First of all, I’d like to congratulate our 2nd grade children on receiving their First Communion this week. It’s been quite a year for them learning about Reconciliation and Eucharist via Zoom. I’d really like to thank Mrs. Sherry Delosh for all of her hard work preparing our young people, even though she wasn’t able to join us for their First Communion last Sunday. I’d also like to thank everyone who was involved in helping prepare those three children for communion last weekend, especially their parents. Even though we had a smaller than normal crowd last Sunday at the 11AM, I’d really like to thank all of our parishioners who came to that mass to support those parents. As we all know, over the years, so many families who have drifted away from the faith. It’s vitally important that all of us do all that we can to welcome, support and encourage our young families to continue to practice their faith. As I said last weekend, I didn’t realize until I was visiting another parish how much I miss hearing more babies crying at mass, so if you know anyone with little ones, please invite them. Sometimes, all it takes is a little encouragement, and the best encouragement of all is when each of us makes a personal invitation, one person at a time.
This past Wednesday evening, we also held our last parent sessions for religious education, so that marks the end of this year’s Religious Education Program. I’d like to thank Sister Karen for all of her hard work. I can’t even imagine picking up a new job as a DRE in the middle of a pandemic, but she has done a wonderful job. It’s such a blessing to have a religious sister on staff. I know she’s worked many, many hours of phone calls, emails and texts, with catechists that she had only met a few times months earlier and many parents that she was just meeting for the first time. We made it through a successful in-person fall, and a mostly virtual spring. We’ve started a new series in every grade level, and she’s got some great plans for the fall. Although this year wasn’t what anyone could have ever predicted, I think she’s really got our program on the right track and it will be good to look forward to the fall, and the good things that are to come.
One thing I know that everyone I’ve talked to has been buzzing about is the governor’s most recent announcement. As of May 31st, all PA gathering restrictions are being lifted, except for masks. Those are due to be lifted when we reach 70% vaccination statewide. If you haven’t already, and you’re able to get the vaccine, please help us reach that number. Unless we hear differently, we’ll be planning on removing the ropes and allowing people to sit anywhere beginning that day. It’s my hope that for those who are comfortable, they’ll sit closer together, while those uncomfortable sitting close to others, will end up with a little more room to be able to distance themselves. As those changes begin to happen, I just ask that we all be as considerate as we can of each other. Different people have different comfort levels and medical conditions that we don’t always know about. If someone is uncomfortable with someone close to them, please be respectful. What’s most important is that we do our best to be welcoming and to make sure we never become the reason a person doesn’t feel welcome in our parish.
As we move into the summer, the other big news is that things are finally taking shape for our summer dinner and basket raffle. The Halupki Dinner will be Sunday July 11th from 10:30am-2:30pm. It will again be in a take-out format. The tickets are being printed and we hope to get them in the mail to you soon. The drawing for the basket raffle will be the following Sunday, July 18th. In the fall, we had a very positive response to allowing multiple times for buying chances on the baskets, so we’re finalizing a variety of times for folks to drop by and buy chances on the baskets. We hope to have those times published in the next week or so as our advertisements go out. With that news, that also means that basket season is upon us. After visiting some of the other basket parties around the area, I might be a little prejudiced, but I think we have some of the nicest baskets of any I’ve seen anywhere. So many of you do such an amazing job bringing in those baskets every time. So since we didn’t have a basket raffle with the Spring take-out dinner, let’s make this one a good one. Just as a reminder, we’re not able to accept baskets with alcohol, but we can accept baskets with gift cards to the liquor store. We’ll begin accepting baskets Wednesday of this week when Sue gets back.
Finally, and most importantly, this is Mother’s Day weekend! Please make sure to wish all mothers, and those who have come to fill the role of mothers in someone’s life in your prayers. If you’re blessed to have a mother still alive, make sure to call her today. If your mother is deceased, if you can, make sure to visit her grave, but regardless, please pray for all mothers.
God Bless you now and always,
Father Matthew Baum is the Parish Administrator at Prince of Peace Church in Northern Cambria, PA.
Prince of Peace