“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD!’” (Ps. 122:1)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, peace to you!
At long last, after much waiting and prayer, we are happy to announce that we will begin the slow process of opening up again this weekend. In other words, Masses with an assembly will begin again this Saturday evening! As we said, it will be a slow start, but it will be such a joy to be united again in prayer and worship of God. We ask for your continued prayers and patience, with us and one another, as we all navigate the coming weeks. They will bring many new things for all of us, but with the Lord and together we can come through it once again. “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Ps. 127:1).
In addition to the general diocesan policies outlined in the picture below, please note the following specifics for our parish.
· Initially we have to limit the number of people in the Cathedral church to 25% capacity, meaning we need to keep the numbers at or under 150 at any one time.
· Please respect the seating and distancing measures in the Cathedral. We ask that either only one family unit or three individuals (spread throughout) sit in a pew.
· The first open Mass will be this coming Saturday, 30 May at 5:15pm. This is going to be for those who were supposed to be receive sacraments at the Easter Vigil, and so we ask that anyone not associated with those individuals as family members, sponsors, formators, etc., not come to that particular Mass.
· The Sunday Mass schedule will remain the same: 8am and 11am. The weekday schedule will, for now, only entail Mass at 6:30am. Since the Sunday obligation is still dispensed, if you are wary about larger numbers of people on Sunday, perhaps you can come to one of the weekday Masses instead. In general, if you are in a risk group or are not ready to return to Mass because of the current circumstances, you may continue to watch Masses online and to pray at home.
· If you plan to receive Communion at Mass, please make sure to practice proper methods of reception. In other words, give us a clear target! An open mouth with tongue out and head tilted back, or one flat hand on top of the other. If this is done properly, we are able to distribute Communion without touching anybody.
· For now, the priests will serve as readers and servers for Mass, so as to limit the number of people in the sanctuary. In general, but especially now, please do not enter the sanctuary or sacristy unless you have been asked to do so.
· The following are scheduled as of now:
o First Communion, Corpus Christi, 13 June, 5:15pm Mass
o Teen Confirmations, Sacred Heart, 19 June, 7pm Mass
o Adult Confirmations, Immaculate Heart of Mary, 20 June, 8am Mass
· Sunday Evening Vespers (5:15pm) and Thursday evening Adoration for Vocations (7pm) will resume this week, beginning on 31 May.
· Other parish activities and groups will begin meeting at a later time.
“When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them.’ The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad” (Ps. 126:1-3).