The Feast of the Divine Mercy is celebrated today, and it concludes the Octave of Easter.
Did you know that the feast is observed by Roman Catholics as well as some Anglican congregations? It is based on the devotion to the Divine Mercy that Faustina Kowalska reported as part of her encounter with Jesus, which is associated with special promises from Jesus and indulgences issued by the Church. According to the diary of Mother Faustina, the feast celebrates her receiving the biggest promises of grace related to this Devotion of Divine Mercy from Jesus, in particular that a person who goes to Confession and receives Holy Communion on that day, shall obtain the total expiation of all sins and punishment. That means each person would go immediately after dying into Heaven without suffering in Purgatory. The Church grants a plenary indulgence (observing the usual rules) with the recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet: “For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on me and the whole world.”
We had an awesome celebration of the Triduum and Easter Masses! The two Drive-in Masses were both packed full, and it was so nice to see so many folks dressed up in their “Easter Finest!”. I want to thank James Pressley and Andrew DaPonte for putting on the Easter Bunny suits and passing out the Cadbury chocolate eggs. This year we also passed out little bells for the kids to ring during the Gloria. Also a word of thanks to our musicians who provided Hymns and Mass parts for the two Drive-In Masses; it was a little cold out there for them, but they were kind to agree to provide such lovely music. The Church looked beautiful, and so a word of thanks to the folks from the Arts and Environment Group for decorating the sacred space throughout the Triduum. Also thanks to all those who contributed the Easter Flowers, we raised $2,967.00, which sets a new record. Finally, a word of thanks to all our ministers who helped in one capacity or another to make it so joyful!
We were able to send along a check for $10,450.00 to the Clergy Benefit Health Trust! It was the highest Easter collection to date, and is a great reflection of our love for the priests that are served by the fund, especially our retired priests who through your generosity are able to enjoy retirement. The retirement age for priests is 75, some, because of health, can retire at age 70, though are still asked to operate on an emergency response basis. All of our priests, especially the retired ones, pray for you each day while reciting the Liturgy of the Hours and in the Holy Mass.
I had hoped to get the new front doors installed by Memorial Day, but the contractor we hired withdrew before we signed the contract. This is ok as we can spend more time redesigning the lighting and updating the appearance of the front entrance. We received a gift to cover half the cost of the entire project and will raise the additional funds through the Grand Annual. I hope to begin the work in July with completion before the summer’s end. In place of the doors we will replace the roof on the Parish Hall. The cost for the roof is $26,500.00. We received a credit of $1,400 for purchasing the shingles early (prices of shingles are climbing and could have increased our costs by 10% if we waited till August (original planned date ); also a credit of $465 for tiles we had in reserve, bringing the cost to $24,585.00. The project will commence the last week of April 26th through May 7th.
On Wednesday, April 21st, the electricians will be here to finish the service overhaul, which will require us to shut down the electrical service to the building for the day, though the 5:00PM Mass will be celebrated. Thanks for funding this work!