October 11, 2020 Letter

Mass Updates

     •  We are now offering 90 registrations for Mass. Some have expressed confusion as to what this means for a total number of attendees. We have found that a registration can be for one or for several. Consequently, one person or several people is/are able to sit in a pew and still keep proper social distance. Therefore 90 reservations may translate to 180 or 210 depending on the number of multiple people in a single registration.

     •  We now offer Communion at the more familiar time of Mass because our hard working Re-Opening Team has figured out a traffic flow and instructions for people to return to their seats safely after receiving Communion. Please encourage all to be very attentive to their social distancing while returning to their seats.

     •  The wisdom behind moving Communion to the very end of Mass was to alleviate people stepping over and passing too closely to those who remain in the pew. In addition, that procedure encouraged people to go directly to their cars and not congregate in the Narthex, which could easily spread the virus.

     •  With this return to the “regular” time of Communion, several people have taken it upon themselves to leave after receiving Communion. Please do not do this because it creates problems for traffic flow and also increases the likelihood of congregating in the Narthex.

     •  Please help spread the word that all are to remain seated after the final blessing and wait for ushers’ instructions to exit in an orderly, safe and healthy manner.

I know these regulations restrict some freedom for us all. I am sure that you join me in struggling with the prayerfulness of Mass these days.  Believe me, I am the first to feel the limitations that Covid has brought to us, and particularly to the beautiful, tactile ritual of the Eucharist. I was recently brought to tears when I saw a picture in the hallway of me holding a baby during a baptism. Suddenly that moment and the intimacy and touch that are such grace-filled blessings during the Mass seemed so far away. It seems these days that we are “CONDUCTING” Mass instead of CELEBRATING it. We are following rules as opposed to following the presence of the Holy Spirit.

With all of that being said, I must reiterate that our NUMBER ONE priority is safety. Unfortunately, science and health determine so many of our sacramental procedures. These protocols are for our safety and we must have patience during these odd times and understand that our prayer must be different for the foreseeable future. The Holy Spirit is working in a different way and we are sometimes resistant to embracing it.

Please trust me that the number of people who feel safe and healthy because we follow State and Archdiocesan protocols strictly is the largest segment of our population and, once again, helps us all to care for the precious gift of life that God has given us.

We are now live streaming our 9:00am Mass and are no longer offering a taped weekly Mass.  You can also click on the Live Streamed Mass on our website at any time and follow us on Facebook.

The last two weekends we celebrated First Communion with our young parishioners who are now in 3rd grade but have been anticipating receiving the sacrament for some time. Many students and their families decided to wait until next Spring to receive First Communion, citing safety concerns as a reason for waiting.

Our Chapel has been cleaned extensively and there are now only enough chairs, properly spaced apart, for safe worship. We hope to offer Wednesday morning Masses, Reconciliation, Adoration and, perhaps, Academy Masses in the Chapel beginning this coming week.

Racism Terms

We want to continually share information regarding the sin of racism in our world. We believe that learning more about related terms is helpful.  This week’s term is Intersectionality, meaning the complex and cumulative way that the effects of different aspects of identity (such as race, sexual orientation, gender, and social class) combine, overlap and intersect.

This week’s Gospel passage from Matthew concludes with a challenging statement, “Many are called, few are chosen.”  Reflect on times you have heard a call, and when you have felt chosen.