Just a reminder to everyone that if you’re not feeling well, or are experiencing any of the symptoms of the COVID please err on the side of caution, stay home and do join us online at www.stanns.net for our Live Stream. With the new mutation of a more viral strain I have noticed a decrease in those attending Mass inside, and understand those who want to be cautious. I would also like to remind them that we have the Drive-In Mass. I too, am cautious and have refrained from greeting folks at the door and inviting others into the sacristy given the need to limit exposure. This is a great sacrifice for me as I love being around people! A vaccine will soon be available to many of us, and all of us by this summer, and at that point we will be better able to socialize – in the meantime, let’s remain vigilant.

In a few weeks we will have the Blessing of Throats at the weekend Masses. We will continue this tradition with some changes to how it is dispensed. We will begin with a general blessing over everyone at the end of Masses, and then afterward folks can come forward (observing the 6’ social distance standard) for an individual blessing. I will bless a carton of slim candles, and will use a new set on each person. They will be placed into a basket and will be used as a display outside at the Easter Vigil.  If you do not want to have your throat blessed individually I would understand, but I do want to care for those who do want this blessing.

Ash Wednesday is coming up on February 17th. We will dispense Ashes, but will do so with individual Q-tips.

After each use they will be disposed of into a container, and the residual blessed ashes will be burned. Those who want to come forward for the ashes will be marked with the cross on your forehead. Certainly receiving ashes is a personal choice and one which is devotional in nature. I will also have single packet of blessed ashes for those who would like to apply them to themselves and other immediate family members.

I am working on an Ash Wednesday Mass schedule and need your input, particularly if you would attend a Drive-in Mass that night at 4:00pm (Sunset is at 5:19pm). If you attend the outside Mass, would you please tell one of the Knights (during the offertory collection) that you will likely attend this outside Mass. I will discuss the times of the other Masses with the parish leadership.

I want to again thank those who made a contribution for our Christmas Flowers. This year we changed to larger pots and that has paid off for us as we still have them in bloom a month after Christmas Day. We ordered the plants from Kane’s Flower World in Danvers and I have been very pleased with the quality and extended life of our plants. I will let you folks know how much we raised in donations in next week’s bulletin. This is the last week we will publish the list of Christmas remembrances – a Novena of Masses continue.

The Creches and Lobster Pot Traps are being disassembled this weekend. Thanks to the Knights of Columbus who are doing this. Thanks to the Art and Environment Committee members who took down the Christmas decorations last Sunday. I am blessed with both group’s help in the Church.

Father Carmichael