My Dear Parishioners of St. James,
Greetings! I hope you are keeping well. I am happy to share the following information with all of you.
- Starting Sunday, October 4th, we will go back to our usual Sunday Mass schedule, i.e., 8:30am, 10:00am and 12:00 noon. This means we will not have the Sunday Mass at 7:00am anymore. The Saturday Mass at 5:00pm stays the same.
- We will be giving “Free Flu Shots” courtesy of the Knights of Columbus Council 14541. Date to be announced and details will be published in the Sunday Bulletin and St. James the Apostle website.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued financial support to St. James. A number of you during this pandemic have been mailing your Sunday offering. I am grateful to you for your generosity. May God bless you abundantly! However, I am also extremely disappointed that very many of my parishioners have not supported the parish during this difficult time. I will be grateful if you could make a little sacrifice and small contribution. I know you are badly affected by COVID-19. But I have always bragged about my parishioners’ sense of belonging and ownership. To be frank, I do not see such spirit in every family. My dear parishioners, this parish belongs to you and it is your responsibility to support it. I strongly believe that a parish is as good as its members. Is your family a giving one?
I am really proud to say that I never cancelled one single Mass at St. James during this challenging time. Outdoor Masses have been well attended considering the peculiar situation that we are in. However, I would like to share this thought with you. Where or when do we make the greatest number of excuses? Without a second thought, I’m sure you can answer this question – “Going to Church on Sundays”. We excuse ourselves by saying it is too hot, or too cold. Or the air quality is poor, or I am really tired. This list is endless. The devil, cunning as ever, puts fear and doubts in our minds. My only prayer is that you do not become an easy prey to his cunningness. Please do not make COVID-19 an excuse. I understand there are dangers. But if you take diligent care of yourselves and prudently follow the safety guidelines of wearing a mask, social distancing and sanitizing your hands, COVID-19 should not stop you from coming to Church. As I have always emphasized, it is your choice. I believe the devil will do anything to prevent you from attending the Mass. But if you can go shopping despite the presence of COVID-19, I am sure the Church will be a safer place to visit.
I believe it is my pastoral responsibility to share this thought with you. You be the judge. Please do not make watching Holy Mass through the television a habit. On your judgement day, would you like to see heaven on a screen? Or experience heaven in all its glory?
May God Bless You!
Fr. Antony Vazhappilly
St. James the Apostle Catholic Church