Recently a local pastor of a non-catholic parish called me to ask what I was doing to get the church services up and running again. I first made clear to him that I had a lot of help, but it still was not easy. After all, now we must have seating with six feet distance on all sides of every family or individual that attends the Mass. We are not allowed to have a choir singing music, Communion must be distributed in a way that I can purify my fingers every time I touch someone’s hand, or if someone receive on the tongue.
If this were not enough, ushers must direct people to pews and Communion. Every weekend Mass is live-streamed and recorded on our Facebook page (so we need someone to do that). I have to make sure the church pews and door handles are sanitized after every Mass. Along with this, I must give out Communion by myself at all Masses. All I can say is thanks be to God for the summer helpers! They have had to serve, lector, usher (at St. Cecilia), learn how to properly sanitize the church, and learn how to use a camera so we can post live-streamed videos of our Masses, funeral, and weddings on our Facebook page.
All of this is to say it has taken a lot of organization, hardworking parish staff members, volunteers, patience, and prayer. Because of this, we are blessed to have all our regular Masses up and running at both St. Cecilia and St. Peter Claver. I’m more grateful then I can say to so many of you for your prayers, for checking in on us, making meals, and those who continue to volunteer, as well as the financial support everyone is continuing to give so we can pay our bills. As I described all this to my pastor friend in much greater detail than here, it started to hit me how much we are doing to make it possible for our parishioners to attend Mass safely and respectfully.
Know that myself, the seminarians, and summer helpers are praying for you all every day at Mass and holy hour. Please continue to pray for us. There is much ahead, and I have no idea how it will affect us, but God does. Since He is still in charge, I am not worrying but trusting in the goodness of the Lord. May you do the same.
Your brother and father in Christ,