Happy End-of-the-year to you all.  I’ve got some important news with respect to the upcoming Masses of the Solemnity of Saint Mary (Dec 31st and Jan 1st) and the weekend of Jan 2nd and 3rd.

While spending Christmas Day with immediate family, I was in close contact with at least one person with COVID-19.  He was confirmed positive on Monday night.  At that time, I went into formal quarantine and got tested on Tuesday morning.  I was informed on Wednesday that I have tested positive.

The church and offices have been deep-cleaned and I have been told that my office will smell of cleaning supplies for a whole month.  After updating the staff, I reached out to Bishop Schuerman to assist in my absence.  The bishop generously agreed to take all masses from Dec. 31st to Jan 3rd.

After discussing matters with the staff, we have agreed that we need to do all that we can to protect the people’s and the bishop’s health and safety as he offers himself for the sake of our parish.  At this time, please consider all future Masses to be “100% masks 100% of the time” Masses, as we had for Christmas Eve at Sacred Heart and on Christmas Day at Saint Matthew’s.

I don’t make this decision lightly.  Our parish is remarkably split on this issue, and it is simply impossible to institute a policy that meets everyone’s needs at the same time.  This increase of mask enforcement is being made because Bishop Schuerman is our guest, and we owe him all the hospitality that we can possibly manage.  In this current situation of the pandemic, that hospitality revolves around the protection of his continued health.  Thank you all for your understanding in this matter.  If you make it to church in the next four days, please enjoy the Masses with the bishop and be sure to express your gratitude to him if you happen to get the chance!

-Father Justin