Brothers and sisters: For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, “Abba, Father!” (Romans 8:14).
On this Trinity Sunday, we rejoice in the fact that we have a Trinitarian God who loves us, who made us, who we can relate to in prayer and who sustains us and guides us throughout our lives. Over this past year, which has been difficult on so many levels, we have relied on God’s mercy, compassion and guidance as we have navigated the choppy waters of Covid.
I am thankful for all of our church leaders who have helped to guide us on our way. Just recently, we received a letter from Bishop Malesic who helped us understand what to expect as restrictions are lessened on June 2nd and we are invited back on June 5th and 6th as the obligation to return to Mass has resumed. Below is from his letter:
As we enter this new period, I ask that you use patience; kindness and understanding with all those you encounter as well as ensure your own good health and well-being. Pastors and others should presume people’s good will in following these directives. They should not inquire of anyone as to whether or not they have been vaccinated. May God continue to bless you and those you love as you do your best to provide for the spiritual and pastoral needs of those entrusted to your care.
- Facemasks are no longer required, but are strongly suggested for those who have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine or are otherwise vulnerable. Respect is to be shown to those following CDC and state and local guidelines, as well as for those, who for personal reasons, choose to continue to wear facemasks and practice social distancing. All signage requiring the wearing of face masks should be removed.
- Social distancing is no longer required. The use of all pews/seating areas is permitted.
- The use of Holy Water fonts is permitted. Holy Water should be replaced and basins should be cleaned regularly.
- Liturgical processions at the beginning and conclusion of the liturgy as well as offertory processions are permitted.
- The offertory collection is permitted.
- The sign of peace among the faithful is permitted. It should be exchanged without physical contact between persons who are not of the same household or family.
- Liturgical ministers (altar servers, lectors, ushers, musicians, cantors, choirs, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion) are permitted.
- The distribution of the Precious Blood remains suspended until further notice. It is highly recommended that one receive Holy Communion in the hand, but the right to receive on the tongue remains in place. A table with sanitizer should be located near the distribution station for those distributing Holy Communion who accidently physically contact a communicant, sanitizing immediately after contact and before proceeding to the next communicant. Priest concelebrants and deacons should continue to receive by intinction.
- Clergy may greet parishioners, but with special care if the cleric has not yet been fully vaccinated or is otherwise vulnerable.
- Hymnals and other books may be returned to the pews.
- A general cleaning of the church and other public places should take place on a regular schedule, with special attention given to frequently used surfaces such as door handles, bathroom fixtures, etc.
- Entrance Hand Sanitizers. You are asked to continue to provide hand sanitizers at the church entrances and other public spaces.
- Miscellaneous • Pastors should ask the faithful who are not feeling well to remain at home. • Live Streaming of Masses should continue when possible. • Visitation to the homebound, hospitalized and nursing homes is permitted urging those visiting to use good hygiene and to refrain from visiting when they are not feeling well. • Care should be taken to continue following CDC, state, and local guidelines with regard to activities with children who have not yet been fully vaccinated. Please continue to pray for a complete end to the pandemic, for all those who died from the pandemic and for those who have lost loved ones, employment or have been adversely impacted by the pandemic.
I personally want to thank Bishop Malesic for the time and effort he put into making these guidelines, as well as the time he took to travel down last Sunday to bless the Memorare Center. Thank you for all who came to the 11:00am Outdoor Sunday Mass. It was a blessing!
May God’s peace and joy be with you,
PS- Pay attention to the article on the next page about our annual St. Kevin Mass of Remembrance coming up on Thursday evening at 6:30. What a beautiful way to pray through a loss of this magnitude. And don’t forget to come to Mass next weekend to bid farewell to Fr. Bearer. There will be a reception after every Mass on June 5 and 6 in the Gym to provide a setting to truly thank him for all the good work he accomplished at the parish! Thank you Fr. Bearer!