Welcome Home! After all these 11 weeks away from our Church, this weekend we start back. I know this weekend it will just be the distribution of Communion outside of mass, but still, we’re all back in Church! Next Sunday, we’ll be back to a regular mass schedule! It will be good to see everyone again. I just had someone at the door for a Baptismal Certificate and we were talking about how, “online church is nice to have, but it’s certainly not a replacement for real church.” I couldn’t agree more and that’s a great way of putting it. It’s good to keep in touch in an imperfect way, but we’re all anxious to get back to receiving Jesus.
I want to thank everyone for their patience through this process. I’ve been trying to do the best I can to keep in touch through this, and you have all been wonderful. I can’t thank you enough for all the positive comments and for keeping the faith through this process. I also want to thank everyone for continuing to support your Church through this. We’ve done pretty well up through May 17th or so. We did drop off a bit the last 2 weeks, but I’m hoping that’s just because people are getting to come back and it’ll all even out in the wash.
It was wonderful to hear from some of our Altar Servers’ families and our Lector families as we prepare to get the schedules out to everyone and get those ministries up and running again. Everyone seems so excited to begin again. I hope this forced time away really helps all of us to dive in, take ownership of our faith and our parish, and really work together to build a church that we’re all proud of.
I did have a few people ask me about Eucharistic Ministers. As you’ll see this weekend, because of the layout in the Church, we’re going to be doing a single-file line for communion and we won’t be resuming the cup for the foreseeable future. That means that Eucharistic Ministers at mass aren’t really going to be an option for a while. On the other hand, before this began, we had a large number of shut-ins at our parish. Now, we have even more folks who aren’t able to go out. As we get rolling again, I’d like to invite any confirmed Catholics who are willing to consider becoming a Eucharistic Minister who can visit the sick. Once we’re back to church and I have a chance to announce it to everyone in person as well, I’d like to start training laypeople to be able to bring communion to those who can’t go out, making sure they are getting the sacraments. If you’re a confirmed, practicing Catholic and if you have a family member who can’t get out much anymore, I’d invite you to consider becoming a Eucharistic Minister to bring them communion. Perhaps you might also consider bringing it to one or two other people. If we could get a nice group together, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could get the Eucharist to our 90+ shut-ins on at least a monthly basis, or maybe even more often. I’d love to see it happen, but I need your help. Please think about it and I’ll share more once we’re back in Church.
I’d like to say something about the recent events going on in our world, but to be honest, I’m still trying to listen. I find that if we don’t have something helpful to say, it’s good to listen and try to understand. So much of the chaos in our world comes from not listening. I’d invite all of us to try to do our best to listen, especially to those who seem different from us. Sometimes we have more in common than we realize.
Just to avoid confusion, I’d like to post again the schedule for this weekend. For this weekend, please watch mass online, then stop down to the Church after to receive communion. If you’re older than 12, please wear a mask until it’s your turn unless you have a medical issue that you can’t wear a mask. If you do have a medical issue, feel free to come, but use your best judgment. Please enter by the front steps of the Church, come down the center aisle as we normally would, and exit via the handicap exit. If you are handicapped, please feel free to come in via the handicap door and have a seat. I’ll be sanitizing my hands after every few people. If you’re receiving on the tongue, you’re welcome to receive that way, but just to be courteous, please stay toward the back of the line.
This Weekend: June 6th & 7th:
Saturday Vigil Mass
4:00pm Mass: (Livestreamed Only) NEW TIME!
5:30pm-6pm: Public Communion in the Church
9:00am: Public Communion (Holy Cross Chapel)
11:00am: Mass (Livestreamed only)
12:30pm: Public Communion in the Church
Next Weekend: June 13th & 14th:
Saturday Vigil Mass
4:00pm Public Mass in the Church, also Livestreamed
8:00am: Public Mass in Holy Cross Chapel
11:00am: Public Mass in the Church, also Livestreamed
Fridays 7:00am-7:45am beginning Friday, June 19th
Confessions (Inside Church Front Door)
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday: After Mass until 9:30AM
Tuesday & Wednesday: 7:30pm-8pm
Looking forward to seeing you in Church!
May God Bless You Now and Always!
Father Matthew Baum is the Parish Administrator at Prince of Peace Church in Northern Cambria, PA.