The situation around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is constantly unfolding in our country, our community and here in our Parish. Even though we vigorously disinfect all common areas of the parish, a growing number of parish staff and clergy have tested positive for the coronavirus. I have been in constant communication with the Diocese, our regional Bishop, as well as the Department of Public Health for proper guidance. However, since this past Monday the number of parish staff members and clergy testing positive for the coronavirus has continued to grow. I have been advised that the parish is in need of significant disruption to the spread of the coronavirus; otherwise we put more people at risk. Sadly, I must cancel the celebration of the Holy Triduum and Easter Masses. I do not make this decision lightly as it comes during the most sacred and meaningful time in the Church's calendar, Easter. My heart is broken by this news. Yet, as we consider how this sacrifice disrupts the plans all of us have made; I am struck by how it can help so many.
As we all know this virus does not discriminate who it infects, but it is especially severe to our aging parishioners, pregnant women, and those with heart, lung, and immune conditions. As a multi-generational congregation, our parish has many who would fall in these categories. However, I see this as more than just a way to protect the people within our church family. We extend this care to those who may be coming to our parish for Easter as visitors within our town and neighboring communities, especially as they return home...wherever home may be. I must protect both those in our HOME and in our neighborHOOD.
It is for these reasons we have been advised to suspend all gatherings and masses immediately effective Wednesday night 31MAR21 until 10APR21. All Mass intentions during this time will be remembered in private Masses. Please call the parish office on 12APR21 to reschedule any mass intention. We must do our part in stopping the transmission of this virus and protect those populations within our Church and our community who are most vulnerable to its effects. I will live stream the Triduum and our Mass for Easter as well as have our Easter Mass available on our local cable channel. As we receive more information from both the Diocese and the State, we will post updates on our website, through social media, and from the parish office.
Please keep all who are infected with the coronavirus in your prayers during Easter and please know I will keep each one of you in my rosary during this time ! May God Bless you all !