In this year where our lives, our routines and much that brought us comfort have been turned upside down, we are called to deeply think and reflect on all we are grateful for and all those who have so positively impacted our lives. 2020 has brought a great deal of challenge, at a personal level in our families, in our communities, our nation and our world – we are asked to fine tune our vision and recognize the positive that rises from the challenges and to gratefully and faithfully offer our thanks. At St. John Fisher we are particularly grateful for the following:
- We are grateful to our parishioners who continue to celebrate their faith whether by experiencing Mass in-person, virtual Mass on our website or attending weekly Sunday Adoration. We are grateful to all those who continue to provide the much-needed financial support in weekly offering and in our annual parish collection – provided in person, through on-line giving or in the mail.
- We are grateful to our staff who continue to provide creative and faith-based programming, Faith Formation, youth programs, various outreach, service opportunities, music necessary for weekly celebrations, administrative and financial management and day-to-day facilities management of the required safety and cleanliness protocols necessary to safely welcome our parishioners.
- We are grateful to our many volunteer ministries that continue to operate by finding creative ways to react to the various needs of our parishioners and our town: our Prayer Line, Prayer Shawl/Comfort & Warmth, Christian Outreach with Cooking with Care, monthly sandwich delivery, food drives and outreach programs, Knights of Columbus, Men’s Prayer Group, Gardening Committee, Liturgical support with Greeters and Lectors and church decorations, our Finance Council, our Parish Council and communications on our webpage, Facebook, Rivereast and in email blasts.
- We are grateful for those who responded to the unique needs of this year by finding their niche and offering their skills and talents for the good of others; specifically we thank: all those who made and donated masks; the additional communications volunteers who worked to be sure messages and information reached our parishioners; all those who make our on-line Mass possible – Gil Thompson, Nancy Aniolek, Kathleen Filosa, Carolyn Henderson, our pianist and Michael Gaudette, our various lectors and of course, our Pastor, Father Sas; the teens who “masked up” to support service and outreach opportunities; the greeters who help manage the social distancing and Mass attendance numbers, Knights of Columbus that successfully conducted a COVID-safe golf fundraising effort and those who were asked to quickly and completely change how they offered Faith Formation programming, Theresa Brysgel and Jen O’Neill with the dedicated and detailed volunteer support by Brendan and Danielle Neary who created and launched our new Faith Formation website which is the engine of our new way of offering Faith Formation programming.
Dear Lord, as we celebrate this season of gratitude, we reflect on all those who have unselfishly served us – the many dedicated frontline workers, all essential workers, healthcare professionals, police and fire fighters, educators, farmers, small business owners, grocery store workers, delivery personnel, those representing social justice and all those answering the call to serve others, preserve our safety, our health and our dignity.
We wish you and your loved ones a safe, abundant and faith-filled Thanksgiving season. SJF Parish Family