March 31, 2020
I first want to say that I am so sorry for those of you who have lost their jobs or are suffering financial adversity. For those who are spending a lot more time alone you may feel lonely. I think I can speak to that as someone who has been leading a celibate life for quite a while now. I spend a lot of time by myself having lived alone in three different rectories. Solitude for me is when I most feel the presence of God. He is our constant companion and best friend. I can honestly say that I never feel totally alone. I love being around people, but I also truly relish my life of solitude with the Lord. This is a time to travel deeper into the presence of God. This situation is completely out of our control and therefore it is mysteriously God’s will for a time to be homebound. I pray that you may come to a deeper awareness of his presence with you in your solitude.
For those of us who are homebound with other people (which also includes me at this point), this is going to test our patience and push us to grow in charity. I was listening to a psychologist on the news talking about ways to alleviate stress. One thing they said that was interesting was that focusing on the needs of others around us actually helps with stress reduction!
The situation may change by the time you all get this letter, but I am so grateful that as of right now we can keep the church open on Sundays for adoration from 8am to 1pm. The Knights of Columbus have been so helpful in posting outside the door and monitoring folks coming and going to ensure that there are no more than 10 people in the church at any given time and that everyone maintains social distancing. Of course, the church is also open from 3-4pm on Saturday for confession. I am in the sacristy with the windows open. So just come on in.
Our collections are obviously way down, but I am so grateful to everyone who has brought their envelopes in on Sunday. The Knights of Columbus can take your offering and they put them in the safe. I am also extremely grateful to the counters who have come in to help. Folks can bring their offering at other times as well and just put them in the inbox on the parish office porch. If you would rather not leave your house there is the Faith Direct electronic giving option offered on our parish website, or you could arrange to give through automatic bill pay as well. We appreciate your support so much.
Please consider signing up for Flocknote on our parish website so we can communicate regularly with you all. So far we have nearly 200 parishioners signed up, which is great! I’m in a groove videoing Mass everyday for everyone. We are posting it on the parish website and it is also of course on my YouTube channel. To find my channel just go to YouTube and search for ‘Fr. Larry Young’. I am having fun doing a series of Ascension church tour videos as well. My YouTube apostolate has really kept me busy during this shut down and I am grateful for that.
Since the new directives from the Archdiocese indicate that there will be no public liturgies during Holy Week, folks are being strongly encouraged to tune in to the live-stream of Archbishop Wilton Gregory at St. Matthew’s Cathedral on the Archdiocese of Washington YouTube channel (Palm Sunday Mass 10:30am; Holy Thursday Mass 5:30pm; Good Friday Service 1pm; Easter Vigil Mass 8pm; Easter Sunday Mass 10am).
I feel close to you even though we are all sequestered in our homes. We are the body of Christ and share a bond that goes beyond this world. I pray none of you get this terrible virus, but my prayer above all is that we all make it one day to our heavenly homeland. I would like to end this letter with the words of St. Paul, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?... No, in all these things we are more than conquerers through him who loved us” (Rom 8:35, 37).
Peace of Christ,
Rev. Larry Young