Over these last four months, we have yearned for the time when we can again celebrate the Eucharist together in our church. After a process of discernment and prayer and benefiting from the hard work and wise counsel of my fellow Jesuits, our staff members, and members of the Parish’s COVID-19 Task Force, I am now ready to open the main church for Eucharistic liturgies on an experimental basis. Our first Mass will be on the Feast of St. Ignatius, July 31 at 9am. More details will be forthcoming in this afternoon's eLetter. Please pray for the success of our efforts.
We have cautiously approached decisions on whether to open the church and begin liturgies as a community effort to protect one another. Cura personalis is our guiding principle. Both as a public health principle and as a teaching of Christ, we must take care to protect our fellow parishioners and the larger community in which we live. By taking steps to protect each other as we will be doing in our cautious opening, we reduce the risk to our parishioners and to the community at large. We will modify course whenever prudent as the medical science improves and our ability to blunt the risks of infection increases. We are being guided by the recommendations of experts and not being swayed by the pressure of what others are saying or doing.
God understands how much this slow pace grieves us. I pray we will be able to remain open to God’s comforting love even if we decide not to enter the church building despite the safety measures we are putting into place. I am confident that God understands and approves of our caution. A dispensation from the diocesan Bishop continues to release Catholics from fulfilling their Sunday obligation (Mass).