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Hello Salem,
A few weeks ago I wrote something here that I almost instantly regretted. I said that I'm looking at this time as much as opportunity as crisis... and that is true, but, I I have to admit that it's not always true. I should have said that in my best moments, I can look at life this way. Honestly, those moments come and go. I had a great conversation with a friend this week about how overwhelmed we have felt over the last weeks. We admitted to each other that we go between feeling overwhelmed, to just... whelmed. My friend said "I never feel less than whelmed these days" and I could really relate.

But of course, there are those moment when I can take advantage of the opportunities for growth, moments where good news breaks through, moments of hope, even if not peace. One phrase that keeps coming up in my reading is "what is mine to do?" This question challenges me to hone in on what I am able to do, right at this moment, with the Spiritual gifts I've been given. I can't end the epidemic, but I can help to protect people by following safety measures. I can't visit or hug my loved ones, but I can reach out to comfort them. I can't welcome you to Mass, but hopefully I can make you feel welcome, valued, and encouraged with my words. 

I'm so grateful for the technology and opportunities I've had these weeks to connect with people from this parish. Last week we wrapped up Alpha #15 online, which was full of blessings, friendship and love. Sunday, we started MQOA SUNDAY, and despite some technical problems (of course!) it felt so good to be together in Spirit.

We hope you are doing well and staying safe. We are working very hard to reach out to everyone to remind you that we are here; here for you, here for Salem. We want to hear from you and to be a source of hospitality and healing for you and everyone. You are constantly in our prayers, and we are thankful for your prayerful support of our whole parish. 

Sundays at 6:00 PM, join us for MQOA Sunday. It won't be Mass, but it will be a time to gather online to connect, pray, and worship together. Join us from wherever you are! 
 
Join via Zoom from your computer, tablet or smartphone by clicking here, or on the image above.  

Meeting ID: 833 9137 6518
Password: 725709


Or from your phone (voice only):
     +1 646 558 8656 US

Or view it via our Facebook Page (no need to have a Facebook account to access). This page is also the most up-to-the-minute place to visit for news and information from the parish. 

We also invite you to: 
Join our Facebook Group (this does require an account). That's where you can connect with other parishioners more personally.
+ Join us in praying with our prayer ribbon project, volunteer on our Prayer Partner Line, donate to our St. Vincent de Paul Society, and stay updated at our website
+ We're so thankful for the generous donations and support that have sustained the parish over these weeks so far, and pray you will continue to help us pay just salaries, and keep serving you and your family. You can donate once or set up regular donations at our giving website. You can also give easily through this page at the RCAB


Happy Easter, Salem! 
-Margo

 
Excerpts:

A MESSAGE FROM FR. MURRAY / UN MENSAJE DE PADRE MURRAY

I love this time of year for the Easter season, and all that is hopeful about the readings. The Gospel of Mark is considered the earliest written and was composed, experts believe, for a community who was suffering persecution. The Gospel of Matthew was written primarily to help Jewish believers and converts to see the connection between the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, while the Gospel of Luke, with its companion book, Acts, was written for a largely gentile (non-Jewish) audience.

The Gospel of John is an insider’s book, written for readers within the growing movement of Christianity. It is considered a “high” Christology, i.e. seeing Jesus as a (primarily) divine and powerful doer of signs and wonders along with his teaching. It has been suggested that this Gospel was written for a small community that was very spiritual and concentrated deeply on hearing the voice of the glorified Jesus. One can see this throughout the chapters, but especially after the resurrection.  John’s Gospel is a little different as it was written for “insiders”, i.e. those who were already believers.

As insiders, this weekend’s Gospel reminds us that there are many voices that, like God’s, seek our attention. Therefore, it is so important to listen for the voice of God calling to us. And he does call, all the time. The problem is that other voices are also calling, and sometimes it is difficult to keep listening and trying to hear the Lord’s voice. In our present time, this seems to be even more of a challenge as we do not have the opportunity to come and hear the word proclaimed within our churches.

Our present situation gives us a powerful call to practice listening to God, even when we are not able to be together. We are separated for the time being, but thanks be to God, we have other ways to help us communicate and connect. God has always preferred to use our hearts, minds and souls, and to do so gently. I think that is the challenge in our time; to continue to quiet ourselves down to hear it. It may be in our living rooms, at the table, a Zoom call, or the quiet of a car ride on the way to the grocery store. If we practice listening, we will hear. I am convinced of that.

When I was younger and outside playing, when I heard my mother or father calling, I knew immediately that it was them. It is the same with people’s voices on the phone. It is interesting how one’s tone changes depending on who is calling. I can usually tell immediately if someone near me receives a phone call and it is someone they know or do not know.  They hear the voice, and then their voice is different, whether it is a “professional” tone or something more familiar and relaxed.

Hopefully, we get to that experience with Jesus, that we will listen well enough that we will hear His voice directing our lives. Like last week, the disciples were attracted to what Jesus was saying, and eventually knew who he was. I have always been struck by the passages where Jesus was not recognized by His physical appearance, but rather by His voice when He first appeared to Mary and the apostles and others who saw Him. It was the same at the seaside in our readings two weeks ago, when Peter only recognized Him when the miracle occurred. I hope that during this worldwide crisis, we can come together and listen, hear and respond to the voice of Jesus.

