Pastor’s Column

Last Sunday, so many of you brought bags of groceries to the rectory and church for the food pantry run by the three Catholic Parishes of Jamaica Plain and Roxbury! I normally greet people a half hour before the Drive-In Mass, but was unable to do so, as I was busy stocking the groceries on our shelves – we ended up filling all the shelves! We had to put the overflow groceries into the temporary ice chests as well as on the floor. We are donating  gift cards for families in need, passing along checks that I received. What an expression of your love for the poor and needy in this time of Pandemic.

After this weekend we begin to pare down the Poinsettias, and will be disposing of the sparse ones. We will still decorate the sanctuary space (altar) with Poinsettias for next weekend, given that it is St. Valentines Day and the festive red color will go along with the day. After the 11:30 Mass we will have to clear all the plants from the area as we will be decorating the Church for Lent. Ash Wednesday comes upon us a week from this Wednesday, February 17.

Please make note that we have two Masses on Ash Wednesday: February 17 at Noon in the Church and an outside Drive-In Mass at 4:30pm in the parking lot. We’ll have the Knights of Columbus there to direct you. I’ll be applying ashes wearing a mask and face shield and applying the ashes with long-stemmed wooden cotton swabs. I will use a new swab each time, disposing of the old one in a bucket.

The Ash Wednesday collection is for Catholic Charities to help those in need. Please let your friends and relatives know of both Masses. This is a great way for us to start our Lenten Journey.

If I might ask you to commit to your daily prayers, Dan Condon and Richard Swanson, two older gentlemen and regular Mass attendants here in the parish. Both are battling the COVID virus. I know that our combined faith and prayers will help bring them healing. Please let me know if you have a loved one you would like me to remember in my prayers, or whom you would like added to our prayer list.

I hope you realize after last weekend that your prayers are truly powerful. Let me remind you I asked we all pray that the snow destined for Marshfield go to Arlington-Lexington. Well, as you know we got no snow and A-L got 17.5 inches! Let’s see if we can do that for the next storm! My apologies to our snow-plow service for praying against them. We will have more money to spend with them for a spring cleanup and mulching (if present trends continue). Seriously though, I want to remind you that God sends abundant blessings to those who are faithful to Him and His Son. You have done that, first and foremost by attending Mass, then by your generosity to the food pantry, and your financial support of the parish. Your help has fed many and supported our livestream broadcasts that bring the Mass to so many homes!

As you know the front doors of the Church are in need of replacement. We were blessed with a year-end gift that will cover much of the cost of the doors; and the parish will cover the hardware costs. While we are replacing the doors we will make changes to the existing lighting and improve the façade. We will likely paint the existing inside clapboard, and make changes to the casings. I want to also look into permanent fixtures for hanging plants and two flagpoles. This is a Spring project and my hope is that it gives a warm and intimate appearance, welcoming folks inside. Pray no snow!

Father Carmichael