Dear Brothers and Sisters,
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:12-15)
Paul’s words are a good guide for us in the challenges of 2020.
For two thousand years, Christians have shared the same call, in good times and in bad, in every time and place, to trust and put the Lord first in all we do. Our unity comes from our faith in Jesus Christ, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Each of us is responsible for how we answer that call, and how we invite Jesus into our hearts, into our decisions, into our families and workplaces and neighborhoods.
How are we responding to the call of Jesus at St. Gabriel the Archangel?
If we want the peace of Christ to control our hearts, we start by being thankful. We are grateful for all who have labored to sustain our community – in volunteering, in staff time, in financial support, and in planning for the future. We are grateful to God for these and many more blessings.
As part of our thanksgiving, as we become one body, we are praying for you and with you. We have been gathering for Mass since mid-June, taking prudent precautions to ensure the safety of our neighbors. We wear masks, we prepare ample space in church or Stingle Hall, and we take a brief moment to check temperatures as people enter for Mass.
We pray especially that you and your loved ones are well – physically, emotionally, spiritually. We continue to find creative ways to bring the life of the Church into the home. For those who are unable to join us in person, we have a newly upgraded camera system to livestream the Mass every weekend. You can participate on our Facebook page or our website, joining us live 4:30 Saturdays or watching from home on Sunday.
We continue to update our parish records, to ensure better and more timely communication – via mail, email, social media, or even Flocknote, which comes by text message. If you haven’t heard from us recently, please contact the parish office to make sure we have all your current information!
In our educational and faith formation ministries, we are moving forward with plans to welcome young people and families in a variety of ways. St. Mary Catholic Schools, of which St. Gabriel is a part, will have flexible options for ensuring the best Catholic education possible during the pandemic, while building our community of faith. Our Christian Formation Center (CFC) is preparing to celebrate Confirmation and First Communion, both of which were postponed in the Spring. They will have other creative ways to help strengthen our households of faith, especially with our children and teens.
The Church, with Christ our Head, has always been resilient. We will come through this trying time together. We have a choice in how we respond and who we become in the process. Let us clothe ourselves with heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, as we grow in love for the Lord and one another.