Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Mass People Spots Capacity
4 PM 83 61 86%
6 PM 68 52 73%
8 AM 68 55 78%
10 AM 93 70 99%
12 PM 77 60 85%
2 PM 22 18 25%
total 411 316 74%
We had 41 fewer people this past weekend. It looks like six Sunday Masses are sufficient for now. I'll keep giving you the numbers so that you can figure out the best Mass to attend.
We locked the canopy door at the 10 AM Mass but missed filling one spot. Next weekend, we'll be ready for some overflow to sit in the main foyer and outside the main door. When the inside is full, we'll put a sign at the canopy door directing people to the main entrance. With the more moderate temperatures, we can open doors and windows so that people can see and hear while outside. That's what our ancestors did in ancient times when the church was full.
The ushers did a great job directing traffic at the 4 PM Mass. Thank you to everyone for being so cooperative. We're going to do the same thing at the 10 AM Mass which is currently our most popular Mass. For all other Masses, we don't yet need the ushers to direct people while exiting. For all Masses, maintain a six foot distance between households while entering and exiting the church.
We have already started the rosary before daily Mass. We'll try to start at 7:37 AM. We had the Miraculous Medal novena after this morning's Mass and will continue to do so on Mondays.
On Fridays, we'll have a holy hour from 3-4 PM. I'll expose the Blessed Sacrament at 3 PM and offer benediction at 3:50 PM. Loretta will lead the Divine Mercy chaplet in between. I'll be available for confession at my rectory window from about 3:15 PM to 3:45 PM. You don't have to go inside in order to go to confession. Feel free to come just for confession outside.
To satisfy the first Saturday devotion, you could go to confession on the Friday before or the Monday after. We'll say the rosary before Mass on Saturday. You could receive Holy Communion at Mass or outside at the end of Mass.
We're aren't doing group devotions quite the same as before because we're trying to keep our time inside the church to about an hour. So, we're only doing the Divine Mercy chaplet during the weekly holy hour in the afternoon.
The church is open for private prayer from 2-4 PM from Monday through Friday. Note that the weekly holy hour on Friday will be during the second half of the time slot.
Also, we will likely experience some conflicts with parish meetings. Occasionally, there may be a meeting in the parish hall while people are trying to pray in the church.
The Knights of Columbus and St. Vincent de Paul Society usually meet in the evening and should be able to do so again.
I'm waiting to hear back from the Rosarians. We'll need to pick a different time for their meeting in light of the coronavirus and our new schedule. Tentatively, the next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 7th, at 2 PM. It's the feast of the Holy Rosary, a great day for the Rosarians to meet. They may want to meet in the church to pray the rosary. Those coming to pray quietly may want to wait until 3 PM.
Cursillo will meet in the chapel for the first time in October.
I've been brainstorming with a number of people about how best to connect those at home with what's happening in the church, parish hall, and chapel. We already have the means to do so adequately. We can broadcast activities on our YouTube channel or allow people from home to participate via GoToMeeting. We'll likely upgrade our capabilities in the parish hall by installing another livestreaming camera and hanging a large TV on the wall.
We're even beginning to wonder about how to accommodate the larger numbers on Christmas Eve. I figure we need about two months to acquire and install any technology we need. So, we have several weeks to brainstorm before we need to start implementation.
While we are doing these upgrades, we're not just thinking about how to connect with people during the pandemic. We also plan to continue connecting with the homebound after the all clear is given. Even before the lockdown, there were parishioners who would have liked to come to events but just couldn't leave their homes. Now, they can see what's happening and will soon be able to participate in meetings.
God love you,
Fr. Jim O'Neill
on Monday, September 14 at 4:18PM