Today we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, the second greatest day on the entire liturgical calendar after Easter Sunday. This is the day when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Apostles and marks the beginning of the Church. It is truly a day to rejoice.
It is also a day to rejoice because we have returned to Mass today. I welcome each of you back and am glad that you are back. I have prayed for each of you during this time that you remain in God’s grace and maintained your health. While I know people who know people who have had Covid-19, I do not believe I know anyone personally who had it, and I am certain that I do not know anyone who died from it. For that, I am grateful.
Please note that we are trying to operate normally, but we also can’t ignore the potential danger that Covid-19 demonstrates. Especially for those in a vulnerable situation. To be proactive, we are, for the time being, asking that people sit in every other pew. I also ask, for those not in the same household, to leave distance between you and the next person at the Communion Rail. We have removed all the hymnals and gotteslobs from church, but they will hopefully be back soon! Lastly, I ask that indoor socials not take place at this time, but they can occur outside. The halls at Old St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart can be used for a limited amount of people, no more than ten at any time. I ask that everyone else remain outside, weather permitting, and take advantage of the parish grounds.
Lastly, we have two very unique and diverse parishes. Many people have strong opinions on Covid-19, on both sides of the issue. We also have many who are elderly, some who are sick with compromised immune symptoms, and others in the vulnerable classes. I am asking that each person respect the boundaries and opinions of other people. There is no need to debate this at this time, nor to place those who could die if they get Covid-19 at unnecessary risk. For now, I ask that we come to Mass to give God the worship that he is owed, and the thanks that he deserves that we have not been greatly affected by this. We should also enjoy the presence and company of each other. If these past weeks have taught us anything, it should have taught us that we are not in control, that life is fragile, and that we have a greater love for our neighbor than we may have previously thought.
I again welcome each of you back and am delighted to have you back. Please have a blessed week ahead and be assured of my continued prayers, and please pray for the whole Oratory and me!