Hello to all,
It has been one week since the funeral mass of Fr. Tom Burke. It was an outstanding tribute to a dedicated pastor and human being. Thank you all for your support, prayers, and encouragement during this difficult time in the parish.
In the absence of a pastor, the bishop has asked me to assume the duties of parish administrator until a full-time Redemptorist pastor is appointed. That will not happen until the pandemic has lessened. Bishop Noonan said I was “pinch-hitting,” but mixed up his baseball analogy by asking that you not send me any “fly balls.” I think he meant “curve balls,” but he can be forgiven as they do not play baseball in Ireland.
Fortunately, there is a wonderful team to work with here at Sacred Heart/St. Gerard. Our new deacon, Stephen Gross, and his wife, Roxanne, have been a wonderful addition to our parish leadership community. Deacon Lou Bartos continues to inspire with his homilies and dedication to the people of the parish and school. Office Manager, Ella Copeland, keeps everything running smoothly and, of course, Fr. Aldrin Nunes and Fr. Jim McCabe, continue to offer their full support.
According to the guidelines of the diocese, we will continue to limit our gatherings in the church and social hall. St. Gerard Mission will continue to be closed for mass. First Holy Communion will be postponed until the restrictions have been lifted. (If any parents would like their child to receive this year, they could contact Ella Copeland. They can choose any parish mass during the week or on the weekend.) Weekend masses at Sacred Heart are still limited to 25% capacity (about 150 people).
As you might know, I have enjoyed offering parish missions to parishes in Florida and throughout the U.S. and Canada. My last one was in Melbourne in early March. All have been canceled since then except for four this year (Our Lady of Charity in Buffalo, NY; St. Gregory in Northeast, PA; Holy Spirit in Mims; Sacred Heart and Christ the King in Manville, NJ). I will be traveling to Buffalo soon. The parish will be in the capable hands of the parish team – which includes you. Thank you for sharing your gifts and talents, your time and treasure with the parish and school. We have had a set-back with the loss of Fr. Tom, but we can continue the work that he started. Together, we can fulfill God’s plan.
Fr. Kevin MacDonald, C.Ss.R.