Dear Brothers and Sisters,
What beautiful Easter days with which we have been graced, and how easy it is to experience the resurrection of our Lord. The peace that was offered to the apostles is offered to us as we share the joy of this season with others. However, the reality of challenging days may cause us to doubt the presence of Jesus in our life. We may even “lock” ourselves a way from his presence. Thanks be to God that Jesus can be present to us even through our locked doors. Like St. Thomas, who went through his own doubt and came to make the proclamation “My Lord and my God,” be open to seeing through any disbelief how Jesus is active in our lives.

This pandemic has been a challenge for all of us, but I believe it has strengthened our faith. Throughout this past year there have been many unknowns, and through the grace of God we have persevered through the challenges and uniquely celebrated the blessings. So many people mentioned that Easter this year was so inspiring and spiritually up lifting. This appreciation was expressed because last year the churches were closed for these celebrations. Thanks to all who came to the services in person and followed the guidelines to help our celebration be respectful and safe. I extend a special word of gratitude to Bill Trentel and others who made virtual Masses possible. Our Easter Masses received over 300 views. On a side note, Bill’s service to our parishes was highlighted in America magazine last month.

Although we are still faced with challenges from the pandemic, parish life continues to slowly recover and plans for parish activities are underway. Colleen Houk and her catechists are busy preparing the Saint James Parish Center Chapel for welcoming our young people to experience the Catechesis of the Good Shepard program. This program provides our children with hands-on projects to better understand the Mass and sacred scripture. Many people have helped prepare for this program, and we thank you for your support. This past week the Fatima statues were returned and installed at Saint Clement. Many thanks to all who donated to this project. I am planning a special blessing in early May.

Once again, I wish to thank everyone for their prayerful support and encouragement as I battle cancer. I was humbled during many communion calls to parishioners this past week by their well wishes for me and my family. I have completed stage two of my treatment and am happy to share that chemo-radiation was successful. The tumor has abated, leaving behind some scaring inside the organs and a small growth on the outside that will be removed in May by surgery. Let us continue to keep all of our sick and their caregivers in our prayers.

The Lord blesses us always with His merciful love. May we reflect that same mercy in our forgiveness and compassion for all our brothers and sisters, especially those with whom we struggle most.

Easter Joy!!
Fr. Workman