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The Latest from 08/28/2020

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Centered on the Eucharist, we work to offer hospitality and healing to all. 


Worshiping On The Outside

 Aug 26, 2020 10:37 am

As a parish, and as a people, we’ve been through a lot in the past few months. Facing the issues of health and safety, of how to care for each other and how to treat each other, it can feel as if we are adrift, unmoored, untethered, unsafe.

It’s fitting that this is all happening in the part of our lectionary cycle where the Gospel of Matthew is featured. The author of this Gospel wrote it with a particular people in mind: the Messianic Jews of the region of Antioch, who had lost their center of worship, the Great Temple of Jerusalem.

The people there/then had great faith in the Temple building itself. It tied them to each other across generations, standing as a symbol of renewal and of timeless strength. For the believers in that time, the Temple was a home for all that was holy and sacred. It was the place where they were connected to God.

But in their time, the Temple had been destroyed, and the Jewish people at that time had to come to terms with new ways of living their faith; new ways of finding connection with each other and with God, honoring their history but facing an unknown future.

And here we are now, not worshiping inside buildings that we love- buildings that undoubtedly have been places of connection between us throughout their history, buildings where we felt a profound connection to God. Like the Antiochan Jews, we are faced with an unexpected future.

I can’t help but think that being exiled from our houses of worship, for however long this will last, can be an opportunity for us to connect with each other, and with God, in new ways that only the Holy Spirit has envisioned. We are no longer set apart from the world by beautiful walls. Now is the time for us to trust that God can use our time of pilgrimage to build a most beautiful sanctuary among the people of Salem, especially those in most need of welcome, healing, and the Good News of Jesus Christ.

As much as I miss what we had before the pandemic, and loved every minute of what we did and who we were, I admit I’m in no hurry to return to the comfort of a faith lived indoors. I am amazed by the joy of people who come to Mass in their car or on the lawn, amazed by the ways our parishioners are reaching out to care for each other, amazed by the financial and prayerful support we’ve received, even while people are facing uncertainty in all areas of their lives.

I would not want to be living through this time with any parish but MQOA, and I can’t help but feel some excitement about what the Holy Spirit is doing here, even while we struggle and suffer in this difficult climate. Please continue to join me in praying that we can be part of God’s dream for the people of Salem, whether we are in our pews or on the internet.


Remember: please register to join us at Mass this weekend, it really really helps us a lot. Check our website for updates and our Facebook page for the latest information about all that's going on at MQOA.



 Aug 26, 2020 10:29 am

As we head into the last days of the summer vacation, I am again reminded of my favorite commercial of all time (61 years and counting). It features a father skipping down the aisle of a Staples store with the music from Andy Williams’ classic, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” playing. Behind him come his two children, forlorn and carrying book bags and other school supplies. It is a clear reminder that in a few days school will be back in session and the year will begin.

But this is hardly a normal year, and there are some real challenges for parents, children, and all who are involved directly and indirectly in the education of children. In the early weeks of the pandemic, we saw what some of the front line people were experiencing and continue to experience. Now another front line is forming as teachers, administrators, support staff, custodians, bus drivers, and school cafeteria employees are all entering a time of great challenge. I hope you will join me in praying for all of them. I know that Salem is planning to hold remote classes in the beginning, and I hope this will allow everyone involved to be safe and effective as they begin this educational year.

This is also an important time of the year as we come to decide who will represent us and lead us into the future as president. Of course, we (the Church) do not endorse one candidate over another. But we can remind you that it is our civic duty to vote, after carefully examining the candidates and what they stand for, to determine which of their values and goals most closely align with what we believe, live, and teach. As American citizens, we enjoy so many freedoms and privileges. The two responsibilities we have are to serve on a jury of our peers if called, and to vote. I hope that one and all will remember this as the election season comes closer.

Finally, some technical news. Soon, we will be able to livestream the Mass from wherever we are. This will allow us to come closer to resuming indoor Masses. We continue to be careful about cooperating with the best science, the local government, and the Archdiocese of Boston’s requirements for meeting with large groups of people. Thank you again to all who are helping each Sunday to make this a reality.

This week, we offer a fond farewell to our music director, David Colpitts. We thank David for the year he served our parish and wish him and his family well in the future. We also welcome Charlie Joyce, a student from Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry, who will be with us for this academic year.

