Some say our Prior is bold! Fr. Vernoy certainly does not fear to address the difficulties and to deal respectfully but firmly with the authorities about them. And he does so with gratitude which is justice! Here is the story of the White House response to our Prior.
Our Prior, Fr. Marc Vernoy, had many exchanges with both the local Commissioner and the Governor to ensure Catholic Floridians had access to the Liturgy during the Covid-19 crisis. Father also sent a note to the Elected Officials with the many 'thank yous' we collected to congratulate them in their wise management of the crisis in Florida.
On behalf of the priests and faithful of Saint Thomas More Priory, Church, and Academy, and of its Floridian Missions in Brooksville, Davie, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar Beach, and West Palm Beach, we want to take this opportunity to reach out and thank you for your ongoing efforts during this time of trial, and to ensure you of our continued prayers and support.
After describing all the procedures we applied and the great work we performed to safely ensure the Catholic Floridians with the best means for their spiritual needs, our Prior stated:
Having thus far been able to offer continued spiritual sustenance to our faithful without, to the best of our knowledge, any cases of the novel coronavirus among our priests or faithful, we particularly appreciate your prudence in not rushing to simply close churches and your discretion in not treating religious services just like any other social gathering.
The benefit of this prudence and discretion is not just spiritual; in our pastoral experience we find time and time again that a body with a peaceful, hopeful soul heals – or stays healthy – much more easily than one with a troubled soul.
On June 25th, an answer came from the White House.
Dear Father Vernoy,
Thank you for your generous words of thank you and your prayers.
The firm resolve of the American people to face challenges boldly is a great blessing to our country. I remain confident that together, with trust in God, we will overcome any hardship and build a stronger and more unified country for future generations.
As one Nation under God, we share a legacy of faith that sustains and inspires us and a heritage of religious liberty.
I appreciate you taking the time to write. May God bless you and may He continue to bless the United States of America.
Enclosed to the President's response was the full text of the Proclamation of the 2020 Day of Prayer. This text is worth reading.
On this National Day of Prayer, Americans reaffirm that prayer guides and strengthen our Nation and we express, with humility and gratitude, our "firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence."...
Today as much as ever, our prayerful tradition continues as our Nation combats the coronavirus. During the past weeks and months, our heads have bowed at places outside of our typical houses of worship, whispering in silent solitude for God to renew our spirit and carry us through unforeseen and seemingly unbearable hardships...
In the midst of these trying and unprecedented times, we are reminded that just as those before us turned to God in their darkest hours, so must we seek His wisdom, strength, and healing hand, We pray that He comforts those who have lost loved ones, heals those who are sick, strengthens those on the front lines, and reassures all Americans that through trust in Him, we can overcome all obstacles...
May we never forget that prayer guides and empowers our Nation and that all things are possible with God. In times of prosperity, strife, peace and war, Americans lean on His infinite love, grace, and understanding. Today on this National Day of Prayer, let us come together and pray to the Almighty that through overcoming this coronavirus pandemic, we develop even greater faith in his divine providence.