Dear Parishioners and Friends,
As is our custom at St. Patrick-St. Anthony, we celebrate the feast of the patron saint of our Sister Parish, Sainte Geneviève, on the last Sunday of January even though her actual feast is on January 3. Although petitions for the Sister Parish are included in the General Intercessions for all the Masses this weekend, our 10:00 AM Mass will be a special celebration with musical selections in French and Haitian Creole.
This year in particular we embrace our sisters and brothers of Haiti in our hearts and prayers because of the significant rise in gang-related violence currently holding that nation in its grip. Every day, it seems, we see reports on the news of gang members inflicting great harm on innocent people without any way to protect them. The government appears to be powerless to stop the spread of the violence, while the rest of the world watches in resigned despair.
The members of our Sister Parish Committee, under the leadership of Marc Sherer, are currently discussing ways in which we can advocate more effectively for the people of Haiti and have formed a sub-committee to formulate potential responses to the crisis. One immediate response we were able to put into place was to continue providing funds for the teachers of the parish school. Throughout the autumn months of 2022, classes had to be suspended because of the dangerous situation, even in the rural area in which the parish of Ste.-Geneviève is located. The pastor, Fr. Gaby Noël, hoped that classes could resume this January, but we have not yet heard if that was possible. However, we felt that it was one way to help the teachers by providing for their welfare.
The parishioners of St. Patrick-St. Anthony have been extremely generous in the support of our Sister Parish, and I am very proud of the way you have responded to last summer’s Christmas in July Giving Tree as well as the December International Giving Tree. On their behalf, thank you to all who made a gift.
As we honor Ste.-Geneviève this weekend, it is good to remember how she came to the rescue of Paris back in the 5th. When Attila and his army of Huns came upon Paris, the Parisian Christians were prepared to run, but Geneviève spoke to them and convinced them to stay in their homes, in prayer and fasting. She assured them they would have the protection of God. Her prayers were answered as Attila suddenly changed his path and turned away from Paris.
Let us pray, through the intercession of Ste.-Geneviève, that the nation of Haiti will be spared further danger and bloodshed by the numerous gangs that threaten a defenseless population.
You may have noticed that a few of the doors at the entrances of the church have been out of order. Over the years, the wood tracery between the glass panes has become brittle and loose, causing some of it to literally fall apart. Steve Balkun has kindly taken on the task of repairing the fragile wood work in order to assure its stability. He and I have been looking at all the inner doors of the church entrances to make sure they are in good shape.
The tabernacle continues to give us some problems. Although it can be opened and closed, the mechanism is still a bit unreliable. A few weeks ago the lock and door jammed a second time. The gentleman who has repaired it (twice) is out of the country at the moment, so I am fearful of using the tabernacle until we can determine its reliability. Therefore, we will continue to use the temporary tabernacle in the chapel until the main tabernacle can undergo a more thorough repair process. Thank you for your patience and understanding!
Blessings on your week ahead!
Fr. Tim Shreenan, O.F.M.Pastor