Father Paul White, The Church of Holy Apostles, McHenry, IL
Submitted by: Barb Thomas, Diane Michaelis, and Mary Mauch
We were lost because our church doors were closed but our own Father Paul reached out through our website and Facebook to keep us connected at the Church of Holy Apostles and on facebook live. He has kept to our daily Mass schedule through FB livestream throughout this pandemic.... 7:30 a.m. Mon- Sat and 12:10 p.m. M- W -F and 3 weekend masses plus 2 Spanish masses. Our livestream has not only reached us locally but has brought in friends and family all over the country. At 3 p.m. Mon-Fri we had virtual adoration. At 7 p.m. Mon-Fri there were podcasts livestream where Fr. Paul would speak to different people in and outside of our parish about their experiences during the pandemic. He was available for confession on the phone by appt. and when we were able to come into the church our regular confession schedule was resumed always with masks and social distancing.
When our church opened, registering for mass was mandatory. His emphasis was returning to church safely with masks and sanitizer mandatory and our adoration chapel is open again. He kept staff working from home and did not lay off anyone. He was a designated priest who could go to the hospital to minister to the dying when no one was allowed in. The nurses helped him communicate via phone with patients and their families. Recently he has added 11 a.m. livestream lunch breaks with our music coordinator for the kids in e-learning and for the parents working at home. He has never stopped ministering to his parish and has been resourceful in finding ways to stay connected with us. There were no days off for him. His love for his people is never ending.
From the beginning of this pandemic he has ordered weekly food trucks from the Northern Illinois Food Bank and distributed food boxes as drive by from our parking lot for anyone in need as people were losing their jobs and going without food for their families. He is also thinking outside the box to reinvent our various ministries in this time of covid. He thinks ahead and anticipates people’s needs. We have remained together because of the resourcefulness and love of our pastor Fr. Paul White.
Through showing his love for God in ministering to our parish he has set an example of loving others in the way Jesus loves us. His example sets the tone for us to continue to minister to others. He never abandoned us and kept to our daily schedule which helped us retain a sense of normalcy where there was none. His constant efforts to keep us connected showed us how important it is to keep our faith alive under any circumstances.
Fr. Paul has gone above and beyond in showing us how important it is to stay connected with our faith family under the most trying circumstances. He is a living example of what it means to live your faith.
Father Paul doesn't just preach his faith he teaches his faith by example and follows daily in the footsteps of Jesus. His whole priesthood is an example of the love of Jesus.