As we continue to try and manage our lives, both spiritually and practically, in the midst of a pandemic, there continues to be much activity around the parish.  Our primary focus right now is preparing our school for face-to-face learning, starting in September.  It is quite the challenge, both in taking the proper steps to ensure a safe environment for our teachers and students when they return, and in wrapping up construction.  Continue to pray for Immaculata Catholic School, and all involved.

We said goodbye to Fr. Taylor last week, as he headed out to his new assignment at St. Leo’s in Winston-Salem, and today we have both a coming and a going!  After eight weeks with us, our seminarian,  Christopher Brock, will be returning to his studies as a second-year theologian.  We involved Chris in as many activities we could, to help him learn about the realities of parish life for a priest.  We only wish he could have gotten to know more of you but, in this very unorthodox time, his activities were necessarily limited.  He absolutely enjoyed his time here at Immaculate Conception. Please continue to pray for him, and his vocation; with God’s Grace, he will be ordained to the priesthood in 2023!

This weekend, we also welcome the arrival of our new Parochial Vicar, Fr. Jonathan Torres.  Again, because of these times in which we live, his arrival this weekend will be a bit muted.  I realize, at least initially, it will be difficult to get to know Fr. Torres until our parish activities resume.  But those of you attending weekend Masses will come to know him through the Masses he offers.  It is a joy to welcome him to our parish, as I am certain he will serve you well.  Please continue to include him in your daily prayers, as he begins his life as a priest of Jesus Christ here at Immaculate Conception.

Know of my prayers for all of you, as we continue in Phase II of our pandemic protocols through August and into early September.  Remember, although we cannot yet engage in typical parish activities, the best “group meeting” we can have is that of coming together as one at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; the best “prayer group” we can engage in is the highest form of prayer there is, which is the Mass; and Adoration of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is yours to behold every time the priest raises Him above the altar at Mass.  Cherish these things, enter fully into them, and the Lord will continue to grow the virtue of Faith in your heart.

Fr. Cook