Dear Seton Family,
This week I’m giving up my keyboard by posting two messages from Msgr. Jeff Burrill and Fr. Vince Cushing (our weekend Presiders) who write to inform you how they are doing during this pandemic:
Hello Parishioners of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton! Last Sunday I briefly panicked when a notice popped up on my cell phone reminding me that I had the 8:00 am Mass in 15 minutes! It was a painful reminder to me of the odd time in which we are living. I sure do miss having Mass at Seton!
Pope Francis said some weeks ago that the present moment is a time to choose between “what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not.”
Such words have been prophetic as each one of us has been pushed out of our comfort zones, but we have also been given a graced opportunity to focus on what really matters.
As we often say—God does not create evil, but He can and does bring good out of evil. This is surely what I have experienced these last several weeks. I live with eight other priests that work for the Bishops Conference. Prior to this virus we were like ships passing in the night—each priest busy with their own work, but since we have been quarantined together, we have been able to celebrate the Holy Triduum together, eat together and enjoy each other’s company more.
Prior to the virus my connection to my family was on a case by case basis, but now with Zoom we can see everyone, and we have had some great virtual gatherings. These are just two examples of God bringing good out of the very difficult circumstances in which we live. I pray you have had some similar experiences with your family and friends.
I have checked out your Masses online and have been most impressed with Fr. Paul, the deacons, musicians and staff! Reflecting on this weekend’s readings I have to say that this verse really struck me, and I hope it will also speak to you as we face these sometimes lonely, confusing and challenging times. The Psalmist wrote: “He guides me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk in the dark valley fear no evil; for you are at my side” (Psalm 23).
God is at our side! I look forward to the day when we are all back side to side (social distancing of course) and worshipping God together!!
My dear friends,
I write you in affection and friendship. I miss very much serving you and praying with you at mass and the sacraments. During this time of “sheltering in place” I particularly remember those who live alone and find the days long and tedious. I am with you in Spirit.
I look forward to returning to Seton and resuming ministry with you. Seton parish is part of my life over so many years (33, I think) that these past weekends feel incomplete when I can’t be with you. I consider myself blessed indeed by your faith and devotion.
I am doing reasonably well, despite difficulty with walking. I spend, or perhaps I should say “try to spend” a few hours each day reading, and devoting some time to prayer, staying in touch with friends, and watching news and documentaries on Netflix. I will be happy to return to more active ministry when it’s okay for me to do so!
You are ever in my prayer. Please pray for me. This letter brings sincere regards to our pastor, Fr. Paul and the fine staff at Seton. With the hope of being with you soon, I am
Sincerely in St. Francis,
Here is this Sunday’s Worship Aid. Don’t forget to prepare your bowl of water for the Sprinkling Rite at the beginning of Mass! Also, during the month of May, we honor the Virgin Mary. So have a statue or a painting or an icon of the Blessed Mother nearby as you watch Masses on line!
This Friday (5/1) Archbishop Lori joins the bishops in the U.S. and Canada by renewing the consecrations of the two nations to the care of our Blessed Mother. According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), “an act of consecration is meant to be a reminder to the faithful of the Blessed Mother’s witness to the Gospel and to ask for her effective intercession before her Son on behalf of those in need.” You can read about Friday’s event here. As we conclude Mass on Sunday, I will be adapting the Rite of Consecration to the Blessed Mother. As always, I encourage you to participate by using the Worship Aid.
If you are a family in need of assistance during this time please contact Liam Benton at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do what we can to help you.
We currently have 12 families signed up for our adopt-a-prayer family program to keep parishioners connected. If you would like to sign up please send an email with your basic information to email@example.com If you have signed up, thank you! Families will be assigned this week! Look for your email to begin connecting soon.
Mass will be live-streamed on the parish Facebook (link) and uploaded on YouTube (link), and our parish website, https://www.seaseton.org/Resources/Media. If you do not have Facebook but wish to watch our livestream, click here for instructions.
Feel free to forward this email to friends, family members and neighbors and let them know of the good things we continue to do here at Seton Parish!
I miss you!