Unlike last year, Easter this year is a bit more festive, a bit more celebratory.

If you recall, none of our churches were open for the Easter celebrations last year as we began the initial struggle to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. Most of you were able to celebrate Easter Mass through digital media or on television but were not able to attend Mass in person. We sang our “Alleluia” a bit more remotely than we would have liked perhaps, but it was still our Easter song.

Since then, we have been fortunate here in Vermont in that we have been able to return to public celebrations of the sacraments at 50 percent of capacity, with care to follow the safety protocols. Because we have been careful, we have had no major outbreaks or incidents in our churches and schools.

As a result, we are quietly creeping back to normalcy. In spite of all the challenges we have faced, we have persevered in practicing our faith and being the bearers of “good news” to a community and culture that truly needs to hear the message of Christ. Pope Francis once said, “We proclaim the resurrection of Christ when His light illuminates the dark moments of our existence.” I am amazed at how many of our parishioners, staff and clergy have stepped up during this past year to be “light-bringers.” I have witnessed a great deal of enthusiastic creativity in our community that has allowed us to stay connected as a people of faith; numerous acts of charity when people have gone out of their way to make sure their neighbors, especially the elderly and homebound, are taken care of; so many teachers and staff and volunteers in our Catholic schools who have done an incredible job to keep our schools open; so many good and faithful priests who have carried on in their care for their flock that I cannot help but say, “Amen! We are bringing light to the dark moments of existence. Alleluia is our song each and every day!”

I’ll leave you with this funny quote from the 20th-century humorist Evan Esar. He once said, “Easter is the only time when it’s perfectly safe to put all of your eggs in one basket.”

Yes, indeed, especially if that “one basket” is our Catholic faith in Jesus Christ, our resurrected Lord and Savior.

God bless.

—Originally published in the April 3-9, 2021, Inland See.