Every Feast of the Assumption I share with you a story of my grandmother visiting and how when she left I got up in gratitude to say goodbye. It deeply resonates with me why we must come to Mass to bid farewell to Our Lady as she is assumed into heaven.
Today, I want to share another childhood memory. I grew up living in a court, and the unwritten law of the land was that you didn’t park in front of your neighbor’s house. Maybe it is this way everywhere, but, I do recall how annoyed I was when folks parked in front of our house. Sometimes it seemed intentional, like when there was a spot open in front of their own house. I had to learn to ‘offer it up,’ as we all learn to deal with being human and annoying one another.
Ok, now St. Mary’s. We are surrounded on three sides by residential neighborhood, and as good neighbors, we must be aware that our parking needs can and sometimes do annoy our neighbors. If you worry that you can’t go to the store on weekends because there will be no parking near your home…. yeah…. that is difficult.
There are times when our parking spills out into the neighborhood,
and becomes a pain point for our neighbors. As pastor I have tried to address that, in part, by adding an evening Mass or two at Holy Cross on Ash Wednesday, one of our most congested days. Last Christmas and several Easters have been at the Expo Center.
Additionally, sometimes we are so full of the Holy Spirit at the end of the Mass that we want to fly…. and we fly out of the parking lot with the speed of the eagles. Our haste does not mean that we can drive through residential side-streets in a manner that is not safe.
What can we all do?
1. Please use the parking lot as much as possible. We did have the town add a number of spots along Williams Street in front of the church, and those are prime spots that don’t impact our neighbors. But too many folks park along other residential streets when there are still plenty of parking spaces in the lot (obviously b/c it allows for a quicker departure and not having to deal with the lot).
2. When you exit onto Stafford Avenue, remember that you are in a residential neighborhood with children at play.
Let’s be good neighbors, as charity begins with the Lord, and continues as we exit the parking lot and into all of our daily lives.
Fr. John Mosimann