A Message from the Pastor : Fr. Pedro de Oliveira
November 26, 2020
Thanksgiving Day usually brings the family together for fellowship and the joy of rekindling family relationships. Except that this year, it won’t be Thanksgiving as usual! Most people, I hear, are opting to stay home for Thanksgiving and celebrate with just their immediate family. And I hear that some will not even be surrounded this year by the loving chatter and joy of their own children or grandchildren. Perhaps a wise decision, to protect ourselves, our family and friends from Covid-19. However, the spirit of Thanksgiving will not be dead, even with a subdued celebration.
This year, the pandemic makes us even more conscious of the importance of the virtue of gratitude. Thanking God for the gift of each day, which so often we can be tempted to take it for granted. This Pandemic has taught us that tomorrow is not guaranteed; all we have is today. To live the present moment fully, in right relationships and to live life, with ever grateful hearts.
Take the time to thank your immediate family today for their love and for their friendship. This lockdown can be seen, perhaps as a blessing in disguise for so many families who were lukewarm in their relationships and an opportunity to grow closer and to appreciate each other better. Why not begin the Day of Thanksgiving by attending the 8:30 am Mass as a family in our Church? Or look for a televised Thanksgiving Day mass. That will set the right tone for the rest of the day.
When we consider the unbelievable loss of life in every family in the first year of the arrival of the early pilgrims to the New World, no one would have blamed them for setting aside a day of mourning, instead of a day of Thanksgiving. But they chose to commemorate their time in the new world with a day of Thanksgiving, despite the grief, poverty and illness. Let us also not forget the context of the devastating Civil War when President Lincoln declared a national day of Thanksgiving. This year we are faced with the threat of the Coronavirus but let us spend this Thanksgiving Day with a greater sense of gratitude to God and for one another.
Before I wish you a happy Thanksgiving on behalf of the Friars, I would ask that you keep in your prayers two of our parishioners who are in the hospital in critical condition, please storm up heaven with your prayer connections with your family and friends for Robert Cianci and Joseph Horvath. May God grant them His mercy and Healing presence! Happy Thanksgiving!
Just by way of a reminder, that Our Giving Tree team will be outside of St. Peter’s Church collecting the gifts for the Children of Madonna House, after all Masses on Sunday, December 6th and Sunday, December 13th. For more information about the Giving Tree project, there are Posters at each of the Entrances of the Church with more information.
Also, during this time, we have experienced an increase of poor families requesting financial help; and we have tried to do our best to respond charitably to each of the requests thus far. But as you may image, due to the pandemic, our overall annual collection income is 20% lower than last year; and so if you are looking for an opportunity during this Christmas Season to make a charitable donation, I’d like to humbly ask you, to consider writing a check out to: St. Peter Church, with a memo indicating that your donation be used for the Parish poor fund; And if at all possible, please remember your Parish this Christmas Season with a Christmas gift, we also find ourselves struggling to meet our financial needs during these Challenging times. May the Peace of Humble Birth of the Long-Awaited Messiah, bring an end to this Pandemic and repay each of you, for your sacrificial offering!
Once again, Happy Thanksgiving!!!