Christmas Season 2020
To Dear Parish Family,
This may be the most challenging Christmas Season that any of us can remember. While many of you have faced difficult and discouraging times throughout your lives, the events of this past year are unique in their unexpected demands on the entire world.
The pandemic has brought suffering to so many and many of them go unnoticed. You, the members of the St. Vincent de Paul community of faith, are in my thoughts and prayers daily. You are remembered in the prayers of the morning mass each day at 9:00am. We have tried hard to stay connected to each of you over the past months.
I want to remember those of you who may have been alone at Christmas without the support of family and friends. Such separation and isolation can be very discouraging and painful.
I also ask that we all include in our prayers those who have faced the death of friends and family because of the corona virus or any other illness or cause of death. These difficult times have been further complicated by the restrictions of visiting the sick and the restrictions required for funerals and burials.
I would like to acknowledge the hardships that have been placed on families. Unemployment and workplace changes have a powerful effect on families. School closures have had a strong impact on young people and their teachers. The limits on social and interpersonal connections have confused us all.
We are all anxious to experience a sense of newness in the coming year, and we are confident and hopeful in the future. But I think the events of these past months will have a variety of lasting influences on each of us.
2021 will demand our attention and concern as we move forward. I hope that we can all look for opportunities to be present to those around us. I encourage those who feel uncertain and fragile to ask others for help and support. I am anxious for the time when we can all join together again in our parish church to celebrate the Eucharist and feel and experience the closeness of others in prayer.
Let us continue to pray for one another each day. Please add a prayer for those who may be suffering unnoticed within our parish family. St. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Romans, “we are always courageous.” We will need that courage to walk together into the new light and life of a new year.
A blessed Christmas and healthy and peaceful New Year,
The Rev. John E. Norman
Pastor, Saint Vincent DePaul Parish