What will separate us from the love of Christ?
My dear beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, I greet you again today, the first day of the month of August, hoping that all is well with you, your family and loved ones. St. Paul, in his letter to the Romans 8: 35-39 poses the question, “What will separate us from the love of Christ?” His response was basically there is nothing in this world or the next that will separate us from the love of Christ. We can even say, with confidence, that not even the Coronavirus will separate us from God’s love. When our churches were shut down because of the pandemic, I continued to offer daily Mass on behalf of all our parish families. When the churches were open with a limit of 10 people we were able to livestream our Sunday Masses so that you can continue to receive Jesus spiritually at Communion. For the sick and the homebound, they were able to still receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and Communion when requested. Many had called in to make appointments for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We have had some powerful experiences of God’s love and mercy through this Sacrament.
We had 4 people in our RCIA class this past year namely: 1. Margo Higbie 2. Kalynn Lyons 3. Dan Launstein and 4. Benito Navarro VI - they too were all able to receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist. Let’s congratulate them and welcome them into our faith community. Our sincere gratitude also goes out to Ron Iwaszkiewicz and Jim Marshall for their ministry as teachers of the faith by word and deed. Thank you Ron and Jim or fondly referred to as St. Peter and St. Paul!
The pandemic did not deter us from the work of Evangelization. We continued with our Alpha program with online sessions. I’m truly amazed at how Heather Dunivon and Kim Smith and the Alpha Team were able to keep things going. Thank you to all who participated in and ran this program in very challenging times.
When churches were opened with 25% capacity, our Senior Leadership Team, made up of Fr. Kusi, Gary Smith, Heather Dunivon, George Wygant and Jim Marshall decided to take another month to prepare our parishioners for the new norm in coming back to church, to train our volunteers in ushering, lecturing, being a Eucharistic Minister and the Covid Teams to prepare both our churches at Mason and Bunkerhill. I thank all our hard-working members of our SLT and Parish Staff in taking on these daunting tasks. Since singing was not encouraged because of the rule of wearing masks, we’re grateful for Antoinette’s idea of bringing in musicians with all their different instruments to help us praise and glorify our God at Mass. Yes, for nothing can keep us from celebrating the love of Christ in the Eucharist!
Last month we had been celebrating many of our Graduates 2020 Open House parties which began with a Mass and Drive Through from Mason to Bunkerhill. Congratulations to all the Graduates of 2020! You are in our prayers and we wish you God’s blessings in all your future endeavors.
The next challenge we were up against was our First Communion Class of 2020. At first we thought we could do it altogether, like we did each year, but when the virus broke out we had to look for a plan B. We had to ask all the parents of the 15 children preparing for First Holy Communion to decide on a date, weekday or Sunday to celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. Whatever Mass they chose will be livestreamed so the family and friends can watch and participate from the comfort of their homes. So nothing can ever separate these children from the love of Christ. Congratulations to all our First Communicants and hope you all enjoyed your two scoops of ice cream on your First Communion Party!
St. Paul, in his letter to the Romans 8:39 says; “For I am convinced that neither death nor life… will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” From the beginning of March to the end of July, we have had 17 funerals in our parish, only two were Covid 19 related. Some of us had to face the deaths of our own loved ones- I lost my nephew, who suffers from epilepsy and was drowned at sea, being witnessed by his two young sons of 5 and 7 years old. My own nephew’s father-in-law, who also died in their home a couple of days later and my cousin brother who died of heart attack days later. In this Sunday's Gospel of August 2, 2020, Matthew relates that when Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, his cousin, who was murdered by King Herod, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself and we believe to grieve over this loss. The very next sentence said that,” When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and cured their sick.” Later he performed the miracle of the five loaves and two fish to feed the hungry crowd. By these actions, Jesus has proved to us that he will never allow even his human emotions of grief and sadness to separate himself from God’s people. Yes, my brothers and sisters, life can be tough all around us but let us never allow anything to separate us from the love of Christ and our love for one another. You’re all in my heart and prayers.
Blessings to you all!
Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith, typically run over eleven weeks. Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation.
Alpha is run all around the globe, and everyone is welcome!
Sts. JCC has had three successful classes & will be starting our Fall Alpha on October 4th! This will be offered online each Sunday evening starting at 7:00pm.
To participate, please sign up at:
Already attended Alpha & Ready to be part of the Alpha Team?
Team members greet, set up, lead small groups, emcee & are part of our prayer team. Let us know what you are feeling called to do!
Sign Up Here to Volunteer:
ST JAMES FAMOUS FISH FRIES ARE BACK!
Yes, the famous St. James Lenten Fish Fries are back! When the Corona Virus hit our great nation, the Lenten Fish Fries had to stop. There were still 3 more Fish Fries to go in Lent and the fish had already been purchased. Therefore, St James will have 3 Friday Fish Fries, starting on 9-11-2020 from 4:30-7:00pm, to use up the fish that we have. It will be take out only. We ask that you come in the Lansing St. entrance and process to the North Side of the hall where there will be a table to take your money & order your food. Payment will be by Credit Card, Check or Cash. If you have un-used punch cards, they can be used. The cost will be $10.00 for everyone. The meal will include: 3 Fried Pieces of Cod, Shrimp, Home Made Fries, Coleslaw, Green Beans, Mac & Cheese, Dinner Roll, Desert, Pop or Water. What a great way to get a Friday Night Fish Dinner! We will be also having the Fish Dinners on Friday 9-18-2020 and 9-25-2020!
In an effort to continue the practice of our faith in these trying times, when many parishes have closed due to restrictions due to the coronavirus, we invite you to join us online for daily Mass. ~Bishop Robert Barron
Love God ~ Love People ~ Make Disciples