April 12, 2020 – Easter Sunday

I.  Happy Resurrection and Welcome! Easter is bigger than COVID-19, bigger than our fasting from Eucharist/Mass, bigger than the inconveniences of life because of this terrible pandemic. For Christians around the world, Easter celebrates Jesus’ Risen Life, but also our share in it. Easter celebrate Jesus’ love for all humanity, but also our call to love as Jesus did. Easter is about darkness giving way to Light, death giving way to Life, sacrifice giving way to Love. We are the “disciple whom Jesus loved” who sees the emptiness of materialism, consumerism, workaholism, and all sin. The goodness and generosity of our lives challenges others to see and believe, to see and love, to see and come to the Light! On behalf of Father Sinoj Pynadath HGN, Deacon Richard Murphy, our Parish Pastoral Team and Council, I wish for you the New Life, and the New Hope which our Risen Lord can give, Especially during this coronavirus season! The sacrificial Lamb has become the victorious Lamb! Alleluia! Alleluia!  

II.  Is It Time to Re-Connect?  Over the past 44 years, I have discovered there are many reasons why people have left or wandered away from the active practice of their Catholic faith. Some have left after much prayer and discernment—it was an intentional decision. For others it is a lack of catechesis and understanding, the sexual abuse crisis and how it was handled, or sloth (spiritual laziness), or just something that happened over a period of time. Whatever the reason, is it time for you to reconnect with your Church family? Do not hesitate to contact Fr. Sinoj Pynadath HGN 270-683-6525 (ext.423), Rick Rhodes (270-302-6982), Deacon Richard Murphy, or Donna Murphy 270/685-3855, or myself 270/683-6525 (Ext. 419). We would consider it an honor to listen and dialogue with hearts open. Think about it.  Talk about it.  Pray about it. 

III. The Cathedral Facebook is a convenient way to stay in touch with happenings and activities of our Parish and Diocese through pictures, Sunday Scripture readings, announcements, activities, etc., especially during this coronavirus season.  Join the 650+ who have signed up on the Cathedral Facebook page at www.facebook.com/StStephenCathedral/ or click on the Facebook icon from our website. “Like” us on Facebook, if you have not done so. 

IV.  Worshiping From Home Together! Please continue to tune in for live-streamed Masses on Sundays at 9:00 am. We even had viewers from across the globe last week! Jonathan Knight posted, “Happy Palm Sunday from members of the 206th En Bn from Owensboro deployed to the Middle East that are watching.” Wow! This is amazing proof that we can be connected spiritually during these times when we cannot gather in person. Streaming can be accessed from a computer or mobile device on our Facebook page or at:  www.facebook.com/ststephencathedral/live. A person does NOT have to have a Facebook account to view the livestream. Below (cf # V) are some additional ways to participate more fully from your “Home Church” during  a livestreamed Mass. 

V.  For “Full, Conscious, Active Participation,” I suggest the following: ~Prepare a table with appropriate cover, candles, and crucifix. ~Put yourself in the presence of God and focus on the Eucharist.  ~Dress and participate as if you were there physically.  ~Observe the proper gestures of standing, sitting, and kneeling, as well as singing and reciting aloud the responses.  ~Turn off other devices and refrain from doing other household activities during this time (i.e. Do not get up for a cup of coffee during my homily! Ha! Ha!) ~Recite the Spiritual Communion Prayer, or make a “Spiritual Communion“ during the time at which Holy Communion is taking place. ~After Mass, dialogue about the Scripture readings and homily, and what was significant to you during this particular Eucharist. 

VI.  Lenten Collections:  Please do not bring Rice Bowl donations for Catholic Relief Service to church; we will collect the Rice Bowls when we are able to celebrate Mass publicly again. If you wish, you can mail a check to the Parish Office or give to the Rice Bowl collection on WeShare. All Lenten collections are still available on WeShare if you would like to donate; they will be available/posted until the end of April. Your generosity is inspiring! 

VII. Servant Leadership Needed! Although we are not gathering for Mass, we are still accepting nominations for our next Parish Pastoral Council, who will serve a three-year term beginning July 1. The purpose of the Council is to assist in carrying out our parish Mission Statement, set an overall vision for the parish, provide leadership, and advise the pastor. If you know a parishioner who has the common good of our parish in mind and a “servant’s heart,” please  nominate that person. Self-nominations are also accepted. If you need a nomination form, check our website or call the Parish Office; or, simply send an email to [email protected]. Please pray that we may again surface the right people to serve.

VIII.  Heartfelt Gratitude for your calls and cards, texts and emails, and other kindnesses. Your donations of food items and monetary gifts for our Cathedral Food Pantry stirs the heart! Thank you for reaching out to one another and simply being a good neighbor. Finally, on behalf of your parish family, I thank you for your financial support to our parish family during this challenging time, whether by US Mail or online with WeShare. Your support is vital and greatly appreciated!