This Monday is Memorial Day. We celebrate by visiting graves, laying wreathes, coming together in prayer and remembrance of those who served and died in their service to our country.  Let’s take some time to reflect on the brave men and women of our armed forces, and let us send up a prayer to God for their souls in grateful appreciation for these selfless heroes. May God Bless our country, and her service members.

As of May 29th, masks are no longer required for fully-vaccinated people in the State of Massachusetts. The State does advise that non-vaccinated people continue to wear masks. I took a survey last weekend about opening up all or part of the benches.  The average was 80% in favor of opening all pews and 20% hoping to have an every other bench approach.  Given the summer increase attendance, it wouldn’t be practical to keep the alternating bench approach in the main church. We will accommodate those who want to space themselves away from others by keeping the chapel on an alternating-bench basis, to easily accommodate anyone who prefers to remain socially distanced. Also the less-attended weekend Masses are the 10:00 and 11:30am, which might be a better alternative to enjoy greater space.

The next two open issues concern the collection and masks. Given that most of our ushers are outside at the 8:30 Mass, it seems more sensible to have the collection remain as it is, with two baskets located at the front and center. We can revisit this next fall. The Archdioceses has left the decision regarding mask use up to the pastors. I am not asking anyone to wear a mask unless they have not been vaccinated or choose to wear one out of personal desire. You have been awesome in wearing your masks faithfully. Our Eucharistic Ministers and I will be masked.

We will resume singing the psalm (though on hot days we may resort to the quicker speaking part) and please join us in singing the Mass parts and Hymns. We will renew our license for a copyright use of the hymns and will soon have then projected on the walls.  The Choir will resume in September, and I hope we can get them to practice over the summer.

With respect to disinfecting, we are allowed to disinfect on a daily basis and will make that a permanent policy. Thanks to all of those who have helped disinfect after each of the Masses. A group of teens from the High School washed and polished the benches a few weeks back. A word of thanks to Bill Bowers who led them in this work.

The outside SUNDAY 8:30 DRIVE-IN MASS will remain a permanent Mass on our schedule. It has proved to be beneficial for young families, those with weakened immune systems, those with social phobias, and those who have trouble walking into Church.

I have put the ‘new bricks’ in the Fish Pond area. We are taking orders for another batch. The order form has been uploaded to the website– just print, complete and return to the office with your check or cash.

As you may know, there is immense suffering and loss of life occurring in India and Brazil due to the Pandemic. The Catholic Church, through Catholic Relief Services (CRS), is on the ground in those countries working to support local hospitals and programs which are being overwhelmed and which have reached a breaking point. 

Given our own experience in the United States with regard to the pandemic and the important role the Church has in being able to respond to global events, we have an opportunity to assist relief efforts in India and Brazil. This weekend we will take up a 2nd collection – please put ‘Pandemic’ on the note section of your check – see page 6.

HAPPY UNOFFICIAL START OF SUMMER!

Father Carmichael