In the readings for the Feast of Christ the King, the Lord God says:
I myself will tend my sheep.
On the day of dark clouds they got scared and ran.
I will rescue them from every place where they are hiding.
The lost I will seek out,
the injured I will bind up,
the sick I will heal.
Right now it feels like we are still in the middle of "the day of dark clouds". The big, bad wolf of a coronavirus is attacking our county, our region with a ferocity not yet seen. So many of our parishioners have been quarantined, or are sick with covid, or love someone who is. We know the sun is out there, but the clouds are dark and threatening right now.
I cannot emphasize enough the power of prayer in times of trouble. St. Bonaventure (+1274) said, "When your heart is panting for peace, you must find a balance between intense prayer and caring for other people. ... There is no other way to find God but by opening your eyes in prayer." (Soul's Journey into God)
MASS CONTINUES -
NON-LITURGICAL ACTIVITIES SUSPENDED
On Wednesday, November 18, 2020 the Indiana State Department of Health officially placed Steuben County on condition red for covid-19 cases (link). 0.7% of the county's population is now infected, with hospitalizations and deaths mounting.
The pastoral councils, the finance councils and the staff of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Angola and St. Paul's Chapel at Clear Lake conferred by email and came to the following conclusions:
- Mass will continue as before, keeping the present safety protocol.
- We will continue distributing communion as we have been.
- The daily rosaries will continue, in English at 7:30 a.m., in Spanish at 6:00 p.m.
- All other in person activities will be suspended for two weeks, from Monday 23 November through Sunday 6 December.
- Exceptions include:
- Confessions on Saturdays
- Necessary meetings of the St. Paul's Mens Group to carry out the Thanksgiving Solidarity Drive
- The collection counters - although this will be limited to staff members only (Finance Council members, stay home and stay safe!)
- The AA group on Saturdays - they will make their own decision to suspend in person meetings or not
- First Friday devotions on December 4, although confessions that evening might be cancelled
- At the latest on Friday 4 December, Fr. Bob and the staff will decide whether to continue that suspension of extracurricular activites for another two weeks, that is for the period 7-20 December.
- Groups are encouraged to hold virtual meetings. Fr. Bob and the rest of the staff, as well as the Holy Tony Geek Squad, will be available to help groups use the Holy Tony Virtual Meeting Room (v.gd/HolyTonyRoom)