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May 1, 2020
Dear Friends:

The past several weeks have been a great trial for our world and for our communities as we cope with the hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  In addition to the great suffering of the sick and dying, many have struggled with isolation, financial hardship, and other stresses.  

I am aware that for you, our dear parishioners, this hardship has been compounded by the inability to gather for the Eucharistic celebration and the suspension of celebrating the sacraments, and even not being able to just come to our church or mausoleum to pray.  

On one hand, we know that closing our churches and other buildings to the public has been necessary for the safeguarding of public health, and we must continue to be mindful of the advice of governmental authorities.  At the same time, we all yearn for access to the spiritual strength and nourishment of the sacraments after enduring so many weeks of stay-at-home orders.

I am happy to report, albeit with caution, that we are approaching the time to look forward to how our parish can prudently resume some of its essential activities. I am aware that Cardinal Tobin and our Archdiocesan officials have been meeting in order to discuss what will be a phased reopening, that no doubt, will be in-sync with the reopening of the State.

At this point, while I have no specifics, please know that our staff has begun preparations to allow for the reopening of our parish "in a controlled manner."  Again, while we have received no specific directions or guidelines, I am presuming that respecting and complying with social distancing and sanitary requirements will be paramount.  This may include some particular changes to "the way we've always done it."  We are still in strange and uncharted territory.

To that end, proactively, I ask for your patience and cooperation with us as we work to provide for your spiritual needs, while taking the necessary precautions to protect you, our staff and the common good.  I would further ask that you be collaborative with us when we roll out the plan, as we will likely need a lot of help from many volunteers to make all of this possible.

As we await the green light and direction from Cardinal Tobin, please know that even after the reopening we will continue to livestream our masses so that those who may not be able or ready to return may still participate in our celebrations virtually.  Know also that as soon as it is possible, and safe, we will schedule the opportunity for confessions to unleash the sacramental grace that awaits us.

Until then, let's remain united in prayer for one another and especially for those on the front lines, who continue to work and put themselves in harm’s way for the provision of the welfare of all of us. And on this Feast Day of Saint Joseph the Worker, patron of workers and the dying, we ask his intercession to help those who are unemployed and to comfort those, who given the restrictions, were not able to be with their loved ones at the hour of death.  

Should you have any particular questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Blessings!

Fr Bob

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