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A Pastor Speaks To His Parishioners In Emmitsburg

Fr. Marty McGeough, CM writes to his parishioners at St. Joseph’s Parish, Emmitsburg. Maryland. Many of them work and support the Shrine of Elizabeth Ann Seton. Remember Elizabeth Seton and her husband were quarantined.
He writes…
“We are all prisoners, in one form or another, some of us are behind bars.”
 
This quote is from a book entitled “Finding God Within, Contemplative Prayer for Prisoners.” by Ray Leonardini. Excuse me if I seem to be reverting to my pre-Emmitsburg ministry, but somehow it seems like we are prisoners. No, we are not in a real lockdown mode as we were when there was some breach of security, but that may yet come.
 
We are held captive by the needed restrictions placed on us for the sake of our health. Conveniences like restaurants are mostly closed to us. We are practicing social distancing. We wash our hands, we wash everything. Businesses are closing, people are out of work. Schools are closed.
 
For us, our church is closed, for all intents and purposes. Which leads us to wonder, where is God in all of this?
 
My personal prayer this morning was about the agony in the garden. Jesus prayed that the cup might pass him by. But that the Father’s will be done. 
 
Jesus did not get out of drinking his cup. He faced it and endured it. In his Resurrection he is glorified for his drinking this cup. In my prayer this morning, I asked God that This Cup might pass us by. We do not know yet whether God will answer my prayer and probably the prayer of so many of you. Secondly, I asked that if we must suffer as did Jesus, my prayer was that God might show me how to pastor this parish at this time through different means.
 
St. Vincent told us Vincentians and Daughters that “Love was creative unto infinity.”
 
For us at this time that love comes through modern technology. If you are reading this, then we have your email address. We will continue to put things on the Parish Facebook and Website.
 
A number of our older parishioners do not have a computer, so we are trying to call you by phone. This is pastoring at this moment.
 
We will send updates on what is going on and material that you can use for personal prayer and reflection especially as we come to a Holy Week where we will celebrate with a church that is virtually empty. Please stay healthy. Use this time to care for your families and to come closer to God through your personal prayer.”
He concludes this reflection as you would expect a pastor would… “If you need something or just want to talk. 215-280-4701.”
Fr. McGeough spent many years in prison ministry with people in the NJ penal system.  He has served in a ministry serving Hispanic migrants on Long Island, NY. Before that, he served as Pastor St, Michael’s in Auburn, Alabama.

Photo courtesy of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church.

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