Fr. Mario’s Message to Parishioners
May 14th, 2020
Father Mario’s Covid-19 Update at Holy Name Parish
On May 10th, we celebrated Mother’s Day, but I like to think that every day is “Mother’s Day”. I said a private Mass for all the mothers in the parish and gave the following Mother’s Day Blessing:
“Holy God, you compare your own love for your people to the love of a mother for her children. Look with kindness on these mothers, give them comfort in moments of sorrow, and joy in their work for their families. Listen to their prayers and bless + them in all they do for you. Let them share with Jesus your Son and Mary our mother in the everlasting happiness of heaven. Father we ask this grace through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Mothers are important, during this pandemic even more so. If you are a young mother with young children, you are busy homeschooling, doing laundry, working from home and dealing with family crisis as your children are at home. I ask Dad and the children to give Mom some solitude time. Not only on Mother’s Day, but several times a week, so that Mom can recharge. If your mother is older and all the children have left home, make sure you visit her via social media or phone. Again, not only on Mother’s Day but at least once a week.
At the end of April, we had to lay-off our Office Assistant Laura and our Sacramental Coordinator Celeste. Our church is open from 9:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday for private reflection and prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament (Tabernacle). Confession is available by appointment. Request for Masses continue. Father John and I are saying Mass daily privately so we can take Mass Intentions, just call the office. Votive candles can still be lit for your special intention. At our church we are strictly observing the AHS mandated protocols, including physical distancing, disinfecting as well as the maximum number of 15 participants. We have had 3 Funerals during this pandemic, 15 people only, six feet apart. Holy Name Cares is still offering hampers. People have been coming to Holy Name parish on Saturdays to pick up their food hamper. Thank-you to the Holy Name Cares volunteers who continue to give their time to keep this ministry active.
On Saturday, May 9 our parish Knights of Columbus men came and cleaned the church grounds. They raked the grass, picked up the garbage that was laying around and mowed the grass. They also swept the parking lot with brooms. It was a big job to do and I want to thank the Knights for doing this work. They also volunteered to cut the grass for the rest of the summer and fall. We cancelled our Lawn Maintenance contractor for the summer and we are saving around $1000 a month. The Garden Ministry had their meeting on Saturday, May 9 at the church. They were planning and organizing on how best to tend our superb garden which brings a lot of joy to people, especially in this pandemic situation. Many people in the neighborhood visit the garden while their children are playing in the parking lot.
We have been calling our parishioners to see how they are doing and letting them know that we are thinking of them and praying for them. Our goal is to call 700 people and so far, we have connected with close to 500 of our parishioners. The pandemic made us aware that our website and email delivery system was antiquated as we could not easily communicate with our parishioners. A few people came together and formed the “Holy Name Response Team” to address this issue. For the past 2 months this team have been working hard to build a new website and a more efficient email delivery system. I want to thank all the members of this team, especially Tim Dahm who has contributed hours and hours to developing the new website. Please check it out at holynamecalgary.ca.
A vision evolved from the work of this team resulting in a new ministry entitled “Evangelization and Outreach” being led by Dallas Paquette. We will learn more about this ministry in the coming weeks and months.
Holy Name Church has set up an account with Zoom and we invite any group or ministry to use Zoom to connect with each other. Simply call the Parish Office and we will schedule the meeting for you. Our Zoom account can accommodate up to 100 people and no time limit.
I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has continued to make donations to Holy Name Church during this pandemic. In the absence of the usual weekend ‘basket” collection, we are experiencing a dramatic reduction in church contributions. Contribution envelopes can be dropped off at the Parish Office when you visit the church. They can also be mailed to the church or we can pick them up at your place of residence. You may also consider making your contribution through our available electronic methods which include the ‘Donate Now’ button on the website or through pre-authorized debit or credit. Forms are located on the website or you can call the Parish Office. Hopefully, we can “weather” this financial crisis with our common effort to keep our church financially viable.
I am including Bishop McGrattan’s April 28th letter to the faithful in case some of you missed seeing it previously. While we wait for direction from the Diocese of Calgary as to when Masses will resume in the parishes, there are some preparations we can be doing. The first is to have a supply of non-medical masks available at the parish. If you can sew and would like to make some masks, please contact the Parish Office and we can provide you some assistance. The other item we could use is a supply of liquid (not gel) hand sanitizer in spray bottles. Any help in these areas will be greatly appreciated.
Please take care of yourself and each other and I look forward to the day when we can be together again to worship our Lord and Saviour.
Your brother in Christ,
Father Mario Basque
Pastor, Holy Name Parish