Saint Mary of the Assumption
Rev. Fr. Craig R. Eilerman

Dear Parishioners,

As we honor and express our gratefulness to our mothers both living and deceased, I wish you a blessed Mother’s Day.

One of my earliest memories of Church was that of attending a May Crowning ceremony at my home parish of St. Mary Magdalene on the west side of Columbus. I was five years old and not yet in school; my oldest sister, Sharon was in second grade and she with all the girls in her class wore their First Holy Communion dresses for the ceremony. My mother, my younger sister Ann, who was in a stroller and I joined in the procession with the school children as we walked around the church praying the Rosary. The ceremony reached its high point as the procession ended at the main doors of the church, where an outside statue of Our Blessed Mother, surrounded by flowers, had been erected. As all watched, a first-grade girl with a flower crown in hand, walked up the steps of a temporary staircase to crown Our Lady, as everyone sang; “We Crown Thee with Blossoms Today”

The memories of my first May Crowning are dear to me as I remember and honor my mother, as we all honor Our Blessed Mother during this month of May. At the conclusion of Mass today we will have a May Crowning, that will be done to the best of our abilities. The height of the statue of the Blessed Mother prohibits us crowning her during the ceremony, but we will sing “We Crown Thee with Blossoms Today” and seek her intercession for our parish and world.

There continues to be hope that public Mass will be reinstated for the Solemnity Pentecost, Sunday, May 31. If so, it will be a very joyous Pentecost. Whenever public Mass is permitted again, we need to prepare ourselves that COVID-19 is still a threat and changes will need to be made at church to minimize that threat as much as possible.  What those changes will be, I am unsure at this time, but in all likelihood, the need to maintain social distancing will remain. There will be new procedures for the distribution of Holy Communion, the offering of the Sign of Peace will continue to be suppressed and other procedures will be in place to assure the health and safety of all Mass.  It also my assumption that those of a certain age and those with underlining health issues will be advised to continue to avoid crowds and this would include church.

My appreciation goes to those who continue to support the parish during this difficult time. Unfortunately, we currently are $80,000 below our projected income for this point in the fiscal year. Our budgeted expenses have not lessened, while we have incurred additional expenses in the daily live streaming of the Mass. I understand that some parishioners are not able to contribute currently, as they themselves are in a difficult financial situation. I make my appeal to those who may not be fulfilling their commitment to support the parish for other reasons. Please take the time this week to mail or drop off your offering at the rectory. You can put your offering in the mailbox and then ring the doorbell. This is also an opportune time to set up Online Bill Pay through your bank.

In today’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we hear about the call and ordination of the first seven Deacons in the church. Please join me in thanking Deacon Sullivan for his vocation and his service to our parish as a deacon. We also congratulate Brian and Gina McCauley on the birth of their son, Benedict Joseph on May 4, 2020.

St Mary will join with other Lancaster churches today at 12:00 noon in ringing their bells as a showing of our gratefulness to those who work in the health care field, doctors, nurses, aides, and all.  We thank them for their hard work and sacrifices.

In today’s Gospel Jesus says to us “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Let us place our trust in Jesus and continue to pray for each other.

In Christ,

Fr. Eilerman