This year’s July 4th celebration was somewhat somber given the overcast weather and the ongoing Pandemic. The town had fewer visitors. The excitement of the weekend was missing but it does indicate that people in our state are taking the virus seriously and limiting their travel plans. The numbers of folks attending Mass inside the Church remains the same, while the drive-in Mass is always full. The duration of our Masses averages 22-25 minutes, which of course leaves little room for someone to come in late to Mass.

We are very blessed to have so many people attending the drive-in Mass, while all are not parishioners of St Ann by the Sea, a few are from other areas. I want to thank each of you for making a weekly offering; whether it was made via a check or by online giving, we are working at keeping track of your weekly offering in order that we might provide you with a tax receipt at the end of the year. You will from time to time receive a letter from us; it might be a fundraising letter, such as the upcoming Grand Annual. If you’re able to help it’s greatly appreciated but if not, please file it in your circular file! I know it may be a small bother, and if it becomes annoying please drop a line to us and we will do our best to make sure no further letters get to you. Thanks to the Knights of Columbus, our Eucharistic Ministers and Lectors and other volunteers who have helped us make the Drive-In Mass operational.

We have sent a letter to the parents of our First Communicants suggesting a date for the middle of September. The summer is quite hot and getting family members together may be difficult given travel plans and vacations. Also, we are still waiting to hear from the Archdiocese to see if we will be able to hold classes within the hall. Hope to use the hall along with remote learning.

This weekend we launch our Grand Annual Appeal (not to be confused with letters you might receive from the Archdiocese of the Catholic Appeal).

The Grand Annual Funds go entirely to the parish while the Catholic Appeal goes to the Archdiocese and this year I don’t expect any rebate from them. So please consider prioritizing the GRAND ANNUAL DRIVE. I am sending out letters which contain the regular orange pledge card and I would ask you to return at Mass, through the mail or you can drop it off at the rectory. The proceeds of this year’s drive need to go to the much neglected parish hall. I am preparing a video so that you can see the great deal of work needed. Catherine Rein, Joe Cochrane and I have been cleaning out the hall, including filling two dumpsters and several trips to the dump. We have thrown out all the old fabric chairs (we have 150 new folding chairs and a dozen new tables with stands), several desks and tables. We have cleaned out the store room and will be adding new shelving. The goal is to clear the main hall of all materials for easier disinfecting. The classroom windows are falling out of the fittings, the doors have to be replaced due to severe rust and expansion issues; we also need to make repairs to the shingles on the roof and repair the interior damage. The windows will exceed $20K, the doors $10K, the roof and repairs could fall around $8k. Lastly we also need to replace the electrical boxes and service in the church at a price tag of $10K. We also need to set aside some reserve to replace the roof next year spring. Your support of this campaign is critical for the future of the parish and we can’t delay addressing the hall any longer. Thanks for the help and prayers.

Fr.  John F. Carmichael, Pastor