PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: It’s better to be part of a community, not isolated

By FATHER JIM

“So, how’s your time away been going?”

That is a question so many folks have been asking of each other when they speak on the phone, or actually bump into one another at the doctor’s office, grocery store — or maybe at church these last few weekends.

Some, of all ages and stages of life, will say they have been too isolated and tired of being cooped up at home. Others will say they have accomplished things that were put off for years, such as sorting out all the stuff in the attic, the cellar — even cleaning up their hearts, minds and souls.

March, April, May and much of June afforded some extra time for me to renovate and spruce up the family home in Syracuse, doing a lot of the work myself — with some mistakes along the way.

Also, I took time to cook for a few close priest friends and neighbors in Syracuse, having mastered such dishes as pot roast, ham and cabbage, and French toast.

Meeting with couples planning upcoming church weddings, families looking forward to baptisms, ministering to those suffering the loss of a loved one, funerals at the funeral home or cemetery before the church was reopened — all this never really stops even during these last months.

Certainly, it’s clear that the reason our Catholic faith and Jesus calls us to gather and work out our way to heaven as a community, not as isolated individuals, is exactly because we are more happy and fulfilled with others than doing it on our own alone.

I never could understand those who say, “I don’t need to be at Mass or be with others; I deal with God on my own, alone.” It’s a sad attitude for someone who claims to be a person with faith.

It’s good to be opening our beautiful Catholic churches, especially on the weekends, though it’s a limited turnout due to caution.

As the word of scripture says, “It is good when brethren dwell as one.”