Note: This column originally appeared in the November 8 bulletin. Please take a minute to answer our one-question survey regarding Sunday evening Mass times.
A couple weeks ago, I spoke to Archbishop Hebda about the Installation Mass scheduled for last Sunday at 10:30 AM. I told him that at St. Michael, we are seeing more and more people returning to Mass (praise God!). Even without the added attraction of the archbishop presiding, our 10:30 AM Masses are already over our COVID capacity.
This parish is blessed with a fearless faith, but we are still in the midst of a pandemic. With the coronavirus continuing to spread and flu season upon us, we agreed to postpone my official installation. The archbishop also urged me to think creatively about how to manage attendance at the Masses.
Of course, we don’t want to turn people away at the doors—our goal is still to enable as many people to come to Mass, as safely as possible. To that end, on the first weekend of December we are adding an additional Sunday Mass and implementing a new Mass schedule. Beginning December 5-6, the Mass schedule will be as follows:
- Saturday at 5 PM
- Sunday at 7:30 AM
- Sunday at 9 AM
- Sunday at 11 AM
- Sunday at 6 PM
Based on recent Mass counts, the extra Mass should enable everyone to attend safely within archdiocesan parameters, as long as our Sunday morning Mass-goers distribute themselves across the three new Mass times. I also urge people to consider attending the Saturday evening Mass, which has our lowest attendance. Please do not shift your attendance to St. Albert, as their smaller church already struggles to accommodate their own parishioners.
I have also noticed that fewer parishioners are wearing masks at Mass. We have again been asked by Archbishop Hebda to “mask up,” and we have people in our community who are not coming to Mass because so few people are masking. It is a sacrifice, but worthwhile, to help our brothers and sisters return to the altar and the sacraments. Please wear a mask at Mass unless you are medically unable to do so.
More people, more Masses…God is good!
Fr. Brian Park, pastor