Father Charlie Ranges, S.S.E., and his team share a reflection on the gospel reading for Sunday April 26, 2020. Follow along with them on their social media pages, www.facebook.com/essexcatholic and www.instagram.com/essex_catholic and visit them online at www.essexcatholic.vermontcatholic.org and remember to use the hashtag #PrayTogether when you share the Good News!
Father Tom Hoar, S.S.E., president of St. Edmund's Retreat, takes a moment to recount what's been happening during the quarantine on Enders Island. He summarizes the various initiatives underway and reveals some decisions yet to be made. Father Tom makes a sincere request for feedback from members of the local and online community about upcoming event fundraisers, future programs and new initiatives that could provide hope and healing for many during and after the current crisis. He concludes with a reminder of his spiritual support, and a call to have confidence in God.
To the Saint Michael's College Community,
On Monday our students enter their last week of classes then begin final exams for the semester. Certainly this was not in the playbook to end the school year in such circumstances. Let’s continue to remember them in our prayers as they finish up the term that they will be successful in their academic pursuits.
As the news becomes more optimistic about releasing restrictions gradually, we are filled with hope that returning to normalcy is not too far off. We continue to pray this Easter season for our world, local communities and all our St. Michael’s family and pilgrims of Saint Anne's Shrine.
This weekend we are happy to celebrate virtually with you the Third Sunday of Easter. We welcome Marianne Strayton '98, along with our students, Lexie Lembo ’21 and James Downs ’22 who take part in the Liturgy of the Word. Our music ministry is led by Jerome Monachino ’91 and accompanied by his children Dominic and Olivia ’22. Thanks to Fr. Lino Oropeza, S.S.E. ’11 for his recording skills. You may find the celebration of the Mass at this link.
Thank you to the many community members who have emailed us, written cards or notes, and made offerings to our Sunday collection. Your support is truly appreciated!
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Normally during the Easter Season we would be celebrating as a worldwide community the entrance of many people into the Church through the Sacraments of Initiation in accord with the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. Also missing among us these days of COVID-19 restrictions are the joyful celebrations of infant Baptism, the first Holy Communion for our children and the Confirmation of our young people.
We have to patiently remember that these candidates are already members of our Church and that they have been prepared to receive these beautiful Sacraments but the timing of the celebrations have only been delayed in some regions. We also need to recall how the Church community developed in the first century as described in the Acts of the Apostles and how “every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.” The time will come when we actualize this verse of scripture in the ritual celebration of the Sacraments for our entire community of faith. Have hope, the day is drawing near!
This weekend we are happy to celebrate virtually with you the Second Sunday of Easter. We welcome Patrick Fitzgibbons of the class of ’89 and a member of our Alumni Board of Directors, along with our students, Nadia Racz ’22 and Liam Cahill ’20, who take part in the Liturgy of the Word. Our music ministry is led by Jerome Monachino’91 and accompanied by his children Dominic and Olivia ’22. Thanks to Fr. Lino Oropeza, S.S.E.’11 for his recording skills.
Jesus is risen! Alleluia, Alleluia!
God bless you and happy Easter!
Fr. Brian Cummings, S.S.E.
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
In Matthew’s account of the Resurrection the disciples are told twice: “Do not be afraid.” These comforting words of the resurrected Jesus need to be heard in an urgent way during this critical period of our world. There is hope in the empty tomb not because Jesus’ body was not found but because the disciples experienced the risen Lord in various personal encounters. In the coming weekday and Sunday liturgies of the Easter season we will hear again the risen Lord comforting his frightened and bewildered disciples empowering them to be fearless proclaimers of God’s Word despite great distress. May we experience this same conversion of heart and mind during these 50 days of Easter.
Please join us for our virtual Easter Sunday celebration on the Society of Saint Edmund YouTube Channel which can be found at https://youtu.be/TyqBj5oksbs. We thank the over 3,400 viewers who joined us for Palm Sunday and hope many of you have the opportunity to pray with us again.
God bless you and do not be afraid!
In celebration of Holy Week, Edmundite Campus Ministry is happy to share with you a prayerful experience of our Lord’s Passion for Good Friday. This presentation of the Stations of the Cross was inspired by the Scriptural Way of the Cross that was celebrated in Rome by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday in 1991. Campus Minister Anna Lester ’98 worked with our students in producing this YouTube video. You may find the presentation on the Society of Saint Edmund YouTube Channel.
