Thursday, January 14, 2021

From the Pastor's Desk

1/17/2021

From the Pastor's Desk: -

Last week Wednesday was jarring. The Capitol of our country overwhelmed. Members of Congress having to suspend their deliberations under the immediate threat of force. Rioters sacking the building. People dying in the conflict. Then there was the flood of reactions as well as the images.

I was intrigued by Pope Francis’ response a press conference with the Italian Press.

He was “astonished” by the mob attack on the Capitol. Astonished because of democratic traditions of the United States.  He went on to say that “even in the most mature reality there is something that doesn’t work. People who take the path against community, against democracy, against the common good.”

There was a novel printed in the 1930s by Sinclair Lewis titled: “It Can’t Happen Here”. Our history is one of peaceful exchange of power. In that regard we were the envy of the world. But being willing to peacefully accede, to trust institutions to play their role and accept the outcome of votes, courts, legislative deliberation- it is both invaluable and fragile. In Michigan and Oregon legislative sessions have been suspended in the last 6 months because of threats from armed groups. Even in the most mature of realities people can choose to work against democracy and the common good,

Strangely enough Pope Francis went on to say, “thank God it exploded”. Out in the open it can be seen, so it can be remedied”. Then he shifts has says that the vents must be condemned regardless of the people involved. It has been helpful to see that Law Enforcement in its various arms are tracking lawbreakers’ step by step. If everyone wasn’t detained the day itself, they are being tracked and arrested to have their day in court. The deeper questions of those who foment on-line or from a political position the points of law involved are not as obvious but should be investigated with all due seriousness. A a nation of laws we are required to do so.

“Violence is always like this, isn’t it?” the pontiff said. “No population can boast of not having one day a case of violence. It happens in history. But we must understand well, so as not to repeat it, learn from history, learn that groups…that are not well integrated into society, sooner or later will have these eruptions of violence.”

As Pope Francis has said it is all so astonishing for us. We look around the globe and see how often things like this happen. It is a testament to our fallen nature. Also, a failure to see the larger consequences- all sorts of social, political and economic development are damaged when the rule of law is undermined for a short term personal or partisan goal. As Pope Francis is asking of us, we need to uncover where this radical choice comes from.

There are reasons. There are, of course, no excuses. Fights break out in sports- there always is a reason- there is never an excuse. We cheat on tests in school. There is a reason for it, there is no excuse- it subverts the very process of learning. We are asked to slow our own judgements down enough to hear the reasons, have a sincere dialogue to deepen mutual understanding. These are our brothers and sister lively members of our society. Something is important that is coming out forcefully even if it is mishappen.  But in the end establish that there is no excuse for anything that fostered the behavior that put something so valuable and fragile at risk. That has to be our common ground.

          


Fr. Martin Curtin

 

Public Weekend Masses resumed as of July 4 – 5. We are following our regular schedule. The Governor's executive orders and Diocesan guidelines of May 27 and June 3 must be followed (e.g. face coverings must be worn, safe distancing practiced, and capacity rules followed.)

  • Bishop Cote has instructed that the distribution of Holy Communion be returned to its usual place during Mass.  The reason it was moved in the first place was to avoid everyone from leaving the church at the same time.  With that challenge in mind:
    •  Be sure to wear a facemask at all times while in the church. A mantilla is not a face covering.
    • Please remove it right before receiving Holy Communion so that both hands are free to make a   throne to receive the Body of Christ.
    • Please be careful to maintain a safe distance while waiting in line for Communion.
    • We ask those who will receive on the tongue to please wait till the end of the line and be sure to extend your tongue to receive the sacred host.
    •  IN general, be sure to be at least 6 feet away from another person or group when seated, entering, processing, or leaving church.

  • Please be sure to sit with a BLUE CROSS at your back, and no less than six feet away from another person or family group.
  • Our current Mass schedule allows about one-half hour between Masses to sanitize the church, so we ask you to arrive close to Mass time and depart quickly after Mass.  Any help you can give would be appreciated.
  • The dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains in effect until further notice. 
  • Those who are considered “high risk” because of age or underlying health conditions, or are experiencing Covid 19-like symptoms, should stay home.
  • Although Connecticut is doing well in lessening the virus, we can't let our guard down. We need to be prepared for another surge, especially as students return to in-school learning.
  •  We will continue to “Live Stream” the 9am Sunday Mass (only) on our St. Pius X Church Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/saintpiusmiddletown) page.  We will also publish the homily of the 9am celebrant on the Facebook page each week.
  • This can all be viewed at any time after it is recorded.