My Dear Parishioners,
I hope you all had a very enjoyable Thanksgiving celebration, however you were able to celebrate. My own was very quiet and simple, but enjoyable nonetheless. Hopefully, next year we will be able to celebrate in a way that we are more familiar with. I also pray that we will be able to resume the distribution of blessed bread at Thanksgiving morning Mass, as this was always one of the highlights of the season.
This is also the week when we would traditionally have the Christmas Bazaar, but unfortunately, that too had to be canceled because of coronavirus concerns. We look forward to resuming this tradition as well.
This Tuesday we celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This feast celebrates that Mary was born without the stain of Original Sin, in anticipation of her giving birth to our Savior Jesus Christ. It is fitting that while we are preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus in just over 2 and a half weeks, we take to time to consider Mary His mother and how she was prepared to carry Him. This is the patronal feast of our country and while it usually is a Holy Day of obligation, that obligation remains lifted because of the coronavirus. If you do choose to come to Mass, we ask that you wear a mask, and sit in a reasonably, socially distant manner from other households. In addition, as you process up for Holy Communion we ask that you try to keep 2 or three pew lengths between yourself and members of other households, we also recommend that you receive Holy Communion in the hand. Our Masses for the Holy Day will be as follows: Vigil Monday night at 5:30 p.m. On Tuesday, Dec. 8th Masses will be at 8:00 & 10:00 a.m. and also at 7:00 p.m.
Christmas is one of the most important Holy Days in the church calendar, after Easter. Many people will no doubt want to participate in this significant religious and cultural Holy Day and holiday. As of the publishing of this column, the government is still permitting us up to 75% capacity in our church. I am very concerned that we may exceed that number over Christmas. As of now, the plan is to celebrate 4 Vigil Masses on Christmas Eve: 2:30, 4:30, 6:30 p.m. & 12:00 Midnight. Please note that the mailing you received at home did not include the 2:30 p.m. vigil because the Archdiocese only granted permission after the mailing was sent. Masses on Christmas Day would be 7:30, 9:30, & 11:30 a.m. I am asking for your cooperation in trying to stay socially distant at Mass, and also in working with one another in the parking lot. Consideration for others is always greatly appreciated but this year, more than ever, we should ask God for a generous and loving heart towards all.
May God Bless You,