MARCH 28-29, 2020

Take a SIP with SPA! (Take a Shelter-In-Place with Saint Paul the Apostle!)

Dear SPA’s Parishioners and Friends:

A friend of mine likes our parish abbreviation: SPA. He also told me an interesting phrase for this COVID-19 time, which I’d like to use in this week letter to you: “take a SIP with SPA” (take a Shelter-In Place with Saint Paul the Apostle). I really like this catchphrase. So, here are some ideas for your spiritual SPA day. Go ahead! Take a SIP with SPA! 


SPA’s staff is working on ways to stay engaged with you: creative ideas about how to keep us connected even while apart. Now is the time for all of us to find ways to keep the Faith alive and vibrant in our lives and in our homes.
I encourage you to visit our wonderful website for ideas from our parish staff to help you to pray, reflect, meditate, and learn how to use it as a kind of spiritual SIP retreat. You can find there:
-    weekend Masses recorded at our church, 
-    weekly message from your pastor 😉
-    weekly bulletin www.saintpaultheapostle.church/bulletins 
-    parish staff reflections
-    ‘our virtual church’; daily Mass, Rosary, Chaplet, Stations of the Cross, Lenten Mission, and digital Adoration 
-    and newest addition; ‘digital Faith Formation’ for all ages (children, youth, adults)
All the parish staff ideas are accessible on the main page of our parish website www.saintpaultheapostle.church. 


The suspension of public Masses doesn’t affect scheduled Mass intentions because Fr. Joe and I will still celebrate Masses for the day and for the assigned intentions but privately.

Brothers and sisters, none of us have experienced the deprivation of the Mass before and, certainly, not to this scale. The idea of not seeing you, celebrating the Mass and liturgies with you, and for all of us not to be together is extremely painful. I do not pretend to understand it all and I could never have foreseen the unfolding of our current circumstances; yet I do know that Jesus is still with us. God’s hand is in this for sure.
Lastly, I am so impressed with your generosity. I sincerely appreciate your assistance you provide for SPA at this difficult time for all of us. I’m in awe of all the phone calls, emails, notes, letters, cards, Facebook messages and comments, and all👍🏻, 🙂, and ❤. 


I’m truly thankful for your steadiness, patience, and amazing digital, financial and spiritual involvement with your and my spiritual SPA while we are all taking a SIP. 
We feel the sadness and anxiety of this moment. We hold in prayer and in our hearts all those who have been touched by this disease. And now more than ever we must lean on each other to be a church of courage, responsibility, hope, and prayer.


Let us pray. Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages curing every disease and illness. At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.  Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbors from helping one another.  Jesus, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow. Be with the leaders of all nations. Give them the foresight to act with charity and true concern for the well-being of the people they are meant to serve. Give them the wisdom to invest in long-term solutions that will help prepare for or prevent future outbreaks. May they know your peace, as they work together to achieve it on earth.  Surrounded by many people suffering from this illness or only a few, Jesus, stay with us as we endure and mourn, persist and prepare. In place of our anxiety, give us your peace. Jesus Christ, heal us. Amen.


We are the SPA Family and we are in this together!
Stay safe and healthy, blessings,

Fr. Chris Ciastoń
 

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6401 GAGES LAKE ROAD GURNEE, IL 60031