and John Schmitt from St. Patrick Aurora who will have three year terms and Stephanie Lehman from St. Michael Church; she will serve for two years. They will join Janet Nelson, Steve Cardinal and Maria Gentry, and Youth Rep., Bridget Davis on the Council. Going off the Council this year are Terry Palmer, Joe DeCaro, and Kevin Homick. I thank Terry, Joe and Kevin for their service and pray for continued blessings for them and their families.
While I have been reappointed to serve as your pastor for a second term I am sad to say we will be having a change in our staff. Marilyn Paradise has decided to retire as our Faith Formation Coordinator. Marilyn has served the families of our parish for many years. I am very grateful for all the ways she has shared her faith and knowledge in ministering to our parish and for assisting me personally in many ways. I wish her the best as she begins new ministries. We will soon be advertising to fill her position. Following is a word from Marilyn:
During these past few months, I have had the opportunity to visit and care for a couple of elderly, widowed ladies in my community. I have felt God stirring in me that it's time to begin a new path. With that, I have decided to follow God's lead. I will finish my ministry as Faith Formation Coordinator at Good Shepherd on August 31. I do not need to say any farewells as I will see you as a fellow parishioner and volunteer. Please know that all of you have been an enormous blessing to me in my ministry at Good Shepherd. Stay safe. God bless. Marilyn
As we continue our journey together I ask you to pray for Marilyn , the new Pastoral Council and for yourself, asking for the continued guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives and the life of our parish. God’s blessings and peace, Father Bill