Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Some people have been commenting with some concern that driving up New Hyde Park they’ve noticed the lights on in the Church at odd hours of the night. I have to admit that I’m the culprit. I’ve developed the habit of ending the day in the Church, praying (and often pacing) and having a frank conversation with God about all that’s happening, particularly here in the parish. In a time where the Church is facing so many challenges, where it’s so hard to know what we can do to stem the tide against us, I keep hoping God grants some insight into where to begin.
One place that I have begun though, which many have also noticed, is the church. This is in part because many holy men and women at the forefront of today’s battle have insisted that the key into the hearts of people in our time is beauty. While people struggle against what’s true, while they struggle against what’s good, beauty cuts through and awakens something in the heart. So our care for the church as God’s house and our efforts to make it beautiful reveal how firmly we believe in Him and his presence in the Eucharist and sends a powerful message. This can lead to many questions, especially in terms of using resources for the Church instead of the poor, but St. Francis of Assisi serves as a powerful example in this regard. He was known to be incredibly simple in his own living, but he would always ensure the vessels and linens used for God were worthy of Him. How could we not make the Church a beautiful dwelling for God? It’s the place where rich and poor alike can come pray, a place where those who have wandered may return and encounter God in a powerful way, and a place where we can be inspired to go out and serve the poor, especially in our wonderfully social ministry programs.
Nevertheless, while I have made some small additions in this regard, I do want to assure everyone of my firm belief that the beauty of the Church should always be an offering of the community. In almost every case what appears new is either a donation or something that belongs to me personally. And as I continue to work in this regard, I would like to extend an invitation to the parish to consider taking part. So often, especially upon losing someone, we consider making an offering on their behalf, but just as often the offering of a chalice or vestment goes unappreciated because it may replicate what we have or may not fill a need. If you would like to make a donation of that sort, please feel free to contact the rectory and we can help find something that will be used and will serve as a fitting memorial of those we love.
One area in particular where this would be much appreciated is our tabernacle. As many of you may have noticed, the locking mechanism has given up the ghost, and the locksmith has informed us it is beyond repair. Especially considering it is the tabernacle, the dwelling place of our Lord in the Eucharist and the beating heart of our parish, I would like to take care of this as swiftly as possible. It pains me to say that this work may require a removal of the current tabernacle and the placing of a new one on the same pedestal, but it doesn’t look like there are any other options. If you would like to be part of this process and support the replacement of the tabernacle please feel free to contact the rectory or send a note. We will find a way to commemorate those who are memorialized – both in the Church and on the website as well.
Each night I will continue to pray for the wisdom of Solomon, who built the beautiful temple in Jerusalem, and I will pray for the parish that we all continue to grow in love of our Lord, especially in the Blessed Sacrament. And I ask that you continue to please pray for me as we begin this new year of grace.
Yours in Christ,