I hope this message finds you and your family continuing to stay well during these challenging times.
Yesterday, we had the first public Mass at The Basilica since mid-March. Speaking for myself, it was absolutely wonderful to have people at Mass again.
The Eucharist is a community event, and it was nice to once again have a community with whom I could celebrate and share the Eucharist.
Using our new equipment, our staff livestreamed Mass. For their first time, I think it went very well. I ask your patience, though, as our staff takes on this responsibility. No doubt, mistakes will be made, but please bear with us.
I you wish to attend one of these daily Masses you will need to pre-register the day before. You can do this on our website, the day before the Mass you want to attend. If you do not have a computer, you can also call the parish office. When you register, you will need to provide contact information, in the unlikely event that we need to do some contact tracing.
When you arrive for Mass you will need to wear a face mask and be checked in by a member of our staff. The check-in point is the accessible doors on the East side of The Basilica—between The Basilica and Cowley Center. After being checked-in you will then be shown to a seat. We ask that you continue to wear your facemask, and remain in that seat until the Mass has ended. Communion will be distributed after the Mass has ended.
To help explain these protocols we have prepared a brief video which will be available on our website.
I realize these protocols may seem excessive to some, but in an abundance of caution and with a concern for the common good, as your pastor, I am convinced that at this time, this is the best way to proceed.
If you are over the age of 65 or if you have some health issues, or if you fall into a vulnerable category for some reason, I would hope that you would not register to attend Mass at this time.
As I have mentioned previously, if you would like further information about these protocols or if you have questions or concerns, please contact me at the parish office or send me an email. My contact information is available on our parish website.
For those, who are not able to attend Mass, I also want to reassure you that, going forward, we will continue to livestream our various liturgies and services.
Once we are up and running for daily Mass, and have worked out any kinks in our protocols, we hope to open The Basilica for a public Sunday Mass. We hope to this beginning the first part of August. I will be discussing this with our Parish leadership at a Zoom meeting next week, and will let you know the outcome of that discussion.
As I close today, I ask for your prayers for our staff, our parish leadership, our parish, and our community, that we might be open to the guidance of God’s good Spirit during these challenging times.
Lord, Jesus, your light rises in our darkness and assures us that you are present with us and that your powerful closeness to us transforms our fear into hope.
May we join with our Holy Father, Francis, in spreading a "contagion" of hope "from heart to heart".
Protect all your selfless servants who continue to serve the needs of the most vulnerable by both hands and heart.
Give our elected leaders wisdom of heart in decision-making that the common good of our human family may be achieved and the gift of each person's human dignity respected.
May the fire of love, faith and hope burn within our hearts so that we may give witness to the mystery of your resurrected life among us and within us. Amen.
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