Moving Forward in Faith

10-11-2020Pastor's LetterFr. Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Since mid-May, St. Mary’s parish, along with all the parishes of our diocese and our neighboring diocese, have been making in-person Mass available. Thanks are to God, no one has contracted COVID-19 by attending Mass. Also, almost without exception, the other parishes have been doing at least some singing. Again, this has not resulted in people contracting the disease from attending Mass, and they have been doing this for nearly five months. With this in mind, we plan to resume some singing at Mass (still with masks on) beginning next Sunday, October 18.

Why is this safe? Most people in a congregation do not sing hymns with the gusto of an opera diva or even the controlled beauty of our wonderful cantors; so the number of droplets produced by “normal” people like you and me are (according to the most recent studies with people singing with masks,) not more dangerous than regular talking. We are pro-life and would never do something to recklessly endanger human life. So, let’s dip a toe into the water and “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!” (Psalm 100)

You may recall that 2020 marks the 200th anniversary of the creation of the Diocese of Charleston. You may also have noted that throughout this past year, the Diocese has been engaged in a special Bicentennial Capital Campaign to raise funds for our parishes and for particular programs to help people throughout the state. Parishes were implementing the campaign in stages/blocks, and we were in the last block. We had been on the cusp of rolling out the campaign to the whole parish when, the Tuesday before the announcement was to be made, we experienced lockdown. It’s now time to finish the campaign for our parish. Our whole campaign committee and I know that this is far from an ideal time to recommence the campaign. To that end, please know that any amount will be valuable. All gifts can be fulfilled for over five years.

We have already raised over 50% of our $1,720,000 target! Half of this comes back to us for three areas of need that have been identified as our past, present, and future. The “past” portion will help with much-needed repairs to our beloved Old St. Mary’s church. For example, the roof is over 100 years old and has done us extremely well…until now. The “present” will pay off the remaining debt owed for the construction of the new church. Finally, our “future” is for our children, especially safety and technology enhancements at our school. Already, we have received some funds from the campaign and have begun projects at the school. The other half of the funds raised will help so many people throughout the state. If we have your address, you should be receiving a letter from me in the mail very soon giving many more details. Again, no gift is too small.

Yours in Christ and Our Lady,

Father Wilson