Friday, April 24, 2020
God’s Providential Care
God’s Providential Care
Thanks to many people, from the parishioner who donated the WiFi extension, to the various liturgical and music ministers, and my Augustinian brothers, we continue to have liturgies, and now they are streamed live for everyone on Facebook and YouTube. All of these efforts are a sign of God’s providential care of us, that we stay spiritually nourished during this time.
This past Sunday the children from Hogar Infantil in Tijuana watched the Mass in Spanish. The partnership between Hogar Infantil and St Patrick Parish has spanned many years, but as far as I know, this past Sunday was the first time that the children and staff joined us for Mass, albeit virtually. This may be the only way for them to join us, due to visa issues, it would be very complicated to have them visit us ever, but in the future, it might be nice to stream Mass live for them, or some other event, so that they are able to see our parish.
Again many thanks to our musicians and cantors! Last week I forgot to add Regina Sheffield. I also forgot to mention by name our lectors who have been reading during this time: Wendy Aragon-Mills, Michelle Zablan, John Marrujo, Chris Humphrey, Steve Granados Jr., and Rafael J. Lizarraga.
Thanks to the Brothers of the Little Oratory, we also had Divine Mercy devotions chanted in English and Divine Praises in Spanish, and we had Vespers chanted in Latin. Our Parish is quite inclusive to languages and the many Catholic kinds of liturgical and devotional forms!
This Sunday will be the end of the Novena to Our Mother of Good Counsel. Begun on April 18th, we have been praying every morning at 10:00 AM and offering reflections. These Novena of prayers and reflections are streamed live on Facebook and YouTube, and allow people to pray along for their own intentions. On the last day of the Novena, Dr. Marsha Long will be providing the music.
Besides liturgical ministries, we have been blessed to be able to also be doing some outreach in being a bridge of connection of resources to our parishioners and neighbors in need. We received a large donation of produce. Several pallets of cauliflower, mango, lettuce, onion, and pineapple. We shared with four different churches, including our neighbors up the street: St Luke’s Episcopal Church. For our own parishioners who have lost their jobs, and who will not be receiving funds from the government due to their immigration status, we supplemented the produce with other groceries and household necessities and prepared baskets for them. Many thanks to Br. Arturo for coordinating this project.
A few days later, 40 boxes of diapers were donated to us, and after inquiring among the families who have lost income, we found quite a number of them in need of diapers for their young children.
Thanks to Aida Rodriguez, who did yeoman work in organizing different lists with a few thousand of addresses in different formats, in one or two weeks, postcards will be sent to everyone in our mailing lists with a pastoral message, a link to our website where they can connect to YouTube and Facebook, and with an opportunity to support us financially through online giving.
All of these efforts are signs of God’s providential care. God does not abandon us. Our loving God accompanies us even during pandemics. Let us continue to stay in the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. Also, like Fr. Max mentioned recently in a sermon, let us draw closer to one another, and rediscover the things that truly matter in our lives.
In the midst of all this wonderful activity, the church building continues to have its needs. Recently, we found droppings from termites, so pest control will be coming in the next few days to inspect. Depending on cost, we might be doing the work soon, since not having public Masses might allow us the time we need to fumigate.
The draining system in the basement was evaluated with the heavy rains, and it still needs a small channel to drain water from a higher area under the confessional to a lower area where the pumps and french drain are located.
One of our painters has resumed painting the decorative art work in the church. The pattern we have on the walls is very similar to the medieval pattern called the five wounds of Christ. There are various types, but some of them resemble the design of ours. Although Christ received more than five wounds, they were aggregated into five main wounds in the Middle Ages: the wound in each Foot, the wound in each Hand, and the wound in His side caused by St. Longinus's lance. These five wounds decorate our main walls as well as the wooden beams in the ceiling. The risen Christ still had visible wounds, but no longer were they the source of death for Him, but they are now a source of Life. What was ugly became beautiful, and so they are fitting to be put back again in the walls of the church. We are restoring them to the original colors found in the wooden beams.
Lastly, the frame of the stained glass windows of Our Lady of Lourdes are leaking quite a stream of water when it rains. Prior to painting the interior, the plaster would absorb all the water, but now since the plaster is new, the water runs for now on top of the paint, but it will eventually damage the paint and plaster. Our Two painters are willing to try to repair it once the decorative work in the interior is finished.
God bless, Fr. Carlos