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Thoughts on returning to worship

Dear Friends and Parishioners,

What a joy to receive the memo from Bishop Malesic about returning to familiar liturgical practices that ceased to exist in March 2020 when the pandemic broke out! For some, however, this joyful news accompanies apprehension about returning to Mass after being in their homes for over a year.

This is why we will gradually implement our return to “normal” practices. Parishioners and visitors will begin to see changes occur the weekend of June 5-6 and during the following weeks. We will continue to keep safety our highest priority.

I am grateful to the women and men of our parish who are reflecting with me on some of the steps we need to take in order to honor individuals who are apprehensive about returning while we move forward during this transition. I am also grateful to those in the health community who are advising us as we make these decisions together.

In recent weeks, I have been asked about the moral implication between choosing to be vaccinated and choosing not to be vaccinated. While the vaccination is strongly encouraged by Church officials and others who identify this as an act of justice and charity, every individual’s decision is a personal matter. We have been told, at least for today, that those who have been vaccinated have a much lower chance of becoming seriously ill or spreading the coronavirus to others. Those who are not vaccinated are advised to continue wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. Everybody should still be practicing good hygiene including the sanitizing of their hands. Clearly, one’s decision about vaccination will dictate a set of behavioral standards to ensure his or her safety and the safety of others.

In order to respect the diverse approaches to the vaccine within our parish family, we are attempting a balanced approach to our liturgical practices in order to welcome everyone who participates. The main objective is to create an environment where one can come to fulfill his or her Christian obligation to offer worship. Again, many thanks for your continued commitment, patience, and perseverance during these challenging times.

Sincerely yours in the Most Holy Trinity,

Fr. Gurnick