Keeping You Close

03-29-2020Pastor's LetterFather Gregory Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As things may easily change in five days since publishing this column, keep plugged into our website and Facebook pages for the very latest updates that affect our parish family life.

A spot of good news… We have a priest assigned to help “bridge the gap” until we can get an official parochial vicar. So, even while in the midst of this unusual time, we give a warm (virtual, perhaps) welcome to Fr. Filip (pronounced Phillip) Wodecki. Father Wodecki was ordained on December 28, 2011, at our Cathedral in Charleston and has served at various parishes throughout our diocese. Most recently he was helping in St. Gregory the Great parish in Bluffton. Father Filip Wodecki is in between assignments right now, so we are blessed to have some additional help. Welcome, Father Wodecki!

Our first attempt at Livestream Mass from Old Saint Mary’s seems to have gone well. We were aiming for “normalcy,” or as normal as watching your Mass on social media can be. It is incredibly unfortunate that we have to keep people out of the church in order to bring you the Mass. While we are streaming Holy Mass, we will keep Ste Claire Chapel open for prayer. Afterward, we will reopen Old Saint Mary’s for prayer. Please remember to stay six feet from others and use proper handwashing and hand sanitizing. By the way, you should still be able to watch the Mass even if you are not signed up for Facebook. Just look for the small words “Not Now” under “Create New Account” and click, and it should let you watch. For those watching on Facebook, thank you so much for your comments. Please try to keep comments to a minimum while we are live so as to not distract others. You may, of course, hide comments if you are distracted.

People have asked, “What have you been doing with all your free time?” Well, this has certainly been no vacation. Our office is still open on a limited basis, and I have continued to have some appointments that conform to social distancing guides. Larger meetings are done remotely through some cloud-based video conferencing platforms. Right now at least, I haven’t had much more free time as we work to keep the parish running well.

We have been trying to stay close to our homebound and elderly through phone and social media. If you know of a parishioner who needs assistance, or who just needs to hear another kind voice, please call the office and let us know.

I have been offering Mass for you every day and praying for each of you and your intentions. In a humorous picture, I saw one priest offering Mass with dozens of pictures of his parishioners in the pews. One person commented that someone was in their spot! It’s nice to have a little levity during this rather bizarre time.

Keeping you close in prayer,

Father Wilson