May 13, 2020
Dear Members, Benefactors and Friends of Saint Francis de Sales Parish,
            First, let me thank so many of you for your on going support of Saint Francis de Sales by way of your financial gifts you have sent to the Rectory.  I am very grateful to you for your goodness to our Parish during this time of suspended Masses.  Secondly, please know how grateful I am to everyone who has sent note cards, emails and letters expressing your love and concern for the Parish Staff, the Priests and myself during this time of "stay at home" chapter in our lives.  And thirdly, for the food, pastries, bagels and desserts many of you have dropped off at the Rectory.  Grateful appreciation to each and everyone for your kindness.  Thank you all so very, very much.
            The Gospel of today's Mass, Wednesday, May 13th, by Saint John notes Jesus saying "I am the vine and you are the branches".  Steve Sack a cartoonist may have had these words of Christ in his mind when he drew a cartoon that appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper last week.  A man sitting in his living room thinking:  "Nurses and Doctors, EMT's and Firefighters, Police Officers, Truck Drivers, Transit Workers, Grocery Store Workers, Postal Workers and so many others I depend on while staying at home during this time in my life".
            All of us have learned a lot these past two months.  Jesus' image of the vine and the branches reminds us we are all one in Christ.  We are connected to each other.  We belong to each other.  We are branches of the same vine.  We are together as one.  One in Faith and Hope and Love.  We are many families...and we are one family...the Parish Family of Saint Francis de Sales.   We are strong!
            Now, on a lighter note.  The other day while walking on the Chapel walkway wearing a mask I was thinking of times past.  Many of my Father's nieces and nephews immigrated to America by way of Ellis Island in New York back in the 30's and 40's.  They settled in Brooklyn and Queens in New York City. Many of my cousins became nurses and some of the boys took the entrance exam for the F D N Y and the N Y P D where they served for many years as Firefighters and Police Officers in the City of New York.  Two of my cousins on the F D N Y died on 9 1 1  when the Towers collapsed.  But one cousin, Liam Mahoney, traveled a different road.  Liam became a financier...for himself!  Liam always had a "mask" in his pocket.  Many times while walking by a bank, Liam would put on his mask...walk into the bank to make a "withdrawal".  He never carried a gun.  He just asked for some money.  More times than not, his Irish luck failed him.  He would be taken into custody...sent to prison...released after serving time...and Liam would once again go into a bank with his mask.  Finally he was given a long sentence in prison.  From time to time I would visit Liam in prison.  On one visit Liam said to me:  "Cousin Danny it's good you became a Priest...because if you became a bank robber...even with a 'mask' your voice would give you away".  Now, many years later, every time I put on a "mask", I think of cousin Liam and offer a prayer for him now that he has gone home to God.  I will always remember his words "even with a mask your voice would give you away".
            Every day during these difficult times of stay at home, social distancing and all the other slogans, I pray for you and all those you love.  Those living in this life and those now living in Eternal Life.  I pray for all your special intentions as we pray together that these days of COVID 19 will pass.  Kindly keep me in your prayers.  For this I am truly grateful.
With love and blessings to you all,
Fr. Dan...your brother, friend and Pastor

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