Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This first week of Lent invites us to reflect upon the temptations that we encounter as we journey through our spiritual lives. Jesus is confronted with his own temptations. In the Gospel of Mark, we are not given details about this experience with Satan. The details are not important, but the reality that even Jesus had to face the challenges of temptation can remind us that we are not alone as we confront our temptations of our own . Jesus was not alone. Mark tells us that angels ministered to him. Each of us has angels ministering to us as well. Like Jesus, with their help and the help of the communion of saints, we can overcome any temptation.
Temptations come in so many forms. Many of our temptations are personal struggles that we pray to avoid. Often times through our examination of conscious we work through them, yet sometimes we give into temptations and inadvertently affect the lives of other people. Temptations of pride, greed, jealousy, gossip and others can disregard the sanctity of life in others, which we are called upon to encourage and promote. Jesus calls us to repent and believe in the gospel. He does this to ensure that we, and everyone, can experience the abundance of life. Let us be attentive to our actions toward others that they always promote the gospel of life.
Many of you may have seen the dumpsters outside the Saint James school building. Oster Services has been working in the building to update the first floor for occupancy this coming spring. This is very exciting! This relationship is moving in a positive direction, and the integrity of the buildings are being preserved. The lease to purchase agreement is nearly complete and the transition of ownership could happen this fall.
Parish Pastoral Councils at both parishes have begun reflecting upon when and how to restart many parish activities. Although there are no immediate plans, we are pondering ways to renew parish committees, fund raising, social events, and evangelization activities starting this fall. There is great hope that the infection rate will continue to decrease and that we can safely restart some of our wonderful parish activities.
As many of you may have heard, Fr. Deo calls me a “stubborn African elephant.” I have completed 5 out of 8 chemotherapy treatments. I have been able to physically handle them relatively well and have been able to continue with my work schedule. This past week my blood work is showing positive progress. I have also received some tentative dates for my surgery for this coming May. Thank you for your continued prayers and support of me and my family.
Your financial support has been greatly appreciated during this past year. Your generosity supports our staff and the operational needs of the parish, as we together uniquely promote that the kingdom is at hand.
With great hope, please continue to pray for each other, especially those affected by the Covid-19 virus. And pray that we can soon start transitioning to more in-person interaction with one another.