Dear Friends in Christ,
How are all of you doing during this Holy Week like no other? Normally, on the Tuesday of Holy Week, I would be preparing to travel to St. Joseph Cathedral in Columbus to concelebrate the Chrism Mass with our bishop, along with all the priests serving in this Diocese. Together we would renew our priestly promises, pray with the bishop as he blessed the sacred oils, then bring the blessed oils back to our parishes. This year, of course, everything is different. Bishop Brennan will celebrate the Chrism Mass at 9am this Thursday, in a mostly empty cathedral, where he will bless oils to be used in every parish of the diocese. At some later date, in a manner not yet announced, the oils will be distributed to the various churches. When the present health emergency has finally ceased, the priests of the diocese will again gather with their bishop to renew their priestly promises.
I am glad we were able to work out a reasonable and safe way to distribute blessed palms this past Sunday afternoon, thanks to our volunteers who were willing to stand in the rain. This community showed amazing generosity at the same time. Over nine hundred dollars was collected to help the poor who are assisted by the food pantry of Edison Enterprise Baptist Church. Others donated non-perishable food items. We are also grateful to everyone who dropped off contributions or sent money to support the continuing work of our parish and school.
As you know, we have been continuing to celebrate Mass and those liturgies have been livestreamed on Facebook. Today, tomorrow, and Thursday, Mass will be celebrated at 6pm. On Good Friday, the liturgy will take place at 3pm. Those services will be found on the St. Mary, Marion, Facebook page.
On Easter Sunday, we will livestream Mass at 9am from Sacred Hearts Church.
Yours in Christ,
Father Thomas Buffer