Letter from the Pastor, June 28, 2020

Dear friends,

As we end this month I first want to thank those who have been returning to the church for Mass, even under what are difficult and even annoying restrictions; and the many who have been mindful of St. Matthew’s Parish in your contributions and gifts whether or not physically present. Again, Faith Direct is a good way for online giving.

As of this writing, we are still under limitations of seating occupancy and the wearing of a face mask or other covering. Please bear in mind that the Obligation to attend Mass on Sundays is still dispensed. I sympathize that the face mask can be rather annoying.

We are however back to regular celebrations of  Weekday Masses, Funeral Masses and Baptisms according to our normal schedule.

In an odd way, I find the distribution of Holy Communion AFTER the full completion of the Liturgy of the Mass to be more reverent and serene than the usual practice. It has the effect of allowing those who for whatever personal reasons cannot, or do not want to, receive Communion to attend Mass and then leave discretely without the social pressure of the row-by-row Communion line.  Those who do present themselves for Holy Communion do so more deliberately and have the freedom to remain behind for a quiet prayerful thanksgiving. Having just four Communion Stations also seems to work out well since there is no time pressure to resume the Liturgy after all Communions have been received. Perhaps we might profit by that in the future.

In addition, many thanks are due to Lou Flores, and our “music makers” Lee Forsythe and Susan Hugelmeyer for volunteering to do the post-Mass cleaning. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind an offer of help as well 😉

Dolores Tiernan has continued her work as Business Manager throughout the “shut down” and my secretary Bettyanne Russo will be back in the office two days a week until full reopening of the Parish Office. Mass Cards will also be available on a regular basis. Please check the Parish Website for developments.

Fr. Ed Dowling has asked me to let you know that he is well, but his Jesuit Superior feels it best that his priests still remain under quarantine for the time being. We hope he will be back on our Mass rotation in due course.

This year the travel disruptions of the Covid pandemic have prevented Father Thomas and Father Jacob from being our very welcome “summer priests”. We look forward to seeing them again next year.

Know of my prayers and remembrance at Mass!

God bless,

Father Hewes