Easter Message from Francis and Kerin, Trustees

At this time last year, we were fresh from a visit by our bishop, celebrating Christ’s Resurrection with family and friends, and preparing to celebrate the 150th anniversary of our beautiful church building. We had just presented our Parish Pastoral Plan for the next five years. It contemplated a future of fewer priests and increasingly diverse and mobile parishioners, all seeking innovative means for faith and connection. Everything was so … normal.

But that future is now—and it is not at all as we envisioned.

This Easter, we are confined to our homes and deprived of the Eucharist physically, because we cannot share the Sacrament at Mass. We all are suffering from COVID-19, be it from illness and death, loss of employment or income, or separation from our friends and family. Nobody here has been untouched. Indeed, our extended “Lent” will continue long past today, but we have much to be grateful for. The Eucharist is abundant in our hearts.

The word “Eucharist” is derived from a Greek word that means “gratitude.”  Thomas Merton wrote: “To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything he has given us—and he has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of his love, every moment of existence is a grace.” We count among those grateful blessings the connections that we have made with each other, be it through the generations, or over the past year.

As Fr. Bill notes in his commentary on Ezekiel, we now by necessity engage in collaborative ministry. These connections cast aside the strictures of the past, yet is the same New Commandment that Jesus gave after the Last Supper: “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” Each of us is called to play a role—probably not at all as we envisioned. Help us sustain each other: offer your talents to help.

On behalf of the entire St. Charles community, we wish you and your loved ones a healthy and peaceful Easter. May our gratitude strengthen us so that we will emerge on the other side of this safely together, ever closer to God’s love.

Francis Chin and Kerin Coughlin
Parish Trustees

Message from Josephine Dongbang, PPC

St. Charles family, how are you holding up? For those of you that don’t know me, I’m Josephine Dongbang and before these unprecedented times, I usually attended the 7 PM Mass.

But let’s talk about these unprecedented times. Every morning, I hear about folks losing jobs and businesses, Asian Americans being attacked and even assaulted, healthcare professionals falling ill on the front lines because they don’t have masks, and neighbors having to say farewell to loved ones over the phone because they must maintain distance. It breaks my heart every day and it brings tears to my eyes (again) as I write this. I, as I’m sure many of you, have also been personally impacted by the pandemic. It makes all of my prior problems feel so trivial and in these moments of despair and weakness, I am humbled knowing that we have so little control. Continue reading “Message from Josephine Dongbang, PPC”

Message from Jane Olson, PPC

Hi all, for those I don’t know yet, I’m Jane Olson and I’ve been a member of St. Charles for a little over ten years.

In the below post, you’ll find Fr. Bill’s weekly commentary on the first reading from the Old Testament. I also wanted to draw inspiration from Ezekiel for this note. But, honestly, the Old Testament has never spoken to me the way the New Testament does (too much fire and brimstone, of which we have plenty these days). So, I moved on to the second reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Bingo. “But if Christ is in you… the Spirit is alive because of righteousness.” (Rom. 8:10)

At this awful time with almost constant news of life and death, I am so grateful the spirit is alive — living and moving in our community, our parish, our families, and our friends. Those connections, the life of the Spirit, is how we know we’re not alone. Continue reading “Message from Jane Olson, PPC”

Message from Donna Whiteford, PPC

Dear St. Charles Parish Family and Friends,

“These are the times that try men’s souls.” Thomas Paine wrote that in 1776 but is apropos of the health crisis we are living through today. These are trying times, and if we are willing to be honest, many of us may be a bit afraid because there are so many unknowns with the coronavirus.

But rather than panic, let us pray on our own and together virtually. The Parish Pastoral Council (PPC), together with Fr. Bill, Msgr. Al, and Fr. John, wants our parish family to know that St. Charles is here for you and remains committed to providing you with spiritual support. While the church is no longer permitted to be open for Eucharistic Adoration and private prayer, Mass will be live-streamed again this Sunday at 11:15 AM and will also be available on our website for later viewing [Zoom meeting details removed from website for security reasons]. Masses from St. James and the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph are available on Net TV. The parish office is closed, but Fr. Bill is available when needed by phone. Continue reading “Message from Donna Whiteford, PPC”