35 Dartmouth Street, Garden City, New York 11530 - (516) 352-5904
How Do I?

Fr. Tom’s Letters

 

Each week Fr. Tom writes a letter to parishioners in our bulletin.  Every letter is comprehensive, including current information about the Parish, an explanation of Scripture for that Sunday, and an invitation to become more engaged in the life of the parish.

 

 

 

 

March 15, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

As I write this letter to you on Thursday morning, we are all concerned with the Coronavirus pandemic. The news is always changing; new numbers, advisories, closing, suspensions, predictions. Some persons are deeply worried about health conditions for themselves and those they love; others insist that we try to live our lives in the usual fashion. We all agree on the need for extra attention to personal hygiene, yet we find supplies very diminished in stores and pharmacies.

At St. Anne’s, parish leadership is monitoring the situation. We receive information and advisories from the diocese, the education departments of the state and diocese, the federal, state and local governments, and our president. We pray for the sick and for good health for all.

As I write this letter, I stopped and met with Mr. Fennell our principal and Dr. Smith, his assistant. We discussed all the matters related to our school and Mr. Fennell is communicating with the parents. These are day to day decisions that have many consequences. When schools close, there are child care needs that parents need to address. As we make our decisions, we are mindful of the needs of our families.

When it comes to children and school attendance, I believe that parents are the wisest and best decision makers. Please know that I support parents regarding these decisions for their children. You know and love them best.

Our senior citizens with daily health issues are described as the most vulnerable to this virus. We all need to be mindful ofthis special population in our day to day activities. In some instances, visiting needs to be very limited. At the same time

people need to receive the care and compassion of family members, friends, and neighbors. Again, wise and prudent judgment is required.

Liturgically and spiritually, we have discussed what might be done. We have followed all the directives of the Bishop and have implemented changes that reduce the possibility of contamination in the Church. Please know that any questions of health that would keep a person from attending Sunday Mass should be very seriously considered. If a person has a cold, the flu, or virus-like symptoms, it would be wise and prudent to remain home at this time and seek medical advice and assistance as needed.

Please know that parish leadership is attentive to what is happening regarding all these issues. Health and safety are our first concerns as they are yours. I hope that the precautions and safety measures we take will be helpful in keeping us healthy. I pray that our moving towards Holy Week and Easter will bring us good health and the joy of spring and the Risen Lord.

During this time of illness and caution, I know our faith and our parish Church is a source and place of solace, prayer, and reassurance. All our sacramental celebrations will continue as  scheduled. The Church cleaning and maintenance will be monitored closely. Parishioners may use non-bleach products to clean the pews. People will find the Church open as usual for liturgy devotion, and personal prayer.

As a final note: If our school closes as a safety measure, this will mean that our school building is closed for all parish activities. Such postponing of all parish related activities will be communicated by parish email, telephone call, and parish website. If you do not receive parish emails or telephone calls, and you want those communications, you need to forward that information to us.

MAINTENANCE PROGRAM

Our maintenance staff has been very busy these recent weeks with all the additional cleaning demands that go along with all their regular responsibilities. We are seeking additional part-time personnel. Work would require day and evening hours. It would be about 15-20 hours per week. I think the hours and responsibilities might be very conducive to a college student at one of the local colleges or universities. We can work with class schedules and other responsibilities. If you or you know someone who might be interested please contact Mrs. Mary Lou Engrassia at mlengrassia@stannesgc.org or call 516-352-5904.

LENT– THIRD SUNDAY

This Lenten season will be remembered for the pandemic we face all over the world. The crisis is part pf the Lenten journey. We see clearly in the gospel how Jesus intervened often when people were ill. So often, Jesus improved the life situation of others. The blind saw; the lepers were cleansed; the paralyzed walked; the deaf heard. Often, Jesus linked the return to good health to faith. We summon our faith to help us in this time of crisis.

We know how devastating this crisis has been to the people of Italy. Pope Francis composed a prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary to watch over the world in this moment of crisis. We pray with Pope Francis and all the Church:

O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.

We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick.

At the foot of the Cross you participated in Jesus’ pain,

with steadfast faith.

You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need.

We are certain that you will provide, so that,

as you did at Cana of Galilee,

joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love,

to conform ourselves to the Father’s will

and to do what Jesus tells us:

He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and bore our sorrows to bring us,

through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen.

We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God.

Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test – and deliver us from every danger,

O glorious and blessed Virgin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fr. Tom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The letters are available in PDF and require Adobe Reader to view.  If you do not have Adobe Reader, you can download it for FREE by clicking the graphic to the right.