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From the desk of Fr. Speier 

Dear Parishioners,

 This weekend we celebrate July 4 Independence Day for our country. This day marks 244 years of independence for our nation. This year’s celebration may be different from others for a number of reasons. Although many in our neighborhoods have been shooting off fireworks like no other year since I have lived in this area. Have fun and enjoy but don’t forget what this day is about. 

 With the COVID-19 pandemic we have all experienced for the last 2 ½ months I think our idea of freedom may be just a bit different. Staying home, businesses, churches, restaurants, hair salons, gyms all being shut down for that length of time is not what we would have expected at this time of year. But that is the normal for what we have experienced. Loved ones and parishioners have died from this virus. People wearing masks everywhere we go has become the norm. Social distancing has become the new catch phrase for most people. 

 Riots and rioters have taken the spotlight across the country and news media. Police officers have been beaten, shot and killed for doing their jobs. City governments thinking about disbanding police forces, defunding police departments and replacing them with social workers is a unique thought. One report over the last ten days was of a leader of the Black Life Movement calling for the removal of all statues of Jesus with a white face. Churches of all denominations are being vandalized and defaced. 

  Another reason this year’s celebration maybe the fact that one’s opinion is wrong if it does not meet the direction of the multitude at the time. I am not taking sides but just presenting reason why this year’s celebration of freedom may be more important than ever.

 In spite of all that is happening the principles on which this country was founded are still right and just. The freedom to pray is one of those rights. Being without the public celebration of mass for a long while has, I hope, caused many of us look to at the importance of our God given gift of faith. The presence of God is just as real and powerful as it was before our churches were shut down. Even though many have been without the Eucharist for some time doesn’t mean we are any less in touch with the Lord. In fact it may just be the opposite. During this time of quarantine we have had more time to pray, view mass on TV or the internet and do what we can to help those who may be in some sort of need because of the situation we find ourselves in. Is God present in these situation? Or course he is. 

 Hopefully we are moving forward from the last two months, yet we do not know what the future may hold. God is with us no matter what. On this Independence Day week let us truly give thanks for all the graces and blessings we are still receiving.