Writing my bulletin column around the holidays is awfully tricky. As an example, this week’s column is being written the Monday before Christmas, while the last two columns were written two weeks prior, due to the printer’s requirements. That means some of our information is not as current as we would like, i.e. collection totals, etc.

I want to thank all our volunteers for helping me through these significant liturgical celebrations. I also appreciate all the Christmas cards, well wishes and gifts that so many sent my way. It has been a great Christmas and I want to thank, in a particular way, all the members of the Art and Environment Committee who decorated the Church and Chapel. The Chapel itself was decorated by 15-year old Charlotte Stafford and her mom Sharon. Can’t wait to see what they do with the space for Easter! May that day come like tomorrow.

The parish office has reopened and the hours are Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00am-2:00pm. Please call the office if you need something from us and are unable to get here during those hours. You can also access information on our website and through email: info@stanns.net or father.carmichael@usa.net. With the new state guidelines we are trying to keep everyone safe, and please bear in mind the rectory offices are rather small as is the 3-season porch. I can still hear Confessions, and would suggest we do so car to car as we have during “This Light is on for you’ Wednesday night confessions. I will resume that practice during Lent. Outside of that time, please call and make an appointment. Thanks.

As many of you are aware the state has implemented stronger safety standards and has reduced the capacity at Churches to 25%. With our present numbers we still fall below that number, and have the added benefit of streaming the Mass into the chapel as well as your homes. We have practiced the safest measures with doors and windows open and spacing. We should be mindful of the six feet social distance at Communion time, which requires a little patience. Please remember one  single line, each person 6’ apart. With the new mutation of this virus and a 70% increase in the rate of spreading the virus, we need to be super careful! Also we may have to start locking the doors after we reach capacity, which means please try to avoid being late. I plan on speeding up the Masses during these winter months, given the heating issue and transmission issue. If you want to wear a woolen hat during Mass, or bring a blanket, you are most welcome. We’ll continue to take names & temperatures. If you’re not feeling well in the slightest, consider skipping Mass for that week.

Fr.  John F. Carmichael, Pastor