August 14, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Happy Feast Day! This weekend we celebrate the patroness of our Parish, Mary of the Assumption. Due to the COVID-19, we are not having a Parish picnic, but we can still celebrate with our families at home this weekend. You might consider celebrating by praying the Rosary together as a family and having a nice meal with a good dessert. If you have an image of Our Lady, perhaps you could place flowers before her, or light a candle as you honor her and offer up to her your intentions. I pray that you all have a wonderful Feast Day weekend.
Just a few other things that I would like to remind everyone about:
- Beginning on the 15th of August, the Feast Day of the Assumption, there is a 54 day Rosary Novena that goes all the way to October 7th, the Feast Day of the Holy Rosary. This Novena is being prayed around the country by thousands of others for the petition of God’s peace and blessing in our country as we approach the election. The first 27 days we pray a rosary for the intention of God’s peace and blessing surrounding our upcoming election, then the next 27 days we pray in thanksgiving that the Lord has answered our prayer. We start tomorrow, August 15th with the Joyful Mysteries. Every three days you repeat the same cycle; the first day pray the Joyful Mysteries, the second day pray the Sorrowful Mysteries, the Third Day pray the Glorious Mysteries. Then repeat the cycle. You can find our more details about the Novena and sign up for reminders at this website: https://queenofpeacemedia.com/fifty-four-day-novena.
- Next I want to thank everyone for your continued patience as we wade through COVID-19 regulations for Mass. As expected there have been many changes since we first reopened and I want to reiterate what the Bishop is asking for us to do at this time. Per the governor’s mandates for enclosed buildings, all are expected to wear masks above the age of 5. Those who have medical conditions that prohibit masks will still be allowed to participate in the Mass. We know this is inconvenient, difficult, and no one likes wearing them, however, the Bishop has been very clear that we are to follow this mandate. Again, thank you for your patience. For the outdoor Mass there is lots of room to social distance with no need to wear a mask.
- We are still only allowed 25% capacity, but do have overflow seating in the Parish hall.
- The Bishop has also asked that the congregation not sing at the indoor Masses. This is incredibly hard for me, because the Mass is meant to be sung. As of right now there is a little more leeway for the outdoor Mass, so you will hear me sing a little more. All music and singing for the indoor Masses will be done by the Cantor. This weekend you will hear Marian hymns that you may know being sung because it is our Feast Day. Please feel free to hum along and sing like crazy in your heart, but please let the cantor’s voice only be heard. I am begging God to make this all go away. It’s like a bad dream that no one can wake up from, but obedience to the Bishop is a much more pleasing song to God.
- We are still distributing Communion at the end of Mass for the two indoor weekend Masses. For the weekday Masses and the 11:00 am outdoor Mass we have reinserted Communion in its normal place within Mass. We will bring Communion out into the hallway after the 4pm Mass on Saturday for anyone who has participated in Mass on the TV, but would still like to receive Communion. Some people have begun to come in at the end of Mass and wait until the end of the line, you are welcome to do that, but I will still bring communion to the doors near the Parish hall for anyone who is still not comfortable entering the building.
- I would like to encourage those who have not been present at Masses yet to venture out to participate in Mass.Full participation does mean being physically present in the church. I know many of you have very noble reasons for not coming, but I would just encourage you to consider that the weekday Masses are also available, they are much shorter and are much less attended. Windows are open, fans are going, masks are worn, sanitizer is all over the place, church cleaning and sanitizing happens at least once every day as well as in between services, and you will be able to comfortably social distance. I personally believe that these are dark times and that we absolutely need to stay close to Jesus in the Sacraments. I also believe that the devil will use this pandemic to sweep people away from the practice of the faith if we are not vigilant. We are making every effort to make everyone feel able to come, if there is something more that we can do to assist you, please make that known to us. We want everyone to be receiving Jesus and participating fully in His life of grace.
- As we are approaching the month of September, which is traditionally dedicated to the Seven Sorrows of Mary, I would like to declare September a month dedicated to Repentance for all of the sorrows that we have caused Our Lord and Our Lady. Throughout the month I will be offering more hours of confession and will also be offering confessions in various locations to accommodate everyone’s needs. I will offer them outside, in a conducive location, as well as begin offering them in a much larger and more well ventilated space.
- Lastly a BIG THANK YOU! Thank you for your patience in all of this and your prayers. I also want to personally thank our staff for the extra time and effort they have been putting in to make things happen. Thank you to all of those who have volunteered to help with cleaning after Mass. Thank you to Buday’s Sound Advice for helping us with the Live Streaming of the Mass and the outdoor Mass sound equipment. Thank you to Annie Joy who has taken on the head sacristan duties and keeps us running smoothly. Thank you to all our Sacristans and Altar Servers who have to put in extra time to help with set up and clean up. Thank you to the ushers for directing the flow of the Mass and for helping us implement all the changes. Thank you to everyone who has continued to support us financially during this difficult time. Thank you to all of you who are using this opportunity to make sacrifices and to offer up more prayers for our Church, our School, and our community. A huge thank you to Kathleen Dvoracek who has put in hours and hours of extra time to make sure we have a good plan in place for the reopening of the School. Lastly, all thanks be to God for keeping our Parish safe and healthy. I still am not aware of any diagnosed cases of COVID-19 among our parish members.
So, blessings to all of you. Be safe, May God keep you in good health, and please be assured of my prayers.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Peter Wigton