March 18, 2020:
Dear Saint Clement Parish family,
Greetings and peace in Christ, the Only Savior of the world. During this national crisis and these challenging times, let us pray to renew our faith in God and our trust in His Divine providence, for He will see us through this time as we cooperate with His grace. He is with us always (Mt. 28:20).
As many of you know, Bishop Donald Hying released a letter on March 16 suspending the public celebration of the Holy Mass through April 3. A copy of the letter is available in the entrance of church and on-line at madisondiocese.org/updates. We have also posted a link on our church and school Facebook pages. Please read the bishop’s letter and see his ongoing video announcements and messages on the madisondiocese.org website. Please know that I will continue to offer Mass privately (for the intentions scheduled for each Mass), praying for our parish family, the Church, our community, country and the world. We might practice social distancing, but never spiritual distancing in our love for God and neighbor.
With no public Masses and the school building closed, we have no offertory to support our parish each week. Nonetheless, our offices at church and the school are open daily. Our teachers continue to work to provide instruction for our students. Our custodial staff continue to work on extra cleaning and repair projects. We’re also expanding duties for the Family Promise program to house two homeless families beyond our host-week for the foreseeable future (a single mom with three children; a mom and dad with six children). While our parish has weekly and monthly bills for the basic upkeep of our church and school buildings, I realize that many families are also being challenged during this crisis, especially if one or more members of the household have employment that is directly affected by the pandemic. Please take care of your families first and foremost. If you’re able to contribute to our parish family, to help us pay our church and school bills, our faculty and staff, please consider donating in the following ways:
***Send your donation by USPS to St. Clement Parish, 135 S. Washington St., Lancaster, WI 53813
***Stop by and place your donation in a drop-box at the parish office entrance
***Sign up for electronic-fund-transfer, from your bank to our parish (please fill out and send us this form that is also available on our website, Facebook page, and in our parish office)
***Visit madisondiocese.org/parishgive and follow the prompts to give directly to our parish
Thank you for reading this and considering some form of a donation to our parish family. Thank you, everyone, for supporting and being part of our parish family. I thank God for being able to serve you as your priest. Let us continue to pray for courage and calm, for the health of all of God’s people and for a morally responsible cure and vaccine to end the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We pray for those who are ill, for health-care workers and all who are caring for the sick, and for the repose of the souls of those who have died. Let us continue to pray for God’s guidance for our parish, diocese, community, country, government and health-care officials, first-responders and businesses, that we be more faithful, hopeful and loving disciples of Jesus Christ in our words and deeds. We will get through this time together, by God’s grace. Please be assured of my prayers for you and your families every day, especially at Mass, that we grow stronger every day in our love for God and neighbor, in living the virtues of faith, hope and love.
May God bless you and your families, now and always,
Fr. William Vernon
Jesus, we trust in You. Mary, Mother of mercy, pray for us. Saint Joseph, pray for us. Saint Clement and Saint Raphael, pray for us.