I wanted to also thank so many of you for your generosity to the parish over the course of these past few weeks, your generosity has been astounding and I am so deeply grateful for it - we were, thankfully, in a strong financial position going into all of this and your generosity is helping us to whether the storm. We continue to keep an eye on expenses and to reduce them where we are able to, but also make sure that we are fulfilling our obligations to our staff, etc., and to keep the parish up and running so that, when the time for public Masses resumes, we are ready to go. You may have seen that the Archdiocese has issued guidelines to help parishes reopen, we are taking those and working to apply them to St. Mary’s, as we get closer to actually reopening you’ll hear more details. Of course, things will not be quite the same as they were when things began to “shut down,” so we just ask for your patience as we continue to navigate an unprecedented situation. The target date for the resumption of public Masses is May 31st, we pray that this will come to pass, but, of course, it is a target date, so we will wait for any further guidance from the Archdiocese.
Next weekend will see one of our parish sons, Deacon Patrick Magnor, ordained to the priesthood - we have been blessed to have a number of new priests coming from St. Mary’s - so please pray for him and for more vocations. In addition, Deacon Justin Weber, who has served as a summer seminarian intern will also be ordained next weekend for the Archdiocese and Deacon Levi Schmitt, who has been a seminarian intern here for the past few years will be ordained for the Diocese of LaCrosse later this spring - please pray for all of them and we hope to be able to celebrate these more fully at a future date as a parish, but, for now, our prayers are what we have to offer and our gratitude to God who continues to use this parish to bear fruit for His Church.
A few other things of note - our adult education program, The Visitation Institute, will be having its spring series focused on the life and thought of Pope St. John Paul II. Due to the situation, these talks will be done online, so watch for more details coming through the bulletin as to how you can take advantage of this program from your own home!
Finally, I’d like to encourage everyone to keep praying! We have entered the month of May, particularly dedicated to Our Lady - may she intercede for us during this time and, in particular, for all those who are fighting illness, those who are assisting the sick and dying and all of those who have lost job and income and are struggling financially. Know that you continue to be in my prayers. Our Lady of the Visitation, pray for us!