A Note From Fr. Timothy
Mass Schedule Feedback and Updates
Many of you might remember that when we transitioned to the new Mass schedule for our Area Catholic Community, we stated that we would evaluate it after a year and see if any changes were needed. However, in the last year with the presence of COVID-19, social distancing, and the dispensation of the Sunday obligation to attend Mass, we feel that we do not have enough “normal” data to justify any significant adjustments at this time. Hopefully, the number of COVID cases will decline in our diocese and around the world, restrictions will be gradually lifted, and people will begin to feel more comfortable attending Mass in the coming months.
We do still encourage feedback on the Mass schedule from all parishioners. Your feedback will help us identify where issues may be present and begin to formulate possible responses to address those concerns or improve what is working well. There will be several ways to share your observations with the ACC Planning Council. The mailboxes with paper and pens are still located near the entrances of each church location, but we also hope to have a survey available on our ACC website and send out an electronic survey through Flocknote – the phone App that we have been using to send brief daily prayer reminders and reflections.
If you still have not registered for our Flocknote App, you can do so by texting TAOACC to 84576, click on the underlined link and follow the instructions. Or connect online at TAOACC.FLOCKNOTE.COM This app gives us another way to quickly and easily connect to parishioners and make sure we are doing what we can to clearly and effectively communicate about current events. It can also be a great way to foster our faith and call us back to that encounter with Jesus in prayer and sacraments.
Saturday Evening Anticipatory Mass
One of the things on which we have already received feedback is the attendance at the Saturday evening Mass. Part of the desire for the new schedule was to have churches that are more full – to share together as one the joy of our faith in Jesus Christ, and prepare for the declining numbers of priests in our diocese. However, while we are still observing social distancing to keep us safe, the number of people in a “full” church is approximately half of what it used to be.
Many people have now received the COVID vaccine, Mass attendance is rising, and we anticipate (and hope) that attendance will continue to rise. It will likely get more difficult to comfortably fit the Saturday evening Mass attendees in the space while still socially distancing. Since we want to do what we can to ensure that people are comfortable and safe, Fr. LeRoy and I in consultation with the ACC Planning Council decided to add an additional Saturday evening Mass in our ACC. Beginning this week, Saturday April 10th, there will be a Saturday evening Mass at St. Michael’s at 4:30 p.m. and St. Paul’s at 5:30 p.m. It is planned that this revised schedule will only be temporary, lasting through June pending any further changes in COVID restrictions.
Please continue to share your experience and let your voice be heard as we continue in our journey of faith. God has called you to follow Him, and be a leader and witness to others.
Fr. Timothy Gapinski