He only shuts up when he is writing!
From the Pastor: Hurricane Week
If you are reading this, it means that the hurricane was not so bad that the bulletin couldn’t get printed and that you survived it no matter how bad it was. I didn’t yet this year get around to writing about what happens at the parish when a hurricane is threatening. So, although this is a little late for this one, it’s not too late for any that may follow. The basic premise is that I live on the church property so, barring extreme conditions such as the eye of the storm coming directly over Epiphany just before Mass time, I should be able to celebrate Mass and hear confessions on schedule. But you don’t live on campus so you are going to have to make a responsible judgment call about the safety of traveling. If it is not safe for you to come, please stay home! Even if you feel like taking a chance under bad conditions, remember that if you lose the gamble, you will put other people’s lives in jeopardy, especially emergency personnel who will brave all but the worst conditions to try to rescue you. This bulletin had to be written before the storm hit so I cannot tell you how things worked out, but all meetings were canceled Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday just to be safe, with Friday up in the air as I type, as there is still debate about just how long the conditions will be bad, and we don’t know if we will have any electricity or clear roads. This information was sent out over Flocknote, posted on Facebook’s Epiphany page, and noted on the first page of our parish website. These are usually good ways of getting information like this, and if you don’t know how to access any of this, today is a great day to ask someone to help you!
Looking forward and assuming that there is no continued power outage or major damage in our diocese, this coming week is our annual Priest Convocation. Each year we are given the opportunity to gather and have some good food, discussions, teachings, and prayer together. I don’t believe in canceling Masses at the parish so for several years I traveled back and forth between the Bethany Center and Epiphany but it was exhausting and I wound up missing the morning talks and prayers. For a couple of years, I was able to have a Parish Mission given during that week and the priest giving the Mission also took the morning Masses. That way I was able to just stay at the Bethany Center and participate in everything as scheduled. This year, as with the last two covid years we will not have a Parish Mission. But we are having one fairly soon, as it is scheduled for the weekend of November 12/13 and then continuing on through Thursday the 17th. As for the morning convocation talks, I am not all too interested in racing over to hear them. Last year the topic was something like, “Crying together about why nobody is coming to church anymore.” I would have gotten into a lot of trouble if I went to those talks, for I could not have kept my mouth closed about what the problem really is and who is to blame. This year seems to be a similar topic, where we will hear about how to make “disciples” in the parish. As far as I can tell, that simply means that the presenter doesn’t believe that those few who actually stayed or who came back after the covid lockouts are really followers of Christ. My experience here is just so very different from what the other pastors seem to be going through that, once again, I would be in a lot of trouble if I told them what they really need to do to make disciples at each parish. Our Traditional Catholic solution just doesn’t resonate with all too many clergy, it seems.
Now for something strange that I announced last week at Mass. (I am not sure if Fr. Mangiafico also announced what I wrote out.) I said that Friday was First Friday and that my mom, who coordinates everything by making sure people are signed up to Adore every hour of the day, was out of town and therefore couldn’t sign anyone up in person. I was sure that she told me to announce that. And she did, kinda. She also told me to give it some sort of a “Don’t make me turn this car around” type of motherly threat if she came back and we still had hours without anyone signed up. So I dutifully made the announcement. Unfortunately, mom was actually sitting in the pew listening to me announce this, for it was one week earlier than she wanted me to announce it! As you probably know, Hurricane Friday was not First Friday. This coming Friday (probably!) is. So make sure you sign up for First Friday regardless of whether or not mom was able to get out of town. At this time, even her trip out of state is up in the air (so to speak) since she is scheduled to fly out on Hurricane Friday. I won’t know if she made it or not before this gets printed, but if you don’t see her you can assume that her flight didn’t get canceled.
That just about wraps it up for this week. I hope and pray that you made it through the hurricane unscathed. After all, we once again prayed the special Collect, Secret, and Post-Communion prayers to Avert Storms starting on Sunday and continuing until no longer needed. I’m going to assume that those prayers produced fruit for our area.
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka