A Letter from Fr. Walt

A letter from Fr. Walt

My Dear Our Lady of Peace Parish Family,

May the Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God our Father and the Blessings of the Holy Spirit be with each of you.
I write to you from my rectory desk at 10950 Main Street here in Clarence on a date that is usually reserved for the joy of the blooming Spring Season … the Passion of the coming Holy Week … and the bustling of preparation for the family traditions of Easter. And yet there is a
pensiveness in the air this year because of the challenge and tragedy of the continuing Covid-19 virus situation. So much of our “normal” pace of life has been disrupted by this illness in that school, employment, social and sport activities have all been curtailed. And yes… even our parish and liturgical flow of life has been deeply hampered by the events of the past few weeks.

This afternoon I spent 1 ½ hours in quiet prayer in our beautiful church sanctuary at a time when we would normally have our 4:30 PM Mass. Other parishioners quietly came and went as they stopped by for prayer. All of you … yes, each and every one of you, were the focus of my prayers this afternoon. I imagined you present there as you would typically be in
hearing God's Word and sharing in the tremendous gift of the Body and Blood of Our Lord. I envisioned the music and the choir … the support and encouragement that is so very evident when WE are together in our house of worship. I miss you all so very much. Those that I have been in contact with have shared with me that they too have a great longing and yearning for Mass, prayer, meetings, and the many activities that weave the fabric
of Our Lady of Peace Parish.

My prayers are for all of your safety and health above all. Please be careful and heed the guidelines and warnings of authority in dealing with this illness. Our prayers are for those who may be ill … for healing. Our prayers are for the many health care workers, care givers and first responders who are ever vigilant and working extra hours to ensure the safety and health of so many. As with any challenge we grow stronger and realize how much we need and depend on one another …. How much we NEED and DEPEND upon our God!

As you may be aware our parish staff have carefully followed the guidelines and mandates of the State, County and Diocese of Buffalo in limiting not only worship but also office and meeting hours. Many events have been postponed or cancelled. Our rectory staff and maintenance are only tending to emergency and vital functions. We are monitoring phone messages and please do not hesitate to call with any concerns. The Bishop encourages
Priests to say a “Private Mass” every day … and my intention at my Mass is for all of you. This week we began taping a weekend / Sunday Mass and you will find it on our Parish website at olpclarence.org. We hope to also have taped for you the Holy Week Services of Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. I hope you will find these beneficial to your prayer life.

Our life has been disrupted and there are many who are not able to go to work and may be without a regular paycheck because of Covid-19. Our sincere prayers for them … that they may have the basics of food, shelter and medical care. Please take care of your families and see to their needs above all. Our Parish also has needs as the bills of utilities, contracts
and maintenance continue. If you are able to contribute your weekly envelope via on-line faith giving or by mailing your collection envelope to the parish rectory …. It would be so very much appreciated.

There is a saying that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” … and in many ways this is true. I think that all of us very much miss and ever so much appreciate our gift of Eucharist. May we never take that gift for granted. We miss our prayer and social activities. We miss one another. I know how much I miss all of you. Please know how present you are to me in my daily prayers … I humbly ask that you remember me in your powerful daily prayers
as well.
You are a blessing … may God bless you always!

Fr Walt