Update on Pilgrim Masses

 In Pastor's Notes-Fr. Ritche

When the public celebration of Mass was suspended in March because of COVID 19, we were blessed with the ability to live stream Mass through Facebook and Youtube. Although it has its glitches, modern technology has allowed us to continue participating in the celebration of Mass every Sunday in the comfort of our homes. You and I have gotten used to it. We find it to be safe and convenient specially for those whose health is at risk.

Still, nothing can replace the personal interaction. Most of us long for it. We prefer to be able to see and talk to people in person. Our current global situation has impeded us from doing that. For months we prayed and continue to pray that we would once again be able to attend a communal celebration of our liturgies in person.

God heard our prayers. Slowly the county allowed us to gather for outdoor in person worship beginning with 25 people, then it was increased to 60. We remain hopeful that in the near future we will be to go back to an indoor Mass where we can fully gather as a community of faith to praise and worship our God.

The celebration of Mass is the most essential service ever gifted to humanity. Before we reopened for public Mass, our diocese had set guidelines and policies at helping parishes safely gather for worship. We have asked everyone to sign up if attending Mass. People are asked to wear mask for the duration of Mass. People who are sick or who have been exposed to Covid 19 are asked to stay home. Proper sanitation of chairs, tables, vessels, are strictly observed. Chairs are arranged to follow social distancing protocol. Distribution of communion has also been altered to ensure the safety of all.

Fr. Edgar and I are very happy to see many of you every Sunday. Our “Pilgrim Masses” are well attended. We have noticed the growing number of attendees but having said that, upon consultation with parish staff and some of the parish leaders, we would like to transition our 9:30am Mass to a simultaneous livestream and outdoor mass. That means:

  1. Starting on Sunday, October 11th, We can accommodate 30 people for Mass, but they are to stay in the church portico and inside the tent. The doors and windows of the church will be opened so people can participate at Mass. You will be able to sign up for this Mass, like our other live Masses on sign-up.com.
  2. Only the presider, the lector and a few “essential” ministers will be allowed inside the church.
  3. Mass will be continue to be live streamed.
  4. People are to wear mask at all times.
  5. Communion will be distributed outdoors.
  6. Sign up is necessary and all attendees must check in
  7. Basically, we will follow the format of our weekday Mass.

These little steps and creative ways will enable us to welcome more parishioners to join us at our in-person outdoor worship. As always, let us continue to hold each other in prayer. We pray that the Holy Spirit give us the courage and wisdom to remain hopeful and faith-filled during these trying times.

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