I hope that you are doing well. Thank you again for all of your prayers and concern this past week, regarding the Coronavirus situation. The clergy continue to improve. I am taking a few extra days of quarantene just to be absolutely certain that any possibility of transmitting the virus is gone and people can feel comfortable around me, but I should be back in action very soon. I hope the others will be in a similar situation soon.
In the meantime, I wanted to update you on the plan to return to Mass here at Saint Timothy’s and offer some additional information. First, most imminently, there will continue to be no Masses or confessions or live-streamed Mass at Saint Timothy’s this weekend. Once again, click here for the full listing of possibilities from the Archdiocese. Of perhaps special note, Father Matthew Northenscold, who is from Maple Lake and Saint Timothy’s, will celebrate his last Mass as the parochial vicar at Our Lady of Grace in Edina at 9:30 A.M. if perhaps you would like to pray with him. You can access the live-stream here.
I know that you are all very eager to come back to church and receive the Eucharist. I am very eager to celebrate the Mass with all of you and see all of you as well. It was unfortunate timing that we all contracted the virus when we did, when we could be celebrating public Masses with all of you as soon as this weekend.
I’m grateful to Karrie Weber who has been working very hard behind the scenes on the “Return to Mass” plan here at Saint Timothy’s, which is a plan to implement the guidelines of the Archdiocese, the CDC, and civil officials here at Saint Timothy’s as we come back to church. Please click the link below “Return to Mass Plan-summary” to read a summary of that plan and what church will look like going forward, during this pandemic.
Return to Mass Plan-summary
It will be different than what you are used to doing, but we want to make sure that we are keeping all of you as safe as possible, as best as possible, while also offering the sacraments and Mass for those who would like to participate and feel safe enough to do so. We hope to communicate more about this in the days ahead but wanted at least to give you the general plan now.
While it was not surprising in one sense, given how much we have all heard about the virus and its contagious properties, it became very real to us personally or experientially how contagious it is these last few weeks. We really were trying our best to keep the virus from spreading and still became infected, along with others who were also trying to be careful. Regardless, we would have been as safe as possible, but it became all the more personally apparent how quickly this virus can spread, so we want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to limit its spread out of love for you and your families and our community. At the same time, I know many of you are eager to receive the sacraments and we want to offer those to you in the safest way possible. Please feel comfortable staying at home, however, and do not feel in any way obliged to come to Mass during this time.
Next Weekend – Parking Lot Mass, Livestream, and More?
We are excited to announce that we will be having a parking lot Mass, beginning on Sunday, June 7th at noon. Thank you Tricia Manuel for all of her work behind the scenes to help get this up and running, among other wonderful volunteers and helpers. We will have more information for you soon about this, but this would be a Mass that people could attend from their cars for those who are of vulnerable health or age to the virus or otherwise don’t feel comfortable coming inside to church yet for fear perhaps of spreading the virus to others. We know that live-streamed Masses are not ideal, so this would be one step closer to being “in church” and praying with others. It, of course, is not a long-term substitute for a Mass in the church itself, as it is much more difficult to concentrate and pray from cars and being separated from others in that way, among other reasons, but we are hopeful it may be a better option than live-streaming for those who may not want or be able to come to the church building itself yet. We hope to have this Mass every Sunday at noon for the foreseeable future during this pandemic.
We will also continue to live-stream the 10:00 A.M. Mass on Facebook for those who may be homebound or find it easier to pray in the comfort of their homes. That will continue next weekend. Again, live-streaming this weekend is suspended temporarily.
I am hopeful that we will have enough clergy healthy and ready to go by next weekend, along with the personnel to implement the guidelines, to have the limited return to public Masses as well. However, I cannot guarantee anything at this time, as the clergy continue to strive to get better. Certainly, however, I can say that we will have the noon parking lot Mass and the 10:00 A.M. Live-streamed Mass next weekend.
As a reminder, it will also unfortunately be Father Andrew’s last weekend at both parishes.
I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions.
God bless all of you and I look forward to celebrating the Masses with you soon.