My Dear Friends and Parishioners,
It’s a real challenge to write an Easter message this year. There’s just so little that’s normal right now. I’ve watched Pope Francis imparting his Urbi et Orbi Blessing as he stood in an empty Saint Peter’s Square. I’ve watched streamed congregationless Masses from the Cathedral. But it’s all so strange so surreal. I miss my friends and family. I miss being with you at Mass.
We’re in a frightening time right now. A few hundred feet from our church, Lenox Hill Hospital has set up an outdoor morgue in the middle of 76th Street. Happily, I know of only two parishioners who have come down with Covid 19. One was hospitalized, but is now home. The other is convalescing at home. Both are doing well.
Marlon McPhail, the cook for the priests and brothers, was hospitalized with Covid 19 last week. We’re praying for him. We’re being exceptionally careful in the house, washing door knobs and countertops multiple times a day, and staying away from each other as much as possible. For the past three weeks we’ve gone out only to purchase groceries and medications. Each of you, I’m sure, are trying to be as conscious as possible of social distancing, wearing masks when around other people and disinfecting surfaces, phones and hands often.
I think we will realize that history has to repeat itself after this virus is gone. We had to adjust to a new world after 9/11. Eventually, we’re going to have to adjust to a new national and global economy. We can project. We can guess. Most essentially, we must sustain our hope. We adjusted to the aftermath of 9/11. We’ll adjust to life after Covid 19 – but it will be a new world.
Easter is the season of hope as we contemplate the Paschal Mystery- the mystery of life – death – resurrection. On the next page I’ve printed a short parable sent to me by a colleague. It’s a parable of hope. May it bring you some comfort as, together, we battle through these difficult times. God bless each and every one of you.
Fr. John Kamas, SSS Pastor
And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.