I hope all is well with you and yours.
It’s time for a few updates as we emerge from our long Covid “nightmare”.
The Diocese has approved the lifting of all seating restrictions in the church other than reasonable social distancing among non-family groups and individuals.
The mask or face covering requirement is lifted. Vaccinated persons need not wear masks, and others may or may not according to their comfort level. This is on the “honor system” and we will not be acting as monitors or “cops” in this regard.
The Parish Center is available for more events, but on a case by case basis depending on actual need and the degree of relevance to the parish or the Church’s life.
We can take a pardonable pride in that through it all St. Matthew’s Church was open for private and group prayer and Baptisms and Funeral Services were always available as needed.
Altar Servers, Lectors, and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are once again active, though of course reflecting changed circumstances and actual need.
Religious Education is active and preparing for next Fall’s “kick off”.
Adult Catholics who need to make up or initiate their Sacraments are invited to call the Parish Office. They will be contacted by Deacon Carmine De Stefano who has been an immense help even more this past year.
Also, thanks are due to so many of you who have maintained your financial support to St. Matthew’s even from a distance.
Of more direct interest to all, is that the Bishop has announced a return to the regular obligation binding upon all Catholics over the age of reason ( age 7) to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation as of Sunday, August 15th, the great Feast of Our Lady’s Assumption.
This obligation has been suspended since the beginning of March 2020 and its restoration will, I know, be a call to conscience for many.
(As always, those who are ill, or who feel themselves especially vulnerable to possible infection and illness of whatever kind, are by the law itself, validly excused.)
As always, I am mindful of you in my prayers and Masses and especially for those who were in any way affected by this pandemic.
Father Robert Hewes