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Fr. John Foley's Message Board

Monday, December 21, 2020, 5:08pm

The song "I'll Be Home for Christmas" probably describes where most of us will be for the holiday this year, and the terrible thing about it is that many of our family members will not. I usually have 19 people for Thanksgiving. This year I had three. And it looks the same will be the case for Christmas and New Year's.

So what to do? We can become angry or depressed and realize what is missing from our celebration, or we can choose to understand how blessed we really are. So many in our society have no one to miss them, as they are alone, or have little food to share because they have no income. The situation for many will not change, as ours hopefully will (perhaps in just a few months). Life is not always fair and sometimes deals us a very difficult hand to play.

At Christmas, we celebrate the coming of the Christ, whose birth in that cold stable and then spending the following few years in a new country with strangers was anything but easy. I am sure that is not how Joseph and Mary pictured their first years together as a family.

Perhaps this year is a good time to dwell on how much grace God has placed in our lives - so many people care for us and love us, even if from a distance. We may mourn the loss of a loved one, as so many have died, but our love lives on in memories.

No, life is indeed not fair, but we never expected it to be. But God's love is constant. He redeemed us, He loves us and promises to always be with us - this is the true gift of Christmas.

May God bless you all this Christmas, and may the New Year bring a true promise of good health and happiness.

Monday, September 28, 2020, 1:20pm

Well, it's been nine months and most of us still like each other...at least there are no visual scars! We are finally able to get out a little bit, even if it is with caution. Although the next several months could be iffy, there is light at the end of the tunnel (vaccine?). I think the most needed quality at this time is patience. We have been asked countless times: have you traveled outside the country? Do you feel ill? Do you have a cough? Do you have a fever? And on and on. Be patient - they are just doing their jobs to keep us safe. We all feel the strain, those making the rules and those doing their best to comply.

What this pandemic has done is to take everyone out of their comfort zone. This makes us a bit anxious, to say the least, and so we must compensate. As I have suggested before, take a little quiet time for prayer, contemplation, take a little walk, anything that quiets us down and refreshes us. God is with us in many ways, but we are often too busy to experience His presence, and so a little patience with ourselves and others will go a long way in getting us through this.

We miss you all and hope to see you again soon happy and healthy.

Monday, August 3, 2020, 1:52pm

As we enter our seventh month of the coronavirus, I'm sure we are all a little bit sick of the considerable disruption, the sickness, the anxiety, and the separation from our friends and neighbors. I don't have the greatest memory in the world, so if I don't recognize you when I see you again, please don't take offense! Yes, it's been THAT long! Seriously, I very much miss so many of you and I hope you are doing well. This pandemic has certainly changed our lives for the time being, but this too will eventually go away. We live in hope, not in fear.

At the beginning of this whole mess, I asked you to keep St. Anne's in mind, as I was certain that with the absence of so many parishioners at Mass, our income would drop dramatically. I am happily surprised to say it has not!!! Your generosity and support have been remarkable. But then again, why should I be surprised? You have always been so.

As I begin my twelfth year at St. Anne's, I realize how blessed I have been with good people such as yourselves. So many of you have been doing, and continue to do, things for your friends and neighbors to make their lives a little bit easier, and for this, I would like to thank you.

We may be partially shut down, but we haven't gone away. If there is any way we can help you or if you know of anyone in need of help, please be sure to let us know.

Stay well and be hope-filled,

Fr. Foley

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