Feast of St. Andrew
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
By now we have all become increasingly aware of the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases being reported in Arizona. Our diocese has not been spared, and a number of my brother priests have tested positive to the virus. Due to this rapidly rising number of infections and the reduced hospital capacity to absorb more of the infirm, Bishop Weisenburger has enacted the following directives which I have slightly revised to make them workable for St. Frances Cabrini Parish:
- Sunday Mass. Sunday Mass will continue indoors, but Holy Communion is to be distributed at the end of Mass so that the communicant can exit the church without unduly compromising social distancing. Marty will instruct those attending the indoor Masses how they are to receive Holy Communion. Parishioners will continue to wear masks, social distance and sanitize their hands. During Mass, doors and windows will be opened to allow the circulation of air within the church which seems to aid in reducing the chances of infection. As a reminder, we will continue to follow the guidelines established by the CDC and our Bishop which limit those who are permitted to attend Mass. If you are 65 or older and/or have secondary health issues which increase your susceptibility to infection, I must insist that you only attend the drive-through reception of Holy Communion. Mass times will continue to be at 8:30 a.m. (designated as our Family Mass) and 10:30 a.m. (designated for those 65 years old and older and not having secondary health issues) each Sunday. We will also continue to have the drive-through reception of Holy Communion each Saturday at 5:00 p.m. I must suspend hearing confessions until further notice.
- Parish Offices. All parish offices are to be closed, and office employees will mostly work from home. For Cabrini, office employees will be permitted to come to the office for only a couple of hours per day, but they cannot be there at the same time. We will check voicemail several times a day. Because I live above the office, I must insist that nobody comes to the office as this increases the possibility of me being inadvertently infected. Some folks come by the office with their offertory envelopes. If this is your practice, I must ask you to simply put your envelope through the mail slot in the door.
- Because it is difficult to control the number of people who would attend a funeral, we cannot celebrate a funeral Mass in the church until further notice. Grave-side services are permitted, and a memorial Mass may be celebrated at a future time when gatherings are less restricted.
In his communication with the pastors of the Diocese, Bishop Weisenburger stated that it is his intention to meet with his COVID-19 Committee sometime before the third Sunday of Advent to revisit these directives to determine what modifications can be made for the remainder of the holiday season. Of course, it is his hope, as well as mine, that by instituting the above directives we can help mitigate the spread of the virus. My hope is that each of us will do all that we possibly can to stay safe and healthy.
With sincerest greetings in Christ,