Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus;
On this blessed Thanksgiving Day, we call to mind our many blessings as a nation, church, and individually. Part of me wishes 2020 were already behind us, but we can certainly be thankful that the Lord our God has sustained us thus far and will continue to do so. It is important to remember that God never told us our lives would be easy; what he told us is that he would always be with us – even to the end of the age.
We can also be thankful that Bishop Stika has decreed that the faithful can begin receiving communion on the tongue starting this Sunday. A separate station at the St. Joseph altar will administer the sacrament in this manner at all English and Spanish Masses. The other two stations will administer in the hand only.
Congregational singing has also resumed. Everyone must wear a mask, and the hymn must be distributed on single use paper. We are now using Mass Service sheets you can pick up on your way into the church. It includes the day’s readings, the responsorial psalm chant, and a recessional hymn on the back.
So, we are slowly inching our way back to the new normal. Thank you to all who have volunteered to serve in some ministry capacity. If you are not personally engaged in some lay ministry in the church, please give it prayerful consideration. I want to offer thanks to all of you, but especially for those serving on the pastoral council and our staff.
Welcome to Deacon Scott Maentz, who starts his diaconal ministry this Sunday on Advent I. Fr. Hendershott returns on December 23, and the bishop has confirmed that Fr. Adam Kane will be here in his priestly ministry through the end of June 2021. I am grateful especially for Deacon Gordy Lowery and his ongoing ministry and Margaret Hunt, church secretary, and Catherine Cunningham, our CPA, and bookkeeper.
I offer special thanks for the volunteer, but very effective and productive, ministry of Elizabeth Bunker. She will retire at the end of this year as Director of Religious Education after five years of faithful service. Of course, the title DRE does not even begin to cover all she has done for Holy Ghost Parish. Elizabeth does not want a big retirement farewell, but I trust you will all extend your appreciation personally.
I am hopeful for the future of our parish. As soon as the pandemic begins to recede, we will resume our parish conversation about our property and facilities related to our office, rectory, and parish life center. Life is not always easy, but there is still much for which we may be thankful through faith in Jesus Christ.
In the love of the Risen Lord,
Fr. Bill McNeeley