Peace,Father Murray

Building updates: Recently we were informed that the windows and casings in the tower at St. James are in very bad condition and some are in danger of falling out. We have blocked off the walkway beneath the windows and now are waiting for a test of the glazing that holds the windows to see if they contain asbestos. If that is so, the process of removing the asbestos will begin before the repair of the windows. If not, workmen will come and remove the windows, reglaze, repair or replace and then paint the wood, and then the windows will be reinstalled. This will be an expensive repair, but we will use some of the money from the Crean estate to help with this. We also have received touchless gel dispensers to put at our church entrances. 

A medida que nos acercamos a los últimos días de las vacaciones de verano, recuerdo nuevamente mi comercial favorito de todos los tiempos. (61 años y contando) Presenta a un padre saltando por el pasillo de una tienda Staples con la música del clásico de Andy William, "Es la época más maravillosa del año." Detrás de él vienen sus dos hijos, desconsolados y cargando mochilas y otros útiles escolares. Es un claro recordatorio de que en unos días la escuela volverá a estar en sesión y comenzará el año.

Pero este no es un año normal y existen algunos desafíos reales para los padres, los niños y todos los involucrados directa e indirectamente en su educación. Al comienzo de la pandemia, vimos lo que estaban experimentando y continúan experimentando algunas de las personas verdaderamente del primer frente. Ahora se está formando otra línea del frente, ya que los maestros y administradores, el personal de apoyo, los conserjes, los conductores de autobuses y los empleados de la cafetería escolar están entrando en un momento de gran desafío. Les ruego que se unan a mí para orar por todos ellos. Sé que Salem está planeando iniciar el año escolar de manera virtual. Espero que esta decisión permita que todos los involucrados en esta parte crítica de nuestra sociedad en Salem, estén seguros y sean eficientes al comenzar este año educativo.

Esta también es una época importante del año en la que decidimos quién nos representará y nos guiará hacia el futuro. Por supuesto que nosotros (la iglesia) no apoyamos a un candidato sobre otro. Pero podemos recordarle que es nuestro deber cívico votar después de examinar cuidadosamente a los candidatos que se postulan para un cargo y lo que representan, sus valores, metas que se alinean más estrechamente con lo que creemos, vivimos y enseñamos. Como ciudadanos estadounidenses, ¡disfrutamos de tantas libertades y privilegios! Las dos responsabilidades que tenemos son servir en un jurado de nuestros conciudadanos, si somos llamados, y votar. Eso es. Espero que todos recuerden esto a medida que se acerca la temporada de elecciones.

Esta semana, nos despedimos con cariño a nuestro director musical, David Colpitts. Agradecemos a David por el año en que sirvió a nuestra parroquia y le deseamos lo mejor a él y a su familia en el futuro. También damos la bienvenida a Charlie Joyce, un estudiante de la Escuela de Teología y Ministerio del Boston College, que estará con nosotros para este año académico.

Finalmente, algunas novedades técnicas. En breve, podremos transmitir en vivo la misa desde donde estemos. Esto nos permitirá acercarnos a la reanudación de misas en el interior. Seguimos teniendo cuidado de cooperar con la mejor ciencia, el gobierno local y los requisitos de la iglesia para reunirnos con grandes grupos de personas. Gracias de nuevo a todos los que ayudan cada domingo a hacer de esto una realidad.

Paz, Padre Murray

Noticias del edificio: esta semana nos informaron que las ventanas y las cubiertas de la torre de St. James están en muy malas condiciones y que algunas corren peligro de caerse. Hemos bloqueado la pasarela debajo de las ventanas y ahora estamos esperando una prueba del marco que sostiene el cristal de las ventanas para ver si contienen asbesto. Si es así, el proceso de eliminación del asbesto comenzará antes de la reparación de las ventanas. Si no, vendrán obreros y quitarán las ventanas, reharán los cristales dañados, repararán y pintarán la madera reemplazada y luego se volverán a instalar las ventanas. Esta será una reparación costosa, pero usaremos parte del dinero de la propiedad de Crean para ayudar con esto. También hemos recibido dispensadores de gel desinfectante que no requieren contacto. Serán colocados en las entradas para desinfectarse antes de ingresar.


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Mary, Queen of the Apostles Parish

158 Federal Street, Salem, MA. 01970


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Mary, Queen of the Apostles Parish · 158 Federal Street · Salem, Massachusetts 01970 · USA

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