Here is a letter sent to his parishioners the parishioners of the Catholic Communities of Northwest Dayton by their pastor, Fr. Jim Seibert, C.PP.S., shown here at right with parochial vicar Fr. Tim Knepper, C.PP.S. It’s a heartfelt message of faith for the people of the parish and for all of us. 

Yesterday, I saw a statistic that caught my eye. It said that over 60 priests in Italy have already died from the coronavirus. Many were hospital chaplains and pastors who likely contracted it will administering the sacraments to the sick and dying. Wow! Their sacrifice, made in service to the Church and her people, can never be forgotten. 

For the past three weeks we have lived in a state of uncertainty and anxiety. We are wading knee-deep in unknown waters and we fear for ourselves and our loved ones. We are afraid of what will happen to our country and our world. Many worry about no income, paying the mortgage or rent, and providing basic necessities for their families. 

And yet, even with all these uncertainties, we are people of deep faith and we must stay rooted in Christ. As we walk with our Lord this Holy Week in a very different way than we normally do, may we carry our crosses with courage and confidence in the power of God and the resurrection of the Lord. 

We will have available blessed palms at the doors of our three churches this Sunday for those who wish to take the palm to your home. I also want to give a special thank-you to all those who have sent in your weekly stewardship envelopes. Your thoughtfulness is truly appreciated. The weekly collection is really our only income. 

Finally, let me assure you that Fr. Tim and I would love to celebrate Holy Week services and Easter Mass with all of you, our parishioners. We are both well and want to assure you that you are in our thoughts and prayers. We are especially mindful of all the medical professionals who are on the front lines of this pandemic and put themselves at risk in the process. May God bless them, protect them and give them peace. Fr. Tim and I miss all of you very much!