From previous communiques, you know that I presided at Mass yesterday. Four others besides Robert and I were present and we observed safety measures including hand-sanitizing, no hand-holding at the Our Father or hugging at the “Kiss of Peace.” We also dispensed with the cup for wine at communion and used social distancing somewhat as far as sitting close to others.
Even though no one was unwell within our gathering, I feel that it is time to stop gathering for liturgy as a measure to keep us all safe for a certain amount of time. Social distancing seems to be the method to choice being applied within our schools, nursing homes and the hospital and a wise choice I feel.
My suggestion to our board was that we suspend Masses for two weeks, bringing us to Palm Sunday and then we can reassess from there–most have weighed in and are all in agreement with this plan. We are in a very fluid situation and just have to take things almost a day at a time.
I will continue to do homilies for the weeks that we will miss gathering as a group and try to be in contact with you in other ways. Please give me a call (507) 429-3616, or email, firstname.lastname@example.org if you are experiencing any unmet needs due to illness.
Our Interfaith Group in town is meeting via Zoom today to brainstorm about ways that we can, as faith communities, assist those in need who may be quarantined due to the coronavirus.
In the meantime, let us pray for each other and do all that we can to stay safe. There may be opportunities for our parish to assist financially the city-wide efforts to care for our community–I will keep you posted as I hear more.
Peace and love and all other blessings,