With Labor Day behind us, the beautiful season of Autumn is ready to burst into color. Halloween is on Sunday this year so we have to do something fun and creative. My hope is to eventually add the Noon Mass on Sundays, but am hesitating because we are having a hard time getting people to volunteer to be Lectors or Eucharistic Ministers. The 6:00 pm rarely has anyone sign up. I’m going to have additional training sessions in October for those interested in helping out at liturgy.
In terms of numbers, we are at about 40% of our usual numbers of people who attend Mass. The other parishes are at about 50%, so we are down a bit. Our 10:00 am Mass is very good, almost back to regular attendance but the 6:00 pm Mass is about half it’s normal number. This will be a great time to take a look at Mass times and make adjustments, changing or eliminating masses. Most of the surrounding parishes are eliminating a mass on the weekend. St. Michael’s is eliminating their Sunday evening mass, sending anyone interested to our evening mass on Sunday. St. Josaphat’s will be publicizing our Sunday evening mass time since they do not have one. And since St. Josaphat’s and St Vincent’s have a Saturday evening mass, I do not plan on adding the 5:00pm Saturday mass. The numbers at that mass were quite low, about 60 on average.
I want to maintain the three masses on Sunday, if we get more volunteers and if there is a need. For a Mass to be viable, there needs to be at least 80 or so people. This number is not absolute, just one that seems reasonable. All the Mass times, for both Weekends and Weekdays in the various surrounding parishes, will be published at each parish to better help people as they plan their schedules. On a final note in this regards, I would be open to changing the Sunday evening Mass time to 4:30, 5:00, 5:30, or even later, at 6:30 or 7:00. Keeping it at 6:00 is great if we can get more people to attend. Your thoughts?
I’m planning on adding one daily Mass at 8:00 am on Mondays if there is an interest. Our current Mass on Wednesday mornings has a wonderful attendance of between 10 and 15…usually. This is actually a great number. Most of the neighboring parishes are slightly reducing the number of daily masses.
I’m hoping that as Summer ends and Fall begins, our Sunday attendance will increase significantly, since we are always very low in attendance during Summer, the nature of our parish. And I’m hoping beyond all hope that this pandemic is largely in the rear view mirror by Spring 2022. As the variants keep surfacing, it is imperative that everyone, who is able, be vaccinated. The current reality is having many parents deeply concerned for the health of their children. My heart goes out to all you parents, as you desperately want your child to be at school with friends and engaged in life, learning and having fun… but you want your child as safe and healthy as is possible. The most difficult vocation in the world is being a parent. All I can do is pray for you, as you have to make those difficult decisions regarding the welfare of those little lives you would give your very life for.