Letter from the Pastor, September 2020

September 21, 2020

Feast of St. Matthew

Dear friends,

I thought I’d just give you some updates as to our current situation in the Parish on this our Patron Saint’s feast day.

We have opened  the pews to 50% capacity. This additional space can make social distancing a bit more spacious and less inhibiting.

The wearing of masks is still required when in the pews during Mass and other services.

Sunday the 20th marked the resumption of a fuller musical program at Sunday Mass. The English “High Mass” resumed every Sunday at 11 AM and the other Masses with music resume the singing of the “Gloria”.

As of this writing, the 12:30 PM Mass on Sunday is the traditional Latin “Missa Cantata” or sung Mass. The next date is Sunday, September 27th.

We are seeing a gradual increase in physical Mass attendance overall.   The Sunday Mass Obligation remains suspended, however.

Per recommendation from the Diocese, we will not be providing the usual “Missalettes” in the pew racks for the foreseeable future. They can serve as a transmission medium for not only the Coronavirus, but other germs as well.  There are, however, many durable personal Missals available from various publishers that you can purchase and keep that do not need replacement every year. There are also online sites such as us.magnificat.net that offer online and downloadable missalettes as well as other devotional material.

The First Holy Communion Masses have gone well and perhaps because they have to be simpler than in the past, the atmosphere at all the Masses has been noticeably reverent and devotional. Next month we plan our “make up” Confirmations on October 20th under similar simpler circumstances.

My thanks go out to Mary Donaldson, Rita Minder, and the Religious Education catechists form their hard and dedicated planning and execution of these Sacramental celebrations as well as their good humor through all the vicissitudes of these “interesting times”.

Sister Kay McCarthy continues to recuperate from home after her knee replacement surgery. Keep her in your prayers.

I am very grateful for the continuing generous response of so many to my appeal for donations to help make up this past fiscal year’s unavoidable deficit. We have almost reached the projected target figure that we have had to budget in for help close the gap.

What makes it particularly humbling is that most, if not all, of you have experienced your own financial uncertainty and yet to date donations have been coming in every day.

God’s blessings to you all, as always!
Father Robert Hewes