Hello, for those who don’t know me, I’m Mike McGowan and I’ve been a member of St. Charles for a little over ten years.
In this uncertain time, all three of this week’s readings resonated more with me than in years past. From our current stay-at-home circumstances, I am better able to appreciate the early Christians’ experience of huddling behind locked doors. Never have 1st and 21st centuries felt so close together. Yet the early Christians transcended the locked doors, through the Holy Spirit, to build the enduring Church.
One thing that struck me from Fr. Bill’s commentary on the Second Reading below is the discussion of hope. It may seem a strange word for these times, but he explains that Christian hope is not optimism. It involves, as the Catechism teaches, “relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit.”
While physically separated, we are a parish family and want to remain connected. The Parish Pastoral Council met remotely with Fr. Bill and Fr. John on Wednesday to plan the upcoming parish schedule. There will be a St. Charles event each day, which is apropos of the early Church schedule described in this week’s reading from Acts: “Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together.”
Personally, I have been enjoying the discussions in the St. Charles at Home episodes. It’s literally a different perspective. When we are in church, we just see the backs of other people’s heads. In the St. Charles at Home episode, we can actually see and hear from parishioners discussing the Sunday readings and their faith experiences. I’ve learned and reflected a lot more by hearing Eduardo, Joe and Diane, Antonia, and Adele speak about suffering, the Resurrection, and listening to God than I would during a typical week in “ordinary times.”
As our sojourn in shutdown is extended, we’ll mention again that we are here to support each other. We have parishioners available to help pick up groceries, prescriptions, or do other errands. If you or anyone you know would like assistance, please call or email the rectory.
Let us pray for all those working out there for our health, safety, and well-being. Let us also pray that we may find the hope—the true Christian hope—that we need, so that we will emerge safely together, ever closer to God’s love.
Your brothers and sisters in Christ,
Mike McGowan on behalf of the Parish Pastoral Council