Numbers in attendance are growing each week and at each Mass, but very slowly. The reasons seem to be very mixed as I talk to various people from the parish. Some have fears, for sure. Some worry that their being out might jeopardize their older family members whom they see throughout the week. Some, because they refuse to wear a mask while in church (or elsewhere) and are frustrated that the requirement is continuing when social distancing is also taking place. Clearly, the reaction to the entire situation is very mixed indeed; as much so as are the reports being given us by media.
What to do? You can only follow your own conscience when it comes to attendance at Holy Mass, but I also feel you are as safe, maybe safer here than in your need to go to the local supermarket or other stores where we see many parishioners once again. As far as masks for the time being; I can only follow what the Diocese is asking of us at this point and have no idea as to when it will all change—I hope at least no later than the original date of August 15, when the dispensation from attendance is supposed to end.
My personal feeling, not that it matters, would be that if the mask is the issue, I would want to have the spiritual nourishment of receiving the very Body and Blood of Christ each week and carry the small cross of the mask—nothing compared to the Cross of Christ for me—rather than to miss that wonderful opportunity to receive the Eucharist in the context of Holy Mass.
For those with genuine health fears, we must respect your feelings, which is why the Bishop issued a dispensation from Sunday attendance until August 15. Challenging times to the living of one’s Faith!
I’ve not heard reports since the return of “the churched” to their respective places of worship, that any rise in numbers has been attributed to their return. Go figure. Enough said.
On a much more positive note, I congratulate Frank and Doris Vas, who will celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary during the month of July. What a beautiful testament of their commitment and their genuine trust in God’s help all these years. Sadly, Frank’s health has been failing, so please keep them in your prayers.
The Parish Staff did the year- ahead Calendar Planning this past Monday, and it is assumed that meetings formerly scheduled will once again begin in the month of August. If you have information that needs to be put into the Parish Calendar (so no conflicts and so your space is kept open), make sure you call the office or better, send a clear and concise e-mail to the parish secretaries. Don’t assume that your regularly scheduled meetings are in the calendar once again until you (as chair) make that clear. If you will not be returning to a committee or a group for the time being or altogether, please let that chair person know. ~Fr. John