We give thanks to Almighty God for your return to Sunday Masses in person this upcoming weekend of June 13-14, the feast of Corpus Christi (the Body and Blood of Christ.) On behalf of our clergy and staff, I joyfully welcome you back to the celebration of the Mass! Most of you have been joining us for our digital ministry these past three months, and continuing with your prayers and support for St. Joseph’s. Due to the ongoing pandemic, there is a dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass until further notice. For those who are concerned about returning to Mass for health reasons, including age, preexisting conditions, or caring for someone whose health could be seriously threatened, you are encouraged to not attend in person at this time and stay connected through our livestream Masses. You are a beloved member of our parish family, so please be assured of my continued prayers as we serve you while you are at home.
For those of us who can return to Mass in person, each of us will be challenged by the needed changes to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. With the help of a special parish committee, made-up of fellow parishioners who are healthcare professionals, our staff has worked hard to implement the safety guidelines from our Diocese and Public Health officials. I ask for your patience and understanding as we do our best to serve you under these present conditions. Please carefully review the enclosed material with all the changes (different Mass times and locations) and our safety protocols. Our humble and obedient response to these changes will help us to grow closer together as a parish family and even grow in our image of Jesus. In the Gospel, Jesus reminds us it is easy to love when things go our way, but the real test of love is to be kind, compassionate, and considerate when we are challenged.
The Mass is the real participation in the one sacrifice our Lord Jesus freely made of Himself on the Cross for our salvation. To grow in our relationship with God, and truly have peace, we need the graces that can only be received in the Sacraments, particularly receiving our Lord Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. I invite you to eagerly look forward to receiving Him again as if it is your 1st Communion! Our joy as disciples and friends of Christ can never be taken way any by any virus! Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, pray for us!
Fr. Sam West, Pastor