From Fr. Daniel: An Anniversary of Remembrances

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Dear People of St. Paul’s,

We stand in the midst of a cluster of anniversary dates, as we mark a year of living with the global pandemic that has so deeply affected all our lives.

A year ago this past week, as we abruptly closed the office and cancelled onsite gathering for worship, we had no idea what would transpire, except that we knew we didn’t know, and whatever was coming would likely affect us more profoundly than we imagined.

Then, within days, we received word of the death of a beloved parishioner, then another, then another. Six all told would die within the first two weeks, and many more of us were sickened and some hospitalized with the virus.

The soul-sadness, grief, and trauma of those early days, and of this whole past year, still weighs heavy. And along with it has come a perseverance and resilience that sometimes seems almost miraculous.

Some days we are up, and some we are down, and not all of us in the same direction on the same days. And there is the grace of it. Individually we might be all over the map, sometimes barely holding it together. Yet together we are braided like a rope — strong, pliable, ready and available to others who are feeling alone and close to an edge.

As we reflect on the personal memory and meaning of this anniversary in mind and heart, please also hold in loving prayer those who are marking the anniversary their beloved’s death, and remember too those who have died.

Tom Hickey, + 3/17 (non-Covid-related), partner of Joe Shafranek
Andrew DiGiambattista, + 3/22, partner of Frank Kimball
Mary Roman, + 3/23, mother of Craig, Gerald, Kenny, and Michael Roman
Burt Harwood, + 3/31, partner of Sally Harwood
John Verel, + 4/2, partner of Mary Verel
Joe Hawley, + 4/2, partner of Susan Hawley

We will remember these lives in the prayers this coming Sunday, and if you wish to join this week in the Celebration of the life of Andrew DiGiambattista, that funeral service will take place via Facebook livestream this Saturday at 10am, and you are very welcome to attend online.

As we walk together into the year ahead, what we have been through will leaven itself into our lives and hearts as our experiences come to shape us in new and different ways. Challenge, stress, and loss can lead to growth and healing as we hold these events, and one another, with attentive tenderness.

God is with us, and God leads us onward. And this is a quiet moment to pause and reflect; mourn the losses and treasure the gifts; and step forward with all our beloveds, passed on and still present, on the continuing journey.

God’s grace be alive in us all,

Daniel +

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