Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a peaceful Christmas and New Year celebration. The Christmas Season ended this past weekend with the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord. We can now put away all of our Christmas decorations. We will begin the 1st Week in Ordinary Time, Year “B”, on January 11th. Ordinary Time lasts from this week until Ash Wednesday on February 17th. I thank everyone for their participation in the Christmastide this year. My special thanks to the Art and Environment Ministers and the Liturgy Ministry Leaders for their effective planning for the Christmas and New Year Liturgies. I also thank those who sent donations for the poinsettias and other gifts to the parish and staff during this time.
With the Christmas and New Year celebrations behind us, I am glad our SJB school and parish office have now resumed peacefully for the new year. Last week, we had a Parish Staff meeting, Pastoral Council meeting and SJB faculty meetings, among others, to review plans for this coming year. Usually, this is the time we begin planning for the major community events that occur between January and Easter such as our parish picnic, Valentine dinner, SJB gala, and rummage sale. With the current uncertainty as a result of the pandemic, it is obvious that we cannot hold these events the way we normally do. We are now looking for innovative ways to modify these events so we can hold them safely. I must commend the Dad’s Club and the SJB school community for the creative way they modified their gala from in-person to virtual during the lockdown in March last year. The virtual gala was quite successful, raising over $65,000 net profit. Using the gala as a model, we hope to modify other parish and school events in a way that will allow us to hold them safely. Please contact us in the parish office if you have ideas or suggestions for this year.
Given the current uncertainties as a result of the increasing rate of new cases of the virus, the Diocese of Phoenix has issued a statement to clarify the expectations for liturgical services at this time.
As you can see from the statement, there are no major changes to the current safety measures during liturgical services already in place. We are however, reminded to take the current wave of the virus seriously and continue to maintain the precautionary measures we have in place. Click here for the full text of the statement in English and Spanish.
Declaración de la Diócesis de Phoenix referente a la continuación de la celebración publica de Misas.
Have a wonderful weekend and Remain Blessed.
Fr James Aboyi, VC