AN EASTER WISH AND MESSAGE OF HOPE:  Easter celebrates the reality that hope springs eternal!  As you read this week’s bulletin and articles/columns, you will be celebrating the most wonderful and important day of the Church year, but much more than just Church, our faith tells us that we are celebrating the most important moment of all of life.  If it were not for Christ, the salvation of man would not be possible.  It is by no merit of our own that we attain heaven; we do not save ourselves—though admittedly, many seem to think they do.  Rather, our lives of faith are lived in grateful response to what Christ has done for us.
       
From Fr. Julius, all our Staff and myself, we send to you and your family and loved ones a most sincere wish for Easter joy.  May your heart be filled with gratitude for what Christ has done for you and me and may your life always reflect that joy to others. True faith in Our Lord allows for this attitude of heart.  Be joyful!  Alleluia!


FILLING THE PEWS AS BEST AS POSSIBLE (until we are allowed to open up all pews completely):  MANY members are doing things in their “groups” or “pods” as some have called them.  Many are eating dinner with other family members or close friends.  Many are at all the stores, shopping for most everything, and in most of those places “spacing” is not being observed worth a hoot—but people are there, and out and about! 

While the Church’s dispensation from attending weekly Mass is still in place, unless there is a very serious need (that you are not compromising in other ways) it would be wrong to be taking advantage of the dispensation.  It is not a “free pass” as many have used it, but to be used out of necessity.  But, if you are everywhere else, or with your “pods”, or shopping, going to work regularly, then you likely have no need to take advantage of a dispensation from Holy Mass. 
               
Think about it.  Of course, each has to answer to their own heart and conscience about the matter, but if compromising your concern in any other way, then you can come to Church for the Sunday Mass.  A dispensation should not become the sinful excuse.        
When a Catholic takes a pass on attending weekly Mass for lack of care or laziness or even using the pandemic as an excuse (when going to work or elsewhere), it is the Catholic who loses.  Graces, being joined to a community of love and praise, the Eucharist, the benefit of the Word, and so much more.  The Church has disciplines in place for the best spiritual good of the individual.  Pray about it, friends. ~Fr. John