It’s hard to believe we’re in November with the warmer weather this weekend! I hope you’re able to get out and enjoy it at least a bit. We all know that it won’t last long. So much has happened in the last month. This message will be an update.
Fr. Daniel Bombardier, our Episcopal Vicar for Windsor and Essex, installed me as pastor of the Windsor Heritage Catholic Family of Parishes on October 18, during the 11:30 Mass at St. Angela. We decided on St. Angela, since I’ve been at Assumption for five years now, and at St. Alphonsus for one, while I’m still newly arrived at St. Angela. My ministry, though, is to and for all of you.
At St. Angela we had three town hall meetings concerning the parish debt and the hall. Parishioners made three things clear: One, they are upset that the debt was allowed to get to the point where it is, with the hall continuing to lose money; two, they acknowledge how much of their sweat, emotions, and money have been put into the hall, and would like to see it saved; three, it needs to be run well. I have committed to do what I can to help make the hall an integral part of the future of St. Angela.
At Assumption, restoration work continues. The plaster in the east bay has been stabilized, and work is ongoing to repair the damaged plaster. Painting will follow. The contractors anticipate having the scaffolding removed for at least half of the bay by mid-December.
At St. Alphonsus, we will be installing a fence between the church building and the Canadian Border Services building. Both the Windsor Police and the Diocese of London have asked us to do that, to help ensure the safety of our parishioners and our staff. We hope to begin an outreach ministry as well.
And the St. Benedict and St. Daniel Comboni communities continue to go well, without any notable changes.
Bishop Fabbro has just extended his dispensation from the Sunday obligation until Easter, including the solemnities of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) and Mary, Mother of God (New Year’s day). Especially during this time of the second wave, I encourage you to do what you can to minimize your risk. I am so happy to be seeing those who have returned to Mass, and we miss those of you who have chosen not to return yet. At the same time, I prefer that you choose safety and health for yourselves and those dear to you over other things, including your presence at Mass. It will be great when all of us can safely gather again in large numbers. Until then, be prudent!
In the readings this weekend Jesus tells us to be ready, because we “know neither the day nor the hour”. In these turbulent times of Covid, and the elections across the border, and so many other things, I invite you to pray that God give us the grace and the strength to witness to Jesus’ message in all that we say and do.
May St. Angela Merici, Our Lady of the Assumption, St. Daniel Comboni, St. Alphonsus, and St. Benedict intercede for us; may God grant us the strength to know his will and put it into practice.