1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Dear Parishioners,

CONSECRATION TO MARY
Tomorrow (Friday, May 1st) we have to opportunity to join Archbishop Gomez, President of the USCCB and Archbishop of Los Angeles, as he re-consecrates our Nation to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Mary, Mother of the Church.

Our consecration of our Diocese of Covington to Mary will take place simultaneously from our Cathedral Basilica at 3:00 PM and it will be live-streamed:

∙ On the website homepage for our Diocese of Covington (www.covdio.orghttp://www.covcathedral.com)),

∙ Or on the website homepage for our Cathedral (www.covcathedral.com).

Bishop Foys and I invite you to join with the Catholic Church across the United States via the live-stream and to get word out to your fellow parishioners and friends as best you can. We will also have the crowning of the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary at that time.

WHEN WILL WE REOPEN?
Perhaps you ‘ve heard that Governor Beshear has addressed the opening of churches for later this month. Also, the Bishops of the Catholic Conference of Ohio have communicated that they are looking to begin resuming services in some (limited?) form beginning on Pentecost Sunday, May 31. We have no details yet as to how that will take shape in our diocese but Bishop Foys has communicated that he will get the details out to us as soon as he has them. The bishops of our province are having a conference call next week and will address this issue.

LIVE-STREAMING FROM SAINT AGNES?
We are in the process of arranging for this to become a reality. We have ordered some of the needed electrical equipment and decided on an installation plan. I’ll keep everyone posted on how we are progressing. Even after the Covid-19 protocols and quarantines have ended, this will enable us to rather easily live-stream Masses, funerals, weddings, Forty Hours, and other services from both our Main Church and our Mass Chapel. We plan to make this live-streaming available both through the parish website homepage and our Facebook account.

At present it appears this will cost in the neighborhood of $2,500. This will be paid for out of the tithing fund, which was set up to include expenditures for items as parish renewal, parish missions and other related activities. This capability should make our Masses and other worship services in our church accessible to anyone who has a computer or Facebook access.

FIRST COMMUNION SUNDAY
This Sunday, May 3rd, at the 10:30 Mass, was to be our First Communion Mass. Naturally, we are sorry that this has had to be postponed. It is always such a beautiful event for our entire parish, as well as for our First Communicants.

We have no firm plans yet for when we will be able to re-schedule First Communion. The Feast of Corpus Christi (June 14th this year) was being considered when the quarantining began. That is looking less certain right now. We will try to pick a Sunday that has a special place in the Liturgical Year if possible.

The first Sunday in May is always during the Easter Season when the Sacraments of Initiation (including First Communion) and the Renewal of our Baptismal Promises are emphasized and so has been very appropriate time to celebrate First Communion in years past. Additionally, May is a month dedicated to Mary, Patroness of the Universal Church. May is the month of Mothers Day. Mary is also our Mother in Faith.

Please pray for all who will be making their First Communion this year, as well as all of those whose Baptisms, Confirmations and Weddings, will have to be rescheduled.

TUITION/SALARY FREEZE
This past week it was announced that our diocese was freezing all tuition and fees for the 2020-2021 School Year at the 2019-2020 School Year level. Also, all salaries for all diocesan personnel (teachers, administrators, priests, pastoral associates, directors of religions education, administrative staff, etc.) are also being frozen at the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year level. Letters went out to all of our school families this past week.

While these expenses will be at the same level, many other expenses such as utilities, insurance and maintenance items cannot be so controlled. There will likely be increases in these expense categories. Fund-raisers such as our Fish Fries and the Big Blue Bash have already been affected by the pandemic. We pray that things will be settled down by Oktoberfest time, but that is not for certain.

So, support of our parish by offertory donations are all the more important.

CHRISTIAN SERVICE FUND: ASSISTANCE FOR ST. AGNES PARISHIONERS
From our Christian Service Committee:
Dear Parishioners, just a reminder that the St. Agnes Christian Service Committee may be able to help if you have been affected by the COVID-19 shutdowns and are in need of assistance with utilities, rent, mortgage, food, medicine, or other needs. Many individuals and families who never thought they would need help are now finding themselves in difficult financial situations. The Christian Service Committee has been assisting St. Agnes parishioners for almost 50 years, All information is kept confidential and only known to the five members on the committee. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please email the rectory with your contact information and one of the committee members will reach out to you.

Sincerely, St. Agnes Christian Service Committee (Carol Allison, Steve Lorenz, Dave Rechtin, Kevin Schwartz, Ted Vogelpohl)

SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL SOCIETY:
Everyone, At the very heart of St. Vincent de Paul is our mission to help those in need through home visits. We can do the following :
∙ Help provide rent and utility assistance.
∙ Help with food from the Food Pantry, (or even possibly just helping with food delivery during this unique situation.)
∙ Help provide clothing or furniture vouchers to be used at the SVdP Store in Erlanger.

Anyone needing help from St. Vincent de Paul can call the Assistance Office Help Line at (859) 341-3219. The Assistance Office is open from 10 AM – 2 PM, Monday through Friday.