Members of the Edmundite Community celebrated the Mass of the Lord’s Supper privately in the College Chapel. Please be assured that we prayerfully remembered all our students, alumni, parents, friends and employees as we recalled the institution of the Eucharist and its relationship to serving others as modeled by Jesus in the washing of the feet. These are truly the holiest days of the year for our Christian faith, and I hope you have the opportunity to have some quiet time to pray with these sacred mysteries.
We will post the link for our Easter liturgy on Saturday evening. Thank you for praying with us.
Father Richard Myhalyk, S.S.E., proclaims: Our churches may be closed but the Body of Christ is everywhere! Meet our parishioners, the Body of Christ!
Fr. Tom Hoar, SSE, president of St. Edmund's Retreat, greets us at the beginning of his day with a reflection on the fourteenth Station of the Cross as illustrated by Jed Gibbons for the Chapel of Our Lady of the Assumption on Enders Island in Mystic, CT. Father unpacks the symbolism hidden within the manuscript illumination to help us reflect on the connection between Christmas and Easter—between the swaddling clothes and the burial garments—and the certainty we can have in God's providence.
Fr. Tom takes us inside the Fisherman’s Chapel located just off the parlor inside of the Enders' House. There, he leads a brief meditation on the Apostle Peter, who had faith enough to step out of the boat onto stormy waves when Jesus beckoned him. Peter’s fear, which then caused him to begin sinking, is an icon of the fear and uncertainty that many of us feel today. In these trying times, we hear the words of scripture with new ears, “Be not afraid.” Will we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus—even when our faith feels weak? Let us get back up and continue living with that inner contentment of a life truly surrendered to God.
Fr. Tom reflects on the life of St. Maximilian Kolbe, martyr for charity and a man of heroic virtue. He speaks also of the two Stations of the Cross to the left and right of his statue—located in the back left corner of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Assumption on Enders Island. As he calls us to bold Christian action, Father reminds us that our journey through Lent and through this global trial is not one taken in isolation, but as an entire People of God. Let us be mindful of this unity, especially as our experience of the pandemic intensifies.
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
I am happy to let you know that we have recorded the celebration of the Eucharist for Palm Sunday. Special thanks to our talented musicians and student liturgical ministers who helped us celebrate this important liturgy as we begin Holy Week. It is our intention to provide a recording for Easter Sunday as well. Thanks also to Fr. Lino Oropeza, S.S.E. who is the one behind the scenes making this possible. You may find the video on the Society of St. Edmund YouTube channel by clicking on this link: https://youtu.be/VxDgaCDmHdE
As we progress through this pandemic, we are reminded in a harsh way how little control we really have over life’s circumstances. This week may we increasingly rely on our faith as our country and world suffers the impact of the spreading disease. We celebrate always with great hope that death is transformed to new life. May this Holy Week strengthen our belief in the Resurrection.
~Fr. Brian Cummings, S.S.E.
Let us pray together for an end to the crisis that is facing our world which is causing anxiety and illness in our communities. God bless you and stay safe! -Fr. Brian
Below are a few ways in which the Edmundites are reaching out online:
Due to the executive order issued by the Governor of Vermont to stay home and stay safe during the COVID-19 crisis, the Edmundite Community at Saint Michael’s College records the Liturgy each weekend. We invite you to celebrate with us. Please subscribe to this YouTube channel.
Fr. Tom Hoar, SSE, president of St. Edmund's Retreat, invites you to a spiritual online retreat beginning Friday, April 4, 2020 designed for the entire 12-Step Community. The focus of the retreat will be the 11th Step: "Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out." We hope this will be an opportunity for you or your loved one to break out of the prevailing sense of isolation and to foster that spiritual awakening that allows us to live a joyful, peaceful, sober life—even in times such as these. Fr. Tom has chosen to provide this retreat without cost to reach as many as possible. All conferences will be publicly broadcast on YouTube Live. Two AA meetings will be available over Zoom to the first 100 participants that sign on. There is also an opportunity for 16 folks to sign up for 1-on-1 Spiritual Direction with Fr. Tom Hoar, SSE or Br. David M. who will be co-leading this retreat. When you register through our website, all the links will be immediately emailed to your inbox. To register, visit: www.endersisland.org/events/11th-step-on-the-rock
Also please CLICK HERE for daily Lenten Reflections.