Fr. John: Letter to the Parish (May 15, 2020)

Posted 2020-05-14 by St. Michael's Communications

Editor’s note: this is a May 2020 article that references Fr. John Nemanic as St. Michael’s pastor. As of Aug. 1, 2020, Fr. John is no longer at St. Michael’s.

Click here to download the letter in PDF

See links at the bottom for our 2019 and Q1 2020 financial results.

Friday, May 15, 2020

We have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  2 Cor 4: 7-9

A little over a year ago on May 3, 2019, our parish community celebrated the 60th anniversary of the first Mass celebrated as St Michael’s at John Kinahan school. That Friday evening was a momentous time to recognize the pioneers who laid the spiritual and physical church foundation for us to see and touch the Lord. It was a time to thank God for blessing us over 6 decades with a home to worship and to serve as an inspiration that he will guide us for the next 60 years. 

Our founding parishioners went through their struggles, but they never collectively experienced anything like the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent 2-month long lockdown of life as all of us have come to know. In phone calls, emails, and face-to-face (2 meters apart) conversations I hear the spiritual, social, emotional and financial anguish so many of you are experiencing.

Is there any hope for us?

As our early parishioners served to lay the faith foundation so many of us have enjoyed, we have other heroes who are inspirations through their faith, such as St Paul. As noted in the above passage, Paul shared the sufferings he encountered as he spread the gospel, but never lost hope in the Lord. Jesus never abandoned him, nor does Jesus abandon us.

Due to the public gathering restrictions, we have not been able to physically see and touch the Lord in the Eucharist, but I hope many of you have followed the parish virtually and found inspiration and hope in the daily and Sunday Masses celebrated by Fr. Pilmaiken and me, the weekly Flocknote messages, the youth nights and “Ask a Priest Anything” sessions.

I will continue to offer our community with a variety of options to keep you grounded in our Lord’s love. The Blessed Sacrament chapel remains open for private prayer from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, while our parish office is open Mon-Fri from 9 a.m. to noon. Fr. Pilmaiken and I are also available to hear Confessions Mon-Sat from noon to 2 p.m.

I normally would have shared our 2019 financial results at a Town Hall session as I did a year ago but, given our current situation, I am sharing them digitally, as well as the 2020 1st Quarter. Both documents are attached (see links below). If anyone has any questions about them, please contact Michael McGee, the Parish Finance Council Chair at finance@saintmichael.ca

In light of the pandemic, I want to assure you that the Finance Council and I are ensuring St. Michael’s current financial sustainability by working with Bishop McGrattan and the Diocese of Calgary to make use of all the available government grants and subsidies. Some of the cost-cutting measures included laying off most of the church staff earlier this month.

However, in spite of the job losses our community has experienced and the significant economic recession we are facing, I am humbled by your ongoing spiritual and financial sacrifices to St. Michael, as well as your kindness to those in need. Thank you!

What does the future hold? I don’t know, but, I know by faith, hope and love the Lord will recreate us anew during this lockdown that I call the “Great Reset”.

Friday, May 22, marks nine days until the celebration of Pentecost, during which we commemorate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the 120 disciples following the Lord’s Ascension into heaven. The Holy Spirit empowered the early Church to bring the Good News through crises, trials, and moments of astonishment from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth.

I invite you to join with me by praying a Holy Spirit Novena – to pray for a “new Pentecost” upon us; an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon our church community, our homes, neighbourhoods and our Diocese to enliven us as he did among the first disciples.

The COVID-19 pandemic has humbled us in many ways, but the Lord is still with us. As St Paul notes above – even in his own human sufferings he acknowledged the immense treasure that he wanted to radiate to others: faith in Jesus. Let us hold fast to the treasured witness shown by the pioneers of our faith — St. Paul and our founding parishioners- so that we may remember the Lord’s past blessings that will serve as an inspiration to guide our renewed future.

Sincerely,

Fr. John Nemanic,
Former Pastor


Financial Results
2019 Income StatementQ4 2019 Balance SheetQ1 2020 Income StatementQ1 2020 Balance Sheet

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