Also, here is a link to our Northern Kentucky Directory For Assistance, which is a very comprehensive listing of social services in our area.

https://www.svdpnky.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Northern-Kentucky-Directory-For-Assistance-.pdf

LOOKING FOR EMPLOYMENT?: FIDELITY INVESTMENTS IS HIRING
A parishioner who works at Fidelity (Tim McHugh) sent the following email to me this week:

If you get any parishioners who say they lost their jobs, are looking for jobs or have family looking for jobs; we are hiring at Fidelity Investments. If they are a parishioner or family of a parishioner, please feel free to give them my email to reach out to me. (See email addresses below)

Fidelity is hiring people to talk to customers about their retirement or investment accounts. We are hiring people with no financial industry experience as long as they have some customer service experience. College degrees are not necessarily required and there are options to work from home.

Here is some info you can share with people :

https://www.covingtonky.gov/Portals/covingtonky/Documents/200413_%20FID20-004-Webinar-Flyer-InternalFacing-V3_COV.pdf

It is easier to get an interview if you are referred in by an active employee, so please tell anyone interested to reach out to me at either email:  Tim McHugh: [email protected] or [email protected]

FOURTH THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER SEASON
We will be celebrating the Mass for Fourth Sunday in Easter Season this Sunday at Saint Agnes.

∙ This Mass at Saint Agnes will not be open to the public.
∙ Unfortunately, we do not have live-streaming capabilities at Saint Agnes, but hope to soon.
∙ There are many parish websites that do have live-streaming, including our own Cathedral Parish, as well as Saint Peter’ in the Vatican.

THE READINGS:
Gospel Reading: (John 10:1-10) This Sunday is called “Good Shepherd Sunday” because the Gospel reading on this day is always about the image of Jesus as a shepherd. In this particular passage from the Gospel of John, Jesus makes a comparison between his ministry as a “Good Shepherd” whose sheep recognize his voice and follow him (trust him) and the ministry of the religious leaders who went before him. Jesus characterizes them as “thieves and robbers.” In this passage, Jesus also says he is “the gate” and “whomever enters through [Him ]will be saved…”

First Reading: (Acts of the Apostles 2:14a, 36-41) In this passage we hear an account of Peter’s strongly worded preaching about Jesus: “Let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Peter then preaches about Baptism for the forgiveness of sins–an article of faith listed in the Creeds. We also learn of the positive reaction of Peter’s listeners: “Those who accepted his message were Baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day.”

Second Reading: (I Peter 2:20b-25) In this passage Jesus is described as the “shepherd and guardian of your souls.” The main point of this passage is to encourage the faithful to whom this letter was written, who evidently were beginning to feel anxiety over persecution/suffering and over remaining faithful in the midst of their sufferings.

DAILY MASSES AND SUNDAY MASSES AT SAINT AGNES
Father Jason and myself are continuing to say Masses daily, including Sundays, though privately. We may live-stream those when we get the capability.

THINGS FINANCIAL and MAINTENANCE-WISE
As of last Sunday’s collection, our offertory collections were $86,000 under budget.

Some of you have responded quite generously to my emails these past weeks. Thank you very much! As you can see, we have a ways to go.

The new compressor unit for the air conditioning in church will cost over $56,000. We decided to go with it this week. It may take a couple of months for it to be shipped and installed. So we don’t expect to have it operational until July at the earliest. Hopefully we’ll have a cool May and June.

The carpet repairs that we plan to do this summer will be about $31,000 for the five rooms that are in the worst shape, and then part of the Library. We plan to do the remaining eight classrooms and two office areas at a later date when we have the funds.

The expense of the new compressor (which is a necessity in the summer and since we cannot open the windows in church) and the carpet in the school (a safety issue) will pretty deplete what reserves we have. At present we are not considering any sort of “capital campaign” but we are in a financially precarious position between the status of the Sunday collections and these large capital needs.

We sent out an email about Faith Direct last month week. It is a very simple way to have your offertory collection support of the parish, donated automatically from your bank account. You can arrange for weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually, as well as for special collections. If you have question or need assistance, call the parish office (431-1802) or email ([email protected]).

MORE CARDS
On behalf of Father Jason, Father Quill and myself, “Thank you” for the cards that some of you have sent expressing your concerns that you hope we are doing fine. It is very kind!

BEAUTIFUL TREAT/VIDEO (About 6 minutes)
Watch when you can do so unhurriedly… you may wish to watch more than once! Amazing photography of the Space Shuttle, the Sun and the Earth. Notice the crucifix at the 5:16 mark and look for the moon at the 5:35 mark. General Chilton’s reflections are quite moving. Enjoy!

https://watch.formed.org/videos/the-search-teaser-with-astronaut-general-kevin-chilton-excerpt

PRAYER
Continue to pray for our parish! And for all persons, “especially those in most need of prayers.” Of course pray in a special way for all of those who are sick with the Coronavirus, and for all of the doctors, nurses, technicians, lab personnel, pharmacists, EMT’s… the list goes on.

Pray also for students and teachers and school administrators as they adjust to all of the “Non-Traditional Learning” (NTI) that has to be done.

Looking forward to the time when we are able to be together again… until then, we’ll get through this together!

God bless you,
Father Mark Keene, Pastor