Sunday, October 4, 2009

Bleach in the Holy Water? Hmmm, That's an Idea

Before I get to the main topic of this post, I want to wish everyone a blessed Feast of St. Francis of Assisi! With all of the little critters Moe has collected and studied these last several months (two baby snakes, two crayfish, at least two toads, one frog, at least one lizard, and countless spiders and bugs), plus the neighborhood cats that like to frequent our yard, the squirrels who are so common in our neighborhood that my husband calls them bushy-tailed rats, and one crazy yellow Lab who eats anything and everything (the other day she threw up a small pile of pebbles) and has lately enjoyed chasing the cats and squirrels around so much she almost doesn't need us to take her for walks anymore, we might as well adopt St. Francis as our family patron! Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the ducks and geese, and even the great blue heron we can often see on the little lake we are blessed to have right by our back door.

Today is also Respect Life Sunday. Please take a few minutes today to pray for an end to abortion! Many cities around the United States and Canada are conducting a Life Chain for the unborn today--a peaceful, prayerful vigil to publicly stand up for life. To find a Life Chain near you, click here. I'm going to mine; my kids were invited to a friend's birthday party today, and given the choice between standing on the street for two hours and the party, you can guess which they picked! Next year... I'm also hoping that we'll all be on the National Mall together come January 22 for the March for Life. Curly came with me this past year (here's the blog post I wrote shortly afterward).

Now to the meat of this post: Every Sunday, our pastor publishes a letter to the parish in the Sunday bulletin. About a month ago, he wrote this letter addressing everyone's concerns regarding the swine flu. It gave me a chuckle, and I thought I'd share it with you, or at least most of it:

Dear Good People of Our Parish,

So many questions, so little time! There has been an awful lot of press lately about the coming flu season, and it seems to have a lot of people in a panic. Everyone, please take a deep breath, and let's think this through.

First, for all who have requested that I suspend the practice of receiving Communion on the tongue, I can only imagine the reaction. Such an instruction would require a directive from the Bishop that we would then hope to follow. We use hand sanitizer before Mass and before distributing Communion (and after!), but that doesn't fix the problem of people who lick our hands. If you are very concerned for medical reasons maybe abstinence is the answer.

Some have requested that we stop serving Communion under both forms. Considering that we only practice this form of Communion at two Masses for Sunday--and that it is totally optional--if you do not wish to receive the Precious Blood, simply don't.

Others have asked that I put chlorox in the holy water fonts. Please give me your names and bank account information so I can just forward it to all the people whose clothing gets little white spots on the cest and shoulders (just kidding!). Again, if you're worried, just don't use the holy water when entering/leaving church. It is not required.

Finally, for those who havfe asked that we omit the sign of peace. Again, completely optional. Some say that it makes tham look bad when they refuse to give a sign of peace so we should do away with it entirely. Well, I've been in the pews plenty in my life, and have often encountered people who do not want to shake hands with others. It isn't uncommon. But then there are those who do not even want to acknowledge the existence ot others. There is a difference. A smile and a warm greeting can go a lot further than a recoiling scowl, and a smile can be a great sign of peace between people. Who knows, maybe as a sign of peace you could offer your neighbor a little Purell or a sanitary cloth, or a flu sot coupon?

I think moderation in all things and good, common sense is what we need the most to get through flu season.

God Bless You,

Father R.

Have a great week! Don't forget the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary coming up this Wednesday, October 7. I have learned not to make promises about what I plan to post next, but I will tell you that tomorrow's Religious Education class will focus on the Rosary (with a little about St. Francis, too), very timely, don't you think? Maybe I'll come away from tomorrow's class with something to write about; if not, I've got a few things up my sleeve.


  1. Love the letter from your pastor! LOL! I try not to worry too much about the whole germy thing in church....

  2. Isn't it sad when a priest has to give his parish a shot of common sense? Ha, this letter made me chuckle. I've had a 'cold' for over a month now . . . I just hold up my tissue, wave it, and say "God bless you" and smile. I like to receive on the tongue, but since I've been "sick" I have taken Jesus in my hand. No Precious Blood. I believe I had a cold, but what I have now is allergies (as I adjust to Hawaii's pollens) . . . Bumpty bumpy ride!

    God bless!


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