Coronavirus Update

Update From Fr. Eilen (5/26/2021)

My Dear St. Patrick Staff, Parishioners, Families and Friends,

You have all been such a great grace for me, both before and during my extended bout with COVID – God love you!

Know that I am offering a “Spiritual Bouquet” (Holy Hour-MASS-Rosary-Chaplet of Divine Mercy) for all of you from Pentecost Sunday (May 23rd) thru next Monday’s Memorial of the Visitation of Mary (May 31st).

FYI: I am slowly feeling better – Praised be Jesus Christ! – and eating more and getting out a little for some light walks and much needed sunshine.  Now I know what a mole feels like (Ha!).

Nevertheless, I will finish my meds-treatments the first few days in June, per Doctor’s orders, and hoping to return to worship Our Loving Father with you that next weekend (June 5-6).  The key word is “hoping,” but I am confident that Our Merciful Father, who has begun a good work in me, will bring it to completion on the day of Christ Jesus.

My continued love and prayers for all of you, as we continue praying for one another.

JESUS, Mary, St. Joseph, and St. Patrick – intercede for us!

Fr. Allan Paul Eilen

Update From Fr. Eilen (5/10/2021)

My dear beloved St. Patrick family,

Before I get to my current health status (5/09/21), I want to be sure to thank all of you for your spiritual bouquet and for your many prayers, support, and generosity.  FYI: My basic needs are being taken care of, so thank you.

A belated happy Mother’s Day to you and all mothers (living and deceased). What a gift and dignity God has given us in the feminine genius and what it means to be a woman (mother) of faith.  There is no greater grace and gift than to be a mother who raises up tender souls for the service and glory of God.  I pray that this past weekend’s Women’s Retreat was a great source of grace for all who were able to attend.  Thank you, Linda and your helpers.

That said, I ask that you reach out to our wonderful St. Patrick Staff and offer gratitude and prayers for the beautiful work they do to serve you in Christ’s name. It is very hard for a parish, let alone a staff to be without their Pastor, in addition to being displaced at the same time because of construction. They are working hard and doing their best. And, as you can imagine, it is very hard for the Pastor to not be with his staff and parish. Please stop by, send an email, or make a phone call, to individually and collectively thank our parish staff, who seek to faithfully and lovingly serve you and your families. You can find their contact information at this link. 

Each of our St. Patrick Staff are such a gift for you and me: Deacon George Stahl, Linda Abel-Thomas, Rod Barfknect, Tim DeBiaso, Maria Furness, Laura Garcia, Amee Heigl, Dan Jaeger, Patti Jochim, Rob Masloski, Tammy Molitor, Cathy Mevissen, Kristin Theis, Anna Trana, and Jeremy Weakly. Please lift them up in prayer and affirmation during these challenging, yet grace-filled times.

Ok, now to the update on my health status:

As you are already aware I tested positive back on Monday, April 19th.  But, what I believed to be mild-moderate conditions turned into significant breathing issues (which affects everything: muscle weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite).  Couple that with isolation, and needless to say, my COVID has turned out to be much more serious.

I have now been away from the parish for three weekends, and don’t anticipate being able to come back until my breathing and strength improve significantly.  I have missed 1st Holy Communions (last weekend) and Confirmation with the Archbishop (last Thursday).  But I am profoundly grateful for all clergy and parish staff and volunteers who have stepped into the void to keep Christ at the center of our lives.

The latest is that I was able to see my doctor for the second time last Friday (Thanks be to God!) , and we are getting much more aggressive with my meds and treatments.  That alone gives me real hope going forward.  I finished my initial set of meds and treatments from my first doctor’s visit (April 28th) last Sunday (antibiotic) and tomorrow (steroid), respectively.

Below are the new meds and treatments that I began on Friday evening (5/7/21):

  • I have a new antibiotic to fight any infections in my body, particularly my lungs.
  • I am now on a blood-thinner to dissipate any possible blood clots in my body.
  • I am now on a COVID Medicine (HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE).
  • I have a stronger dose of a Nebulizer medicine for my breathing.

Right now I just have to allow the medication and treatments to have an effect on my body and breathing.  I have little leg strength (I am a walking pharmacy and feel like I’m 80-90 years-old), but with the new meds and treatments I am very hopeful, but realistically, I do not have a firm timeline on when I can return.  Despite the fatigue and muscle weakness and isolation and low appetite – certain foods and condiments still taste putrid, so the joy of eating is not there – I am eating much better in the past week.

