Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

With this weekend marking our annual parish picnic, I am sure many feel the sting of yet one more event being cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19. This comes at a time when parents are wondering about the new academic year or fall sports. And Major League Baseball? Who knows how the rest of the season will go?

Parish life continues. Liturgies will continue as long as we are able to safely bring folks together. Live-streaming will commence soon so our friends at home can join us. Innovative planning for PSR is coming together. Our charity outreach is picking up. And we continue to discover ways of staying connected.

Speaking of staying connected, I hope that your family received our special mailing and had the opportunity to return the form requesting your email (for weekly updates) and cell phone number (for urgent messaging only), and asking if you would like to have a physical copy of the seasonal missalette sent home to you. If you haven’t received this form, please contact the rectory at 216-631-6872 (Monday-Friday, 9:00am-4:30pm).

For those who are still deciding when it is the right time to safely return to public worship, I want to assure our parishioners and friends that we continue to observe strict policies and procedures here at Saint Patrick. We require masks and hand disinfectant upon entering the church, safe distancing in our seating, a careful method for holy Communion, and a procedure for exiting at the conclusion of Mass.

Many of our parishioners are unable to come because of health or age or because they live with someone who is in this at-risk group. I urge you to stay home for the time being. On the other hand, I want to encourage those who are not attending Mass but are seen in other social gatherings, large or small. My hope is that we have not become too comfortable with the stay-at-home option, especially if we are comfortable with attending other events. I suspect that very few activities will be as safe as coming to Mass at Saint Patrick.

Of course, every Catholic must make a decision and I will be the first to honor that choice. The feedback we’re receiving is that we have a safe environment to worship, and I want to make sure that we are being nourished with the gift of the holy Eucharist. If Sundays feel a bit “crowded,” always feel free to come to Mass on Mondays or Wednesdays at 5:30pm.

While we are grappling with the best schedule for confessions, I encourage our parishioners to contact Father Hollis or me if you would like to celebrate this sacrament.

Finally, I thank all of our parishioners and friends who are helping to keep our liturgical and pastoral life moving along. This gratitude is extended to our liturgical ministers, our team who disinfects and cleans, and everyone else who sees to the support and care of our parish community—thank you!

Although we aren’t physically gathering for a parish picnic this weekend I invite you to grill some hot dogs, hamburgers, or veggie burgers this afternoon as we support one another with our parish picnic in spirit

Joyfully yours in Christ,

Fr Gurnick Signature