My Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
This past weekend I shared several important pieces of information with you at the two Sunday masses. I believe it is important to also share the information in writing for the sake of clarity and to dispel any rumors.
First of all, Fr. Balaswamy (“Fr. Bala”) Kommathoti has been named to succeed me when I retire on June 30, 2021. Fr. Bala has been one of the associate pastors at Sts. Peter and Paul and will continue to be in residence there at least for the foreseeable future. This is public knowledge as of yesterday when Bishop Weisenburger released notification of priests’ retirement and new assignments. Father is appointed as “administrator” of St. Frances Cabrini Parish. This means that he will have almost all of the rights and responsibilities of a pastor. He will celebrate Mass, administer the other sacraments, and will be in charge of the administration of the parish.
I also shared information regarding changes in Mass protocols. Starting this Sunday, May 23, and going forward, the various protocols that have been in place due to the pandemic are being eased. Those who are fully vaccinated and wish to attend one of the two Masses on Sundays (8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.) will no longer need to wear face masks nor observe the six-foot social distancing requirement. The Eucharist will be distributed at the traditional time during the Mass rather than outside at its conclusion. We will continue to receive the Body of Christ in the hand. Reception of the Blood of Christ will still be limited to the presiding priest and deacon. The yellow caution tape that was put in place for social distancing will be removed from every-other row of seats. The tape will be kept in place in the remaining rows as they will be used by the Eucharistic Ministers to distribute Holy Communion. Holy water will not be back in use for the foreseeable future. Collection baskets for your monetary offerings will continue to be placed at the two west-side doors to receive your offerings. You will no longer have to wait for one of the Hospitality Ministers to seat you; just come in and find your seats in one of the open rows of seats. For those who, while fully vaccinated, would feel more comfortable continuing to wear a mask during the Mass, you are more than welcome to continue to do so.
Finally, starting Saturday, May 29, at 3:30 p.m., I will be adding an in-person Mass. This Mass is for those who aren’t fully vaccinated and/or are uncomfortable with a lack of social distancing. All of the protocols which we have been observing (wearing of face masks, social distancing of at least six feet, etc.) will continue to be in place for this Mass. Holy Communion will be distributed at the traditional time during the Mass and will be the Body of Christ only – received in the hand only. Your monetary offerings may be placed in one of the two baskets at the west-side doors. Following the Mass, at 5:00 p.m., I will continue the drive-through reception of Holy Communion outside the west patio for those who wish to continue to receive the Eucharist in this manner.
As you have seen, these are very fluid times and situations, but I am trying as best as I can to make sure the needs of our community are being as fully met as possible. Please, let’s all try to be as patient and flexible as possible in these days as we begin to emerge from what has been a very difficult time for us all. I continue to entrust myself to the power of your loving prayers on my behalf. My prayers for all of you are constant.
As always, if you have any questions, I will try to answer them as fully as possible. You can always call the office to speak to me if I’m available. Otherwise, leave a message with your name and phone number. I will make every effort to get back with you as soon as possible. You also have access to me via email: email@example.com.
With prayers for your peace,