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Pastor's Letter for the June 7, 2020 bulletin

Pastor’s Letter for the June 7, 2020 bulletin

What did we learn from last weekend’s first public Sunday Masses?

To me it was interesting to see that we had basically the same number of people at all 4 of our weekend Masses: 60 at the 5:00 p.m. Mass on Saturday, 70 at the 8:00 a.m. Mass at St. Benedict, 58 at the 10:30 a.m. Mass at St. Benedict and 50 at our 12:15 p.m. Mass at Sts. Peter & Paul. These numbers mean we had about 25% of capacity in attendance; we are allowed up to 50%.

Many people contacted me to say that they were at least waiting to see how many attended and how full the churches were for the weekend Masses. Probably 95% of those who attended brought and wore their own masks or bandanas (we will continue to have masks available – thanks to several parishioners – in case anyone needs one).

Two suggestions have emerged both from our own parishioners and from folks in the Diocese of Columbus: if anyone is concerned about us getting closer to our allowed capacity, please note that our daily Masses have been averaging now ~20 people, with plenty of space to spread out. You might consider attending a daily Mass during the week, such as our 8:30 a.m. Mass on Saturday if you would like to attend a Mass over the weekend. In the Diocese of Columbus, some parishes have designated a specific Mass during the week as especially for older parishioners, something for us to consider, too.

I’m posting this letter earlier this weekend (I apologize for the late email of last weekend’s bulletin, sent on Thursday of this week!) so that perhaps some of you can see Deacon Jeremiah’s ordination on Friday evening, June 5th at 5:00 p.m. They are hoping to live-stream the ordination at the Diocese of Steubenville Vocations Office’s Facebook page. If you have access to Facebook, try searching for “DSvocations” to find their page. If you cannot watch the ordination live, they hope to maintain that video there for a while.

Father Nicholas Ward’s priesthood ordination was very beautiful and very prayerful. His first assignment is at the parishes in Wintersville. We will announce his Mass of Thanksgiving here as soon as that information is available.

Thank you for the Ordination Anniversary card shower! I received a number of very creative cards with meaningful messages. I truly have been blessed with an exceptional experience of priesthood over these past 20 years. I never even imagined so many of the almost daily signs of the Lord’s activity that I have experienced. My experience has been that priestly ministry is one of those best-kept secrets – not always simple, or easy, but certainly filled with experiences of the graces and presence of God. Thank you, again, for your prayers and support.

May the Lord keep us protected and healthy and, as always, well prepared for the gift of eternal life!