I have noticed that very few people at St. Peter Claver feel comfortable coming into the church for Mass due to COVID, though many have come to listen to Mass outside in their vehicles. Then they will come to the side door to receive our Lord with great love and respect. So, an idea came to me of offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass outside. I knew this would take a lot of work for the ushers, musicians, and the staff, but everyone loved the idea. Labor Day weekend, we saw a good size crowd. Then came last Sunday.
It started well with great weather and no rain. But then at the start of Mass, there was some midst, and then the rain came during my homily. The few who did not have umbrellas (as most did not) went to their cars. But the fair majority stayed and participated with great joy in the rain. There was a long, socially distanced line to Holy Communion, and they came with joy and great devotion to receive our Lord. It was simply beautiful! And again, a good size crowd came out for Mass.
I have been concerned about what is going to happen if we end up with early and colder Fall weather than usual. Yet, I know Our Lord does not want us to worry. He wants us to trust, pray, and prepare. Pray that the Lord bless our doctors and scientist with wisdom and knowledge to come up with good, moral, and affordable cure that can be given to everyone soon. Pray that the inordinate fear we are all tempted toward during COVID is overcome with trust in the providence of the Lord and prudence in our decisions. Pray that everyone returns to the practice of the faith when the dispensation from Mass is lifted by the bishops.
Until then, let us continue to do all we can to increase our prayer, penances, sacrifices, and worship of the Lord. Remember that the convent chapel with the Blessed Sacrament at St. Peter Claver and the St. Cecilia church are both open 24/7 for private prayer. They are safe, clean, and filled with the Presence of the Lord. Be Not Afraid!
Your Brother and Father in Christ,
Fr. Scott Woods