July 19, 2020

Activity around the parish campus has increased over the past few weeks. It is nothing like a normal summer would be, but after months of no one around, it feels good to see people here!

That is particularly true of Sundays. Our Mass attendance continues to increase little by little and I am very grateful for that. I am also grateful that those who don’t yet feel comfortable coming out to Mass are choosing to stay home.

That is a perfectly acceptable decision at this point. That’s why the Archbishop has dispensed all the people of the Archdiocese of the obligation to celebrate Sunday Mass. The Archbishop realizes that many of us are in high-risk categories, and the virus poses real health danger. We don’t want anyone coming to church if they feel unsafe. We are still livestreaming the Sunday morning 9:00 am Mass, and plan to do that indefinitely. We are also planning to upgrade some of our capabilities to make the quality of the livestream even better.

While the way we have to celebrate Sunday Mass right now is not everything we would like Mass to be, we are grateful for the opportunity to gather as a community of faith and give praise and thanks to our God in the best way we can, through the celebration of the Eucharist.

Those of you who have been coming to Mass, thank you for your cooperation and positive attitude as we operate under guidelines designed to keep us all safe. Just a reminder to do a personal health check before you leave the house, including taking your temperature and reviewing the six screening questions (these are on our website if you are not familiar with them).

Please put your mask on before you get out of your car (or arrive on campus if you are walking). Please maintain six feet of distance between yourself and other households. As you know, we ask you to sign up ahead of time for Mass so that we know how much space we have in the church. You will be seated by ushers so that we can maximize the space we have (e.g., those who are in the same household can sit together). So, I ask your patience if you don’t get your favorite seat at church. Please know that we are seating you the best we can to keep everyone safe. Finally, remember that communion is distributed following Mass. This allows me to put on a face mask and distribute communion safely, as well as allowing you to exit the church safely following Mass.

I know that some of you have been asking about adding Masses back into our schedule. For many of you, not to go to your preferred Mass time is a real sacrifice. We will add Masses back when the space we have available requires an additional Mass (or Masses). I hope you can, once again, be patient with what we are able to do right now.

We were thrilled to be able to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation last Saturday afternoon and Monday evening for our young people and adults. We also, after a very long wait, were able to baptize and welcome into the church, our elect and candidate for full communion. It has been a long wait for Michelle, Ryan, Johnny, Glenn, Sam, and Patricia, and it was such a joy to celebrate with them last Sunday afternoon.

On Friday night we were also able to celebrate a long-delayed liturgy of graduation with our eighth graders. Because of the publication deadline of the Bulletin, I am writing this article before that ceremony. I will share some thoughts from that night with you next week.

I can say these eighth graders are very eager to celebrate this major transition in their lives as they move into High School. We will continue to keep them in our prayers as they begin their High School years in this most unusual time.

With them, and with our Confirmandi and the newly baptized and received members of our Church, we give thanks to God for his presence in accompanying us through this time. May all of those who have celebrated significant moments in their lives this past week, know the continuing presence of God and the love and support of our community of faith.

Peace,
Fr. Gary Lazzeroni