Weekend Mass Times
As announced at Christmas we will be returning to St. John and St. Lawrence for Sunday Mass beginning January 24th. After nearly nine months of not having Sunday Mass, we are all grateful to be able to celebrate Sunday Mass at these parishes. I have so much to say, I’ll try to be brief.
First thank you to St. John and St. Lawrence parishioners for your patience. I know it has been challenging being separated from the house of God in which you were baptized, married, and regularly worship God. I realize the pain and frustration that you endured.
Also thank you to parishioners of Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph for ways that you welcomed others to your parish. This included small items, like showing others where collection baskets are located. Also you welcomed other parishioners financially with the increased cost of heat and air conditioning for an extra Mass. This isn’t an insignificant amount.
Being back at St. John and St. Lawrence could prove tricky as we continue to practice social distancing. The smaller Churches won’t be able to fit their normal 200 people. If you plan to attend St. John or St. Lawrence, please try to fill a pew with your family. Many parishioners will want to be present. We will have to work together to keep social distancing.
As you can see we aren’t returning to the pre-Covid schedule. You may wonder, “Why not go back to the way things were?” “Why is there more change?” The straightforward answer is that everything is in flux during the virus. Change is becoming the norm. We are going to take this opportunity to try something new through the end of June. Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t.
The positive aspects of this schedule are as follows: it allows confessions to be regularly scheduled at St. Lawrence. It has been years since St. Lawrence has had regular confessions. Also many parishioners have requested a Sunday evening Mass. We will see if it turns out to be a popular option. Finally in the old schedule, one priest had three Masses in a row traveling from St. Joseph to St. Lawrence and back to St. Joseph. This was a brutal schedule. I felt like I short-changed the 11:00am Mass at St. Joseph with a, “Let’s just get through this” mentality. This temporary schedule has a lot less travelling which hopefully means more energized priests to serve you.
I realize that this temporary schedule isn’t perfect and there are some drawbacks. St. Joseph parishioners may be frustrated that the earliest Sunday morning Mass is at 10am. We will see if St. Lawrence and St. John will be large enough to hold our early birds. Another issue is that Masses at St. Lawrence and St. John are earlier than before the pandemic. The final pitfall could be the strain put on Fr. Jedidiah and me to celebrate a Sunday evening Mass. This adds another evening activity to already full nights.
In consultation with pastoral council it was unanimously recommended (10-0) to try this schedule through the end of June. We will evaluate this schedule during our meetings on March 4th and June 3rd. If you have thoughts, feedback or questions, please contact a member of pastoral council. As much as I would like to hear everyone’s feedback, I simply can’t remember, organize, and analyze feedback from all four parishes. The members of pastoral council are listed in the bulletin. Please see the weekend Mass times on the page opposite of the Parish Information & Events page.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Sean Wilson