A New Mass Schedule
As you (hopefully) know, next week we will begin using a different Mass schedule. As we make the transition, I just wanted to share a couple thoughts. I’ll call the schedule that we used from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 the “Former Schedule” and the one that we’re beginning July 1, 2023 the “New Schedule.”
When devising the former schedule, I wanted to keep a couple priorities. The top three priorities were to offer a variety of Mass times (including a Sunday evening Mass), offer many opportunities for confession, and to have Mass at all four locations. With this in mind, the former schedule was:
In this schedule, we were able to offer Mass at all four parishes. We had an evening Mass which is rather popular from April through October. Additionally, each weekend we had 3.5 hours of confession for parishioners.
The major drawback of this schedule was that there was not a Sunday morning Mass at all four parishes. I underestimated how challenging this would be for parishioners. However, it was encouraging to hear parishioners from St. Joseph or Immaculate Conception express empathy to St. Lawrence and St. John parishioners because there was no Sunday Mass at their parish Church.
With this in mind, there will be a new Mass schedule beginning July 1, 2023. There are purple refrigerator magnets near the Church doors to help you remember this schedule:
This schedule is simple and easy to remember (I think). In addition, it provides Sunday morning Mass at all four parishes. Unfortunately, there isn’t room for a Sunday evening Mass, since we are asked to celebrate two scheduled Masses per day. The priests in the deanery were not able to find a workable solution for a deanery-wide Sunday evening Mass. In this schedule, we still have 2.5 hours of confession on the weekend.
Stay tuned about confession times. We may try out some new times for confession in the future. This may wait until Lent 2024, but it is on the to-do list.
Finally, some people are very disappointed with the new schedule. Some parishioners really appreciated the Sunday evening Mass and others liked the 8am Mass at IC. Other parishioners are overjoyed at having Sunday morning Mass at St. John and St. Lawrence.
I wish we could say “yes” to everything. In an ideal world, we could do everything: multiple Sunday Masses at each parish, Sunday evening Mass, but that isn’t the reality. We have to adapt our personal schedules around the Mass schedule, and maybe that is a healthy thing.
Knowing that we’ve changed the Mass schedule twice in the past year, I don’t intend to adjust the schedule again unless there is an absolute necessity, like dangerously large crowds or we only have one priest (I don’t think this will happen, but you can never be too sure). The only thing that will likely change is the addition of confession times.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Sean Wilson