Pastor's Corner 5-10-20

Pastor's Corner
May 10, 2020

We do not know whether we will begin Phase One of the reopening May 16th or later. Ohio announced a few days ago that their reopening will begin May 29th. They are hoping, as am I, to have Mass in church for Pentecost, May 30/31. If the authorities tell us we can only have ten people at a time, it might not be worth doing! It will be especially irksome if a small storefront church can have ten and our large church can only have the same number. Wisconsin is opening at 25% church seating capacity. That’d be about 300 here. At this point it is idle speculation. Since things in Ohio might still be partially shut down in mid-June, I am cancelling my trip. The airline is allowing one to cancel without a fee. One can book a new flight departing any time within 24 months. 

My first move will be the RCIA initiations—even if done one at a time, we will move as rapidly as possible. With ample priests and two sanctuaries, we can move twice as fast! 

We are hoping to have First Holy Communion July 7 and 9, Tuesday and Thursday, in the evening after a Jesus Day in the afternoon for the children. Confirmations and baptisms are still unplanned. The bishop has delegated me to confirm here this year, but I am quite sure it will have to be after June 1 and 2, the originally scheduled dates. I might get surprised by an earlier opening that will still allow the beginning of June confirmations. Again, it is a matter of waiting. No amount of fretting will hurry the decision along. 

We have a scheduling nightmare with postponed weddings and Quinceañeras! On November 2nd, All Souls Day, I plan to do more than we usually do because so many families only got a simple graveside burial for their loved one during this time. There are so many, I doubt that we can schedule that many personal memorial Masses in a short time. All Souls is the perfect time to gather in the parish to remember our beloved dead. Depending on how our priest staffing turns out for next year, we might have to change our Quinceañera policy. 

Great news arrived this morning! We got our SMA loan. We can put everyone back to work for their usual hours. It is 2.5 times our average monthly payroll and can also be used for utilities. The loan will be forgiven by calling all staff back to their normal work load. By the way, all regular employees, including we priests, had taken a 20% cut in pay during this time. 

You folks have been MOST GENEROUS AND FAITHFUL in your financial contributions to the parish. This is a great blessing to me once again Thank you for supporting or parish during lockdown. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Keep it up.

Yours in the Risen Lord,    
Fr. Leo A. Dechant, CSJ