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

Dear parishioners,

Our lives have changed greatly in a matter of days, as we a nation and indeed a world community have mounted a campaign to lessen the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Mass may no longer be offered publicly at this time. The celebration of the other Sacraments has been greatly curtailed. Schools are closed, as are many businesses. Sporting and entertainment events have been cancelled and we are asked to practice social distancing and as much as possible to self-quarantine.  All these measures are painful, but they are also necessary. As Bishop Brennan said in his letter; “These trying times call for extreme charity. For the sake of the weakest and most vulnerable, we must all act in a way to contain the virus.”

As Catholics, the idea that we can offer up our sufferings to the benefit of others is not foreign. Our identity is bound to the fundamental belief that we are the Body of Christ. As St. Paul teaches us in his First Letter to the Corinthians “when one member suffers, all members suffer.”  I encourage us all to look upon both the small and sometimes great sufferings we may need to endure for the coming weeks as an offering of sacrificial love to God and neighbor.

In this season of Lent, we meditate ever more intently on the Passion of Our Lord, recalling what he endured and that he did so out of love for humanity. Now is the time for us to unite our sufferings to those of Christ, so to benefit the least among us. In doing so, our sight will soon be taken beyond the crucified Lord, to the risen Lord. In the midst of all that is happening, we remain people of hope, because Christ is risen from the dead and we have nothing to fear.

Living next to the church and seeing it daily, I often think about how it was constructed during the American Civil War. What a statement of hope our spiritual ancestors left us; one built of mortar and brick. Despite the anxiety and the uncertainty of war, they acted in hope as they erected a spiritual home, not just for themselves, but for generations to come. This is our time to act in hope. Despite the anxiety and uncertainty which the Coronavirus brings, we go forward in hope, faith, and love.

We are in this together and we will overcome it together with the grace of God.

Let us pray for one another, I remain yours in Christ,

Fr. Craig Eilerman