After delays due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Helen Parish in Vero Beach buried a time capsule on parish grounds, Aug. 18, 2020, ending a prolonged celebration of its centennial anniversary.
Father Nick Zrallack, parochial vicar, blessed the time capsule before it was buried near the newly constructed pavilion dedicated to St. Helen on the saint’s feast day.
“In 50 years, there will still be faithful believers here to unbury the time capsule,” said Father Zrallack. “In burying this time capsule, we hand down our same tradition of faith to the next generation.”
Laura Lewis, parish director of communications, explained that in the time capsule was a letter from the late pastor, Msgr. Irvine Nugent, mementos from past parishioners and photos from previous parish events.
Father Kevin C. Nelson, current pastor, added his own letter to the time capsule for the year 2020. In the letter he wrote, “I knew it was a special place when I was here twenty years ago as a seminarian. I could see the Holy Spirit at work among the parishioners, proclaiming the truths and mighty works of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Lewis shared that in addition to Father Nelson’s letter, included in the time capsule—to be opened in 2070—were recent articles about the parish, a parish yearbook, a St. Helen cookbook donated by the parish’s Council of Catholic Women and a photo of the current officers of the parish’s Knights of Columbus.
“We should have included a face mask among the items in the time capsule so as to remember the current pandemic,” Lewis said. “But I don’t think anyone will forget these events and the strength of our enduring parish.”