8 May 2020 | Posted by: chadmin
May 6, 2020
I pray you are doing well. The longer the shelter in place extends, the more anxious I become for public Mass to return. I often joke with people that I do all the administrative elements in the role as pastor so that I can do all the fun aspects of the priesthood: the celebration of sacraments and meeting with people. It seems like all the fun parts of the priesthood have vanished! I miss seeing you all and pray you are well. While I do miss seeing everyone, I am well and healthy. All is well on campus. Our teachers are in the final two weeks of E-Learning. They’ve done an incredible job of serving our students and families. As we are processing the end of this academic year, our staff is planning to offer some E-Learning this summer while preparing for all possible scenarios in August. Many of the activities our children are used to participating in during the summer will not be available this year. We want to provide some guidance for educational, faith-based and family projects for our school families. This summer E-Learning will be completely voluntary, but hopefully provide some assistance for kids to make the most out of the summer.
While we don’t currently know when we can gather as a school or church community, discussions continue about how we can best serve. For the school, it means that our staff is planning to start school in August. We hope we will begin the next school year on campus in August, but this will depend on the medical and political guidance. We want to be ready for E-Learning in August in case we can’t have students on campus. There is also the possibility that we will be limited on the number of students present at one time. This may require a few different schedules for students and E-Learning to happen simultaneously. Essentially we want to be ready to best serve our children.
Our Diocese recently communicated with the priests that the bishops of Illinois are in communication about allowing access to public prayer. The separation from the sacraments is a spiritual hardship for the faithful and tears at the hearts of clergy. Our bishop is working in unison with the other bishops about how best to give access to the Eucharist. Currently, we are allowed to have a wedding, funeral or baptism with 10 people present. The discussions to open may revolve around square footage of our buildings instead of the number of people. Maintaining the social distancing is vital. I am anxious to have people at church again, but also a bit nervous as I know that we all want to come back! Our Masses are full as it is, when we can come back we’ll have to be careful about numbers and spacing. It will take some careful decision making by our bishops and then guidelines for each individual church to implement for the safety of local parishioners. As information becomes more available, we will continue to communicate with you.
Stay strong and have a great week.
God bless you,