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.

 

 

 

 

October 17, 2021

Dear Parishioners,

This weekend we celebrate Spirit Day. Spirit Day 2021 marks a return to this day of fun, community, and faith after a one year absence due to the pandemic. Spirit Day 2021 is a little different from past ones. We are having the day entirely outdoors and we are in October, the middle of fall, instead of September, the end of summer. It is a cooler time and we have hoped that any forecast of showery rain is a mistake. We will happily forgive the weather forecasters!

Saint Anne’s has something for everyone. In a planning meeting for Spirit Day, parishioner Danny O’Keefe offered that description. Spirit Day celebrates parish life here at St. Anne’s and truly St. Anne’s has something for everyone. I think that in light of all the troubles and difficulties of the past 18 months, it is important for us to be mindful that St. Anne’s has something for everyone.

The pandemic has caused us all to live with lots of restrictions. We all know those restrictions and experienced them.  These restrictions have caused disagreements and frustrations. Even Spirit Day planning has had to deal with these frustrations. Several food vendors that we hoped to include and provide at Spirit Day said they were unable to do so this year. Lack of employee help, something we have heard in the news reports have limited past vendors from participating. How grateful we are to the vendors who participated in Spirit Day. Please consider them for future needs you may have.

Spirit Day and this theme St. Anne’s has something for everyone can help us get past the disagreements and frustrations of this extended pandemic time. Spirit Day, totally outdoors, provides an environment where people can feel safer joining together with others in the fresh air. Families with young children can enjoy the inflatables. Families with middle school aged and high school children can enjoy just hanging out in the school lot. All of us can enjoy praying together outside at the outdoor Mass. After Mass, there is still time to purchase a raffle ticket and hope that your name is announced as one of the five winners, maybe even the grand prize winner.

Spirit Day is simply one day of the whole year here that proves St. Anne’s has something for everyone. There are dozens of parish ministries, liturgical ones, educational ones, social ones, prayer groups, youth ministries, senior ministries, service opportunities, all reminding me that St. Anne’s has something for everyone. Remembering that kind of spirit as we celebrate Spirit Day can surely help us heal from the pandemic and move beyond the very real frustrations and disagreements that have been part of our experience for too long a time.

People will be reading this letter in the bulletin at different times between Friday and Sunday.  Some will read before Spirit Day. Try to join us for some part of the day on Saturday.  Know I am very grateful to lifelong parishioner Danny O’Keefe and all who have volunteered to assist him as they organized and put together a great community and faith day for the parish.

St. Anne’s has something for everyone. That theme is a great follow up to today’s gospel. The disciples are having their own disagreement in the gospel. The others are angry at James and John because they are promoting their own cause. The others are described as indignant. Jesus defuses the situation reminding them all that he came not to be served but to serve. At the core of Jesus’ example and preaching is the encouragement to serve. We  might note that instead of directly engaging in their disagreement, Jesus counsels service. We might want to consider this gospel amid our own frustrations and disagreements. Acts of service might help us move past the difficulties that burden our relationships and bring us to a more peaceful place. It’s what Jesus suggested to the apostles.

Peace be with you!

 Fr. Tom