Did any of us ever think something like this current situation with the coronavirus and the “Safe at Home” directives would be our new reality? How fast our lives were changed! From one day to the next, we had no idea what to expect; not only for us personally, but also for our churches and for us spiritually. I certainly never thought I would see the day our churches would close. Like I said-CRAZY!
I have been working from home the past two weeks and am grateful I have a few big projects that will keep me busy for some time. It helps the day go by as I have been pretty isolated. This slowing down, however, has had its blessings. I am finding more time for prayer. I have been looking at some websites and Facebook sites from other parishes in the diocese and have found a variety of online prayer and spiritual opportunities such as “Café with the Priests” in Manitowoc and morning Mass with Fr. Timothy Brandt (remember him)? I am also finding that I want to take a walk every day. Before, even though I had good intentions, by the time I got home after a day at the office and had a bite to eat, it was easy to come up with a reason why not to go for a walk. Now I look forward to getting outside for a while and am thankful that this isn’t the middle of winter with freezing temperatures.
So far, I am enjoying this change in my lifestyle but am also aware that this is not the case for everyone. If you feel you need to talk to someone, please call the office. Even though most of us are working from home, we are still checking our voice messages and will get back to you. We are happy to hear from you and know that we keep all of you in our prayers. I look forward to the end of all of this and being able to get back into the office. Even though I’m enjoying this right now, I’m sure, in another couple of weeks, the novelty will wear off and I will want to be out and about with people again.
On another note, and one I hate to bring up at this time but it is part of my job; what are we doing about church finances? This is going to be a challenge; we still have bills to pay and we have to pay our staff. (To help make it a little easier for the parishes to meet payroll, some staff members have given up their pay during this time; others have voluntarily cut back their hours, and others have asked for a reduction in pay. I would say that we have an awesome staff that has the parishes’ best interests at heart). We are doing whatever we can to reduce
payroll and cut expenses but we still need you to do your part and continue to make your church contributions. You can do that by sending in your envelope each week or by setting up automatic withdrawals. We encourage automatic withdrawals because they are easy for us to set up and manage and you will not have to write out a check each week. Just call MJ at the parish office to get the withdrawal set up. We are also going to be looking into the opportunity for online giving. If that becomes available, details will be in the bulletin. We are still getting our mail so that is another way to get your church contribution to us.
Before I end, I want to share something I found recently:
At a church meeting, a very wealthy man rose to tell the rest of those present about his Christian faith. “I’m a millionaire,” he said, “and I attribute it all to the rich blessings of God in my life. I remember that turning point in my faith. I had just earned my first dollar and I went to a church meeting that night. The speaker was a missionary who told about his work. I
knew that I only had a dollar bill and had to either give it all to God’s work or nothing at all. So at that moment, I decided to give my whole dollar to God. I believe that God blessed that decision and that is why I am a rich man today.”
He finished and there was an awed silence at his testimony as he moved toward his seat. As he sat down, a little old lady sitting in the same pew leaned over and said to him, “I dare you to do it again.”
Now, I am not going to ask you to give up your millions, but we could sure use your regular contributions. If at all possible, please keep those coming. I strongly believe that God can’t be outdone in generosity. I have seen and personally experienced that. Join with me now in helping to keep our parishes financially viable until we can get back to business as usual.
Thank you and may God bless you and keep you and your family safe and healthy.
Quad Parish Business Administrator