Well, 2020 was not quite the year we thought it would be, was it?

Let me begin by saying that if you lost a loved one this past year, and especially if you lost a loved one due to the virus, it was a tragic year. I know about a dozen people who died this year because of Covid-19. It is true that many of them were in rough shape already, and many of them may not have made it through the year even if the pandemic never happened. But the coronavirus certainly sped the process along. I will keep many of those people in my heart, espe- cially a couple of my brother priests and former parishioners. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

This was also a tough year for many people finan- cially. Many people lost jobs due to shutdowns across our country. I feel especially for the people in the restaurant business, travel industry and the life whose year was filled with uncertainty and hardship.

It was a hard year for our children. We take so much for granted, especially our schools. When they were shut down parents became tutors, teachers worked virtually and I became a televangelist. (Don’t worry, I still pronounce “Jesus” with only two syllables.) I have to admit that I am proud of our administration, staff, facul- ty and students here at Holy for adapting so brilliantly throughout this semester. As of this writing, we have done pretty well keeping everyone well during the pandemic. We have had in person services at church since late May and in person education since August will little or no disruption. It is one of the great successes of the year that we have been able to continue. I worried that our kids might have issues with not see- ing their friends and that they may fall behind in their studies. I think because of the hard work of a lot of people Holy Redeemer has weathered that storm pretty well.

Oh, and there was an election.

A lot of people ask me how I have been faring over the past year. Like most people I long to get back to normal. I enjoy going out to restau- rants. I like traveling. I like going to baseball games. I enjoy catching a flick in a theatre. (Online streaming is OK, but I am “old-school” when it comes to movies.) I like visiting people in their houses. And as I have said many times, I was not cut out to “Zoom.” Ugh! So like every- one else, I miss all that. Beyond that, I had a pretty good year. I stayed healthy. I got exercise. I focused on prayer. Did some reading (not as much as I would like.) Tried to keep Holy Re- deemer Parish going (with the help of a lot of folks). To be honest, we survived 2020 and things are looking up in 2021.

And that is my prayer. That despite the tragedy and loss, despite the difficulty and challenge, despite the disruption and disor- der, we can still look to the future, to the New Year, with courage, resilience and hope.

May God Bless you in 2021.

Father Kevin

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