Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As our country celebrates Labor Day, we are reminded about the gift of work. The ability to use our gifts and talents to better the human race helps us fulfill the great commandment of loving our neighbor. Although ability to work and type of labor varies by individual, work can provide a basic sense of dignity and achievement. Over the past several months, our prayers have increased for those who are considered “frontline” workers – those in essential roles that are fighting the virus and other services that support our community. We still have a lot of praying to do. Although hope is on the horizon for a vaccine, we know that this virus is not going away soon. And with the flu season approaching, we must continue doing our part to protect each other.

We have heard often during this pandemic of the hardships that many small businesses in our community and around our country endure, and our hearts of compassion must be expressed. I know that the care of our own well-being may keep us from visiting certain establishments, but  this Labor Day let us express our support for them with extra prayers that God will help during these challenging times.

I am incredibly grateful for the many laborers that help keep the parishes functioning. The staff has been working cautiously and creatively to provide care for the people of God. There are many volunteers that offer their time, talents, and treasures to support the mission of the Church. Their labors are acts of love for the life of the parish.

Saint Paul tells us that loving our neighbor is fulfilling the law and the commandments. As we continue to journey through this pandemic, let us not forget the work of love. At the beginning of this crisis we were encouraged to reach out to family, friends, and neighbors to “check in.” If it has been awhile since doing this type of outreach, please consider taking time this week to restart your “check ins.” Remember that random acts of kindness can have life changing effects. Acts of love should be shared and not put under a bushel basket.

Both parishes have recently held Parish Finance Council meetings. Because of your generosity, we had a financially stronger first two months than anticipated. Thank you for sharing the product of your labor. During the pandemic neither parish has been able to have special collections. The baby bottle campaign that supports Birth Right and the monthly St. Augustine Hunger Center campaign have not been collected. These services provide important needs to our brothers and sisters. Please consider a monetary gift to help support these outreach programs. If considering a donation, send a check to your parish with a “BIG” note citing the program you wish to support. Collected funds will be forwarded to the recipients.

We are all uniquely in the field of work for the good of the Gospel. May the Holy Spirit give us courage to be strong in this field, so that love of neighbor can truly fulfill the law.

Peace of Christ,

Fr. Workman