Pastor’s Piece – May 30, 2021

St. Stephen’s Parish and many supporters from St. Katharine Drexel finished up my anniversary octave with great enthusiasm. It was a great pleasure to be with so many of you. I am so grateful for all your very generous and beautiful expressions of appreciation. It is an honor and pleasure to be your pastor.

Now for the notice that you’ve all been waiting for. From the desk of Fr. Workman, Bishop Burbidge’s wishes:

  • Bishop Burbidge encourages all parishes to return to pre-COVID schedules for Masses, Adoration, and access to the Parish
  • No occupancy limits on Mass attendance
  • No social distancing
  • No disinfecting or cleaning between Masses as expected during the pandemic
  • At the pastor’s discretion, live-streamed Masses may still be offered out of solicitude for the homebound
  •  As for face coverings
    – Fully vaccinated persons no longer need to wear a mask in any setting
    – Unvaccinated persons are encouraged to wear face coverings per Executive Order 79
    – Priests should not inquire into the vaccination status of parishioners
  • Priests should not bar parishioners not wearing masks from entering church buildings or the Mass
  • At this time, Communion should continue under the Precious Body only
  • The use of full Choirs may return to Mass
  • The following liturgical elements that were suspended during the pandemic may now be reintroduced:
    – Holy water
    – Procession
    – Collection
    – Offertory procession
    – The sign of peace (without physical contact between non-family members)

The return to our liturgical Ordinary Time this week gives a whole new meaning and appreciation for ordinary. We’ll not take it for granted.

Christ’s Peace,

Fr. Murphy