Dear People and Friends of Saint Anne,
As Christians, the feast of Easter is a day that brings with it all sorts of expectations. We hear of God’s promise of new life rising out of the darkness of death. Our Scriptures invite us to allow the Risen Lord to free us from the bindings of despair that can tightly hold our hearts and minds in hopelessness. We long to hear stories and encounters with the Risen One – Jesus Christ and to be transformed. That is what the Easter promise is all about.
Yet this year, more than any year that I can remember, this feast of Easter is so confronted by the taste and darkness of sickness and death that surrounds our country and our world. I don’t know about you, but for me, it is challenging to get beyond that threat and reality of the COVID19 and it’s dark hold. Over the last weeks, even as people of faith, we have been so challenged by the effects and impact of this virus in the lives of so many individuals and families.
Instead of the joy, new life and the hope of Easter, this year, as a people of faith, the harshness of Calvary lingers in our hearts, minds and lives. Yet, as hard as it is to hear, Calvary is essential to the Easter experience. We cannot live a fully human life, without embracing the cross as individuals and as a people that live at a particular time in history.
As I write, I imagine empty pews on this Easter morning. Nonetheless we are an Easter people and we will virtually or otherwise, celebrate Jesus Christ victorious. Jesus knew suffering and loneliness. He knew sorrow and anguish. But God raised him up on the third day. As a result of his suffering, dying and rising, we have a faith that we too will come out of this very difficult situation victorious.
And we will return, hopefully one day soon, to a regular and frequent celebration of the Eucharist and the other Sacraments, with a renewed appreciation of these gifts that Christ has given us to strengthen us in faith, hope and love.
In the meantime, as God’s People here at Saint Anne, we must forge ahead. In full transparency, as your Pastor, I ask for your support. The facts are the following:
- Our estimated loss of income due to reduced Sunday stewardship and an anticipated reduced Easter collection will be close to $200,000 or more, as we continue to suspend our public celebration of Sunday Eucharist for at least a month if not longer.
- Faithful parishioners, may not be able to contribute as you once were able before this pandemic and support the parish as you always have faithfully done so.
- Almost 80% of our expenses have to with the salary cost of parish staff members and our parish school faculty. We are committed as a faith community to ensuring that our dedicated staff members continue to receive a salary during this pandemic.
- We continue to receive and pay our operating expenses for our parish community and school.
I humbly ask for your generosity if you are able to do so. Please keep Saint Anne in your thoughts and prayers during these difficult times. Your regular donations are vital to the well – being and the future of our faith community.
I thank all of you who have begun to give online, have mailed or dropped off your contributions at the parish office. I understand that many are facing some dire financial challenges. If that is the case and you are in any need of our assistance, we are blessed with an emergency fund dedicated to the needs of participating parishioners.
On this feast of Easter, let us find the boldness and confidence to proclaim by our words and actions, the Good News of the Resurrected Christ that has been happening here in Barrington for well over a century.
It is my hope that we will allow Easter’s power and promise to especially have its way with us this year. May Christ’s resurrection transform our hearts this on this Easter feast. May you know the safety and protection of the Risen Christ in your lives.
In the Risen One, your pastor,
Father Bernie Pietrzak