We find ourselves on the threshold of another school year – albeit a school year that will look nothing like what any of us have ever experienced before. Our prayers certainly go to our teachers, our catechists in our school and religious education program as they begin this new year. Both our school and religious education staff have done their very best to navigate these challenging waters and to, hopefully, start the new year off as best as we can. I want to publicly thank them, this has been an incredibly stressful time behind the scenes in the midst of constantly shifting guidance, new ways of doing things that need to be thought through, as well as doing their best to answer questions as they come in. We owe them all a very large debt of gratitude for what they have done.
I wanted to inform you of a few changes as we begin the month of September:
· Our parish offices now have the green light to open once again, for the first time since mid-March. I appreciate your patience as we have tried to conduct operations via e-mail and over the phone and, even as our offices open to the public once again, we have to be mindful of the time we are living in and how to go about doing things in new ways. Our parish offices will have slightly reduced hours as they begin to reopen, so the parish offices will be open:
- Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 – 3:30
- Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 8:30 – 12:00
We are still going to try and limit the amount of foot traffic coming in and out of the office, so can I ask you to consider the following when deciding whether or not to come in person? The first is to see if the business can be conducted via the phone, e-mail or our parish website – if it can be accomplished in that manner, it would be of great assistance that those methods take precedence over an in-person visit. Secondly, if something needs to be dropped off, the mail slot can be used twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Thirdly, if something needs to be picked up, we will have a designated area outside where the item can be conveniently picked up. Finally, if the business can not be accomplished in any of those ways, then please feel free to come in person. We are going to try and limit the reception area to one person at a time rather than a line forming, as we have very little space. Thank you for your understanding and conscientiousness.
· In light of what we have learned over these past few months, we will be adding some new features to our parish website over the coming weeks that will allow people to request Mass Intentions, request to schedule a Baptism, register for the parish, etc. We hope this makes things more convenient for people.
· With the beginning of the new school year, we are going to be returning our daily Mass schedule to its usual make-up. Masses will be celebrated at 6:30am Monday – Friday and on Saturdays at 8am. We will have school Masses on Tuesdays and Fridays, however, at least at the beginning of the school year, we are going to ask that they be kept for the school students only. I know this is an inconvenience and a sacrifice, but it helps us with distancing the children and using all the space we have.
· In light of this return to our usual daily Mass schedule, we will be shifting Confession times – Confessions will be heard on Wednesday mornings at 7am, Fridays 2-5pm and Saturdays at 8:30am.
· For the month of September we anticipate keeping the same Saturday/Sunday Mass times.
If any other changes are made, we will let you know as swiftly as we can!