Yet, the graces of this time have truly been a blessing.  The Lord is inviting me more and more to surrender to His love, so that the love and joy He has in the Father may be in me.  As hard as this has been, if it helps me to be formed more and more after the Heart of Our Dear Lord, I am profoundly grateful that the work He has done in me may be completed on the day of Christ Jesus.  My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my Spirit rejoices in God my Savior.  Our Father is so good!

Jesus, I Trust in YOU!

Know of my love and prayers for you and your families always.

Fr. Eilen

Update From Fr. Eilen (5/4/2021)

My Dear St. Patrick Family,

Know of my continued love and prayers for all of you during my time away from the parish due to Covid.  I am so grateful for your love and prayers and generosity during this challenging time, and for my staff for all their support.  Particular gratitude to the visiting priests (Fr. Peter, etc.) and Deacon George and Cathy for serving me and the parish on my behalf.

That said, let me give you all a more current update (effective 5/4/21) regarding how I am doing.  As some of you know I tested positive for Covid on Monday morning, April 19th.  After immediately going into quarantine – I spoke the next day with the Minnesota Department of Health, who ascertained that my symptoms began about Wednesday or Thursday (April 14 or 15).  Since we were busy moving parish offices because of upcoming construction,  I attributed it to the extra work.  The rapid test on April 19th confirmed otherwise.

Anyway, my initial symptoms were of real fatigue (low energy) and little appetite.  I have never had a fever, nor a loss of taste or smell (just little desire for food).  What I have developed though, besides fatigue and low appetite are breathing difficulties, so the doctor put me on an antibiotic last Wednesday (April 28), as well as a steroid.  Then on Friday evening, my doctor asked that I have a blood test for my lungs to rule-out any blood clots.  Later that evening the test came back somewhat elevated, so the doctor set-up a CT Scan of my lungs at St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood.  After leaving there about 10:00 PM, I went to my eldest brother’s place in St. Paul to begin two nebulizer (medical) treatments.  My brother is a respiratory therapist.

I have finished the antibiotic as of Sunday (5/2/21) and am now half-way through the steroids and nebulizer treatments.  As you can imagine this has been quite an ordeal.  My breathing has gotten a little better, but it has been baby steps.  If my breathing doesn’t improve more by Thursday (May 6), the doctor is going to get more aggressive with medication and breathing treatments for my lungs.  Not being able to breathe normally greatly affects one’s energy (fatigue) and appetite, not to mention the obvious effects of isolation on one’s mental health.

Let’s keep praying for and supporting one another and our community.  I hope and pray to be back with you soon – God willing – Lord have mercy!

Fr. Eilen

P.S. I am still leading the Rosary, with the help of Deacon George on Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM (click here to access the link to the Zoom Rosary, it’s also under the “St. Patrick Videos” tile on the home page).  It is so important that we continue to gather for prayer with one another.

Father Eilen Has Tested Positive for COVID (4/19/2021)

On Monday, April 19, Father Eilen tested positive for COVID. Though his symptoms are minimal, he will be isolating according to guidelines set forth by the CDC and MDH. Father Eilen has notified those with whom he had close contact. He will return no earlier than Saturday, May 1. We will post any updates on this page.

FAQ

  • I was at Mass on Sunday and/or received Holy Communion from Father, what should I do?
    • While presiding at Mass, Father Eilen has been consistently following all guidelines set forth by the Archdiocese (sanitizing, wearing a mask, and social distancing). Per CDC guidelines, close contact is defined as “someone who was within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more within 2 days prior to illness onset, regardless of whether the contact was wearing a mask.” If you start experiencing symptoms, please consult your physician and CDC guidelines.
  • Who will be filling in for Father Eilen? Will we still have Confessions and Mass?
    • Yes, we will continue to follow our normal Confession and Mass schedule. We have arranged for a substitute priest to preside over all upcoming Confessions, Masses, and funerals.
  • Is it safe to come to St. Patrick?
    • We are continuing to follow all CDC and Archdiocesan guidelines, including regular sanitation of the building. We are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of all our building’s occupants.
  • What does this mean for the staff and the parish office?
    • The parish office remains open and fully operational – all ministries and programs will continue as planned. Father Eilen has had minimal contact with the parish staff since last Wednesday (April 14). Those who have had close contact with Father Eilen have the opportunity to quarantine.

Questions or concerns? Please contact the parish office at 763-753-2011. 

“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

(Philippians 4:6-7)