On this 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B. January 31st, 2021.

Dear Sisters and Brothers of Saint Therese Parish,
 
I hope you are all coping well, wherever you are. I am sure a lot of us are experiencing mixtures of isolation, Covid anxiety and Covid caution fatigue, waiting for at least one vaccine and hopefully two. We are being as responsible as we know how in church, especially at Saturday night/Sunday morning Masses. I think we have done pretty well at social distancing, masking and sanitizing our hands. And of course we will keep our eyes on the numbers and not take any chances. We are blessed in having a large church but I would encourage those who are “at risk” or just not feeling well to please stay home and watch Mass livestream from here at Saint Therese on Sunday’s at 10:30. We will miss you but want to keep you and everyone else here around for a lot longer.
 
It also gives us a chance to be creative. We will soon be looking at the liturgies for Ash Wednesday and Holy Week, how best to celebrate those safely and reverently in a much shorter time. And if in fact these vaccinations take us into the Fall we will need to put some heads together in thinking about having at least one outdoor Mass as soon as the weather turns warmer.
 
These slower Winter months have also given me the opportunity to get to know the “nuts and bolts” of the parish a little better. While our principal purpose is always to be a welcoming, loving, prayerful, Eucharistic community within the wider Roman Catholic Church, we are also a local institution that must pay our bills and our employees, make necessary repairs, run a nursery school and religious education program, review agreements with others who use our property, and be responsible and transparent in the use of the financial contributions that come to us each week. To assist in this endeavor is a group of parishioners whom I have asked to serve as a Finance Com-mittee for the parish. They bring a wealth of experience and know-how to the task, especially “best practices” in financial management, real estate, strategic planning and institutional transparency. Some have served for several years and others are new. Jerry McKeon, our only current Trustee of Saint Therese of Lisieux Parish, has done an exceptional job in his leadership of this committee over many years. He has been extremely helpful to me in understanding both the histo-ry and contexts of the financial decisions made here at Saint Therese. He has worked closely with Chris Murray who took on the responsibility of managing the day to day operations of Saint Therese during the whole time that Father Tom was away, keeping the parish afloat and well-functioning. Not an easy task to have thrust upon you!
 
The membership of this Finance Committee is: Jerry McKeon (Trustee), Kathy Beckmann, Tom Bogdan, Don Bostrom, Harold Clark, Irene D’Agostino, Tom Genovese, Susie Kalimnios, Paul Monte, Barbara Russo.
 
With my gratitude always,
Father Bob, C.P.