Although the people of the parish did not gather on Palm Sunday, they did model their sense of gratitude and hope by paying it forward in the community. The parish made a donation of one thousand dollars to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) and designated their gift to assist with challenges related to COVID-19.
Recently, the Bishop of Toronto, Andrew Asbil, announced that the Executive Committee of the Diocese had declared two months of Jubilee for parishes in the Diocese. This means that, for the months of April and May, parishes are forgiven their allotment payments to the Diocese and, during that period, the Diocese will cover the costs of parish clergy. The total cost of this action of grace is 3.6 million dollars.
It was this kindness by the Diocese that inspired the parish to pay it forward by supporting the work of the healthcare team at PRHC who now face unprecedented challenges due to the Coronavirus.
The parish also provided palm crosses so that parishioners and friends of the parish could pick them up individually throughout Holy Week. The palm crosses were set outside the rear door of the church so that people could come individually and thereby observe Public Health directions for physical distancing. Feedback has been very positive about the symbolism that the life of the Church continues in spite of COVID-19 concerns and restrictions. For this reason also the hangings were changed to red for Holy Week.
In his letter mailed to the parish prior to Holy Week, Father Glenn said, "These are challenging and unprecedented times for each of us. May we be even more conscious, in these moments, that Christ is always the light that overwhelms any kind of darkness that may befall our world. ... Our journey through the darkness of the pandemic into the light of recovery includes many steps of faith toward an experience of new life -- a taste of the Easter Moment and a reminder of Jesus promise that he is with us always."