Ascension of Our Lord

Christ is Risen!

He is Risen, indeed!

Ascension of Our Lord

This Sunday, we celebrate the Ascension of our Lord Jesus into Heaven. The Apostles, the early church, and every Christian including ourselves receive from Him in His last words a commission – Go and make disciples! Immediately, we think of great missionaries throughout the history of the faith – St. Paul, St. Francis Xavier, St. Junipero Serra, St. Isaac Jogues, and others. Men and women throughout the centuries have gone into foreign lands and preached the Gospel to so many people.

Yet, the commission of our Lord was meant for us as well. How do we fulfill it in our time and place? Parents fulfill it by bringing your family to mass on Sundays even when you are on vacation, by praying daily with your family, by teaching the stories of the Bible, by giving your children an example of prayer and community because of your personal prayer time and involvement with the Church. We, as a Parish, fulfill this commission by providing a school for our children to learn about Jesus and the Church, by providing mass and confessions where we encounter Jesus, by providing Bible studies and communities to grow in our knowledge of the faith. Parishioners who are retired or who are widowed devote themselves to praying for our parishioners each day – those who are sick, those who are graduating 8th grade, those who are getting married, those who are starting their families, etc…. These are some ways we fulfill our calling to Go and Make disciples! May the Lord inspire each of you to fulfill this Great Commission in your own unique way!

Updated Covid-19 Protocols

Bishop Parkes has updated the Covid-19 Protocols for the Diocese of Savannah to go into effect next weekend at Pentecost. The complete document can be seen at our website. Last year, we opened the churches for public worship on Pentecost. This year we are getting back to normalcy as best we can. Here are some things that we will change at St. James. Holy Water will be reintroduced (it will be refreshed frequently). Hymnals will return to the pews and we will no longer have the paper worship aides at mass. The Offertory Procession will return. The collection baskets will remain at the doors of the church so that envelopes can be dropped there (online giving is strongly encouraged as well). The Sign of Peace will be reintroduced (please perform this as you are comfortable – fist bump, simple nod, simple wave of the hand, etc…). Altar Servers will return in August (we need to train and get up to speed with a few new procedures). The most important thing – Donuts will return (they will be dispensed and served to those who want them)! We will be reducing our live stream to only the 9:00 AM Sunday Mass (we will no longer live stream the 5:00 PM Vigil or the 11:30 AM Sunday Mass).

We continue to balance personal responsibility and the need to provide a safe and clean environment to worship the Lord. The dispensation from the obligation of Sunday Mass attendance is given ONLY to those who are vulnerable because of health or age, caregivers to those who are vulnerable, and those suffering from extreme uneasiness or anxiety about being in a public place at this time. As the Bishop wrote, “Let us move forward in unity and hope, confident in God’s help.”

May the Lord Jesus abundantly pour out His blessings upon each of you and your families!

~ Fr. Daniel Firmin

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