Peace, Father Murray


Me encanta esta época del año por el tiempo de Pascua y todo lo que es esperanzador acerca de las lecturas. Primero, un poco de enseñanza. El Evangelio de Marcos fue considerado el evangelio escrito más antiguo y fue compuesto, según los expertos, para una comunidad que estaba sufriendo persecución. El Evangelio de Mateo fue escrito principalmente para ayudar a los creyentes y conversos judíos a ver la conexión entre las Escrituras hebreas y el Nuevo Testamento, mientras que el Evangelio de Lucas, con su libro complementario Hechos de los Apóstoles, fue escrito para una audiencia en gran medida gentil (no judía). El Evangelio de Juan es un libro interno, escrito para un grupo dentro del creciente movimiento del cristianismo. Se considera una alta Cristología, es decir, ver a Jesús como un hacedor muy poderoso de signos y maravillas junto con su enseñanza. Se ha sugerido que el Evangelio fue escrito para una pequeña comunidad que era muy espiritual y que se concentró profundamente en escuchar la voz de Jesús glorificado.

Uno puede ver esto a lo largo de los capítulos, pero especialmente después de la resurrección. Entonces, el Evangelio de Juan es un poco diferente, ya que fue escrito para "personas de adentro", es decir, aquellos que ya eran creyentes. Como personas de adentro también, el Evangelio de este fin de semana nos recuerda que hay muchas voces que, como la de Dios, buscan nuestra atención. Por eso es tan importante escuchar la voz de Dios que nos llama. Y lo hace todo el tiempo. El problema es que las otras voces también están llamando y, a veces, es difícil seguir oyendo e intentando escuchar la voz del Señor. En nuestro tiempo presente, eso parece ser un desafío aún mayor ya que estamos perdiendo la oportunidad de venir y escuchar la palabra proclamada dentro de nuestras iglesias.

Nuestra situación actual nos da un poderoso llamado a la práctica de escuchar a Dios, ya sea que estemos juntos o solos. Estamos separados por el momento, pero gracias a Dios, tenemos otros mecanismos que nos ayudan a comunicarnos. Dios siempre ha preferido usar nuestros corazones, mentes y almas, y hacerlo de un modo gentil. Creo que ese es el desafío en nuestro tiempo, continuar haciendo silencio para escucharlo. Puede ser en nuestras salas de estar, en la mesa, una llamada de Zoom o la tranquilidad de un viaje en automóvil camino a la tienda de comestibles. Si practicamos oír con atención, escucharemos, estoy convencido de ello.

Cuando era más joven y jugaba afuera escuchaba voces de adultos, pero sabía de inmediato que eran mis padres cuando escuchaba a mi madre o a mi padre llamar. Es lo mismo con las voces de las personas en el teléfono. Es interesante cómo cambia el tono de uno dependiendo de quién nos llama. Por lo general, puedo saber de inmediato si alguien cercano a mí recibe una llamada telefónica y es de alguien que conocen o no. Escuchan la voz y luego su voz es diferente, ya sea un tono "profesional" o algo más familiar y relajado.

Espero que lleguemos a esa experiencia con Jesús. Escucharemos lo suficientemente bien como para distinguir su voz dirigiendo nuestras vidas. Como la semana pasada, los discípulos se sintieron atraídos por lo que Jesús estaba diciendo y finalmente supieron quién era. Siempre me han impresionado los pasajes cuando Jesús no fue reconocido por su apariencia física, sino por su voz, como cuando se apareció por primera vez a María y a los apóstoles y a otros que lo vieron. Fue lo mismo al lado del mar hace dos semanas, Pedro solo lo reconoció cuando ocurrió el milagro. Espero que en medio de esta crisis mundial, podamos unirnos y oír con atención, escuchar y responder a la voz de Jesús.

Paz, Padre Murray


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Stay Connected to MQOA

STAY CONNECTED TO MQOA

  • Like” our Facebook page (no Facebook account needed), for up-to-the-minute news and updates from our parish and Archdiocese
  • Join our Facebook Group - this does require an account, and you'll be asked to follow group rules and answer a couple of simple questions to join.
  • Want to help? We are looking for people to pitch in making phone calls to our parishioners, and in other ways. Join our Prayer Partner Line at our website, or email us with your offer of particular help.
  • And, we rely on your financial support to keep the parish going, and to keep serving you and your family. You can give online, by making a one-time, or setting up regular donations.
  • If you prefer to drop off a donation, our mailbox is secure, so you can drop off or mail your envelopes or donations at 158 Federal Street.
  • Add your prayer intentions to our ribbon project. Click here to submit your prayer intentions and our volunteers will add a ribbon to our fence at the corner of Flint and Bridge Streets (at St. James). 

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We are not offering public Masses at this time. Please visit our website often for updates. 

 
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Mary, Queen of the Apostles Parish

158 Federal Street, Salem, MA. 01970

978-745-9060      info@mqoa.org

www.salemcatholiccommunity.org
Copyright © 2020 Mary, Queen of the Apostles Parish, All rights reserved.


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