Jesus is Risen!  Alleluia!

My dear parishioners of Immaculate Conception,

It is with a mixture of joy and sadness that I write to you to wish you all a very happy and blessed Easter.

It was difficult to celebrate Holy Week without you present for the liturgies, though I know so many of you were able to watch them on TV and Online.  I am grateful for the use of this technology during this difficult time which allows us to stay connected.

I hope this current situation does not entirely rob you of your Easter joy this year.  Jesus’ Paschal Mystery—His passion, death, and resurrection—is the defining moment of our lives of faith.  Today’s great feast of the resurrection is the triumph over the final enemy, death itself.  Jesus gives us life and hope, and this fills us with great joy.

Even on a natural level, this time of year helps me become more cheerful as the days become longer, the sun becomes stronger, and the temperature becomes warmer.

I hope you have been able to enjoy some nice days outside, even while being isolated from many of your family, friends, and normal daily activities.

It has been a great inspiration for me to see the faith of this community the last few weeks.  The desire to participate in the Masses and liturgies has been apparent.  And it was a joy to see many of you for the drive-up Blessed Palms distribution and the drive-in Penance Service.

Just as Christ’s passion only lasted for a time and finally led to the resurrection, so too, our current cultural situation will only last for a time and will lead to a “resurrection”, when we can once again gather together as a community of faith in our beautiful church.

Until that time, I want to encourage you to continue to stay strong in your faith, and in perseverance in daily prayer.  And know of my prayers and love for you.

May the Risen Christ abundantly bless you and your families!

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke