June 7, 2020 Father’s Ramblings

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Praised be Jesus Christ!

Now that the public celebration of Masses has started up, this will be my last rambling that I send out. This coming weekend I am switching back to articles in the bulletin. If something major comes up and I need to return to this mode of communication, I will, but hopefully we have taken enough steps in the right direction that we are past that.

First and foremost, I need to offer some Thank Yous. Thank you to everyone at Mass this past weekend. These new patterns and practices are going to take a little getting used to, but you really stepped up. You respected the restrictions on the Mass schedule to help your neighbor. You wore masks, you didn’t crowd pews, and you congregated outside. You made it so I didn’t have to be the mean, old rule-enforcer. Thank you.

I also want to express my gratitude for the staff at the parishes. I know you haven’t seen a lot of them, but they have really stepped up as well. I am very grateful for their flexibility and dedication during this time. I am also grateful for their generosity in putting up with me more than usual.

Thank you again to everyone who have continued to be generous to the parishes. Because of various cut in expenses during this time and your continued dedication, both parishes are doing okay. Thank you. For those of you who have not been able to be generous because of job losses and increased expenses, know that you are in our prayers. This is an incredibly tough time for many, and you should not feel bad that you found yourself in this position. Instead, we look to better times ahead.

Many of you have asked how I have been during this whole thing. Thank you for checking up on me. Overall, I have been doing well. There have been challenges of course. My schedule got upended, which means I had to develop new patterns and disciplines. It is amazing how easily things can fall apart when normal patterns change. At least there was time to develop new patterns and habits. Thankfully, my pants still fit, so at least I didn’t do too badly with diet and exercise.

Probably the greatest challenge for me was a constant level of low-grade frustration and annoyance. I am sure many of you know what this was like. I kept up on the news, and I heard conflicting reports from so-called “experts.” The restrictions kept coming, and many of them made little to no sense. Every decision, even the easy ones, seemed to take more time and energy as I had to think about various scenarios and implications. It was just a constant, low-grade frustration and annoyance.

I have encouraged all of you to take some time and reflect on this experience to see what you can learn from it. I have done the same. First, I am not as productive as I should be when I have more time on my hands. I wasn’t terrible, but I still have some discipline to develop around time management. Second, these letters have been important to many people. I have heard several times that people enjoy getting something in the mail from the Church that isn’t asking for money. Point taken. Third, I already knew this, but it was re-emphasized during this time: the importance of friends and close relationships. We all need help to stay sane. This isn’t everything, but it is good enough for now.

I want to end this letter with a few reminders.

  • Thank you again for following the Mass restrictions and guidelines. We will get a handle on this.
  • Each week there will be a new signup for Masses. Please double-check the dates on the signup page.
  • The plan is to post the signup link to the parish websites by end of business on Wednesday. If it is a little late, please give us a little flexibility.
  • I noticed a few people who said they were going to be at Mass didn’t show up. Remember, your signing-up for a Mass is going to affect other people’s decisions.
  • This is the last of my ramblings (for a while, hopefully, God willing). Keep an eye and ear tuned to the normal means of communication.

It was great to see people this past weekend. I am looking forward to each step that gets us back more to normal.

May the Lord bless you and keep you!

–Fr. Ferris

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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