Greetings to the Church of the Nativity!
It has been a little over 8 months since my last letter and as in Fargo and in Monterrey life has changed drastically. We like you all shut down around St. Patrick’s Day. We suffered as all the economic pains…church income fell 88% and expenses I could cut by half eventually laying off people and cutting back on programs. We have been able to hold on to our food kitchen that has been operating in a new way and with more capacity and one way or another have kept our some 40 students in school. We feed some 80
people daily Monday through Friday. All food is to go and about 25 meals are delivered to the elderly at homes. The kitchen crew is no longer those marvelous women who never stop working, since many were older or with diabetes, now has been the time for the youth to participate and they have. Our parish maintenance man who had studied to be a chef is now our full time cook and those who were security people now deliver meals and food. With the help of you and so many others we have been able to serve everyday except the day of Hurrican Hanna when it rained two feet in about 40 hours.
We had been spared the health consequences of the Virus until June. Few wore masks in our section of the city until recently that around 50 people die daily in the metro area of five million or so. Today one of my associates
has the virus himself. We have him in the parish house and the rest of us live in the Pastoral Tower, as we call it. We have a large group of people who do not believe in dangerous of the virus, and think it is all a Hoax. I now take about 15 minutes to dress to check on my sick priest in the parish house, so far so go. He is stable but has diabetes so that does not help. I turned one of my albs into virus protection suite, not perfect, but the best I could do under the circumstances. My basic checks on father are about 10 seconds I peek through his door to make sure his o.k. . A parishioner donated us a machine to sanitize the church, which we do now after every mass. We only allow about a 95 people in each mass…we use to receive 10,000 on a weekend and now there are little over 900. We continue to baptize with no more than 10 people present.
CCD is on line now and so is everything else…for the children I started doing a puppet show with the Vaca Lola, famous among those four and younger. I think the adults pay more attention to the Vaca Lola (Lola the cow,) then to me.
May God Bless you All!
Fr. Scott McDermott E.
AUGUST 23, 2020